We've gotten an email from Michel Daab, who's working on a website called "Create Your Minis". Where you can design your own minis, have them 3D printed, and sent to you. Cool idea, but how good is the service?
From Michel's Email:
"We will launch a kickstarter campaign December the 18th, 18:00 GMT and we wish to show you our work. It's a website where you can design your own miniatures, you select a body type (male or female human for example), then you select the clothes, the weapons and the equipment. Then you choose a compatible pose, after a couple of minutes your 3D model is built.
If you like it you can order it, it will be 3D printed and sent to you. You can also save your model to reuse it later, as a template for other models for example. Or you can share it with friends by giving them the ID (you find it through the “share” button, you have an ID and a couple of image links).
If you could try it and, if you think it's interesting of course, could you talk about it a little?
Our website: http://www.createyourminis.com
our kickstarter campaign: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1703677934/931290311?token=acb2eff4
We got a lot of good feedbacks on forums like dakka
You can see that we are really open and we take suggestions into account.
If you can read French, you can see the same her:
So what do I think? Well, I went to the site and started making a model. Here's a screenshot of the interface:
And... that's pretty much when I said 'No Thanks'. I got as far as making the guy with the chainsaw arm at the top of this post, and then quit in frustration.
|Examples from the project's Kickstarter page.|
I can see that there's some neat things happening in the back end of this web app, and some of the example models on the Kickstarter page are OK looking. But the interface is absolutely effing terri-bad. Really, not one in a hundred potential customers is going to go through the torture of making one figure, let alone a whole army of them this way.
The project's funding goal is reasonable though, and about half-funded already. So maybe they can hire a decent user-interface designer and end up with a usable product at the end of it all. We'll see.
But fundamentally, I'm not sure that this 'build anything from scratch' approach is the right one. It has a certain utility, but anything made using this system is going to be awfully generic looking. No matter what options you choose.
A much better approach, I think, is the one being taken by sandboxr. Where you have a pre-designed figure that's been animated doing various 'action' things. You pick your pose by scrubbing a timeline, and then you can tweak equipment, colors, etc.
Because fundamentally, most folks just aren't that creative. They want to modify something cool, instead of trying to come up with something great-looking from scratch.
Like these models from "Create Your Minis" own Kickstarter stretch goals:
Man! let me pick an animation pose on one of these babies, swap a few weapons/details, and ship it to my door already! They have the character that's always going to be missing from the models their web app is designed to create.
What does everyone else think?