Comcept and its STUDIO4℃ are in the process of making an unprecedented 3D animation experience for their fan base. While the results of their Kickstarter campaign for Red Ash – Magicicada so far may not be exactly unprecedented, it’s one of those lucky–and rarish–campaigns that comes along and catches fire, blazing along with rewards ‘selling out’ and their goal of $150,000 nearly met with less than a week to go.
Red Ash – Magicicada is meant to be a parallel world of game and anime, brought together with a treasure hunting theme. Designed by the STUDIO4℃ all stars, they combine the fluidity of animation and 3D with style of Japanese hand-drawn anime, which can be very difficult to do regarding some of the classic movements and expressions.
The talented group of artists tackled making the entire game in 3D, however, and it is being completed through the comprehensive efforts of comcept, STUDIO4℃, and numerous outside designers as well.
“I’m developing the models in the style of illustration in order to mix the excellent essence of 2D painting with 3D’s solid image,” said young CGI creator Yuta Sano, who is working on the animation portion of the game and movie. “As for motion, I want to combine fluent 3D animation moves and Japanese hand-drawn animation techniques.”
“Expressions such as changing a character’s perspective in a motion or dynamic character deformations are some of typical techniques in Japanese animation, which are considered to be difficult to adopt in 3D. We would like to take on the challenge of developing those difficult expressions in 3D on this project.”
With one of the longest list of rewards you’ve ever seen, supporting Red Ash – Magicicada gives you many, many options. For the gaming and anime crowd, this is an absolute delight, and was lit up further when the team released the latest reward as a 3D print of a female character named Call.
In a seriously limited edition, only four figurines were made available of the intelligent, likable character who boasts ‘a good sense of humor.’ The limited number of 3D models were snapped up with pledges of $1004 almost immediately, but will not ship, like all the other rewards, until summer of 2017.
Beck, whom Call is supposed to ‘pair with,’ is also still available as a 3D printed figure at $1004. This character, known as the charismatic treasure hunter, is also a sensitive ‘good guy.’ Interestingly, and in typical offbeat Japanese fashion, he has some quirks, such as being an ‘analog’ type who is not good with technology. Other characters bear interesting personality habits like that of being a ‘worry-wort’ (Tyger).
While we have yet to see who else might be available in 3D print, this Kickstarter campaign works in phases, with the ultimate goal to be that of raising $2,480,000, after which the feature film will be released. Currently, new stages of the story are being added each time they reach a stretch goal–and this is how the treasure tale unfolds, as characters move through the game and story with each phase being completed.
Fans and fellow designers are welcomed to offer their ideas, which very well may be woven into the storyline. If they are, the contributor receives an email, along with autographed design data from the development team.
With a wildly versatile array of rewards, supporters can spend as little as $24 for digital downloads. As the amounts go up, supporters receive soundtrack downloads, storyboards, watches, and 3D printed figurines like the ones of Beck and Call. Ascending much higher, at the $2444 mark, supporters are able to begin naming portions of the game like Tyger’s weapon, stage locations, enemies, and even characters. Ascending to $5K, studio tours, Q&A Skype with producers, and seminars are available. And if it’s worth it to you to have your name indelibly etched in the closing credits forever as a Platinum Sponsor, get ready to fork over $10K.
Originating from Tokyo, the design priority of the exciting, treasure hunting game shows a shift, as do many other areas of industry, as they attempt to shed the traditional altogether in streamlining and experimenting in full 3D, while still using the craftsmanship of the old world as inspiration as well as a guide. Japan’s Comcept is a design and development studio centered around gaming. Founded in 2010 by Keiji Inafune, a well-known name in the industry and creator at Capcom, the team works to create unique, groundbreaking concepts on a consistent basis.