Development Diary

Hey there! Aiman and Hwa here, the creators of Fungisaurs!  

As an independent brand, the success of Fungisaurs all comes down to you, the fans, and your support, so thanks for your interest! The idea of Fungisaurs was born in 2015, when we were driving back to LA from a camping trip near Yosemite National Park. We stopped at an In-N-Out Burger and were given some dinosaur stickers. Having these dinos adjacent to a mushroom identification catalog we had picked up earlier at the park, led Aiman to some furious drawings of what various dinosaur-mushroom hybrid species could look like.

Early Fungisaurs sketches

Back at home Aiman digitally sculpted 8 Fungisaurs series-one characters in Pixologic’s ZBrush and proceeded to prototype them on a Form 2 stereolithography 3D printer. Hwa created a whole brand around the sculpts and we setup a booth at DesignerCon toy expo to see how they would be received. Fungisaurs were a big hit! Kids gravitated to them because of their cute strangeness and parents loved the nostalgia of dinosaurs and nature/educational tie-in of mushrooms. This cinched the deal, we'd have to find a way to mass produce Fungisaurs for everyone to enjoy and led us to launch our Kickstarter campaign in November 2017. Since then we’ve fulfilled our Kickstarter back-orders, opened our online toy store and begun development on our Fungisaurs augmented reality mobile game.

Toy packaging prototype along with all 8 series 1 Fungisaurs

 

Fungisaurs AR Mobile Game

We’ve begun development for the Fungisaurs mobile game app

Since we’re a small indie team working on this in our spare time, our efforts up till now have been focused on creating demos to show potential investors. We have no set release date, but we’re hoping to find the right partners and launch our app by the end of 2018 or early 2019.

We started this journey with one of our favorite Fungisaurs, the C-Rex, which was re-modeled with proper mesh topology and UV maps for good deformation and texturing. That's a lot of jargon for saying we made it animate-able. 

C-Rex development from digital sculpt (left) to game model (right)

Then we animated it! A spawn, idle and roar cycle which you can interact with in the Sketchfab scene below:

Working with programmer and game developer, Zach Rock, we took it to the next level, setting up a Fungisaurs AR Mobile Experience for the iOS using Apple's AR Developer Kit and Unity SDK. 

We've started preliminary discussions with a few game development companies, but creating a really cool Fungisaurs mobile game will require sponsors and partners whose enthusiasm will be determined by how the brand grows, so once again your support plays a key role!

As we envision it, the completed Fungisaurs mobile app would have three key components:  

  1. An AR Fungisaur identifier and pet training simulator

  2. A radar tracker for scavenger hunt game-play

  3. An interactive world map of Fungisaur sightings to inspire travel and exploration.

Radar tracker concept

Interactive map concept

 

Animated Story

We’re also developing a pitch for a Fungisaurs animated TV show.

 

Fungisaurs 2D character designs by Ryan Winch

Early storyboard treatment by Feras Khagani

It was natural for us to start developing back-stories for the Fungisaurs and creating a pitch for our very own animated series.

Working with character designer Ryan Winch, we flushed out the human characters in the Fungisaurs universe. Beyond the main protagonists Kei and her grandpa, Dr. Nori Také, we also developed characters from around the world that would lend their unique skills to the task of tracking and studying the Fungisaurs.

Next, we wrote the Fungisaurs origin story and visualized it with the help of talented storyboard artist Feras Khagani. Feras was able to turn our scripts into thumbnails and then into fleshed out illustrations.

The story continued to evolve even after we began animation as we had a lot of info to convey, however we knew we had to keep it short and focused on the relationship between Kei and her grandpa. Megan Ring performed flawlessly as the voice for our heroine, Kei, with additional voice acting recorded by David Lopez. All Audio effects and the score were created by Cat Arthur, despite the final animation/effects and illustrations going right down to the wire. What you see on screen is a true team effort. 

Here's the Fungisaurs origin story we created independently!