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Interview with Monkeystack

By Emma Handley

Web: http://monkeystack.com.au/ (will open in new window)
Email: ua.moc.kcatsyeknom@syeknom

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Date Added: 20th March 2013


Our studio often runs incubator style programs for emerging talent and we do a lot of lecturing and training too. We remember what it was like to be emerging artists trying to make a name for ourselves and want to help however we can.

We noticed most art forums run challenges and competitions that give artists a solid brief and a distinct timeline for them to work too. Mostly, the competition stops with artist receiving their prize and that's the end of the life for that particular work. With Double Happy, the artists' works are realised within the story world and are given credit for their work. In this way, we feel we are helping emerging talent get into the industry they are so passionate about.

We have already built a strong foundation of story, art, animation and gameplay and so we feel that there is flexibility for an artist to add their own style to aspects of Double Happy, while not feeling the pressure of having to create a whole universe.

Do you think getting people involved in that way helps the development and popularity of the game?

The art forums give us some great exposure to our fan base but they're an even better way for us to meet talented artists all over the world.

What software, technical processes and expertise are being utilised for the game?

We are currently in the process of building a game demo of Episode 1: The Island of Pharos. There is quite a bit of R&D still to do, however having just finished a commercial game in Unity we are applying what we learnt to the Double Happy Game. We are creating assets in 3DS Max and Blender and combining these with painted assets developed in Zbrush and Photoshop. The cut scenes will be done as 2.5D animations in After Effects using the 2D pipeline we have developed for a children's TV series currently in production.

How far do you see your rabbit duo, Pink and Blue going in terms of future projects? Will we all be sporting t-shirts and drinking out of Double Happy vs. The Infinite Sadness mugs soon?!

We might see a little bit of merch sported here and there but Double Happy has never been intended to be a big mainstream hit. It really is an offbeat, quirky series that the average Joe probably wouldn't

understand, or even want to understand. We don't mind, it's a labour of love and as long as we can cover our expenses, then we'll just keep making more!

Finally, where can everyone get more information about your project and of course enter that amazing competition?

People can check out all of the current animations, stories and content via the Double Happy via website www.doublehappyrabbits.com. Or if they're keen to find out more about the current Vehicle Design competition that's being run in conjunction with CG Society and Game Artist , they can go directly to www.doublehappyrabbits.com/index.php/competitions/70-cc0006.

We've also recently launched a campaign on STEAM Greenlight, where people can find out a little more about the upcoming game. www.steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=111774605&searchtext

Lot's of people are interested in how we are financing our progress to date too. It's been a mix of blood, sweat and tears, coupled with the money from our own piggy bank and some additional generous support from the good folks at the South Australian Film Corporation (www.safilm.com.au) and Screen Australia (www.screenaustralia.gov.au/) without whom the project would not have been possible.

Thanks for your time. We look forward to meeting some of your artists!

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