Engagement Beyond the Game

Jennifer Dawe Animator and Character Designer for Seedscape. @GMShivers

Game Development has evolved a lot since I started in 2003, with so many developers it can be difficult to get the word out about your game in particular. Many still make the mistake of “Good game equals big audience,” but there are thousands of people also thinking that very same thing. It can be stressful and challenging to get your name out there.

So, how do you get seen as the one fish in a very large pond?

One of the ways to attract people to your game is via free, shareable content. Things that other people want to engage with and share. On Tumblr our engagement rate for posts that contain printables (papercraft, comics, etc) and gifs is far greater than any normal content (e.g. screenshots, video, text promotion). We spend quite a few hours a week analyzing this data and looking for new ways to reach and expand our potential audience.

I recently started looking into HTML5 development and specifically how to generate content that would get more people to engage. That’s when I came across Animatron.

I was pleasantly surprised how easy Animatron is to use. I did a test run using a version of the slug from Seedscape that I redrew in Inkscape (another free tool that is highly compatible with Animatron).

What I found most interesting is the consideration for replicating content to share across multiple social media platforms. For example, with the starter version of Animatron I can take an animation I created and export it as a gif, which makes putting anything from a website on to Twitter or Tumblr a very simple process.

An animation like this can be shared many times, and is enjoyable to see every time. It is not an annoying pop up, but a gentle way to get your message across like a living storybook: And if you are lucky, it could go viral on social networks.

In the coming years it’s going to get more and more important for independent game developers to offer extra content to get that subtle edge on the competition, and create a living world that doubles as promotion and is more than just “The Game.”

This type of content shows you are invested and you care about the audience being part of your world. Too many of us believe that if the work isn’t focused exclusively on game content, then it doesn’t count as work on the game. This disregards the bigger picture of game development, which includes building a community, promotion, and generally making people aware your game even exists. With a tool like Animatron, artists can give a few idle hands on your team some artwork/assets and they can put together engaging content in a very short period of time.

Remember, you’re not just building a game, you’re building a community, so get out there and engage!

New User Interface Styling and Layout Changes!

Welcome, animation aficionados!

The year is 2015 and software trends are changing faster than the average lifespan of a Mayfly. So, we here at Animatron have decided to jump on the bandwagon and give our previously amazing Editor UI a new, more amazing-er makeover.

But why redesign an already user-friendly interface, you might ask? Science. Well, perhaps not science explicitly, but it has a lot to do with spacial reasoning, framing and workflow enhancements!

Newly Enhanced User Support!

Salut, my animation comrades!

We have some amazing news for you Animatron heads out there who need a little extra help, finding help. Please, allow me to assist you with your Animatron woes. Let’s take a look at our latest updates to User Support!

Here’s all the new ways we can help you, help yourself:

Our website has a couple of new helpful additions, starting with the newly redefined Knowledge Base. This new Knowledge Base is stocked with written articles meant to help guide you through your newly-searchable issues. Clicking on the “Help” tab on our website header will bring you to this wealth of knowledge. Also, from the Editor you can now click on this new Help Icon located next to your profile thumbnail, which will get you to all of the same articles posted in our Knowledge Base!

Along with our latest Knowledge Base upgrades, came the necessity for a community hub. So, we’d love to officially welcome you into the Animatron Community by accessing our Forum, also located on our website header. The Forum is a place for you to find additional and more specific help from our staff, fellow animators and professionals!

Like our Blog posts (or have some strong talking points)? Now you have the ability to voice your opinions, pleasures and dislikes by adding onto the conversation! Comments are now available in our Blog section of the website. Simply, go to the blog post you wish to discuss and scroll to the bottom to read or add comments.

And no new news here, but you are always encouraged to shoot us an email at for any specific questions, comments or suggestions for our staff!

Now, go frolic in the winds of success and animate forth!

Sincerely, -Your Animatron Guru

Weekly Animatron Webinars

So, you’ve been grinding out feedback, piling up suggestions, racking up the questions and chumming through the deep deep waters to bait those much-deserving answers…

Well, rest assured, animation cohorts!

We are proud to announce the launch of our Weekly Animatron Webinars!

Animatron Editor Main Menu / Help Sub-Menu

“Getting Started” - Part 5

You’re back again for part 5? This is a pleasant sight, indeed! We thought you might be curious about the last of the submenus in the Main Menu, so here it is!

Let us see how we can get additional help, by looking through our Help Sub-Menu.

Animatron Editor Main Menu / Play Sub-Menu Options

“Getting Started” - Part 4

Welcome back to our little expedition through the animation software temple that is the Animatron Editor! So far, we’ve clicked on the Animatron Hero’s head (or Main Menu Icon) and thumbed through the first few submenus it had to offer. What’s next here in part 4, you ask? More submenu action! I know, I know, you can’t wait to get out of this menu void, but I can promise we will be through with it sooner than you can say “I have seen Part 5 and Part 6”. So, let’s move forward with the Play Sub-Menu!

Animatron Editor Main Menu and Project Sub-Menu

“Getting Started” - Part 2

I am happy you were intrigued with Part 1, and that you’ve found your way back! It would seem that a little trickle of knowledge goes a long way when you know there is SO MUCH MORE to be learned about the Animatron Editor. Well then, let us continue our tour of the Editor Workspace, shall we?

The Main Menu contains a few helpful goodies that can assist you with your project workflow, so let’s explore.

Animatron Editor Workspace Overview

“Getting Started” - Part 1

Looking to familiarize yourself with the Animatron Editor? This multi-parted, informative guide will entice your curiosities with the heart of our awesome animation software by providing a thorough and in-depth tour of the Editor Workspace!

Workspace Overview

The Animatron Editor provides you with a clean and simple collection of menus, tools and helpful panels known as the Workspace.