Introducing... Bad Dragon Labs!

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Introducing... Bad Dragon Labs!

Postby Varka » Fri Oct 07, 2011 6:30 am

Important Announcement; BD Labs is temporarily being put on hold. See here for more information.

Bad Dragon Labs is something we've been working on for a long time, but until recently haven't had the manpower or resources to pursue to the extent we've wanted to. Now we're doing a lot better on that front, we're in a better position than we've ever been to do it.

Bad Dragon Labs is a project designed to get more community designs made faster, by offering them available for sale in one size and feature combination only. Restricting it to one size and feature combination significantly reduces the amount of work we have to do to make molds for it - and still produces the same quality of toy you've come to expect from Bad Dragon. It also gives us the ability to produce more of them, faster - thus giving you a wider range of toys, and more chance of your design being made.

The way it will work is based on a voting style system; designers will submit their 'finished' designs via a web-based form, whereupon it'll be approved (or rejected, with feedback - for example, if it needs to be changed so we can make it, or it's not up to a suitable quality standard) and listed on a page similar to 'patched together', where people can vote and comment on it.

When we feel the design has sufficient support, we will put the toy through into production, and turn it into a saleable toy in a special 'Bad Dragon Labs' category on the website. Once we've finished putting it in production, it'll be available for people to buy - and we'll be publicising it as available on our newsletter and through our website front page.

Designs which continue to sell well, and for which we judge there to be demonstrated demand for another size or feature combination, we'll expand to include other size options, other features (cumtubes for example), and so on. If a design becomes a clear best-seller, and that we feel is an excellent example of a well designed and engineered toy, we may convert it into a 'main-line' toy design - which means it becomes part of our main range, and gets re-engineered (if necessary) to support true mass production.

We're opening the programme up initially as a trial, and will be inviting designers to submit their finished designs for approval via a web-based application form. We've published a handy 'design guidelines' document as well as an acceptable design policy below, so designers can be sure their design is up to scratch and will be approved.

We will be accepting designs based upon pre-existing characters (as long as you own all the rights to it; legalese to follow, see below) as well as brand new designs which are not centered around characters.

In addition, we're going to have members of the design team contribute and get even more involved in the design process, to help people perfect their designs - and, as a lot of the process is experimental in nature - to help make sure innovative, unique toys that are outside of our experience get a fair shot at being made.

You will see signs of this new programme over the coming weeks; a design submission form will be put up, and a gallery of eligible designs will appear. Our design team will become more active in the forums, and we'll be shepherding more designs towards the point of submission!

Due to recent events, we are putting BD Labs on hold; see here for more details: Announcement Post


Please take a look at our Acceptable Design Policy and Design Suggestions pages; these document what you as designers will need to bear in mind when you design a toy and submit it to us.

I will be accepting questions and posting answers (as well as maintaining an FAQ) on this topic in this thread. If you have any further questions, please post them below.

Thank you!

Varka


---------------



Acceptable Design Policy:

- No ‘zoo’ toys (designs which portray real creatures that actually exist right now. Creatures now extinct, or anthropomorphised versions of those creatures/characters are fine.)
- Nothing pedophilic (silicone babies/kids/whatever)
- While in the future we hope to push our boundaries and be able to make basically anything in silicone, for now we are restricting our scope to penises only. Female toys, non-penises and other things like silicone poop will not be accepted, no matter how hilarious they are.
- Designs have to be feasible and reasonably economical to manufacture. See our design suggestions guidelines.
- No copyrighted characters or toys; you must own the copyright to the design, or get all parties which claim ownership of the design to co-sign your design submission, and formally document this relationship in writing if there's more than one copyright owner.
- Designs 'inspired by' other creative works are acceptable, as long as they are sufficiently distinct and different from the original to not count as a 'derivative work'. (Read this for more information: http://www.publicdomainsherpa.com/derivative-work.html ) Long story short, keep it original.
You must exclusively own the copyright to the design you submit. If it’s a joint work, all parties must state in writing their combined ownership of the design, and their approval of our terms and conditions.
- We reserve the right to refuse to allow any design to be accepted, or to be manufactured, at any time, for any reason.

----------------

Design Suggestions:

- Avoid backwards-facing features where bubbles could get trapped, and fine/spiny areas with pointy tips where bubbles could form.
- Avoid significant undercuts; the circumference of the widest feature must be less than 170% that of it’s thinnest LOWER feature. The Karabos is our reference design for this (thickness of knot vs. thickness of supporting shaft). Remember most cocks aren’t perfectly cylindrical - see http://math.about.com/library/blcirclecalculator.htm for more info on how to convert between diameter and circumference when scaling your toy's features.
- You will need to focus upon ‘one size’ of toy that will appeal to the greatest number of customers while also manifesting the original goal of the toy; the Small Werewolf and Medium Werewolf are our reference sizes; we recommend sticking to one of these. Other sizes (and features) can be added later, based on the success of your design.
- Restrict features to the minimum possible; if it’s a unique selling point (and technically feasible) we may be able to do one feature like a cumtube, but generally we suggest restricting yourself to the minimum needed to make the toy still do what it’s supposed to.
- We will attempt to offer all features we reasonably can when your design goes into production; however if any of these are 'unique selling points' please let us know in your submission - while we cannot promise we will be able to offer that feature at release (or later on), we'll do our best to ensure a reasonable selection of features are available.
- If you wish for your design to support any of the following features, please make this clear when asking for advice from our design team, and within your final design submission. We will do our best to try and include it, however we do not guarantee that we'll be able to do so.
- Suction Cups (a flat, oval/round base is needed)
- Cumtubes (sufficient space for the tube within the toy is needed)
- Cored Firmnesses (a cylindrical, even-shaped shaft like the Anthrodragon)
- Split colors / firmnesses (a distinct base)
- Highlights (fine details to be highlighted)



------------

FAQ:

What is Bad Dragon Labs?
- Bad Dragon Labs is a programme we've developed to help get more new toy designs made faster, by reducing the features they're launched with to one size, with or without a cumtube.
How do I submit a Design?
- A submission form will be provided shortly.
What does my design need to feature / comply with?
- See the 'Design Suggestions' and 'Acceptable Design Policy' documents above.
What rights do I give BD for my design?
- You give BD the exclusive rights to manufacture products for sale based on your design.
What do I earn for my design?
- If we choose to manufacture your design, we will give you a free toy (usually the same toy you designed).
Do I receive a free sample of my toy?
- If we choose to manufacture your design, yes (see above).
Is Bad Dragon going to promote my design?
- Yes. We intend to promote designs we choose to manufacture using our newsletter and our website, and for designs accepted but not yet chosen to be manufactured, we will periodically encourage website visitors, newsletter subscribers and forum users to vote on your design.
How can I ensure the success of my design?
- By making an awesome, interesting, exciting toy, of course! It also helps to follow the guidelines in our design suggestions, ask for and listen to advice given by our design team, and to get your friends to vote on (and buy) your design!
When will my design be approved?
- We try to review all design submissions within 3 days, however because we do need to investigate and discuss your design, this can take up to 7 days.
What should I bear in mind while coming up with a design?
- You should keep in mind the following questions:
- Who would buy my toy, and why?
- What makes my toy unique?
- What has been done before?
- What hasn't been done before... and why?
How can I help my design make it to production?
- By making an awesome, interesting, exciting toy, of course! It also helps to follow the guidelines in our design suggestions, ask for and listen to advice given by our design team, and to get your friends to vote on (and buy) your design!
How many designs can I submit?
- There's no limit to the number of designs you can submit, but we limit the rate of these to one design per day.
How will this benefit me, the designer?
- You'll have a greater chance than ever to have your design made into a reality by Bad Dragon.
How will this benefit me, the toy buyer?
- You'll have a wider range of toys to choose from, and the ability to give input as to what new features, sizes or designs you'd like to see made available for you
Will you be accepting design submissions for toys based on people's characters?
- Yes, however they'll have to be the exclusive owners of all rights related to that character (or get it in writing that everyone who claims a right over the character agrees).
What about current confirmed designs? Does this mean that they'll no longer necessarily get made, only have the chance to be voted on to be made?
- If a toy is marked as 'confirmed' in the 'ideas and suggestions database' thread, then it is one have expressed a desire in making. We take a wide variety of factors into account when we make our decision (including what we think will be successful), but any previous suggestions we made that we'd produce a given design cannot be taken as a guarantee they'll get produced.
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Re: Introducing... Bad Dragon Labs!

Postby Foxfire » Fri Oct 07, 2011 6:41 am

So what about current confirmed designs? Does this mean that they'll no longer necessarily get made, only have the chance to be voted on to be made?

Edit: Crossposting from other thread:

Varka wrote:If any designers would like to become a 'guinea pig' for the Bad Dragon Labs programme, please send me an email to [email protected] with a link to your design (or thread), an explanation of what you really want to see happen to your toy, and a commitment that you're willing to stick with us and be patient, no matter how much bullshit the process of getting this straightened out is.


Could you please explain what this actually means/entails?
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Re: Introducing... Bad Dragon Labs!

Postby Mongrel Vixen » Fri Oct 07, 2011 7:16 am

Wait a second.. No zoo toys? How come you're selling the dolphin then? it's in no way anthro 0__o
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Re: Introducing... Bad Dragon Labs!

Postby Varka » Fri Oct 07, 2011 7:18 am

Edit: I'm removing all posts on this thread which are discussions rather than questions. This is to keep this document on topic and up to date, and to prevent drama. If you wish to discuss Bad Dragon Labs, please do so on this discussion thread:
OFFICIAL DISCUSSION THREAD
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=12150
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Re: Introducing... Bad Dragon Labs!

Postby Varka » Fri Oct 07, 2011 7:29 am

Foxfire wrote:So what about current confirmed designs? Does this mean that they'll no longer necessarily get made, only have the chance to be voted on to be made?

I've added your question (and it's answer) to the FAQ:

What about current confirmed designs? Does this mean that they'll no longer necessarily get made, only have the chance to be voted on to be made?
- If a toy is marked as 'confirmed' in the 'ideas and suggestions database' thread, then it is one have expressed a desire in making. We take a wide variety of factors into account when we make our decision (including what we think will be successful), but us expressing a desire to make a given toy is not a guarantee it'll get made (please note, the 'ideas and suggestions database' thread is a community maintained document - we didn't mark the toy as 'confirmed', a member of our community did).



Mongrel Vixen wrote:Wait a second.. No zoo toys? How come you're selling the dolphin then? it's in no way anthro 0__o


The dolphin toy was made way back at the beginning of the company's life, before we made this policy. We're not going to make any new toys based around real, non-anthro animals.
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Re: Introducing... Bad Dragon Labs!

Postby Varka » Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:39 am

ThisOne wrote:What kind of features push or pull the 'No zoo toys' rule? You just answered the question about the dolphin, so I assume an 'anthro dolphin' toy would be acceptable. But you also have Razor, which really isn't anthro at all[only in the artwork]. Do you consider that an 'anthro' toy? Or an actual 'straight up dog cock'/zoo toy?

I guess I'm asking what 'anthro' specifically entails while making a toy design. Or will that be handled by you, at Bad Dragon, on a case by case evaluation? o:

Our guideline is as documented in my original post; anthro, or not-real. The specific anatomy can be close or 'inspired by', but it's important that the overall package (if you'll excuse the pun) doesn't cross that line.

It'll be done on a case by case basis, but if you anthropomorphise the toy and/or the character, and/or make sure it's a fantasy character, you'll probably be fine. But at the end of the day it'll be handled on a case by case basis.
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Re: Introducing... Bad Dragon Labs!

Postby Sukita » Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:38 pm

What is the timeframe of the introduction of Bad Dragon Labs, and how long do you estimate it will be before you start producing toys made using this feature?
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Re: Introducing... Bad Dragon Labs!

Postby Kith » Sat Oct 08, 2011 5:23 am

Varka wrote:What about current confirmed designs? Does this mean that they'll no longer necessarily get made, only have the chance to be voted on to be made?
- If a toy is marked as 'confirmed' in the 'ideas and suggestions database' thread, then it is one have expressed a desire in making. We take a wide variety of factors into account when we make our decision (including what we think will be successful), but any previous suggestions we made that we'd produce a given design cannot be taken as a guarantee they'll get produced.


Forgive me, but the response does not seem to really answer the question. Are any of the currently "confirmed" designs going to be main-line releases, or will all of them need to be resubmitted through BDL to have a chance at production?

If Bagheera's toy is to be in the BDL running, it appears to me that there would be no point in a voting competition; that one would win the first Lab production slot. Is it planned to be released as the BDL debut toy so the rest of the designs will have a chance of garnering some votes? :P
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Re: Introducing... Bad Dragon Labs!

Postby skinwalker » Sat Oct 08, 2011 7:45 am

How is this voting/discussion system going to be different than what already goes on in the ideas subforum?
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Re: Introducing... Bad Dragon Labs!

Postby Varka » Sat Oct 08, 2011 8:20 am

Sukita wrote:What is the timeframe of the introduction of Bad Dragon Labs, and how long do you estimate it will be before you start producing toys made using this feature?

Probably the next 2-3-4 weeks. I expect to have some design submission and voting going on within the next 2 weeks, it may take me a while longer to finish the actual voting-through-to-production interface. I expect that another 2-3 weeks after a few designs are chosen for the first round, we'll have some actual toys on sale.

Kith wrote:Forgive me, but the response does not seem to really answer the question. Are any of the currently "confirmed" designs going to be main-line releases, or will all of them need to be resubmitted through BDL to have a chance at production?

None of the designs currently marked as 'confirmed' in the Ideas and Suggestions Database are going to be main-line releases, unless they go through BD Labs or we decide that we're going to make them as main-line releases. Some of them we may choose to do as mainline toy releases and skip the BD Labs portion, but this will be at our sole discretion and isn't guaranteed. (Also remember, we plan our release schedules several months in advance and periodically review it, so some designs may be chosen as 'main line' releases at the beginning of the next quarter.


Sukita wrote:If Bagheera's toy is to be in the BDL running, it appears to me that there would be no point in a voting competition; that one would win the first Lab production slot. Is it planned to be released as the BDL debut toy so the rest of the designs will have a chance of garnering some votes? :P

There will be no restriction on the *number* of toys you can vote on; we expect that Baggy's toy will be one of the highest voted toys and thus is expected to go straight into production, however we're not taking that for granted and want to see how it fares in the voting contest against existing toys first. In addition, there's more than one slot, and they aren't available on a strict schedule; we'll be dipping in and choosing a winner (or two) whenever we have the capacity to make more (which may include a new size of an existing toy). Depending on how things go, we might either weight people's votes based on how many designs they've voted on (or some other factors I've not really thought about), or simply limit the maximum number of toys to vote on - but again, we're going to try it in a straightforward manner first and see how it goes, then work from there.




skinwalker wrote:How is this voting/discussion system going to be different than what already goes on in the ideas subforum?

I wasn't aware we actually had a design-vs-design voting thread in the ideas subforum, so I presume you mean the practice of people posting in a design thread to show their support. See above. The difference is that people who are not forum users (aka, newsletter subscribers and other customers) will be able to cast their vote, which gives us a wider cross section of viewpoints as well as increases the chance of choosing a toy which will be representative of *all* our customers. It'll also again have that lower barrier to entry, which means more designs stand more of a chance of being picked (as the amount of interest we need to see for it to be financially viable is much lower).

I added the following FAQ entries:

Who will be able to vote?
- Anybody who has a Bad Dragon account, including forum users and newsletter subscribers.
What's the timescale for BD Labs going live?
- We expect to have a design submission form up, and some voting between designs going on, in approximately 2 weeks.
- We expect to be choosing some winners of the first round of voting in approximately 3 weeks.
- We expect that some of the chosen winners will be nearing the end of production and become available approximately 5-6 weeks from now.
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Re: Introducing... Bad Dragon Labs!

Postby IsisKitsune » Sat Oct 08, 2011 10:01 am

I sense a MAJOR difference in the posted time frame (going from "Confirmed BDL toy" to "Available on site") because of How long does it take you guys to actual R&D stuff? Seriously? I'm meaning just the one size/features toy too not the 3 different sized 3 different option available and that. There's no way anyone can go "Oh I like this!" -produces it- and have every single trial/mold go great.
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Re: Introducing... Bad Dragon Labs!

Postby Foxfire » Sat Oct 08, 2011 10:57 am

Pointing to my first post in this thread since the question seems to have been overlooked; what does being a guinea pig for BD labs entail?

Edit:

Varka wrote:I wasn't aware we actually had a design-vs-design voting thread in the ideas subforum, so I presume you mean the practice of people posting in a design thread to show their support.


Wasn't this how the community designs were supposed to go in the first place? :P Ashendra's Faerie dragon won the first round of voting, and then the idea disappeared. Just random
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Re: Introducing... Bad Dragon Labs!

Postby Sukita » Sat Oct 08, 2011 3:53 pm

Varka wrote:
Sukita wrote:What is the timeframe of the introduction of Bad Dragon Labs, and how long do you estimate it will be before you start producing toys made using this feature?

Probably the next 2-3-4 weeks. I expect to have some design submission and voting going on within the next 2 weeks, it may take me a while longer to finish the actual voting-through-to-production interface. I expect that another 2-3 weeks after a few designs are chosen for the first round, we'll have some actual toys on sale.


So, assuming that's 6 weeks until the first community-chosen toy goes on sale, and assuming that the community chooses the Lorien (assuming Bagheera still wants to offer it), and (from what has previously been said) BD is planning on introducing a BD-designed feline toy before the Lorien goes into production, does that mean the BD-designed feline toy is going to be released in the next 6 weeks?

I'm not trying to be pedantic, I'm just trying to make sense of all of the different things we, as a community, have been told, because I don't quite understand how the numbers add up. Maybe it's my interpretation, maybe it's miscommunication, I don't know. All I know is that some clarification would be great.
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Re: Introducing... Bad Dragon Labs!

Postby D-kit » Sat Oct 08, 2011 4:37 pm

A question about pricing!

Is the reduced time investment involved in the creation of these toys going to be reflected in the price? I'm under the impression that the current prices of "full feature" BD toys is due to a combination of material costs and the research and development involved in creating four sizes with variable features, and not strictly material cost. As such, will they be less expensive? Thanks!
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Re: Introducing... Bad Dragon Labs!

Postby Tundara » Sun Oct 09, 2011 4:53 am

I'm a little bit confused here. I have a design confirmed for production (Eramos the Fiesty Wyvern). Does this mean it will no longer be made?
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Re: Introducing... Bad Dragon Labs!

Postby bladejtr » Sun Oct 09, 2011 5:07 am

It means you have to put it through the bad dragon labs process to get it made.

Also, they may still choose it as a main line toy, but that's not something they're deciding one way or the other for any toys right now.
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Re: Introducing... Bad Dragon Labs!

Postby Varka » Sun Oct 09, 2011 10:05 am

I have clarified the 'no zoo' rule in the original design policy, to:

- No ‘zoo’ toys (designs which portray real creatures that actually exist right now. Designs inspired by creatures now extinct, or anthropomorphised versions of those creatures/characters are fine.)

ThisOne wrote:does the no zoo rule only apply to Bad Dragon Labs submissions?

No, it applies to all designs.

ThisOne wrote:Will the company be perusing more zoo toys in the mainline/in-house line?

Nope.

ThisOne wrote:Why didn't you choose to stick to a no zoo policy years before, when the horse and razor hadn't even been released?

That has been the case since the get-go, where the company's focus has been on fantasy toys (For example, no live casts have ever been done); the difference has been in how the 'line' of what's acceptable has changed over the past few years. The horse and razor toys are comfortably within the realms of 'not a zoo toy', because they reflect common 'anthro' anatomy - there are no shortage of examples of characters with cocks similar to that of their feral ancestors in art and media. Again, it's the overall portrayal that counts for the most in this matter.

If any designer is not sure about how their particular design may be affected by this, then they should ask our design staff - we'll be maintaining this rule on a case by case basis, but if you're concerned about falling foul of this rule - then it's simple; ask first.

At the end of it, I think it all boils down to whether a design 'portrays' or is 'inspired by' real anatomy. The former isn't acceptable, but the latter - as long as it's suitably distanced - can be (which is why we encourage people to seek advice from us if they're unsure).
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Re: Introducing... Bad Dragon Labs!

Postby Varka » Sun Oct 09, 2011 10:07 am

Sukita wrote:So, assuming that's 6 weeks until the first community-chosen toy goes on sale, and assuming that the community chooses the Lorien (assuming Bagheera still wants to offer it), and (from what has previously been said) BD is planning on introducing a BD-designed feline toy before the Lorien goes into production, does that mean the BD-designed feline toy is going to be released in the next 6 weeks?

I can't specifically answer your question relating to our release schedule, but I'll say that thus far your math seems to add up pretty well. :)
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Re: Introducing... Bad Dragon Labs!

Postby Varka » Sun Oct 09, 2011 10:19 am

Foxfire wrote:Pointing to my first post in this thread since the question seems to have been overlooked; what does being a guinea pig for BD labs entail?

This isn't really relevant any more; we're not doing the 'guinea pig' method I was formerly thinking we were going to, we're just going to make it part of our first round of testing.

Foxfire wrote:Wasn't this how the community designs were supposed to go in the first place? :P Ashendra's Faerie dragon won the first round of voting, and then the idea disappeared. Just random


It sure was - mainly due to the fact we couldn't keep up with making new designs in all possible combinations from the word go, the idea stalled and hasn't gone any further. You'll notice the design DID get made - and I think that speaks volumes about how despite technical constriants, we're still committed to getting the most popular designs made.

IsisKitsune wrote:Seriously?

I don't think you read the original part of my post which asked people to post only questions on this thread, so I'm going to simply say that we've taken a lot of our internal processes into consideration in our estimates - and am pointing out again that we're running this like an experiment. We don't expect everything to go perfectly (in fact, I'm kind of hoping it's at least a little messy ,as that's how real experience is gained), but we're confident that this is going to be significantly faster than it is for main-line designs.

D-kit wrote:A question about pricing!

Is the reduced time investment involved in the creation of these toys going to be reflected in the price? I'm under the impression that the current prices of "full feature" BD toys is due to a combination of material costs and the research and development involved in creating four sizes with variable features, and not strictly material cost. As such, will they be less expensive? Thanks!

The current prices for our mainline toys are broadly representative of both the investment required in them, and the results we get from them. Compared to our BD Labs investment vs. results, BD labs are likely to be quite a bit riskier - but we're only going to get a solid answer by actually trying it out and seeing what happens.

As such, we initially expect BD Labs toys to be about 20% or so more expensive for a similar toy from our main-line selection. We will, however, be re-evaluating pricing stuff once we've run BD Labs for a while and have a better handle on how it works and on the scale of the risks/rewards, so this may change up or down.

Tundara wrote:I'm a little bit confused here. I have a design confirmed for production (Eramos the Fiesty Wyvern). Does this mean it will no longer be made?

All designs which were 'confirmed for production' will unfortunately need to go through the BD Labs process in order to be considered to be made. We may, however, choose some designs for our main-line toy lines, and will also be taking into account the interest shown in 'confirmed' designs when we review their performance in BD Labs.

Long story short, 'confirmed' designs are toys we're already interested in making - and we'll be taking that into account when they go through BD Labs. However, the selection of your 'confirmed' design to be made in BD Labs or in our main-line toy range is not guaranteed.
Varka - Bad Dragon CEO

"We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard." - John F Kennedy
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Re: Introducing... Bad Dragon Labs!

Postby Foxfire » Sun Oct 09, 2011 2:39 pm

Questions I forgot to ask: so if your design gets chosen in BD labs and made, you get a toy (in that one size with no features) as compensation. But if it then makes it to a mainline design, would you then get another toy (being able now to have features and different sizes)?

For BD labs, is it possible to do the same as Bagheera and make one's own artwork/story, or is he a special case for whatever reason?

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