Me Make Monster! Launches

Click to make some monster stuff.

I've launched a new project - a new venture, if you will - and it's called Me Make Monster! I'll create a more detailed blog post in the future, but for now I invite you to check it out and play around with it. And hey, if you have a kid - especially boys 7-10 - and you get them to check it out, I'd be especially interested in what they have to say.

I've kept the purpose of the site very simple - you make a monster out of various parts, name it, and then you apply your finished monster to a variety of products on Zazzle. The products are created on the fly using Zazzle's API, which imposes a high-res image (generated from the vector monster parts in Flash) and adds it to templates. That was certainly not the fun part of this project, but working it out meant a very smooth handoff from the MMM site to Zazzle, which will hopefully entice customers to make a purchase.

As far as the monster is concerned, you can select pieces for the head, eye brows, eyes, nose, mouth, ears, body (really the torso), arms, legs, and "extra", which can be a tail, wings, and other stuff that appears behind the monster - essentially attached to its back. For some parts (eyes, brows, nose, mouth, ears) there is a blank option - essential for creating some specific monsters, like a Mummy - Mummys don't have noses, in case you didn't know.

You can also select the color (one color per monster only) and a texture (which can also be blank). For each piece except the body/torso, you can enlarge or shrink that piece, and move it up and down - all within certain tolerances. There's also a Reset button that brings it back to its base position and size, and a Random button that selects a random body part, size, and position. I've also added Reset and Random buttons for the full monster - clicking the Random All button is a great place to start - you can keep going until you see a monster you like, then jump in and start tweaking it.

Something I wrestled with was hair and clothes. At first I was going to exclude both because of technical resasons - I wanted the body parts to be varied, so I knew Frankenstein's Monster hair wouldn't fit on a Dracula-style head. Same thing with clothes. But I eventually I decided I really wanted to add those features - I couldn't make all the kinds of monsters I wanted to without them. So I created those functions, but as purely on/off options - each head and body part has one discrete hairstyle and clothing option. That way I don't have to worry about elements fitting - or not fitting.

I thought about going with a sequential setup - like Mad Men Yourself, where you select one body part at a time, and move forward and back. This may have been easier for the core demographic I'm targeting (boys 7-10) but it also slows things down, and because it doesn't present all of your options at once, it can be less satisfying to use. We'll see - I've got some beta testers playing with the site now - hopefully their feedback on the interface is encouraging. I trust 'em.

There were some technical hurdles to overcome (and some I'm still overcoming) but I wanted to get the site up and running first, then start cleaning things up. So - it's up! Check it out if you're into monsters (is anyone not into monsters?!) and let me know what you think.


  1. Very cool and nice job. Do you program it yourself?

  2. Thanks, Jose - yes, so far it's been a one-man show. I'm working on a commercial for it now. Thanks for checking it out.