It has taken over a week and technically speaking, I'm still not done (I still have yet to play around with the track creator), but I have finished with the karts and mods I'd sought out to make. It astounds me to look at each of them and realize that I made them. Prior to this creative rush, I had made only one kart. No mods and no tracks. The technical skill level you'll find on these creations is staggering, compared to both my sad excuse for a first attempt (which you will not see here) and at least 65% of the published creations out there. As I made more of the karts and more of the mods, I grew increasingly mroe adept at toying with Sticker Height, as well as the Scale tool, which can be used to shrink, stretch, diminish, and expand a shape. Imagine all the things you can do with that. MNR truly does have the tools for you to do almost anything you would want to do; you just have to figure out how to do it within the functional domain of the various creation tools.
One final note before the show begins: Every single one of these creations took at least an hour to make. The more detailed it looks, the more time it obviously took. Honestly, I probably went above and beyond the extent most other people go to to be precise and accurate with color choices, textures, sizes and shapes, and item selection and placement. I wasn't about to settle on any of these projects; I wanted each as best I could possibly make it. Not just because I want the Star Creator trophy and to be level 30 in the game, but because if I was going to take on super ambitious projects, I didn't want to end up with crap.
EDIT: While typing this post, I noticed that there's no way I could describe and explain all of my creations in one post. So, this will be the Funky Kong edition. The rest will follow.
Funky Kong (DKC)
Currently, there are only about five published Funky Kongs, excluding the three that I've made because I haven't been able to connect online to update my game and publish them yet. Only one of them comes close, in my opinion, to being as accurate to actual character art as mine.
I had to create the necklace links and duplicate them all the way around using the Rotate and Move tools. I made his chest look muscular and the medallion look 3D using the Height tool; in fact, this was my first instance of toying with the Height tool. It was remarkable during this initial experience with it to see how much of an impact it made on the overall result.
Regrettably, I wasn't able to create my own polka dot bandana - the game only allows you to color their one defaultly designed bandana - but I do dig the bandana as is. It gives the Funky Kongs some MNR flair. The wavy effect at his arms comes from an actual Monkey body skin featured within the game (as if UFG knew people would want to make DKC Kong characters). Fur color, the color of his shorts, and the color of his shoes were all matched with the pic you see above, as best as I could manage.
You might also be wondering how on Earth I managed to make a Kong-sty1e mouth. Well, the secret is to plant a moustache on his face, widen it a little, then duplicate and flip so the second one faces upside-down. The mouth you see is actually four moustaches because I had to put in one on the left and right sides just in case someone went to look at him from the side; the mouth looks totally round from all angles, rather than flat in back, as a result. The wide grin between the "moustache" mouth parts was a nice touch I thought up, seeing as how Funky's always grinning like that. It seemed an important enough detail to try to emulate, rather than ignore. Case in point, see also Funky's tail coming out of his shorts in the back. Discolored just enough not to look like part of his back, heightened also so as not to look like part of his back, it's just plain adorable. You know Funky's got a tail, so it had to be included.
Funky Kong (DKC2)
I'm sure you're thinking to yourself, "umm, not much difference between this Funky Kong and the previous one." You would be right. I kinda hate that about this Mod, but what else could I do except some slight color modification here and there? In Funky's concept art portrait for DKC2, his fur appears darker, his necklace seems more of a metallic peach color, and his bandana seems a brighter red-orange (or at least it did when I printed it out). So that's really all that's changed between the previous Funky and this Funky. Well, besides the dark purple tinted aviator shades. I lucked out big time when I saw the game actually had them as an option for eyewear.
Funky Kong (DKC3)
Honestly, I think it was the fact that I downloaded really great Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, Dixie Kong, and (believe it or not) K. Rool mods that inspired me to make really great Funky Kongs in the first place. There was totally a market for it. People had yet to do the funky monkey with reverant justice. If I had to pick which of my Funky Kongs was my favorite, this one is it, hands down. Not only did I spend the most time on this one by far (despite the fact I had to figure everything out with the first one), but the detail on this guy is unreal. You would appreciate it even more if you owned the game and knew what it took to make certain things.
Take the thread bracelet, for instance. Impeccably accurate and technically, completely unnecessary, but I noticed it in the picture while I was working on having his muscular chest show from behind his white wife beater and could not pass it up. Once I noticed it, it seemed like such a crucial detail! It is made of skewed, small rectangles. Obviously, the whole thing is heightened to the max and they are differently sized based on the color and I was able to duplicate a Blk-Org-Ylw-Org string for some of it, at least. For some reason, as you wrap around the wrist or the arm at any point, it doesn't go around as perfectly as you'd think. To get it around the underside of his wrist, I had to literally do it piece by piece, resizing and reskewing and rotating as I went so it wouldn't look stupid and things still looked the same size. As proud as I was of how awesome it looked as a multi-colored parallelogram ring around his wrist, the concept art shows that he's got it tied in a knot at one point and the remainder of the thread just dangles out. I dared myself to replicate that. As you can see in the second pic, I pulled it off. Don't ask me how much of a pain in the butt it was to resize, reskew, and rotate the stickers to get those tiny strands to look as they do. Just don't. Do, however, join me in admiring how great it came out, heheh.
I was just about to call it complete after the wristband when I noticed the tools. How could I ignore the tools?? So I made the belt, which is actually three or so parts around his waist because of the "wrap around" scenario I mentioned earlier. The hammer is a bunch of differently heightened rectangles, with two semicircle gradient stickers at either end. The vice thingy is just a bunch of rectangles that toy with height to look as it does in the concept art. Secret fact: both tools' handles actually have two parts. At one point down the ripped jeans, we go from the "Body" portion of the Mod to the "Left/Right Leg" portion of the Mod and I needed to make a second part that would perfectly connect to the top part. Otherwise, both tools would have extremely short handles...or look incredibly stupid with lopsided, disconnected handles.
Funky's Surfboard (see Funky from DKC1 for concept art reference)
This is one of those cases of "why has no one tried making this before?" Seriously. The hardest part was the color matching. The next hardest part was the gradient wide, curved stripe down the middle. Note how it changes color just like it does in the concept art and the colors are pretty darn close. In the rear, the curve had to stay consistent from the back of the hood, over the spoiler, and down the rear panel. That was rough because the color had to fade perfectly and the curve needed to remain un-jagged.
If you've played the first DKC, you know where the license plate comes from. I always grew up thinking it was "Aria!", but that makes no sense. Sure, "Ahyah!" is not a word either, but it's closer to what they might be saying and it seals the deal on this already sweet ride.
Funky's Flights Barrelplane
The moment I saw the Jumbo kart body in my selection menu, I knew this had to be made. I mean, it's exactly the same body as the original barrel plane! It absolutely shocked me that no one had tried to make this before. This is one of many creations that I hope will garner many, many downloads, votes, and comments, which in turn will give me lots of Create XP towards my goals of Star Creator and Level 30.
Generally speaking, the stripes are a three-part sticker. On the wings, those are actually made of six parts because there is no such thing as a wing-shaped sticker. I tried to position it just right so from certain angles, it looked just like it does in the concept art.
The DKs should be on the spoiler, but painting a spoiler like that with stickers is the worst kind of torture. It was not cooperating at all. So, I settled for close enough. Another place where I settled for "close enough" was the barrel seat. In the game, DK and Diddy hop into an actual barrel. My initial idea was to paint an actual barrel onto both sides of the plane (copy and paste from one side to the other), but upon further thought I just felt that would look horrible. Luckily, I noticed the Barrel "Silly" seat in my Parts menu and pounced. You have to admit, it's a little humorous.
One final note on this kart: The wheels were chosen and colored as they were to keep all attention on the plane part of the kart. It actually works. The wheels seem invisible after a while.
Funky's Flights II
This kart was created after I found the body in the Selection Menu. I thought, "I've already got the Jumbo plane. Why the heck not?" I believe I got this kart body from the character Gamespot was giving away codes for back before MNR's release, so everyone thank Gamespot for this awesome kart!
Compared to Funky's Flights I, this kart took no time at all to make. You'll notice I pulled the same trick with the wheels... The hardest part of making this kart was matching the color of the plane itself to the concept art. The wooden skin was easy; finding the right shade of light yellow with the right shade of light brown...Ugh. The brown on the front was my own idea; I felt the front needed more than just a lot of black. The targets on the wings were easy; there's a sticker for it and I just customized the colors (keenly matching them, no less). The spoiler felt like cooperating with simple stripes so I let it have its way and I ended up approving of what it did. The barrel seat does make a reappearance, but it was still necessary and still works so who's complaining. I chose the jet engine simply because I thought it added a nice effect to the kart overall and provided the perfect engine sound for the plane.
I cannot wait to take my Funky Kongs out in these karts, but wait until you see what other DKC-themed karts I made...and what other non-DKC-themed karts I made.....