Inspired by Combinatorial Critters, and MonsterID, which allow you to create critters from combinations of parts, I just couldn't help but think, "That would be so much better as a web service", and thus the Critter Generator was born.

Now, as you will soon realize, I am not much of an artist, so if you want to take a crack at creating monster parts I'd love to update the service with some real art, and if anyone sends in another 'set' of parts I'll update the service to allow selecting among the sets sent in.

The source images are 300x500 PNGs with transparent backgrounds. There are five sets of images:

  1. faceN.png
  2. eyesN.png
  3. footN.png
  4. hairN.png
  5. mouthN.png

Where N is from 1 to 8. I then use ImageMagick to convert the full size originals into the three smaller sizes used by the web service. The source code listed off the project page also contains all the images if you want to get a feel for how they work. If you just want to peek at the source code for the service you can see it here.

Great idea.

I see you're not caching the critters. I think I'd be wary about running a potentially popular service that generates an image for every (non-repeat) request. Then again, you have some experience running PIL-based services. If caching ever is needed, since it's CGI, you can use the Location pseudo-header and let Apache do what it's good at.

Posted by Lenny on 2007-02-23

This may be just too meta... but you could add another web service layer by farming out the art production with Mechanical Turk. See The Sheep Market.

Posted by Ansel on 2007-02-26

If someone could do this with Miis, I would <3 them forever.

Posted by Jeff on 2007-02-26

I ported your fabulous generator to PHP to use it as a plugin for an elearning management software. We got many laughs about those critters :-) Thanks!

Posted by Marcus on 2007-02-28

I ported your fabulous generator to PHP to use it as a plugin for an elearning management software. We got many laughs about those critters :-)
Thanks!
darcs get http://mainland.virtuos.uos.de/mlunzena/irgendwieanders

Posted by Marcus on 2007-02-28