We understand the community’s love for Ink is immense, and we appreciate the dedication to the style. However, Ink is built off of older tech that we just can’t keep supporting as we grow and improve Episode. Limelight is a newer, easier system to work with that allows us to make new clothes and other assets more quickly.
“Are you discontinuing Ink and shutting it down?”
Nope! Ink will still be available for your stories and we will still have our own Ink stories to finish. We do need to stop developing new features and community art specifically for Ink as a style. This isn’t the end of Ink and we aren’t shutting it down. We are continuing to work through the existing closet and will release everything that we can moving forward. In order for our platform to advance and improve the way we write stories, we need to focus on developing Limelight. With the help our community we hope to improve Limelight over time.
“Are you ignoring our requests?”
We love Ink too and we hear all your love and concern about its future. The decision to stop developing Ink is one instance where the voice of some of the community is not in line with the long term goals Episode has as a platform. To continue to develop Ink would prevent us from adding to Limelight and improving our platform in the future.
“Can you give us all the hidden stuff from Ink?”
We’re working on it! We’ve gone through every Ink asset we have and it turns out the list is longer than we thought. Previously we told you that we would be releasing Ink items until at least the end of 2017 and we are happy to say we still have more sets in the queue for the coming months. Unfortunately we can’t give you everything that has ever been made for Ink. There are certain pieces in the catalog that we just aren’t able to release and they fall into three general categories:
Any item that was ever in a gem choice has to stay restricted.
Anything that was created as a part of a celebrity likeness or specifically for an IP story (Demi, Mean Girls, Clueless, PLL, Dolan Twins, etc) has to stay restricted due to the terms of the agreements we had in order to make those stories.
Some items we make never really work correctly (the male athletic body and face are examples) and can’t be released because they can break your story, cause crashes or generally give readers a bad time.
Lastly, some of you have mentioned items in stories like PLL, Clueless and Cameron Dallas that look like they are part of the Ink style. Unfortunately, they are not. In addition to being assets created for IP stories (and not eligible for release) they are also not actually Ink assets - they just look like they are. For a brief period of time our internal team was working in a style that was a hybrid of Ink and Limelight that allowed us to speed up our story production. This style was never intended to be released publicly and the items won’t work on Ink or Limelight characters.
“How is Ink outdated?”
As a mobile platform we have to innovate and update our technology to stay current and competitive. Ink was built on a more technologically advanced system than Classic and Limelight is more advanced than Ink. Each of these art styles is accompanied by an underlying (if behind-the-scenes) technology upgrade allowing our storytellers to do more. These updates also make it easier and faster for us to create more assets. With each new style our artists learn more and are able to improve our production pipelines. Several of the most requested features from our community, like different body types or freckles are simply not easily achievable on our older styles - to move forward we need the freedom to expand and change so we can grow.
A good analogy for this is the development of animated films over time. Early animated feature films were hand drawn as was the standard at the time. Then later on films like Beauty and the Beast or Aladdin started using a combination of hand drawn animations and CGI because that was best tech available at the time. Now films like Moana or Coco are done entirely in CGI, the new standard for animated films.
This is analogous to what is happening with Episode art styles. We don’t stop loving our styles, but we have better tools available to us. Our goal is to always be expanding and updating the underlying technology for our platform to stay current. Our art will always be storytelling, but the tools we use to tell those stories will continue to change and develop.