Drawfee is normally a zany art channel on YouTube, but earlier this month, it hosted a two-day game jam sponsored by the anime hosting site Crunchyroll. Developers such as Teddy Dief (Hyper Light Drifter), Jo Fu (Ghosts of Miami), and Ethan Redd (Blazing Legion: Ignition) participated in the event, and you can download all five PC games for free on its page today.
Drawfee spun off from the comedy websites CollegeHumor and Dorkly. It started initially as a fun way for staff illustrators to warm up, but it’s since taken off as its own channel on YouTube. Artists Nathan Yaffe and Caldwell Tanner founded Drawfee, and they take turns hosting the episodes along with CollegeHumor illustrator Jacob Andrews and Dorkly’s head illustrator and managing editor Julia Lepetit.
The way it usually works is folks will comment with a concept, and then the illustrators will record themselves drawing and riffing off of it. Head of video at Dorkly Tony Wilson describes the series as what it’d be like “if Bob Ross was really into anime.” For instance, several episodes have played with the idea of “bad Japanese role-playing game,” building out a whole world that poked fun at genre tropes. Other episodes have titles like “Three Artists Try Drawing Zelda Bosses from Memory” or “Artists Draw Dragon Ball Super Characters (That They’ve Never Seen).”
“One of the core things that started off Drawfee was that they would be doing a lot of live videos, asking, well, what should we draw next, guys?” said CollegeHumor editor-in-chief Andrew Bridgman in a phone call with GamesBeat. “They’d be reacting to the comments and seeing what people suggest and then trying to build that in. That helped make things even weirder, and also make the audience feel like they were part of the experience.”