The Incredible Tales of Weirdwood Manor is a unique storytelling experience—a novel brought to life through interaction and animation.
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The Incredible Tales of Weirdwood Manor is a unique interactive storytelling experience, written and developed by a team of writers, game designers, and developers with a shared passion for great stories.
Weirdwood is about great stories—reading, writing, and sharing them. We hope our stories and tools inspire kids to explore their imagination and write their own stories.
Weirdwood Manor isn't a short story with some animation tacked on, or a child's picture book with cute little interactive hot-spots. When we set out to create this, we wanted to make something that landed somewhere between a full-length novel, a game, and an animated feature film—something much bigger than your average "Interactive Storybook".
At its heart, Weirdwood is about story. It's a novel and is meant to be read. The artwork, puzzles, and subtle animations help bring that story to life, but are ultimately there to enhance what is being read, not to distract from it. It's an experience unlike anything else we've seen out there. A novel—not a "storybook"—but still, much more alive than your traditional paperback. And that's why we call it a "Living Novel". It seemed the best way to describe this new approach to storytelling!
Become part of the story! Contributing to our campaign at any level will ensure that you’re one of the first to get your hands on a copy of Book 1 along with some fun downloads, but that’s not all. At some of our more generous reward tiers, you can actually BE PART OF THE STORY and MAKE AN APPEARANCE in the app itself!
You could have your name inscribed in the Weirdwood Manor guestbook or mentioned in a hidden content extra, have your image appear as a sketch in Oliver’s notebook or even submit a photo to be featured in a background painting—Weirdwood Manor style!
As you help Oliver and his friends with their journey, you’ll discover the Story Builder—a feature that allows you to create your very own stories!
Start by selecting from a collection of backgrounds and props, and grow that collection via in-app updates and collecting assets rewards via discovery within the main Weirdwood storyline. Position props in a scene and record animations and an optional voiceover to build scenes. Create stories with one scene or many, and start building your very own library of tales. It’s easy to use and hours of fun!
A stunningly beautiful experience, it is packed with adventure, intrigue, and of course, fun, helping to illustrate to kids the importance of using their imagination! This isn't just an animated storybook that kids sit and watch. It’s part book, part game, and part animated film.
Each book will include contextual games, puzzles, hidden objects, and collectibles that help kids participate in the progression of the story, educate them on the backstory and little known details from the rich tapestry that is the Weirdwood Manor world. It's critical for us that kids feel captivated by the environments they see, the characters they meet, and details they discover so they feel invested in the stories they read.
Of course! While Weirdwood is primarily crafted towards a younger audience, it’s really for anyone who enjoys a good story and is young at heart.
As it turns out, integrating all the best features of books, games, and animated film is a time-consuming and challenging task. ;) That said, we’ve realized that we’re on to something really great and know that building something great takes talent, time, and funding. We’re so committed to making this a reality that we’ve self-funded the last year of development of The Incredible Tales of Weirdwood Manor and are excited to have something to share very soon.
Our modest team has its eyes set on releasing an initial beta for early Fall 2013 but we’re hoping that with help from the Kickstarter community, we’ll be able to transition the project from prototype to full-blown app shortly after.
Over the last year, we’ve put our prototype—in various states of progress—in the hands of children, parents, writers, artists, developers, and even publishers. We’re extremely grateful to everyone who’s helped provide insight and feedback thus far and the overwhelmingly positive response has reaffirmed for us that this is something we need to finish and make available to the public!
We’re an enthusiastic team of industry-seasoned producers, designers, developers, and animators with a shared passion for great stories. Since we’re also parents, uncles—and let’s face it, big kids at heart—we’ve longed for an experience like this. Unable to find one, we decided to put our combined skills to work and just make it!
The Incredible Tales of Weirdwood Manor is a 100% All Play, No Work creation—from concept to execution—lovingly crafted by a small but passionate team spread across three cities: San Francisco, Toronto, and Vancouver.
Our core team consists of:
- Steve Huber - Executive Producer
- Paul Pattison - Technical Director
- Sacha Raposo - Creative Director
- Luke Minaker - Artistic Director / Lead Writer / Lead 3D Animator
- Jack Ront - iOS Developer
- Javier Mora Cano - iOS Developer
And of course, we couldn’t have gotten this far without a little help in a few areas from our extended All Play family:
- Steve Palmer - Design
- Jake Collinge - Illustration / Matte Painting
- Alan Blackwell - Illustration
- Uly Esguerra - Illustration
- Adrien Stuart - 3D Modeller/Animation
- Jesse Craven - 3D Modelling/Animation
- MCM - Story consultation
- David McGhee - Writing consultation
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
There are always risks when it comes to building any iPad app—especially one like this that has so much animation, game play, and interactivity.
The largest challenge that we've been facing is keeping the app performing well and at a reasonable file size. We've been actively developing this app for a year now and are happy to report that the app still functions well on the original iPad—a feat we're told would be very hard to attain based on how much animation and interactivity we have in the app.
We're also still targeting a file size in line with other apps in our genre. To date, the app is shaping up to weigh in around 600-700 MB with all artwork downloaded. For the space-conscious iPad user, we've built in a feature that allows them to download the chapters in sections. The 'core' app will be under 100 MB with story assets downloaded separately as needed.
We feel that considering how much development effort we've already put in that completing the app is now primarily about ensuring the story, games, and animation are the best they can be and less about eliminating crashes and memory leaks.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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BOOK BACKER ============================= Get BOOK ONE: DANGEROUS DRAWINGS for iPad, and the STORY BUILDER. Plus, exclusive downloads including digital wallpapers and a PDF version of the story.Estimated delivery:
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BUILDER BACKER ============================= Get BOOK BACKER, plus the Kickstarter-Exclusive Fantasy World theme for the STORY BUILDER.Estimated delivery:
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STICKY BACKER ============================= Get BUILDER BACKER, plus an amazing set of Weirdwood Stickers!Estimated delivery:
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SOUND BACKER ============================= Get STICKY BACKER, plus a digital download of the Weirdwood soundtrack, plus an audiobook version of the story!Estimated delivery:
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GUEST OF THE MANOR ============================= All previous rewards, plus - see your name in the Guest Book in the entryway of the Manor’s Grand Hall!Estimated delivery:
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POSTER-BOY BACKER ============================= Get GUEST OF THE MANOR, plus a full-sized poster signed by the creative team! Poster design to be voted on by backers.Estimated delivery:Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
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STYLISH BACKER ============================= Get GUEST OF THE MANOR, plus an exclusive Weirdwood Manor Gelaskin for your iPad!Estimated delivery:Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
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PATRON OF THE MANOR ============================= Get GUEST OF THE MANOR, but instead of just your name, we will add your photo as well! The bigger your support, the closer to the front of the book your photo will be! Plus a secret code to unlock hidden content about Arthur’s backstory!Estimated delivery:
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HERO BACKER (OLIVER) ============================= Get GUEST OF THE MANOR, plus an incredible limited-edition, screen-print of one of Oliver’s famous works of art (signed by the illustrator). Plus a secret code to unlock hidden content about Oliver’s backstory!Estimated delivery:Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
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HERO BACKER (CELIA) ============================= Get GUEST OF THE MANOR, plus an elegant, illustrated collector’s edition hardcover of Book One (signed by the author). Plus a secret code to unlock hidden content about Celia’s backstory!Estimated delivery:Add $20 USD to ship outside the US
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HERO BACKER (EUGENE) ============================= Get GUEST OF THE MANOR, plus a limited edition, signed movie-poster of Eugene riding a giant robot! Plus a secret code to unlock hidden content about Eugene’s backstory!Estimated delivery:Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
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PATRON OF THE ARTS ============================= Get PATRON OF THE MANOR, plus any one of the HERO BACKER rewards!Estimated delivery:Add $20 USD to ship outside the US
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PATRON OF HEROES ============================= Get PATRON OF THE MANOR, plus all three HERO BACKER REWARDS!Estimated delivery:Add $20 USD to ship outside the US
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PATRON OF SECRETS ============================= Get PATRON OF THE MANOR, plus your name in one of the hidden content extras! ============================= Example: Touch a strange-looking mushroom in the background, and Oliver’s sketchbook will pop up with a sketch of the mushroom and a description... “The babblewort mushroom was a favourite ingredient of the grand wizard, --YOUR NAME--, who used it to create the famous Potion of Babel, which allowed the armies of humans and goblins to finally communicate and reach a peaceful conclusion to the 100-years-goblin-war!”Estimated delivery:
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PATRON OF PORTRAITS ============================= Get PATRON OF THE MANOR, plus a full-colour portrait of yourself or a loved one (Weirdwood-style) placed in one of the backgrounds of the story. If you touch the painting, it will pop up full-screen with your name and your own short slogan underneath! Plus get a high-resolution digital copy of the painting, and an 8x10 print, ready for framing!Estimated delivery:Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
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PATRON OF THE FANTASTIC ============================= Get PATRON OF THE ARTS, plus a detailed sketch of yourself or a loved one as a fantastical person/creature of your choosing (or possibly riding such a creature), featured right in Oliver’s sketchbook! Plus, a short description beside the sketch, written by you and the author of the Weirdwood story! Plus get a high-resolution digital copy of the sketch, and an 8x10 print, ready for framing!Estimated delivery:Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
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PATRON OF MIRRORS ============================= Get PATRON OF THE ARTS, plus our designer will create a set of 4 images of you (or a character of your own imagining) for use in the Story Builder. This set will be one of the “stock characters” available for use to all who purchase the App.Estimated delivery:
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PATRON OF STORYCRAFT ============================= Get PATRON OF MIRRORS, but in addition to a set of 4 images of yourself (or a character of your own imagining), you will get to name and “direct” the artwork for a mini themed set of props, creatures and backdrops for use in the Story Builder. This set will be one of the “stock themes” available for use to all who purchase the App.Estimated delivery:
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PATRON OF PUZZLES ============================= Get PATRON OF HEROES, plus - one of the puzzle games will feature YOU! Work with our game designers and head writer to help create a puzzle-game that somehow includes you in it. You could be the puzzle’s eccentric creator leaving clues, or maybe you’re a pixie that’s been trapped in an evil puzzle-cage. Whatever it is, the puzzle and the story surrounding it are all about you!Estimated delivery:
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PATRON FRIEND (VANCOUVER) ============================= Get PATRON OF HEROES, plus - spend a day in beautiful Vancouver, visiting with the art team and writer/director Luke Minaker. Get early access to beta versions of Book 1, plus access to the story and art-plans for Books 2 and 3. Give face-to-face feedback on the story, art, games or just pick the artists’ minds about the industry! Includes lunch and dinner. Does not include flight and accommodations.Estimated delivery:
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PATRON FRIEND (TORONTO) ============================= Get PATRON OF HEROES, plus - spend a day in Toronto, visiting with the development team and technical director Paul Pattison. Get early access to beta versions of Book 1, plus access to the story and art-plans for Books 2 and 3. Give face-to-face feedback on the story, art, games or just pick the designers’ minds about the industry! Includes lunch and dinner. Does not include flight and accommodations.Estimated delivery:
- (32 days)