Funded! This project was successfully funded on July 25, 2012.

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Become the next Defender of the Realm with this personalized, interactive, Facebook-Connected Choose Your Own Adventure app.

Kids should read!

And yet, between Facebook, computer games, YouTube, and smart phones that do everything, there's a lot of distractions that pull tweens and teens away from books. This project takes all of the things that kids love—Adventure! Games! Facebook! Moving Pictures! Individuality! Best Friends! General Awesomeness!—and turns them into a personalized story. It’s a book at the core, but it’s the kind of book that non-readers will want to read too. Or, to put it simply:

Defender of the Realm is an interactive, personalized, Choose Your Own Adventure tale for the tablet.

The story is simple. The evil Prince Nero is draining the realm’s sunlight and must be stopped. Time is running out and the previous Defender has gone missing. It’s now up to you and your trusty sidekick to overthrow the prince, restore the light, and ultimately save the realm. But before you start, you’ll have to share some details to create your unique story.

If you’re a boy who likes boys and you want to wear a jewel-encrusted gown, we want you. If you’re a 91-year-old transgender guitar player who specializes in bedazzlements, that’s cool too. Or if you’re just a jeans and t-shirt kind of person with a penchant for manic panic hair dye, you’re also welcome. One of the points of this book is that you can be anyone you want—the only limits are the criteria you choose for yourself.

Once your selections are made, the story begins by pulling in your details. Every last detail you specify will come into play, from the Lemon-Lime Gatorade you’ve identified as your beverage of choice, to the lizard you've selected as your sidekick. 

From there, social integration will be woven into the story. There will be decisions you make that might lead you toward Certain Doom. But that's why your emergency contact is there. Drop them a line on Facebook and they can help you out of a jam. And if you want to skip Facebook integration altogether, that's fine too.

Not only will Defender of the Realm be fun, but it will be beautiful. Every page will be designed with illustration, sound, and light interactivity, interspersed by games that you'll have to solve to move forward. There will be plenty of decision points to keep you on your toes, and further personalize your story.

Once the prologue is complete, you'll reach a map of the Five Islands. This is where the story really takes off. Depending on the order and the choices you make when exploring the islands, different endings will occur. This is also an opportunity for our backers to help influence the story.

At the end of the book, there will be an option to share your completed journey with a friend. Some backers will even receive a printed and bound version of their story, so make sure you check out the list of rewards!

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Meet the Team

Mark Grochowski and Darci Manley (that's me!) have worked in the digital space for years at a variety of New York City agencies. Mark specializes in tricky interactive development, and I'm a Creative Director who spends equal time designing and telling stories. We're so excited to make something that merges our love of technology with a fun and beautifully designed story. 

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What will funding cover?

Mark's got the programming taken care of—he's building this in AIR so we'll launch on iPad and follow with Android. And I'll be writing the story and doing the page layouts. But to make this truly special, we need to hire an illustrator and sound designer. In addition, we'd like to version this for different languages.

note: if you are an illustrator or sound designer who is interested in our project, please drop us a line.

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Why should you help out?

Tablets have begun a reading revolution, and yet, despite a growing number of beautifully designed ipad book apps, no one’s come out with an interactive book that takes everything we can do with technology and spins it into something that’s personalized for each reader.

Why is that important? Because the point of this project is to celebrate every kind of personality, from conventional to decidedly not. Along the way, we hope to snag some new readers who might ignore a typical printed book. And finally, it's an opportunity to make something new, that no one has done yet.

Thank you for your support!

FAQ

  • We are building this in AIR, so porting over to Android shouldn’t be a problem. That said, our initial launch will be for iPad only—we want to do one thing at a time. We’ll plan to follow with Android soon after.

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  • Think of it as a novella with illustrations. If you ever read Choose Your Own Adventures when you were younger, it follows that formula. But in this instance, there's several islands that each house a game you'll have to beat before the story concludes. Plus there's dozens of dead ends along the way where you can get held up. So the length will also vary on your decisions.

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  • We are doing our best to make the code reusable, but right now releasing the code isn’t part of the plan.

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179
Backers
$11,145
pledged of $10,000 goal
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  • Pledge $10 or more
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    71 backers

    An advanced download of the app, ensuring that you'll be one of the first cool kids to become a Defender of the Realm! note: we reserve the right to define "cool kids" however we like.

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  • Pledge $25 or more
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    39 backers

    A download of the original music accompanying Defender of the Realm, PLUS an additional advanced app download.

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  • Pledge $50 or more
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    19 backers

    A pdf of original concept art, and advance excerpts from the story, PLUS an advanced app and music download.

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  • Pledge $100 or more
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    27 backers Limited (3 left of 30)

    Your name (or a name of your choice) will make a cameo in the actual story, whether as a name of a location, character, or magical element. PLUS an advanced app and music download, and pdf of concept art with story excerpts.

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  • Pledge $200 or more
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    2 backers

    Receive an authentic, wax-sealed map of the 5 islands that Defenders must conquer to complete their quest. PLUS an advanced app and music download, and pdf of concept art with story excerpts.

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  • Pledge $300 or more
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    1 backer

    We will write a one-of-a-kind haiku in your honor, celebrating your courageous exploits as a Defender. PLUS an advanced app and music download, and pdf of concept art with story excerpts.

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  • Pledge $500 or more
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    1 backer Limited (24 left of 25)

    You—yes YOU!—will be photoshopped into your chosen Defender garb. Will you complete your quest in breeches & cloak, jeans & t-shirt, or our personal fav, a jewel-encrusted gown? PLUS an advanced app and music download, and pdf of concept art with story excerpts.

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  • Pledge $750 or more
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    0 backers Limited (15 left of 15)

    A printed copy of your unique, completed quest will be bound and sent to you in a specially designed book. This is a limited-edition thank you only available for our Kickstarter community! PLUS a copy of the map, a shout out in the acknowledgements, advanced app and music download, and pdf of concept art with story excerpts.

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  • Pledge $1,000 or more
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    1 backer Limited (4 left of 5)

    Become immortalized into Defender of the Realm! We will name one of the five islands after YOU! PLUS a shout out in the acknowledgements, 5 advanced app and music downloads, a pdf of concept art with story excerpts, and your choice of either the printed map, or your name added elsewhere into the story. note: we reserve the right to make fantastical additions to your supplied name

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  • Pledge $2,500 or more
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    1 backer Limited (4 left of 5)

    An illustration of your supplied photograph will be added into the story, and artwork sent to you. PLUS a shout out in the acknowledgements, advanced app and music download, pdf of concept art with story excerpts, and your choice of either the printed map, or your name added into the story.

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  • Pledge $5,000 or more
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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    The previous defender will not only be named after you, but will be based on the details you share with us! Do you like toy poodles, have a collection of vintage baseball cards, and are happiest when listening to Rachmaninoff? GREAT! The previous Defender will share those traits! PLUS you'll lead the list of thank yous, receive 5 advanced app and music downloads (you'll want to share your heroics with as many friends as possible, natch), a pdf of concept art with story excerpts, and a printed map will be sent to you.

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  • Pledge $10,000 or more
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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    The highest honor in Defender of the Realm—a statue of your supplied photograph will be illustrated and erected into the story, and the backstory of your heroics will be included. We'll work with you to come up with a story of your liking. Original artwork will then be sent to you. PLUS a shout out in the acknowledgements, 10 advanced app and music downloads, a pdf of concept art with story excerpts, and a printed map.

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Funding period

- (30 days)