Atlas the turtle leaves his dirty pond for the sparkling lake across the street. Can he cross the road without getting squished?
We're getting close to the main goal, but check out the Stretch Goals down at the bottom! We're shooting for $6,500 next- professional sound design!
It's the story of Atlas, a turtle who lives in a stinky, trash-filled pond, but dreams of a better life in the beautiful, sparkling lake on the other side of the street.
What can a turtle accomplish when he's determined, creative, and maybe not that smart?
Help me find out! Along the way, Atlas will meet new friends,
hear stories about olden times,
and come up with some hair-brained schemes that are so crazy they just might work!
Will he make it across the road?
He can-- with your help!
Striving for Quality in Writing, Art, and Experience.
Today's marketplace for children's interactive storybooks is crowded. There are some good-- even great-- ones out there, but they are drowned in a sea of low-quality junk.
Terrible layouts, ugly, mismatched clipart, barely-readable stories that have not quite been translated into English, and intrusive ads (sometimes for things that are NOT kid-friendly) are common.
The market is so competitive, it's tempting to cut corners if you want your app to be profitable!
I'm not out to make money, though. I've been working on the story and art for Turtle Crossing in my spare time for several years. It's a labor of love that I want to share with my own kids, not a business venture.
If I manage to recoup some of my costs, that will be great, but my goal is to put out a beautiful, well-written story, and have as many people as possible enjoy it; the app will never have any ads, in-app purchases, or commercial links!
What's in it for you?
You may have thought there would be a few fluffy filler rewards here at the beginning, like "my eternal thanks!" or "your name listed on my website!" but that is not how I roll.
For $3, you get one animated, interactive storybook, for either iOS or Android*.
It's a competition! I'll be able to use most of the art and animation for both versions, but there will be extra work to get the story wrapped up for distribution to the two platforms.
Whichever platform has the most backers will have its app completed and released first. The runner-up will be finished and released afterward.
(Backers at higher levels will be able to vote via the official Backer Survey that will be sent out at the end, but until then, you can vote in the comments here!)
All backers at any level will also receive a downloadable, printable, PDF coloring book, so that kids who like the story can exercise their creativity after screen time is over.
The first 30 people who backed the project for at least $3 will get a signed, unique sketch of Atlas, on a postcard, for free!
* Google Play does not allow us to gift you a copy of the app through the store. If your device can side-load apps, you will be able to download it from our website. Also, we will notify you ahead of time (by email) about times during the first month of the app's release when it will be free from Google Play so you can get it there.
But wait, there's more!
$10 - SIGNED MINI PRINT: you can receive not only the animated storybook, but also a 4"x6" mini-print, signed with a personal thank-you from the author.
$20 - SIGNED ART PRINT: you will get a signed 12"x9" art print featuring your choice of one of the illustrations featured on my website! (More will be added throughout the month! Also get the animated storybook for iOS or Android, and PDF coloring book.
$45 - PAPERBACK COMBO: A printed paperback edition of Turtle Crossing, plus the animated, interactive storybook for iOS or Android and the PDF coloring book.
$75 - ART PRINTS COMBO: Choose any five of the illustrations featured on my website (More will be added throughout the campaign) as 12"x9" fine art prints, signed by the artist. Also get the storybook app for iOS or Android, and the PDF coloring book!
$100 - ONE OF EACH PLEASE: one 9"x7" paperback printed edition of the book, five 12"x9" signed art prints, one 4"x6" signed mini-print, a copy of the storybook app for iOS or Android, and the coloring book PDF.
$150 - CUSTOM SKETCH: I will do a black and white sketch of whatever you want- your face, an angry giraffe, a robot cowboy- pretty much anything**. I'll send you the high resolution digital image file, so that you can print it, frame it, use it as a desktop wallpaper, put it on a t-shirt, or anything else. This also includes a copy of the storybook app and printable coloring book, of course!
$300 - CUSTOM COLOR ILLUSTRATION: I will do a full-color illustration of whatever you want- a butterfly, your dog, a map of Norway- pretty much anything**. I'll send you the high resolution digital image file, so that you can print it, frame it, use it as a bedroom wallpaper, put it on an evening gown, or anything else. Also includes a copy of the storybook app and printable coloring book, of course!
** Nothing obscene or too absurdly complicated, and I reserve the right to turn down unreasonable requests. If your first choice won't work, I'll work with you to figure out something that will!
What's the money for?
For the main goal of $5,000:
1. We will be able to take some time off from working for paying clients to finish the app in a reasonable time-frame.
2. We will be able to obtain developer licences and software. I have to pay money to Apple, Google, and Amazon to be able to submit Turtle Crossing to their respective marketplaces. I also need to purchase a few bits of software to be able to compile my HTML5 animations for native use on iOS and Android devices.
3. Pay for bandwidth, printing, and shipping to fulfill all Kickstarter rewards!
S T R E T C H G O A L S
If we pass the main goal, there are other things I'd love to be able to include that will make the app better for everyone!
$6,500 - PROFESSIONAL SOUND DESIGN. I'll hire a colleague of mine who does sound design professionally to put together some audio ambiance, from splashing mud to screeching tires.
$8,000 - PROFESSIONAL NARRATION. I'll get a professional voice actor to bring the story to life, and add a "Read it to Me" option to the app for all backers!
$12,000 - EDUCATIONAL MODE. Each page of the story will get a new button that will bring up an overlay of educational material about turtles, their habitats, and how they are effected by us humans. I'll work with an educator to develop an accompanying lesson guide for teachers and parents.
$??,??? - Let's not tempt fate! But I do have some other ideas that could make the app even better for everyone!
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
The art is finished, and the animation and interactivity are straightforward. I have nothing planned in that area that I haven't done before, so production should go smoothly.
The biggest risk and challenge is the iTunes App store's sometimes opaque submission criteria. There are several possible outcomes if the app is rejected. If they just need a few minor adjustments, I could probably make the changes and resubmit the app with no major problems except for delaying the release by a few weeks.
Another option would be to publish it as an enhanced iBook. instead of a stand-alone app. The story would show up on your iBooks shelf instead of as a separate app, but shouldn't affect the experience too negatively.
Finally, there is the slim chance that no matter what I do, the app will never be accepted to the app store. In this case, it could be distributed as a web app, accessible online via Safari.
Google Play is fairly open, and so I'm not worried about the Android version of the app being rejected. However, Google Play will NOT allow me to gift the app to backers.
Many Android devices can side-load apps directly from independent websites, and if yours can (and you know how to do it) then you'll be able to download the app directly from www.turtlecrossingapp.com.
If your device has been handicapped by the manufacturer or your mobile carrier and side-loading is disabled, I'll make the app free a few times during the first month after its release, and you'll be notified ahead of time via email so that you can go and download it then.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.