**** LAST WEEKEND! PLEASE CONSIDER BACKING! ****
We're down to the last week of our campaign. If you haven't backed us yet, please watch the video and consider it. This is a great project that we care deeply about and want to see made!
For those of you that have already backed our project and helped get us over the 40% mark, we're extremely grateful. We still need all the help we can get in spreading the word to as many people as possible by sharing the campaign link on Facebook or Twitter.
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
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.
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