BEWARE AND WARNING: THIS KICKSTARTER IS DIFFERENT THAN OTHER KICKSTARTERS.
You and YOU ALONE are in charge of what happens in this Kickstarter. There are adventures, choices, dangers and surprises at every pledge level. You must use your numerous talents and much of your enormous intelligence...Wait a second...
(Sorry. We couldn't resist.)
There are plenty of worthy Kickstarters out there. But this one is different in one important way....
WE WANT TO DISRUPT THE WORLD OF CARTOONS THE SAME WAY WE DISRUPTED YOUR CHILDHOOD.
Remember when you were little and you read a book and if you didn't like a character or the plot, or even the ending, you were stuck? And then one day you came across a book starring YOU that let you make choices until you reached a thrilling albeit grisly "The End" where you died but you got to go back and start again? And remember how those books, from a series called CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE, changed your life forever?
TABLETS WILL LET US DO TO CARTOONS WHAT WE DID TO KIDS' BOOKS.
We think it’s time for a Choose Your Own Adventure cartoon app. We're calling them Choose 'Toons. Choose 'Toons are interactive cartoons based on the best-selling titles of Choose Your Own Adventure books for younger readers. They are aimed at children ages 5-7. Our first episode is based on the title Your Very Own Robot, where YOU put together a robot named Gus out of discarded parts from your parents' robot lab. Gus gets you into a lot of trouble. This first episode has 20 story branches with 11 possible endings, with more than 30 minutes total of animation.
Interactive design is something that the creators of Choose Your Own Adventure know very well. We are passionate about children's media in all forms, and cartoon apps are a space we are determined to bring our well-loved brand into. With the tablet, we finally have the platform for it. Making a choice from the comfort of your couch on a screen 10 feet away is fine. But it feels oddly distant.
In bringing our eBooks from the Kindle to the iPad, we noticed something interesting. Touching the screen makes a big difference in makingyou feel in control, and making you feel like you are making a real choice. (One day someone far smarter than us, studying the ways our brain neurons work, will figure this out. But for now, we just know it. Trust us.)
LIKE CYOA BOOKS, CHOOSE 'TOONS COMBINE TWO IMPORTANT ELEMENTS: ROLE-PLAYING AND CHOICE
All gaming begins with assuming a role. Role-playing lets you go places you otherwise never would. It teaches you to think and imagine. It makes you stretch. That’s what choices and endings are all about. So when you are a scientist, or a ninja, or a kid building his first robot, the way you look at the world, and even yourself, changes just a little bit. To us, this is at the core and heart of the success of Choose Your Own Adventure. We think Choose 'Toons will be the same.
Besides, face it, what story, no matter how compelling, couldn’t use a little of your help?
We want to launch Choose 'Toons with Your Very Own Robot. But we need your help to do it. Please join us in changing the world.
We are Chooseco, the official publisher of Choose Your Own Adventure books. Our team is led by:
R.A. Montgomery, CEO and Creative Director
R.A. Montgomery is an avid adventurer first and foremost. He founded the Choose Your Own Adventure series in the late 1970s, and formed Chooseco in 2003 to restore the series and expand into new media. He has over 100 million books in print in over 40 languages.
Shannon Gilligan, Publisher
Shannon Gilligan began working with Choose Your Own Adventure over 30 years ago, when she was hired to project manage the development of a Choose Your Own Adventure title into a game for the first Atari console. She continued her involvement with Choose by writing several best sellers in the series. Today she works as Publisher at Chooseco.
Risks and challenges
We want YOUR VERY OWN ROBOT's Choose 'Toon to be as amazing as the original books, and for this we want to make sure we have the best possible team to help support us.
$130,000 will fully fund one 32-minute app in what we plan to eventually develop into a series of cartoons. This amount funds the animation, voice acting, and programming of the choice points within the app. The script is already complete. We developed the demo seen in our video ourselves and our Vermont-based team has experience writing scripts, working on film projects, and developing software.
We intend to launch YOUR VERY OWN ROBOT's Choose 'Toon in the iTunes store, and are lucky enough to have an existing relationship with iTunes thanks to our iBooks. We will announce and cross-promote the 'Toon in our iBooks as well as in all of our print media to get the word out.
Although Choose 'Toons will be easy to download, physical reward fulfillment will be handled by the same people who distribute our books. This allows us to make sure you all get what you want on time.
We have the benefit of being a small and hardworking team in Vermont who is used to a variety of risks and challenges on a daily basis so we are ready for the mission of producing the 'Toons.
“Your parents are scientists. One day, they throw out some pieces of a robot in the trash. If you can figure out how to put the pieces together, you'll have a robot of your very own! But do you know enough to control it, or will it take over your school?
YOU choose what happens next!”
Per the Kickstarter guidelines, your card will not be charged until our campaign has ended and then only if the project is fully funded. If the project does not reach its funding goal, your card is never charged. All funding details can be found on the Kickstarter link below:
Almost all rewards, even those with multiple parts, (such as the 80’s Time Capsule or the Robot Stylus & Choose ‘Toon) will be delivered in May 2014 when the first Choose ‘Toon is launched. There are exceptions, such as the Beta Testers Pledge, where we will be sending a “rough cut” of the first programmed ‘Toon out to you in March 2014 so we can get your feedback. For all pledges with specific requirements, such as “YOU ARE DRAWN INTO THE BACKGROUND OF A SCENE…”, you will be contacted individually ahead of time so we can get a head shot. Then your copy of the Choose ‘Toon will arrive in May 2014. All backers will receive regular notices of our production progress and any adjustments to delivery dates should an unforeseen event prevent us from adhering to our current production schedule.
The pilot will be produced out of our office in Waitsfield, Vermont, however parts of the production will be sourced from people behind some amazing apps. Help with character design (adapting intricate characters from the illustrations into simpler forms suitable for animation) will come from Los Angeles, while we plan to use an animation studio that has provided work for both Nickelodeon and Disney.
The Your Very Own Robot Choose ‘Toon will be released about eight months from the start of production. Since we intend to begin as soon as our Kickstarter funds are available, we estimate a release date of May 2014.
The download of Choose ‘Toons will be made available through the program TestFlight on either Android or iOS. From Testflight:
As a tester using TestFlight, you can either be invited, recruited or just sign up.
Once you sign up with TestFlight and login to the dashboard for the first time, you will be asked to connect your device, allowing developers to access the device's Unique Device Identifier (UDID) or have the ability to install Android apps on your device.
Once you have successfully connected the device to your account and have been accepted to a team, the developer will have to add the UDID to the application, so that you can install it on your device.
Once the developer uploads a build you will receive an email through TestFlight, from the developer, with a link to install the build.
Follow the instructions in the email, click on the link, download the build to your device, and you will be ready to begin using the app.
Each individual little ‘Toon lasts anywhere from 3 to 12 minutes depending on choices you make. Of course, with 11 possible endings and 14 possible stories to explore, the combined length of the ‘Toons available is many times longer (over 30 minutes of unique animation)!
Choose Your Own Adventure books are written in the second person, meaning the hero of the story is “you.” You are a mountain climber, a deep-sea diver, a doctor researching tropical disease in the Amazon, etc. In the book Your Very Own Robot, your parents are inventors and you rescue a robot from the trash who becomes your best friend. We carried this idea over into Choose ‘Toons. “You” are the hero of the cartoon. The character that represents you is all blue in the demo cartoon. We don’t display identifying features on the “you” so that any child can imagine herself or himself as the character.
Every dollar raised for the Your Very Own Robot Pilot will end up on the screen! We are contributing all of our efforts - producing, writing, and our intellectual property (trademark, copyright) for free and will receive no fees personally. In more specific terms, we estimate costs of 30-32 minutes of animation at $3K per minute. The remaining funds will be used for actor voice recording, music and sound effects, a director’s fee, user interface testing (very important) and finally programming the choice points for the iPad.
Reward dates are listed alongside each individual Pledge. Some rewards - reports on the production for instance - will arrive over a number of months. If for any reason beyond our control the date of your reward changes, you will be notified right away!
We will be releasing new pledge rewards throughout the campaign. If you’d like to upgrade your pledge, visit the project page and click “Manage Your Pledge.” Enter a new amount in the pledge amount box. Note that you are not adding to your existing pledge; the amount you enter will be the total amount collected if the project is successfully funded.
To change your reward, make a new selection. Note that changing your reward selection does not automatically change your pledge amount.
We will be sending out a questionnaire for each pledge level just before fulfilling the reward in order to make sure we have everyone’s correct address. That way if you are moving, you will still get your stuff!
Because the margins in publishing are very small, and creating an app from scratch is fairly expensive, we need outside support in order to produce the best possible product. We want Choose ‘Toons to be as much of an amazing app in reality as it is in our heads, and want to offer our readers a unique chance to be part of our amazing story.
Thanks for your contribution! Even if you aren't ready for Choose 'Toons now you can still get updates on production, storyboards, vote, and make the Hall of Fame on our website.
Updates continue until product launch and beyond...
What is better than owning the Your Very Own Robot Choose 'Toon for your iPad? Getting an awesome robot stylus to accompany it of course! You will discover new journeys with a swish of your cool new stylus when you receive the gift of Your Very Own Robot Choose 'Toon for iPad.
You are an independent and strong individual. You like to walk the path of Beta Testers. Which is cool. We want to give you access to the early Beta version of Choose 'Toons, because we like your style and want your feedback.
BETA TESTER FOR ANDROID:
You will become a Beta Tester of the Android version of Choose 'Toons and join a powerful group of developers, gamers, and tech-savvy folks who saw Choose Your Own Adventure for the first time as kids and thought, one day, I'd like to work on something like this.
CHOOSE 'TOONS PRODUCTION TEAM: You will receive a limited edition Choose 'Toons Production Team T-shirt, a signed copy of the book Your Very Own Robot, production updates, and a download of the Choose 'Toon for iPad.
THE LITTLE ENCHILADA: (retails for $135) Our complete collection of Dragonlarks for younger readers. Share a full set of Choose Your Own Adventure Dragonlarks for ages 5-7 with someone who is just learning to read. Five titles in this collection feature either Gus or Homer as main characters! Includes the Choose 'Toons iOS download in May 2014.
YOU FIND A TIME CAPSULE IN THE FOREST. DO YOU OPEN IT?
A special limited edition time capsule full of awesome 1980’s goodies. Reward also includes a Choose Your Own Adventure classic book, all production updates and a download of the Choose 'Toon for iPad. Let’s face it, between the candy, the big hair, the swag and the awesome books, nothing beats your childhood decade.
YOU ARE DRAWN INTO THE BACKGROUND OF A SCENE IN A 'CHOOSE TOON:
Well who is that stunning character in the distance? Why yes! It’s a cartoon version of yourself! We will give you a chance to try to find yourself in the story with your included download of Your Very Own Robot Choose ‘Toon for iPad.
(NB: Must make photo of yourself available by October 2013.)
SIGNED CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE BOX SET + CHOOSE 'TOON:
If you are anything like us, you have fond memories of snuggling under the safety of your covers to avoid the monsters. We want to give you a signed copy of our classic Choose Your Own Adventure 4-Book Boxed Set #1 signed by R.A Montgomery along with all production updates, a PDF of the shooting script, and a download of the Choose 'Toon for iPad.
A RARE PAIR: Autographed copies of rare, out-of-print editions of Choose Your Own Adventure paired with 2013 editions, BOTH AUTOGRAPHED by R. A. Montgomery! Plus all production updates and a download of the Choose 'Toon for iPad.
THE WHOLE ENCHILADA (this retails for $272) You remember--nothing beats the row of "red hot dogs" on a shelf. Gift (or keep) our complete collection of Choose Your Own Adventure books, present-day editions. Many of these are bestsellers since the 1980s; some are brand-new titles additions to our collection. (Note: we'll ship in time for Christmas!) Includes the Choose 'Toons iOS download in May 2014.
Gift or keep our complete collection of 40 Choose Your Own Adventure books, present-day editions. Titles by R. A. Montgomery and Shannon Gilligan are autographed. We've never offered this anywhere before, it's a real Jewel of Nabooti.
Become immortalized as the visual likeness of the Treasury Secretary on the currency forged by Gus the Robot. Includes a signed copy of the book Your Very Own Robot, all production updates, a download of the Your Very Own Robot Choose 'Toon for iPad, and a drawing of your character signed by the artist. (Hint: Mrs. Geithner, this would make a great anniversary gift.)
PERSONAL LIFE ADVENTURE COACHING:
Do you have a few questions for the man who's mountaineered, invented, traveled, and created? Are you just stuck between a red door and a blue one? R. A. Montgomery will personally call you and discuss the choices and adventures that lie ahead for one hour, at a time to be determined by both the backer and Ray.
THE RARE BUTTERFLY: A complete collection of The Whole Enchilada, The Little Enchilada, and the original classic series, titles 1-184. This complete catalog of Choose Your Own Adventure books is rarely sighted outside of its natural habitat (locked away in a secret red bookshelf where your mom can't throw them away), and is truly a collector's gem and is available nowhere besides this Kickstarter. Includes the Choose 'Toons iOS download in May 2014.
You were always told you have a lovely voice. Now this is your chance to shine! We are giving you the opportunity to give a character the power of speech. What was that? You want to give this to a friend instead? Well, what a nice person you are giving them your 15 minutes of fame and a download of the app!
YOU WAKE UP IN A STRANGE PLACE....
It’s a Choose Your Own Adventure for real. Throughout our Kickstarter campaign, our team will be posing questions two times per week to all followers, fans, backers or anyone who comes to the page. Should this adventure be in the Northern or Southern Hemisphere? East or West? Hot or cold? Rural or urban? You get to choose. Come back at the end of the campaign to find out where one lucky backer and a friend are going to wake up... We promise the adventure of a lifetime. For real. And good luck (You may need it).
THE ADVENTURER'S DINNER: Have dinner with R.A. Montgomery, Shannon Gilligan and at least two other original CYOA authors at The Pitcher Inn in Warren, Vermont. Prize includes one night overnight at the inn, two economy class tickets from within the 48 contiguous United States to Burlington, Vermont, and a breakfast the following morning at Choose Your Own Adventure publishing headquarters. (Come on, Mrs. Zuckerberg. What else are you going to get ol’ Grumpants for the holidays?)