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Wuxia the Fox - Augmented book & iPad app's video poster
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A book paired with an iPad app to inspire parents and kids to connect with nature, reinvent bedtime stories and explore their dreams. Read more

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This project was successfully funded on May 2, 2014.

A book paired with an iPad app to inspire parents and kids to connect with nature, reinvent bedtime stories and explore their dreams.

About this project

Ce projet est disponible en anglais et en français.  Pour lire le texte en français

“When the wind blows toward the north, open your heart!” —Wuxia the Fox to Oremia 

The story of Wuxia the Fox needs your help to come to life in a picture book that transforms into an interactive gamebook with the help of a magical iPad app. Each reading becomes a thrilling adventure full of twists and turns that awakens kids and teens to the joy of reading, exploring, and creating.

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ENTER THE AMAZING WORLD OF WUXIA THE FOX 

Join this fabulous quest into the heart of an incredible world inspired by love for the fragile planet we live on. Thanks to seamlessly integrated multimedia, the technological interface melts away in a multi-sensory experience that recalls the waking dreams of childhood fantasies in which you become the hero. Wuxia the Fox invites you to share a magical experience with younger and older children and introduce them to the poetic potential of technology. 

My four-year-old daughter and I
My four-year-old daughter and I

STORYTIME REINVENTED.

CONNECTING WITH NATURE.

EXPLORING YOUR DREAMS.

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THE STORY: IN SEARCH OF LOST DREAMS 

Whale songs hold the key to dreams for humans and other living beings. But Earth’s climate is changing, and the whales have decided to migrate to the planet Jupiter. Without them, there will be no more dreams. 

Eight-year-old Oremia has a vivid recurring dream of the great whales. She is now convinced that she is in reality a holographic projection originating on Jupiter. Then one day she meets Wuxia, a young fox with telepathic powers. Wuxia has been brutally driven from her home by the sinister Junning Army, which is now seeking control of the planet after a failed climate-cooling project. 

With no time to lose, Wuxia agrees to join Oremia to search for a legendary humpback whale named Nioma, who holds the secret that could allow her to change Oremia into a real Earth girl. So they set forth on a thrilling quest in which they encounter brave and sometimes hilarious new friends who guide them across a world they scarcely recognize without its glaciers. 

Among their powerful allies are Garuda the Penguin, who carries them across the earth on his melting glacier, and Aleika, the rabbit wizard who protects them with his magic powers. 

Together they discover the wonders of nature and forgotten civilizations. They learn about listening, self-expression, lucidity, awareness, perseverance, concentration, intentions, empathy, generosity, and much more. 

Along the way Oremia and Wuxia come across a very special musical device, the “Tonalli,” fallen from the sky long ago. Unlocked, its power can awaken all the elements of nature. Ultimately it may allow them to save Nioma before it is too late. 

A teaser for the storyworld of Wuxia the Fox
A teaser for the storyworld of Wuxia the Fox

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THE APPLICATION: PUTTING THE READER IN THE STORY 

The iPad app is not just a game: it is an exact replica of the Tonalli discovered by Oremia and Wuxia. It is the secret passage that allows young readers to enter the world of Wuxia the Fox and join the two heroes in their quest.

Like the Tonalli, the app functions as like a mysterious musical instrument with magical powers, opening the way to new stories and interactive elements, such as

  • Different soundtracks and sound effects that react to specific words or the rhythm and tone of the voice telling the story
  • “Forgotten” sounds of nature and symbols associated with them
  • New audiovisual scenes activated by combinations of specific sounds and gestures
  • An Augmented Reality Storytelling Engine that displays complementary interactive audio-visual elements above the book when using the iPad rear camera and physical objects (Masks, Printed Symbols in the Illustrated Book, Street Signs-Graffitis, Wood Tiles) 
  • Icons, musical instruments and audiovisual extras that appear in the iPad app when the storyteller wears a mask
  • And much more 
Placing the symbolic blocks on one of the book maps
Placing the symbolic blocks on one of the book maps
Using the iPad app to read the symbolic blocks placed on one of the maps in the book
Using the iPad app to read the symbolic blocks placed on one of the maps in the book
Amulets
Amulets

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Jonathan Bélisle has been a Web entrepreneur for close to 20 years. He is an interactive production director, dedicated UX scriptwriter, creative techie, and an inspired teacher. He studied film narratology and mastered visual thinking before mixing the two with methods borrowed from ethnography and service design to generate a playful approach to the complex problems of mobile and interactive storytelling with objects and connected media. He is a cofounder of UX MTL, a professor of experience architecture at INIS, and a SAGA partner. 

Jonathan also has a four-year-old and a one-year-old at home and has vivid memories of his childhood passion for imaginary worlds. He remembers his enthusiasm in drawing up an instruction manual for story creation that he then gave out to all the kids at his elementary school. He loved creating gamebooks and reading Thorgal and Mœbius comics while listening to his parents’ music, and he has lost count of how many times his father read him The Lord of the Rings. He was fascinated by the TV series Captain Harlock and The Mysterious Cities of Gold and recorded his fantastical daydreams in drawings that he secretly collected in a big notebook. He talked to the stars, ran in the rain with his mother, and listened to the wind in the trees as if critically important messages were contained in it. 

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WHAT’S BEHIND IT

Our dream is to create a modern equivalent of storytime so that children and teenagers can learn to dream and create a better future. 

We’re driven by the idea of

  • A game that brings parents and their children together in a ritual of creation that produces interactive stories and explores their connection to the earth, their family, and their dreams
  • A tool for young people to increase their awareness of the technological and ecological changes currently underway
  • A musical instrument that opens the door to the languages, mythologies, cultures, and sounds of wildlife and nature that have disappeared or are fated to
  • A dreaming device that awakens as many children as possible to the spirits of the land and sea and fosters the ability to remain alert, mindful, curious, and courageous
  • A way to get in touch with the deep feelings children of all ages have and help them express these feelings clearly so they can connect with those around them 

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READER BENEFITS 

Wuxia the Fox is a universal fable that awakens the child in everyone. Its lessons have value for readers of all ages. 

Multiple intelligences 
In addition to emotional intelligence, the Wuxia the Fox gamebook involves four of the eight “multiple intelligences”: verbal-linguistic, logical-mathematical, visual-spatial, and musical-rhythmic. 

Technology education 
The Wuxia the Fox iPad application is much more than just a game or entertainment platform. It is specifically designed to overcome technology phobias and encourage users to take control of technology as a tool for making, creating, and dreaming. 

Creativity and imagination 
The fantasy side and fantastic elements of the story coax readers to lose themselves in a world that is familiar but that works in a completely different way. Wuxia the Fox’s adventures are a gateway to a richer imagination, heightened creative sensibilities, a livelier inner world, more vivid dreams, and a dazzling future. 

Memory and concentration 
The reader wanders from story to story with the protagonists, meeting a multitude of characters, learning their unusual names and characteristics, and getting to know them while holding onto the many threads of the story. 

Environmentalism and social responsibility Wuxia’s adventures depict the effects of climate change on human behaviour and the unexpected directions humanity might take once the transition from the Information Age to the Age of Sensor is complete. This projection into a different yet not so distant future sharpens our awareness of our own reality and how we can affect it. The story also gives parents an in as conscious actors in their children’s search for meaning and pleasure. Major global issues addressed by Wuxia include water, children, climate change, and the disappearance of cultures and languages. 

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PROJECT DETAILS

Funds raised in the campaign will be used to produce the following:

  • Volume 1 of Wuxia’s story in the form of illustrated books printed in colour in English and French and containing the first 8 Wuxia adventure stories
  • The first version of the bilingual iPad application including dynamic musical instrument and augmented reality functions

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BREAKDOWN OF EXPENSES

  • $5,000 for production of 20 illustrations for the print book
  • $20,000 for development of audiovisual content for the iPad app
  • $25,000 for development of the application* and its augmented reality functions (sound and symbol recognition algorithm, interactive soundtracks, programming, etc.)
  • $3,500 for copyediting and translation of the stories into two languages
  • 8% of total funds raised for Kickstarter’s commission • Varying production costs for campaign supporter rewards (averaging $50 for hardcover book and shipping)
  • $250 for AppStore activation fee  

*The application will be based on rebuilds and improvements to the Jim Mobile storytelling app interface to save money. 

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WUXIA THE FOX’S FURTHER ADVENTURES

Wuxia the Fox will be made up of 64 stories/adventures in eight volumes. The application and its components will be open ended. Eventually we hope to create sets of branch stories for each of the 64 adventures that make up the complete epic. 

Our fondest hope is that Wuxia and Oremia will win the hearts of thousands of parents, grandparents, teachers, children, and teenagers throughout the world. 

Support this project and bring Wuxia and his extraordinary adventures to life. A world of wonder awaits! 

Upcoming
Upcoming

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INFLUENCES 

Writers: Umberto Eco, Aldous Huxley, L. Frank Baum, Lewis Carroll, Carlo Collodi, Neil Gaiman, A. A. Milne, Mark Twain, Hendrik Willem van Loon, J. R. R. Tolkien 

Filmmakers and illustrators: Hayao Miyazaki and Alejandro Jodorowsky, Frédéric Back 

Musical instruments: Slewpi, ThumbJam, Korg Kaossilator, Korg iMS-20, Toca Boca Band 

Videogames: Okami, RayMan, Lonely Planet, Journey, Nino Kuni 

Music: Jon Hopkins, Apparat, Nathan Fake, Simon Robitaille, Marcus Deserranno, Sigur Ros, Bjork, Moderat, Olivier Bélisle, Stephan Bodzin, Noetic Assembly, Ólafur Arnalds, Björk, M83

Risks and challenges

VOICE RECOGNITION: PHONETIC AND SEMANTIC
Our goal is for the soundtracks to respond to word choices and the rhythm and tone of the voice telling the story. We do realize however that the circumstances of storytime can be precarious, and the functioning of the app will be bound up with factors like the parent’s ability to generate the specific sounds linked to the story. The potential of this function is very exciting but will require many hours of adjustment and test readings with children who yell or cry.

BALANCING IMMERSION AND INTERACTION
The experience will call on a variety of skills and intelligence types that will require a delicate calibration of immersion and interaction. Since the Tonalli is a musical instrument that will come without an instruction book, we will need to test its functions and find out how children react to its “magic powers.”

PREVENTING TECHNOLOGY DEPENDENCE IN CHILDREN
One of the main goals of the project is to promote closer and more collaborative parent–child relationships, with a technological education component also planned. A way must be found to get children interested and excited without tempting them to spend too much time playing with the app. One possibility would be to have it shut down for 24 hours if it used for too long or inappropriately.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

  • Premièrement l'intention primaire des contes de Wuxia est d'éviter aux enfants de se faire emprisonner par la technologie et d'apprendre à la contrôler pour mieux créer. Je n'aimais pas voir ma fille jouer trop longtemps au iPad et ne plus avoir envie d'aller jouer dehors. Je trouvais que c'était pire que la Télé et plusieurs jeux pour enfants encourageaient la dépendance.

    Deuxièment je voulais encourager chez ma fille la lecture lente et contemplative car elle développait une capacité à inventer des histoires plus rapidement et avec encore plus d'imagination. L'idée mettre le concept de Fée Clochette au goût du jour avec tous les avantages du iPad me plaisait énormément comme parent mais aussi comme lecteur de livre papier ayant un iPad qui ne sert plus assez souvent.

    Parce que jusqu'à 8 ans l'enfant appréhende le monde par les mains et parce qu'il se construit un interprétation par ce qu'il ressens dans ses jeux de gestes. La symbologie des objets physiques manipulés me fascinait davantage que d'inventer une autre forme d'interactions sur iPad. En fait je préférais que l'application puisse suivre cette évolution tout au long de la croissance de l'enfant et qu'elle s'y ajuste.

    Aussi, un livre et un jeu de table ça fonctionne sans électricité.

    Last updated:
  • First the main intention behind the storytelling experience of Wuxia is to teach children how to avoid technological enslavement and to learn creative and disruptive ways to use / control it.
    I didn't like to see my young daugther play long hours on the iPad and slowly loose the interest of playing outside. I didn't want kids to become addicts of the iPad (nothing as worse as TV) and most games proposed in the app Store were promoting such dependance in the way their game mechanics were designed.

    Secondly, I wanted to encourage my Daugther to appreciate Slow and Contemplative Lecture because I observed that she would invent stories and ways to tell stories faster and with more imagination. I really liked the idea of using the iPad as a tool to promote the contemplative lecture of a physical book. As a parent it was reminding some experience of lecture I had in my youth where a music album would be playing in the background and let me know when to turn the page.

    And also, it is known that, from birth to 8 years old, children discover the world mostly thru role-play and gestural interactions until they fully develop a structured language. They use their hands to interpret reality and express what they feel in physical interactions with the environments and objects that surrounds them.

    The symbology associated to the manipulation of physical objects was fascinating to me and I found it more exciting than to create new interactions on an iPad. In fact, I wanted that the iPad app could connect to that experience of the child growth and adapt to it.

    Finally, a book and a boardgame also work without electricity :)

    Last updated:

Rewards

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    23 backers

    I’M INTERESTED - Receive project updates.
    You will also be thanked in the credits.

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    64 backers

    REALLY INTERESTED - Beautiful 8' x 11' printed illustration signed by the author.

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    39 backers

    LIKE - Free personalized PDF version to print yourself (Will function with the free version of the application available through the AppStore.)

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    13 backers

    REALLY LIKE - Free personalized PDF version to print yourself (Will function with the free version of the application available through the AppStore.)
    + printable version of wooden pieces

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    77 backers

    SMALL BOOK - Colour copy of the book
    7' x 7' softcover

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    28 backers

    TABLE BOOK - Colour copy of the book
    Coffee table format, 12' x 12', hardcover

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    29 backers

    BOOK & AMULET - Colour copy of the book
    Coffee table format, 12' x 12', hardcover
    + wooden amulet

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    4 backers

    WUXIA STORY GEEK - Colour copy of the book
    Coffee table format, 12' x 12', hardcover
    + wooden amulet
    + poster

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    2 backers

    WUXIA STORY GEEK - SPECIAL EDITION - Colour copy of the book
    Coffee table format, 12' x 12', hardcover
    + 2 wooden amulets
    + poster
    + set of wooden pieces

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    5 backers Limited (295 left of 300)

    ME AND A FRIEND - Two (2) colour copies of the book
    Coffee table format, 12' x 12', hardcover
    + wooden amulet
    + mask
    + poster

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    4 backers Limited (196 left of 200)

    GROUP - Four (4) colour copies of the book
    Coffee table format, 12' x 12', hardcover
    + four (4) wooden amulets
    + mask
    + set of wooden pieces

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    1 backer Limited (49 left of 50)

    GROUP, CREATIVE SESSION VERSION - Five (5) colour copies of the book
    Coffee table format, 12' x 12', hardcover
    + four (4) wooden amulets
    + mask
    + five (5) sets of wooden pieces
    + super poster
    + creative session with the author

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    Only ships to: Canada
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    3 backers

    CORPORATE KIT - Ten (10) colour copies of the book Coffee table format, 12' x 12', hardcover + ten (10) wooden amulets + ten (10) sets of wooden pieces + super poster

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    5 backers All gone!

    CORPORATE SPONSOR (Canada) - Be our official sponsor for Canada. We will give a maximum visibility through communications and involve you in the creative process!

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    MY COMMUNITY / A NEW LANGUAGE! - Five (5) colour copies of the book in the new language of your choice
    Coffee table format, 12' x 12', hardcover
    The application will also be translated for you.
    By taking this pledge, you will make the new language available to all backers.

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Funding period

- (30 days)