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Compete or collaborate with friends to write a dramatic or funny story using your iPhone.

Stage of Life® is launching the development of an iPhone mobile game that’s rooted in our mission to support and increase literacy.  The game called Writing Race™, and it is scheduled to be made available in summer of 2013 after submission and approval as a FREE download in Apple's App Store using the iPhone's Game Center platform*.

In a world where many of us text, tweet, and "Facebook," we realized that something is missing. We decided to build a mobile game in which writing full sentences (unheard of, you say?) is the core activity. Taking turns by writing only a handful of words at a time, Writing Race™ brings two or more friends together to collaboratively (or competitively) write a story.  Stage of Life® is excited to announce this project on Kickstarter as we expand our literacy mission to the mobile world. 

The funds we raise for this project will allow us to move out of the concept stage (see wireframes below) and fully complete the artwork, design, user interface programming, and launch phases for Writing Race™.

Writing Race™ is a product of Stage of Life® - a grassroots, writing and literacy initiative with a mission to encourage all people from all generations, from teens to Baby Boomers, to become life-long readers and writers.

*NOTE:  For all you folks with an Android phone, an Android version of Writing Race™ will be explored upon the successful fundraising and launch of the iPhone app.

Writing Race™ takes storytelling and places it in a fast-paced setting (as you witnessed expertly (*ahem*) acted in our simulation video by the Stage of Life® CEO and College Intern).

Players will take turns with friends writing a story on their mobile phones - three words at a time – only they must do it as quickly as possible!  The story shouldn't be sacrificed, and spelling is an essential part of the scoring system.  Pressed for time and racking their brains, players will test their wits and exercise their creativity as they write a story, turn by turn. (In the “free write” mode, timers and scores are turned off, allowing friends to write together without the pressure of a ticking clock—many may find that even more fun.)

Below you can see some of the wireframes presented to our game developers for the play flow of Writing Race™.  From these concept drafts, our mobile programmers will complete the full-color design for the user interface and programming behind the mobile app. 

Yes, these wireframes may look a little boring, but they are intended simply to convey the concept of how the game could flow.  It's exactly how we began when we launched our blogging and literacy site, www.StageofLife.com

Take a moment to visit our website and you'll see our commitment to great branding, art, and design.  You can be confident that our mobile storytelling game will look and be great.  We will give literacy an artwork facelift in the mobile world with Writing Race™!

Concept wire frames for game play flow of Writing Race
Concept wire frames for game play flow of Writing Race

The Main Features of Writing Race:

  • Multiplayer – Invite a friend to collaboratively write the story. Don’t worry about being logged on at the same time – the game will notify you when it is your turn to continue the story. You will have the ability to start writing as many stories as you’d like simultaneously with different friends.
  • Competition – The story isn’t the only part of Writing Race™ – you will be facing a clock that is constantly eating away at your score. Hesitate too much and your score will suffer…but don’t sacrifice the content! Poor spelling will be detrimental to your score. Stat tracking and scoring will compare you with your friend to determine the ultimate Writing Race™ player.
  • Free Write – Keeping in tune with Stage of Life’s mission, Writing Race’s main goal is to have fun writing. If the clock and competitive setting aren’t appealing, and you simply wish to create a collaboratively written story with a friend, a "free write" option will be available that rids the game of clocks, score comparison, and perks.
  • Reward – Your speed and creativity aren’t only for bragging rights with a friend – you will be rewarded for your quick thinking and comprehensive writing. An in-game currency will allow you to cash out on perks like extending your word limit, stopping the clock, and even throwing a random word at your friend. The reward system creates a continuously progressive system that keeps enhancing your story the better you do.
  • Versions - There will be both a free version and a full version of Writing Race made available.  The full version will contain options such as story writing with more than just one friend.

Stage of Life's core mission is two-fold:

  • To provide a platform and a place for people to share their life stories, write to their heart's content, and read and benefit from stories of others at all life stages.
  • To provide information and opportunities to make people’s lives better at each life stage.

In looking at our mission, we realized that the mobile phone would be the perfect tool to extend our passion for reading and writing. This led to the concept of Writing Race™.

Extending our Writing and Literacy Mission to the Mobile Phone

Our language is becoming truncated into quick Facebook posts, 140 character tweets, and shorthand text messages. StageofLife.com breaks free from limitations and allows users to write in full sentences while composing personal essays using their own unique styles, creativity, and personal points of view to share with the community.

Many of us live and breathe by our phones, especially in younger generations. When we noticed that over 33,000 people had visited our website using their mobile phones in the last six months, we saw the perfect opportunity to provide our users with a fun extension of StageofLife.com.  We came up with a mobile game where users are rewarded for writing, being creative, and crafting a story – perfect for kids, parents, teachers, and anyone else who likes words, writing, playing with friends, or just enjoying a little competition from time to time.

StageofLife.com - An international writing community and online life journal for everyone from teens to Baby Boomers
StageofLife.com - An international writing community and online life journal for everyone from teens to Baby Boomers

StageofLife.com is an online life journal for everyone from teenagers to Baby Boomers.  Users participate in our writing and blogging community by sharing their personal stories, entering the monthly writing contests, or answering the weekly "life question."  StageofLife.com welcomes everyone to share and discuss their life stories and become part of a helpful, inspirational community.

Since its launch in April of 2009, StageofLife.com has welcomed over 418,000 unique visitors who have uploaded over 11,000 personal stories and posts containing over 5.5 million words - resulting in over 1.2 million page views.  Our visitors came to us through word of mouth, because we have found that people are passionate about sharing their stories and being a part of the community on StageofLife.com

We welcome you to explore StageofLife.com, view our staff page for details on our CEO and other key stakeholders, or...heck...to share a story about your life to help pass your wisdom along to the world.

In conjunction with a fantastic development team, the funds raised through our Kickstarter project will go directly towards paying the design, programming, and launch fees associated with building Writing Race™ and adding it to Apple's App Store.

Unlike a lot of projects—your pledge will be a contribution to the expansion of literacy to the mobile phone, giving everyone the chance to collaboratively write stories with friends straight from their iPhones.

If you're still reading (and we hope you are), here's a bit more about how the $60,000 will be used during the design and development stage:

  • User settings, game play modeling, wireframes
  • UI Design (User Interface)
  • UX Development for iOs (User Experience)
  • Economy Modeling (Rewards System)
  • Social Integration (play with Facebook friends, etc.)
  • Website Integration (StageofLife.com profile link)
  • Prototype and Testing as a Beta Release
  • Bugs addressed and fixed
  • Final Release version
  • Apple App Store submission
  • Launch in market - FREE download.  Story writing goes mobile!

Each of these above phases are complex and involve pages upon pages of pre-work we've discussed with our developers.

Stories, creativity and a literary competition contained within one mobile game app...get ready for Writing Race™!

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Our biggest challenge in launching the project is developing and delivering a high quality mobile app that meets the standards set forth by Stage of Life®. In order to overcome this, we are committed to working with a development team that is both highly experienced in creating engaging mobile apps AND eager to partner with us in bringing our vision to life.

We feel confident that Stage of Life®, in conjunction with its development team, can deliver the Writing Race mobile app to not only meet design expectations, but far exceed them.

Our budget is another concern. However, we are working with a scaled plan that provides varying features and associated pricing to ensure that, if the money is raised (whether its $60,000 or more) we will deliver a mobile literacy product with all that is promised.

Additionally, as with all iPhone applications, Writing Race™ must be approved by Apple before launching in the App Store. Our developers are well aware of Apple's guidelines and restrictions and are prepared to craft an application that is within Apple's boundaries.

Finally, our last concern is that the initial budget will allow for the development and launch of an iPhone app, but not an Android version. 92% of the mobile visitors to StageofLife.com right now are using an iPhone product. It is for this reason we opted to focus the development of mobile app release on the iPhone platform.

However, based on the success of the fundraising efforts, we will wholeheartedly explore an Android version of Writing Race™ too.

FAQ

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  • Pledge $5 or more
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    3 backers

    To show our gratitude, we will post a personalized thank-you with your name on StageofLife.com!

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    2 backers

    Includes the previous reward plus...Not only will you receive a thank you on StageofLife.com, but we will also write you a personal Thank-You letter, signed by our Founders, with a special update and report on the behind kick-off to the development of Writing Race.

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    Includes all previous rewards plus...$25 in travel credit to use on your next vacation, cruise or resort booking with Stage of Life's preferred travel partner - Cruise & Vacation Perks.

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    1 backer

    Includes all previous rewards plus...You will get the opportunity to submit up to five, three-word introductory phrases* to be incorporated into Writing Race™ to jump-start someone's story when they first start the game (*subject to approval by Stage of Life®)! We will also send you two Stage of Life® pens to continue your writing efforts outside of the mobile app!

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    Includes all previous rewards plus...We will send you a Stage of Life® t-shirt to proudly wear while competing to write your story. While you're sporting your t-shirt, we will also email you our official $100 Gold Sponsor Ribbon to proudly display on your favorite social media websites to us help spread the word on this mobile literacy and writing game!

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  • Pledge $250 or more
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    Includes all previous rewards plus...Submit up to ten introductory phrases* to kick off a story on Writing Race (*subject to approval by Stage of Life®)! We'll also mail you two (different) full-color Stage of Life® posters great for any bedroom or classroom!

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  • Pledge $500 or more
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    Includes all previous rewards plus...Stage of Life® will send a writing contest poster kit to the high school of your choice (kit contains four, 12" x 18" full-color posters for Language Arts or English teachers to hang in their classroom encouraging students to enter the national writing contests on StageofLife.com).

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  • Pledge $1,000 or more
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    Includes all previous rewards plus...You will get a personal mention (if an individual or couple) in our national press release as a sponsor of this exciting literacy and writing initiative.

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    Includes all previous rewards plus...We will give both you and your business a mention in our national press releases as a contributor to Writing Race™. NOTE: This is the same as the $1,000 reward, but it is a level for businesses to receive formal recognition.

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    Includes all previous rewards plus...We will incorporate a personal thank you in the app itself as a major sponsor of Writing Race™.

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  • Pledge $5,000 or more
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    Includes all previous rewards plus...We will let you choose the question and writing prompt for one of our upcoming national monthly writing contests on StageofLife.com. Over 250,000 people visit the writing contest pages on Stage of Life® each year, so your writing prompt will surely generate essays and people writing about a cause, topic or issue near and dear to your heart.

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    Includes all previous rewards plus...an invitation to our app launch party! After all of the hard work put into this application, we are surely going to celebrate the launch! Join us, free of cost to you (travel, room and board are on us), to our launch celebration. NOTE - travel accommodations will be arranged and provided by Stage of Life®

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    Includes all previous rewards plus...We will include your advertisement on in-game splash screens to promote your company. Additionally, become part of the development process by receiving first access to development progress reports, images, and beta versions of the game.

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Funding period

- (60 days)