Got the happy news yesterday that Ruben & Lullaby snagged a nomination in the Independent Games Festival Mobile. A lot of midnight oil was burned trying to make the entry deadline--I’m grateful for the response, and all props to Ezra Claytan Daniels for his beautiful artwork for the game (see this post for links to some of his really excellent graphic novel work). It’s been about 10 years since I was last at the Game Developer’s Conference (while working at Inscape on games like The Dark Eye), so It’ll be good to be there again, especially now that it’s held in San Francisco.
Well, almost exactly six months after I got my iPhone, I’m happy to announce that Ruben & Lullaby, my first game for the iPhone and iPod touch, is now available on the App Store. Ruben & Lullaby is the first of a planned series of “opertoons"--stories you play like musical instruments--and I’m very excited about how this project has turned out. Many thanks to Ezra Claytan Daniels, who did the wonderful illustrations for the project and has been a great collaborator along the way. Thanks also to beta testers George Loyer, Mitchell Whitelaw, and Greg J. Smith for invaluable feedback.
Since the iPhone 3G was released and the developer program opened to the general public, I’ve been cramming—learning the ins and outs of the SDK (not to mention C, Objective-C and Cocoa) in the hope of developing an original application by year’s end. Progress has been good so far, in that wonderfully frustrating way that happens when you’re really stretching your skills. Painful happiness!
I’ll be releasing more info about the project as time goes on, but there’s two things I can report now: the first is that I’m working again with comic artist Ezra Claytan Daniels, who is doing some really wonderful illustrations for the piece. The second is that I’ve finally caved and started a Twitter account for the purposes of keeping a micro development diary on the project. So, if slightly vague descriptions of programming tasks and other minutia are up your alley, then you’ve come to the right place. Must remember not to violate NDA…
I’ve been wanting to experiment with comics and illustration in my work for a while now, and this year I’ve finally gotten the chance. As part of a forthcoming collaboration with scholar Caren Kaplan, author of the Dead Reckoning project in the current issue of Vectors, I’ve had the opportunity to work with up-and-coming comics artist Ezra Claytan Daniels. Ezra dropped me a line a few years ago while I was in production on Chroma and shared some of his work, including a two-book piece called The Changers that really impressed me.
When it became clear that Caren’s project would be well served by the work of a comic artist, Ezra was the first person I contacted, and luckily he agreed to do the project. I’m very excited to share the results, hopefully within the next couple of months. In the meantime, Ezra’s just had a comic published as part of the MySpace Dark Horse Presents anthology series. It’s called “A Circuit Closed"—a haunting tale that’s worth your time. While you’re there, post a comment and show your support! ‘Nuff said.
Here’s a list of links to works cited in my recent talk “Storytelling in the Age of Divided Screens” at Gallaudet University.
I’m very happy to announce the launch of “Timeframing: The Art of Comics on Screens,” a new website that explores what comics have to teach us about creative communication in the age of screen media.
To celebrate the launch of Upgrade Soul, here’s a screen shot of an eleven year old prototype I made that sets artwork from Will Eisner’s “The Treasure of Avenue ‘C’” (a story from New York: The Big City) in two dynamically resizable panels.
The last couple of months have seen an uptick in published commentary on Strange Rain, much of it owing to notice the app received at this year’s Modern Language Association conference in Seattle.
Dialogue bubbles huddle together in the Unity authoring environment like backstage theatre performers awaiting their chance to shine in the forthcoming iOS and Android release Upgrade Soul, from Opertoon.