If you read this blog chances are you already know about Moonbot's latest app experience, "The Numberlys" but if you haven't check it out, and drop me a line (firstname.lastname@example.org). I'd be interested to hear what you think. The App store comments seem to be fairly polarized, and I'm having trouble discerning whether the reaction is wholly positive or not.
there are some things I am proud of in this story/game/app whatever, and like any project some things I wished we had time to tweak before publishing it. Moonbot allowed me some more creative control than I've had on previous projects, and I really feel like I had my fingers in a lot of how it turned out. For Moonbot and the fledgling Moonbot Interactive (a whopping 4 employees, plus an intern) it was an awesome learning experience, and the guys I was fortunate enough to work with on it helped me grow a bunch.
When we began planning the app out in the beginning, we knew we wanted games and some cinematic elements. When just storyboards weren't enough we actually ended up making it into a 'dummy book' model instead. This was before we had started prototyping some of the games, but I kept one as we were cleaning house the other day....
|"The Numberlys" in 37 printed pages (interactions and story beats denoted)|
also early on, we decided to go with a vertical format, which I think is one of the apps biggest creative triumphs....but it was hard to get used to boarding in.
Most of the decisions we made about game design had to do with pacing, or theme. It's one of the areas I wish we really had had more time to buckle down, and fine tune things.
Each letter needed to get it's due, because letters were a brand spanking new revolution for the Numberlys and their world. The idea seemed to work narratively, but it's something we are catching flak for on the internet, it seems like people are unhappy that they are asked to play through every letter as a game. However, for lack of being able to find a skip feature that gave us the same feeling of achievement, and the unexpected draw of a non-artist audience over the age of 10, we shipped it as it was....I'm biting my lip on this one with a little bit of confusion as I sort through if there was a better choice for that one or not. The app market is a funny place.
Here are some early previs boards I did, trying to figure out the space the games could be played in, and how complex they were going to be.
I also wanted to share some of the storyboards I worked on. The following is a sequence that the incredibly talented Joe Bluhm did the first pass on, and then I took over. I remember thinking a lot about whether when jellybeans rained from the sky the Numberlys would be ecstatic or terrified.
For the last of the musings....
all in all I had a lot of fun working on and boarding on this project. There is a lot in store for Moonbot and video games in the future, and I'm loving the chance to get my hands dirty experimenting and messing around.
that's all for now, I promise....no more....NO MORE!!