Pixel and Parker, by Spinlight Studio, is the seventh app by this winning team and their first foray into children’s books. But this time, they’re not just releasing another app, they’re changing the way stories are told. Yes, that’s right – this is a new book with a whole new twist. Spinlight was inspired to include a game “spinner” into the book as a way to progress throughout the story. Candance, from Spinlight, shared this with us: “Pixel and Parker” is the first in a series of interactive stories for kids. Like all good tales, it has a beginning and an end. But that’s pretty much where the similarities end, because we’ve replaced turning the page with spinning a wheel to create a unique children’s adventure that’s never the same story twice. We call it a Spintale, and we can’t wait to get it in your hands….
I had a special connection with this book upon first viewing it. Recently my very, very, special cat, Puck, had gone missing. After being “lost” for a month, Puck and I were reunited just days before this app arrived on my desktop! Not only is this a fun storybook adventure based on the value of friendship, the innovative spinning action determines the path of the story. It contains over 30 activities that involve readers and advances the plot. We can’t say enough WONDERFUL things about this new concept of story tales, the spinner is such a classic idea that we wondered why no one else had thought of this before? Maybe the name of their company had something to do with it.
We got the back story from Matt; here is what he had to say:
“The idea for this one really came from a simple observation I’ve been making since the dawn of the iPad (Warning: this answer is probably a littler designer-nerdy).
Is a book on an iPad still a book? To me, book is really a binding term. Sheets bound together make pages (leafs) into a book (book binding). So a book is one way to deliver a story or other written material. I think the page metaphor is being used so heavily on the iPad because it is a comfortable way to transition people from what is known to something new and unknown.
As a designer I see the iPad as something new. It has fewer boundaries and limitation than bound paper sheets. So I want to explore storytelling that doesn’t use a page metaphor. There are plenty of people doing that already so we’d rather be part of figuring out what’s next. It’s going to be experimental as we all try to find the best methods to communicate in new ways. For our team, that’s exciting stuff.
Since we are telling a new story in “Pixel and Parker”, we don’t have to worry about digitizing a traditional linear book that people are already used to. On the iPad, page 1 doesn’t always have to come after page 2. The graphics displayed for a given page don’t even have to be the same every time. For “Pixel and Parker” the spinner replaces the page metaphor and the t-shirt on Parker is an example of a variable graphic. The story can look and flow a little differently each time.
Matt also shared that, “Spinlight is really just getting started. We’ve learned so much about this new medium in the last 2 years. We have a ton of ideas that I hope we get the opportunity to bring to life.” Teachers With Apps can’t wait to see what these talented developers come up with next!