I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to say this kit is “ready to make your dreams come true”, because I fell asleep last night brainstorming ideas for a sample children’s book to write and that led to some wild dreams. One of the ideas I had, which this kit supports, is reading a book from the bottom up, or top down. Most countries read a book from left to right, and the standard front to back style. But with this kit, you could make a book that begins at the bottom of a really tall building and seamlessly goes upward with each page. Art-wise the book could feel like one giant illustration was drawn that the reader is ascending. Or reverse that, and start on the surface of the sea and descend downwards to the bottom of the ocean. So anyway, feel free to use those ideas yourself.
So what else is so great about this kit? Well, it truly requires ZERO programming. This is an Xcode project but as far as Cocos2d or Objective-C is concerned, you are off the hook. The classes in the starter kit are folded up nicely and tucked away so you never have to worry about them (you are welcome to tinker though if you want).
Everything is built through a Property List file, which you can see a small snippet of at the sales page. It’s essentially like a basic spreadsheet. You just fill in values for things like, the image name to show, the time to show it, is it animated, how many frames animate, etc. Adding stuff to the app is a little like answering basic questions each time. And the same is true for adding interactivity.
If you want to read more, you can below. I’ll paste in the same text that’s over at the sales page, but I’d rather you jump from the blog over to their now. There’s some great pictures of the kit, as well as links to ALL the documentation for free. You can watch a video demo, and download either an iBook or PDF detailing the entire kit. Yes, I went all-out this time and made some really polished documentation!.
Check it out: The iOS Story Tellers Starter Kit.
- Unlimited layers of images and scrolling backgrounds. Images can have their own animated transitions onto the page, like fades, movements, rotations or scaling.
- Particle systems, premade systems like snow, fire, smoke, fireworks, suns, can all be customized to create your own FX (the full list is in the documentation).
- Interactivity, any image can be touched to interact with other images, trigger sounds, go to URL’s, and a lot more!
- Drag image or particles, set objects to follow the user’s touch. This creates some very cool possibilities with particles.
- Any image can be animated with as little as 1 frame or hundreds. Animations can be looped and played / stopped through interactions. Looping animations can also play sounds.
- Lots of page transition options, the popular page flip effect isn’t your only option. Others include sliding right, left, top, bottom, clockwise, and more (the full list is in the documentation). The Kit also supports Hebrew or Arabic style books to simulate reading back to front.
- Run-on / continuous pages, for example one page can seemlessly slide into another page, creating the illusion of one really long piece of art. Transitions can slide up or down too, so you could create a really tall book as well. You could even include 4 directional arrows to navigate up, down, left or right!
- Puzzle or Sticker Pages, with drag-n-lock-to a location functionality. One image acts as a “sticker” or puzzle piece, that snaps to a “base” image inheriting it’s size, location and rotation.
- Quizzes, tap the right answer to proceed to the next page.
- Choose Your Own Adventure style reading, give readers multiple paths through your book. Essentially you can create multiple books in one book by just jumping around to different pages or chapter beginnings.
- Sound Machines, create a virtual beat box, or a soothing sound machine using the looping background audio properties
- Page Narration, include a narration track on each page. Images can also trigger sound files to play, so narration could be included at any time.
- Randomness, image or particles can appear at random locations. For example, a single button could be pressed to spawn twinkling stars randomly in the night sky.
- Movements, Rotations, Scaling, Fading, & Flipping are all built in properties for each image. Set a start and finish value for each transformation (which can also be reversed and looped).
- Smash things, create images that explode when pressed and make a funny noise. Kids love these apps.
- Add back stuff, repopulate the page with images that have already been seen & removed by simply using the same property list data again to add back the image.
- Twitter, an image can open a Tweet window with an auto-filled in message.
- Easy Reorganizing, simply drag and drop pages in the property list to change the book order.
- Custom Index, create an index that goes to any page of your book. Any image can jump to any page of the book.
- “Special” Pages, not every page has to be included in the primary reading order of the book. You might want a page that is only seen when requested. For example, you could include a map of the setting of your book.
- Landscape or Portrait, your choice.
- In-App Purchase ready, your book can be free, paid or in-app purchasable. There’s nothing to change code-wise, just a little extra setup in iTunes Connect if you want to include an in-app purchase (details are in the documentation for adding the Buy Book and Restore Purchases button).
The Story Tellers iOS Starter Kit was made to help you create a highly immersive environment for whatever tale you want to tell. The App Store has an amazing number of users who are more than willing to listen to a well-told story (and pay for a good one). The best ones have sounds, animations, special FX and interactivity. And that’s not just an opinion, it is also what Apple wants to see from apps that are being submitted as “Books” to their store. A simpler, more regular book would be better off distributed in the iBookstore.
This kit is made with that distinction in mind. You are going to learn how to customize your story book app with incredible features making it submittable to the Apple Store as an App in the “Books” category, using the Xcode project, documentation videos, and free setup guides in either iBook or PDF format.
Don’t worry, it won’t take much work beyond supplying some fantastic creative assets on your end, and it won’t involve ANY programming!