Sync audio and text is probably the top requested feature of version 1.7 so, why not to interview David, from Electric Eggplant, our partner developing the code? Below, David, which is commonly helping other developers at Ansca’s forums (he just open sourced the code for his great comic Be Confident in Who You Are), shares a little of his experience. Let’s welcome David!
Alex) Tell a little bit about you and your company
I’ve been involved in computers and computer games since the 1970’s, and was one of the first employees at LucasArts (then called Lucasfilm Games). My wife, author/educator Annie Fox, and I started Electric Eggplantin 1992 to focus on creating content for kids to help them understand themselves and other people better.
How did you find out about Kwik?
We’ve been using the Corona SDK for a little over a year now, and heard about it through their announcements.
We know you are not using Kwik in your workflow but, since the beginning you have been a great promoter of the tool. Why?
Our point of view is that it’s really all about the content. The technology is just a way to get great content to people to enjoy, and hopefully learn from. Creating an app is pretty daunting. If great tools can be offered to authors, illustrators, and other creative people who don’t have a programming background, then more wonderful apps can be created for kids (and adults).
While we haven’t needed to use Kwik yet, we definitely have plans to do so on future products, so the more complete it is, the easier it will be to use it as a development tool.
In version 1.7, you are providing your expertise and experience for one often requested feature: audio/text sync. How do you foresee this partnership and your expectations on how users will take advantage of this feature?
For children’s picture books, having the words highlight as they are read is a very important feature, and pretty much expected of today’s book apps. Any kids app without this feature is likely to get “dinged” by reviewers. So now that it’s included in Kwik, I’d expect it to be put to great use!
Of course, having really good audio (ideally, professionally recorded), is at least as important as having a great story and compelling art. Having audio/text sync as part of Kwik will remove one barrier to getting this great audio into future apps.
What is next for you and your company?
We’re working on Book 2 of Annie’s Middle School Confidential series, “Real Friends vs. the Other Kind” and hope to have it out as a graphic novel app this year (followed soon thereafter with Book 3, “What’s Up With My Family?”). We’re also following up with our first iBook, “Are You My Friend?”, with several more stories in the Raymond and Sheila series, both for iBook and book apps, as well as another interactive book for kids, “People are Like Lollipops”.
And in our spare time, we’re working on a radio pilot where Annie answers parenting questions.