Those “Choose your own adventure” books were impressive back in the day. Nowadays, however, most people will likely want something shinier, something all new – something they’ve never seen before.
Developer NARR8 Limited has created a digital book reader that it hopes will be all that, and more.
We spoke to Alexander Vaschenko, founder of the team that developed NARR8, to find out about the what the app does, how it is constantly expanding and improving, and the reasons for making it free to download.
What exactly is NARR8 – and why should people be excited about it?
Alexander Vaschenko: There’s no all-in-one application or place where interactive books of different genres – from motion comics to non-fiction – are done in series sets with constant episode updates.
What does NARR8 offer that you can’t get from reading a comic book or ordinary book?
The integration of rich multimedia elements – such as animations, visual effects, sounds, music and interactive elements. This is a new thing, especially in non-fiction. The aforementioned series principle is also another new thing in terms of comparing NARR8 to an ordinary book.
How have you made sure the app is easy to use, and that it caters for all tastes?
There’s some tutorial in the first episodes where to click and how to navigate. Also we’ve tried to make all the navigation as obvious as we can. And we’ll improve it in the future for sure. In terms of tastes, the app is a 12+ because of some scenes in Subject 9, Prodigal Angel and Final Feat. Currently there are three enres though, which are motion comics, interactive novels (sci-fi and horror) and non-fiction (world history and popular science).
What challenges did you face during the app’s development?
The main challenge was to make rich and fast performing cross-platform content utilizing HTML-5 and other universal technologies. It’s all about making episodes again and again, remaking them until they work and look great.
The app is free to download – but are there any items that can be purchases within it?
This year the app and the content is completely free. Why? We want to get as much users as possible to polish our platform and content, but we have lots of thoughts on how to monetize the content and will decide how that will work better for users in 2013.
Have you got any famous artists or writers to work on some of the stories?
Not yet. We’ve started with unique, specially done content to show our vision. In the future we plan to sign famous artist and writers — we’re really open and will provide them the technology and the distribution platform.
How often will the updates for the app be?
Currently we update the app every eight to ten days, and new episodes in each series are coming every two weeks.
Have you any plans to bring the app to other platforms, such as Android?
Yes. In the first quarter of 2013 we plan to launch Android and Web-versions of the NARR8.
You can download the NARR8 app on your iPad for free now [iTunes link].
The trailer for the app can also be found below: