It’s easy and beyond cool to use tablets to read graphic novels, I personally prefer Comic Zeal for that and I’m quite happy with the experience. Now, Opertoon redefines the whole comic book publishing by a comic slash animation hybrid named Upgrade Soul, a new science fiction graphic novel written and illustrated by Ezra Claytan Daniels and scored by Alexis Gideon.
“Combining comics and interactive media is something I’ve been interested in doing since I first read Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics (which also is a permanent resident of my graphic novel archive and truly an inspirational work -N.) over a decade ago,” says developer Erik Loyer. “It was instantly clear then that the visual language of comics was something that could have amazing applications in interactive storytelling. The challenge is to be really thoughtful about what kind of adaptations you make to the medium so you don’t run roughshod over what’s so powerful about it already. Today, there’s all kinds of fascinating experiments being done with combining the two mediums—I feel like we’re at the very beginning of exploring what’s possible…”
US works on an interactive fiction engine named Opertoonity; coded by Loyer in Unity3D and is designed to exploit the touch and accelerometer controls of tablets and smartphones. We browse dynamic pages in the familiar swipe gesture and shift objects on screen by moving the device, exhibiting neat 3-D effects.
Chapters 1 (free) and 2 (in-app purchase) of the graphic novel are out now. Chapters 3 to 18 will also be released episodically via in-app purchase. Note that you can avail of a special 30-percent-off promo whereby you can buy and preorder chapters 2 to 6 for only $6.99.
Here is a video preview demonstrating the app in action: