It’s my pleasure today to present a new iOS app we’ve been working on for some time with the visionary team at Chafie Creative. Available now in the App Store, it’s an interactive version of The Survivors novel by Amanda Havard, previously available in print and ebook editions. We are calling this app
the Immersedition. From my very first meeting with Amanda and the Chafie team, I could tell that this would be no ordinary project. There would be music from world-class performers, there would be original video, historical documents, photos of places, hot cars, and hotter fashion. We would need to produce illustrations in a variety of period styles, of subjects ranging from gorgeous to grotesque. We would need Google maps, Twitter feeds and Facebook walls, and all of this wrapped in a few hundred pages of supernatural mystery. Yet above all we wanted to make sure that the interactive widgets shouldn’t steal the show, indeed the whole experience was geared to be as book-like as possible, with the media items concealed unless the reader tapped on subtle watermarks behind the text. The app also needed to work across iPad and iPhone screens in both portrait and landscape orientations. So fixed layouts were out, the pages needed to flow fluidly to fit the space they were presented in. Of course none of these desired features would be possible without the right technology, something conductive to long form text-based content that was nonetheless flexible enough to support interactive elements. We considered some standard ebook formats but these didn’t seem like they could support the full range of features this project demanded – elements like Twitter integration, or a persistent music player. Conversely our own authoring tool, Demibooks Composer – which we normally use for in-house book projects – wasn’t up to this particular task either. Composer was designed more for fixed-layout experiences, it isn’t so suitable (yet) for the longer tracts of continuous text that make up a typical novel.
So we went back to the drawing board with the Chafie team, and together really dug deep to bring you a reading experience unlike any other. We hope you like it!