While the idea of creating a storybook app for kids was always in the back of my mind, I envisioned the process would be very, very different than it actually turned out to be. The “idea” began 3 years ago with my thesis project, laboring over character breakdown sheets, storyboards that weren’t working out, basically hitting a wall everywhere I turned. Thinking that because I was creating for kids, it was going to be a fun project, it turns out, in the beginning this was not one of those. The low point was definitely the week before my thesis review, I got the chicken pox for the second time in my adult life, and had to postpone my review, needless to say things were not going MY way. It was in that moment of sheer despair, laying in bed, miserable, that I began to sketch. I realized that I had gotten so wrapped up in the process that I forgot why I started in the first place. It was a simple idea, to create a fun experience for kids thru great storytelling and cute characters, and I had finally found my way back to that moment. I knew I wanted a specific look for my characters and for the app itself, I didn’t want to churn out your run of the mill kids app, and create my characters digitally. So I ended up creating them by hand, and by hand, I mean painting tissue paper with watercolors, and assembling my character pieces from there. I followed my heart and my gut and created the thing I wanted to, achieved the look I wanted, and it turned out to be the right thing to do.
After the characters were created and the story was written, we developed a beta version of the app and tested it on kids of all ages, even a few adults too! Getting the opportunity to actually test the beta version on our target audience gave us the insight we needed to develop the app further. We always knew we wanted to take the “fun with education” approach while developing, so were able to expand on that and give kids a learning experience they can actually apply in the real world. Our users were having so much fun putting all the ingredients together, we knew we were on the right track in our development process.
After our final creative edit, we designed and illustrated each story page and it was then time to program and animate the characters. Thank goodness this was not my first time animating characters because we had a few challenges along the way. Our main focus was to make the characters interactive when you tap them, so we worked really hard to make each page fun and an experience they would want to return to, again and again. It was a long and difficult process at times, but we are so excited about our product and can’t wait for the launch in a couple of weeks.
We hoped you enjoyed this small behind the scenes look at the development of Cherry chickens very cherry birthday party app, and we hope you enjoy the story!