At YipYip we not only work for awesome clients, we also try to make available as much time possible to develop and publish our own projects. After finishing The Land of Mislaid we were looking for a new story to tell. Gwen Stok, with whom we worked on Bru-taal, had just started here own little side project and one day showed us her drawings. The drawings were renditions of scenes from a well known short story by Toon Tellegen and we instantly were in love.
After some convincing she agreed to let us join to reform her original idea of a more traditional picture book into an interactive story app. After we got permission from Toon Tellegen and Querido, the original publisher of the story, we could kick off the development and start an incredible journey.
With this app we wanted to reinvent the way one could tell stories with a touch device. Most of the story apps are incredibly close to traditional picture books, where you go from one page to the next. We wanted to find ways where the continuation of the story was more close to an animated movie then to the staticness of a book. But we also wanted to make an app that would embrace the fact that you were still reading a story. In most kids apps, the young ones get easily distracted with pressing every little thing to create noises and movements, barely paying any attention to the overarching. We cut almost every unnecessary distraction just to keep the focus on the main characters and their adventure. We also thought long and hard about various interactions that would actually accentuate events in the story. Not everything turned out to be as effective or transparent and a lot got scratched, but we still think our app is a unique experience.
Although I grew very accustomed to compose the music for most project I have worked on the last couple of years, I felt that this story needed a sound and vibe I was not sure I could bring to the table. Mainly because my music is very piano heavy and I just kept hearing guitars and banjo’s, instruments I could not play well if my life depended on it. I also knew exactly who I wanted to make the music and thankfully my most favorite Dutch band Half Way Station said yes and shortly after, one after the other amazing track started to appear in my mailbox. Rikke and Elma turned out to be huge fans of Tellegen as well so the core team all shared a warm heart to the elephant, the squirrel and all other characters.
We had a great launch night and mister Tellegen himself dropped by to read the story while Half Way Station played their songs live. I am incredibly proud to have experienced this journey and hope you will give our app a try!
‘Een Verre Reis’ was made possible with a grant from The Dutch Foundation for Literature!
‘A Distant Journey’ won