News, Updates and Whatnot

Bound Featured in AT&T Foundry’s The Future of Entertainment

Bound gets a mentions in the “Future of Entertainment” report by AT&T Foundry! 

“Media is moving away from being a product driven type of experience to a service rooted
experience. In many ways, it’s similar to the evolution that occurred in the gaming industry.
The gaming industry looked a lot like a consumer packaged goods company. Companies had no real
relationships with their customers. Now it’s about an ongoing dialogue. Companies are creating an
experience that continues to grow over time. This is coming in the media industry.”

Matthew Hannus, cofounder Bound

Read the report here: https://www.rocketspace.com/thefuturistreports

Bound and Exiles of Embermark Talk Story

Bound got a nice mention recently on Touch Arcade:

“As we’ve talked about in the past, the developers have decided to use the app Bound as a way to get the game’s story out without burdening the actual app. Each month, we’ll get more of the game’s narrative on Bound, and that will include updates on how the game’s various houses are doing along with other fun tidbits.”

Read the article here:

‘Exiles of Embermark’ Starting to Flesh Out Its Episodic Narrative

Dev Update

Just a quick dev update this time. (You can see our last one here.)

The current focus: Our current focus is on some really nice additions to the community functionality for the platform.

Some design work: Redesigning the series selection screen was a priority and took some research time on our part. Our initial design had contemplated a certain type and amount of content. As we move through development and testing, we found a better way to display information.

Add to the team: We added some iOS dev help in the last couple of weeks but are looking to add to the team.

Want to take a leadership position on our platform team? Check out the current opening here.

One Cool Thing

If you have not tried out Instabug yet, give it a look. It’s a pretty cool tool allowing us to have in-app bug reporting. It automatically captures a screenshot that you can draw on or add a voice note.

Q&A 

We got this question via DM on twitter: Why is the beta private?

We are still working on some UI and front end tweaks in terms of polish, plus opening it up to outside users would also mean a lot more support requests, which we can’t handle at the moment! However, if you want a private demo let us know and we’ll do out best to accomadate!

Be Sure to Connect

Come talk to us! Join like-minded Bound fans and get to know us on these channels:

Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Discord | Linkedin | Medium | AngelList | Pinterest

Meet Our New Partner, Industrial Toys!

We are pretty stoked to officially announce our partnership with Industrial Toys. Bound will be developing an original series expanding on the story from Midnight Star: Renegade. Actually, we have already started and we’ll have some pretty cool announcements soon.

renegade_keyart_nologoOk, a little about Midnight Star: Renegade. Midnight Star: Renegade is a mobile first-person shooter sequel to last year’s Midnight Star game. It already has a well-developed world for us to play in. In fact, check out the graphic novel, Midnight Rises, from sci-fi writer John Scalzi and artist Mike Choi which details the events leading up to the first Midnight Star mobile game. Yes, that’s right – the Midnight Star world and overarching story were created by none other than John Scalzi. Combine that firepower with Industrial Toys CEO Alex Seropian and you have a pretty rad universe.

Touch Arcade called Midnight Star: Renegade “pretty brilliant kind of way to design a first-person shooter” and Awesome Game Blog said “easily a contender for hand-held shooter of the year.

Go ahead and download the Midnight Star: Renegade now and get ready!

1023578-midnightstar

 

We’re Teaming up with Gunslinger Studios!

Ok, so the spiderwolf’s out of the bag. We are happy to officially announce that Gunslinger Studios is one of our first game content partners! We’ll be developing a series as part of Gunslinger’s highly anticipated mobile RPG, Exiles of Embermark. We loved seeing the Bound mention in Pocket Gamer!

eoeheaderWe are very excited to be working with the Gunslinger team. They are insanely talented and love stories and worldbuilding just like us. Some of the things we’ll be doing with Exiles of Embermark fiction have never really been done before. We’ll have some exciting news as we develop the series.

In the meantime, check out the Exiles of Embermark site for more details about the fantasy world and upcoming mobile RPG. It’s one of the best dev blogs out there and the Gunslinger team shares a ton of information. Be sure to join their Discord community as they get the community involved in design decisions for the game.

We were going to ask Gunslinger CEO, Tim Harris for a quote but he is focused on building the most awesome mobile RPG ever. Never disturb a wizard! (He’ll smite you.)

EoE House Banners

Dev Update

We’ve gotten a few requests from community members for dev updates, so here we go!

This is the first in a series of regular development updates from the Bound team. The updates should take place every two or three weeks until replaced with a release and associated release notes. The updates will contain development progress, maybe a screenshot or two, and answers to questions from the community. Please let us know what you think!

If you are just joining us, Bound is a new entertainment format for mobile. Our mission is to bring great storytelling to time-constrained fiction fans in a compelling new mobile format. As we design and develop, we stick to the following design principles:

  • Session length matters!
  • Depth and context make the story better!
  • Community!
  • Deliver story-as-a-service mindset!

Ok so here’s what’s cooking:

Build 0.2.0

BoundSketchfabCurrent build: 0.2.0 (41)

Dev: 0.2.0 (42) is underway. It’s an important build too.

(maybe we’ll rethink our build numbering convention)

When I say the build is important, I mean it will be a major upgrade in the overall experience. We are taking our time on the platform to get it right. After some user testing by the product team, there are some fundamental UX elements that felt off and thus we wanted to make better. We’re building a new experience and sometimes you don’t know what will/won’t work until you build it. That meant reworking some systems, pulling some features out, and really editing ourselves to get the experience desired. While we want to get more feedback, opening testing up to even a small outside group would also mean a lot of support requests, which we wouldn’t be able to manage just yet.

One Cool Thing

All I will mention is that we have a pretty cool Sketchfab integration coming. See the screenshot/GIF in this post. In the GIF, we are viewing a 3D asset from Sketchfab user Mestaty just for demo purposes (not associated with Bound). More details on the storytelling elements of this later.

Q & A

We’ll try to answer community questions in the dev updates. This being the first update, I’ll kick it off with the most common question:

Q1: When Will The Beta Be Ready?!

Ah, always a tricky question. Coming from game development, we are pretty sure any answer we give would probably be wrong! Instead, we’ll keep you updated on our progress, our roadmap, and our content partners. We are focused on delivering a game-changing experience. (It’s election season here in the US, so you get a politician answer.) Soon though I think!

Be Sure to Connect

Finally, join thousands of like-minded story lovers and get to know us on these channels:

Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Discord | Linkedin | Medium | AngelList | Pinterest

The Last 10% is Always the Hardest

Recently we started sharing some announcements about content partners…but what about the platform itself? Well, we are getting really close to having our alpha build ready for some testing. Actually, it’s way further along feature-wise than a typical alpha build but from a service perspective, we are just a little further away from moving into an alpha. Throughout the early testing phases (alpha, closed beta, etc.) we’ll slowly add to our small set of users providing feedback on the experience.

We had hoped to be in alpha by the end of May but we have a little more work to do. We’ll invoke the planning fallacy (“a phenomenon in which predictions about how much time will be needed to complete a future task display an optimism bias”) and Hofstadter’s Law (“it always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter’s Law”) as we overcome The Ninety Ninety Rule (“first 90 percent of the code accounts for the first 90 percent of the development time while the remaining 10 percent of the code accounts for the other 90 percent of the development time”). We’ll share more development updates via email. Join the loads of people who have already signed up for early access and updates.

The last 10% truly is the hardest. We continue to do user testing and we know lots of people are going to love the stories presented on Bound. We have some great content partner announcements coming too. Thanks to everyone that is supporting us. More updates soon!

Bound Teams Up with Former Pixar and Telltale Games Creative Stephan Bugaj

Bound is proud to announce a creative partnership with former Pixar and Telltale Games veteran Stephan Bugaj on Hard Reset, a thrilling sci-fi action series set in a near future where augmented reality and human-like androids are a part of everyday life. Hard Reset tells the story of Kay, a no-nonsense android-hating government agent, who must partner with the agency’s first android law enforcer to prevent a terrorist from destroying the city with a nuclear weapon. Stephan will also be working with us to provide creative direction on some exciting franchises coming to Bound.

165361_489950818304_8083402_nStephan Bugaj’s vast experience spans film, games, comics, and virtual reality. During his nearly twelve-year tenure at Pixar Animation Studios, Stephan co-created and co-wrote two feature film development projects and worked on the visuals and production pipeline for several blockbuster films. As Creative Development Director at Telltale Games, he oversaw all writing and directing for Walking Dead Season 2, The Wolf Among Us, Game of Thrones, and Tales From The Borderlands. At Telltale, he also shepherded nine episode releases and led three season-break writers’ rooms for their award winning series. Stephan is currently developing film, VR, and game projects for Episode Interactive (a division of Pocket Gems), WakingUp Media, Marza Animation Planet, DJ2 Entertainment, The Rogue Initiative, and U2K Entertainment. He is also on the creative advisory boards of Limitless Entertainment and Blackout VR. The first of three graphic novels he wrote in the “Amar” series is currently available on Comixology. Stephan also just completed filming two narrative short films co-starring an android puppet for Hanson Robotics, for whom he serves as VP of Creative.

Welcome aboard, Mr. Bugaj!

See the official announcement below.

*****ANNOUNCEMENT*****

Bound Teams Up with Pixar and Telltale Games Veteran Stephan Bugaj 

New storytelling platform announces partnership with film and game industry professional Stephan Bugaj on upcoming digital fiction series.

Laguna Beach, CA, May 11, 2016 – Today, Bound announced a creative partnership with film and game industry veteran Stephan Bugaj to develop Hard Reset, a thrilling sci-fi drama series. Set in a near future where augmented reality and human-like androids are a part of everyday life, Hard Reset tells the story of Kay, a no-nonsense android-hating government agent, who must partner with the agency’s first android law enforcer to prevent a terrorist from destroying the city with a nuclear weapon.  The series will be one of the first to introduce mobile users to the Bound format.

Stephan Bugaj’s vast experience spans film, games, comics, and virtual reality. During his nearly twelve-year tenure at Pixar Animation Studios Stephan co-created and co-wrote two feature film development projects and worked on the visuals and production pipeline for several blockbuster films. As Creative Development Director at Telltale Games he oversaw all writing and directing for Walking Dead Season 2, The Wolf Among Us, Game of Thrones, and Tales From The Borderlands. At Telltale he also shepherded nine episode releases and led three season-break writers’ rooms for their award winning series. Stephan is currently developing film, VR, and game projects for Episode Interactive (a division of Pocket Gems), WakingUp Media, Marza Animation Planet, DJ2 Entertainment, The Rogue Initiative, and U2K Entertainment. He is also on the creative advisory boards of Limitless Entertainment and Blackout VR. The first of three graphic novels he wrote in the “Amar” series is currently available on Comixology. Stephan also just completed filming two narrative short films co-starring an android puppet for Hanson Robotics, for whom he serves as VP of Creative.

“I am excited about Bound because it’s something I had hoped to create a digital platform to bring back illustrated serialized prose storytelling myself, and I’m glad Matt, Jamie and team saved me the effort,” said Bugaj. “Just like the turn of last century, when illustrated serialized print prose was all the rage, contemporary audiences have busy lives full of change which makes them well suited to enjoy short pieces they can read during their commute or while in line at the store. And making those short pieces serialized allows the reader to return to a familiar world they enjoy each moment they have the time to do so. As a writer accustomed to writing for imagery Bound’s illustrated format fits naturally with how I already think about storytelling. I prefer to focus my words on emotion, dialog and world-building and leave the scene setting and action to the visuals as much as possible, and Bound is the only prose platform to fully embrace that concept.”

Bound will be including Hard Reset as part of its early access release coming soon.

Sign up for early access at www.getbound.io.

About Bound

Founded in 2015 by game and entertainment industry veterans, Bound is a mobile platform providing busy story lovers with an easy to engage episodic prose fiction format via short sessions, in-depth companion material, and integrated community features. The company is based in Southern California. Bound is currently accepting sign-ups for early access. Learn more at www.getbound.io.

Source: Bound

Giveaway Time: Cumulus and Cereal

Congrats to our friend, Eliot Peper, on his successful book launch.  His latest book, Cumulus, is on Amazon’s Best Sellers List in Cyberpunk Science Fiction.

Cumulus, is a new sci-fi story set in a near-future Bay Area ravaged by economic inequality and persistent surveillance.

Enter to win a signed copy of Cumulus and a six-month supply of Cinnamon Toast Crunch!

What does Cinnamon Toast Crunch have to do with Cumulus? You’ll have to read the book to find out.

Contest ends 05/31.

Enter below. (Rules and such found below as well.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Bound Partners with Best-Selling Thriller Author Eliot Peper

We’re excited to announce our partnership with Eliot Peper, author of The Uncommon Series, the #1 top-rated financial thriller on Amazon, to bring some of his future work to Bound. Eliot has been working with us to shape the platform and format. We are excited to be able to bring his work to more people. 

Eliot-44We highly recommend checking out Eliot’s newest novel, Cumulus, available today on Amazon with an adapted version coming soon to Bound. Cumulus takes place in a near-future where economic inequality and persistent surveillance push Oakland to the brink of civil war. It’s a dark, gritty thrill-ride packed with political intrigue, world-changing technology, relentless ambition, and questionable salvation. Eliot will be donating the first 6-months of proceeds from the story to the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Chapter 510, a local literacy nonprofit serving underprivileged youth in Oakland. Look for the Bound version of Cumulus during our early access sneak preview later this year.

The official announcement can be found in its entirety below.

*****ANNOUNCEMENT*****

Bound Partners with Best-Selling Financial Thriller Author Eliot Peper

Bound, a new digital publisher, today announced a partnership with Eliot Peper to adapt his upcoming novels Cumulus and Neon Fever Dream for the Bound mobile app.

Laguna Beach, CA, May 5, 2016  – Today, digital publisher Bound announced a partnership with best-selling financial thriller author Eliot Peper to adapt his novels Cumulus and Neon Fever Dream for the Bound platform. Cumulus takes place in a near-future where economic inequality and persistent surveillance push Oakland to the brink of civil war. It’s a dark, gritty thrill-ride packed with political intrigue, world-changing technology, relentless ambition, and questionable salvation. Eliot will be donating the first 6-months of proceeds from the story to the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Chapter 510, a local literacy nonprofit serving underprivileged youth in Oakland.

Eliot Peper is an author and strategist based in Oakland, CA. He writes fast-paced, deeply-researched stories with diverse casts that explore the intersection of technology and society. His first three books constitute The Uncommon Series, which has attracted a cult following in Silicon Valley and is the #1 top-rated financial thriller on Amazon (think Panama Papers). He’s helped build numerous technology businesses, survived dengue fever, translated Virgil’s Aeneid from the original Latin, worked as an entrepreneur-in-residence at a venture capital firm, and explored the ancient Himalayan kingdom of Mustang. He is currently working on his fifth novel, Neon Fever Dream, about a dark secret hidden in the swirling dust and exultant revelry of Burning Man.

“Working with Bound has been a delight,” said Peper. “In the books business, fiction vastly outsells nonfiction. But fiction is strangely absent in writing on the Internet. Bound is shooting to fill the gap by building a home for top-shelf fiction on mobile. Their team is the most rare of combinations: expert and humble. They are leveraging their experience in building gaming platforms to creating the most engaging and compelling experience possible for readers.”

Bound will be including Cumulus as part of its early access sneak preview. 

“Eliot’s Uncommon Stock Series highlights his skills as a storyteller and his ability to weave an interesting story through the lives of compelling characters inhabiting a dynamic world,” said Jamie Ortiz, Vice President of Story Development at Bound. “It’s been a pleasure collaborating with Eliot to adapt Cumulus for Bound to enhance the story with creative concept art and detailed source materials.”

Fans of fiction can learn more about Bound and sign up for early access at www.getbound.io.

About Bound

Founded in 2015 by game and entertainment industry veterans, Bound is a mobile platform providing busy story lovers with an easy-to-engage episodic prose fiction format via short sessions, in-depth companion materials, and integrated community features. The company is based in Southern California. Bound is currently accepting sign-ups for early access. Learn more at www.getbound.io.

Source: Bound

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