News, Updates and Whatnot

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!

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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

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

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

Bound Signs Award-Winning Game Writer Matt Entin

While we’ve been busy working on our platform, some great writers have been working with us developing original content for Bound. Given our team’s history in the game space, it’s probably no surprise that some of our first writers have game backgrounds. We thought we would introduce one such writer.

Bound is proud to announce that we have partnered with award-winning game writer Matt Entin on a new series, The Incorporated. Matt was one of the first to pitch us on a story last fall. The Incorporated is a dystopian sci-fi series that imagines an America under corpocratic rule. Matt’s series will be a one of the first series available during Bound’s early access later this spring.

entin1Matt Entin’s writing experience spans interactive fiction, games, and film. Entin won “The Game Awards – Best Narrative 2014 ” for his work on Valiant Hearts: The Great War (Ubisoft). If you haven’t played it, you really should check it out.  Matt also worked on Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude (High Voltage Games/Sierra), Comic Jumper: The Adventures of Captain Smiley (Twisted Pixel Games/Microsoft), and LocoCycle (Twisted Pixel Games/Microsoft). You should also check out his work on the 2015 horror comedy film, Lumberjack Man, starring Michael Madsen and featured in After Dark’s 8 Films to Die For.

Welcome aboard, Mr. Entin!

See the official announcement below.

*****ANNOUNCEMENT*****

Bound Announces New Series From Award-Winning Game Writer Matt Entin

Bound, a new digital fiction platform, announced that we have partnered with award-winning game writer Matt Entin.

Laguna Beach, CA, April 26, 2016  – Today, Bound announced it has partnered with award-winning game writer Matt Entin to develop a new Bound digital fiction series, The Incorporated. The series will be one of the first to introduce mobile users to the Bound format. The Incorporated is a dystopian sci-fi series that imagines an America under corpocratic rule.

Matt Entin’s writing experience spans interactive fiction, games, and film. Entin won the 2014 The Game Awards – Best Narrative for his work on Valiant Hearts: The Great War (Ubisoft). His game writing credits also include Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude (High Voltage Games/Sierra), Comic Jumper: The Adventures of Captain Smiley (Twisted Pixel Games/Microsoft), and LocoCycle (Twisted Pixel Games/Microsoft). Entin’s film credits include the horror comedy film, Lumberjack Man, starring Michael Madsen and featured in After Dark’s 8 Films to Die For.

“As a video game writer, I’m trained to embrace brevity and to go in-depth regarding world-building,” said Entin, “so Bound’s unique format was perfectly tailored to my style of storytelling.”
Bound will be including The Incorporated as part of its early access release coming soon. Each Bound series will be presented in a “season format” on the Bound mobile app. Seasons will be delivered via episodes ranging from 500-3,000 words in length, with an entire season being about 25,000-30,000 words. The Bound format aims to appeal to mobile users.

“Above all, we’re looking for experienced storytellers who can bring a world and its characters to life. Matt has honed his narrative skills over the years writing across several genres for games and film, making him a perfect fit for Bound,” said Jamie Ortiz, Vice President of Story Development at Bound. “I’m looking forward to working with Matt to take advantage of the platform’s storytelling capabilities to fully realize his creative vision for The Incorporated.”

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

We are accepting submissions!

Since we announced our plans for Bound last year, we have received a good deal of interest about writing opportunities. We wanted to make some information available to those that are considering working with us.

Please check our Submissions page for information.

Introducing Bound’s Advisors

Getting Bound from concept to launch would not be possible without the knowledge input and involvement of a great team of advisors. We assembled a multi-disciplinary team of experts to help us navigate a number of new challenges for our team.

Building a company around the idea of rethinking prose fiction for mobile requires input from great storytellers, designers, technologists, strategists, and operators. We are very lucky to have an advisory team that has really been as much ‘collaborators’ as ‘advisors’. We would not be looking at launch without them.

We have already introduced some of our advisors (Alex Seropian, Chris Avellone, Jon Goldman and Nick Perrett). We wanted to introduce the entire advisory team!

The Line-Up

Chris D’Amico is currently SVP, Group Creative Director — Art at Boston-based Hill Holliday. Chris’ extensive resume also includes Creative Director roles at both Deutsch and DraftFCB where he worked on award-winning campaigns for clients from Mitsubishi and Taco Bell to Coors Light, Expedia, and ESPN’s X-Games.

Robert Drobish is an experienced founder, investor, and advisor. He served in executive roles at several high growth companies including True Games Interactive, K2 Network, and Paciolan.

Tim Harris is currently the President of game developer Industrial Toys based in Pasadena, CA. Tim spent time in executive roles at Denuo, SMG Play, Seven Lights, Starcom IP, and Launch/Yahoo! Music. He also owns a pretty awesome comic book shop, AlleyCat Comics.

Tobin Lent draws from 15 years experience in executive management growing start-up companies in mobile, web and social games. Previously the CEO and co-founder of Punch Entertainment, an award-winning mobile games developer and publisher which was bought by DeNA in September 2011. He currently serves as Head of Technology Partnerships at MaxPlay.

Eliot Peper is a writer and strategist based in Oakland, CA. He is the author of The Uncommon Series and when he’s not hacking away at his next novel, he works with entrepreneurs and investors to build new technology businesses as a drop-in operator and adviser.

This great group joins fellow Bound advisors Alex Seropian, Chris Avellone, Jon Goldman and Nick Perrett.

We are thrilled these experts join us in our mission to rethink prose fiction for mobile. Welcome!

Sign up to request access to our Beta at www.getbound.io.

Entertainment Industry Veterans Jon Goldman and Nick Perrett Join Bound as Advisors

We are very excited to welcome two leading figures from the entertainment and publishing world, Jon Goldman and Nick Perrett. Jon and Nick join Alex Seropian and Chris Avellone as advisors to Bound. With the addition of Jon and Nick as advisors, we are assembling a true all-star team with decades of experience building some of the best worlds in fiction. Our extended team brings a unique perspective to combining an understanding of great storytelling and creating great user experiences through technology. We are really excited to have them involved.

27798Jon Goldman_LGAbout Jon Goldman

Jon is Managing Partner for Skybound, the IP holder of The Walking Dead and other top IPs. Based in Los Angeles, Jon is also a venture partner with Greycroft where he focuses on new businesses, including videogames and experiential entertainment. Previously, Jon served as board member and CEO for two portfolio companies at Jerusalem Venture Partners in videogames and online video. Jon was a founder, Chairman and CEO of Foundation 9 Entertainment.

Learn more about Jon here.

About Nick Perrett

Nick Perrett currennick (1)tly runs specialist advisory business, where he advises, invests in and builds new businesses. He was previously Group Strategy and Digital Director of HarperCollins, a division of News Corporation. He held responsibility across digital product development, marketing, business development, M&A and strategy. Mr Perrett previously spent a decade in video games, most recently as EVP & CEO North American Studios at Jagex. He trained in venture capital and management consultancy and is a graduate of Bristol University and Harvard Business School. He also serves as the sole European mentor at The Disney Accelerator in LA and mentor for Techstars, Seedcamp in London.

Learn more about Nick here.

Award-Winning Game Developer Alex Seropian Joins Bound Advisory Board

alexander_seropianWe are extremely pleased to welcome Alex Seropian.

Alexander Seropian is the founder and CEO of Industrial Toys, a studio focused on building mobile games for core gamers.  Alex began his career in  games in 1991 as the founder of Bungie Studios. Under his guidance, Bungie created some of the most celebrated game franchises in the industry, including Marathon, Myth, Oni, and the blockbuster Halo series. Building on the success of Bungie, he founded Wideload Games, an independent game developer that produced award-winning titles such as Stubbs the Zombie and Guilty Party. In 2009, Wideload was acquired by Disney Interactive Media Group and Alex became Senior Vice President and General Manager of Core Video Games for The Walt Disney Company where he built interactive franchises for major brands such as Mickey Mouse, Pixar, and Marvel.

Alex shares our love for great stories as well as our passion for new formats. Case in point is Midnight Rises, the tie-in graphic novel app from sci-fi writer John Scalzi and artist Mike Choi which details the events leading up to the Midnight Star mobile game.  The graphic novel contains extra story content and elements that serve as the “geek-apedia” for fans who want to dive deeper into the game’s lore.There are numerous parallels between the worlds Alex has created ─ from Halo to Midnight Star ─ and the types of stories that we hope to tell here at Bound.

We are honored to have Alex’s counsel. Be sure to follow him on Twitter and check out his great work over Industrial Toys!

Oh, and sign up to request access to our Beta at www.getbound.io.

Master Storyteller Chris Avellone Joins Bound as Creative Advisor!

Over the next couple of months, we’ll introduce you to some of the talented people who have been supporting Bound as advisors and collaborators. We’re really excited to have the support of some of the most talented creatives in the interactive entertainment industry today. They share our vision of what we believe we can do as a company here at Bound, and we look forward to them bringing their own unique perspectives to creating prose fiction for the modern mobile user.

We are excited to introduce one such person, Chris Avellone! Chris was one of our earliest supporters and we are thrilled to have him on board. If you like Chris’s stuff, you are going to like Bound.

Chris began his career at Black Isle Studios, working on Planescape: Torment, Fallout 2, the Icewind Dale series, Dark Alliance, Knights of the Old Republic II, Neverwinter Nights 2, Mask of the Betrayer, Alpha Protocol, Fallout: New Vegas + DLC: Dead Money, Old World Blues, Lonesome Road, and South Park. His more recent work includes inXile’s Wasteland 2, FTL: Advanced Edition, Pillars of Eternity, and is currently working on inXile’s Torment: Tides of Numenera and with Larian Studios on Divinity: Original Sin II.

Chris was kind enough to share some thoughts on Bound:

“For me, the promise of breaking prose traditions and incorporating additional lore elements (interactive dungeon/city maps, and evolving intel sheets on major cast of characters, for example) made me feel as if Bound is able to bring together a small one or two person team to design an interactive prose “game” of sorts. The more you explore the story and learn more about the lands and characters, the deeper the lore becomes.

The model of prose on most handheld devices is based largely on mimicking traditional paper works, and it feels like only a small part of what a mobile platform can do. What intrigued me about Bound was it allows you to do something more with the story you’re trying to tell and molding the prose to match the technology you’re reading it on. Speaking as someone who usually has a bunch of lore surrounding the story (and sometimes maps), the opportunity to share that naturally with a community of readers is intriguing. So when Matt explained Bound to me, I told him it was a brilliant idea and long overdue.”

We hope we can live up to that!

Give Chris a follow on twitter and check out some of his work!

Oh, and sign up to request access to our Beta at www.getbound.io.

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