Corona App of the Week Guest Post

As developers of the App of the Week, we were invited to write a guest post on the Ansca blog. We talked a bit about ourselves, the development process, the app and its background story.

Read the full post below.

Rares and Anamaria Working in Their Kitchen

After graduating from film school in 2008 we discovered mobile apps as a potentially great medium to distribute our work, explore new possibilities for storytelling and new audiences.

The two of us also met that year and it was clear to us from the beginning that we wanted to work together and be as independent as possible while doing so. I had seen Steve Jobs’ keynote in which he introduced the iPhone SDK and the App Store earlier that year and I recognized it as a good opportunity to create and distribute our work outside the conventions of the established system. An opportunity that most importantly allows us to be a lot more independent and focus on the creative part, rather than the bureaucracy of getting a project funded, something that young film-makers often have to face.

After securing some funding from a friend, we started New Mindflow in 2009 with the idea of exploring games as a new medium to tell our stories and engage our audience in a way that isn’t yet possible with films. We had a couple of great projects and we were set on hiring graphic artists and developers to get them done. But after almost two and a half years in which we had numerous setbacks and our high standards conflicted with our limited budget and the high costs of producing a great game, we re-founded the company in October 2011 to give commercial life to some of our artistic projects.

For now, New Mindflow is just the two of us, Rares Kovesdi and Anamaria Chioveanu and that’s also evident in our first app, Where’s Paradise? All of the app’s content (film, photos, text) is made by us, we also designed the UI and the app and finally we developed it. However, by using Corona and Kwik, this last part, the development process, was by far the shortest. Preparing the content and designing the app took almost a year, building the app with Corona and Kwik took less than two weeks.

Given our artistic background, we have no experience or training as coders, however, with Corona and Kwik we not only managed to produce an app that we are happy with and proud of, but more importantly the app is very stable and responsive, something that isn’t the case for a lot of interactive ebooks we saw in the App Store.

Even though the app has yet to see any real success, the experience of making it was a great one for us. We got to make a film and prepare a “digital photo exhibition” together; I, Rares got to manifest my techie side and Anamaria got to rekindle her passion for drawing while making the map and the app icon. But most importantly we have proven to ourselves that we can still continue to make the apps that we want even without outside funding.

For now, New Mindflow will be focusing on bringing to market some of our artistic projects, including an illustrated interactive storybook in the near future. However, we still have some game

projects in development about which you can find out more by going to the Projects section of our website.

Getting to the app itself, the Where’s Paradise? series puts side by side the western idea of paradise that conjures images of small tropical islands with white sandy beaches and coconut groves and the actual lives of the actual people that live in these often remote places. The first episode focuses on the island of Nusa Lembongan, 20km SE of Bali.

We like to think of the app as a new kind of a book; a new medium for presenting a film; a new means of exhibiting photos and a new way of experiencing an artistic inquiry.

To find out more about Where’s Paradise?, the project and the app, head over to our website.

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App 25. A sci-fi tale about how a being from another world sees humans and humanity.