How to Make a Brilliant Story App, by Nosy Crow

How to Make a Brilliant Story App, by Nosy Crow

5th June 2014 < Back

The Nosy Crow team tell us how they go about creating story apps like Little Red Riding Hood

1. First, choose what story you’d like to tell! We’ve made lots (well, four) apps based on fairytales so far – they work well because they’re popular all over the world, children already know the stories, and they’re really exciting. Giants! Kings and Princesses! Cross-dressing wolves! Fairytales have EVERYTHING.

2. Next, decide how you’d like to tell your story. Our apps have lots of clever ways of drawing you in – there are tasks to complete, places to explore, lots of characters, and all sorts of fun extras. Sometimes you can choose different paths and make a new story every time!

3. Once you’ve decided the “what” and the “how”, it’s time to start drawing! Ed Bryan is the incredible illustrator behind our apps. First he starts with some pencil sketches (these ones are from our Little Red Riding Hood app):

And then he adds colour and more detail on a computer:

4. Once the characters have been drawn, Ed and another brilliant member of the Nosy Crow team, AJ, animate them. So that their arms and legs can move around properly and look real, the characters are separated into lots of different parts.

The drawings are also put onto a 'wire frame' so that they look solid and three-dimensional.

5. Lots of computer code is written into the apps, telling them exactly how to work and what to do. There can be hundreds of THOUSANDS of lines of code in each app. Our coder is the amazing Will Bryan.

6. Then it’s time to write all of the text that appears in the app! As well as the main story, each character has lots of dialogue, which you can trigger by touching them. A few of us sit down to write the text together, but there’s always extra bits that we add later on!

7. Once we have our text written down, we can record it. We go to a recording studio, where all of the parts are read aloud by children. By this stage we’re nearly finished with the app! We also add sound effects and original music.

8. The last thing we do is test the app lots to make sure it doesn’t break – this is called bug fixing.

And that’s it! We hope you enjoy reading our apps lots and lots – and hopefully even more, now that you know how they’re made!