Emerald City ComicCon: 4 Tools to Help Keep It Close All Year
Emerald City ComicCon is a wrap. The Main Stage is quiet. The autograph hall is empty. The vendors have packed their wares away, heading off to Chicago or San Diego or Atlanta for their next Con.
I share that post-Con wistful feeling, but technology can curb the yearn and help give your geek receptors an occasional jolt.
Here are four software offerings that will let you extend your ECCC experience at home or work.
Unlike VR, everyone reading this article already owns an AR device in their smartphone or tablet. Decalcomania has partnered with Marvel to capitalize on AR with $29.99 superhero decals that turn your walls into AR triggers. Simply download their app from Apple iTunes or at the Google Play Store, enable your camera in the app then point it at the decal. Watch Spiderman crawl, see Hulk smash or duck as Thor swings his mighty hammer.
You know you admired the Hulk, Spiderman, Thor or Ironman cosplay at the con (or wore it yourself). With this app, you can bring those characters into your home or your office. Think how much more entertaining a snack break will be if you shared it occasionally with Thor. Think of these decals not just as AR triggers, but as heroes on-demand.
Key Collector Comics keycollectorcomics.com
If you picked up an exclusive comic at ECCC or another con, then at some point, you may want to check out Key Collector Comics. Developer Nick Coglianese realized when helping a friend organize a collection, that there isn’t a good way of knowing which issues are really valuable. The 7,000 item database only reflects the most important issues, or “key issues” from the Golden Age of the 1930s to last week’s ECCC. The app will not only tell you if you have a treasure, it will help give some guidance on pricing if you collect at shows or online.
If you are looking to imbue your personal Con experiences with comic book flair, then you may want to download kwkcomic to your Apple iPhone or Android device. This quirky little app lets you transform images and drawings stored on your phone into comics, complete with word balloons, drawn characters, and even a little animation. It’s still a work in progress, and taking to the next level requires in-app purchases/ But if you want to turn your cosplay selfie into comic commentary, this may be the app for you. Requires a free account for sharing images with the KWKComic community.
The Way of Kings: Escape the Shattered Plains VR
If you own a VR rig, then you might want to take a look at the Arcturus imagining of Brandon Sanderson Stormlight Archive Cosmere world. The Way of Kings: Escape the Shattered Plains, designed by Acturus Creative Director, Ewan Johnson, transforms Sanderson’s words into a very visceral experience filled with craggy cliffs, glowing plant life, sentient and reactive life forms, and of course, threats to your life, or rather the life of your character, Kaladin. Johnson brings his skills forged in family animation on such films as Toy Story, Finding Nemo and Cars, and takes them down dark and thrilling visual and mental crevices.
Brandon fans will find his “magic system” as he refers to it, fully realized within the scope of the game. A fairy-like spren offers guidance and training sets get players ready for battle. Johnson concentrated on building a story that permits deep visual exploration and jolting experiences. The game isn’t aligned with Brandon’s narrative so much as representing an alternative journey through Cosmere. The creatures, both passive and aggressive, arrive in jarring detail and proximity that can only be experienced on the best VR games—or in the real world. Gameplay is brief by design.
Attending a con can feel like a trip to a virtual world. We all imagine alternate realities as we prepare, wander and remember. VR games provide a repeatable place to recharge your imagination when the real world starts to look a little too 2D.
The Way of Kings: Escape the Shattered Plains is available now for $10.99 on Steam.
Dodl.es, now in beta, offers a personal animation studio that simplifies much of the technical knowledge required for animation, offering would-be animators a more accessible too for crafting animation.
While the app offers a complete animation platform that can deliver quality digital marketing content, animations and even video games, the company’s real innovation comes in its social environment. Creators can share images to garner love and comment on the work of others. dodl.es wants to create a community where animators can collaborate and co-create. The company seeks to become an animation marketplace for creators, a kind of online Artists Alley. Dodl.es will be free to creatives. The company will generate their revenue from advertising and taking a percentage from those selling characters, sounds and objects in the Dodl.es market.
Dodl.es put social front-and-center at ECCC, providing sticky notes and hearts so attendees could draw and express their admiration in realtime, in the real world.
Dodl.es will offer web, iOS and Android with social connections to services like Instagram and Twitter. The Kickstarter funded project is in closed beta but should be released soon. Once you start using it, you may find a new connection to the creators you meet on the floor (and maybe even become one yourself).
Keep your con blood pumping
Even if you attend more than one con a year, there are still months of little but passive media consumption between them. These four apps will help supplement board game dates, cosplay construction and cataloging your collections with new content, insight and innovative entertainment that will help return you to your happy place.
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