Last week a tweet came across the Twitter feed from Jimmy Kimmel. Yes, that Jimmy Kimmel. Of Jimmy Kimmel Live fame. I follow him on Twitter for a couple of reasons: First, he’s pretty funny. I occasionally stay up late enough to watch his show, and when I do I’m usually glad I did; secondly, he’s a fly fisherman.
The tweet in question from August 23rd said:
“my hobbies include updating software and compulsively recharging devices”.
That’s funny, if you’re prone to the same activities, and many of us are. In fact, I’d just finished updating apps on my iPhone and iPad, and had one of them plugged in, recharging (I was using the other). Jimmy’s tweet came just 2 days after Olive the Woolly Bugger and Chuckin’ Bugs went live in the the App Store, so I did as any rational person would have done; I replied to his tweet:
Of course my tweet fell on deaf ears, or rather blind eyes. After all, Jimmy Kimmel has 1,631,375 followers on Twitter. I have 746. He follows only 191 people. Jimmy Kimmel does not follow me. But, the way Twitter works is that you can tag someone and theoretically they
will might see the message.
Well, I’ve decided my latest campaign is to get Jimmy Kimmel to see Chuckin’ Bugs. I want him to download the app onto his iPad. I mentioned that he’s a fly fisherman? Well, he’s probably way too busy to fish as much as he’d like, so why not spend a little time between shows chuckin’ some bugs away from the river?
If you are inclined toward Twitter, let’s call him out. Let’s get Jimmy to chuck some bugs. Maybe he’ll even chuck some on his show…stranger things have happened.
Just tweet this message:
Hey @jimmykimmel — recharge your iPad and chuck some bugs! http://chuckinbugs.com/ @olivewoollybugr #flyfishing
Sooner or later he’s going to see one of the tweets, and be curious.
August 21, 2012 at 10PM (Pacific Standard Time) Olive the Woolly Bugger and Chuckin’ Bugs 101 are officially available for download!
For detailed information about the apps, please check out this page HERE.
App descriptions are also available when you visit the App Store.
For Olive the Woolly Bugger, click this link.
For Chuckin’ Bugs 101, click this link.
Obviously I’m very excited to finally launch the apps. I would appreciate if you’d take time to review the apps once you’ve downloaded them.
Thanks for your continued support as Olive spreads the word that fly fishing is fun for kids!
Beta versions have been tested…
Bugs have been eradicated (hopefully, every single one of those nasty little pests)…
The apps have been submitted to Apple for their blessing…
And now we wait…
In hopefully less than ten days, it’ll be launch time!
Here’s what the past 4+ months of hard work have resulted in:
Olive the Woolly Bugger (paid version)
This is the full meal deal which includes the entire 41-page story, complete with a narration mode (or read by yourself), interactive pop-up screens, animations, and the game, Chuckin’ Bugs. The app price will be a very modest $1.99 at the time of launch.
Olive the Woolly Bugger Lite (free version)
This is the scaled-down app that includes half of story (22 pages). It also includes a narration mode (or read by yourself), interactive pop-up screens, animations. The idea here is that people will download this app without a second thought, and get hooked on Olive. Naturally they’ll then proceed to the App Store and purchase the full version.
Chuckin’ Bugs 101
This game is a standalone app (included in the paid version of Olive) that will also be free to download. It’s a simple, 4-level game that will provide some challenges for younger players. Older kids may master it fairly quickly, but achieving a perfect score will take a bit of effort. The ‘101’ designation is indicative of plans for a more robust version of the game in the future. Chuckin’ Bugs 201 will have additional levels and a greater degree of difficulty, plus a lot more.
Thanks once again for your continued support, and stay tuned for the formal announcement within the coming days!
If you want to see some screen shots and more detailed info, please go HERE.
The book portion of the app, Olive the Woolly Bugger, is just about completely ready for launch. The most recent beta version will be going out to testers within a day. I’ve been through it over and over and haven’t found any bugs.
The game portion of the app, Chuckin’ Bugs, is not quite on par with Olive as far as readiness. Everything is in place and working for the most part, but there have been some nagging “bugs”. This is to be expected, particularly with an app titled, Chuckin’ Bugs 😉 Once Chuckin’ Bugs is deemed clean, it will be integrated into the Olive app, and ready to go. I’m hoping that by the end of the first week of August, the developer will be ready to hand off the app to Apple for inclusion in their App Store.
There will actually be three separate apps available for download:
• Olive the Woolly Bugger–the full meal deal which will be a paid app (very attractively priced)
• Olive the Woolly Bugger Lite–a scaled down, free version that does not include the entire story or Chuckin’ Bugs
• Chuckin’ Bugs–the game as a standalone app
Stay tuned for the formal announcement when the app is ready for public consumption!
As many know by now, Olive’s Kickstarter campaign was very successful, exceeding the goal and allowing for additional features in the app. Many thanks to all who supported the project and a very special thanks to the corporate sponsors: Angling University, FlyFishMap.com, Redington, Orvis, Mill River Fly Rods, Fly Fusion Magazine, Peak Fishing, Montana Fly Company, Blue River Fly Company, and Al Ritt Flies.
Development is nearing completion for the book part of the app, which is a condensed version of the stories from Olive the Little Woolly Bugger and Olive and The Big Stream (books 1 and 2 of the 3 book series). In addition to the illustrations and story that have made the printed books popular, there are many additional features in the app that make it a more robust learning tool for young readers. For example, kids will be able to tap an object or a word and the definition will pop up. In this instance, the words “woolly bugger” are highlighted in the text. When tapped, this screen will load:
Another example is the word “trout”, which when tapped displays this screen:
Many of the illustrations have simple animations that play when the reader taps an “animate” button. Not all pages are animated as I didn’t want animations to become too distracting or gratuitous. The animations are very short and simply bring a little bit of added dimension to the reading experience. But kids will be kids, and no doubt they will want to play the animations over and over. I know I will.
I’ve really enjoyed creating the graphics for the app and it’s been a thrill seeing it take form through several beta versions. I guesstimated that I would spend about 80 hours on the app myself. I passed that mark a looong time ago. It has been much more work than I originally estimated, but it has really scratched my creative itch. I’ve gotten to wear many hats during the process: animator, illustrator, interface designer, etc. Working with the guys at The Pixel Rebel, the app developer, has been great. Their suggestions, expertise and enthusiasm has really helped the app take shape into something we’ll all be very proud of. Kudos to Jonathan Foos for his technical wizardry in being able to implement everything I’ve wanted to do. I hope I haven’t driven him crazy, yet 😉 We’ll see. The next phase of the app will be really cool once it’s completed and I can’t wait to see how it turns out…
A bonus feature in the app is a simple game called, Chuckin’ Bugs. It’s really just for fun although there are elements of real world fly fishing as a basis for the game. For example, the fish don’t always cooperate and there is always the threat of getting skunked! Kids love games, there’s no denying that. As an author and someone who worked in educational software development years ago, I really want to offer kids something with some substance. But when I got the idea for this game I just couldn’t help but indulge myself. Besides, if kids are going to be playing a game, it’s best that it be something that gets them thinking about fly fishing, right?!
If all goes as intended, the app will be completed within the next few weeks. After de-bugging (a term that seems oddly fitting) the app will be submitted for approval by the powers that be at Apple. Once that has been accomplished the app will be available on iTunes. At least that’s how I think the process will go. Once all is said and done, then comes the vastly important part of the app’s success: spreading the word.
You’re going to want to acquire an iPad if you don’t already have one.
A couple of months ago I posted about Olive receiving a nice nod in the 2012 Fishing Annual issue of Outdoor Canada magazine. The books, as well as the fly box and nippers by Montana Fly Company, were given the Best New Gear Award for Kids. The accolade was quite a welcome surprise. Wayne Phillips is the writer behind the gear reviews, and while I did know from correspondence with Wayne several months ago that he was going to review Olive, I didn’t know when or exactly what the review would entail. I’m grateful for Wayne’s interest in Olive, which you can see here.
As it turns out, Wayne is a good guy to know because he also writes a weekly column for the Saskatoon Sun. In the October 23, 2011 issue his column discussed the value in teaching kids about fishing and getting outdoors, and featured Olive. Wayne sent me a nice letter with a photocopy of the article:
Thank you, Wayne, for your interest in Olive, and for the really nice things you had to say. With your help,I hope that Canada will get hooked on Olive!
Recently I’ve been talking about Olive’s plans for an iPad app, and it’s officially in development. Olive has also launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise awareness and hopefully funding for the project.
As a fan of Olive, I hope you’ll take a look and consider backing her project, which can be found HERE:
Thanks for your support!
In our modern, fast-paced world where mobile devices reign supreme, apps have become exceedingly popular. Unless you live under a rock you know that there are apps for just about everything imaginable, so the catch phrase, “there’s an app for that” isn’t really much of an exaggeration.
And soon, you’ll be able to say that about Olive, too.
Olive will be entering into the mobile world with an iPad app that will be a digital book featuring a condensed version of Olive the Little Woolly Bugger and Olive and The Big Stream. If your kids already gotten hooked on Olive’s print books, not to worry—this isn’t going to be just the stories translated to a digital medium. There will be interactive features so kids can learn about additional elements pertaining to the story. The text will scroll so that kids can read the story by themselves, or they’ll be able to switch on a mode whereby the story is narrated, with words high-lighted; a feature that will help early readers. There’ll also be some game play, including a fun little number called Chuckin’ Bugs.
A key point of the Olive books is to get kids interested in learning about fly fishing, and outside away from video games, cell phones and yes, iPads. So, you may be asking, ‘why jump on the bandwagon and become part of the nature-deficit problem?’ I don’t see this as becoming part of the problem at all, rather adopting the technology that kids (and everyone) have already embraced, and using it to communicate the value in getting outside. If kids are going to be sitting around playing with their iPads, they may as well play with something educational and entertaining that still encourages outdoor activity. There’s no app for actually going out and exploring a stream, turning over rocks to look at bugs, and wetting a line—but soon there will be an app that celebrates that.
By the way, if you’re a fly fishing company and would like to sponsor this app, I’m fielding inquiries.
Simon Beaufoy is the Oscar-winning screenwriter for Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, which will be officially released on March 9th in the States. As someone who had never partaken of fly fishing prior to his involvement in the film, Beaufoy has some very interesting thoughts about fly fishing in this article.
“Before I started I thought fishing was kind of a stupid sport. It never really attracted me… They have all this gear and they stand there and do nothing. But I thought I better go fly fishing because that’s what the book is sort of about and I need to understand where this strange meditative sense comes from in the Sheik and his fishing. I was absolutely hopeless at it but I could completely see how it becomes incredibly addictive and incredibly calming. I understood that this is a metaphor for peace and calm and harmony and tolerance and sort of being at one with nature,” he says.
Beaufoy says the experience of the movie now even has him taking his kids fly fishing with him, that is when he has a break between projects which is rare since his Slumdog Oscar win.
This just goes to show that fly fishing can have very broad appeal, and that a film about fly fishing can make a positive impact– it’s great that Mr Beaufoy has gotten his kids involved in fly fishing as well.
Hopefully they’ll get a chance to see Olive on the big screen one day.