Based in Los Angeles, CA
1 October, 2014
Pry integrates reading and cinematic experience by reimagining how we can touch, open, close and pry into a text, moving seamlessly among words and images to explore layers of character’s consciousness. Six years ago, James–a demolition consultant–returned from the Gulf War. Six months ago, his vision began to fail. At any point, pinch James’ eyes open to witness his external world, or collapse his thoughts to dive deeper into his subconscious. Through a series of unique reading interactions, pry into a world of unreliable narration and shifted memory. A world that pushes digital publishing beyond simple mimicry of print conventions on screen.
Work on Pry began in 2012 in a cabin in the woods with limited electricity and zero internet. As we strung up note cards and brainstormed interfaces with paper prototypes, we realized the core tenant of Pry: interactivity should exist in service of the story. When tablets first came out, they were heralded as the future of the book. However, instead of questioning what the digital could add, early eBooks seemed to assure readers that the eBook could resemble print. They even copied print conventions like the page turn. Many experiments with interactivity also seemed superfluous: videos, music or basic interactions crushed on top of text that would’ve stood stronger on its own. We love print books. They aren’t going anywhere and they have long stood the test of time. Yet, the proliferation of tablet-based readers presents an exciting opportunity to experiment and push the boundaries of where text, touch and computation converge. We set out to make a project that explored what a fiction composed specifically for multi-touch tablets could be like. Therefore, we developed reading interfaces and gestures that were deeply tied to the story itself. For a little over two years, the two of us wrote, filmed, designed and even learned how to code in order to make Pry. We also learned how to be flexible: molding and shaping the story and interfaces as technical constraints arose during development. The technology influenced the story just as the story influenced the code.
- Interfaces invite readers to touch the narrator’s thoughts and memories.
- Interactions designed specifically for the story. Not a generic platform.
- Inventive integration of video and text
- Written for the tablet, not uploaded or translated from print.
- 30 minutes of original video content across 5 unique chapters.
- Initial reading of 20-40 minutes depending on depth of exploration.
- Encourages rereading for deeper content.
Screen Capture Vimeo
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Awards & Recognition
- "Finalist 2014 Future of StoryTelling presented by Time Warner"
- "Featured at LA Times Festival of Books - “The Future of Reading”"
- "Featured at SXSW - "Tear it Up: How to Write a Digital Novel”"
- "Featured at Associated Writing Programs (AWP) - “New Media Beyond the Book”"
- "Official Selection: Bibliothèque Nationale de France - “The Digital Literature from Yesterday to Tomorrow”"
- "Official Selection: Library of Denmark – “New Digital Literature”"
- ""a groundbreaking piece of interactive narrative for iPad"."
- Richard Lemarchand, http://www.richardlemarchand.com/
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About Tender Claws
We are an indie game studio based in LA. Our team of 15 is committed to creating compelling, unique games that are rooted in story and creatively tailored to compliment platform strengths. We’ve become recognized for quirky high-quality content and imaginative mechanics. Our debut PRY, was named one of Apple’s Top Apps of 2015 and was a finalist for The Future of Storytelling Prize and for IGF’s “Excellence in Narrative” award. We next created Virtual Virtual Reality: a narrative comedy adventure that won Google Play’s best VR game of 2017, was a finalist for Unity’s Best VR game and one of the best selling/top reviewed on Oculus GO. Our AR virtual pet that feeds on your emotions, Tendar, was showcased at Sundance, received an Honorable Mention at the GDC Awards and won Innovation Awards at Indiecade and Games For Change. Our newest release, The Under Presents, blends live immersive theater with real actors performing remotely but through VR headsets, it had a private sneak peek at the Sundance Film Festival 2019, by Oculus and is now available on Oculus Quest.
More information on Tender Claws, our logo & relevant media are available here.