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Shameless Self-Promotion: John Scalzi Exposes Bushi-go's Big Idea

posted Sep 25, 2015, 1:28 AM by Douglas Sun

First of all, many thanks to best-selling author John Scalzi for allowing me the chance to hype Bushi-go’s latest project on the Big Idea section of his blog. It was open-minded of him to let us into a space that is normally set aside for literature and allow me to maunder on about literary adaptation, and I hope I didn’t lay on the high-concept stuff too thick.

For those of you who have not been subject at any time over the last year or so to me bending your ear about it, the big news around here is this: Bushi-go is finally publishing its adaptation of Veiled Alliances, a novel by another best-selling science fiction author, Kevin J. Anderson (it’s a prequel to his Saga of Seven Suns series). In its final form, it will consist of 12 10-minute “appisodes” — machinima built using the Unreal video-game engine, loaded with interactive features, and housed in a mobile app that also serves as a video player. Put it all together, and you will have a multilayered storytelling experience that combines the depth of a novel with the visual élan of a movie and the interactivity of a video game.

After much sweat and toil funded on a frayed shoestring, our first step in the process is ready for public consumption. It consists of the app and what will be part of Appisode 7. It’s just a video play blast with no interactive features laid in at this point — the fancy stuff will come in later, once we have secured funding to continue the project. So if what we’re doing interests you, please support the project by downloading the app and spreading the word. The more we can quantify that there is strong interest in our work, the easier it will be to make our case to people who might want to fund it. As of this writing, the Android version is available through Google Play and the Amazon app store, and it will go live in the iOS App Store very soon, once the gods in Cupertino are pleased.

Given our limited goals for this first release. I’m excited by how it turned out. I showed the beta to a friend of mine the other day, and he commented with no small degree of astonishment that the quality of our animation is higher than some of what you see on TV these days — and he’s right. The music (by top-notch video game composer Wil Roget) and the voice work fits in like a glove.

My chief responsibilities were writing the script and overseeing the creation and selection of the voice assets, so I’d like to make sure that the people who worked most closely with me all get a shout out: Morgan Keaton (voice direction and casting), Erika Ishii (script supervisor), Ron McCoy (audio engineer), and our cast: Laura Post (whose narration did not make into the initial release, but will be included in the next version, should we get to do it), Kyle Hebert, Lucien Dodge, Robert Picardo (yes, of “Star Trek: Voyager” fame), and Bill Holmes. Ron and Bill also own the studio where we recorded, and they were more than kind in allowing us all of the time we needed. They were all wonderful colleagues, and the chance to work with them again is reason enough why I am eager to take this project to the next stage.

To keep updated on our progress, you can check out Bushi-go's Facebook page, or our website. We'll also have a trailer up on our YouTube channel soon. Or stay tuned to this blog for more shameless self-promotion.