Frequently Asked Questions

You see that man with the beard up there? He just found out you have all been asking us tough questions about the app, about usability, and devices, and software versions, creator tool features and issues about all kinds of complex stuff.

He doesn’t have a clue about any of it, which is why he looks so alarmed. That iPad in front of him is a prop, put there to make him look more official. It failed.

Instead I will do my best to answer your questions, and if you need more than my rather general replies, I will ask people who know more than me, and tell you their answer. It’s the very least I can do. Ask away!

Q: Why did you pick iPad? Android devices are more numerous, cheaper, less snooty and exclusive, and are wider spread globally. If Electricomics is on a platform it should be Android!

A: Yup. I agree with all those points entirely, and made all of them myself in the first meetings where we decided such things.

What it boils down to is the end product, and how it behaves when you access it, and how the decisions you make can make that easier or harder for the people coding it.

For Electricomics, we knew we were going to be doing four totally different approaches in terms of navigation, and story shape, and interaction, but that was pretty much it. We needed a basic size and shape and ratio for our artwork.

We thought some of the comics would zoom to view a panel full size, and some wouldn’t, and we thought some would be full page, and some wouldn’t. This meant we had to limit the ways those stories could be viewed so there wouldn’t be problems when reading them with the users device, when it handled the comics.

We chose iPad because its a nice big chunky size screen, its a fixed format, and ratio, and its one single device which we thought we could accurately predict performance on.

As it turns out, the app falls over a bit on older models, and older versions of iOS and there are still lots of bugs to fix.

Ocasta Studios Mobile and Tablet App Development

Our technical partners for this project, Ocasta, are not afraid of a challenge, or of hard work, they are incredibly tenacious, resourceful, and amazingly adaptable, but their engineering resources are finite. They are also specialised, so we had one engineer who wrote the JavaScript for this app, one who did the back end server stuff, one who did the GUI, it was a matter of juggling who could do what when, and how long it would take, and if that would be in time for the other elements to work with it. The team at Ocasta have worked at full pelt to get it to the stage it is now, and I do not think we would be releasing now, or at all, if we had not limited it to a single device at the outset.

All I can say is stick with us, we are in it for the long haul, we’ll keep pushing and trying to find more funding, and when we do, we can pay Giulia and Tendai and Sean and Steve and the rest of the gang to do another version.

Also, if you have ideas or suggestions on how this could be made easier or cheaper, or how we could streamline the process, then please leave a comment or tweet or email, because we have got this far by ourselves, but we really need you guys to take it further.

Q: The app doesn’t work on my device properly, or parts of it dont.

A: This is the 1.0 version , so there will be bugs, and the team at Ocasta are working very hard to get the next update ready even as I speak.

If you have bugs to report, please do so using this form:

http://Electricomics/feedback

We need your bugs. The bugs help us make it better, so knock yourselves out.

Q: When is the next issue coming out?

A: This is at the moment a one off publication, until we secure secondary funding for more stories. if anybody wants to discuss secondary funding with us, please get in touch using the contact form.

What we will have soon is the creator tool, which we hope will prove useful to creators wanting to self publish digitally. As soon as the creator tool is live, we would love people to use it and put their work up so we can see how the tool is working, and how the app responds to it, and most importantly, so everyone else can read it. A vibrant community of users making their content and sharing it on our app would be enough for us. that would be amazing.

Leah Moore