Bug adventures and more

10-5-2017 13:16

Recently I’ve been so busy with all kinds of new projects that I haven’t had the chance to write about them on my website. I won’t be able to catch up in only one news post, so for now I want to focus on one of them.

In late February I was approached by Catnip Games: did I know someone who would be able to help with the text for a new mobile game? It would be a story in picture book style, aimed at young children, if possible in rhyme and in the style of the Miffy books. I didn’t need long to decide: I love imitating specific styles, and even in my Sinterklaas poems I always make sure to get the metre right. (This is a Dutch cultural thing, for those that don’t know.)

And so I started work on the adventures of Leyla, a friendly but also somewhat lonely ladybug. The text was not just meant to be a nice story, but would also be used in between levels to introduce new game elements: the various insects that Leyla meets on her journey. This quickly turned out to be a challenge, because how do you shoehorn an interesting character impression into 8+6+8+6 syllables?

One of the illustrations for the story.

In the end I wrote 20 stanzas that contain not only short character sketches for all the game’s characters, but also the story of Leyla’s search for friendship – for herself and for others. Here is a small part of the text, that also hints at the purpose of the game:

More beetles come to her for help
And Leyla helps them, too
The yellow play with yellow bugs
The blue ones play with blue

The game is still being developed by Catnip Games, but once it’s (almost) finished, it will certainly get a place on my website.

To give an idea of all those other projects: lately I have…

As for the future, it looks like I won’t get bored any time soon: I’m in the middle of a new editing job and there are a number of opportunities that might result in further interesting work. It can be a challenge to plan everything in a way that doesn’t drive me completely crazy, but overall I’m happy with all these new developments!

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