ANIME / ANIMATION / CGI / GAMING
'MAGGIE MCNAIR' CARTOON CONTINUES DRIVE
'Maggie McNair's World' by Sheila Booth-Alberstadt on a faith-driven trail to the world of animation.
Character Maggie McNair has had an easier time occupying the world of children’s books than making the leap to animated series. Sheila Booth-Alberstadt, founder and CEO of Big Light Creations, who has imagined Maggie as a moving cartoon since 2015, has faith it will happen.
The print series, published by SBA Books and focusing on health and hygiene, launched in the summer of 2010 with Maggie McNair Has Spiders in Her Hair. It was followed in 2011, with Maggie McNair Wears Stinky Underwear. The third book in the series, Maggie McNair Has Sugar Bugs in There, was published in 2013. A new title, pending publication, Maggie McNair, Get Your Finger out of There, is completed.
What hasn’t seen completion is the goal of a fully animated Maggie McNair’s World cartoon series.
“I first started working on a Maggie McNair’s World animation with the idea of creating it in 3D,” Booth-Alberstadt told CM. “Big Light [Creations] was ready for pitching it in 2016.”
Booth-Alberstadt noted that there currently is a shortage of quality children’s entertainment that is not only good, but pure and fun, displaying “godly virtue.”
“My prayer is to be connected with the people who share the same heart, who can financially support our team, to continue producing animated programs that ‘display’ what it looks like to be of Christian character, rather than preach,” she said.
In the series, Maggie and her nine Bug Friends, each representing a fruit of the Spirit, represent positive role models. The goal of each script is intended to equip children, and adults, with a better understanding of Christianity in a simple manner.
“Children learn best from observing, and with Maggie McNair’s World, I'm hoping it will ‘draw’ an audience to a world where kids can be kids, bugs can be bugs, and God can be God,” Booth-Alberstadt said.
The series creator launched a Kickstarter campaign in 2016, with the notion of premiering the cartoon in three months.
“I hired a marketing guy that previously held the record for the most money raised for Christian content—I took his word. One week before launching, he literally disappeared,” she said. “My team made the decision to launch it anyway, and after a few weeks, I ended it.”
She explained that Kickstarter campaigns should have a marketing plan in place to be successful, but in her case she was thankful she was reimbursed through PayPal, concerning her vanishing marketer, after filing a claim.
“In 2018, I had it animated in 2D, with hopes to have options for any potential producer or investor,” Booth-Alberstadt said.
The author was an unbeliever until the age of forty-one, when God gave her His eternal gift—Faith to believe. Belief in the series goes undiminished.
“Since animation is expensive, our biggest prayer is for an investor, or investors, to see the value in not only the series being produced, but also the endless possibilities available with merchandising,” she added.
Those wishing to invest, or assist, can contact the author by phone at (251)232-9927, or by email at Sheila@sbabooks.com. You can see various stages of Maggie McNair animation on the Maggie McNair’s World YouTube Channel.
CHRISTIAN GAME DEVELOPERS CONFERENCE A HIT
Video game producer Jeff Neet, CEO of Pixel Pug, is one of this year's presenters at the Christian Game Developers Conference. Originally published July 19, 2019.
▶ BY KRISTEN COLLIER
The Christian Game Developers Conference (CGDC), at Lewis and Clark College, Portland, Oregon, this year, on July 18 -20, brings “light and salt to one of the most influential industries of the 21st century.”
Video game producer, Jeff Neet, CEO of Pixel Pug in Loveland, Colorado, led a group Thursday, July 18, for a two hour session in what is known as a Design Sprint, which is normally a five-day process geared at reducing risk when bringing a new product to market. Potential problems are solved by answering design questions, with prototyping, and customer testing, so that they “become opportunities for solutions, and to aid in the flow of ideation,” Neet told CM.
Neet said this process was very helpful when he and his Pixel Pug team created a game for Intellivision this year that is set to be released in October, 2020.
Neet’s primary goal at this lecture was to help industry professionals learn how to create a game using this design sprint model.
“The CGDC occurs every year, and each year it brings wonderful opportunities to connect and network with others in the video game industry," he said.
Clopas game designer, Michael Alan Herrera, told CM, “As an organization, it is truly amazing to see God’s hand at work in the Christian developers whom He draws near Him. We pray that the conference [CGDC] will continue to serve those in our community, help build the Kingdom, and provide a venue for edification in the Christian game space.”
On Friday, July 19, Amin Josua delivered a presentation titled “Communication of the Gospel in a Video Game: a Multiperspective Discourse.” Other conference topics include Erin Marantette on “Cross-Discipline Character Design,” Thomas Henshell on “Generating Believable 3d Dungeons with AI,” and Ryan Vandendyck on “Publishers: Pitfalls and Potential.”
Jeff Neet is available to those in the video game industry looking for a Design Sprint Facilitator. He can be contacted via email here.