Project Log: Fidgeting with widgets

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I've begun building my Mystery story in iBooks author; I have designed the cover, I am extremely pleased with the Intro Video, and they layout I have chosen for the Chapter pages looks pretty dang cool-- for each location that is a part of the story I include a full-page photo along with a brief entry from the book's protagonist (actually technically the reader is the main protagonist). So far I have fleshed out the chapters for Cooper Library and Fort Hill, the first two locations my readers will visit as they unravel the clues.

Another thing I worked on this week is making widgets. It took a bit of research, trial-and-error, and some great tips from my colleague Jared, but I've now got a functional Google Maps widget embedded. The first "Chapter" of the book is a collection of Assets that the user can browse, with Section 1 dedicated to Maps and Section 2 dedicated to Clues. I haven't had the opportunity to see how the widget looks when it is opened-- I designed a map with custom markers that should show up when an image of a compass is touched. In lieu of implementing GPS tracking of the reader, I think it is cool to have an interactive map of the actual locations in the story that still serves as an effective guide.

I have done some preliminary investigation into a fully coded HTML5 Piano that I should be able to package as a widget-- we shall see. One of the items in the Clues section is a scan of an old, tattered musical score entitled "Anna's Polka", written by Thomas Green Clemson-- I would like to have the user play a sequence of notes from this score (guided by on-screen prompts) in order to "unlock" a secret room in Fort Hill (although one issue I am encountering with iBooks is that there is really no way to create roadblocks, but then again what's the fun of reading a mystery book if you're going to skip ahead to the solution?).

Next step is to visit the remaining locations on my map and take pictures for the Chapter titles-- I'm also thinking about making some panorama-style images of certain areas and inserting them into the book.

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