Xavier Bottet is the art director of Near Humanity, an upcoming series of horror comics for digital devices. Xavier and his partner Emmanuel Beaudry turned to Indiegogo to crowdfund their Corona SDK and Kwik-powered project. You can contribute to their campaign on the Near Humanity Indiegogo page, and download NearHumanityNews, the project’s teaser app, from Apple’s App Store.


Near Humanity

A few months ago, my partner and I put ourselves up to a challenge: to create a mature horror comic series with Corona SDK and Kwik. Today, that vision is called Near Humanity. I, Xavier Bottet, am an art director with game design experience, and my partner Emmanuel Beaudry is a writer with movie scripting experience.

Near Humanity blends horror stories, comics, animation, and interactive contents into one visceral experience. We’re still working on the project, but we plan to develop 12 full episodes, each lasting 5-7 minutes. I’m in charge of the technical aspects, while Emmanuel is responsible for the text definition.

Near Humanity’s core starts with the script, written by Emmanuel. After I view the script, we exchange ideas, make modifications, and then discuss the conceptual art. I then proceed to the illustration stage and mix in other media such as photos, scanned sketches, 3D elements, and digital paintings. Then I put all of the contents into Adobe After Effects. As the final step, Emmanuel edits the videos in Final Cut and “viola!”, we have an episode.

As with Halloween Recreation — a 2012 App of the Week winner and my first Kwik and Corona SDK app — I prepare videos and present them to several “candidates” to see how they react to the app. Using Corona SDK and Kwik, we’ve also released NearHumanityNews, an app based around the entire campaign. We hope that this teaser app will help people discover our motion comics, peek at the official trailer, check out stills from the first episode, and maybe even discover some extra content.

We developed NearHumanityNews in just one week, and I used some video content from our crowdfunding campaign. You can experience Near Humanity in a video, and then you interact with the same content in the app.

Our plan is to continue this project at full speed. Since we’re a small team — just the two of us, plus a few partners such as Melanie Jane, an English vocal artist who plays “Rachel” — we need to work as quickly and efficiently as possible. Recently, we discovered Indiegogo and set a flexible funding campaign which helped us to raise funds. Now, we’re reaching out to the Corona SDK community for help.

We hope that you enjoy NearHumanityNews as a free teaser, and that it inspires you to contribute to our cause, even in a small way. If funded, our motion comic will come to life, and we promise to deliver you more episodes soon. You can contribute to the Near Humanity Indiegogo campaign and download NearHumanityNews from the App Store. If you want to check out more videos, head to our YouTube channel.

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Guest Piece: Crowdfunding Near Humanity – A Corona SDK & Kwik Horror Comic Series