Based on hit webcomic 2D Goggles (as featured in The Times, Economist, Wired and on the BBC), the Lovelace & Babbage app sees science heroes Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage fighting crime in a gadget-filled steampunk Victorian London.
We wanted to bring Sydney Padua's beautifully-illustrated comic to life on the iPad, to promote Ada Lovelace Day 2011 – an international day celebrating the achievements of women in technology.
The Lovelace & Babbage webcomic is based on Sydney's meticulously-researched (and highly amusing) historical footnotes. On the web, these footnotes are secondary to the comic. On iPad, we wanted to give them equal billing.
We prototyped a new navigation approach, taking advantage of the iPad's multiple orientations. In portrait, the comic is presented in its original form, redrawn and optimised for the iPad's screen. In landscape, the comic appears alongside historical notes, documents, engravings and videos, focussing the reader's attention on individual panels as each annotation is explored. The end result is a powerful way to annotate creative works. As a tribute to Babbage, we've called it the Annotations Engine.
The engine enables authors to create interactive works with extensive notes, annotations and documents, all without needing to write a line of code. It's supported by a desktop authoring tool to build, edit and preview these works as they are created. In addition to the author's own notes and documents, the engine integrates with Google Books and Wikipedia, pulling in further supporting material alongside the artist's original work.
And it's not just about annotations. We're already working on the next version of the comic, with infinite canvas navigation, multiplane camera reveals, atmospheric audio, and complex animated annotations. All of these will appear early in 2013 in a new Lovelace & Babbage adventure – User Experience – created specifically for the iPad.
In the meantime, the Lovelace & Babbage app brings the history of computing to life – and gives a glimpse of the future of comics on iPad.
Lovelace & Babbage is available now as a free download from the iTunes Store. The app will be followed in early 2013 by a brand new Lovelace & Babbage iPad adventure, User Experience.
- A fully-annotated comic reader, based on our Annotations Engine
- A free copy of Ada Lovelace: The Origin, with extensive notes and historical attachments
- Preview and buy The Client, a full-length adventure featuring Queen Victoria, the Duke of Wellington, the Duke of Wellington's horse, and astounding excerpts from the autobiography of Charles Babbage
- Discover a whole host of historical curiosities, facts and interesting tidbits
- Explore Victorian books, magazines and articles in a beautiful full-screen reader
- Delve into hundreds of Wikipedia articles, stored in the app for superfast offline reading
The app has already received a fantastic response from fans old and new. It was selected by Apple for a New and Noteworthy feature in the USA App Store and 87 other countries around the world.
Download the media pack, containing hi-res screenshots, artwork and icon images for the app.