Globbert, a development journey

Globbert is a interactive stop motion cartoon now available on iPad and iPhone. Once Globbert enters the main stage players can interact with the environment and Globbert by poking and squishing him around his world. Noisy speakers interrupt Globbert’s peaceful world and it’s your job to help Globbert regain his peace and quiet by attacking the noisy things, sometimes with surprising outcomes.

A few people have asked myself and the creative minds (Chris & Marc) behind Globbert what engine Globbert is built on top of. Having only ever previously done apps that interacted with API’s, such as Magic Bean and obviously Buffer, Globbert was something entirely different. I’ve never tried to tackle building what is essentially a “game”, albeit one with the label of an “interaction stop motion cartoon”. This post not only serves as an insight into the tech behind Globbert but as an insight into some of the challenges I faced along the way and I how I overcame them.
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The Fear of Open Source

Many years ago I released themes for a content management system called e107, back then I would release the themes without really caring about what people thoughts of the code behind them. As time went on I grew a fear of releasing code, worried about what people would think.

I ended up releasing over 10 themes and a few plugins for e107, while taking onboard feedback and making updates quickly before letting them naturally fizzle out. With many of them are still available to use after 5+ years with most of them released during a “e107Advent” which I thought up just before December one year. Looking back at the code behind them isn’t a pretty sight at all.

Up until recently when i’d go to release anything into the wild i’d have an overarching feeling of fear that someone would come and attack me regarding something I had done within the released code. A fear that seems to effect most developers i’ve spoken to recently. While it’s definitely good to make sure your doing everything within it to the best of your ability, you can only do so much within the realms of what you know.

However, I now no longer worry about releasing code publicly. Releasing code to the world and having someone comment on any aspect of it is a great learning experience. If they mention a way of improving something or a better method of achieving the same result then it’s only helping me improve my code in the future. And with GitHub people don’t have to email you about an improvement but they can make the changes themselves and share it that way making the whole process much easier.

Get Globbert

For the past few months i’ve been working with Randall & Silk on a stop motion animation interactive cartoon for iPad. It has hit the App Store just in time for Christmas so you can poke and squeeze him all you like over the holiday period. Check out the teaser trailer above.

Globbert lives in a sewer and enjoys a peaceful life, however he’s often interrupted by the noisy things. Help him regain his peace & quiet by squashing him down and aiming him at the noisy things. Plenty of surprises are in store.

Globbert has been 2 years in the making with development starting earlier this year, ahead of my trip to Tel Aviv. Many days were spent on the beach with my laptop coding away to make Globbert the loveable character come alive as well as those noisy things.

Each frame of the app originated from a stop motion puppet on a custom build miniature set, each frame was then cut out as small as possible before imported into a custom built play out system I developed over the past few months.

It’s been great fun working alongside Chris & Marc from Randall & Silk and we’re not quite done just yet with Globbert heading to other screens soon.


So go and say “Hi!” to Globbert by grabbing him from the App Store here.