Archive for the ‘iPad’ Category

App Production 101: Words from Our Art Director

Posted by ruckusholly on February 2nd, 2012

In the upcoming weeks, we are going to delve more into the process of App Production, as requested by many of you on Twitter and elsewhere.  First up, we have an explanation of who does what on each project by Pactrick Dorey, our Art Director, based out of our NYC office.  This is a very broad overview and we will try to get more into the specifics in the upcoming weeks.


my little pony

Here’s a break down of various peoples jobs that work on each app:

First, dancing pixies sprinkle fair dust on a iPad and speak some secret magic words and with a burst of light, an interactive story book app is born. (Just kidding!)

First,  a producer will work out with the client on the general concept of the app. For instance, if the story is based on an existing TV show episode or an original story, there are particular considerations.

Then a writer will write the original story or adapt it.

Once the story is ironed out, the producer will use it to create a rough storyboard which gets handed off to a few designers.

The designers will piece together story page art using existing images and digitally create some of the graphics from scratch and create animation.

Meanwhile, voice recording will take place and story’s narration begins.

When all the graphics and audio are complete and approved by the client, then everything will go to a team of developers to program the functionality.

At the end, the finished product gets delivered to Apple for their approval.

Once Apple approves it, then they will put the book in the iTunes App Store.

And voila, an app is born!

Message from Lynn Smith, New Business Development: We’re On to Something Here

Posted by ruckusholly on January 31st, 2012

Lynn Smith

This post was written by Lynn Smith, Director of New Business Development here at Ruckus.  You can read about her background here.

We’re on to something here…

Moving from the print publishing world to the digital world is an exciting but daunting change to make, mainly because of the learning curve.  When representing a print publisher, licensors understand what you do & how you do it (and so do you).  A presentation could be as simple as saying the name of the company.  Everyone knows it and wants to partner.  However, coming to Digital, I find myself not only educating people about our company, but explaining the many facets of the digital publishing world.  Therefore, instead of brand owners presenting to me… I am more often presenting to them.  And I have found that the best way to show them what we do, is simply by reading a digital book with them.  Following that, I not only get a coveted “A-ha” moment, I get a “wow, that’s amazing!” moment.

By way of example, at last year’s licensing show, I was late to a meeting (as everyone is at Licensing Show) and had only 20 minutes (in the food court of all places), before I had to run off to my next meeting. I gave a brief overview of our company & then quickly showed our Hasbro Chuck & Friends digital book.  The licensor was floored. I returned from Licensing Show with significant interest, which turned into a more formal sit-down, which turned into an offer, which is now a collaborative, signed, partnership.

I am amazed daily by what my company is creating and ideas that we are generating.  It takes a lot of talented minds, hard work, and passion to build the catalog we have, but I have to give credit where credit is due – because our producers make my job that much easier.  To think that a 20 minute minute food court meeting would turn into a contract sounds crazy, but it’s not that far off when you experience our products.

And I figure… if I’m this fascinated by what we can do, imagine what our 4 year old consumers will do when they see it.

Ruckus and the Wiggles Join Forces

Posted by ruckusholly on January 23rd, 2012

The WigglesIf you’re like me, you either raised or are raising your children to the sounds of the Wiggles.  From “Fruit Salad” to “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes,” the Wiggles have a song about everything and kids love every one.  But it’s more than that. What’s special about the Wiggles is that these four guys who hail from Australia can really, really sing…and dance.  They’re colorful, they’re entertaining, they’re funny.  As a matter of fact, I enjoyed their music just as much as my kids.  We’d pop the CD in the car, sing our hearts out together and then after I dropped them off at pre-school, I left the music on and kept singing my heart out (without the kids in the car).  That’s how good the Wiggles are!

So, imagine my, and all of our, delight here at Ruckus as we announce a digital partnership under which we have been granted worldwide rights to develop storybook applications for iPhone, iTouch, iPad and Android-enabled mobile devices and tablets!  The first three titles are slated for release worldwide with English language distribution through iTunes at the App store in April 2012, followed by additional Apple and Android releases later in the year.

True to The Wiggles’ philosophy of “Wiggle and Learn,” an edutainment platform that teaches children while they’re having fun, the new Ruckus interactive storybooks will feature The Wiggles’ music, video and educational activities appropriately placed within the narrative stories so children can truly interact with the mobile digital experience.


Inspiring Kids and Families to Connect with Animals and the Natural World

Posted by ruckusholly on January 17th, 2012

It’s another exciting day here at Ruckus Media.  We told you that we had a lot in store for 2012 and today we want to tell you about our partnership with SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment.  Together, we are launching a multi-year licensing deal to create digital storybooks that will inspire kids and families to connect with animals and the natural world. The stories will be based on SeaWorld’s animals, attractions and education and conservation efforts.

With this partnership, we’re growing our list of brands and favorite characters — adding to Hasbro and Crayola — but branching into a subject that kids and families love — science, nature, the environment.

We are also continuing to expand our emphasis on Social Good, following up our campaign with St. Jude Children’s Hospital.  Reflecting SeaWorld’s commitment to conservation, a portion of all the proceeds from the digital interactive books will be donated to the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund. The Fund is a non-profit charitable foundation that supports wildlife research, habitat protection, animal rescue and conservation education around the world.

The first three books in the SeaWorld series will launch this spring, including three interactive storybooks for kids ages 3 to 8 thatSeaWorld appeal to emerging, beginning and independent readers. The interactive storybooks will connect kids with SeaWorld’s killer whales, penguins and sharks and will be available at the App store for Apple mobile devices. New children’s storybook apps will be released throughout the year.

For more information about our partnership with SeaWorld, read the press release that went out earlier.

Join Our Twitter Party for an “Appy New Year” on January 19th at 9pm EST

Posted by ruckusholly on January 10th, 2012

Wired MomsZiggity ZoomfamigoOn Thursday, January 19th, we will be bringing in the Appy New Year with some of our close industry friends online. We’ll be joining Mary Heston, Carissa Rogers, Wired Moms, Famigo and Ziggity Zoom, all industry experts for an engaged conversation about everything to do with apps for families and kids at a Twitter Party.  We’d love you to come party with the experts!

According to data from mobile analytics firm Flurry, people downloaded 1.2 billion iOS and Android apps between Dec. 25 and Dec. 31.  Were you one of those people?Your kids have unwrapped the iPad, smartphone, tablet or kindle, and you are probably wondering where to start downloading apps for your kids.  And is it safe and educational for your kids to take their reading to the digital format?  We’ll talk about the shift to digital, how to get started, where to start, how to know where to find quality apps for your kids and just exactly how quality is defined, what features to look for in an app, how to stay on top of the ever changing market and much more.

Here is the information you need to join our party.

Hashtag: #Appy2012


Panelists: @RuckusMedia  @CarissaRogers @WiredMom @Famigo @ZiggityZoom

We’ll be giving away apps and other treats during the party and enough information to keep you and your kids busy for a while.  We suggest you use Tweet Deck, Tweet Grid or Tweet Chat.  Here is our custom grid on Tweet Grid.

“See” you there!



Ruckus Media Strikes Gold Again with the Best App Ever Awards

Posted by ruckusholly on January 5th, 2012

Spot the DotWe’re excited to have learned today that THREE Ruckus Media Group story apps have been named Finalists for the 2011 Best App Ever Awards in the Best Infant’s Apps on IOS platforms. Three! This is particularly exciting because they are considered the best for kids to learn and play.

The nominees are:

A Present for MiloFinalist in the Best Infant’s App for IOS device

Spot the DotFinalist in the Best Infant’s App for IOS device

Chuck & Friends: Friends for the Long Haul: Finalist in the Best Infant’s App for Android

Started by the people behind 148Apps (and Android Rundown), the Best App Ever Awards have been run yearly since 2008.  The awards are a purely people’s choice awards — users nominate apps and vote for the winners.

A few stats:

  • 287,643 nominations were placed by users at the site between November 22nd and December 31st, 2011
  • 7,243 different applications submitted for nomination
  • 1,692 different application are final nominees
  • 1,336 different developers have apps nominated in the awards
  • 108 app / game categories in the 2011 awards
  • 76% of the nominations submitted were for iOS applications, 24% for Android applications
  • 42 Gameloft leads the pack with 42 nominations across both platforms
  • 20 nominations per category (10 for iOS, 10 for Android)
  • 1 Best App Ever category winner (it’s iOS vs. Android)


The winners will be announced at the 2011 Macworld Expo (January 28th) in San Francisco.  As you can imagine, we’d love to win.

Here is how you, as Ruckus fans, can help.  Voting is open now through January 26th, and you can vote for each to help us get big numbers!

Vote for A Present for Milo (IOS platform)

Vote for Spot the Dot (IOS platform)

Vote for Chuck & Friends: Friends for the Long Haul (Android platform)


Again, as always, thank you for your support.  Now go vote!


Bringing in 2012 – Happy New Year

Posted by ruckusholly on December 30th, 2011

Happy New Year, everyone!  It’s hard to believe the year has gone so fast and we are gearing up for another great year of growth and change here at Ruckus Media.

As we watch the year come to a close, we’ve been blessed to see several of our apps make some of the year’s BEST OF LIsts, including: 

Kirkus Reviews chose Spot the Dot , produced with our friend, the great pop-up artist, David A. Carter, as one of the Best Kid’s Apps List of 2011 calling him the Picasso of paper engineers (One Red Dot, 2005, etc.) displays a dab hand at concocting even more thoroughly interactive explorations of shape and color for touchscreens. 

We love that School Library Journal selected our very own Spot the Dot as a top 10 kid’s app of 2011. They say that it “embodies the medium’s potential to create entertaining educational materials for all children, including those with special needs.”

Broxterman’s Bugle: Teaching with Technology included Chuck & Friends in a list of the best apps to use in classrooms, calling it a book app with the characters every little boy loves, embedded to reinforce letters, fine motor, and story comprehension.

Commonsense Media included A Present for Milo as a best app for family travel, calling it a highly interactive book with dozens of tappable animations.

Digital Storytime also chose A Present for Milo as one of the best digital books for kids, calling it one of the best books I’ve come across for children under age 6. The words in the book are very simple and the illustrations tell the story as much as the text. 

Lil Sugar included Andrew Answers on its best of 2011 Kids Apps List, calling it a a fun, interactive app, Andrew Answers ($4) takes lil ones along on an adventure all the way to the Oval Office when Andrew is smug with his teacher. With mazes and games scattered throughout the tale, tots won’t be bored too soon.

Lastly, Imagination Soup included both My Little Pony and Andrew Answers in her best iPad Book App List.

We are so grateful for everyone’s support this year and hope that you all have a wonderful time bringing in 2012. See you next year!






Day #11 of Holiday Free Family Fun with Esti Berkowitz

Posted by ruckusholly on December 23rd, 2011

Esti BerkowitzWe are continuing 12 Days of Holiday Free Family Fun with our friends at ZiggityZoom.  Our Eleventh guest blogger is Esti Berkowitz.  A natural born schmoozer, Esti blogs about how she found Kosher food, a husband, and had children after 35 at Esti is the Kosher Traveling Mom on Follow as Esti shares about being a parent after 35 on twitter @primetimeparent and about Kosher food @estiberkowitz.

When asked how she keeps her kids busy during the holidays and adds a “spin of charity.” Esti said:

Cooking. The kids are home, so we have our very own Chanukah party. This is where we really have a “latke” fun!! The kids help mix the potatoes in a large pot, but mom takes it from there to the pan of hot oil. We use fun cookie cutters in the shapes of menorahs and dreidels and decorate cookies with blue and gold icing. We get a bunch of dreidels and plenty of Streit’s Chocolate Chanukah Gelt for prizes. We add a spin of charity and give money towards Chai Lifeline. For some great healthy cookie recipes and more check out, and for some fun decorating tips check out

Visit for today’s 11th Day of Christmas Free Family Fun Printable Snowflake WORD Worksheet and a giveaway for a FREE Ruckus app.

ziggity zoom



Day #10 of Holiday Free Family Fun with Jenn Jacura

Posted by ruckusholly on December 22nd, 2011

Advent CalendarWe are continuing 12 Days of Holiday Free Family Fun with our friends at ZiggityZoom.  Our tenth guest blogger is Jenn Jacura who  shares her over-opinionated view and tidbits about living with a special needs daughter at Princess Prose.  She leads a pampered, over-indulged life with her geek husband and is fairly certain that the world revolves around her.  You can also find her on Twitter at @PrincessJenn and Facebook at

When asked how she keeps her special needs child busy during the holidays, Jenn said:

Over the years we’ve created our own Christmas traditions to suit raising a special needs child. This means understanding that many things that are holiday related can simply be too overwhelming for our daughter (taking her to a mall during the month of December?  Ha!  Not a chance).  It also means learning to go with the flow, and leave behind some of the ‘holiday rules’.

We’ve incorporated an advent calendar to help manage the expectations around Christmas.  And part of the advent calendar is breaking that major Christmas rule “Don’t open presents before Christmas day!”.  I can hear you all gasping in shock.  Yes, it’s true.  We allow our daughter to open her presents early and throughout the month of December.  Once or twice a week, her calendar will hold a special card that allows her to open one gift that day.

I think it’s a great practice, that doesn’t have to be reserved for special needs kids, though.  Allowing a child to open one present a week allows them to spend days enjoying it and playing with it before they move on to the next one.  And then on Christmas morning our daughter still gets to enjoy opening her stocking and presents from Santa.

I encourage all parents to take a look at what part of their Christmas routine is stressing them (or their kids) out, and CHANGE it!  I promise that Santa won’t leave you a lump of coal in your stocking if you do.

Visit for today’s 10th Day of Christmas Free Family Fun Printable Snowflake WORD Worksheet and to win a FREE Ruckus app!ziggity zoom


Day #9 of Holiday Free Family Fun with Pauline Campos

Posted by ruckusholly on December 21st, 2011

pauline CamposWe are continuing 12 Days of Holiday Free Family Fun with our friends at ZiggityZoom.  Our ninth guest blogger is Pauline Campos of  Pauline M. Campos is a stay-at-home writer mama and a featured contributor, an editor on, a book reviewer at and a writer at the humor site.

You can also follow her over on Twitter at @aspiringmama.

When asked how she keeps her kids busy during the holidays, while teaching them about giving back to others, Pauline said:

For us, getting ready for Christmas means watching classic movies like The Grinch who Stole Christmas, listening to Christmas music all day, and counting down how many days are left until Santa comes with our Advent calendar.

But most importantly, I’m trying to make sure our four-year-old understands that Christmas is about giving. With that in mind, we have gone shopping for items requested by a two-year-old on a Christmas Angel tree at her preschool, made a special trip to buy a new toy for Toys for Tots, crafted gifts of appreciation for her teachers, and are sorting through her gently used toys so she can decide what to donate to local charities.

But the most time-consuming activity, of course, is cleaning the house so Santa (and her grandmother who is flying in for a Christmas surprise) is impressed with how clean our house is. Wouldn’t want Santa to think we’re messy, right?

Merry Christmas!

Visit for today’s 9th Day of Christmas Free Family Fun Printable- fun kids activity-a Word Santa Maze for Preschool Santa Maze for Preschool and a giveaway for a FREE Ruckus app.