“Press SPACE BAR to continue.”
“Click to continue.”
“Tap to continue.”
These actions are like turning pages in a book. They’re digital ways of saying “next, please.” They carry an element of suspense, because we don’t know exactly what we’re going to get next, but also an element of performance, because while the author controls the “what”—which might include text, images, a musical phrase, or all of the above—we control the “when,” turning the experience into something akin to performing a musical instrument.
The text above is from the original About page for the first version of Stepworks, released in January of 2017. Since then, Stepworks has been put to a wide range of uses by artists, educators, and students, and has now been brought under the wings of my independent studio Opertoon, where it serves as the engine for all of the studio’s efforts to “find musical ways to make stories playable”.
I hope you’ll explore the creative potential of Stepworks. The intersection of comics, music, and interactivity continues to be a fascinating space of creative possibility, and there’s still much to be done.
Opertoon, publisher of Stepworks, and located on the ancestral and unceded territory of Chaguayanga, recognizes and acknowledges the first people of this land; honoring their elders, past and present, and their present descendants, who are citizens of the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians.