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This is a question Amazing Projects

We here at B3ta love it when a plan comes together. Tell us about incredible projects and stuff you've built by your own hand. Go on, gloat away.

Thanks to A Vagabond for the suggestion

(, Thu 17 Nov 2011, 13:12)
Pages: Popular, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

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Creation Of Significant Cultural Artefact
A couple of years ago I got pissed and accidentally created a Facebook page entitled "Campaign to get Brain Blessed to do a voice over for my sav". I didn't think much about it at the time, I just wanted a Brian Blessed Sat Nav.

Anyways, it got to 500 people and I thought "I'll phone TomTom and Garmin and see what they say." and they said "Impress me".

So I asked our local Rock Radio station to help me out and we another thousand, and I asked B3ta and we got to 3,500 overnight (I'm pretty sure B3ta was responsible for about 6-8,000 all told).

And then TomTom said "give us 25,000". So we did. Through the medium of making a film with Brian Blessed. In the back of a smart car. What larks.

That was nice, and the Blessed was happy, we had a party with Brian and TomTom paid for ALL the beer and we all wore Brian Blessed masks and had an "I'm Spartacus" moment led by Brian and it was good, and quite beardy. When it was all over I got my satnav and it was ace (it still makes me grin when I use it, only it's not a sat nav any more, it's just Brian).

Then life got pretty mundane, so I asked him if I could make a Brian Blessed Alarm Clock and he said "yes". Which was nice.

So I asked around and Terry, a friend of a friend, agreed to do the clock graphics up front, and another mate said he'd program it and we had a working prototype to show Brian, which I did, and he agreed to record it in his shed.

Brian's shed is fucking awesome.

So we did that and I got a mate to do the sound and we lost a couple of programmers to self employment and Canadian games companies and finally Steve finished it, kudos to that man, it's pretty solid. Not as good as the Apple alarm in some respects (you can't just hook into the alarm API, that would be too simple) but as good as the best 3rd party iPhone alarm clocks you can build (we know, we've tested them) and certainly extremely useable. Besides, the Apple alarm doesn't have Brian Blessed and ours goes off even on January 2nd.

I'm quite proud of the finish as well, you can pick holes in the bits I did but I think it has a lot going for it. I couldn't afford a AA grade games animator so we went for Terry Gilliam instead, I hope we did alright on that. It amuses me that I went to all the trouble of nicking the code for Moon Phases from the Royal Astronomical Society and Steve went to all the trouble of implementing it and we still haven't got a shit clue how to read the Moon Dial (but it does go round every 29.5 days, we've tested it). We thought it was important that it worked.

So there we go. I'm thinking we'll make enough on it so everyone who was involved thinks it was worth their while, and have a little in the bank to offset some of the money I've spent. If I'm lucky maybe next time I can pay someone else to do the bits that took me so much bloody time to do (mainly because I didn't have a shit clue what I was doing).

Anyway, sales and stuff. I'd certainly recommend sponsoring the B3ta newletter, I've been watching the traffic figures.

Of course later on on launch day we got linked by Stephen Fry on Twitter (you beautiful man, you).

So, we did alright but we're not retiring any time soon, peaked at 9 in the UK charts and stayed at number 1 for Utilities for 3 days, which was a nice start. Of course I'm hoping Brian's media appearances will jolt sales a little every now and then. More importantly it was just ace to make cool shit for a change.

So there we go, I've set up an anarcho-syndicalist collective in my spare time and it seems we make pretty good apps.

But back to an earlier point, which is that I wouldn't be doing this unless B3ta had helped create the Blessed Sat Nav, so in a lot of respects this is all your fault.
(, Thu 24 Nov 2011, 1:24, 7 replies)
Hooray for this sort of thing!
Clickety click
(, Thu 24 Nov 2011, 8:51, closed)
Damn you still!
You're just tempting me more now. I tell you what, if you can get Brian to appear at my 40th next year, I'll buy the app. How's that?

Oh, and More Of This Sort Of Thing please.
(, Thu 24 Nov 2011, 9:47, closed)
So how much
did BB charge to do the sat nav thing, assuming anyone told you?
(, Thu 24 Nov 2011, 9:53, closed)
I like this,
despite your deplorable efforts to subvert this qotw as a method to hawk your wares.

Beware, capitalist scum - someday, we will rise up and seize back the means of production. Or Brian Blessed.
(, Thu 24 Nov 2011, 10:18, closed)
I told you I'm a bloody anarcho syndicalist!!!! A deplorable one, maybe ;)
(, Thu 24 Nov 2011, 10:59, closed)
I believe
we have a winner.
(, Thu 24 Nov 2011, 10:30, closed)
I hate this.
As I was reading, I thought oooohhhhhhh, a Brian Blessed alarm clock, I'll have one of those. Then some confusion followed. Then I realised it's not a Brian Blessed alarm clock at all. It's an app. for some shitty smart phone. I want a fucking Brian Blessed alarm clock now, and it turns out they don't exsist.
(, Thu 24 Nov 2011, 11:30, closed)

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