Midnight Rises uses video game tricks to supercharge comics

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Charlie (left) and Cromax, a hyper-evolved Cro-Magnon and chief engineer on the Joplin. Photo: Mike Choi/Industrial Toys
New comics app Midnight Rises introduces Charlie (left) and Cromax, a hyper-evolved Cro-Magnon and chief engineer on the science spaceship Joplin. Photo: Mike Choi/Industrial Toys

Mike Choi, a talented, experienced comic book artist, was drooling.

We were talking on the phone about Midnight Rises, a new digital comic app that explains the rich sci-fi backdrop of Midnight Star, an upcoming first-person shooter for mobile devices from Industrial Toys.

Choi had just had some teeth pulled, and was still kind of loopy when we got to chat with him and two other Industrial Toys execs, President Tim Harris and CEO Alex Seropian (you may know him as one of the co-founders of Bungie Software) about their first iOS app, a re-visioning of what visual storytelling can do.

Most digital comics are just a reformatting of traditional print comics to fit on a touchscreen. Midnight Rises goes further, using the tricks of video games to tell a comic-book style story.

“We hate motion comics,” said Choi. “This was way more work than just turning the canvas on its side.”

When Copyright Gets In The Way, Morning Becomes Midnight

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This name change brought to you by the letter
This name change brought to you by the letter "M."

We’ve been trumpeting the tale of a fantastic game in development from the all-star team at Industrial Toys for a while now. Titled Morning Star, it had some serious pedigree and promise.

A sci-fi themed first-person shooter from Alex Seropian, the dude that co-created Bungie (Marathon, Halo) is huge news in the first place. A game that includes author John Scalzi and artist Mike Choi among many other hugely talented folks that will launch exclusively on mobile? That’s ginormous news.

Color us fascinated when President Tim Harris penned a blog post on gaming site Gamasutra about why the team had to rename the game, and how they went about it. It’s a super interesting behind-the-scenes look at the very real business side of game development, and it’s worth a look.