MAHABHARATA GODS & HEROES
The Origins of
Mahabharata Gods & Heroes
Part 2
The process of creating the app.
We'll be honest: we couldn't really say before that
we understood anything about developing an app.
Our team was given a task, and from then on everything
mystically began to move, fall into place and materialize.

Even now it astonishes us that when we click the icon on a smartphone the app launches, and you can scroll through pictures that move on the screen.

Fortunately, a team of developers from Iron Water Studio came onboard for our project. They had no doubt that it would all work out, even taking into account that each of our ideas for "improving" the app had to be translated from a language that often featured the words "you click on the thingamabob and then the thing moves" into the arcane language of programming.
We've also got lots of plans for the app,
don't think that this is all just limited to releasing series,
quotes, and music.
And so, precisely six months after development began, we released:
  • Version 1.0 of the app for the Android platform
  • Version 1.01 of the app for Android and iOS platforms
  • An application for animation under the code name Comic Editor (our team uses this for animation and building chapters)
  • A platform for managing the app.

For the first version of the app, we chose functions that were minimal but essential: animated chapters and quotes of the day. Later on we added the Music section. And it's the first and foremost – the animated book – that we're going to talk about now.
The process of preparing a series
The processes of cutting and the preparation of pages for publication take place in parallel. Colouring is extremely interesting, painstaking work in itself, and requires a "feeling for beauty." And as we know, this feeling is highly subjective.
So the discussion and agreement of the results often turns into a stormy debate that goes on for hours over litres of Pu'er tea in our Chiang Mai office.

But once again, through the will of higher powers, the colouring of the pages gets the thumbs-up and is sent to production to be prepared for the app.
Once several pages for a series in A4 have been received, our animators/artists start work.

Stage 1:
Drawing
Stage 2:
Animation on a test server
Stage 3:
Publication
Stage 1: Drawing
At present, after more than six months of practice, this takes from 5-7 working days. Here's why:

  • The A4 pages need to be transferred to a long file
  • The backgrounds, missing body parts and other empty patches that have appeared in the transfer process need to be finished. Here it is necessary not only to complete the art, but to precisely follow the style of the artist, keep to the assigned colour scheme, and render the details competently and accurately.
  • Add and proofread speech bubbles in several languages
  • Export each part separately in the necessary resolution for mobile, along with the bubbles

Stage 2: Animation on a test server
At this stage, the art literally begins to come to life. To animate the series, we developed a unique program under the working name of Comic Editor. This is a custom tool that requires separate work. Since any changes or tweaks to the animation mean making accompanying refinements to this program.
Animation
The exported artworks are uploaded by the group into Comic Editor, and our animators then work on this task from three to 7 days. Naturally, at the end of each day we look at the result together, and when our animator has finished the first version, we discuss and add all kinds of extra effects. It often happens that we have to go back to the previous stage, to finish drawing other elements, to add even more movement.
Of course, to begin with, we spent a long time working out this functionality, but as time went by we got into a groove, and now we produce the final, finished version a lot faster.
At the time of publishing, we've already animated all the series from the first book, and we're putting the final touches to the first eight series, since these are our "first pancakes," and sometimes they didn't come out quite perfectly enough.

As soon as the first version of an animation is ready on the test version of the app, our sound designer gets started. He reads, watches, and immerses himself in the mood of the series. Then he just goes off and writes the music you can hear in the background – from scratch! And what's more, he says that this comes to him quickly. That is, not the technical process itself, which takes from 3-5 days. The inspiration itself for writing the music and how the series should sound – it's this that comes easily. Further confirmation that the project isn't made for us – we're made for the project!
Sound
As soon as the first version of an animation is ready on the test version of the app, our sound designer gets started.
He reads, watches, and immerses himself in the mood of the series. Then he just goes off and writes the music you can hear in the background from scratch!

And what's more, he says that this comes to him quickly. That is, not the technical process itself, which takes from 3-5 days.
The inspiration itself for writing the music and how the series should sound – it's this that comes easily.
Further confirmation that the project isn't made for us – we're made for the project!

Translating and proofreading
The final stage, when a series is considered to be ready for publication, is the editing and proofreading of the texts. We also needed time to teach us how to work with the texts. Since our designers and animators are Thai, the book was initially written by Igor in Russian, then translated from the Russian into an English draft version, and the final text that you see was prepared by our writer Michael Dolan B.V. Mahayogi.

It's him who gives it the distinctive narrative style that you have the
opportunity of reading.

Michael Dolan B.V. Mahayogi

B.V. Mahayogi has been publishing books about India since 1982. His journey to the Indian culture and philosophy began with the book
"Bhagavad Gita As It Is" by Srila Prabhupada
around the 1960s.

He writes for his blog and teaches at Universidad de Guanajuato in Mexico.

B.V. Mahayogi writer and blog author of the
Mahabharata Gods & Heroes since 2017.
People who read Mahabharata in our version will get some tremendous benefit from that. We're not trying to prescribe people what to do. We like to think we're doing our best to create an alternative view of Mahabharata Universe.
— Michael Dolan B.V. Mahayogi
At the time of writing, we already have the text ready in Hindi and Ukrainian, and the Chinese version is almost done. We'll soon be prepared to release the translations. Once again we're running into all kinds of difficulties along the way since none of us can read Hindi. By the way, we're really in need of translators and layout designers who speak Hindi. We want to translate not only comics and articles but the whole site in principle. (write to us at: info@mahabharata.pro)
Stage 3: Publication
As you see, preparing a single series takes time about a month in total. This is in the best-case scenario and if we meet all our deadlines perfectly.

We'd like to point out that the majority of reviews on Google Play and the Apple AppStore
(and there are more than 700 of them in total at the time of writing) were 5-star ones.

But even the 5-star reviews are accompanied by comments and questions:
"Why is publishing of chapters takes
so much time?"
"I can't wait – publish everything at once!"

Reading one chapter takes about six minutes (according to our analytics). And of course, 14-15 days is a long time to wait. But we hope this article will help you to understand that at present we really can't produce content any faster.

But we have happy news. Soon we'll be publishing a new section, which will be updated every week. This is the Battle section. We'll be talking about it separately later. It's a large part of our project that merits attention, and we can't wait to tell you all about it in one of our next articles.
In conclusion, we'd like to thank everyone who downloads our App, reads it, leaves reviews, and writes comments.

A lot of art has been generated for our arsenal in the past five years, and we have a lot of plans for the next five years.

Our chief aim is to create an entire Mahabharata Gods & Heroes Universe and give as many people as possible the chance to get to know this great work.

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