In addition to creating great web sites for our clients, MuseArts does a lot of its own in-house web projects. This allows us to experiment, try out new technologies, and gather useful experience we can share with you.
Our first side project was to build an online Gothic Mansion. Castle Arcana has over 150 hand-drawn rooms to explore, with lots of hidden surprises including a garden maze, a ride through the country, an elevator, and more. In 1997 when it debuted, the images filled computer screens and we got lots of complaints that it was fun, but too graphically intensive and slow-loading! The Christmas Calendar continues to be one of the most popular destinations in the Castle despite its antiquity. Then again, we designed it to be old…
In February of 2003, we started a site on the “world wide web” for neighbors to share news, information, events, and commentary about life in our small town. At that time, it was uncommon for regular folks to share stories and pictures with one another. There were no “social media” sites yet, and what we were proposing was new. But folks jumped in and before we knew it we had thousands of users and hundreds of contributors. Pretty good for a town of 12,000 people in a county of only 50,000!
iBrattleboro.com has received international attention and is recognized as a pioneering example of citizen journalism in the U.S.
Interactive Cards, Games, and Toys
Interactive games, toys, holiday cards, and other goodies are fun to design and build. At MuseArts, we use our animation and exhibit building experience to create fun, interactive web experiences.
We like creating animation, but clients don’t typically ask for animated films. We started MuseArts Cartoons to show off our award-winning Guinea Pig Theater cartoons in which guinea pigs perform famous stories such as A Christmas Carol, Dracula, and Waiting for Godot.
This project started in 1999 as a way to learn how to use Flash; more recently, we’ve acquired a FAX Jr. Animation stand and Dragonframe single frame software, so look for new and different MuseArts animation some time soon.
Children’s Media Digitization Project
This is an on-going effort to save student video and animation work done at the Capital Children’s Museum’s Media Arts program between the mid-1980’s and early 2000’s. We’re converting old CCM videotapes to digital files and adding them to the Internet Archive as we go.
Chris worked there long ago and helped create the public access Animation Lab studio, which featured guests such as Chuck Jones, Faith Hubley, Joe Barbera, Michael Jackson, and others.
A new project for us is the creation of e-books, which are surprisingly similar to web pages.
We’re writing them, illustrating them, and learning what we need to know to make them. Topics include local history, user guides, plants, foods, and more.