Brackenwood

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Brackenwood is a series created by Adam Phillips, webmaster of the Bitey Castle website. It currently includes a continuing series of short Flash animations about the inhabitants of a small fictional forest planet called Brackenwood. There are currently six Brackenwood animations, with one supplemental music video.

Adam Phillips' plans for the Brackenwood series is to create an ongoing television series, a graphic novel, a series of books, a feature film screenplay and a series of merchandise based on Phillips' own innovations.[1] The animations have already developed a growing fanbase, partly with the help of the Flash portal website Newgrounds. In September 2006, Cold Hard Flash named the Brackenwood episode Prowlies at the River to be the fourth most influential flash animation of all time. [2]

Environment[edit]

The series is set on the fictional planet of Brackenwood. It seems to contain creatures based on Irish mythology (faeries), Cryptozoology (yeti/bigfoot creatures called "morrugs"), and others from the creator's own imagination. The planet is so small that one could walk from pole to pole in about a month. Covering the entirety of the planet's surface is a seemingly endless paradise that varies from grasslands to jungles. Beneath the surface, however, is a vast and unexplored aquifer that nourishes the forest above. One of the series various mysteries includes the nature of the aquifer's elusive pale faced denizens.

The Forest[edit]

By far, Brackenwood's most prominent feature is its forest. It has no end, and plant life is its most diverse and varied form of life. Nearly any form of plant life able to evolve and thrive is said to be found somewhere on the surface. There are countless species yet to be discovered. Some of the more notable species in the Brackenwood series include:

Musical Wind[edit]

One distinguishing aspect of Brackenwood weather is what is known as the Musical Breeze, a soft, soothing music that carries on some of the planet's winds. It begins like the tinkling of a bell or the trill of a tiny bird, and gradually the strange, sometimes haunting melody builds. The origins of the music are a mystery.

Sometimes the winds are silent, so the music isn't always to be heard. While musical breezes are soothing, Musical Storms are far from this. They are a deafening and frightful cacophony of colliding notes and detuned howls. This gale does nothing to damage the ears, but instead sends one insane.

Musical storms also produce "waterlollies," which are small spheres of highly compressed water with a tough, transparent shell no larger than a fist. When they are struck or exposed to sudden shock, they rapidly expand to nine times their original size. Only waterlollies that land in bodies of water remain unshocked, but their shells dissolve in three days (those that hit landmasses are shocked and their shells, stretched tight, disintegrate after a day), releasing water that is very good for life on Brackenwood. As such, waterlollies are often used to nourish rare or sick plants. They can also be consumed in a similar manner to gobstoppers, with a small hole pierced in the shell to prevent potentially dangerous expansion due to shocking. The water within is said to taste pleasant and cure all pains. According to Lemonee Wee, they are also called "storm eggs."

Inhabitants[edit]

The origin of Brackenwood and its inhabitants is another mystery in the series, but they come together to build an intricate, if not bizarre tapestry. The wealth of Brackenwood's environment supports a great deal. Despite this profusion, civilized, let alone intelligent inhabitants number very few. Those few take so little from nature and give so much that they are likened to greenkeepers. For this reason Brackenwood appears untouched since its dawn of time.

Prominent Characters[edit]

So far the series displays Brackenwood's characters moving around in their environment. It brings them to life with individual personalities, showing how they relate and interact with one another. For this reason each Brackenwood episode so far is more of an introduction for one or more characters than an actual story.

Secondary, Minor or Supporting Characters[edit]

In addition to the more well known characters, there are also a number of secondary creatures still significant to the series and its development.

Wildlife[edit]

Brackenwood's animal life is as diverse as its plant life. Each new episode reveals at least a few new fantastical creatures.

Episodes and awards[edit]

The Brackenwood series currently consists of seven official episodes and one unofficial music video. So far, Adam Phillips' Brackenwood has had a major impact on the Flash animated community. Several episodes in the series have won numerous awards.

Merchandise[edit]

Plans for Brackenwood merchandising include a graphic novel, an 'Art of Brackenwood' book, a 'Brackenwood Wildlife Field Guide' book, plushies, caps and bags, as well as other Adam Phillips' merchandise innovations.

Of all requested merchandise, the most common is for "anything with the yellow farty thing". Fatsack plushies are unarguably the most desired articles by the Brackenwood fanbase. There is also a great deal of hype among fans for a Brackenwood video game which resulted in Adam Phillips creating an online game called Brackensack, and currently producing a new online game called Dashkin, named after Bitey's own species.

Currently the only available Brackenwood merchandise are Bitey dolls, t-shirts and posters.

Future of Brackenwood[edit]

So far, Adam Phillips has showcased a few Brackenwood episodes in some competitions to get the series noticed. Adam wants to be able to bring Brackenwood to the big screen, hoping that when the series is recognised that he will gain the sponsorship to be able to do this. Several Brackenwood episode titles with storyboards have been constructed but have yet to be animated (Take note that all the previous Brackenwood Episodes were also listed with the exception of littleFoot and The Yu-Yu, and so although the story-boards were made by Adam Phillips, it is not yet finalised whether they will be animated or be officially included in the Brackenwood Franchise). These include:

Adaptations[edit]

Games[edit]

Brackensack[edit]

Am online game Flash-based game called Brackensack has been made by Phillips and is available online for free. The gameplay is simple, and to play you simple move Bitey around hitting a Fatsack with Bitey's head to make him fly up again.

Dashkin game[edit]

A new online Brackenwood game, titled Dashkin, is currently being produced. The game was announced in July 2011 on Phillips' personal site blog. The article included a screenshot of the game in its early stages and a screenshot from a new, yet to be released sequel to Last of the Dashkin.

The game is reported to be a side-scroller, in which the play takes control of Dashkin and plays through different levels. It was originally planned that the game would have 8-11 levels, and 4 regions, but in a cinematic "intro" released in July 2011 on Phillips' site blog, it was announced that it would be 20 levels, and a whole 6 regions, each of which represent their own part of Brackkenwood, such as forets, grasslands or plains. At this point, due to the large amount of work and time that the game took, Phillips decided to turn to crowdfunding, so that he, and his partner and programmer McGee, which would ensure that they would be able to spend more time on the game. They set up a fundraiser campaign on the website Kickstarter, which uses a reward system, so that every backer gets something in return. The cinematic was created the sole purpose of promoting the fundraiser, and a special cut was even made for the fundraiser's page, containing sample game footage and gameplay announcements. Four game modes were announced, named Hunt, Flee, Time-Trial and Endless. It also stated that the game would involve special "pickups" and "powers" that the player find along the way. The game will also unravel more of Bitey's secret past and presumable advance the plot of Brackenwood, and it will put the player up against the menacing YuYu horde. The cinematic was animated by Adam Phillips and accompanied by an original score by Lee Darkin-Miller. A special cut of the cinematic was made for the fundraiser and some gameplay footage. In the game you play as Dashkin. It has a system which makes the game change the light to day and night. It has been reported that the game features a time-based day to night transition during gameplay. It will an atmospheric art design and style, as well as an atmospheric sound effects track and a score composed by Lee-Darkin Miller, inspired by Irish folk music. The game's design and animation is all done by Adam Phillips through Toon Boom Animate Pro and Adobe Flash Professional. Sean McGee is programming.

Around the time of the cinematic's release, lucky beta testers had also been chosen to partake in an official testing of the game, and was allowed to make reviews, as long as they did not spoil the anything significant, like plot points in the storyline. They were chosen among the subscribers to the Dashkin game's Facebook fan page, but only the ones that had been there since May. The original, estimated release date were May 1. It was too hard to make, so they decided to aim for the end of May instead. As time went on, the game did not get finished. They swapped sponsor at one point.

Then a year went by without many updates, and in November 2012, Phillips revealed that they had started to rebuild the game, learning from their past mistakes. The game had started to come together, but every time a new feature was implemented or changed, it caused some bug or glitch and did not perform perfectly. He said, though, that it would get a redesign.

In December Phillips published a new update on his blog titled "Bottlenecks," which talked about how he barely made enough off his hard work doing paid freelance animation and visual effects. In the post he had opted to refrain from an official release date for the Dashkin game and opted to use a progress bar instead.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]