Saturday, December 31, 2011

49,997 page views! Who will be 50,000?


Interview with Mark Redekop of the AIO Wiki

Hi! It's Ryan M. again. Some of you AIO fans may have seen or heard of the Adventures in Odyssey Wiki. It is a website holding lots AIO info and history! Basically, if you need to know anything about Adventures in Odyssey, you can search the wiki for answers. I even work on the wiki occasionally.

You may wonder why I am telling you this. The reason is that I got an interview with one of the site's Administrators. His name, as most of the users on the wiki probably know him, is Reddo. He also recently added a new Audio Player program to the AIO wiki. So without further to do, here is the interview!

Q: What can you tell us about the new AIO audio player on the wiki?

A: The new AIO Audio Player App is based heavily on the online one but it installs to your computer just like any other program, the only requirement is silverlight, the same plugin the NetFlix uses. When you start it up it gets a list of the current episodes and podcasts from the wiki's server and then lets you listen to those episodes. The app also auto updates itself, so if a new version is released the app will download and install the new version by itself without the user having to do anything.

Q: Is there any upcoming development planned for the wiki?

A: We have an Android audio player app that's being worked on, but it's going slower than I would like it to so it'll be a bit yet before it's released.

Early in the new year we're also planning on updating our episode pages with a few small changes to make our infobox more organised, it'll also include a couple of neat things like when you click on a bible verse the text will appear right on the page instead of leading to a different link.

We're also working on a massive AIO timeline that includes any references to time mentioned in the show, things like birthdays, ages, seasons of the year, passage of time from earlier/future episodes.

Q: What are some of the best features on the wiki?

A: One of the things I like the best is called Character Intersection, it allows you to choose up to 9 characters from drop down boxes and it will give you a list of all of the episodes that has an appearance by all of those characters. So say you remember some of the characters in an episode but you don't know the name you just enter those names and it really narrows down the list of episodes that you could be thinking of. It also can help you discover other episodes with similar characters.

I also like our rating method where the community as a whole rates the episode instead of just leaving it up to one person.

Q: How did the AIO Wiki come to be?

A:Shadowpaw created the wiki in May 2007 at the request of visitiors to his site aiosoda.com, he said he didn't have time to run it himself and would leave it for the fans to run.

I was just a reader of the Soda Fountain at the time and was really excited about it, I started working on it and eventually became and Admin, then I wanted to install some extensions to make it easier to keep up to date and Shadowpaw didn't have time he gave me server access to do whatever I wanted with the site.

Q: What is your favorite work to do on the wiki? What are you best at?

A: I like making things faster, I'm good at more of the behind the scenes things on the server side, I also like adding new features like user ratings, and the audio player.

Q: What is it like to keep up to date on all released AIO info?

A: Awesome! I've loved the series for many years and it's great to keep up with all the news for the series, sometimes it can be a bit overwheliming as there's podcasts, new episodes/albums, repacks of old albums, book re-releases, and new books coming out, it's a lot to keep up with, but I really enjoy it.

Thank you, Reddo for doing this interview!

Until Next time. ~Ryan M.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Enter Look Like Obbin Today!

LOOK LIKE OBBIN 2011

This is Obbin! Yes he’s blue, and his hair is green. In fact everyone that lives in his city is blue.

Obbin’s an adventurous boy who likes to explore the woods around his home, Cobalt Gorge. He’s rather mischievous and a bit of a prankster. Think Huckleberry Finn. He’s not supposed to leave the gorge, but he and his brother Rylin have found a secret way out. From looking at him you wouldn’t know it, but he’s actually a Prince. He is the youngest in the royal family, and yes his whole family is blue, dad, mom, brothers, and sisters.

So we're running a contest that lets you be from Cobalt Gorge. Here’s what you do:

How do I win?

Submit a picture of you as Obbin or another blue resident of Cobalt Gorge. Yes this is open to all ages. Not sure how to get blue skin or green hair? You can either use body paint, makeup, and green hairspray or you can convert your picture with software. Either way is eligible for entry. Email your picture (original non-blue and enhanced blue if applicable) to QuestForTruthContest@gmail.com with “Look Like Obbin” in the subject line as well as the required release form. Submission period will be from 11:11 am 11-11-11 until 11:59 pm 12-31-11.

A group of fellow authors will select the top 10 entries and those will be posted and voted on by you. The voting period will run from 12-31-11 until 2-2-12. Once the votes are tallied the winner will be announced. Be sure to get your friends to visit and vote. Votes will be calculated from this site (the comments on the post with the finalists), a voting poll in the sidebar of this blog, and the facebook group. All photos will be posted on the blog and facebook page for voting. Click here for the release form.


What do I win?

First place will have their image featured in an upcoming The Quest for Truth bookmark and an Obbin t-shirt and receive one of each as well as a signed copy of the second book in The Quest for Truth, Risk (upon release) and a copy of the January 2012 Clubhouse Magazine issue featuring a story about Obbin.

Second place will win a signed copy of the second book in The Quest for Truth, Risk (upon release) and a copy of the January 2012 Clubhouse Magazine issue featuring a story about Obbin.

Third and Fourth place will receive a signed copy of the second book in The Quest for Truth, Risk (upon release).


For more insight in to the life of Obbin get your signed copy of Taken at BrockEastman.com

A little more about Obbin. He’s blue, with green spiky hair, and turquoise eyes. Obbin leads two lives, one as a prince, and one as an explorer. While exploring he’s a no shoes, no shirt sort of kid. His usual adventure attire consists of fur shorts, an animal fang earring, leather rings on each finger, a belt and knife, as well as a slingshot. When attending royal events, you’ll find him wearing a silver shirt, brown pants, shoes, no earring, no rings, and his hair not spiked.

Examples of good submissions:

 
 
 

 *Rules and contest are subject to change as needed. All decisions are final and at the sole discretion of the author, Brock Eastman.

Need inspiration? Check out all the entries last years entries on the facebook album - HERE





You can also get the celebratory mug from last years competition at Zazzle.
 


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Four years with my Best Friend


It's been 4 years since I married my beautiful wife. God has lead us on an exciting adventure, and I couldn't have been given a better partner for the journey. Colorado, a new job, two wonderful daughters, a house, nine books, and the list goes on. But with all that God is doing and has done, the best part of it all is having you to hold forever.

I love you Ashley Jo Eastman!


Monday, December 26, 2011

Re-starting January


"Adventures in Odyssey Art Time" and "Adventures in Odyssey Album Time" will re-start on the first Monday and January of 2012 next year starting with album 4.

-Michael Wilmot

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Social Network Christmas

They played this at our church last night and it was absolutely amazing. Enjoy and comment your thoughts below!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Adventures in Odyssey Art Time: Volume Three!!


Well it's Thursday again and that means we have a look at all the art changes through the years of album 3 "Heroes". Just as a short history check album 3 "Heroes" as well as the art was released late 1988 where the fans learned some valuable lesson from the cover art... i mean album. Lets have a look at the amazing changes through the years...


3D view of 2010 re-pack.
Re-pack art with border.
2004 calender from the episode Heroes (and what I think should of been the art).
Gold-Audio-Series 3D view.
Gold-Audio-Series art with border.
Old Gold-Audio-Series border (and my first album).
Gold-Audio-Series tape.
Original 1988 tape with yellow shell.
Original art released 1988.
2010 re-pack back cover.
Gold-Audio-Series back cover.
Old Gold-Audio-Series back cover.

Original 1988 back cover.


Eugene in the classic episode "The Sacred Trust". For those who haven't listened to this episode for a while or not at all Eugene is trying to stop the crazy vacuum cleaner Eugene modified. In the episode he actually just pulls cord out while the vacuum goes crazy but I thought it would be funny seeing Eugene getting pulled by the crazy vacuum cleaner instead of just unplugging the cord of the crazy vacuum.... It also matches the theme "Heroes" Eugene rescuing Whit's end from the sinister vacuum cleaner!

To be honest as I said about the old art of album 2 (Grin Grabbers, and Great Getaways) it looks old and dated, the art looks rushed and its got not one scene but a hundred different scenes (maybe not that much but still a lot)! The art is also hard to understand and looks very 80's (it makes sense because it was released in the 80's). And as for the title, the title "Secret Surprises and Sensational Secrets" is just as good (or bad) as the art. First AIO is aimed for younger listeners (but are enjoyed by the whole family), so what eight and twelve yr old is going to know what sensational means? Maybe a really smart one would but most wouldn't...

Around 2004 or 2005 they started the Gold-Audio-Series where they changed the art and title which is a good thing... I did like the art and the title but I did have some problems with both of them. First The art is good, it sort of matches the title (Heroes) because I think Eugene is meant to be like a night in shining armor. But instead of holding a sword he's holding his electric screwdriver and there a couple of other things like the belt he his wearing and his welding helmet whatever its called thing. But the problem is that most AIO fans wouldn't have realized that Eugene is meant to sort of be a night in shining armor only trained art experts like me would spot that (not really). And one of the keys of good art is that art is easy to understand. I think the art for album 3 should have been the 2004 calender with Lightning Livingston and the three kids looking up at him (as seen above) . And if the art didn't fit the border they just stretch the purple so it can fit and so we could see more. Second the title should never be the same as an episode and that's the problem the title album title "Heroes" is the same as the episode heroes and that's the mistake. You should never have the same title as an episode because you can get confused with which one your talking about. And last there's originality, you want something original, also most one word titles are boring . So in my opinion I think they should have called album 3 "Heroes In Our Eyes" because its original and it matches most of the episodes. I had hoped they would make those changes for the next re-pack...

But they didn't, in 2010 they re-packed again. But there really isn't much to say about it because it's the exact same art and title as the Gold-Audio-Series just with a different border and logo .

My final opinion on the art is: I don't mind the art and the title but the art doesn't match the title that well and the title isn't that original. I just wished they had made those changes with the title and art. Maybe it can happen for the next re-pack.


Feel free to comment bellow about what you think of the art.
Michael W.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cover and Artwork for RIsk (Book 2 in The Quest for Truth)


I am very excited to reveal the artwork and cover for Risk book 2 in The Quest for Truth. Might you know who the characters are in the cover? We've buried some story details in the art for you to see and hopefully salivate over as well! I hope you enjoy the art and are looking as much forward to the release as I am. It looks like Risk will be coming April or May of 2012. If you haven't read Taken yet, you can order it at my store in the navbar above, or you can find it in your local Barnes & Noble, Christian retailer, or online at Amazon, B&N, and Focus' Online Bookstore.

The full artwork by Brandon Dorman

 

 The cover design by Christopher Tobias

  


Please let me know what you think in the comment section below. I love to hear feedback. 

Another exciting announcement for The Quest for Truth coming later tomorrow. Stay tuned!

-Brock









Sunday, December 18, 2011

Adventures in Odyssey Volume 3: Heroes




Album 3 holds a very special place in my AIO collection for three reasons. The first reason being is because album 3 (along with album 40) are the first two album I ever got, and I got those two wonderful albums when I was about 6 years old (and I am now 14)! The second reason is because we get to meet Eugene Meltsner, a main character in the show and one of my favourite characters of all time! And the last reason... Connie becomes a Christian, which is very special if you have listened to the show for as long as I have or longer......For the AIO fans who haven't listened to this classic album about Thankfulness, Trust, Salvation, Faith and more I recommend this album to anyone!
The kids from Odyssey manage to get themselves into – and out of – all kinds of interesting predicaments in these audio adventures. Rumour has it that the new family in town is connected to the Mafia, Odyssey Elementary School is troubled with bullies and Lucy struggles with telling a secret she vowed to keep. With a little prodding from Mr. Whittaker, they learn how God can help them deal with anything.

What makes someone a hero? In this collection, the Odyssey gang learns that heroes take many forms. But ultimately, the gang at Whit's End realizes that trusting in God, the greatest Hero of all, will start them on one thrilling journey after another. Join the fun and cheer on these Heroes!
The Gold series includes bonus tracks, fun facts, and behind-the-scenes details!
Volume 3 contains the following stories (and themes):
  • Back to School (Making new friends)
  • The Shepherd and the Giant (Bible history)
  • Mike Makes Right (Pride, handling power)
  • Rumor Has It (The dangers of gossip)
  • Heroes (Hero worship)
  • Thank You, God (Being thankful)
  • Karen (Dealing with death)
  • Connie, 1 & 2 (Salvation)
  • A Single Vote (Civic responsibility)
  • The Sacred Trust (The folly of making promises you can't keep)
  • Peace on Earth (Keeping Christ in Christmas)



The really nice thing about album 3 "Heroes" (and every other AIO album) is that while the listener is having fun and excitement listening to these exciting and entertaining adventures, the listener also learn some great lessons and values that can help us in life. What really makes this album worthwhile to listen to is that we get to see the people that we think are heroes and seem to have everything seems to be going together for them, but slowly we see we discover the horrible truth, ... they don't have everything going together, and that our Heroes will let us down. The only hero that won't disappoint us is Jesus. And that's what Jimmy Barclay learns the hard way when he meets his all time favorite Hero: famous retired basketball player "Lightning Livingston". Slowly Jimmy and Lightning become good friends. but Jimmy discovers a horrible truth that in Jimmy's wildest dreams wouldn't come true... Jimmy learns the hard way that Jesus is the only hero that won't let us down or disappoint us...
My favorite episode in album 3 "Heroes" would either be the episode Heroes (do not get confused with the album title Heroes) or Connie pt 1 and 2 . The reason why those two (or 3) episodes are my favorite in album 3 is because we learn in the episode Hero that Jesus is the only hero who will not let us down. And as for Connie pt 1 and 2 we see Connie stop being stubborn and lay down her life to become to follow Jesus, which is really nice to listen and see the development she has made starting when she first moved to odyssey and her becoming a christian....
My final opinion for album 3 "Heroes" is that just like album 1 and 2 this album has endless values and biblical truths that can help us when the same scenario that Whit, Eugene, Connie and the rest of the gang at Whit's End come across. Also if you haven't got "Heroes" now is the perfect time because there are some enjoyable Christmas episodes that will never get boring to listen to and helps us appreciate christmas not just for the presents but for the beginning of what Jesus set out to do, and what he would ultimately do for us and the rest for man kind...




Will BlizzardSages stop me on my way to New Mexico?

Hi everyone, Ryan M. here again. Right now, I am on a trip to visit relatives for Christmas. We will also be stopping by Focus on the Family on the way. Since we are driving, we are hoping we don't run into snow. So please pray that no BlizzardSages have popped up along our traveling path and that we all get there safe. Thank you for your prayers.

By the way, there will be some interesting posts from me pretty soon so keep your eyes open!

~Ryan M.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Adventures in Odyssey Art Time: Volume Two!!!

This album has gone through some big changes, maybe not as much as album 01 art-wise. But unlike album 01, this album has gone through some unique changes in several ways: first this is the first album not to have the same title as the Gold-Audio-Series album 2. Second this album has sold more copies than any other album besides album 25 "Darkness Before Dawn"! And Last the art doesn't even have the same design as the old art! But that could be good...

2011 re-pack final art.
2011 re-pack draft-sketch.
2011 re-pack rough sketch.
2011 re-pack final art with border.
2004 Gold-Audio-Series art
2004 Gold-Audio-Series art with border.
3D Gold-Audio-Series old art with border.
Old Gold-Audio-Series cover
Gold-Audio-Series Tape.
Original cover of album 2 released 1988.
Original gold cover of album 2.
An ad for "Focus on the Family" magazine
Back cover for Gold-Audio-Series.
Tape back cover for Gold-Audio-Series.
Original back cover for album 2 released 1988.







This Fan-Art isn't actually a proper scene. Even though if you have listened to the album you would know this is the sinister Percival Fenwick with his African Cains. This Fan-Art is what I thought he would look like with his long chin, stringy hair, bent back and his sinister face. Feel free to comment below and tell me what you think he looks like.
This is something I drew that I thought would match the title of the album "The Wildest Summer Ever!". As you can see this is form the scene where Chas leads the Skunk to Marco's (the cook's) cabin for revenge. This scene is from the classic episode "Camp What-A-Nut". In the background you can Whit and Donny up a tree with the bear. Even though the Whit and Donny scene is in a completely different scene I thought it would add to "The Wildest Summer Ever" feel!

The first art for album 2 was released in 1988 along with the title "Grin Grabbers, and Great Getaways". Now I think most of you would agree with me that the art and the title are just as bad as each other. First the art looks like its rushed even though that is just the style, and second it's not one scene but about ten different scenes in one. For art to be good you want one scene, a bit of adventure and a hint of mystery so you don't know what will happen next and last to have good quality art work... Which the art of this does not follow any of the steps!

Around 2004 the Gold-Audio-Series began. So album 2 had the art re-drawn and the title changed, which I think was a wise choice... well I thought it was a wise choice untill I saw heard the title and saw the art. First the art was good but you could tell it was done for a tape not CD so there was about 80% of the art work missing when you saw the CD cover. The art also seemed a bit boring to, because if you haven't heard the album you won't know that Whit and Tom are looking at a dead person. I do like how there is a sort of mystery feel to it. I think there should of been a police officer in the background writing some notes so you would know (even if you haven't heard the album) that something serous was happening. I would of also liked it if they had made the art more wider so you could see most of the art. So I like the art, I just wished they had made those changes. Now the title that they named for album 2 doesn't match the art at all and only matches one episode from album 2. The title "Stormy Weather" I think should of been titled to "Discovery's of the Everyday" that would match the art and most of the episodes as well. The art (and the title) wasn't changed until 6 years later...

Finally in 2011 march there were rumors of a re-pack for album 2 was being released. It was officially confirmed when a blurry video was released showing us that album 2 (and 4 other albums) were being re-packed. The video also hinted that the title was getting changed for album 2! Finally in August 2011 the art for album 2 (and the other 4 albums) were released, and in September we finally found out that the new title for album 2 was "The wildest Summer Ever"! When I first saw the art work for album 2 I was amazed at the design and the detail. The colors were great as well, and I especially loved the way the bear had been drawn. Now for you guys who haven't listened to this album this art is from one of AIO most beloved episodes "Camp What-A-Nut" which is done sort of like "Family Vacation" where the main character narrates the story.

My final opinion on the art is that While "Stormy Weather" art was alright and the title was poorly named, "The Wildest Summer Ever" art and title matches the album brilliantly! And as for "Grin Grabbers, and Great Getaways" the title sounds to dated and the art is just the same... So now that we have the perfect art for the album this album I think there shouldn't be a re-pack for album 2 for at least 50 years! And let "The Wildest Summer Ever" continue...
Michael W.


Feel free to comment below on which art and title you like the best...


Adventures in Odyssey art time will continue with album 3 "Heroes".