Archive for the B&H Publishing Group Category

A Gamer’s FAQ to Bible Navigator X

Posted in B&H Publishing Group, Bible Navigator X, future of the Bible, gaming, lifeway on November 12, 2009 by Aaron

On Tuesday, LifeWay announced the development of Bible Navigator X for the XBOX 360, via the Indie Games Channel and XNA.  In the next few weeks we’ll be talking more about the application on HCSB.org and BibleNavigatorX.com but, since a lot of the gaming sites have picked up the news, I wanted to be able to answer some questions specifically for you.

1) Why only the XBOX 360?

B&H is producing this via the XBOX Live Indie Games channel; the other consoles and handhelds don’t offer a similar toolset.  While we would be interested in developing for those platforms, the opportunities simply aren’t there right now for us.

2) What is the HCSB?

HCSB stands for the Holman Christian Standard Bible.  It’s one of the most modern transalations, and one of only two Bible translations (the other is the NET Bible) to have been done utilizing computers.  It’s a cross-denomination translation, with 17 denominations represented on its translation team.  You can learn more at HCSB.org.

3) What does the ‘X’ stand for?

B&H already has a product called Bible Navigator for the PC.  We wanted to keep the name of the product line and, since this is currently and XBOX-only project it seemed fairly obvious to call it Bible Navigator X.

4) Will I need a patch to read the text in SD?

Nope; we’ll let you control the font size on Day 1.  That’s a part of the nuts and bolts of our app.  😉

5) Will there be Achievements or DLC?

Sorry, but unfortunately no.  Those features aren’t available on Indie Games.

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Bible Navigator X: Fulfilling a Dream

Posted in B&H Publishing Group, Bible Navigator X, future of the Bible, gaming, life of linne, lifeway on November 10, 2009 by Aaron

As cheesy as it sounds: I love my job.

There are goals that you set for yourself in life that you hope to attain, and there are goals that you put before yourself that you place there for the sheer audicity of it all, knowing that it’s not something that will ever happen.  Like flying to the moon, adopting a pet dragon, or helping to put the very words of God into a medium that it’s never been in before.

Today my team announced that we will be bringing the HCSB translation of the Bible to the Xbox via Bible Navigator X.  This has been a dream of mine for since the XBOX 360 launched and they announced that there would be downloadable games.  Way back when it first came out, in 2005, I managed to actually get someone on the phone at Microsoft to see if we could partner with them to make something happen.  At the time, there was simply no way to make it work within their ecosystem… especially since it wouldn’t be a game.

So, fast forward 4 years, and God somehow places me in the book publishing division of LifeWay, where we publish the Bible.  And, not only that, but B&H is an honest-to-goodness inovator in the digital publishing space and, even in this economy, is willing to take financial risks if it means spreading the Good News of Christ.  So, when I asked if we could explore putting the Bible on the XBOX, my coworkers and boss actually said “yes.”

So, to begin my quest of making it happen, I posted out to a game developer’s forum asking how I might connect with someone to freelance a project.  Lo and behold, I was found by Andy Dunn – a fairly well known developer in the XBOX community.  Someone whose stuff I read back in the day when I was trying to code my own XBOX wares.

Andy and I struck up a conversation, outlined what the application would look like, and we went to town.  His wisdom was, quite honestly, astounding.  I’ve learned more about the game/app development process from him than I ever expected to know.  But there was still that nervousness… is this really going to work?

If you’ve got a dream, you’ll have spent hours thinking about it in your head, hoping that some day the reality might be even a sliver of that dream.  In these past few weeks, as Andy has dropped a build to me every few days, it has almost freaked me out.  This is the very first version of Bible Navigator X, our first go at putting this most sacred content onto a video game system… and it work with the medium so perfectly.  It feels natural and nice; like the XBOX was made to host the Bible.

In short, reality suprassed what I had dreamt up in my head.

I feel almost foolish and childlike, gushing about how exciting this is for me and how much I love my job that allows me to see dreams come true.  I have a renewed interest in spreading the Gospel of Christ, now that it’s in a medium that my peers can connect with.  I have a brand new level  of respect for the scholars and wise men who translated the Greek and Hebrew into what we call the HCSB translation… and the programmers and developers who translated that into XML and code.

And, I’m not trying to wax philosophically here… I’m just finally able to get out words that I’ve had to keep secret for so long, I feel like a huge burden has been lifted.  It’s not every day that you get to be aware of being a part of God’s plan.  It’s not every day that you know your actions could – litearlly – impact millions.  This is one of those things that I’ll tell my children about, and I will tell their grandchildren, and so on and – hopefully – so on.

Excited.  That’s how I feel.  I hope you didn’t mind my shoutting it from the internets.

Sunday School in HD: Video Shoot

Posted in B&H Publishing Group, life of linne, video with tags , , , on June 17, 2009 by Aaron

originally published on the B&H Staff Blog

About a month back I went on my first video shoot with B&H Publishing Group to First Baptist Church of Woodstock in order to film for Sunday School in HD, by Allan Taylor, and Building Your Leadership Resume, by Johnny Hunt.

The video shoot went wonderfully well – it was simply incredible to hear the stories of life change coming out of the church and the way they do Sunday School. Here’s a little video about my experience even just hearing the stories:

You can view the rest of the videos here. Enjoy!