JOE ALTERIO
PROJECT
Crazyboat
DESIGN NOTES
I was standing outside a laundromat in NYC when I received a call out out of the blue based on a mutual contact in San Francisco, and that's how I met my eventual longtime collaborator, Gabe Smedresman. It's been one of the most fruitful professional relationships of my career. The call was about his first startup, which proposed a radical idea at the time: leveraging keywords scrubbed from a personal Facebook account to assign in-game skills that could be used level up and beat a game. The problem was, he had no idea what the game was, what the game would look like, or what the story would be. That's where I came in.

My role in the project started out in visual design and UX, but rapidly expanded to include Narrative Direction, marketing, and general brand building.

Suffice to say, it's maybe the most fun I've ever had on a project.

The plan was to lean heavily into the adventure genre, and have it look and feel like an overly illustrated comic book. Our instinct then was that people were looking for something different than just clicks: they wanted a big, bold, beautiful story that could fall into. I provided, accordingly.
I was also responsible for creation of all marketing materials, too. It was a tiny start-up, and I was pretty much the only person available to do it, and had free reign. It was so fun.
RESULTS
The company pivoted when we were still in beta, 3 weeks after my first son was born, and I was out of a job. They quietly petered out a few years later. Still some of my most energetic work, and the NYTimes called us "imperfect but enormously compelling". I'll take it.
All work copyright Joe Alterio © 2020 unless otherwise noted.