If you don’t know Danzig, or why you should know Danzig, you probably should stop reading this right now. Its for your own good. Trust me.
It started innocently enough. You’ve been there before. I know I have. It was about pint number three and we were talking about apps. Campbell was there so the conversation veered, or rather careened, towards Danzig.
You’re still reading. Great. Now you are amongst the anointed, the chosen, those of the Black Flock. Or something like that. I could conjure images of darkness, ensconced in crooned verses to beautiful she-devils, but I’ll leave that to the man, the demi-god really, in question, a certain Glen Danzig.
If you grow up in the metal milieu you not only know Danzig, you for at least one part of your life, dedicated yourself to his mix of comic books, working out and trying to be spooky Elvis. All of these things led Campbell and I years, even decades later, to this fateful night. We designed a Danzig tshirt app.
You see, a Danzig tshirt is a marker, a signal in economics terms, of acheivement, of valour and generally being cool. If you see a guy with a Danzig tshirt, not that common anymore these days, it creates something in you. It makes you want to cross that parking lot and just say “hey man, nice shirt,” grasp hands and nod firmly at one another and then both disappear in a whisp of smoke into the darkness. When you see a Danzig tshirt you know that person is for real. Thus, there should be an app for that.
Design decisions, feature set and sweet, eternal darkness
The first thing to know is its price. $100. That puts it at I think tier 73 or something. Why $100? Simple. Dedication. You separate the initiates from the hardcore. You separate those who know both pronunciations of Samhain and can somehow talk their girlfriend into listening to Danzig from the poseurs.
The user, or should we call him They Who Begin The Trial is then taken to a super scary screen. Notice it not only implies but shows a difficult if not impossible journey into darkness.
Here the user is confronted with the choice to enter at their own peril or close the app, delete it never to think about their endeavour again.
They then enter the gruelling trial of fire and trivia. Their knowledge and bravado is tested with questions such as these.
The user then has to answer all of these questions of increasing difficulty with 100% accuracy or face imminent doom. Doom in this case means not getting the Danzig T-shirt and their phone exploding in their hands, scarring them in an ever-present reminder to the end of their tortured days of their ineptitude.
Upon perfect completion the user then achieves Chosen rank and will receive the Danzig t-shirt. Its not the usual one you’re thinking of, like the one pictured above. Its way more amazing than that. When you see someone with this shirt, you won’t question its provenance or if that dude is true enough to be wearing the Danzig t-shirt. It will just be and exude greatness. It will rustle, even though skin tight no matter the size, in the gentle dawn wind and begin to howl.
The shirt is delivered by drone, no matter where the Chosen is at in the world. We’re still in user testing about the size and shape of the drone, but so far studies are leaning towards it being in the shape of a wyvern.
User testing and the Long Way Back from Hell
We conducted interviews with approximately three participants over the following two years or so. They all agreed it was amazing, so we’re confident there is definite product-market fit.
Roadmap of the black path of wolves
As the app is now in aeternal development, that is pretty much all you need to know.
You are fully right to be thinking to yourself, assuming you’ve read this far, “Jim, just what the Hell are you going on about, and what even is this?” I understand, I completely get you. What this is, is it is an experiment. Its a stab in the dark at a bit of fun and a bit of knocking things out.
We as designers, technologists, developers, whatever, are all forced to maintain their presences and projects on the web for commercial value, all to the detriment of that thing that really keeps us going, which is fun. I do this as well, but I also want to maintain something, a corner garden on the internet for fun where things can be ridiculous, poignant, critical, and ultimately expressive, and hopefully not entirely damn me to nobody wanting to give me work. This is about taking the piss out of my interests and the tech world in which I live, so enjoy it. This is also about writing and giving room to write how I want. I wrote it really fast and I even lost track while pounding it out. That is always a good sign. See you at the End of Time.