Nataly Goico | October 8, 2014 ‐ No Comments
Storyworld expert and founder of Bellyfeel, Krishna Stott, discusses 5 crucial mistakes people can make when developing a storyworld for their projects.
We are happy to have Krishna giving a Storyworld Development Surgery at Conducttr Conference, where he will provide consultancy to anyone interested in developing a rich storyworld and transmedia projects.
by Krishna Stott
Transmedia is a very exciting area to work in; creatively thrilling with the potential to reach a vast audience across different devices and platforms.
But it’s hard work too – make no mistake. And so it’s a good idea to use structures, tools and techniques that are proven to work already, to help you create, develop, produce and deliver your Transmedia project.
This article will uncover the common mistakes that Transmedia Producers have made already – and you can discover techniques that will allow you to work with greater flexibility, creativity and opportunity.
So without further ado…
1 – If It Ain’t Got A Storyworld…
Then it’s probably not Transmedia. Mistake number 1 is not having a Storyworld.
It is crucial that you create a Storyworld as part of your writing and development process. Storyworld’s allow you and your story many more opportunities to connect with your audience; both creatively and business wise.
And that’s why we’re here right?
2 – Too Much Expansion – Not Enough Limitation
When you “get” the idea of Storyworld Development, it can be incredibly stimulating, and your imagination may well run away with you. Expansion of your story and characters is all part of the Storyworld Development process – but it can also mean free flowing chaos.
So you need to set limits and it can be helpful to put these boundaries and borders on your Storyworld.
Restrictions are also part of the creative process so it’s win-win!
3 – Writing Only – No Visuals
There will be lots of writing, notes and lists as you develop your Storyworld. But also try to visualise your world with drawings and diagrams too.
These visuals will be an aid to collaboration with your team as you can share and discuss the shape, direction and concepts you are planning.
Also the visual development can be better way to discover hidden aspects and natural flows within your story.
At Bellyfeel we always have a roll of lining paper and some markers to hand.
Here’s a snapshot of a previous project.
4 – You Don’t Visit Your World
The esteemed film maker and storyteller extraordinaire Stanley Kubrick once said,
“The truth of a thing is not in the think of it but in the feel of it”.
And he was right.
With Transmedia it’s hard when you’re starting out not to not to over intellectualise your ideas and approach. How can you get the FEEL of your world rather than the THINK of it?
It will help to imagine going to your Storyworld. Take a walk and smell the roses. Look at the people, places and things within the world.
Do you like it there?
Does it feel like there’s something about to happen?
5 – Not Starting A Storyworld Bible
If you’re going to go to this much effort to create a compelling Transmedia story then why don’t you start to organise the material you’re generating into a proper Storyworld Bible?
This is like a show bible that you would get for a TV show, but enhanced to include the different technology, audience and game elements that a Transmedia story will usually include.
If your project suddenly gets picked up and requires you to move quickly to respond to a funding, production or audience request – then you run the risk of bringing everything to a halt if you have to organise the project at that stage. Best to start as you mean to go on – with a Storyworld Bible.
A Storyworld Bible will arrange the Storyworld information properly and allow for easy sharing, expansion and rapid development.
Did you know all 5 of these “Project Killing Storyworld Development Mistakes”?
These techniques for creating robust Storyworlds and exciting Transmedia stories are part of a toolkit we use daily at Bellyfeel to create compelling Transmedia and Multiplatform stories.
The techniques are what allow us to turbo charge our story experiences and help our many clients to get their stories out; efficiently and without wasting valuable resources.
As part of our ongoing collaboration with Transmedia Storyteller we are hosting a number of free Storyworld Surgery consultancy sessions at the Conducttr Conference on the 17th October 2014 in London. These sessions are a chance for you to get our consulting expertise for free. We will apply our strategies and techniques to create solutions that help you and your project reach your intended audience profitably on all devices and platforms.
The Conducttr Conference
If you want to get a free Storyworld Surgery with us you must attend the conference:
If you’re coming, then book a Storyworld Surgery here:
Download PDF here.
Krishna Stott is a story and technology pioneer who has been pushing back boundaries in storytelling and media business for 15 years. He has worked on dozens of Interactive and Transmedia Storytelling projects. His interactive film Crimeface won 2 Webby Awards (Oscars of the Internet) in 2008. Since then he has helped numerous media companies and individuals to multiply audience size and increase revenue using new devices and platforms.
Nataly Goico | October 6, 2014 ‐ 1 Comment
UK specialist and minivation founder, Chris Buckingham shares with us 8 TOP Crowdfunding Essentials.
We are delighted to have Chris giving 1-on-1 session about Crowdfunding in Conducttr Conference, where he will discuss further these issues and any concerns about funding creative projects.
Which of the five DREIM crowdfunding models will you use? You have a choice between Donation (philanthropy), Reward (ex-ante), Equity (crowdinvesting), Interest (crowdlending) or Mixed (blending). Values and expectations change in each – get this right and success is much more likely.
How will you tell the story of your vision…
You are asking the crowd for their consent to enable you to create this vision – we call this crowdconsent. The best way to do this is use transmedia storytelling to maximise your impact and gain crowdconsent.
Which graphics will help you with the above point?
Transmedia storytelling needs to be enhanced with visuals that are compelling and add value to the campaign. Using designers is way cheaper than it used to be with online market places for freelancers.
How about your video – polished or amateur production?
Sometimes an over polished video can actually damage a campaign. But this depends on many elements – not least the vision being created and the model being used.
A local skate park could probably get away with a handheld camera that shakes a little, while a new piece of surgical equipment may benefit from a well-produced video
Which channels to use? When? What will you say?
Deciding on the most appropriate channels really comes down to researching your most likely demographic to provide crowdconsent. Once you know this it is a whole lot easier to gain the all essential crowdconsent.
But the biggest secret of crowdfunding is not the choice of channel – but rather pre-writing your updates before you go live!
Aim for three updates through all channels per week and then get these written well in advance of the launch.
You may decide not to publish these pre-written updates – the point is you have a plan ‘B’, something to post, during the ‘live’ stage.
What’s the prediction of how it will play out? Why?
Knowing the likely pattern of activity you can expect will help you plan your updates and other communications with the crowd. Crowdconsent is never guaranteed – but having a set of updates to use and a sound plan for when to deliver them will be a massive help.
How much and for what? Have you worked out all your budgets – are you sure?
How much to raise and the purpose of this money is perhaps one of the most testing decisions campaign management have to make. On top of this there are the promises that need to be aligned with the expectations of the crowd.
There are two things to consider here: trust and clarity.
Trust because the crowd need to trust you will be able to deliver on the promises you are making within the budgets you have set. Clarity on the other hand is the ability to convey this to the crowd, explicitly asking them for their consent.
8) Post campaign
Do you understand your tribe? How do you support them?
One of the most overlooked aspects of crowdfunding is post-campaign. You have communicated with the crowd, you have gained their support to create the vision you set out to create – you have an activated tribe know connected to the vision.
So the question really becomes how do you continue to support them?
It all depends on the vision, model and ability to use transmedia storytelling for maximum impact!
Check the PDF here
Chris Buckingham is the founder of minivation, a crowdfunding research agency that grew out of recognition of the need for independent research and advice. It was while he was doing some research with Southampton University that he realised there was a need for an independent voice in the market.
He continues to lecture on the subject while also supporting the UK crowdfunding eco-system through his development of tools and frameworks that help applicants understand the intricacies of a crowdfunding campaign. This is an ongoing process that uses action research methodologies with clients. More recently this has led to the development of the pre-crowdfunding concept ClarityCrowd.com where applicants get a chance to test their pitch and gather support before launching a campaign.
Nataly Goico | October 2, 2014 ‐ No Comments
We’re delighted to be working with Eefje Op den Buysch, Head of the Fontys Transmedia Storytelling Lab and Hille van der Kaa, professor of the professorship of Media, Interaction and Narration at Fontys School of Applied Sciences in the exciting and much needed area of audience engagement as it applies to transmedia storytelling.
Below is Eefje & Hille’s “flyer” for their talk at the Conducttr Conference where they’ll be presenting their findings. Our plan is to incorporate this work into Conducttr so that we present a meaningful dashboard with actionable insights rather than a simple series of charts. More of this later!
What metrics will help transmedia producers better understand, compare and contrast the impact of a transmedia story?
In this research we analyzed existing engagement models and added the insights of twelve leading transmedia experts in attempt to come closer to a final solution.
Measuring engagement means placing audience size into a broader context of how the transmedia production is actually performing. Stakeholders in the production get to see where, how and when fan engage so that refinements can be made.
In this research we choose to focus on the goals of the storyteller.
We propose a model that can be used to create and give direction to a transmedia production team of writers and performers. Twelve leading transmedia experts evaluated this so-called ‘Toggle Switch’ model.
Toggle Switch Model
We see three important aspects of a transmedia production:
- the storyworld
- the individual audience member’s behavior in comparison to others
- the experience of the storyworld at various stages of the audience journey.
Audience members who interact with the world are considered to be engaged users. By tracking the behavior of individual users we can map how they discover the world and how they interact with it over time: each time a user touches something in the storyworld, we record it. By listing all these ‘points of interaction’ and structuring them into chapters, scenes and beats, we can track the journey and hotspots of engagement for individual users as they progress through the story.
The key benefit of our conceptual model is that the behavior of an individual user can be compared to others. In doing so, we can interpret the relative engagement of an individual user compared to others (as a ratio) at certain points of interaction (touchpoints, chapters, scenes, beats). By tracking the user journey the storyteller gets actionable insights on the behavior of that individual, but also on the behavior of groups of users.
Evaluating Toggle Switch Model
We asked twelve leading experts to evaluate the clarity, completeness, affectivity, applicability and benefit of our model. Amongst them are Sam Ford (Peppercomm, New York, NY), Dr. Pamela Rutledge (Media Psychology Research Center, Boston, MA), Bart Robben (Elastique, Hilversum, NL), Egbert van Wyngaarden (Transmedia Desk, Munich, DE) and Soraia Ferreira (UT Austin, Porto, PT)
Participants found our model interesting , allowing the ability to track both individual and overall journeys and providing the opportunity to adjust the strategy during the campaign. But they were doubtful that this model could measure real emotions. Based on the insights of our expert panel, we have improved our model and we are excited to share these results at the Conductrr Conference.
We aim to present an engagement model that can be easily integrated in the daily activities of a transmedia storyteller.
About this research
This research is conducted by Eefje Op den Buysch, Head of the Fontys Transmedia Storytelling Lab and Hille van der Kaa, professor of the professorship of Media, Interaction and Narration at Fontys School of Applied Sciences. 15 students at the Fontys Transmedia Storytelling lab run the interviews.
Fontys’ Transmedia Storytelling Lab was designed for the research and development of transmedia productions and their value in the digital age. The professorship of Media, Interaction and Narration aims to develop innovative media concepts. It puts focus on the influence of technology on storytelling.
Check out the PDF here
“This model is designed to be able to track individuals and in what way each person travels through the narrative world… It gives storytellers the possibility to understand which particular parts of the story serve the right purpose.” - Sam Ford
“It is a very clear way of starting to break down the transmedia experience. By looking at ways of measuring these multiple threads of behaviour to try and make sense out of them in a hole.”- Dr. Pamela Rutledge
robert | October 1, 2014 ‐ No Comments
Recording of presentation by Robert Pratten to ARGFest in Portland. The Slideshare presentation is below!
robert | September 18, 2014 ‐ No Comments
When documentary makers and others talk about “data telling a story” they’re usually referring to data visualizations or data exploration tools like this from Watch Dogs. But with the rise of ubiquitous computing creating a range of initiatives – smart cities (also connected cities), connected homes, wearables, the Internet of Things (IoT) – the world is turning into a mesh of inputs and outputs that creates a programmable transmedia storytelling layer.
One way to imagine this is to think of a single computer image that we know is made up of millions of pixels. Now imagine that the world is the image and each pixel is represented by a computing device. Just as each pixel is individually addressable and must be changed in coordination with the other pixels to present a new image, so each connected computing device can be changed to create a new reality.
Pixel stands for “picture element”. I’m going to use stel to stand for “storytelling element” which is physically represented by any addressable digital technology that might send or receive data for the purpose of communicating a coherent story.
Usually in transmedia storytelling we talk about channels (video, audio, image), platforms (YouTube, Spotify, Flickr) and formats (pervasive game, treasure hunt, immersive theatre). To try to be specific about the “stel”, we could say that it’s a single multi-channel device but on its own not a platform – stels must be meshed together to create an addressable platform which, for the sake of this blog post we could unimaginatively call StelNet.
In this example, StelNet represents 1000 fixed location multi-channel devices across London and 500,000 mobile stels worn by participating, opt-in audience members. The mobile stels range from Fitbits and Android watches to purpose-made StelWear for those who’ve signed up for maximum immersion.
StelNet is capable of outwardly communicating mood to citizens through color, sound and image and inwardly communicating the mood of citizens through noise level & frequency, traffic flow, air pollution, weather conditions, size of congregations outside pubs and public spaces, personal biometrics and of course location-filtered sentiment on social media. Using an invisible, coordinating, storytelling intelligence (such as Conducttr) the experience designer can tell broadcast and personalized stories across the mesh of devices.
John, for example, plays Gratitude World 5 (GWV) a long-running sci-fi strategy game in which he must build a self-sustaining community on a space station orbiting the earth while repelling aliens who try to build bases across London. The aliens feed on negative energy and are hence hyper active during bad weather, traffic snarl-ups and reports of local council corruption. The GWV dashboard presents easy to digest game-related information that’s been gathered from StelNet allowing John to make intelligence decisions about when to plan cargo shipments, personnel transfers etc.
On his way to work, StelNel signals to John the status of his earlier decisions and the progress of the game. Wrist vibrations indicate the successful arrival of new supplies and the blue StelNet lights at bus stops show that for now the combat situation is under control. A nearby digital display, paid for by advertising, can be swiped to gain 90 second access to the community channel that shows John how his mood compares to the city as a whole. He’s found that smiling more and nodding to strangers helps his mood but also has a knock-on effect in raising the mood of the city. He needs more people to feel good about themselves today to prevent aliens re-establishing a command post near his fictional recruitment site.
Utilizing imagination and well-timed cues across a city of connected devices, many people will soon be living in multiple alternative realities.
Come discuss these ideas and more at the Conducttr Conference, Oct 17th in London, UK
robert | September 17, 2014 ‐ No Comments
At the time of recording the project is funded to $34,000 of it’s $40,000 goal on Kickstarter https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/division66/the-black-watchmen-game-and-comic-book
robert | September 12, 2014 ‐ No Comments
Congestion causes problems from damage to the environment to deaths from accidents and from ambulances not being able to make it through. For Learn Do Share in London we created simple demo to show how someone might generate conversation around the topic.
Imagine a Scalextric track in high street windows across the city where the drivers of the toy cars came alive on Twitter. The drivers tweet their fictional, dramatized journeys from home to work and reveal the perils of congestion. Using Conducttr, the toy drivers can respond to audience tweets and can change their replies and daily broadcasts based on real traffic flow, weather, air quality and any other real-world inputs.
In the demo we created, every tweet received by the driver caused the car to loop once around the track.
Prep the controller
We used an Arduino controller with a GSM Shield to get Internet access. Optionally an LED was added that stays red while trying to establish a data connection and turns off once connected. We found that it could sometimes take ages to establish a connection. We used the bluevia SIM that came with the shield and also tested with a Tesco mobile SIM which worked fine too.
The Arduino sketch rotates the servo to a “go” position to move the car and then back to a “stop” position to stop it. The length of time in the “go” position determines how far the car travels around the track. With a little trial-and-error we got the delay right for a full lap but found it had to be tweaked with each assembly because of friction between the car and track which varied the distance covered.
Please find below the circuit diagrams for the Arduino and you can find the code and further discussion at the Conducttr SkunkWrx.
robert | September 9, 2014 ‐ No Comments
- show how stories can be told with audience participation
- develop creative muscles so that it becomes easier to include participation from the beginning.
We tested the cards in the office and then play tested twice – once at the Interactive Narratives meetup group and then again at Learn Do Share.
In an interesting development to the card game we added sensor cards to represent real-world inputs that could be used as game mechanics for the participatory experience.
- Divide cards into two or three decks:
- characteristics, tropes and optionally sensors
- Draw two cards from each deck and leave face down
- Grab a story from http://ineedaprompt.com
- Start the clock and turn over the cards! Now create a participatory experience that tells the story from (2) using the cards from (1)
- After time has expired, player(s) reveals the experience
i. Use the card mat on slide 12 as a prompt for structured answers
ii. Suggested time limits
- Solo – 3 mins
- Team that knows each other and knows transmedia storytelling – 8 mins
- All other teams – 25 mins
iii. Check out the Transmedia Playbook if you’re unsure what any of this about! http://www.slideshare.net/tstoryteller/playbook-online-v10
robert | September 3, 2014 ‐ No Comments
Presentation given by Robert Pratten (@robpratten) to the Alternate Reality Games conference (ARGFest) in Portland, OR.
robert | August 27, 2014 ‐ No Comments
Interviewed by @robpratten