Designing an Approach to Interactive Narrative<br />
“A game is a series of interesting choices.”<br />           - Sid Meier<br />
The Project<br />Interesting Choice is an interactive live action dramatic webseries.<br />
The Project<br />At the end of each short 3-5 minute episode, viewers are presented with three multiple-choice questions a...
The Project<br />Viewers are directed to a poll on the Interesting Choice website, where they can collectively determine t...
The Project<br />Even the genre and format of the series were decided by viewers before the first full episode was produce...
The Project<br />After closing each poll and tabulating the results, we had a week’s turnaround time to:<br /> Brainstorm ...
The Project<br />The series was produced on a weekly basis for three weeks, with the introductory video and two full episo...
The Project<br />A third full episode, the series finale, is currently in production and will debut this week.<br />Episod...
Aims<br />Interesting Choice aims to address several common problems in other forms of interactive narrative:<br />
Aims<br />Interesting Choice aims to address several common problems in other forms of interactive narrative:<br /><ul><li...
 Surplus content</li></li></ul><li>Aims<br />Interesting Choice aims to address several common problems in other forms of ...
 Surplus content
 Railroading</li></li></ul><li>Aims<br />Interesting Choice aims to address several common problems in other forms of inte...
 Surplus content
 Railroading
 Lack of meaningful choice</li></li></ul><li>Aims<br />Interesting Choice aims to address several common problems in other...
 Surplus content
 Railroading
 Lack of meaningful choice
 Conflation of story and game</li></li></ul><li>Aims<br />Interesting Choice aims to address several common problems in ot...
 Surplus content
 Railroading
 Lack of meaningful choice
 Conflation of story and game
 Unsatisfying dramatic outcomes</li></li></ul><li>Aims<br />Some of our solutions:<br /><ul><li> Sprawling “branching path...
 Surplus content
 Railroading
 Lack of meaningful choice
 Conflation of story and game
 Unsatisfying dramatic outcomes</li></li></ul><li>Aims<br />Some of our solutions:<br /><ul><li> Sprawling “branching path...
 Surplus content
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Interesting Choice: Designing an Approach to Interactive Narrative

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Interesting Choice is an experimental interactive live-action dramatic webseries where the viewers decide what happens. This presentation explores our approach to crafting an interactive narrative with this project.

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Interesting Choice: Designing an Approach to Interactive Narrative

  1. 1. Designing an Approach to Interactive Narrative<br />
  2. 2. “A game is a series of interesting choices.”<br /> - Sid Meier<br />
  3. 3. The Project<br />Interesting Choice is an interactive live action dramatic webseries.<br />
  4. 4. The Project<br />At the end of each short 3-5 minute episode, viewers are presented with three multiple-choice questions about the next episode. <br />
  5. 5. The Project<br />Viewers are directed to a poll on the Interesting Choice website, where they can collectively determine the course of the series.<br />
  6. 6. The Project<br />Even the genre and format of the series were decided by viewers before the first full episode was produced.<br />Episode 0 Poll Results:<br />1. What should the genre be?<br />    A. Film noir (10, 38%)    B. Sci-fi (8, 31%)    C. Horror (8, 31%)<br />2. What should the setting be?<br />    A. A playroom (10, 38%)    B. A forest (9, 35%)    C. Mars (7, 27%)<br />3. There should also be…<br />    A. A character that doesn’t speak (9, 35%)    B. Handcuffs (5, 19%)<br />    C. A fish (12, 46%)<br />
  7. 7. The Project<br />After closing each poll and tabulating the results, we had a week’s turnaround time to:<br /> Brainstorm the next plot<br /> Write, workshop, and rewrite the script<br /> Cast actors<br /> Assemble sets and props<br /> Storyboard the episode<br /> Shoot the episode<br /> Edit the episode<br /> Write the next set of poll questions and answers<br /> Publish and distribute the episode <br />
  8. 8. The Project<br />The series was produced on a weekly basis for three weeks, with the introductory video and two full episodes released. <br />
  9. 9. The Project<br />A third full episode, the series finale, is currently in production and will debut this week.<br />Episode List<br />
  10. 10. Aims<br />Interesting Choice aims to address several common problems in other forms of interactive narrative:<br />
  11. 11. Aims<br />Interesting Choice aims to address several common problems in other forms of interactive narrative:<br /><ul><li> Sprawling “branching path” structures</li></li></ul><li>Aims<br />Interesting Choice aims to address several common problems in other forms of interactive narrative:<br /><ul><li> Sprawling “branching path” structures
  12. 12. Surplus content</li></li></ul><li>Aims<br />Interesting Choice aims to address several common problems in other forms of interactive narrative:<br /><ul><li>Sprawling “branching path” structures
  13. 13. Surplus content
  14. 14. Railroading</li></li></ul><li>Aims<br />Interesting Choice aims to address several common problems in other forms of interactive narrative:<br /><ul><li> Sprawling “branching path” structures
  15. 15. Surplus content
  16. 16. Railroading
  17. 17. Lack of meaningful choice</li></li></ul><li>Aims<br />Interesting Choice aims to address several common problems in other forms of interactive narrative:<br /><ul><li> Sprawling “branching path” structures
  18. 18. Surplus content
  19. 19. Railroading
  20. 20. Lack of meaningful choice
  21. 21. Conflation of story and game</li></li></ul><li>Aims<br />Interesting Choice aims to address several common problems in other forms of interactive narrative:<br /><ul><li> Sprawling “branching path” structures
  22. 22. Surplus content
  23. 23. Railroading
  24. 24. Lack of meaningful choice
  25. 25. Conflation of story and game
  26. 26. Unsatisfying dramatic outcomes</li></li></ul><li>Aims<br />Some of our solutions:<br /><ul><li> Sprawling “branching path” structures
  27. 27. Surplus content
  28. 28. Railroading
  29. 29. Lack of meaningful choice
  30. 30. Conflation of story and game
  31. 31. Unsatisfying dramatic outcomes</li></li></ul><li>Aims<br />Some of our solutions:<br /><ul><li> Sprawling “branching path” structures
  32. 32. Surplus content
  33. 33. Railroading
  34. 34. Lack of meaningful choice
  35. 35. Conflation of story and game
  36. 36. Unsatisfying dramatic outcomes
  37. 37. No preauthoredcontent</li></li></ul><li>Aims<br />Some of our solutions:<br /><ul><li> Sprawling “branching path” structures
  38. 38. Surplus content
  39. 39. Railroading
  40. 40. Lack of meaningful choice
  41. 41. Conflation of story and game
  42. 42. Unsatisfying dramatic outcomes
  43. 43. No preauthoredcontent
  44. 44. Everyone sees the same content</li></li></ul><li>Aims<br />Some of our solutions:<br /><ul><li> Sprawling “branching path” structures
  45. 45. Surplus content
  46. 46. Railroading
  47. 47. Lack of meaningful choice
  48. 48. Conflation of story and game
  49. 49. Unsatisfying dramatic outcomes
  50. 50. No preauthoredcontent
  51. 51. Everyone sees the same content
  52. 52. No predetermined destination</li></li></ul><li>Aims<br />Some of our solutions:<br /><ul><li> Sprawling “branching path” structures
  53. 53. Surplus content
  54. 54. Railroading
  55. 55. Lack of meaningful choice
  56. 56. Conflation of story and game
  57. 57. Unsatisfying dramatic outcomes
  58. 58. No preauthoredcontent
  59. 59. Everyone sees the same content
  60. 60. No predetermined destination
  61. 61. Every choice has a major impact</li></li></ul><li>Aims<br />Some of our solutions:<br /><ul><li> Sprawling “branching path” structures
  62. 62. Surplus content
  63. 63. Railroading
  64. 64. Lack of meaningful choice
  65. 65. Conflation of story and game
  66. 66. Unsatisfying dramatic outcomes
  67. 67. No preauthoredcontent
  68. 68. Everyone sees the same content
  69. 69. No predetermined destination
  70. 70. Every choice has a major impact
  71. 71. No identification with a particular character or valorization of outcome</li></li></ul><li>Aims<br />Some of our solutions:<br /><ul><li> Sprawling “branching path” structures
  72. 72. Surplus content
  73. 73. Railroading
  74. 74. Lack of meaningful choice
  75. 75. Conflation of story and game
  76. 76. Unsatisfying dramatic outcomes
  77. 77. No preauthoredcontent
  78. 78. Everyone sees the same content
  79. 79. No predetermined destination
  80. 80. Every choice has a major impact
  81. 81. No identification with a particular character or valorization of outcome
  82. 82. Available choices and final product handcrafted by writers</li></li></ul><li>Aims<br />Some tradeoffs:<br /><ul><li> No preauthoredcontent
  83. 83. Everyone sees the same content
  84. 84. No predetermined destination
  85. 85. Every choice has a major impact
  86. 86. No identification with a particular character or valorization of outcome
  87. 87. Available choices and final product handcrafted by writers</li></li></ul><li>Aims<br />Some tradeoffs:<br /><ul><li> No preauthoredcontent
  88. 88. Everyone sees the same content
  89. 89. No predetermined destination
  90. 90. Every choice has a major impact
  91. 91. No identification with a particular character or valorization of outcome
  92. 92. Available choices and final product handcrafted by writers
  93. 93. Tight production schedule</li></li></ul><li>Aims<br />Some tradeoffs:<br /><ul><li> No preauthoredcontent
  94. 94. Everyone sees the same content
  95. 95. No predetermined destination
  96. 96. Every choice has a major impact
  97. 97. No identification with a particular character or valorization of outcome
  98. 98. Available choices and final product handcrafted by writers
  99. 99. Tight production schedule
  100. 100. Lack of personalized experience</li></li></ul><li>Aims<br />Some tradeoffs:<br /><ul><li> No preauthoredcontent
  101. 101. Everyone sees the same content
  102. 102. No predetermined destination
  103. 103. Every choice has a major impact
  104. 104. No identification with a particular character or valorization of outcome
  105. 105. Available choices and final product handcrafted by writers
  106. 106. Tight production schedule
  107. 107. Lack of personalized experience
  108. 108. Hampers plot development (theme, motif, foreshadowing, dramatic arc...)</li></li></ul><li>Aims<br />Some tradeoffs:<br /><ul><li> No preauthoredcontent
  109. 109. Everyone sees the same content
  110. 110. No predetermined destination
  111. 111. Every choice has a major impact
  112. 112. No identification with a particular character or valorization of outcome
  113. 113. Available choices and final product handcrafted by writers
  114. 114. Tight production schedule
  115. 115. Lack of personalized experience
  116. 116. Hampers plot development (theme, motif, foreshadowing, dramatic arc...)
  117. 117. Majority rule; individual choices may not prevail</li></li></ul><li>Aims<br />Some tradeoffs:<br /><ul><li> No preauthoredcontent
  118. 118. Everyone sees the same content
  119. 119. No predetermined destination
  120. 120. Every choice has a major impact
  121. 121. No identification with a particular character or valorization of outcome
  122. 122. Available choices and final product handcrafted by writers
  123. 123. Tight production schedule
  124. 124. Lack of personalized experience
  125. 125. Hampers plot development (theme, motif, foreshadowing, dramatic arc...)
  126. 126. Majority rule; individual choices may not prevail
  127. 127. Unclear motivation for choices</li></li></ul><li>Aims<br />Some tradeoffs:<br /><ul><li> No preauthoredcontent
  128. 128. Everyone sees the same content
  129. 129. No predetermined destination
  130. 130. Every choice has a major impact
  131. 131. No identification with a particular character or valorization of outcome
  132. 132. Available choices and final product handcrafted by writers
  133. 133. Tight production schedule
  134. 134. Lack of personalized experience
  135. 135. Hampers plot development (theme, motif, foreshadowing, dramatic arc...)
  136. 136. Majority rule; individual choices may not prevail
  137. 137. Unclear motivation for choices
  138. 138. Limited sustainability </li></li></ul><li>Conclusion<br /> Interactive narrative is far from “solved”<br /> There are distinct benefits and drawbacks to the various available techniques<br /> This particular approach produced a successful short-run series with interesting results<br /> ...But it’s exhausting!<br />
  139. 139. Thank you!<br />http://www.interestingchoice.com<br />

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