Lessons Learned in Cross-Media

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Video of this presentation given at Power to the Pixel, London Film Festival, 2009 is available at: http://www.babelgum.com/4005320/what-did-they-lessons-learned-crossmedia-christy-dena.html. Event details are at http://www.PowertothePixel.com

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Lessons Learned in Cross-Media

  1. 1. WHAT DID THEY DO? LESSONS LEARNED IN CROSS-MEDIA Christy Dena Director, Universe Creation 101 Power to the Pixel, London Film Festival 14 th October, 2009
  2. 2. Flash in the…Planet?
  3. 3. <ul><li>&quot;Multiplatform digital entertainment is here to stay and requires a different approach&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Javier Perez Dolset, Zed Worldwide #MIPCOM09 </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>‘ Billion Dollar Research Lab: Cross-Media Insights from the Largest Single Media Event Ever’ </li></ul>“ We thought that customers would be appreciative of the fact that we had so much across different platforms,” he said. “But nope. They were like ‘obviously!’ They just expected it.” Alan Wurtzel, NBC Universal’s President of Research
  5. 5. http://www.australiacouncil.gov.au/writersguide/newwritinguniverse/
  6. 7. Lessons learned from those before there may be…
  7. 8. <ul><li>* Do not to plan events around fixed dates, keep them flexible by setting </li></ul><ul><li>them at a fictional event (Adrian Hon) * Provide Recaps/Story So Far for </li></ul><ul><li>latecomers * The name of the first website players find will become their title </li></ul><ul><li>for the entire project * Respect the Hard-core, engage them first/early </li></ul><ul><li>(Jane McGonigal) * Give the players something to model their actions on </li></ul><ul><li>(Brian Clarke & Mike Monello) * Be prepared for actor improvisation to </li></ul><ul><li>change the plot * Design for a variety of engagement and expertise levels * </li></ul><ul><li>Set a day and cycle (eg weekly) that you will update the project, so players </li></ul><ul><li>know what to expect and you have a schedule you can keep to * In large </li></ul><ul><li>projects, only the smallest audience number will attend to every piece of </li></ul><ul><li>content in every media * Some people like narrative content, some </li></ul><ul><li>interacting with characters, some attending live events, some puzzles, some </li></ul><ul><li>play and some contribute content * Be prepared for someone </li></ul><ul><li>game/hijacking your project by creating fake websites and characters * Be </li></ul><ul><li>prepared for ‘brute force’ being applied to an automated system * Players </li></ul><ul><li>almost always check who registered a domain name * Not all ‘alternate </li></ul><ul><li>reality’ games are hoaxes * Countdowns have been used many times, and </li></ul><ul><li>will be used again * Create a character to guide the players with what to do </li></ul><ul><li>(Evan Jones) * Competition attracts newcomers, but doesn’t drive their desire </li></ul><ul><li>to stay (Adrian Hon) </li></ul>
  8. 9. Lessons Learned Where we’re at …what we need
  9. 10. Local & Global Design Documentation Address Different Audiences
  10. 11. Local & Global
  11. 12. <ul><li>Local and a dash of global? </li></ul>
  12. 13. Local & Global <ul><li>Live events (cinema events, meeting characters, local competitions etc) consider: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sharing the experience in real-time (streaming) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Giving non-local people something to do as well </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Getting local & non-local people to work together </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make the local replicable (by yourself or others – self-replication) </li></ul></ul>
  13. 14. Local & Global <ul><li>INSERT PIC OF INDIE SCREENINGS </li></ul>
  14. 15. Local & Global The Lost Ring ( McDonald’s, AKQA, and Jane McGonigal, 2008)
  15. 17. Design Documentation Issues <ul><ul><li>Indicate what part of the story is in what media (or which website) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Indicate timing – when each element is released [pacing] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Indicate why and how participants traverse media [calls to action?] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Indicate what people see and do [their experience] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Think about non-linear traversal [order narrative is accessed] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Difficult to ensure continuity across different developers… </li></ul></ul>
  16. 18. Design Documentation <ul><ul><li>Universe Guide </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Flow Visualisation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Flow Script </li></ul></ul>
  17. 19. TV > “Show Bible”
  18. 21. … .on the other hand…a Game Design Document …. <ul><li>‘ is all about communicating a vision for a game, for mapping out as much information as possible about how that game will function, what players will experience, and how players will interact with the game-world’ </li></ul><ul><li>(Rouse, 2005, 356) </li></ul>
  19. 22. www.videogameteam.com/wiki/index.php?title=Design_Doc David Perry’s ‘Top Secret Project’
  20. 23. Current Context Show Bible = Continuity across episodes within one medium Game Design Doc = Describes a single mono-medium game
  21. 24. Cross-Media Context Continuity across projects in different media platforms (eg: film, comic, digital game) Describes a single cross-media project (eg: pervasive game)
  22. 25. Universe Guide By Christy Dena
  23. 26. Flow Visualisation
  24. 27. Flow Visualisation > Cross-Media www.christydena.com/online-essays/arg-design-charts The Beast , Microsoft Game Studio, 2001
  25. 31. Vary Engagement & Skills
  26. 32. Source: 42 Entertainment
  27. 33. Kim, Amy Jo (2000) Community Building on the Web , Peachpit Press
  28. 35. www.LostEnvelope.com
  29. 36. Hoodlum’s Find 815, Lost
  30. 37. www.youngbondshadowwar.com/begin
  31. 38. Kim, Amy Jo (2000) Community Building on the Web , Peachpit Press
  32. 39. http://www.42entertainment.com/poker.html Last Call Poker Last Call Poker, 42Entertainment
  33. 40. www.ChainFactor.com by Area/Code
  34. 41. Six to Start
  35. 42. Image source: dkimages.com Accessible & Appealing 2 Majority Expanded World More detail, interactivity, need specific skills & time Co-creative, hardcore By Christy Dena
  36. 43. Why is it Important? <ul><li>Attract and Reach more people </li></ul><ul><li>More people stick around (low attrition rate) </li></ul><ul><li>The hard-core are the smallest audience size, but the most engaged, evangelical & contribute content </li></ul><ul><li>Casuals are the largest audience size, but the least experienced. </li></ul><ul><li>But…you can only create what you know. If you don’t understand hard-core, you can’t design for them. The type of content & design you create attracts </li></ul><ul><li>like-minded audiences & players. </li></ul>
  37. 44. Bonus Level:
  38. 45. Physicality & Environments … Choreography of the Physical & Emotional Experience…
  39. 47. ?
  40. 48. ?
  41. 49. ?
  42. 50. <ul><li>I dare you to think about what is right for your film, for your story, for the characters, for the mood, for your message… </li></ul><ul><li>Put your creativity (and a healthy dollop of audience demand) first … and then let’s see what the next generation of cross-media brings… </li></ul>
  43. 51. <ul><li>Wohoo! Feel free to contact me at: </li></ul><ul><li>www.ChristyDena.com </li></ul><ul><li>www.UniverseCreation101.com </li></ul><ul><li>Check out the event: </li></ul><ul><li>www.PowertothePixel.com </li></ul>

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