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This edition first published June 2014 byTransmedia Storyteller Ltd.
Design by Eleanor Mathieson
How to use this PlaybookUse this playbook when youre stuck for ideas. If you want to do something fun but dont know where to start or if the client puts you on a deadline to propose an experience, use this book as quick reference guide. This book will stimulate ideas and provide structure to your thinking.
Each example story has three sections:
Platforms how this particular example is delivered Format the participation tropes and experience characteristics Story an example of how the format might be used Building blocks the steps used to create the experience.
Note that the building blocks relate specifically to implementation in Conducttr but could be used to implement in some other way if you prefer not to use the convenience of Conducttr. To make it even easier, weve created template projects for most of the stories here so you can create a new, original project and speed up the implementation by working from one of those public templates.
How you can helpIf you like this playbook and find it helpful, you can help the community of transmedia storytellers by sharing it widely and by sending us your examples for possible inclusion in the next release of this book. If your work is included in the next playbook, we will of course credit you accordingly! Finally, if youre a Conducttr author, remember that you can even create your own templates too.
IntroductionThe purpose of this book is to stimulate ideas and inspiration. Its a small catalogue of participatory transmedia storytelling experiences intended to remind, suggest, provoke and inspire creators.
What is Transmedia Storytelling?Transmedia storytelling is telling a story across multiple platforms, preferably allowing audience participation, such that each successive platform heightens the audience enjoyment.
Note the use of platform instead of media. Video is a media while YouTube is a platform. Text is another media but the platform could be SMS, a book, a blog and so on. With this stricter definition, a multimedia website does not represent transmedia storytelling unless its part of some larger, multi-platform experience.
Not all multi-platform projects are examples of transmedia storytelling and usually its because the same content has been repurposed rather than each platform delivering unique content.
Whats a Format?Weve defined format to mean a combination of experience characteristics and frequently used participation mechanisms (which weve called participation tropes).
Our definition of transmedia storytelling encompasses many types of projects. It can therefore be useful to think in terms of how the audience experience is shaped such as the use of time, the use of place, whether the experience is intended to be enjoyed alone or with others and so on. Working with these experience characteristics we start to create a format a certain classification of experience defined by the relationship between the creator and the audience.
In addition to the characteristics, we see commonly used mechanisms or ways of interacting with an audience such as a treasure hunt or voting and we refer to these as participation tropes.
For example, if you build a twitter experience in which the audience has to make a decision by voting, the experience characteristics would be Scheduled, because you open and close the voting process at a certain period of time and Multiplayer because the audience will work together and vote as a community. In this case, our participation tropes is You Decide which we have created to describe a branching narrative that depends on a community decision.
LOCATION (on and offline)
Follow UpCharacter waits for a delay period after an initial reply and then re-contacts the audience with additional or conflicting information
Intercepted CommunicationAudience contacts one character and gets a reply from another
Lock and Key Audience must first contact one character who holds the key to unlock information from a second
Check-in Audience must go to a location in order to unlock information
Treasure HuntAudience goes from place to place gathering information
Video CuesAudience discovers information in a video to send to a character
Alternative ViewAudience gets two or more unfolding stories each with a unique but related perspective
Personality TestAudience answers questions to get different information according to their answers
Pass it OnAsk the audience to bring someone else into the experience
Locked OutAudience is unable to access information for the period of a delay
ClosedOut to LunchCharacter availability is limited by time of day and day of week
00:01 Time LimitInformation is available for a certain period of time
Three Strikes and Youre OutAudience is allowed a limited number of interactions after which information or choices are unavailable
Flock to UnlockContent is published after a specific number of people have interacted
You DecideNarrative branches depending on majority community behavior
First Come, First ServedOnly the first batch of people to respond correctly get the information
Personal LockerPersonalized web-based content is made available based on interactive choices
IndexHEAD OR HEART? 10
WATCH DAWGS 12
SECRET IDENTITY 14
BOND PARTY 16
GHOST STORY 18
FIND ME A LOVER 20
TIME FOR TEA 22
SATISFY THE ORACLE 24
LOVERS INTERCEPTED 26
PRISON BREAK 28
MASQUERADE BALL 30
PARTY LOVER 32
GOOD vs EVIL 34
OAK TOWN MYSTERY 36
ZOMBIE OUTBREAK 38
WANT TICKETS? 40
FULL MOON 42
STYLE BUDDIES 44
Branching NarrativeAudience is able to choose between different fixed sequences of interaction
InteractiveThe content and information is delivered depending on audience interaction
ExclusivityAudience gains access to exclusive content
Solo PlayerThe story is individual and the result depends on each audience member
MultiplayerThe experience depends on community interaction
Personalized Audience receives personalized content
Physical ObjectsThe experience requires interaction with a physical object
Plays With TimeThe experience depends on time periods, delays or deadlines
ScheduledThe content is published at a specific date and time
EW Real Places The experience is dependent on a physical place
Open WorldAudience has greatest freedom because there is no fixed sequence of interaction
Transmedia PlaybookTM 1110
HEAD or HEARTFacebook | Blog
STORYKala is confused because shes torn between two guys. She needs to decide whether to follow her heart or follow her head. She will make up her mind at the end of the week!
She asks her Facebook friends to help her decide and they vote for head or heart Help me decide! Should I follow my heart or my head?
During the week Kala tells the friends how shes swaying based on the collective opinion but they will need to wait until the final day to see which triumphs!
At the end of the week, Kala makes her decision according to the most popular opinion and publishes the whole dramatic experience on her blog!
Use Date & Time Trigger with Facebook Post
Maintain the count
Use two Change Value actions to increment the Project attributes head and heart
Listen for mentions of head and heart
Use two Facebook Triggers - one for head and one for heart
At the deadline publish the result
Use Date & Time Trigger at the decision deadline. Use Condition head >= heart to publish the head won and Condition head < heart to publish heart won
Transmedia PlaybookTM 1312
WATCH DAWGSVideo | SMS | Location
STORYCCTV cameras across the city reveal vital clues and story details that unravel the mystery of what happened to Tony Vargas. Tony, a local charity worker and school soccer coach, disappeared 3 days ago.
You play as a vigilante hacker with the mission to find out who took Tony and why.Starting from one location, players need to locate a number of CCTV cameras and possible witnesses scattered across the city.
Each CCTV camera has a code beneath it and witnesses wear a code on an armband. Texting the CCTV code sends a link to video footage of what happened from the perspective of that camera sometime in the past 3 days.
Texting witness codes results in either a phone call to listen in to past conversations or a warning that the hacking intrusion has been detected! Detection results in the CCTV footage being scrambled for 15 minutes.
Hack a CCTV camera