Using apps to extend storytelling and build audiences

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I recently wrote a piece for Filmmaker Magazine about designing mobile apps that extend storytelling and build audiences. Here’s a section from the story…

him artwork Jordan Grey

Where Data Meets Storytelling
Mobile apps offer not only a direct channel to audiences but they carry your story to places where the audience will consume it. As stories travel they can harvest a variety of data such as: GPS coordinates, viewer preferences and/or contact info. This data can be filtered and used in a variety of ways to enhance a story. For instance, media (video, audio, photos) can be released to viewers when they reach a certain location, data can be used to connect audience members who share similar interests around a story, and characters can contact players directly via SMS, e-mail or even phone calls.

With my newest feature/transmedia project HiM, my company Seize the Media, which specializes in story architecture (design and delivery of stories), is hard at work on a series of mobile applications and web browser-based extensions. Our efforts are focused on an area known as Contextual Storytelling – the use of data to enhance and customize the delivery of story elements and social entertainment experiences to audiences.

Pandemic is a transmedia property that resides within the storyworld of HiM. The game enables players to step into the shoes of the protagonist as they are forced to scavenge for food and encouraged to search for other survivors. One core feature of the game enables the player to create a 360-degree panoramic view of a space. By standing and snapping pictures in a circle, users can capture any space and place it within the game world. In a sense the Pandemic app creates a crowdsourced type MMO (massive multiplayer online game) that enables players to virtualize the real world around them.

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