Seriously THIS! This right here rocks so freaking hard!
This is unrealistically awesome! Seriously man, this is ungodly heaven shatteringly awesome like that Pluto explorer that just sent us an awesome photo of that midget planet that NDT loves to hates!
Okay, so I might be too excited on this cause I’m working on one of this project with a client of mine.
We’re working on a game and this guy doesn’t know anything about games. This guy is actually a sci-fi author.
He writes short stories just for fun. They’re really good stories though.
So I played a bunch of games on iPad and I love the experience of interactive short stories on it a lot.
I believe that iPad is BUILT for experiences like this. The future of novels or set of short stories could be an interactive game based novel or narrative. It’s perfect for that.
For example, I played a game called Device 6. It is a mystery novel but it is also a game. An interactive novel (or a short story).
This is literally the best of both worlds as TheVerge describes it. An awesome story and a unique reading experience that is interactive. Now this game could be a little complex for average audience because of some puzzles in it but that’s not the point, the point is that the concept rocks.
Then I started playing a ton of more games like this.
I recently played another game called Lifeline for iPad, it’s a story of a science student who went on a space trip and bad stuff happened to his ship and crew and he got stranded. So you’re chatting with him like you’re chatting with your friend. Like text chat and you gotta help him get out of there.
The concept is extremely unique and BUILT for iPad/iPhone and Apple watch. I think the story was a little sloppy, the choices were a bit vague and it could be a lot better but again, that’s not the point and this isn’t a review.
The linear interactive narrative short stories on iPad like device 6 are something that’s awesome!
Why this is awesome?
- Not a ton of gaming entrepreneurs are doing it so it’s easy to stand out. Not a ton of short story writers are doing it as well.
- Easy to market because with this type of game you can draft a campaign AROUND the story and character and really get a big hit.
- It’s better than a book
- Easier AND cheaper to create than a game. I mean it’s an eBook but an interactive one with to-do, puzzles, choices, videos to watch and a ton of elements.
- You expect something new on the next page as you move forward then just another “page of text”
- You FEEL like you’re moving forward with the character in the story
- Gives a complete satisfactory experience.
- Apple feature games like this very often because they’re truly their platform enhancers.
- Monetization is straight forward with higher possibility of conversions
Easy to monetize, and monetize hard
Don’t we all hate those in-app purchases in social games to just buy coins to build that stupid house faster?
If you’ve played social games then you know what I’m talking about. It’s like they’re leeching the users and they are. I’ve designed some monetization campaign for f2p AAA titles and trust me we are designing the games to suck your wallet dry testing various psychological factors to make you spend more money and do it frequently after you’ve been in the game for some time and invested yourself.
It makes a ton of money and it’s not going away and we’re gonna keep on doing this until we stop making money off of it.
It’s like Scientology when it comes to monetization, ya know what I mean? Hard to describe but it’s a bit similar.
However with interactive game based novels, your players or readers will PRACTICALLY BEG YOU TO TAKE THEIR MONEY.
Why? Well, consider this example:
The Walking Dead series.
You’ve probably played at least 1 season of that game. It’s a game that created a whole new genre of narrative and one of the best games I’ve ever played.
I remember how I started caring about the characters in the game, especially Clementine, I keep on checking on her, giving her food before anyone else, making sure she is all right in the middle of an apocalypse when all the hell is breaking loose. And I don’t even like kids!
Yet I still found myself caring about her really deeply.
Later on I started caring about other characters as well. EVERYONE should play that game. It’s that good.
So the point is, that game is a set of short stories in 5 episodes per season. Each episode has a short story which continues and moves forward in the forthcoming episodes.
Now consider this, when your player/reader is enjoying story chapter 1 and you left him off the hook and told him to stay tuned for chapter 2, will he buy it if he digs the experience?
Of course he will! It’s been proven to work in the television and print (comics) industry for decades.
People wait for the next part to find out what happened to their beloved character and the world they’re into.
They will beg you to create more episodes so they can pay you to have access to it.
This way you can use your first game or even chapter in some instances to create a following.
This is the future of short stories and comics too. I guess.
How To Deploy This Plan?
Now the fun part! Actually doing this whole thing and creating a plan together.
I would start with a layout of what kind of narrative we’re looking for and based on that we’ll decide the interactive to include and the author will have to structure the story around it.
Then once we’ve locked down these components together and the story is all looking good then I would get a draft done. Like a sketch with what goes where, shoot the videos if we have some in the game, sound stuff that I could probably do myself in Ableton (or hire someone to do that).
Once it is done, I’ll look for a dude who is super dope in Unity software and get this bad boy pumped out.
Now I’m a pro at this. I’ve done a ton of stuff with clients. Although I gotta be honest, I usually don’t do stuff all on my own cause time is a big bitch.
You might be wondering how could I do something like this if I could just write an awesome story or has an idea for one?
Well, I got some good news and bad news:
Good news is that my friend Trey Smith Launched this software suite that anyone and their dog can use called Build Box master’s collection.
Bad news is that I don’t have links to send you to buy or try this kit, although you can try build box right now but not master’s collection which is better and IN THEORY you might be able to build narratives with it as well without hiring a programmer, a coder, sound guy etc.
I’ll talk to him on the weekends to see if we could get this done with his software or we have to go the custom route with Unity.
Conclusion aka TL;DR
There a lot of reasons why interactive narratives on mobile platform are the future and how games SHOULD be done on this platform.
They provide awesome experience and now we have tools to do it economically and make a lot more money with it than something like a book on amazon (unless you’re an A-list author like Neil Asher)
These interactive novels are something I will be using to help my clients promote movies, TV series, books etc. I’ve been approached for running launches for these businesses but I had a hard time coming up with new campaigns that could generate significant results to justify their investment with my company.
But with these types of interactive games, I might be able to finally test and execute some new marketing campaigns for those peeps.
These games could also be used to sell books or create a new digital story franchise where at the end of the game you can pitch your book on amazon or an up-coming graphic novel or just episode 2 etc. You get the idea.
The truth is I’m madly in love with interactive narratives and the experience they provide on mobile platform.
See ya around folks, I’ll post updates on twitter regarding this and a ton of other stuff.
If you have any questions, suggestions or queries, contact Jake here.