Transmedia Playbook

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The purpose of the book is to stimulate ideas and inspiration. It’s a small catalog of participatory transmedia storytelling experiences intended to remind, suggest, provoke and inspire creators.

Text of Transmedia Playbook

  • Transmedia Playbook2 TM Transmedia Playbook TM
  • Transmedia Playbook TM You are free to share this book in its entirety and free to reuse/remix all text, illustrations and icons under the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike agreement. The photographic images have been licensed by us and cant be remixed or used alone, so please dont share or remix them unless part of this book. This edition first published June 2014 by Transmedia Storyteller Ltd. Design by Eleanor Mathieson
  • Transmedia Playbook TM How to use this Playbook Use 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 help If 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. Introduction The 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.
  • Transmedia Playbook TM JOURNEY LOCATION (on and offline) PERSPECTIVE SHARING Follow Up Character waits for a delay period after an initial reply and then re-contacts the audience with additional or conflicting information Intercepted Communication Audience 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 Hunt Audience goes from place to place gathering information Video Cues Audience discovers information in a video to send to a character Alternative View Audience gets two or more unfolding stories each with a unique but related perspective Personality Test Audience answers questions to get different information according to their answers Pass it On Ask the audience to bring someone else into the experience AVAILABILITY Participation Tropes Locked Out Audience is unable to access information for the period of a delay Closed Out to Lunch Character availability is limited by time of day and day of week 00:01 Time Limit Information is available for a certain period of time COUNTS EXCLUSIVITY Three Strikes and Youre Out Audience is allowed a limited number of interactions after which information or choices are unavailable Flock to Unlock Content is published after a specific number of people have interacted You Decide Narrative branches depending on majority community behavior First Come, First Served Only the first batch of people to respond correctly get the information Personal Locker Personalized web-based content is made available based on interactive choices VIP
  • Transmedia Playbook TM Index HEAD 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 Characteristics Branching Narrative Audience is able to choose between different fixed sequences of interaction Interactive The content and information is delivered depending on audience interaction Exclusivity Audience gains access to exclusive content Solo Player The story is individual and the result depends on each audience member Multiplayer The experience depends on community interaction Personalized Audience receives personalized content Physical Objects The experience requires interaction with a physical object Plays With Time The experience depends on time periods, delays or deadlines 2July Scheduled The content is published at a specific date and time PACING PERSONALIZATION REAL WORLD STORY STRUCTURE N S EW Real Places The experience is dependent on a physical place PLAY STYLE Open World Audience has greatest freedom because there is no fixed sequence of interaction 2July N S EW Closed VIP 2July Closed 2July N S EW
  • Transmedia PlaybookTM 1110 HEAD or HEART Facebook | Blog STORY Kala 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! BUILDING BLOCKS Publish call-to-action 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 2July
  • Transmedia PlaybookTM 1312 WATCH DAWGS Video | SMS | Location STORY CCTV 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. BUILDING BLOCKS Hack a CCTV camera Use SMS Trigger with matchphrase matching unique camera code to send SMS with link to video Notify player that CCTV footage is no longer blocked Use Publish Trigger connected to delayed notification SMS to remove player from hacked agent Group Hack an agent and detected Add player to the hacked agent Group that corresponds to the nearby CCTV N S EW