GTS WK3 Project: Transmedia Short Story Soft Opening

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Today is the Soft Opening of Sonya and ShaneTo learn a little about Sonya and Shane check out these teaser videos, 30 seconds on Sonya and Shane and Another 30 seconds on Sonya and Shane. The show is sweet, relatable and feels real. Sonya and Shane is an interactive romance series where the audiences input determines the decisions the characters make from episode to episode. Very similar to an RPG, Sonya and Shane combines the interactive elements of gaming with a television series. The characters interact with their audience online. They have social media accounts, blogs and businesses for fans to explore.

This project was a lot of fun to create and an excellent way to engage my own story-telling abilities. My project folder has my invoice, story element map, intangible invoice, press release and feedback form. In the final version of this project I would like to expand Shane’s persona. His blog could use more information. I would also like to continue to use the Sonya and Shane Twitter Account. I plan to add a “giveaway” in the form of a treasure hunt. With the feedback I receive from my instructor I’d really like to refine this story and continue to practice transmedia story-telling. I’m really interested in making sure my story elements are cohesive.

This was a blast to create and I can’t wait to refine it.

Britney

GTS WK3 Analysis: Games Expand Transmedia Worlds

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Remember playing Monopoly or Candyland on Tuesday nights with your folks? Maybe not. But you may have seen it done in a movie. Now there are more ways to play games than ever. We can now play games on our computers, phones or tablets. We can even play a real-life version of our favorite tv show. Check out some of the latest gaming options available.

Wikipedia describes console games as a form of “interactive multimedia”.  The transmedia world of Defiance is an excellent example of a console game. Defiance combines a tv show and video game that mixes characters and stories across different media channels.

 

The video game debuted a couple of weeks before the television show aired.

 

Mobile games are played on mobile devices like cell phones or tablets. Kim Kardashian currently has a 4.3 star Google Play rated mobile game. Players can use their own photos and interact with their Facebook friends.

 

Browser games are played over the web. Skrillex, a Grammy-winning DJ, decided to launch a browser-game to promote his latest album, Recess. Skrillex’s fondness for video games influenced his marketing technique. The browser game is fully functional and combines elements from classic games like Zelda.

 

Collectible card games are played were traditionally played with trading cards. According to Forbes the best collectible online card game is Hearthstone. The game is available on PC, MAC and iPad. It’s described as, “a fast-paced strategy card game for everyone”. After watching a six minute video, players get an idea of how the game works, including the creation, the rules and techniques on playing. The “cards” are digital and collected and traded by players.

Board games are traditionally played in person on a board with multiple players and pieces. AMC’s The Walking Dead  is a wildly popular television show that crosses many platforms. The Walking Dead is available in a board game. The game is based on the show, but does not include every story element of the show. It’s suggested for ages 15+ ( the same as the show). It combines several styles of cards, tokens and badges.

 

Role-playing games are played in person and electronically. Players perform as a character and interact in a fictitious world. MMORPGs ( massively multiplayer online role-playing games) are a popular form of RPG. With the release of World of Warcraft in 2004, players have been joining millions to interact in immersive worlds online. Final Fantasy is a media franchise that includes RPGs, motion pictures, anime, printed media and other merchandise. With the release of Final

Fantasy XI, players got to chose their characters and interact with others online.

 

Live-action role playing game are role-playing games where players physically act out the game’s scenarios. Nero Atlanta has chapters all over the United States and uses an online forum to keep members updated. They also send members information through traditional mail. Players can find rules, policies, maps and various documents on their website.

 

In Cosplay games players wear costumes and accessories to act out their character’s role.

After logging onto Cosplay.com, several cosplays across the world appear. Cosplayers can join or create cosplays. They can buy costumes and find out about cosplay events.  Many anime events were listed in the Cosplay events.

 

Fan Convention is an event set at a specific location and time where fans get together to explore a game, movie, comic, series, actor, etc. On Cosplay.com, there was an event called SwampCon. It’s held at the University of Florida. It is a free two-day multi-genre convention that features anime and tabletop and video gaming.

 

With so many options to choose from, gaming lovers everywhere can interact and socialize with other fanatics. The new gaming options is changing the way media professionals are designing their projects. Creating a cross-platform strategy that includes games is more popular.

 

After completing this week’s exploration, I have included more intricate and interconnected pieces into my project. My main character, Sonya, is a Librarian who sells homemade paper and pens so I used some QR Codes and Giveaway Hunts to generate traffic to her Etsy page and blog.

 

Although I am can not create my own game, I may have my main character talk about some games or apps that she likes on her blog.

Sonya’s love interest. Shane, needs a bit more work, as well as some of the media that is going to create the details of the story. I need to record a short podcast by Sonya’s co-worker. I also need to flesh out the anchor site which is not behind the curtain. The anchor medium is a book. I am considering making it into a short series that goes more into Sonya and Shane’s life including marriage, baby…divorce.

 

Much work to be done, but I am getting closer.


Britney

The Rabbit Hole

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This week for my exploration project I decided to use my husband’s content for the mini-hunt. He is a vocalist so the treasure hunt begins with a QR Code posted to his Tumblr page. I used  four elements including Youtube, His Music Website and Reverb Nation.

This was a great exploration because it helped me understand how I can encourage my audience to participate. I will definitely incorporate the ideas I learned today into my final project for the month. Currently I have a couple skeletal elements so I still have the opportunity to include mini-hunts in my story. I will most likely use these elements to connect each piece to the other.

Sonya and Shane’s online stories are interconnected but the conflict in the story revolves around both characters trying to pretend they don’t like each other. Using some of these hints and codes will help my story because neither character wants to fully engage the other. Sonya would use a code or photo to link to Shane’s content because she know how to make these things but she doesn’t want Shane to think she is writing a lot about him. Sonya will definitely use these techniques to link her Etsy account to her blog.

A sub-character, Justin, is more willing to link to Sonya but doesn’t want to appear to be  a stalker. He is more likely to use the techniques I learned today. He wants to show his interest but in a clever and flirty way.

When the audience becomes engaged ( and hopefully engulfed) in a great story, the best way to reward them is by including them. I love the ideas that this project generated. I can’t wait to work on my story: Sonya and Shane. - I switched the title to have her name first-  

GTS: WK 2 Practice 2

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So this week I started To develop some of the main characters of my short story. Shane McDaniels and Sonya Cooper needed online accounts to begin my transmedia story.

Shane MacDaniels email address is Shane.TheTechyCook@gmail.com. I used his email account to create his social media profiles. The most important was Pinterest. Shane uses Pinterest to channel readers to his blog. Shane is a amateur chef hoping to gain the popularity of Rachel Ray. He has a blog called Shane’s Irish Pub, which is currently Under Construction, that showcases some of the delicious menus and meals he’s created. Shane isn’t ready to take the risk but he would love to own an upscale Irish Pub with inspired food and cocktails.

Shane, as well as Sonya,  will also have a Glide account which has not been created.

Each blog and social media account has the interests of each character. Shane follows food and dessert blogs. His blog is under construction but the template is for an Irish Pub. Sonya’s blog is personal but she also has book reviews. It’s a throwback to original blogs which functioned as online diaries. Sonya also has an Esty account. She hasn’t added any of her items for sale but intends to sale Handmade Paper and decorative pens.

The other character that needs a social media account is Sonya’s coworker, Justin Facebook has his personal information. His post talk about his podcast: JD Literary and he will eventually talk about his crush on Sonya.

The above characters are the main characters. There may be additional characters introduced as the story progresses.

Sonya can be emailed at: sonyacooper920@yahoo.com

GTS WK2 Analysis: Why Create Transmedia

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This month I feel as if I had a head start. I picked up Andrea Phillip’s book, A Creator’s Guide to Transmedia Storytelling,  at my local library and began reading it before starting this course. Some of the first terms she defines are West Coast Transmedia and East Coast Transmedia. On pages 13-14 she quickly describes their differences.

West Coast Transmedia is described as having, “multiple big pieces of media, feature films, video games. It is grounded in big-business commercial storytelling”. In the interview she did with Henry Jenkins, she expressed regret about coining these terms based on location. Although West Coast-style Transmedia often occurs in Los Angeles, she meant for it to mean a general approach to transmedia. West Coast Transmedia is corporation or franchise based. The projects can extend forever if they are successfully marketing for their anchor medium.

 

Andrea says that East Coast Transmedia is more interactive. These transmedia projects use social media. They are web centric and generally run over a set period of time. The do not extend forever. They are project-based.

 

Great examples of West Coast Transmedia are from television shows. Last week, I gave an example from The Office.  The wedding website for Halpert and Bessly optimizes transmedia storytelling. The Office also has a Pinterest account which focuses on scenarios from the show. The Shrute Wedding has some great photos with descriptions that pretend that the event was real. The web page for The Office has social media buttons that leads you to transmedia stories which highlight events from the show. The best example that I can give is the website for the show’s fictitious paper company. The Dunder Mifflin site is written realistically and is almost fully functional. There are tabs for Media, Career, and even their Intranet. I did experienced a little difficulty accessing some of the tabs.

 

Andrea Phillips sites the World Wrestling Entertainment as “phenomenal” east-coast style transmedia. The WWE lends itself well to transmedia because the characters already “pretend” to be real people. Their Youtube channel has over 640 transmedia videos. There are interviews with the characters, and other real celebrities, about upcoming fights. The interviewees talk about the fictitious characters personal lives as if they are real.

 

Transmedia can also be categorized by stories created for marketing or art. Transmedia that is made for marketing attempts to funnel the audience towards making a purchase. SmokeBomb Entertainment is a company that makes transmedia stories specifically for television. Transmedia that is created for marketing has a very specific goal of enhancing the audiences experience and encouraging to buy or watch something.

 

Transmedia that is created for art is commonly a marketing tool for the artist. Usually the artist is not trying to get the audience to buy something specific. Sometimes their story is not connected to a bigger picture. Universe Creation 101 is a site that shares interactive stories through various mediums. The projects do not generally cost anything to engage with. There is no revenue stream at the end of the tunnel.

Each category of transmedia wants the readers to follow a trail that leads to a “headquarters”. They want readers to either watch their television show or, in art-focused transmedia, visit the artist’s website or portfolio. The biggest difference between the two is that marketing centered transmedia has a very large and potentially profitable anchor medium whereas art-focused transmedia wants the viewer to get lost in the story without a revenue generating ending.

Transmedia Short Story Element Map

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For my short story, Shane and Sonya, I wanted viewers to be personally invested in my characters. I choose to highlight topics that many viewers are interested. Sonya creates handmade paper that is available for sale on Etsy. She created a Powtoon to advertise her products: handmade paper and decorative pens.  Sonya also has a “throwback” blog which simply talks about the things that happen in her life. She’s talks about various topics but mainly: what’s happening in her life, paper, d-i-y projects and books. She written some book reviews. Shane looks cooking and has fantasies about becoming an internet chef. Although he is currently a computer technician, he spends a lot of time on his blog which he hopes to become a second career. Shane uses Pinterest to bring traffic to his blog. He talks a little about his personal life to make a connection with his audience. He cooks many traditional Irish dishes because he is very proud of his heritage. Sonya and Shane glide each other after they have a very personal experience. An important minor character is Justin, who is Sonya’s co-worker. He really likes Sonya and talks about her on Facebook. He also has a podcast which talks about the latest in literary news. A website about crazy exes add an important element to the story. Sonya and Shane develop a relationship because Shane saves Sonya when a crazy ex-boyfriend attacks her after work. Her exes police report and wrap sheet appears on the website about exes as well as a link to Sonya’s blog. 

 

Here is a link to the folder that contains my Story Element Map and the Timeline

GTS Week 2 Practice A,

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I am really proud of the work that I did this week for my Transmedia story. The grade I am giving myself is a B+. It would be an A if I included some of the supporting characters. The story would have been more dynamic. To improve on this project I would include my own video or maybe a short presentation. I would definitely extend the drama. The drama between the fox and the gingerbread man was fun. I’d definitely write out some excerpts for the “books” that I created. That would be really fun to include in this story. I would refine the visuals. I’d love to spend more time developing each character, individually and more thoroughly, to match the visuals to their personalities. I’d also probably draw my own fox. I loved the Gingerbread Man vector I found  but the goofy smile on the fox’s face didn’t match his personality. 

 

Overall this project was successful considering the time I spent on it. 

 

This week I’ve decided to create a romantic drama short story.

 

Sonya Cooper is a glasses-wearing young librarian from the small town of Wimberly, TX. Her life is going nowhere until she meets Shane Mc-Daniels, a red-headed stalky computer tech from Austin, Tx with a passion for cookery.

Shane is originally from Wimberly and comes home to visit often. Sonya takes an instant disliking to Shane whose attitude can sometimes appear cocky and inconsiderate.

 However, when a jealous ex tries to attack Sonya, Shane springs to the rescue. Sonya begins to notice that Shane is actually rather intuitive at heart.

But, the pressure of Shane’s job leaves him blind to Sonya’s affections.

Finally, when tactless co-worker, Justin Davis, threatens to come between them, Shane has to act fast. But will they ever find the sensational love that they deserve?