Talk: Story Architecture – Crafting Transmedia Design
- How to lead audiences across different platforms is still a challenge of transmedia, and it is a crucial question for experience design.
- Stories are so popular because they communicate experiences and emotions.
- Design principles for transmedia stories:
- Non-linear spatial storytelling – whilst keeping the coherent and cohesive.
- Break the 4th wall: augmented reality. Transmedia offers tremendous opportunities for individuals to enhance their own experience of the story, to play with the content on their own terms.
- Social (relationships, sustainability, social media marketing): The sustainability of communities surrounding storyworlds becomes increasingly important. It takes a huge amount of commitment and energy to foster and maintain fan communities, and stopping this fostering and maintenance is a seen as a betrayal of the audience by the fans. Producers must be aware of this from the very beginning.
- Participatory and/or UGC: Both allow the audience to move from passive to active by offering opportunities to ‘touch’ the canon.
- Transmedia allows for a shift towards spatial design:
- Non-linear narratives open new narrative spaces for audiences
- Fans can move between multiple platforms (spaces)
- Characterss and story archs extend over time and across platforms
- There are multiple points of entry into the story universe
- There is increased room for interactivity
- Producers need to ask themselves what the audience experience is supposed to be - thrill, threat, excitement, competition, for example – and base their narrative design on this experience type throughout all platforms.
- Your story and the technology are only two tools in transmedia storytelling. Your audience also becomes a tool in itself, particularly through interactivity and participation. This means that as a producer, you must understand people’s behaviors, their instincts and needs, etc. and use this knowledge to shape the transmedia experience.
- The 5 “E’s” of experience design:
- Entice – You have to find a way to invite your audience into your experience, and to lead them across the different platforms involved. Often, teasing them helps to accomplish this.
- Enter – Once the audience enters your transmedia experience, you must make it clear to them what they have to do and what is expected of them. Direct them through the use of appropriate sign posts; genre, familiar story archs, and characters are very strong cues as well.
- Engage – Now that your audience is invested in your experience, allow them to engage with it and to derive satisfaction from the engagement.
- E-motion – Even if your audience is invested in your experience, they can still leave easily. You have to find ways to prevent audiences from leaving and to move them deeper into the experience instead. Once one sub-set of the overall experience is finished, help them to move to the next.
- Extend – Help your audience to share the experience and to draw in others.
- Designing a transmedia narrative doesn’t mean there is no ending to the story. There has to be a grand narrative composed of many smaller narratives, and all of them have satisfying endings in themselves.
My Panel with the Amazing Karine Halpern!
« Big Shout Out to Christine Weitbrecht for the capture!