Stories Alive - Interactive Narrative and Cross Media Story Telling - AFCC sessions Part 4

Winter marks the release of yet more of my picture book stories into the wide blue yonder. This is an exciting time for me and those lucky enough to be flying Virgin Airlines, plugged into the Children's Inflight Entertainment program for that is where you will find my stories, as part of the new Kindergo immersive story app.

They are stories aimed for younger audiences, bouncing with fun and frivolity and like my previously published digital narrative, The Chapel of Unlove on the Story City App in 2016, fulfil a maturing desire to expand my repertoire and use of cross media platforms to tell my stories. But what exactly is cross media story telling? What are the various platforms to exploit and how can creators used to pen and ink utilise them?

Story Telling Across Platforms with Jyotirmoy Saha

This session was moderated by the blatantly cheeky, creative industry crackerjack, Marc Checkley. Between them, they described the conception and development of a Filipino based interactive narrative that utilises a number of platforms to not only procure a strong audience base but also engage and maintain them over an extended period of time.
Jyotirmoy Saha Founder of August Media, an IP production company

Jyotirmoy Saha (aka Moy) described how their project, Barangay 143, although Filipino based and local in content, has global appeal and property potential. He outlined that by introducing characters and story lines to readers / players over a staggered period of time and via a selection of media, such as games and through social media, by the time the television series debuts, readers are all ready invested in the story.

By building on each medium's strengths, they are able to provide a multifaceted story presentation and experience. Moy pointed out that this style of story telling is not actually new, the most prevalent and successful example of cross media involvement to date being, Star Wars. It's all about reinvention, diversity, thinking outside the box  and encompassing as many platform stratagem as possible.

He reminded us that no one under 17 does not know what an interactive screen is. As story spinners we must be aware of that and readership expectations. Timely advise indeed, underlined again by the next speaker.

Bringing Stories to Life Using VR & AR with Gerald Cai.

Gerald Cai, Managing Director & Co-Fonder of SnapLearn
This topic fascinates me and drew a full crowd again as Gerald explained the differences between VR (virtual, fully immersive reality) and AR (augmented, overlaying digital experiences through publishing engines that enhance physical stories) technology and the reasons we sometimes feel the nauseous effects of the former.

AR for instance revolves around the physical book and storyline however when used in conjunction with an app, takes the reader into another level of the story, provides added or complementary content or involves them directly somehow in the story.

I snapped up one such AR interactive book at the AFCC festival book stands, A Fun Introduction to Chinese Festivals by Aspirin & Young, Seen Vision. I'll let you know how modern technology has improved my knowledge of ancient festivals.....and Chinese.

He outlined the strengths of these platforms in delivering story. They:
  • reinforce
  • slow pace
  • give structure
  • encourage thinking and therefore LEARNING
Asian Festival of Children's Content launch of SnapLearn VR series
By rearranging content to suit these mediums, the technology then:
  1. Improves knowledge retention
  2. Collects data - leading to better understanding of reader habits - in turn enabling better audience targeting
In this new age where education revolves around data retrieval and the ability to think critically rather than just rote learn dumps of information, surely this is a path worth exploring.

Come back soon for the next session on Interactive Narration - having fun with post modern picture books.



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