Tuesday, 14 December 2010


I need to decide how the interactive narrative is going to flow.... Should it be puzzle solving, humorous, mysterious, incorporate fear/frustration? These are the important factors that I need to decide upon now. I know that I would like the story to have different paths, as we can have in life... one choice can twist and turn our lives in so many different ways. Decisions can culminate in disaster or joy, as fate decrees the sequence of events that construe our destiny. This is how I want the interaction to be - the user makes decisions which effect the storyline. I cannot distract the user so much that they are straining to work out how to navigate or what to do next, as too much distraction will stop them being immersed in the story, and although this is fine for gaming, this is not what I want for an immersive narrative. This also highlights how important the backgrounds and characters will be, because the user will need to form some kind of relationship in order to want to interact or care about what will happen next.

I have been continually pondering upon the story that this immersive animation could be based upon. My original thoughts were based around the folk tale from the Norske Folkeeventyr of Asbjornsen and Moe, called the East of the Sun and West of the Moon. I have a book of 'Old tales from the North' which is illustrated by Kay Nielson. The story interests me and the illustrations of Kay Nielson are inspirational. 

'Well mind and hold tight by my shaggy coat, and then there's nothing to fear,' said the Bear, so she rode a long, long way. (Page 10).
Unfortunately, I fear this may restrict me too much, although there are many twists and turns that could be taken in this story. It could still be a contender.... Another idea could be taken from a Russian tale. I was inspired by the 4 podcasts of Russian Wonder tales (one for each of the four weeks before Christmas) that started on the 1st December on www.toasttravels.co.uk. I am currently searching for the book: Russian Wonder Tales, but I would like one illustrated by Ivan Bilibin. 

The story is crucial and I need to make a decision in order to start anything. I keep thinking that I should keep the story more contemporary to keep the users interest - a thought here would be to take a story from the news and use the outline of that or just modernise an old tale..... I need to decide by the end of this week, otherwise this will go on and on and I will never even start it!

Research on Interactive animations

I had originally planned to create an animation around the poem 'The Door' by Miroslav Holub and have started a website based around this: The Lockless Door; but I have long been intrigued by interactive animations and this has been heightened by coming across some interactive films recently. They are classed as part art video game, part immersive entertainment. Touching Stories is an app featuring four interactive films made for the iPad. Touching Stories link

I think I can still incorporate the theme of the Door, but maybe make it interactive, the user could enter into other environments through different doors maybe.... 

Here is a link to Donna Leishman's interactive animation based around the theme of Red Riding Hood. I find this inspiring too, but would like to incorporate a mixed media style within my animation I think. 

Screenshots from Donna Leishmans Red Riding Hood (2000)

During my research around the Touching Stories app, I came accross a review which reads: Was very excited about the idea and it is definitely forward thinking, unfortunately the interaction is pretty banal and not really adding to the story. Also had a hard time figuring out how to navigate it. This is something I would need to be careful about. The interaction has to work effectively and although you want the user to have to think about how to navigate, it cannot be so difficult that they give up and don't bother immersing themselves into the world where the interactivity may lead them.

Caffe Latte, by Maria Avramova, 2007

I love this animation, it is quirky :)