Cross-Media Design Kit

I am currently developing a cross-media design kit, comprised of over 100 cards, a book, and website with updated examples and exercises. It is for:

Who is this book for?

  • Creative Directors, Showrunners
  • Narrative Designers
  • Interactive Writers, Screenwriters
  • Game Designers, Level Designers
  • UX, Interaction, & Service Designers
  • Creative Producers who want to understand the aesthetic ramifications of development, production, distribution, and marketing decisions
  • Educators teaching any of the above

What can you do with this book?

  • Brainstorm and iterate during development
  • Analyse your own or others’ projects
  • Critically reflect during development, production or post-release
  • Reconsider art, industry, and practice

How to use this book and project

In this book, I take you through every technique you may consider when creating a cross-media project. I provide a description of the technique, reference key related readings, refer to related techniques, name examples, discuss when you may use the technique and complications.

On the website, there is a ‘transmedia design report’ where you can answer questions about your project and get an immediate free assessment of what transmedia techniques are recommended for your project. You will also find examples of projects and exercises for using the cards, updated by myself and fellow creatives and educators.

On the cards, you will find the name of each technique and an illustration. Use these with the exercises on the website, and the book if you like, to develop your own projects and analyse existing ones.

Background

I am drawing on my previous published work on cross-media interaction design, as well as the insights I have gained over the years as a designer, researcher & educator. It is illustrated by Marigold Bartlett, who has worked with me on the Magister Ludi Game and forthcoming board game DIY SPY.

  • I tested the first prototype at a workshop on Transmedia Writing & Design at Unitech, New Zealand in November, 2015.
  • I gave two 3 hour lectures with short exercises for first year multidisciplinary classes at Griffith University in 2016.
  • I gave a speech at the Navitas Women’s Networking event in Sydney in 2016 about concepts from the book introduction.
  • I gave two workshops at SAE Creative Media Institute film and media students, taking them through interest design techniques and audience design techniques respectively, in November, 2016.

Prototype 2:

Prototype2

Prototype 1:

crossmediadesigncards

 

Studio of the Future

FutureStudioGame

For my Forward Slash Story residential, I created a card game that is a hack of Situation Lab’s ‘The Thing from the Future‘ and Near Future Laboratory’s ‘Design Fiction Product Design Work Kit‘. These card sets are focused on brainstorming objects for the future, looking at the object, time, mood of use, state of contextual development, and so on. For the F/S residential, I wanted to shift the focus towards a possible writer’s room in the future, and also use more of their storytelling skills. I wanted to facilitate fantastical stories about use rather than emphasising a certain time and context. So the variables I included are object, design prompt, use feeling, and people involved. I wrote the objects so they include ones that can be in a studio, along with the people (from writers to cleaners).

The exercise has worked fine at both F/S and at my Digital Writers’ Room events, producing quite entertaining stories about weird objects but importantly unusual studio scenarios. There is the problem of instruction delivery needing to be refined, and I find there is a tension between the goals of ideating objects versus ideating situations. It is the latter I’m after and so I’m still tweaking it.

‘Do You Have a Big Stick?’ for Hand Made High Tech

In 2011, I was commissioned by if:book Australia to write an article on transmedia writing. The article, ‘Do You Have a Big Stick?’, has now been published in their first ebook: Hand Made High Tech, along with a great collections of essays on writing.

Throughout 2011, if:book Australia commissioned essays from ten Australian writers on the future of writing and reading in a future tilted towards the digital. Each writer drew on his or her experience in fields diverse as publishing, transmedia, gaming, and comics to observe the changes taking place in ‘books’ and discussing where this might lead for authors, readers, and reading culture. High Tech Hand Made is the result.

Download the collection now, in EPUB, Kindle, and PDF formats. Yay!

‘Some Things I’ve Learned about Transmedia Worldbuilding’ for Meanland

Article commissioned by Meanland (Meanjin & Overland Literary Journals). I wrote it about ‘Some Things I’ve Learned about Transmedia Worldbuilding‘.

“If you’re playing transmedia bingo, ‘worldbuilding’ scores 10 points and one of those little jelly desserts from the kitchen. It is a term used by just about every transmedia evangelist, and me in the early days. Indeed, it seems a rite of passage for transmedia practitioners and commentators alike. There is a reason for this: it is a helpful metaphor for understanding and communicating that a transmedia project involves many stories and media — there is a whole ecology operating.

Of course, ‘worldbuilding’ has been around longer than transmedia, and is employed in many different ways. Some invoke ‘worldbuilding’ to describe the use of multiple media forms, especially ‘immersive’ ones like ‘virtual reality’. Buzzwords ahoy! But what this article focuses on is worldbuilding for writers and designers at the development stage, and especially two types of worldbuilding in transmedia: expandability and believability.”

Synthetic Reality

Portuguese translation of my essay on player-created tiers by Luiz Adolfo de Andrade fin his sold-out book “Synthetic Reality”! Thank you Thiago Falcao and Luiz for inviting me to be a part of your book on games!

Realidade Sintética: jogos eletrônicos, comunicação e experiência social (2012) DENA, C. Práticas Emergentes da Cultura Participativa: uma análise do conteúdo gerado pelos jogadores nos alternate reality games In: ANDRADE, LA; FALCÃO, T. São Paulo: Scortecci Editora, 2012

ebook

realidade-sint

Comics for Film, Games, and Animation

Comics for Film, Games, and Animation: Using Comics to Construct your Transmedia Storyworld (2012) Interviewed in Tyler Weaver’s book

‘The Scaredy Cat Factor’ for The Emerging Writer

The Emerging Writer: An Insider’s Guide to Your Writing Journey (2012) “The Scaredy Cat Factor” published in “The Emerging Writer: An Insider’s Guide to Your Writing Journey”

“Every writer has to find their own way to emerge – there is no set route, no absolute path and no road that must be followed. But there is a lot we can learn from those who have travelled before us: how to get there more directly, how to bypass the road blocks, traverse the peaks and valleys, or which is the most scenic route.
The Emerging Writer is an insider’s guide full of valuable advice from fellow travellers – a resource you can keep within arm’s length, for when you need to consult that map again to help you find your way.”

Transmedia Victoria

Transmedia Victoria
Transmedia Victoria was a special one-time only event held on 27th and 28th of January 2011 focused entirely on transmedia. Transmedia professionals from around the world and Australia came together with directors, artistic directors, writers, designers, producers, and project managers in film, TV, theatre, gaming, music, literature and digital sectors. I curated the audience as well as the speakers by setting up an application process and (more importantly) personally inviting creatives from many artistic disciplines. I guided the speakers to pitch their talks at intermediate-level, with no financial justifications for working in transmedia. Due to the different interests of the funding bodies, I included talks about writing, design, producing, business; local and international; TV, film, theatre, and gaming; males and females.

I was commissioned to curate and run the event by the Australia Council of the Arts (along with Eve Penford-Dennis who was the project manager from Freeplay). Part of my brief was to get as many funding bodies on board as possible. Fortunately, after months of discussions, all of the funding bodies came together to invest — the first time they had joined forces for such an event. Partners include Screen Australia, Arts Victoria, Film Victoria, Multimedia Victoria, and the ABC. Venue partners include ACMI and the State Library of Victoria, and supporters include AIMIA and Game Developers Association of Australia.

  • Main website: TransmediaVictoria
  • Links to presentations by Flint Dille (USA), Steve Peters (No Mimes Media, USA), Stephanie Salter (ABC), Andra Sheffer (Canada), Kerrin McNeil (Hoodlum, QLD), Sue Maslin (Vic), Mick Luibinskas (Pollenizer, Syd), Jordan Green (Melb Angels, Vic), and Michel Reilhac (France): Media

‘The Contributions of Multimodality and Polymorphic Fictions: Beyond Narrative and Games Studies’ for New Perspectives on Narrative and Multimodality

The contributors in this collection question what kinds of relationships hold between narrative studies and the recently established field of multimodality, evaluate how we might develop an analytical vocabulary which recognizes that stories do not consist of words alone, and demonstrate the ways in which multimodality brings into fresh focus the embodied nature of narrative production and processing. Engaging with a spectrum of multimodal storytelling, from ‘low tech’ examples encompassing face-to-face stories, comic books, printed literature, through to opera, film adaptation and television documentary, stretching beyond to narratives that employ new media such as hypertext, performance art, and interactive museum guides, this volume examines the interplay of semiotic codes (visual, oral, aural, haptic, physiological) within each case under scrutiny, thereby exposing both points of commonality and difference in the range of multimodal narrative experiences.

NewPerspectives