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

 

‘Playing Kandanga’ for Creative Recovery Network

Screenshots

I was commissioned by the Creative Recovery Network to create an App with the Kandanga community. I archived stories & play through the generations. The Creative Recovery Network builds experiences with artists and communities:

“A growing network of artists and cultural and community workers are taking the lead in helping their communities recover from the impact of natural disasters through creativity. The aim is to share knowledge and build a network of artists ready to support communities in meeting future challenges.”

I am worked with the Friends of Kandanga and the local school to build a playful App for locals and tourists to the area. It was soft-launched at the centenary of the local school in September, 2015.

 


Android app on Google Play

 

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.

‘Bluebird AR’ for Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Bluebird AR is a serious alternate reality drama created by the Innovation Department at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). The project was the first ARG in the world created by a broadcaster that wasn’t linked to a television show. The subject matter was concerned with geoengineering, and involved real world experts in consultation during development and in public when the project was live. The project combined online, mobile, live events, TV, radio, and billboards over 6 weeks.I was a Transmedia Story & Game Advisor, brought in to consult with the writers, designers, programmers and marketing department during the development and production of the project.

– 2011 – Bluebird AR, Interactive Award, 44th Annual Australian Writers Guild Awards

– 2010 – Bluebird AR, Innovation Award, (Internal) ABC Awards

Case-study website: ABC

In-fiction video:

‘Conspiracy for Good’ for Nokia

Conspiracy for Good is a branded entertainment alternate reality game for “social good”. It was created by Tim Kring (USA), The company P (Sweden), and Nokia (Finland). The global alternate reality drama combined online, mobile, video, live events, billboards, newspapers over 5 months+.I was a Transmedia Analyst on the project, brought in by Nokia to assess the early designs by Tim Kring and The company P. On site, I assessed the design, liaised with marketing, legal, and business departments as well as sub-contractors. I provided a report on recommendations for the design and production processes at Nokia.

– 2011 – Conspiracy for Good, Best Cross Platform Project, Banff World Media Award
– 2011 – Conspiracy for Good, Digital Program – Fiction Nomination, International Digital Emmy Awards
– 2011 – Conspiracy for Good, Mobile Nomination, 14th Annual SXSW Interactive Awards
– 2011 – Conspiracy for Good, Official Honoree, Integrated Campaigns, 15th Annual Webby Awards

Main website: Conspiracy for Good

‘The Hunt’ for Cisco

The Hunt is a serious alternate reality game (ARG) created by No Mimes Media (USA) and Juxt Interactive for Cisco in 2010. The ARG was commissioned by Cisco to teach their global sales force about their new technologies in an entertaining and compelling manner.The global ARG combined online, mobile, live action, and live events over 2 weeks of action. 9,000 players joined in from the Netherlands, Japan, China, India, Australia, Canada, UK, and Singapore.

I was Co-Experience Designer and Co-Game-Master for No Mimes Media, working alongside Steve Peters, Maureen McHugh, Jonathan Waite, Dee Cook, Celina Beach, and many other talented folks.

  • Award: 2011 – The Hunt, 2011 Merit Award for Other Branded Entertainment, One Show Awards
  • Case-study: No Mimes Media
  • Article: Wired

‘Hung-Long’ for Australian Film, Television and Radio School

Endgame
Hung-Long is an educational alternate reality game (ARG) commissioned by the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS) to teach film and TV professionals about transmedia. It began 2 weeks prior to a industry residential weekend for the Laboratory of Advanced Media Production (LAMP), and culminated in a 4 hour live event at a resort in South Australia. It combined websites and live events.

I worked as Co-Writer, Designer, and Game-Master along with Jackie Turnure. We researched the location, and surrounding culture of the Lab and weaved these into the storyline. The participants were split into teams to research the murder at the location. Each team had activities to undertake which revealed a different suspect. When the journalist was caught in a car accident, the teams had to debate together and determine who the killer was and then broadcast their findings to the (fake) public.

PoliceTape

‘dLux Pony Club’ for dLux Media Arts

baudrillard1

The dLux Pony Club is a 2007 initiative developed by d/Lux/MediaArts to encourage arts practice and critical dialogue in Second Life. Participants were encouraged to climb aboard one of the uniquely designed magic ponies from our meeting point at the front desk of Odyssey Gallery. From there you participants were taken on a teleportation trail ride through galleries, installations and interesting new communities in SL. I was Strategist and Developer of the initiative. The Tour vehicle modelling was by Cubey Terra, and one of the venues was the Odyssey Contemporary Art and Performance.

Main website: dLux dArtFestival

ponies_in_flight