Well I have not posted here for a while. Mainly due to us setting up a personal blog on Hoffi.com. I think however with the production of everwake it might be an idea to reopen this blog. So I have somewhere to discuss and think about the idea of game and what I am really interested in.
"How technology story and game come together in physical and non physical spaces."
So for as long as I can remember me and Allie have been working on everwake. It's now pretty weird that it's all over. I think because we did it at the same time as the playARK talks and games festival then in retrospect we probably bit off a bit too much, as I still havn't recovered a week or so on. But what I have been really shocked by is the emptiness and almost depression of the event being over. I am slowly coming around but the first few days were really very challenging.
What it chowed me was that everwake had obviously touched a nerve in an area of my brain that i have rarely accessed. I remember the last day of uni I had a similar reaction. The moment it's over there is silence and then nothing. The world moves on and the event is gone. Well at least for you anyway.
So back to everwake this is about the third tim eI have tried to sit down and write about it. I got pretty far on some occasions but then lost interested and either deleted it or forgot where I wrote it. I think everwake is something that has always been there for the last 10 years. The need to develop something that is an experience for people in many levels. A story first and foremost that you participate in rather than merely just view. A hybrid between story and ARG and a pervasive game. None of them really seeming to fit the description of it.
The idea of leading with a strong story a narrative people can be drawn on to create culturally understood rules. An ability to bring people together who may have never met and to give them an experience of a lifetime with an element of empathy and genuines choice. So many things were thought and planned during us creating the game that it was clear we would not be able to do it all. curating it down to something manageable was key to us creating a great game and also keeping within a very veyr very tight budget (thank you all the volunteers :-) ). This realisation led us to realise that an interesting thing was possible. Why dont we do a serialised pervasive game with story and online content?
Why don't we use the routines and language that has been established through television to create a six episode series? exploring the abilities of each platform/media such as audio, paper, blog, video, physical, app to best bring narrative to the players and viewers or lurkers.
but what about the reason I started doing games. What about the social good? what about the exclusivity of the game (only having 60 people being able to play the street game for example). Well while the initial game it is not immediately obvious there are huge amounts of commentary built with in the game. The good and evil the choice of should I shouldn't I and also the more basic social aspect to the game have all started a small community centred around everwake.
What we have really done however and more what we now hope to do is we hope to develop more and more social aspects within the makeup of the game to bring more obvious signs of good and effect. So as the player develops within the game so does their understanding of the issues that surround us. As it has been said 1,000's of times a journey starts with one step. I guess we hope that the steps are so easy that they do not really notice and they develop as the game develops.
But I think what has come back to me again and again. Although this is so hard to do when it is your work. We have come to realise that failure is good. Testing, prototyping and developing are the key elements of developing stuff that works. This kind of goes beyond the game word. In everyday life for example come back again and again and you will succeed.
I realise that has not really covered anything about what everwake was in terms of story and perhaps I will write that up in another blog. But what I have realised on this project. I have realised that there are some people in Cardiff that are truly world class at what they are doing in their fields. The skills and creativity we have available within Cardiff is really quite staggering. Also creative integrity is a really interesting paradox its a pain in the arse when you want to move forward but you know that it's key to listen adapt and develop or you lose exactly what you are paying for. Let the people do their job.
Which I think for this blog gives me my final thing to talk about. That is basically management and producing a story like everwake. Basically its huge. I think in the future there is indeed something to be said for the development of what a producer really does. Traditionally on one platform a producer would pull all the threads together about the same story told in the same way through the same channel.
But now we have the producer developing a project on multiple platforms using multiple types of media to create fragments of a single story. Each being pulled together so as a whole they can be consumed and totally understood. Yet also consumed individually and still seen as enjoyable and worth while. And finally the biggest I think of them all working with 'real' and non real. So basically on and offline line content and as it develops further how things like apps bring a further step in complexity.
This has been one hell of a ramble but I hope it has given an insight into initial unedited thoughts on everwake.