Transmedia Entertainment & Marketing

IBCoM: CM2052

Group 2- Updates

 

October 26, 2012

 

User engegament 5-7

 

  • What adds tension to the experience? Are there any ticking clocks?

 

Due to the unique nature of every adventure Mikky goes through in every planet, a variety of elements will introduce different levels of tension depending on the challenge our hero is facing.

In some planets, the challenge will depend on how fast an action is performed, so yes, there will be ticking clocks, but this is only one mechanism to enhance the tension. Since the player is not permitted to continue its journey until the challenge in the planet is complete, the pressure to overcome the problem already exists without ticking clocks. There will be “mind games”, like solving a puzzle or the classic game of Memory. A time counter here makes the experience more thrilling and adds tension but there will also be “platform games” in some planets, just like Prince of Persia, where jumping from platform to platform and avoid enemies to reach the end of the level will be the goal. A clock here could be introduced in order to count how fast you complete the level and establish a “grade” according to the time. For example, completing the level in less than one minute will give you an A, less than one minute thirty seconds will be a B and so forth. The higher the grade, the better the reward. In other planets, an enigma has to be solved in order to continue, as in graphic adventures like Myst and Riven. There ticking clocks have no use since the player will need to think for a long time in order to decipher the clues and perform the right action.

This diversity of mechanisms allows greater flexibility and gives the game continuous “changes of pace”. It’s not frantic all the time but it’s not slow either.

 

  • Is there a system of rewards and penalties?

 

Yes. Completing a challenge in one planet will unlock another route to another planet. Apart from that, the player will be collecting coins than can be used in the space store in exchange for items for the spaceship. Some of those items are just to customize it and make it look better and personalized; some others will be necessary to overcome certain obstacles in the outer space, like an asteroid shield to be able to go through the asteroids field (which unlocks a new area behind it) or lasers to defend the spaceship against the attacks of the evil alien race.

Inside the planets, in the mini-adventures, every planet will have its own system of reward or penalty, depending on the type of challenge the hero is facing. For example, in a race against the clock, if the player runs out of time he will loose part of the prize pool he will get when he solves it. As said above, completing a level outstandingly fast will have a better reward.

Moreover, some special planets will have the key to continue the journey in a more engaging way. At the end of a “solar system”, once our hero has saved the last planet, he well get a special object, the hyperspace propulsor, which will open a wormhole to unknown parts of the galaxy.

 

 

  • What kind of meaningful interactivity is offered to the user, and does this interactively have a significant impact on the material?

Since we’re talking about a game, interactivity is the most important thing. Controlling the character, solving enigmas… heaps of levels and different challenges have to be solved by the player. The material, then, is designed to be interactive.

But we also have a TV show, which contains educational material. There the interactivity has to be carefully planned because it will be indirect interactivity. When learning about another culture, certain keywords will be repeated in other languages and some time will be left for the child to assimilate the word or even repeat it.

 

 

6. User’s role and POV

▪   What character or role does the user play in this interactive environment?
The role that the character plays is that of Mikky. He is an alien in outer space, who wants to find his way through the universe. Mikky is cute and an innocent little creature, but also smart and strong when necessary.

▪   What is the nature of this user’s agency? How does the user affect the outcome? Through what POV does the user view this world: first-person, third-person, or a mixture of both?
In the video game the user affects the outcome by playing mini games and winning or losing these games. In the application the user can also controls Mikky, but here one can only move Mikky to the left or right, because you have to navigate him through space. In the video game Mikky can also jump up and down, move forward and use his fists to hit someone if necessary. 
In the videogame the user can control Mikky by using his keyboard. The spacebar is jumping, and the arrows on the keyboard to go left, right and up, down. In the application the user can control Mikky by touching the screen on your smartphone, either going left or right.
The user views the world as a third person, they can see the main character Mikky moving and can control him, but does not see the world through his eyes.

 

9. User Engagement

▪       What keeps the users engaged and why would they want to spend time with it?
There are many mini games that the user can play in the video game. Every planet represents another videogame and therefore the whole game is very diverse and exciting. Users are able to complete all these different games and when finish a game; they get access to another mini game.
The players can get different points, depending on how long it takes to finish a mini game, and this will be rewarded with a A or B and so forth. They will want to spend time playing the game, because they will feel they can accomplish something in the game. They want to help Mikky find his home planet.

▪       What important goal is the user trying to accomplish by the end of this work?
The main goal of the video game and the app is to help Mikky to find his home. In the video game players do so by completing diverse mini games, and in the app users do so by surfing on milk in outer space.

▪       What will make the user want to spend time accomplishing this goal? What is the nature of the oppositional forces that the user encounters?
The user wants to spend time accomplishing this goal, because he has smaller goals to eventually complete the ultimate goal. These small goals will entertain the player. As every planet has its own mini-adventures with its own rewards, it will remain entertaining. Also, the different planets give different rewards. Therefore it will feel as a fulfilling game.
Mikky will encounter friendly aliens in space, but also aliens that will try to stop him. These automatically become his enemies and he has to pass them to accomplish his goals. Every planet has its own friendly, helpful aliens and evil, bad aliens that try to stop him.

 

Structure and Interface

  • What is the starting place in terms of the user’s experience and what are the possible end points?

For the user, the starting place of entering the world of Mikky, which is outer space, is the beginning of the game. Most users will possibly know what the story is about in general, perhaps from the television advertisements or from hearing about it. But as they start playing the game, they will see Mikky, who they will be guiding. As the user, the game will be explained shortly (which keys to use, how to navigate from one planet to another). Mikky will be placed at the beginning of the “Milkyway”, where the user will see a black screen with many colourful planets and stars floating. From here the user can start navigating and start to steer the spaceship to different parts of the Milkyway. The possible end points will be that the user can eventually finish the video game, which is the ultimate goal. Finishing the game would mean finding Mikky’s home planet, the chocolate planet, and prevent it from being destroyed (which would mean all the chocolate used to produce Milkyway chocolate bars would disappear). However, this goal will not be reached very quickly, because we want the experience to be interesting for quite an amount of time. We do not want everyone to be able to finish the game, then the experience would be too short.

  • How is the project structured? What are the major units of organization (i.e. modules or levels), and how many of them are there? What structural model is being used?

The way the user can reach different levels is by successfully accomplishing mini-games within each level, and only when each mini-game in a level is completed, the user can go on to the next level. Each level will take place in a different part of the galaxy, with different planets and different kinds of aliens to be discovered (here is also where the different languages and cultures will be introduced). In the beginning the levels will consist of a small amount of planets, with somewhat easy mini-games to be played. But as the user continues through more levels, they will get more complex and the mini-games will require more time and effort in order to be accomplished. This way the more levels the user can complete, the more difficult it will be to get to the next level.

  • How does the user control the material and navigate through it? How can the user tell how well he or she is doing? Does the project make use of navigation bars, menus, icons, inventories, maps or other interface devices?

To navigate through outer space, the user needs to know where the different planets and galaxies are. When the user travels from level to level, steering Mikky in the spaceship, the user will see the galaxy on the screen and when he points at a certain planet he will see what kind of planet this is and what level it is. When entering a planet, the map of the entire galaxy will be displayed at the bottom left corner, so that the user can still see where he is located. Furthermore, by accomplishing the mini-games the user can gain coins, which he can use to purchase useful tools to use during the adventure. The amount of coins will be displayed at the upper right corner of the screen. Also, there will be a menu at the bottom of the screen where the player can pause the game, exit the game, or enter the shop to buy tools or accessories (when the user has gained enough coins). Also, here the user can see how many levels he/she has accomplished, and how many mini-games the current level consists of and how many he/she still has to accomplish. Lastly, the user will be rated on how well he/she does in the mini-games (based on time, skill or something else). The user can gain an A, and after that a B or a C. This will also be displayed, and after every mini-game the user can see if the rating has changed.

 

October 12, 2012

1. Premise and Purpose:

-what is the premise of the project; the core in a nutshell

-what is the USP

-What is its fundamental purpose? to entertain? to teach or to market a product

  1. 1.    Premise and Purpose

Milkyway is a chocolate bar which has been forgotten about by consumers. Though it is still very loved it has been pushed to the background. This brand can regain its previous consumers, but also new ones with our approach. By consolidating its current market position, attracting a new one and not only selling the chocolat bars, but an entire world around it, a success is guaranteed when looking from a business point of view. In this world the chocolat bar will be accompanied by a story to entertain, a game to teach children languages and entertain for older consumers, an app to educate start-up companies or actually everyone who is interested in a great business story, among other things as you will read later on in this report.

A unique selling point of Milkyway is its memory marker (Tenbult, 2012). People remember it from the past and get a feeling of nostalgic when seeing it. Ideally a new image will be created for Milkyway balancing new ideas with a feeling of nostalgic.

Tenbult, P. (Presenter). (2012, October 12). Learning and Memory. Presented at EUR,

building G.

2.Narrative structure

What is the narrative core of the story?

The main character of our story is Mikky. He is a cute little creature finding his way through the Milky Way. He meets a lot of alien friends who all help him through his journey in space. The experience he is having is very exciting and it teaches us a lot about outer space. Eventually, Mikky wants to go back home: the big chocolate planet in space.

3 ways to express the ‘’core’’ idea. Make use of three mediums to express the ideas using a different one for each.

The mediums we want to use are online videogames, television and phones.

We want to create an online game in which people can transform in the character Mikky. Users will guide the character through space. They can hop from one star to another and experience a real adventure. Every star is a mini game with its own unique aliens, and at every star a new kind of Milky Way flavor is introduced. Eventually, after playing all the mini games Mikky wants to go back home, which is the special chocolate planet in space. The users can help Mikky find his home.

The game can also be transformed in a TV show for children. It will have educational elements. The various aliens at the different stars can all speak another language. We will take English as the main language and teach the children words in other languages (such as French, Spanish etc.). The animation show can also contain fun math situations. The show will also be used to promote MilkyWay and is most of all entertainment.

The fun continues on smartphones in the form of an application. Users can expand their own star into a complete MilkyWay. The application will be called ‘’Where is my MilkyWay’’. The users can guide Mikky, who is surfing on milk, through the stars and you have to avoid the comets, while trying to reach the chocolate planet.

What narratives technique will be used? (Synergistic etc.)

The narrative technique that we will use is the synergistic narrative. The story around MilkyWay is created purposefully and the projects around MilkyWay do not necessarily connect to the others (Kapoor, 2012). There is a character that comes back in every project, however the projects do not have to connect to each other.

An advantage of a synergistic narrative is that the creators are able to mutually alter their own creation and do not necessarily connect to pre-existing genres (Kapoor, 2012).

Kapoor, R. (Presenter). (2012). Transmedia Entertainment & Marketing:
Narrative Structures.
Slides retrieved from: https://ibcomtransmedia2012.wordpress.com/seminar-slides/slides-week-2/

3. Narrative elements:

–       What other transmedia narrative stories will be used? (parallel stories etc.)

Apart from the core narrative structure, which will mainly be narrated through the television series, we will mainly make use of interstitial microstories (Scolari, 2009) to complete the narrative structure. On the website of Milkyway, people will be able to find information about the TV show, but also be able to play the online video game which generally follows the same storyline as the TV series, but with extra interactive elements.

–       What is the storyline? (Burke’s pentad: plot, characters?)

The main storyline is simple, and we can explain the main elements using Burke’s Pentad (Kapoor, 2012).

The scene of the story is the Milkyway, so everything will take place in outer space, in between and on the planets in the milkyway. This will be an imaginative milkyway with imaginative planets. The main character is of course Mikky, an alien from the chocolate planet located in the milkyway. Other agents in the story will be Mikky’s friends, who will help him on his journey. There will also be Mikky’s enemies, who try to sabotage his quest. How? Mikky will explore the milkyway in a space ship, landing on different planets to reach his goal. His enemies will try to attack him with different kind of means: send him in the wrong direction, setting traps, sending comets etc. The goal of the enemies is to destroy the chocolate planet, that is why Mikky has to go there soon to save the planet.

–       What are the major events or challenges that the user deals with during the narrative?

–       Does the work utilize gaming elements? If so, describe the gameplay. What constitutes winning or losing?

One of the platform of the transmedia franchise around ‘Milkyway’ will be an online game. As described earlier, the main character tries to save his planet by finding friends and fighting enemies to reach his goal. Winning would mean reaching the end of the game, reaching the chocolate planet and then save that planet. But of course, nobody will ever really reach that goal, it’s about the journey and gaining points and ‘experiences’ along the way.

References:

Kapoor, R. (Presenter). (2012). Transmedia Entertainment & Marketing: Narrative Structures [PowerPoint slides]  retrieved from: https://ibcomtransmedia2012.wordpress.com/seminar-slides/slides-week-2/

 

Scolari, C. (2009). Transmedia Storytelling: Implicit Consumers, Narrative Worlds, and Branding in Contemporary Media Production. International Journal of Communication. 3

October 11, 2012

Object: Milkyway

Project goal (as stated in the course guide): We will function as transmedia companies. Each team will select a media product (ours is Milkyway) that you feel has the potential to become a successful transmedia franchise. You will be looking for a property that has not yet added media extensions, or you could also look at a property that you feel is in need of a reboot. By the end of the term, each team will be “pitching” this product as a transmedia franchise. The pitch includes a 15-20 minute presentation and a 1000-word project report.

Next you can read our time schedule. The schedule gives us an overview when we are going to explore which part of our product to form a complete story (pitch) with in the end.

Time schedule

When What Who
After seminar 4
  1. Premise and Purpose
Manon
  1. Narrative Structure
Lisanne
  1. Narrative Elements
Emmy
  1. Fictional World and Setting
Pol
Straight before/after seminar 5 Group meeting Manon, Lisanne, Emmy, Pol
After seminar 5
  1. Medium, platform, and genre
Manon
  1. User’s role and POV
Lisanne
  1. Structure and Interface
Emmy
Post on blog + support team Pol
After seminar 5 Group meeting Manon, Lisanne, Emmy, Pol
After seminar 6
  1. Audience and Market
Manon
  1. User engagement point 1-4
Lisanne
Post on blog + support team Emmy
      9.    User engagement point 5-7 Pol
After seminar 6 Group meeting Manon, Lisanne, Emmy, Pol
After seminar 7     10.    Marketing Time Lines +Start the 1000-word project report Manon
Post on blog + support team Lisanne
    10.    Start the 1000-word projectreport Emmy
    10.    Marketing Time Lines Pol
After seminar 7 Group meeting Manon, Lisanne, Emmy, Pol
After seminar 8 Post on blog + Finish the 1000-word project report + Pitching campaign/presentation Manon
Pitching campaign/ presentation Lisanne
Pitching campaign/ presentation Emmy
Pitching campaign/ presentation Pol
After seminar 8 Group meeting Manon, Lisanne, Emmy, Pol
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One comment on “Group 2- Updates

  1. ibcomtransmedia2012
    October 18, 2012

    Comment from Group 5: Dear Lisanne, Emmy, Manon and Pol. We think is it great that you have already decided on your story lines and expansions and that you have done a working schedule! We think that by doing this you are already a big step ahead the others but also have more time to work on the finishing touches before the final presentation. We think that your idea is also nice.. and really liked “Mikki fining his way through the Milky way”. You have taken the brand’s name and integrated it very well in the transmedia experience. Looking forward to hearing more.

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