Panel 7: Storytelling Technologies

Mez Breeze
Harmeet Chagger-Khan
06 Jul 2021
10:15 - 11:30
Online

Panel 7: Storytelling Technologies

Guy Gadney, Harmeet Chagger-Khan and Mez Breeze

In Where Stories Become Unreal – How to adapt a story into a games engine, Guy Gadney will give details about how a story can adapt from a text-based print format, into an interactive graphic novel, and then into a 3D game experience where players can talk to the fictional characters as Metahumans and become immersed in the narrative as a result. Takeouts will focus on how important it is to go back to the basics of storytelling, character design and narrative to be able to build up into new games engines like Unreal Engine. It will cover the writers’ room formats that Charisma.ai has brought to the BBC, B+B R&D and StoryFutures to rethink how stories need to be written for these new interactive forms and what sorts of skills and collaborations are required to create them.

In addition, the talk will demonstrate how new developments in technology fields, such as Artificial Intelligence, enable elements of semi-automatic writing to take place, which are required to support the great increase in content required for more complex and deep storylines. The audience will learn about some core principles of narrative character design that Charisma.ai has been working on with Fable Studios (creators of Neil Gaiman’s Wolves in the Walls), Dramatica story structure and the University of Southern California. This work covers the new opportunities for storytelling where characters and audiences have relationships that many extend beyond a single read, viewing or playthrough, to last for weeks, months and years and how this will impact story structure and design in the future. Guy will take audiences behind the scenes of the adaptations of the graphic novels in the Charisma app, show live how Charisma can create interactive narratives and provide a case study from a scene built in the Unreal engine that leverages 5G high-speed mobile networks to bring an interactive story to life across multiple low-powered devices like mobile phones and TV.

In The World Is Not Enough: How Mixed Realities Are Re-Inventing The World’s Playing Fields For Storytelling, Connectivity & Health, Harmeet Chagger-Khan explores how resilience can be cultivated through storytelling.

‘This world demands the qualities of youth; not a time of life but a state of mind, a temper of the will, a quality of the imagination, a predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over the love of ease.’ – Robert Kennedy, Ripple of Hope Speech 6th June 1966

Currently as the world is filled with uncertainty, looking forward to a post-covid-19 future, the practice of cultivating resilience is needed now more than ever. New modes of storytelling using mixed reality to create immersive playing fields where audiences can play, reconnect and create positive behaviour change are now primed to connect the physical and the digital, and remote and team players to new 3rd social spaces. As we look forward to healing the effects of the pandemic, the concept of resilience building can be redefined from corporate and commercial spheres, where the ownership of resilience and wellbeing falls upon the individual; to creating immersive experiences for teams of people to play out through shared experiences, embedding them into the very fabric of culture, community and storytelling.

Using episodic releases, neuroscience and the psychology of habit forming and metacognition, Harmeet shares insights into current rule breaking in the immersive field, inviting audiences and content creators to jump down the rabbit hole of immersive experiences to cultivate tools and strategies for resilience through augmented reality, adventure games and playable experiences. So… are you ready?

In The Art of Reality Layering: How VR and XR Can Transform Artistic Practice The Art of Reality Layering: How VR and XR Can Transform Artistic Practice, Mez Breeze explore how Reality Layering can be thought of as a distributed perceptual system, one that relies on the integration of digital-based stimulus into our everyday physical lives. Just as mobile phones and devices act as conduits that can enhance our creativity as well as increasing our potential for heightened communications and information-gathering behaviours, so too can the current emergent wave of Virtual Reality software and hardware. This presentation will examine and discuss applied examples of Reality Layering and how it relates to the production of Electronic Literature.