What is a web audio adventure?
You'll download an app to play on your iPad. Once open, you'll be guided by a narrator and the characters as they travel across the web to their fictional websites. So you'll hear the drama unfold, see the fictional websites, and click around the web with the characters.
What is the story and world?
You laugh at me because I’m different, I laugh at you because you’re all the same. Jonathan Davis, Korn
"AUTHENTIC IN ALL CAPS" is a comedy drama set in a world split in two. You travel with a lady who is an Autopsy Pathologist in the Overworld, with a hidden life of as a Philosopher in the Underworld. When she is outed as a Philosopher, the Reality Infringement Council comes bearing down on her threatening her livelihood. But the appearance of a client mourning his late wife, and an eager-to-help part-time Time Traveling assistant, presents her with a choice. Should she keep her livelihood, and even her life, or stick her thumb to the crowd and do what she feels is right no matter what? The pathologist decides to take on a bet to find the meaning of death, and in doing so attracts the wrath of Ticket Officers, her Gambling Philosopher Ex, Artist Assassins, and a Quantum Theorist Crime Boss. She finds it's dangerously unpopular to be AUTHENTIC IN ALL CAPS.
* Audio is a powerful element in any creative project -- and we're drawing on it to explore characters, setting, navigation, and emotion on the web in a new way. The unusual mix of using audio as the major delivery mode, along with visuals, and the need to act, is a great creative challenge we're relishing. You don't just listen, you look, and do. But all of the visual and action elements need to compliment and not compete with the main audio channel. We're drawing on animation and audio tours to guide our insights.
* We're playing with an idea of 'immersion'. When you read a book or listen to a radio drama, you spend a lot of mental effort creating the environment and appearance of the characters in your mind. We want to encourage this imaginative projection as much as possible, and so we've developed aesthetic principles to facilitate this happening.
* We're playing with the notion of 'space' on the web. What if each website is a 'place' -- a company, a building, a hideout? We're using spatial sound, wayfinding, and aesthetic principles we've developed to facilitate this idea.
* In terms of character design, the story has a strong female lead that doesn't need saving but still has her own flaws. She is courageous enough to be herself. In fact, the whole ensemble of characters explore different aspects of the obstacles to being yourself -- from not knowing who you are, to being courageous in the face of financial, social, emotional, and psychological walls. This approach has meant finding some unusual approaches to protagonist, sidekick, and ensemble design.
* We're making this for people who have always wanted to dive into stories delivered across the web but found them unapproachable; for people who have started engaging with online experiences but found they demanded too much time and effort to stay with; and for those that are keen to explore something fun and different.
What have you already done on the project?
We've playtested two prototypes. The most recent iPad build was nominated for an award! We achieved runner up for "Best Writing in a Game" at the 2012 Freeplay Independent Gaming Festival -- beating many released games!
Before this iPad build, we conducted playtests on a basic desktop prototype. We were able to see just how players take audio cues, how much information they can take in when reading and listening at the same time, what characters were working, what dialogue and gags worked and didn't, and even how to best capture sound.
Most of the dialogue has been scripted, with schematics for all the websites and actions in place, and our own sound library already developed. 90% of the casting is locked.
What will you use the funds for?
We've been working on this project for over a year, working for the love of it and maxing out credit cards. While the overall costs are much higher, this is the critical 15k to make it all happen as we've envisioned. Here is what your actions will make happen:
* venue and equipment hire fees for the ensemble cast recordings
* cast fees
* software, developer accounts, hosting, and so on<
* refine the app interface functionality and appearance
* integrate generative sound into the app
* graphic design for the websites and inworld assets
* greater website functionality responsiveness
* sound design and composition
What are the rewards?
Here are the wonderful perks of being an early supporter of this unique experience:
The unique web audio adventure that includes three 20+ minute episodes which involve moving through the 10+ websites, with optional playful missions, and further activities outside of the main audio experience.
Digital download of the complete custom soundtrack composed by Trevor Dikes of Soundplay Interactive for all three episodes! Here is a sampler of Trevor's work:
Christy Dena shares her writing, design, and directing decisions made during the project. It includes videos, podcasts & articles that inspired or changed her thinking, art, audio files, writing scripts (see this article), as well as a topic-driven navigation system for ease of use. This will be in digital format, but not iOS.
PERSONALISED PROLOGUE BY JIMMY JAMES EATON:
We'll create a personal audio introduction to AUTHENTIC IN ALL CAPS, guiding you to the app with a special narration written by Christy Dena and performed by the narrator of the project - the ACE comedian Jimmy James Eaton (who is also the narrator of our video).
Be a part of the development process by playing a pre-release version of the App. Find bugs and give us feedback! You'll need an iPad of course, and we'll be tracking your actions remotely, or if in Melbourne in person too! All playtesters will be in the credits of the App.
In the AUTHENTIC IN ALL CAPS world, philosophers are gamblers. So we have a casino where philosophers play...philosophy games. Some are games you'd find in a casino, with a philosophic edge, and others are just games that make you think...really think. For example, we like games such as Jason Nelson's game, game, game and again game as well as Molleindustria's Every Day the Same Dream. But let your imagination go wild. If you would like to create your own special philosophy game (or let us know about your existing one), we'll link to it from the app!
In the AUTHENTIC IN ALL CAPS world, Artists are Assassins. They get funding and critical acclaim by killing people with their art. You can be a part of the AUTHENTIC world by having your own Artist Assassin Avatar created by artist Simon Howe (the artist behind the video). We'll work with you, and based on the character traits you select (art weapon, weaknesses, etc), an avatar will be created and exist in the world upon launch! Here is a sampler of Simon's work:
As a sponsor, you'll receive 3 copies of the complete 3 episode iPad App, the Creator's Log (digital version), and your branding included as a special sponsor in the App for all players to see.
You or your team can have a 2 hour meeting with Christy and a crew or cast member. We'll do this either in person (if in Melbourne) or via Skype, or some form. We can do a presentation, consult on your work, entertain, whatever cunning plan you come up with!
We do actually need more than 15,000 to finish the project, and there are some elements we'd love to include in the experience if your support goes higher:
17,500 Active Audio Tour Commentary
We'll create audio commentary tours of the app, taking you through a detailed post-mortem revealing more design, writing, sound, visual, and coding decisions and lessons we learned.
We currently have a back button so you can replay scenes to hear cues, but we'd also love to include another back button which replays scenes with slight differences. These take you back in time to an alternate scene where you spot differences that add nifty insights.
This isn't just giving you the option to choose an ending. You will be able to experience all of the endings, and the combination of them all will provide a multifaceted wholeness more in line with the truth of the situation.
Gift your Pledge!
You can pledge to this project and pass on your rewards as a gift to someone else. We've created a special webpage you can send them to let them know what you've done.
There is probably something really important we've forgotten, so shoot us your questions or thoughts!