My role in Type 1 Error has been to write up the story following brainstorming done by myself and Sam. This includes many of the individual ‘pages’ of the story in twine, as well as deciding on suitable linking points to other pages in the story or other media platforms, such as external webpages, audio, mocked-up documents such as Google maps, and others.
I am considerable more comfortable in this ‘analogue’ activity of putting words down on paper than I am constructing the story digitally and creating the effects which help to considerably build the mood and sell the idea, which Sam is mainly responsible for.
My preferences for stories have tended towards the linear told across a single medium, namely stories for film and television. Personally, I prefer the content to dictate the form, rather than the other way around, otherwise content can tend to feel contrived and the exercise intellectual and disingenuous as a whole.
Fortunately, much of the narrative of Type 1 Error is about a character (Sam Farris) traversing online space to cover and mystery; thus, shifts between media are integral to firstly the plot and then to the experience, in placing the user as much as possible in the protagonist’s shoes.
The extent to which are project is transmedia depends on what definition you are using. While each individual media artefacts (for example, webpages and audio) can be understood and enjoyed as a standalone piece, they are conceived as part of the web of the story. That is, they are not intended for individual consumption; although a radio podcast that we aim to appropriate was developed as a standalone product. Thus, this level of co-dependency might move away from other large-scale transmedia projects, such as The Matrix & Animatrix, as well as The Dark Knight.
Regarding the forward direction of the project, the two main objectives at this stage are to expand on the story and to create a more immersive world through innovative hyperlinks and various decorative elements, which I’ve mentioned above.
Tone is especially important, I think, in differentiating this project from others of its ilk. While I am pleased to push the project in the direction of hard-boiled detective/noir, subversion is something that I find myself to firstly make the process of writing more interesting, as well as create a unique ethos which I hope would resonate with users.
For instance, humour and irreverence, a sense of irony and so forth, are important to alleviate the dense and potentially solemn tone and paranoia which surrounds metadata collection. Anything which helps to provide an element of surprise, whether tonal shifts or trans-media, will be beneficial in our attempts to sustain user involvement, once the novelty of the hook has worn off.