The Story Lab 2016 – Major Project Final Reflection
In relation to my Project Brief regarding The Barlow Enquiry, I believe the project successfully followed many of the predicted and aimed outcomes. Naturally, there have been deviations through the durations of the semester; occurrences and events, which were unpredictable, and ultimately, we had to adapt to. However, despite this, I believe The Barlow Enquiry has been a successful project.
I believe the main reason our project succeeded was because we had an exceptional team who were willing to take on anything that was thrown at them. As mentioned in our brief, we took on jobs and sections that were our strengths, which not only helped produce quality artefacts and evidence, but also made for a happier, more enthusiastic team. For us, using Skype for meetings outside of class up to three times a week really helped out project come together. It was all about communication.
Our over-all narrative generally stuck to the original concept, however, where necessary, we had to make additions and changes. The solidifying of the story concept is something, that if we were to do the project over, I would push to have been completely cemented straight away. Unfortunately, being our first major transmedia project, we didn’t get this done until half way through the project, which left some holes and problem we had to fix later – problems that could have been avoided.
Although we originally thought we would be using many more media platforms than we ended up with, we worked with what we deemed suitable for our narrative. While other group’s technical aspects may have been more advanced and professional looking, ours worked for our story. We weren’t depicting a professional corporation; this was just a young kid looking for some answers. Ultimately, I think we portrayed his voice really well.
In regards to audience agency and engagement, I believe we succeeded. Personally, I received a number of questions about the assignment, while our promotional posters gained attention outside immediate family, friends and fellow students.
The way in which we decided not to “hand feed” our audiences information, but rather let them engage with the content was what, I believe, was attractive about the project. People had to work for something, and when they found it, a sense of accomplishment was found.
The use of social media was probably something we could have paid more attention to. With our time constraints, much of our efforts went into building the story and all it’s content, which consequently meant that our social media accounts became forgotten. Facebook was our main form of communication to audiences, and got the most amount of attention. I believe, if allowed the time, we would have been able to slowly release content and therefore, have been able to share and engage with audiences better. It was interesting to note that as we progressed through our project, we culled some of out accounts, deeming them not as detrimental as others. The first to go was Instagram, simply because we could reach a greater amount of people through other platforms, essentially using the same media.
Overall, I am extremely proud of what we have produced with The Barlow Enquiry. We have invited audiences to play a non-linear game, allowing them multiple entrance points and a sense of accomplishment on completion. However, if I were to start this project, or another transmedia assignment, I feel as though I have learnt from many mishaps and even successes. I would emphasize the need for planning and sticking to strict timetables. While we mentioned this in our original brief, I have come to see that it is one thing to actually believe you will do it, and another to actually do it. It can make a great difference between a good project, and a great project.