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August 28, 2023 45 mins

What makes for an interesting interactive story? How complex must the story be? Why some interactive stories (like in gaming) flop? Why is the user experience so important?

Our guest this week is Ronda Thomas from Alozari.

"At Alozari we seek to return that connection through a collaboration of seasoned professionals in events, entertainment, and technology. We’ve been weaving the real and the virtual worlds together for decades, always at the forefront of technology and engagement."


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All right, this is week 10. I don't think we're in Kansas anymore. The deepening of interactive storytelling today, we're talking about interactive storytelling, immersive storytelling. And what does this all mean in this, in this modern age? And so guys, I wanna begin with a, a quote from a video game. What is a man? But the sum of his memories, we are the stories we live and the tales that we tell ourselves. This is from uh Clay Kasick of in Assassin's Creed Brotherhood. If you've ever played Assassin's Creed, actually, I am not a big video game person, but I love some of the stories that they tell my kids play these deep um interactive games like Assassin's Creed. And, uh that's the only one I can think of top of my mind. But there's actually a story to those. Oh my gosh. Yeah. And they're great. I mean, they're by, they're so immersive and they're so layered. Uh, you have full character development stuff. We need to introduce our, uh compadres here. Uh We've got the elusive, elusive, you keep getting up to go to the back. Yeah, that's, that was a stretching and the uh incredulous. I have no idea what that word means. Look that one up, look it up. You are often incredulous. OK. Maybe not today because you, you were smiling. So Stephen Sadler, Stephen Sadler is here. All right guys. So uh I don't think we're in Kansas anymore. We're talking about the, the deepening of interactive storytelling. This is a, a kind of a mysterious one. Not um it's not mainstream. No, this is not mainstream. And so, you know, are or is it well? OK, let me begin with this. Let me begin with this. So here's, here's a quote about interactive storytelling in our highly mediated technology driven world. We are all looking for meaningful ways to connect. This has constantly inspired me to create environments full of lively immersive experiential elements specifically crafted to foster human connection. And this is uh David Rockwell from uh he's a, he's a game developer, but we're talking about game more than just games. We're just, I mean, this is kind of a can be a uh a melange of different interactive, what do you guys think about interactive storytelling? Like again, we'll do our, our gut check before we bring our Well. Yeah. And, and for me, when I hear this and when I, I understand what it's about, it's, it's just part of that trans media, right? It's part of that trans media approach for telling a story. You can have a film, you could have a TV, you could have uh a TV show, you could have a book and you can have it in a game or, or some type of um platform like this where the stories are being told. And this is, this is something new to me. Um And it's interesting because it is just another platform, but you have people that really enjoy this platform to tell their story, to live their story. And what, what is, what is interactive storytelling? Is it just a video game or do we live in it? 00, this, this smells like a rabbit hole to me. This is all right, Steve Lay, lay down that. What's, well, there was an interesting project that um Carnegie Mellon. Um uh A few guys from Carnegie Mellon created. Uh I think they stopped the program in 2002. And it's funny because I didn't know that you were gonna title this podcast uh with Kansas. But the project was called the Oz Project, which is kind of strange. Yeah, but the way that the, the uh the Oz project works, I mean, it's probably what the, the framework that they've actually used for a lot of video gaming since then. And I know some of the guys that worked on that project actually got into A I. Um but there's an interesting component to it all is one, you have an interactor. OK. So if I'm a part of this interactive storytelling system, so imagine it's a piece of technology, right? Um I'm interfacing as the interactor. Uh Then there's characters that are controlled by something called a drama manager. OK. Is this something they're building? Is this they built this? OK. So this is a piece of technology, correct? Keep going. And this drama ma manager actually was responsible for moving the characters around to make sure that you are having an interactive experience within this, you know, this environment, this physical environment, which is not a physical envir

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