Now available to all! You can watch my interactive short film, The Walker Arts District Branching Narrative Extravaganza, over at The Show Starts Now YouTube channel. Follow Jordan and Avery on their date throughout Downtown Norman as two time-travelers spark mayhem in their choices in this whimsical comedy film. You can pick what happens next at the end of each scene from the comfort of your home (or work, I won’t tell). When you’re done watching the movie, come to Norman to see the locations for yourself.
I want to start this post by saying I had fun making this interactive short film where people could experience the story by visiting the actual places of the scenes. I would also be lying if I didn’t share my moments of depression and frustration. In the three weeks of being available for people to play, less than a dozen did. With all of the work put into this project, I hope you can understand my sadness.
There is a classic entrepreneurial piece of advice to “fail fast.” With the low participation and during my status check of the posters, seeing more than half of them taken down, I pivoted to bring the experience online. Granted, this was a phase I planned on doing–just not so soon.
Despite getting knocked down, I’m getting back up to try again. The Norman Narrative was an experiment, and data was collected. I’m taking what I learned to create something new and better. Instead of pitching the project as an interactive short film, this one will be a game. The game will be limited, creating a sense of urgency to play. I’ll time the release so the game gets special attention. Business owners of featured locations will be involved on a deeper level instead of just having their place featured in a scene. There will be more interactive elements, like puzzles to solve, elements to find, and people to question.
Tomorrow, I’m going to Guthrie to meet with people interested in creating a unique experience for the downtown. The concept for this game will put players in the role of a detective as they solve a heist and series of murders.
I’m also spreading the word the Norman Narrative is now online, and I hope that with the film being online, the experience of the story will be better for people. The feature film version, which ties all of the branching points into a single narrative structure, will be available with the launch of The Show Starts Now. I’ve set Tuesday, May 16th, as the official launch for the streaming platform!
Stay tuned and happy adventures!