During our workshop session with Bolton University Arts & Media Department, we discussed the contents of a storyworld bible – what material it needs to make it work as the bedrock for the stories to be told.
A successful storyworld bible acts as a kind of ‘rule book’ or ‘user manual’ for writers, directors, interactive designers, graphic designers and for any creative and technical contributor. It describes how and why the world works and gives them an understanding of that world. The bible needs to contain;
- LOCATIONS – the geography as well as the history and timeline of the place (town, city, castle, spaceship, country, world, universe) where the stories are set.
- STORIES – plot ideas and basic story outlines that exist within the storyworld. The timeline may also be expanded here in more detail.
- CHARACTERS – arcs, motivations, backstories, conflicts, profiles.
- THEME(S) – an idea about the underlying truth of the stories to be told, for example the theme could be about the meaning of life or the human condition.
- OVERVIEW – presented as diagrams, flowcharts and maps – visual aids to illustrate the storyworld and to show how it works.
- GAMES – any notes and ideas on what type of games and how they will work within the storyworld and what relevance they have to it.
- VISUALISATION – concept art, maps, GUI layouts, interaction flowcharts, colour palettes etc.
- TECHNICAL SPEC – any technical restrictions that may have an impact on the writing and production stages.
Try applying the storyword method to your own brand or story idea and see what happens. You don’t necessarily need to produce a bible straight away but I’m sure you will generate a host of interesting ideas.