The Ultimate Engagement Tool for Transmedia Stories

You probably know this already…

Getting your audience to connect and stay with your story when there is competition from every angle is a big problem.

Your Audience Is Distracted

Games are a great way to get people engaged with your story.

Human Soup Game

Incorporating a game into your Transmedia is a good idea but game development is a business of high costs. From AAA console titles all the way to online games it doesn’t come cheap.

Back in 2009 I was producing an interactive Transmedia pilot called The Alexander Wilson Project. This was a follow up to my previous interactive film, Crimeface which had won 2 Webby Awards (aka Oscars of the Internet) and many fans around the world.

We had some momentum and good will on our side. We also raised some finance to develop and launch the idea.

We were developing the story within a Storyworld – an imaginary northern UK coastal town, Sheerport.

I wanted a game to be included in the project but whilst we had some money to play with, it wasn’t a big budget. I got on the phone and contacted all the game development companies around Manchester.

I told them what we were doing, what we wanted for the project, the potential of this new interactive story going global and the budget we had…. Click: brrrrrrrrrrrrrr

They Put The Phone Down On Me

Not to be deterred I started researching online. I rounded up a list of the 10 best online games that were completely addictive and that could fit within our Storyworld.

And I started emailing.

I had only got 3 down the list when I got a response. From a lovely guy from Novosibirsk in Siberia.

Hello Eugene Karataev!

He had a great game – mellow and stylish – almost ambient but very addictive and fun to play.

I showed Eugene our project and plans and asked him if we could try to arrange using his game somehow. This was all using Google translate! I proposed a small limited license deal. With a view to renegotiating if our project took off.

Eugene liked our project and was very open to the idea. He already had a license with an online games company but all parties managed to reach an agreement that if we changed the name of the game then we could get a version to use in our Transmedia project.

We’re In The Game

We discussed further customisations. Eugene was supremely helpful. We were able to embed the game in a code wrapper that allowed us to changes levels, names and include scoring for our players in their online profiles. It totally rocked as a game and it was totally incorporated into our systems and Storyworld.

I really enjoyed working with Eugene – he’s a true artist and a brilliant guy to work with.

I asked him shortly after we went live with our project – how is the commercial version of your game going? He wrote back, “Well it’s been online for 3 months and it’s had 6 million plays…”

WOW! – those kind of numbers could give a conventional media producer a heart attack!

The game became a real draw for us. Loads of people spent loads of time on it. In some ways it was more successful than the online video aspect of the project.


To press home my point – this collaboration was a win win (and there ain’t many of those around…)

Licensing the game was easy to arrnage. It fitted our budget and it expanded my horizons creatively.

You should consider licensing a game for your next Transmedia project.

If you need a hand finding and negotiating then we can help. Get in touch..!


About the author

I run Bellyfeel which gives me the opportunity to develop innovations in media, education and entertainment, plus exploring the future of storytelling. More here...

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