My transmedia project is split up into three parts. The first part is a physical board game that will be potentially sold in stores. The second is a short promotional video advertising the board game. The third is a 6 minute video which follows up the game and explains why the game is how it is. Being the most important feature, I created the video by filming a single actress (my friend) with a Sony camcorder and editing it together on Adobe Premiere CC. The film is here.
The story follows a spunky young girl called Maria, who finds herself in an unfamiliar place wearing strange clothes and having no idea what to do. A voice seemingly from nowhere speaks, and implies that Maria is the subject of some sort of game. Maria must do everything the voice tells her to, or the game will not progress. Resisting and fighting back every now and again, Maria asks for answers but receives none and ends up following exactly as the voice narrates. In the end, the supposed ‘player’ loses the game and Maria dies.
Below is part of the storyboard progress for the short film. Unfortunately, on the day of filming, the weather was unpredictably cold and rainy, so part of the film had to be changed. In the finished version, Maria is wearing a jumper, and the film doesn’t begin with Maria lying on grass but instead she’s walking on a footpath.
The film took some time to make as I wanted it to seem like Maria really was inside a game. I added text and sound effects for when something interesting happened, and various visual effects to change the colouring, lighting and feel of each turn. More than anything, it was difficult to coordinate Maria’s lines with the Narrator’s.
The video itself is set out as part of the (planned) board game ‘Many Ways To Die’. The board game itself will appear in a similar format to The Game of Life, with each space/panel containing instructions and occasional options for the player to decide on. Each space that Maria plays out in the video, will be an actual space on the game board. The spaces are coloured according to the severity of the instructions – yellow for good spaces, blue for neutral, purple for unpleasant, red for bad and green for choices. There is a coloured tint around the screen for every move Maria makes – implying the severity of each turn. In the game itself, the player must not land on more than 3 red spaces, or the game will end. This is represented in the game with red hearts at the top of the screen, showing how close Maria is to death.
The promotional video will be as follows:
The idea is that people will view the promotional video, play the game themselves, then watch the six minute film. The young people in the promotional video played the game and nothing seemed to happen – which is what will happen when a real person finishes the game (nothing will occur). When later watching the film, the audience will realise that every turn the teenagers made in the promotional video, is acted out by Maria. The daunting realisation will then hit the audience, as the teenagers from the video killed Maria unknowingly – therefore by playing the game themselves, they might have killed a human being too.
In addition to the promotional video will be a Facebook Page and possibly a Twitter account. Having the game presented on social media will not only increase it’s popularity, but allow players to discuss the so called ‘consequences’ that each person experiences or hypothesises. The Facebook page is up and running, already with ‘players’ commenting on the page.