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Podcast: StoryForward, Episode 22 -- Chris Dahlen by J.C. Hutchins


In this special episode, co-host J.C. Hutchins chats with narrative designer Chris Dahlen about video game writing, transmedia storytelling and “Mark of the Ninja,” an XBox Live game that Dahlen recently wrote. If you’ve ever wanted to learn about the unique narrative opportunities and challenges found in creating video games, this interview is a great primer. Dahlen also shares his past experiences as a video game journalist and how they influenced the game stories he now writes.

The conversation takes a fascinating twist as Dahlen also shares his experiences as a transmedia storyteller. Dahlen helped craft a key component of the out-of-book experience for J.C.’s novel “Personal Effects: Dark Art.”: the online persona of character Rachael Webster. Dahlen discusses how writing Rachael became something more creatively rewarding than he ever expected. We also discuss lessons learned.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Podcast: StoryForward, Episode 21 -- Eric Huang by J.C. Hutchins


In this episode, we talk with Eric Huang of Penguin Books about the opportunities for transmedia storytelling in the book publishing world ... and beyond. Also joining us is Michael Andersen of ARGNet. Links mentioned in this episode:

Podcast: StoryForward, Episode 20 -- Felicia Day by J.C. Hutchins


In this special episode, co-host J.C. Hutchins chats with actor, writer, producer and entrepreneur Felicia Day. Day has starred in acclaimed TV series such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Eureka, but is perhaps best known as the creator of the groundbreaking, award-winning comedy web series The Guild.  She also co-founded the Geek & Sundry YouTube channel, which debuted in April. During our conversation, Day shares her experiences creating transmedia-ready stories for The Guild, and the transmedia narratives she helped craft for BioWare’s Dragon Age video game storyworld.

The Guild’s sixth season debuts on the Geek & Sundry network on Oct. 2! Check it out!

Links mentioned in this episode:

Transmedia Unboxing -- "Shattering Worlds" Artifacts by J.C. Hutchins

Something cool is in the transmedia waters, my friends. Just last week, I received an incredible mystery package in the mail … and on Monday, another cool package arrived. This one is from another sender, for another transmedia experience! Swamped with work, I wasn't able to examine its contents until today. But man, cool stuff awaited inside.

The envelope appeared innocuous enough, but inside, were three very intriguing items: A cover letter (featuring a handwritten note), what appeared to be a comic book, and a CD-ROM.

I'll provide detailed shots of all this stuff in a moment, but first want to share some observations on this crazy comic book. As I flipped through the book, I realized this wasn't like any comic I'd ever seen. It was "shattered." There were no full pages of art or dialogue; merely shards of content on the white pages.

Here's what I mean. (I cut the pages to easily place them on my desk, in order.)

I then examined the contents of the CD-ROM and found these files:


I opened the "WE ARE VERY DISAPPOINTED" movie file. This is what I watched:

The mysterious fellow talks about "cracks" in the foundations of the "fourth wall," a membrane that separates fiction from reality. These disturbances may threaten all worlds -- real and imagined.

A multiverse extinction event? That's pretty uncool in my book. Curious, I then examined the image files stored on the CD-ROM. They were scans of the "shattered" comic book pages. Each had a peculiar file name.

I'm including those images, and their file names -- and the cover letter with handwritten message -- in this PDF. If you want to head down the rabbit hole of this intriguing worlds-rending Alternate Reality Game, I suggest you download the PDF and look closely at its contents.

I also recommend checking out the YouTube page for the above video. There, you'll see links to a Twitter account, a story timeline, and more.

Can you help solve the mystery of the "shattered" comic book? Are there hints in the cover letter? Will your pursuit for the truth lead to the source of these destructive cracks between our world and fictional realms?

Download the PDF, let your curiosity be your guide, and good luck.


Note: The last page of the PDF is missing the file name information. The file name for the image is "22-15-9-4.png". The PDF has been updated with the file name, and will soon be available with that information. 

Podcast: StoryForward, Episode 19 -- Ken Eklund by J.C. Hutchins


Hosts Steve Peters and J.C. Hutchins are joined by veteran game designer Ken Eklund, perhaps best known for designing the renowned serious ARG, World Without Oil in 2007. He talks with us about his current project, Ed Zed Omega. If you’re at all interested in ARGs in Education, you won’t want want to miss this in-depth discussion. Shlinks mentioned in this episode:

VIDEO: Transmedia Unboxing -- Yimmu Logistics Artifacts by J.C. Hutchins

Yesterday, I received a mysterious packet in the mail from the Interplanetary Union, an organization based in a location called "New Lyon City," on the planet Centauri. I've received some very strange packages in the past, but none with such a cool return address!

I filmed my experience of opening the envelope, and sharing some of its contents. That video is above; low resolution scans of some -- but not all -- of the documents are below. If you'd like to get as close to the experience as possible, DOWNLOAD THIS PDF, which features high resolution scans of the packet's complete contents.

You'll notice that I chronically mispronounce the words "logistics" and "Koatoa" in the video. My apologies. If you knew how nervous I become when talking on video, you'd be shocked that I could properly pronounce anything at all. :)

Enjoy the video, and a few low-res images below. Learn more about the Yimmu Logistics alternate reality game "We Are Earthborne" at the Unfiction forum thread. Also check out the "Oceanus" wiki for more info.

And remember: If you want high resolution scans of the complete collection of transmedia artifacts, download the PDF FOUND HERE.

Remember: If you want high resolution scans of the complete collection of transmedia artifacts, download the PDF FOUND HERE. Enjoy!


Podcast: StoryForward, Episode 018 -- Alison Norrington, Liz Rosenthal & Tishna Molla by J.C. Hutchins


In this episode, hosts Steve & J.C. talk with the organizers of two of the largest transmedia conferences of the year, both coming up in October: The StoryWorld Conferencein Los Angeles and Power to the Pixel in London. Find out all there is to know about these two amazing events as our guests Alison Norrington (StoryWorld), Liz Rosenthal and Tishna Molla (Power to the Pixel) fill us in on all the transmedia goodness they have planned.

Also, Michael Anderson from ARGNet joins us to fill us in on the latest happenings in the Alternate Reality Gaming world, including a cool new grassroots game.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Podcast: StoryForward, Episode 017 -- David G. Wilson by J.C. Hutchins


After a six-week vacation from the podwaves, Steve and J.C. return with a new StoryForward episode! In it, Steve regales us with tales of transmedia triumph in Colombia, and J.C. teases one of his transmedia projects that’ll debut next month. This week, StoryForward also speaks with David G. Wilson, Vice President of Global Business Strategy at EON Productions (the production company behind the James Bond film & entertainment franchise) and co-founder of SEAM, a new website designed to foster creator collaboration. In our chat, David shares his passion for storytelling, and discusses some of the practical advice presented in SEAM’s new ebook, Story Design.

After the interview, Steve and J.C. return to share some stories about Steve’s humorous “insta-ARG,” World Without Helium.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Podcast: StoryForward, Episode 016 -- Jonathan Waite by J.C. Hutchins


Our good friend Jonathan Waite joins us to talk about ARGFest-o-Con 2012, happening July 26-28 in Toronto. We talk about all the great reasons to attend, including all the great speakers, events and parties. You can find information and register at the link below. Also, Steve tells J.C. about his new Insta-ARG experiment: World Without Helium.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Podcast: StoryForward, Episode 015 -- Andrea Phillips by J.C. Hutchins


Transmedia Designer Andrea Phillips joins Steve and JC to talk about her just-released book A Creator’s Guide to Transmedia Storytelling: How to Captivate and Engage Audiences across Multiple Platforms.

They talk about the need for open conversation, the various descriptions of transmedia and the four creative purposes for transmedia storytelling.

Also, you’ll hear Steve and J.C. talk about Prometheus, Jurassic Park II, and even a Wrath of Khan soliloquy by J.C., which you won’t want to miss. :)

Plus, for the first time…A contest with PRIZES!

Links mentioned in this episode:

Podcast: StoryForward, Episode 014 -- Evan Jones by J.C. Hutchins


In this special interview, Stitch Media’s Creative Director and Founder Evan Jones joins Steve and J.C. as they discuss the denial of two projects to qualify for an important Digital Tax Credit based on a seemingly defective definition of what interactivity actually is. The serious ramifications of this decision, along with the importance of practitioner input into the very definition of what they do, make this a very important episode that you can’t afford to miss. Links mentioned in this episode:

Podcast: StoryForward, Episode 013 -- Sean Stacey, Jonathan Waite & Michael Andersen by J.C. Hutchins


We celebrate the 10th anniversary of ARG websites Unfiction and ARGNet in this history-packed episode. Guests Sean C. Stacey (Unfiction), Jonathan Waite and Michael Andersen (ARGNet) join Steve and J.C. and look back at the early days of Alternate Reality Games. In this retrospective, they talk about highlights of the past 10 years, where things have come, and what the future may hold.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Podcast: StoryForward, Episode 012 -- David Varela by J.C. Hutchins


Steve and J.C. welcome transmedia writer and producer David Varela ( Their discussion includes a history of his past ARG/transmedia work and his current project, a transmedia live theater event, The Seed. Also: Listener Mail!

Links mentioned in this episode:

Podcast: StoryForward, Episode 011 -- Gunther Sonnenfeld by J.C. Hutchins


New media expert Gunther Sonnenfeld has a meaty discussion with Steve and J.C. about the obstacles that have been preventing transmedia entertainment from going mainstream and what can and should be done to push through them. We also welcome back Michael Andersen (ARGNet) who talks about his recent experience at Story Hack: Beta.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Podcast: Interview with Karen Wehner & Lucas Johnson of "The Time Tribe" by J.C. Hutchins


In this conversation, J.C. chats with Karen Wehner and Lucas Johnson, co-founders of The Time Tribe, a transmedia experience designed to teach youngsters about world history. Combining video games, comics, real-world artifacts and more, the project aims to create an accessible, educational narrative that engages players in the media they love.

In addition to sharing The Time Tribe's creative and educational goals, Karen and Lucas express some of the financial realities of realizing such an ambitious independent project. If you're dazzled by their project, be sure to chip in to their recently-announced Kickstarter campaign!

Links mentioned in this episode:

Podcast: StoryForward, Episode 010 -- Jackie Turnure by J.C. Hutchins


Veteran transmedia producer Jackie Turnure (Fourth Wall Studios) joins J.C. and Steve in this jam-packed episode. Their discussion spans her past Alternate Reality Game projects for LOST, Flash Forward, Salt and more, and leads up to an in-depth conversation about Fourth Wall Studios’ just-released project, Dirty Work and their new transmedia platform, RIDES.

Jackie talks about what makes Dirty Work different, and the unique challenges that a transmedia entertainment studio faces.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Podcast: StoryForward, Episode 009 -- Brian Clark by J.C. Hutchins


In this bonus episode, Brian Clark (GMD studios) defends his controversial assertion that “transmedia” has outlived its usefulness as a descriptive term for storytelling … and how refining the definition of this emerging breed of narrative will contribute to its long-term viability. Links mentioned in this episode:

Podcast: StoryForward, Episode 008 -- Adrian Hon, Jim Babb & Mur Lafferty by J.C. Hutchins


Note: J.C.'s recent conversation with Shadowrun creator Jordan Weisman was re-broadcast at the StoryForward site as episode 007 of that show. This explains the "missing" 007 episode of StoryForward in J.C.'s podcast feed -- it was already published.

In a special roundtable discussion, Mur LaffertyAdrian Hon (Six to Start) and Jim Babb (Awkward Hug) join hosts J.C. Hutchins and Steve Peters as they talk about their recent Kickstarter campaigns.

If you’re in the midst of, or thinking about, starting a Kickstarter campaign for your creative project, you won’t want to miss this episode. Best practices and great advice abound!

Links mentioned in this episode:

Podcast: StoryForward, Episode 006 -- Jay Ferguson & Kate Sullivan by J.C. Hutchins


In this jumbo-sized episode, hosts J.C Hutchins and Steve Peters spend some quality time with Jay Ferguson, the creator of the interactive thriller Guidestones, and Kate Sullivan of Candlemark & Gleam.

Jay talks about his recent real-time webseries Guidestones, and Kate and J.C. talk about how transmedia is affecting new models of publishing.

Links from this show: