So I’m not burying the lede: like the post title says, the Storium Kickstarter campaign is live, and nearly funded after less than a day.
Let’s talk about stories and storytelling.
If you’ve poked about the blog at all, you’ve probably figured out that I like writing stories and playing in them. I don’t ever remember a time I haven’t been immersed in fiction in one way or another.
If I’m going to pick up a video game, 99% of the time it’s going to be story-based. Are there NPCs I can talk to? What do they have to say? If I go back to the town after I’ve completed a quest, do they say something new? (You don’t want to know how long my Dragon Age playthrough took. Once I realized my party’s dialogue was ever-evolving, I was stopping every few minutes to get Alistair’s and Wynne’s input.)
The earliest stories I told were some form of fanfic inspired by whatever series had caught my imagination. When my grandmother watched me during the day, I’d wait until she fell asleep during her soaps and switch the channel over to Super Friends. In my head canon, Green Lantern and I were BFFs, and Wonder Woman would come pick me up in her invisible plane and we’d go off and have adventures. A few years later, when our moms inevitably told us to shut off the Nintendo and go outside, we continued our Super Mario Bros. adventures on our own. Our backyards became the Mushroom Kingdom.
In college, I discovered tabletop roleplaying games. Time was, we were playing three times a week or more, as long as our GM had a chance to get some plotting in. We’re down to once a week now, because of jobs and that whole getting older thing. Once, I could game until 2 am, go to class, go to work, game again, and keep functioning enough to sustain a 4.0. Nowadays, not so much. But that doesn’t mean I’m not thinking about those stories during the week. We’ll come back to this point, so remember it. There’ll be a quiz later.
Because I need to talk about MMORPGs, too. I play on a roleplaying server in World of Warcraft. We have a thriving community, and we’ve been telling stories with one another for the better part of a decade now. We’re scattered across not only the country, but the world. It can be hard enough for this east coaster to stay up and RP with the west coast crew, knowing there’s story happening while I really ought to go the hell to bed. Our Aussie contingent (<3 Nat and Sam) are on the flip side of the diurnal from us, half a day into the future.
Hectic schedules, real life obligations, and writing deadlines mean that sometimes, our game night gets postponed a week. Or all of the above plus time zone shifts means trying to catch a guildmate for RP can be tough. We look for other ways to keep telling the story when we’re not logged in: RP by email, in-character gtalk sessions, collaborative writing on gdocs. A few people on our server have created a whole website where the community can go and interact and keep our plots moving along (shameless Feathermap plug!)
And right now, up and running, and maybe even rolling towards being funded on the first day, is the kickstarter for Storium, which is a shiny new online storytelling game. You pick a world or create your own, create your characters, and get the story moving. Time zone conflicts? Can’t get together in person to play with your favorite people? SOLVED. Storium lets your group play on their own timetable. Maybe you’re all online and the story’s flowing quickly. Maybe you add a scene during your commute, your friend replies during her lunch hour, and your Antipodean player joins in while you’re getting your beauty rest.
And look at the sandboxes you get to play in!
Right now, there are genre settings for you to dip your toes into: cyberpunk, urban fantasy, epic fantasy, horror, medical drama. When it launches, the Storium team have brought in an incredible cast of writers to create new worlds: Delilah S. Dawson, Stephen Blackmoore, Karin Lowachee are you fangirling yet? Because the stretch goals give you MOAR WORLDS to play in, including ones designed by Saladin Ahmed, Mur Lafferty, Andrea Phillips, and Leonard Balsera. AND there are hints at more stretch goals (and stretch worlds!) to come. /kermitflail
If your heart’s not already going pitter-pat enough, Storium founders Stephen Hood and Josh Whiting brought in some of my favorite people in gaming, publishing, and transmedia to be on their team: Will Hindmarch, Chuck Wendig, Mur Lafferty, and J.C. Hutchins. Seriously, look at that list of awesome people omg. Which means Storium is in excellent hands.
I’m super excited about this kickstarter, you guys. Let’s get it funded! Let’s get it beyond funded and open up ALL THE WORLDS.