4D Fiction

Exploring the many dimensions of creative storytelling...

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From “rabbithole” to “bobblehead”, here’s a sample construction of an experience through a full blown transmedia production, composed of multiple products and campaigns, numerous entry points and levels of engagement, and many platforms of delivery. Of course, in no way is this a complete or definitive experience, but only an example among endless possibilities. Presented without labels or buzzwords, this is one possible engagement, from beginning to …end?

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Back in “the day” (mere years ago), there were these things called “ARGs”. I remember them: amazing experiences that involved their audience, told stories, had puzzles and games that were fun and made sense in their contexts. Now what was once just a single story told across multiple platforms has evolved into “transmedia”

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Building the world in which an alternate reality game or transmedia experience can play out successfully is like planning and directing a single-shot film. What we can learn from the single shot film “Russian Ark” and apply to ARGs and transmedia experiences.

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If the resulting story of an ARG is repackaged and distributed in novelized form for example, could audiences at some point start seeking out a return on their investment?

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At ARGFest 2010, the Artifact Creation 101 workshop gave a hands-on experience creating memorable and relevant story items, “artifacts”. There is great benefit to expanding a story into the real world for the audience through physical props and artifacts.

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There’s a growing trend of marketing attempts that try to invade the personal digital space of their target demographic. Recently, two campaigns began vying for the attention of bystanders through distributed video – for two very different properties, with two very different results.

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The “Rule of Thirds” dates back as far as the 18th century, defined as a guideline to help artists compose esthetically pleasing art, composed in such a way as to best keep the eye flowing naturally from one point of interest to another. It’s also applicable as a guideline for effective storytelling.

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Whether you’re planning to be in attendance at SXSWi this year or not, the SXSW online panel picker is now open for the public to vote for the panels they feel should be presented at the event. Here are some panels I recommend reviewing and voting for.

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ARGFest 2010 took place July 15-18, in downtown Atlanta. It was a joy to meet up with friends once again, and to make new friends and acquaintances, social and professional, in this growing and evolving community. Here’s a brief recap.

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Tupperware. In the woods. Who wouldn’t want to find that? Well if you do, you’re probably a geocacher, or else you’d make a good one. What’s great about geocaching is its flexibility to be used as a story-telling tool, incorporating real-world tasks and rewarding players.

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The ARG ‘formula’ is getting so saturated with copycat conventions that it’s like walking into a book store and having to skip the genres we don’t like, heading straight to our favourite aisles. But even in the midst of all the noise, occasionally one book may stand out, a best-seller perhaps, and we curiously dive in.

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Welcome to the newly updated 4DFiction.com!
A long time in coming, but the update is complete (I couldn’t bring myself to roll it out on April 1st). And, as a kick-off to the new template, 4DFiction has a brand spanking new design.

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It’s prompting nostalgic retro-flashbacks to the 80′s, all this hype for the upcoming film Tron: Legacy – a sequel to the classic cult sci-fi adventure from 1982 Tron. But the new face of Tron presented by 21st century technology and special effects has the fan-base in a tizzy.

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About the time of Levi’s launch of their new “Go Forth” campaign, reports began popping up of nifty packages being delivered from the Levi Strauss and Co. Archives in San Francisco. Days after I reported the press release at ARGN.com, 4DF received a package!

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Celebrities are a hot target for ransoms and blackmail. So is it any surprise that Seth Green of Idle Hands and Austin Powers fame has now had to likewise suffer a life-altering, catastrophic tragedy?

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