Development Diary

On this page we will try to share as much a possible about our work; videos, documents, storyboards, story editor functionality, UI/UX and game-play. Expect also to get news relating to partnerships with creators, tech companies and platform holders. We hope to release content weekly so keep an eye on this page.

First demo of 3rd party Wanderword story

 

October 20th, 2017

Check out the gameplay video made by Morgan Fics, Wanderword's first 3rd party independent writer. He is working on a piece called The Legend of Ragnar Johnson, based on an urban myth. We are excited to see how well Morgan is using our software toolkit and we look to him for feedback to make sure we can provide an efficient and easy to use tool for creative writing with minimal technical complexities. Click on the link to watch the video.

Uscript & Wanderword

 

October 5th, 2017.

We are proud to partner with Detox Studios, a company specializing in editors and tools for software development. Together and in close collaboration with our licensed storytellers we will tailor a version of Detox Studios' visual scripting tool Uscript, with a focus on further empowering creative writing for Wanderword. Blog post HERE

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Guinea pig 

September 23rd, 2017

For the first time, we are putting the Wanderword SDK in a professional writer's hands. Head of engineering, Russ McMackin walked through Wanderword's narration engine and script language for Morgan Fics. We look forward to support and follow Morgan's  experience and listen to his critical feedback as he creates his interactive audio-book.

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An encounter with a legend

August 28th 2017

At the end of August I traveled to meet with writer Bob Bates an early pioneer of interactive fiction, at his office in Washington D.C. Six hours of sharing experiences and perspectives relating to non-linear storytelling. Most valuable takeaway - it's now clearer than ever what Wanderword is not. As we discussed the storytelling medium, I felt that puzzle based interactive fiction is not a primary sub-genre best suitable for audio based narratives - many text adventures in their pure form encompass multiple items to manage, complex puzzles and plenty locations. For a pure audio-based game it can be overwhelming for a player to keep track on multiple things without having to take notes. For me Wanderword will shine when a writer invites a player to 'step into his or her story' and impact the course of the narrative in an immersive yet friction-less manner, without the need for anything but imagination.See more about our Five Disciplines further down in the section Prototypes that define Wanderword stories and act as guidelines for the writer.

Treasure Map 

Aug 6th 2017

Working together with my three children (6,14,17), really helped me think about acoustic gaming and geo-location, and how these two user input mechanics can function together. We spent Sunday afternoon together and my two daughters came up with the basic story concept. In an hour we played an interactive audio-book with geo-location. The treasure map, to my youngest daughter's excitement, led to a playground where we spent the rest of the afternoon. Click on image to view the gameplay.

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Inclusive Gaming @ Hackathon

July 25th 2017

I'm very proud to represent and work for Microsoft. Not only in my 'heads-down' daily work on the Xbox team, but even more so as an employee of the company all-up. I get to work with incredibly smart people who believe and thrive in empowering people around the world to achieve more. It was a privilege and a pleasure to lend out and contribute with Wanderword during the company's week-long Hackathon event last week. Together with esteemed colleagues from various divisions, we experimented with geo-location based gameplay with Inclusive Gaming as our primary goal. We achieved our goals and turned Microsoft east campus into a game world that could be discovered through speech and location based interaction. 

In-room playing

 

July 13th 2017

Having used Wanderword during my flight from Seattle to London a couple of days earlier, I found it interesting to just get a feel for what it would mean to me as a player to transition from a gaming experience in an airplane with other passengers around me, to a room with just me, myself and I. During the flight I had completed chapters one and two. So after a long day of meetings, I went up to my room, connected Wanderword to my Amazon Alexa Tap and started playing from my previous save point.  

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Flight entertainment

July 11th 2017

For the first time since 2013 I decided to play Wanderword during a flight. It was very encouraging to find out that speech recognition worked well in a airplane cabin environment. I completed chapters one and two of Wanderword's interactive audio-book "63rd & Wallace" and felt it was great way to spend time on my flight from Seattle to London.

NPC Dialouge 

July 9th 2017

It's exciting to work on a story where the player must engage in dialogue with Non Player Characters ("NPC"). It challenges us to really build a stable engine and editor to handle this important part of our horror story 63rd & Wallace. Wanderword must 'steer' the dialogue during game-play so that the player is not overhhelmed by too open ended conversations while at the same time manages to extract important information from the NPC. Click on the image on the left to view a demo.