No need to go through all the feature stuff below unless you are in the mood. Wanderword is a platform for interactive audio-books that will empower storytellers to share their stories to active listeners around the world. Using speech recognition, speech synthesis, narrative branching, geo-location and sound effects, a Wanderword story can be played on any mobile device or in-home voice enabled device. We put writers and active listeners first. Our primary purpose is to be of service to those who love storytelling.
Peter Zetterberg, founder
What is Wanderword?
To understand what Wanderword is, it's probably best to first explain what it's not. Wanderword is not a game, or an audio-book or an app. It could have been any or all of these, but as we worked on the core concept and put ourselves through plenty of experiential research, we decided to build a platform that will empower people to create stories and share these with others. With a prototype version ll now completed and fully playable on a handheld device we are starting to build Wanderword to become a platform & marketplace for interactive audio books, consisting of a free story editor for creation and a free client for playing. When the platform and client are released you can sell, buy or share stories at www.wanderword.net
Dynamic User Engagement
In order to cater for multiple and varied user situations and preferences, Wanderword lets the user chose how much depth, detail and interaction he/she wishes to be exposed to during a Wanderword session. Similar to a sliding bar or volume control, user scenarios that require plenty of concentration like driving a car reduces the amount of user interaction and engagement. Scenarios where the user can comfortably focus solely on using Wanderword, the wish for detailed storytelling and more elaborate conversation is likely greater. In return, Wanderword adapts the narrative by reducing or increasing level of detail of a story.
We are playing around with Geo-location as a built-in, optional feature for Wanderword. This functionality will empower storytellers to not only welcome players to step into their stories through speech and sound, but also take them on journeys and to places where a story changes and evolves depending on location. Imagine turning your neighborhood into a mystical fantasy world, or walk in the footsteps of Jack the Ripper in Whitechapel, London to catch the perpetrator before he strikes again.
3D audio - true immersion
We are doing our best to push our prototype Wanderword story as far as technically possible. The story, 63rd & Wallace, that we are writing, must compel and delight the player at any corner and crossroad. Immersion is critical and combined with beautiful writing, interesting puzzles and investigations, our audio design will allow the player to truly Step Into their Story and experience Chicago during the World Fair in 1893, where 63rd & Wallace takes place. Therefor, all sounds and ambient background layers reside in a virtual 3D space - surrounding the player. Our sound engineer is heads down working on replacing our 2D placeholder sound effects with 3D originally created effects. As we continue with the story writing and puzzle design, true 3D soundscapes are created for maximum immersion to our players. In short, our 3D audio is widened immersive stereo and is achieved by creating subtle delay between left and right audio channels, using various software and tools.
Interactive audio-books don't have to be solo experiences. With Wanderword you will be able to play stories together with other users, either together in the couch, or remotely on your mobile devices. Whether you take on roles as cops and burglars where one player is chasing the other, or you are a party of adventures going on a quest together, we aim to make it easy for creators to tell multiplayer stories where each Wanderword player ("wanderer") is given a turn to make a move or take an action to push the story forward.
Many traditional video games offer procedural worlds or gameplay mechanics where places, people, objects and story plots appear somewhat random. It's a fine balance between charmingly random experiences to frustratingly confusing chores for players, so procedural worlds are to be dealt with carefully. Procedural storytelling is complex from a design perspective. We intend to support procedural story design for our writers so they can integrate elements into their narratives. Be it objects, NPC's (Non Playing Characters), places and story plots - In some Wanderword stories you never really know what is waiting around the corner, who you are going to meet at the secret rendezvous point or what is going to happen as you enter the house on the hill.