Writer. Adventurer. Currently working on The Dreamless City, a series of steampunk novels and short stories.
Traditional book publisher Random House is launching a free-to-play browser-based narrative project dubbed Black Crown using Failbetter Games’ StoryNexus platform. Checking out the Black Crown website, which features a gas mask icon and touts the project as “an infectious new kind of narrative experience.” I also looked into the Latin phrase on the page header, which roughly translates to “now comes truth, God, truth comes now.” (If anyone with a few years of high school Latin wants to correct me on that, be my guest.)
Black Crown is scheduled to go live in May, and Random House plans to run it for a full year, optimistically hoping to generate “thousands rather than hundreds” of registered users before launch. The author behind the project has not been disclosed, and there is the likelihood of a physical book and e-book in the future according to Digital Publisher Dan Franklin.
Failbetter Games has created other narrative games, such as Fallen London, and its StoryNexus platform is available in public beta for anyone who wants to create browser-based, interactive stories. (I’m not familiar with this company or their products, so I’d be curious to hear from anyone who has used it.)
I figured it was time to get back into the writerly side of this blog, so let’s start Monday off with some discussion. ;)
Is this the direction that books heading towards? There are significant customization and gamification opportunities here, and I do like to see technology being leveraged to create new avenues for entertainment.
Would you be interested in projects like this? On one hand, it is enjoyable to be able to shape a story and have some impact on the outcomes (assuming this project is what I think it is). On the other hand, isn’t the point of a story to experience the writer’s vision and understand the underlying message he may be trying to convey?
Do you think this is a good idea, a bad idea, or is it just too soon to tell?