Now you can also create interactive stories

At the end of 2018, the new Black Mirror phenomenon: Bandersnatch arrived on our screens. A film that sought interaction with the viewer and could last from minutes to hours. Five different endings and you are the one who decides which one you want to see. Are we prepared to be part of interactive audiovisual productions?

Bandersnatch was a Christmas surprise that came from Netflix. After its success, new interactive productions of horror, science fiction and romantic comedy are already planned.

The spectator can decide if he wants to go down those damn stairs to the basement of the house or if Jane will have an appointment with Katty or Sam. The interactive fiction designer, Ruber Eaglenest, is clear that these types of productions will succeed: “We are a generation that has grown with interactivity. In the 90s, FMV (Full Motion Video) video games were created, but they did not finish curdling. I am delighted with Bandersnatch if it opens the way to new works. ”

The interactive story creation community grows at times. The spectators want to feel more and more part of the stories and the creators feel that they can give more free rein to their imagination. Although it seems that there are only video games or movies on platforms that allow you to interact with the content, there are many more formats that support it. There are paper-book games, comics or conversational adventures. “Electronic literature is a text written explicitly for an electronic or digital medium, and it makes no sense outside of it,” says Edu Sánchez, designer of interactive narrative games.

Scriptwriters, writers and story designers study final infinities

The endings of linear narrative works usually comply with the canon established by Aristotle more than 2,000 years ago: “The end must be surprising and inevitable.” But what happens when the story is not linear? “Why does it bother a Romeo and Juliet with a happy ending, or a Hamlet with the possibility of choice?” Says Ruber Eaglenest.

«Whether as a parody or as a drama, these alternative endings have their importance and fun. In addition, an interactive story does not need to have several endings, it can be just one ». Indeed, in Bandersnatch all the endings lead him to unhappiness. There are up to five endings, but they all fulfill the Aristotelian premise of the inevitable. Given these limitations, Ruber Eaglenest concludes: «My work tries that the reader / player can execute the actions that he is motivated to carry out in history and in the world model. I put the player in the protagonist’s skin to live this story. Then, the other characters or the world itself, may have other plans ».

Although there are many more possibilities in interactive storytelling, the ending should always be consistent with the story and its characters. If you love this world and want to try it yourself, you can do it through this template. Take a breath, open your mind and create your own interactive story!

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