CBC Here and Now interviews CEO Jean Leggett
Jean Leggett appeared on CBC Radio’s Here and Now show to discuss the upcoming Charlaine Harris novel to game adaptation of the first Lily Bard novel, Shakespeare’s Landlord. To listen to the full recording (6:43m), visit the CBC’s website here: http://www.cbc.ca/listen/shows/here-and-now-toronto/segment/15552944.
You may know Charlaine Harris, author of True Blood, a series on vampires that became a show on HBO. What you may not know is that Charlaine is a sexual assault survivor. She also wrote a series in the 90s about a character who grapples with the trauma of the sexual violence called the Lily Bard Series. A company in Barrie called One More Story Games is turning the books into a video game. Co-founder of One More Story Games Jean Leggett discusses the topic of sexual assault through video games.
GeekMom: Gaming and Literacy with One More Story Games
by Karen Walsh
A few months ago, a woman in my TechLadies Facebook Group, Jean Leggett, posted about her company One More Story Games and her upcoming game based on the Charlaine Harris Lily Bard series. After a few conversations with Jean, I started reading the series and fell in love with Lily. In fact, of all the Harris books I’ve read, I’m pretty much feeling like Lily Bard is by far my favorite of her characters.
Lily Bard’s physical strength allows her to continue her daily battle with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder arising out of a violent rape. Curious to see how Leggett managed to bring this story to life, I sat down to interview her about her company and game.
GeekMom: OK—so, let me start with—tell us a little bit about how you ended up moving from stand-up to video game development?
Jean Leggett: Six years ago this summer, my husband, the games industry veteran, nearly died while we were in Dallas. He was working for Zynga and we decided we’d come back to his hometown to recover. Given that we didn’t have kids or a mortgage or any real debt, we thought we’d take the chance on doing what we loved—a radical idea. For him, it was developing StoryStylus, the game creation platform for authors. For me, I was going to do my speaking, coaching, and stand-up comedy.
About a year in, it seemed that my admin wizardry and keen hustle would be amazing for OMSG, so I stepped in to do operations, grant applications, investor fundraising, etc, and I’ve been in this role for 4+ years now. I have an English degree from Simon Fraser University (Burnaby BC) and a background in web design and database development, so it lends itself quite nicely to managing and helping design tools for writers
GM: You have a new game this month—based on a Charlaine Harris series—tell us a little bit about how that started.
JL: We’d gone to Bouchercon, the world’s largest mystery reader/writer conference, which was being held in Long Beach, CA in 2014. After Charlaine was finished signing books, I waited to approach her and asked if she’d considered turning her books into games. She replied that she’d done that before but it didn’t work out. My reply was, “Is that something I could help you with?” She gave me her card and said, “That would be lovely, dear.”
About 6 months later, we started the conversation with her agency, and in February 2016, we were able to announce we’d signed Charlaine Harris and that we were adapting the first novel in her Lily Bard series. I loved the LB series because Lily is a woman who has had some serious physical and emotional trauma in life but doesn’t need anyone to rescue her—she’s still coping with trauma but in her own way.
Click below for the full interview.
An Interview With Jean Leggett: ‘Shakespeare’s Landlord,’ Literacy, and Gaming
GeekMom’s Karen Walsh interviews Jean Leggett, CEO of One More Story Games
One More Story Games, founded in 2013 by Blair Leggett and Jean Leggett, offers a unique gaming experience. In a world glutted with traditional games, One More Story Games‘ approach to story-based interactive narratives fills the gaming gap.
What is StoryStylus?
The StoryStylus platform allows game creators to create and publish interactive story content. Creators using StoryStylus can serialize content so that player choices impact overall gameplay. Players who love the Mass Effect storyline decision-making gameplay will love StoryStylus designed games.
How does One More Story Games ease designer creativity?
One More Story Games’ StoryStylus platform offers many opportunities for game designers to realize their dreams. Since StoryStylus runs on Silverlight and publishes in Flash, creators can easily input their narratives. Moreover, StoryStylus’s easy to navigate platform breaks down story element into building clocks like people, places, events, conversations, and items, simplifying the worldbuilding process.
How does StoryStylus make narrative game development easy?
For writers, the StoryStylus creation process looks similar to old-school mind mapping. Creators can make linear, branching, or complex story flows all using the same navigation tools.
StoryStylus uses paths and symbols to designate the types of events occurring throughout gameplay. Reminiscent of other coding visual interfaces, like Spark, users not only easily organize their ideas but can use the visual cues to see how they’ll play out within the overarching story arcs.
Thus, these visual representations of storyline and actions allow developers to more easily review the flow of their games. For example, for more complex sandbox creations, creators have the option to create clusters of choices or tasks needed to complete a level and to create varied outcomes and storytelling games.
For example, for a good open world sandbox approach, the program allows game designers to create a starting point that has an initial choice point. From that choice point, the visual decision tree effect maps out varied quests arising out of that choice. For less of a quest based game and more of a decision-based game, designers can map out a decision tree based solely on choices leading to end goal effects.
This flexibility within the platform offers endless approaches for world-building story based game creation.
CONTINUE READING ARTICLE:
April 24, 2018
This week, we talk with Jean Leggett, CEO of One More Story Games. Based in Barrie, Ontario, this small studio is currently working with author Charlaine Harris (of True Blood fame) to turn her Lily Bard series into mobile games. Jean is also a keynote speaker and recently did a Tedx Talk on what 10 year-old taught her and her partner about their tech start-up. Jean shares with us the details about the murder-mystery Lily Bard project but also what’s next for One More Story Games. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN
This week in news: Neocore backtracks after facing backlash for promising 90 hour work weeks to get the next Warhammer game out the door, DICE is working on a battle royale mode prototype for Battlefield V, Hearthstone director Ben Brode leaves Blizzard and The Darwin Project is now Free To Play.
For more about Girls on Games, check out girlsongames.ca.
Toronto Game Devs Interview OMSG Founders
Toronto Game Devs Interview OMSG Founders Jean and Blair Leggett about their latest project, Shakespeare’s Landlord, a novel-to-game adaptation of #1 New York Times bestselling authoring Charlaine Harris’ novel of the same name. The project focuses on Lily Bard, an amateur sleuth living in the sleepy town of Shakespeare, Arkansas in the mid-90s. Upon the discovery of her dead landlord in an adjacent park, Lily struggles to deal with her post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety that is a result of a previous personal experience as an abduction and sexual assault survivor.
Jean and Blair share their startup story, some of the challenges they’ve had over the first four years of building their business and developing 7 games.
Toronto Game Devs is a podcast for Ontario-focused game developers. It awarded One More Story Games three Game of the Year honours- Mandatory Upgrade and Hard Vacuum Lullaby won spots #1 & 2 for 2016 and Danielle’s Inferno tied for #1 PC Game of the Year.
Listen to the full podcast here: http://www.torontogamedevs.com/podcast/tgd-interview-4-one-more-story-games