Shakespeare’s Landlord is a murder-mystery, but more than that, it’s about Lily Bard’s journey of dealing with past trauma and sexual assault. It’s the first of at least two games, which indie studio One More Story Games is adapting from a series of novels written by Charlaine Harris. She’s the author of The Southern Vampire Mysteries, which many know as the source material for HBO’s hit show True Blood.
Shakespeare’s Landlord doesn’t feature any vampires or supernatural elements, but it does investigate dark topics. Lily is a rape survivor and has moved to the quiet town of Shakespeare. When she finds a dead body, she’s reluctantly drawn into an ensuing murder investigation that puts her in danger once again.
CEO Jean Leggett’s husband founded the studio to focus on story-driven games. In addition to developing its own works, One More Story has created software called Story Stylus that enables folks to make their own narrative projects. It views that tool as a way to get more diverse voices into games — something that Leggett is passionate about as a person who’s hard of hearing and whose parents are deaf.
11 YO Keira Palmer of Barrie, or Kpaw as she calls herself, created her first full video game at One More Story Games’ 2016 summer camp. Over the course of 18 hours in OMSG’s intensive camp, Keira created, wrote, drew much of her own art and coded the game. Some polish (digital art and music) was done by adults. Gameplay is approximately 10 minutes.
We’re looking for English teachers to embark on a pilot program to explore and teach interactive storytelling using with our software StoryStylus.
This is an opportunity for students to integrate their learning of Shakespeare in a way that is meaningful to them in the most prevalent art form – video games. Have your students develop alternate endings to the play, create side stories or quest-lines based on material from one of the Bard’s most well known works. While creating their own short, playable story-based video game, they’ll still need to study the text in-depth. Not only will they be studying for English, they’ll be integrating media (sound files, art/photographs) and learning basic coding skills.
We’ve taught students as young as 10 years old how to use our software and create short, playable games within a week-long course. This includes time to learn the software and create the content. We’d like to marry StoryStylus and Shakespeare, to bring new life to a story that ends in death.
Create alternate endings
Create a game based on Rosaline or Tybalt or any of the lesser characters ala Rosencrantz and Gildenstern Are Dead
Focus on 1 scene and create a game narrative
For example, the balcony scene or the visit to the apothecary
Creating character profiles for Romeo, Juliet, Nurse
How do each of their interactions impact their relationships? Learn about rapport, consequences
What if Romeo can’t make it up the balcony because he’s just not that clever or determined?
What if Juliet doesn’t want to be rescued?
What would the characters say to each other?
What is the logic of the scene as a narrative? Can we create obstacles to change the outcome?
teaching Romeo and Juliet in Spring 2017
interested in interactive storytelling and/or video game design
somewhat some technically proficient (i.e. teaching kids software doesn’t scare the bajeezus outta you)
willing to be part of an online group of educators to help us refine the curriculum
And of course, you have internet access and computers in the classroom.
We’ll take care of the
year’s subscription to our software StoryStylus at NO cost to your students or school
curriculum that integrates basic game design principles
looking at narrative design, game-flow documents
examining character dialogue, choice/consequence of character behaviour
how we can apply principles of game design to R&J
video tutorials on how to use the software – can be used in the classroom
teacher-only discussion group on Facebook
Skype consultations to assist you with questions
One or two Skype in-class conversations
Who are we?
We’re accidental educators, English grads (one of us is a reformed medievalist), gaming geeks and software engineers who have been working with storytellers as young as 10 years old to create narrative-based video games. Through our intensive summer camps, we’ve helped students develop short, playable story-games and learn to code. We’re passionate about storytelling. For more information, visit About Us page.
Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us about you, your class and why you want to be part of our pilot program for Games in Ye Olde Classroom.
There have never been more opportunities for writers and storytellers than ever in the history of publishing, and Episode 052 of the Kobo Writing Life Podcast demonstrates yet another amazing opportunity that exists for writers.
KWL Director Mark Lefebvre interviews Jean Leggett co-founder of One More Story Games, a company from Barrie, Ontario that has developed a storytelling platform with a team of gamers, geeks, storytellers and programmers that creates a community for collaborative story game opportunities.
In the interview, Mark and Jean discuss:
Jean’s background as a recovering Haiku addict and recovering stand-up comedian
How Jean’s love of storytelling combined with her husband’s similar love and a computer science background and background working in the games industry led to the formation of One More Story Games
The underlying concept of bringing more reading into the game space
How the experience of these games is similar to the “Choose Your Own Adventure” branching narrative experiences
StoryStylus – the story creation platform that helps creators break down the elements of story (such as people, places, things, relationships, conversation and dialogue, etc) that publishes to an interactive games marketplace
The fact that you don’t need to be a programmer to be part of creating an interactive story game and how virtually any writer could participate in this process. (With a reminder that “Beta” means “patient, early adopters”)
A writer, photographer and graphic designer in Tillsonburg, Ontario (Dan Wilkens) who is writing an 8 part series for One More Story Games and involving real people, such as the town’s mayor as characters in the story
The manner by which a platform like this seems ideal for mystery stories, but the manner by which science fiction and adventure stories have already been built for it
The exciting announcement that One More Story Games will be working with New York Times bestselling authorCharlaine Harris (author of the Sookie Stackhouse – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sookie_Stackhouse – novels which have been adapted into the True Blue television series) to adapt her novel Shakespeare’s Landlord