Fragmented Narratives.

The game has several narratives. How these should emerge is something that I am working on.

One ‘story’ has been completed which was to be presented in chapters. I am toying with how best to present these.
At the moment they are just text at web addresses that the app points to when you uncover a chapter. The beginning references a fictional newspaper article and I have been thinking of presenting the whole story as letters/diary pages, etc. which I have just been told is ‘epistolary’, thank you Mark Francombe!

The other option I am considering, is to have the narrative as audio, accompanied by images, like a slide show. I can imagine a lot of users would prefer something like a podcast than having to read a story on their phone.

Or – I could offer both as options; or mix them… now there is a thought.

The main point for these approaches for me is that the story is presented as different voices which the user builds together which feels more like uncovering a mystery than being narrated from one point of view.
I have also considered revealing chapters in different orders. Although with chapter endings as written that might be unsatisfying. But I am happy to rewrite things to suit a more interesting form.

Interactive Conversations.
As stated previously ‘I don’t want to give too much away’. But we are all friends here.

Apart from the ‘Origin Story’ mentioned above which is complete. There are some ‘conversations’ , with different characters, which form the last part of the puzzle.
Although they don’t need to be for the puzzle, I am considering making these interactive. I have been lurking on the edges of the IF (interactive fiction) community for a while and enjoy reading about various approaches.
For my project there seem two obvious ways forward:
1) Multiple choice, 2-4 answers, some kind of branching story.
2) Parser – Where the user types in a question. “What can you see out of the window?” and the ‘character’ answers.

The first one is the easiest and already exists in Aura Alert as ‘The Test.’ The Parser solution is much more more work as I have to write a parser for Unity, HOWEVER! it’s much more appealing for me as I am really, really interested in AI. It is the kind of thing I would ‘love’ to do, but realise I am straying very far now from my ‘quick and easy text-only’ app to adding weeks of development.

From my cursory glance at IF forums if I wrote a quick, native parser for Unity I could also make this available for other developers as a plugin, justifying some of the development time (let me know if you would be interested in this).