Week 6: 2/19-2/25

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Considering the feedback from ¼ faculty reviews, we began constructing initial drafts for components of a narrative storyline.

Log Line:
When a user’s normal interaction with the Echo is interrupted by a stranger hoping to expose corrupt data mining, the user must decide whether to assist the stranger, or alert the system to the intrusion.

Design (adapted from the structure of the “War of the Worlds” radio broadcast):
Act 1: Through the context of (largely) existing Echo interaction types, introduce the character of the stranger as (s)he attempts to “break into” the user’s system and make contact.

Interaction cycles – Using the style and setting of each media type to provide familiarity and foster engagement:

• Podcast interview
• Radio talk show
• News headlines
• Weather report
• Sports summary
• Emergency (Amber) alert
• Account notifications
• Personal messages
• …

Act 2: In a more personal, diary-like writing style, take the user through the results of their choice whether or not to help the stranger, as the story unfolds.

While Sarabeth and Seth began writing versions for the Act 1 components, Phan continued brainstorming and experimenting with other types of Echo interactions, and Roy worked on further developing and refining the Echo intent system.

As a group we discussed how to work best within a narrative-driven production cycle, while still ideating and creating new interaction devices.  How can we continue to explore while affording the writing the needed space, time and consistency for its iterative development?

In this next week, we will explore how additional development can either be used within the current narrative storyline or fit under a larger overall, vignette-style, structure.  A proposal we’ve been considering is to organize these explorations by the styles of engagement users seek with the Echo: to listen, to play and to learn.  Our brainstorming and discussions will continue, as we travel to GDC this week.