The Mystery of Paradise Island—Interactive YouTube Adventure
The Mystery of Paradise Island—Interactive YouTube Adventure
The world's first interactive story in which you can change the genre midstory! Play through on Youtube or eBook.
The world's first interactive story in which you can change the genre midstory! Play through on Youtube or eBook. Read more
Watch The First Story Segment Below!
Have you ever been watching a movie or reading a story and thought something like this?
- "What if this horror changed into a comedy?"
- "What if this drama turned into sci-fi?"
- "What if this adventure story suddenly became a musical?"
THAT is the big idea. For the first time ever and with your support, it will become reality. It's the world's first genre-shifting story! It's like the choose your own path books, but instead of arbitrary choices of A) Open the door or B) Slap Jonathan in the face, you get to choose what GENRE the story becomes.
So... Is This a Book? A Film?
This is primarily a youtube adventure that's driven by professional narration, voice acting, sound effects, visual aids, background music, and contextual story information that's all tied together in the innovative "story dashboard." See the video above to get an idea of how it works. Because it's on Youtube, it will be free to watch and share with your friends. As this is such a new concept, I'd like for as many people to see it as possible. I am eager to share this idea (and this story) with others!
I'm also creating an eBook version (PDF).
What's the Story About in One Sentence?
An aimless young office supply associate and his two best friends are kidnapped by aging pirates trying to find an island of legend that promises longer life spans.
Okay, Give Me More Sentences About the Story
The story takes place on Jakorra Island, a fictional land in North Carolina, USA. Jakorra Island is loosely based on Ocracoke Island in the Outer Banks, NC, USA. The Outer Banks are not only my favorite beach spot, they're filthy rich with pirate history. Did you know that little Ocracoke Island was the home of perhaps the most famous pirate of all time, Edward Teach (AKA Blackbeard!)? Other notable pirates that frequented the Outer Banks were Calico Jack and Anne Bonney (see here).
This synopsis covers the "canon" storyline (upon which the two planned sequels will be based). But as this is a "Genre Shifter" story, you can significantly alter the path by changing the genre at select moments. Not all paths are pirate tales, trust me! Depending on the path you take, there's music, murder, weird futuristic weaponry, romance, old west saloons, flying mechanical cats, and deadly obstacle courses to be found.
If that isn't exciting enough, well, I think it is exciting enough.
Why Shift Genres in the Middle of a Story?
The first and most important advantage of this type of story is emotional satisfaction, which is an essential and natural part of storytelling. When you go to select a movie for the night, you don't generally search for a particular plot—Russian ventriloquist becomes a boxer, annoying opponents by pretending to speak for them—instead you'll search for a particular genre.
You'll say, "I'm feeling like a comedy tonight." But if you're like me, you'll start watching one thing and change your mind 5 minutes into it. Genres cater to certain moods, and moods can change. Now you can switch when you feel like switching! If you want to laugh, choose comedy (or for this story, the musical segment is actually turning out to be the most hilarious). If you want to get absorbed into an exciting tale, go with thriller or adventure. If you just want things to get weird, go for Sci Fi or Time Travel.
The second and also most important advantage of this type of story is that it's usually hilarious no matter what path you choose. As the author of this multi-genre story, I do my best to be true to the chosen genres, but there's no getting around the fact that no matter how well-executed a switch to horror is done, you might laugh simply because the story started in the PG Family Movie genre.
The third and definitely most important advantage of this type of story is that there are no wrong choices. Sure it can be fun to try to pick the "right" choice in a choose-your-path tale, but more often than not, I've been frustrated that picking the wrong choice was completely arbitrary and luck-based. Who likes to lose arbitrarily?
Because you're choosing genres instead of specific actions the characters take, you're gaining far greater control over the entire direction of the story, and it's fun. If you pick murder mystery, guess what? Someone's probably going to die because of your choice, and you know that. Every path you take will come with its own set of surprises, but none of them involve you "losing" because you guessed wrong. We're all winners here, so please accept your participation trophy (*cough* after donating *cough* please *cough*).
The fourth and by far most important advantage of this type of story is that it's the future of entertainment. Well, it is if you ask me. My dream? To create innovative interactive experiences like this in real life. Movies are wonderful, but there's been little to no innovation in this area for decades. 3D? Ha. That's not even new!
What if, on a Saturday night, you and your friends could lovingly fight over whether you turn a story into a Rom Com or Musical Thriller (new genre?)? Don't get me wrong, I love movies too, but it's nice to have more fun options!
Risks and challenges
1. Timing: It's hard to estimate how long this will take. I want to make sure it's great before I release it into the world, so delays are possible. (But if you choose the NAVIGATOR level, you'll get to see much of the adventure as I complete it instead of waiting for the whole thing to be finished!) In addition, I'm creating video for each story segment, and creating quality video requires a lot of time.
2. Finances: It was a real challenge to estimate how much this will cost. It was helpful to put together the prologue to get a basic idea of the costs involved, but as my ambition for the project surely grows, so does the cost. I will need to be careful to manage that and distribute my budget evenly over the entire project rather than spending it all on the first 3 videos.
3. My nonfiction work. Not working on my "bread and butter" nonfiction projects is a gap in income. My previous nonfiction work does bring in passive income, however. If things get tight, I might have to spend more time on that side. I expect to be just fine, I'm just digging for possible setbacks. If I had an unforeseen financial catastrophe, that could delay this, but I think that's pretty obvious.
Bottom line: If I get the funding, there's not much in my way. Even if I only get the $7,500, I believe that's enough to produce a great experience. I have a lot of time to devote to this and I've had a burning desire to do it for a while. If I get support and there's active interest in the project, that's fuel to my fire!
I'm in a position where it's possible to do this and do it right. Thanks for your interest and support!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)