Be part of an interactive transmedia fiction project using Twitter to show the struggle to survive after an attack lays waste to Mars.
Survivors of a devastating attack on Mars band together to leave the crippled world, but will their sins, and those of their government, keep them from ever escaping?
Calling Home: Damaged Echoes, is the second Twitter-based story I plan on writing building on events which happened during my first story, Calling Home, which was written on Twitter and Plurk in 2008 and converted into a graphic novel/web comic in '09-'10.
For CH: Damaged Echoes I want to take Twitter story telling to the next level and add more interactivity to it, letting the characters reply to people within the constraints of their fictional universe. As in the previous Calling Home story, each character will have their own twitter account and will talk to each other through mentions, hastags, lists, as well as retweets. The story will be revealed primarily with dialogue in Twitter, with essential setting information described in passing conversation and via other pieces of media including podcasts, character blog entries, original art, and if I can get enough funding maybe even some video.
In order to make the story as "real" as possible to the people following these individuals, I need to get an artist to make character designs, create Twitter backgrounds for each character as well as some work for the project's website design (banners, and other small graphics). The more I raise, the more I can add to the project.
In return, the more you donate, the greater you can affect the story.
What is Calling Home?
Calling Home was a social media Sci-Fi story written using Twitter and Plurk as a medium. Each character had their own account and would communicate with each other through Twitter and Plurk.
To the characters, they were talking over a System Status Message (SSM) short message system that one of the characters hacked as a lifeline outside of her dying ship. To us, it was a way to experience their story one 140 character message at a time.
Calling Home was one of the first to use Twitter in this way: a complete story delivered only using dialogue between characters.
If you'd like to read the original story, you can find more information on how to read it here:
In 2009 Calling Home was adapted and released as a graphic novel. You can read that version here: Calling Home
Here are a couple of panels from the graphic novel:
The main difference between the first story and Damaged Echoes is size, scope, and interactivity.
There will be more characters, and these characters will not only be talking amongst themselves, they'll also be interacting with people in Twitter in the context of their universe.
The majority of the money will be going to character design, original art, and Twitter theme design. After that there are subscription costs for the social media tools that I'll need to manage the variety of Twitter accounts Damaged Echoes will be using.
The remainder will be to cover costs to generate other media (podcasts, video, etc.) related to the story.
So you decided to take the leap and have a more direct hand in the story by selecting one of the higher rewards. That's great! It'll be a lot of fun to work with you to have your character interact as you'd like.
How will it work? Well, here's what will happen:
I'll work with you to design your character appearance and personality. Once I have that information, I'll talk to my artist to have her draw what the character will look like.
When the design is done, we'll talk about how your character will fit in the story and what sort of role do you envision for the character. I'll work with you to find the best way to do that.
After the above is done, I'll periodically contact you to ask what you'd like your character to do when presented with certain situations. You'll even get the chance to determine what they'll say.
What you can do with your character?
Have them interact with other characters in context of their shared universe.
Talk to other Twitter followers, again responding as if they also shared their universe.
What can't you do with your character?
Have them act in a way that's out of context with their surroundings and universe, or have your character do things that would be detrimental to the story.
The long and short of it is this: As the author of the story it's my responsibility to keep the story cohesive and moving forward. As long as what you do doesn't interfere with that, everything will be OK.