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Storium is a new kind of online game where you and your friends tell any story you can imagine, together. Read more

San Jose, CA Games
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$251,362
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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on May 8, 2014.

Storium is a new kind of online game where you and your friends tell any story you can imagine, together.

San Jose, CA Games
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About this project

DID YOU MISS OUR KICKSTARTER? It's not too late to support us and try our Beta test! Please visit us at storium.com for more information.

4/8/14: WE DID IT! With the help of our incredible backers, we have unlocked every stretch goal, funded a staggering 60 worlds, and reached 1000% of our original funding target. This has been an incredible campaign and we are deeply grateful for the support we've received.

(Are you a backer looking for your Beta invite? Please see the first FAQ at the bottom of this page — the info you need is there!)

“Storium is everything I never knew I always wanted in a game.” — Eve Jacob, playtester

Stories are part of what makes us human. They’re all around us, from books and movies to TV and video games. Experiencing a good story can be one of life’s great pleasures. But telling your own can be even more fun!

That’s why we’ve devoted the last year of our lives to creating Storium, the online storytelling game. We’ve been playtesting an early version for months with hundreds of people. The feedback has been amazing, and we’re ready to bring Storium to the public. We need your help to make it happen.

Storium is a web-based online game that you play with friends. It works by turning writing into a multiplayer game. With just your computer, tablet, or smartphone, you can choose from a library of imaginary worlds to play in, or build your own. You create your story’s characters and decide what happens to them. You can tell any kind of story with Storium. The only limit is your imagination.

Storium uses familiar game concepts inspired by card games, role-playing games, video games, and more. In each Storium game, one player is the narrator, and everyone else takes on the role of a character in the story. The narrator creates dramatic challenges for the other players to overcome. In doing so, they move the story forward in a new direction. Everyone gets their turn at telling the story.

“Story and Game had a baby, and it’s Storium. This is vital stuff, equal parts revolutionary and fundamental — giving the old ways of storytelling a major digital upgrade.”— Chuck Wendig, novelist and screenwriter

The following three-minute video gives you a glimpse of our current beta playtest:

What makes Storium special?

  • Total freedom: You decide what happens in your story.
  • Multiplayer: Write and play with your friends, online.
  • Asynchronous: Play at your own pace.
  • Worlds: Pre-made playsets that help you tell stories in different settings and styles.
  • Something for everyone: You can tell any kind of story you want!

“Storium is one of the most fascinating systems I’ve ever used to facilitate games, and it’s helped me fall in love with storytelling all over again.”– Lillian Cohen-Moore, playtester

This campaign funds the work that’s needed to launch Storium to the general public. That means:

1. Worlds for you to play in

Storium needs a wider library of what we call worlds. Each world is a complete playset that gives you all the tools you need to play a game in a certain style or fictional setting. This includes virtual playing cards that drive gameplay, ideas for stories, pre-made characters, and backstory. We’ve assembled an award-winning group of novelists, game designers, storytellers, and artists to create these worlds. Some worlds are wholly new, while others are adaptations of worlds you’ll recognize.

2. Important features

There are key features that Storium still needs. Your support will help us build them. This list is subject to change based on prioritization and technical feasibility, but here are a few of the examples we are considering:

  • Real-time play: Chat and play live with your friends when they’re online.
  • Shared narration: Give everyone in your game a chance to be the narrator.
  • Parallel storytelling: Play out two scenes at the same time with different characters.
  • Improved support for tablets and smartphones: Play using interfaces created specifically for your mobile device.

3. Technology and team

Operating an online service like Storium can be a labor-intensive and expensive task. While it's easy to use and play, behind the scenes Storium is a complex piece of engineering. It requires dedicated, ongoing developer attention. We also have to pay for servers, storage, and a number of underlying services upon which the system relies. As Storium grows, these costs increase. 

We’ve been working full-time on Storium without pay for over a year now. That’s how much this project means to us. We've set our target goal as low as possible, but anything we raise beyond that helps ensure that as Storium grows and evolves, we’ll be able to keep up by investing in the technology and people we need.

“Storium revolutionizes storytelling not by new bells and whistles but by returning it to its most pure form in this most complex of ages — dynamic characters and people telling evocative and passionate stories.” — John Adamus, playtester



Here's a visual overview of the rewards we're offering!

And here are more details about a few of the more popular rewards:

Beta player

Every backer at the BETA PLAYER ($10) level gets instant access to our current beta test of Storium. You’ll find an invitation URL in campaign update #1 (backers only). This URL enables you to immediately sign-up, start a game, and invite your friends to play with you.

Please bear in mind that this is an early test version of Storium. We expect it to change and grow quite a bit before the public launch. As a beta player, we welcome your feedback. There’s a “Give feedback” button at the top of every page that goes to a built-in playtesters-only feedback system.

Member

When it launches to the public, Storium will have a modest annual membership fee of $25 per year — the equivalent of just $2 per month. Becoming a backer at the MEMBER ($20) level gets you your first year of Storium membership (starting on the date we launch publicly) for just $20.

Members will also be granted a special ability when Storium launches publicly: the use of our forthcoming World Creator tools to build their own Storium worlds and share them with the Storium community.

(By the way, there will always be a free version of Storium — and it will be the full game, not a demo version. You’ll be able to play up to three games, with full functionality, before you have to pay any membership fee!)

We want to grow Storium into a sustainable business, and we want to do it without plastering the game with advertisements. Our membership fee will help make that possible.

The Deal

Our campaign starts by funding ten worlds, but we have dozens more in the works from a wide array of award-winning creators. Every backer at THE DEAL ($40) level will get a year of Storium membership, plus early and ongoing access to every world that we fund through this Kickstarter. This means you'll always be able to play games in these worlds, regardless of whatever they end up costing in the future.

(When Storium launches publicly, many of our Kickstarter worlds will have a small fee for usage. Much like how Apple's App Store works, Storium world creators will have the option of charging app-like prices for their worlds. We will then pass on the majority of the proceeds to the world's creator! We hope this will become great new way for players and fans alike to support the authors and designers whose work they love.)

"I work nights and weekends and haven’t been able to game with my friends in years. Storium is letting me play again, and the system they’ve built is incredibly cool." — Brian White, playtester
 

 Unlocks at $250,000

CHAMPIONS UNIVERSE — Enter a world of amazing, super-powered adventure. Developed by dozens of talented creators for more than thirty years, the Champions Universe lets you tell any sort of superhero story you want. Patrol the high-tech streets of Millennium City or the shadowy alleys of Vibora Bay, fight the mighty Grond or the madcap Foxbat, and stop Dr. Destroyer from conquering the world! (Based on the core setting of the Champions Online MMO from Cryptic Studios and the Champions RPG from Hero Games.) (Learn more)

This campaign has already unlocked numerous features and 59 worlds by award-winning creators, with more to come!

Storium is being built by a small but talented and dedicated team. We believe that technology can help unlock human creativity, and Storium is our effort to do just that. Between us, we have many years of experience spanning startups, engineering, product design, game design, writing, film, art direction, transmedia and more.

1. Stephen Hood: Co-founder and product lead. Stephen has spent his entire career working in technology, including stints at Yahoo and social bookmarking pioneer Delicious, where he first worked with Josh. Stephen is an avid reader and a life-long player of video and role-playing games. Storium began with an idea and a prototype that Stephen built over a year ago.

2. Josh Whiting: Co-founder and engineering lead. Josh has also spent his entire career working on technology, specifically as an engineer and architect. He was a senior engineer at Craigslist, and also worked with Stephen at Delicious. In his spare time he is a composer of electronic music.

3. Will Hindmarch: Lead game designer and head writer. Will's extensive résumé spans tabletop gaming, video games, fiction and beyond. He’s worked on a number of influential games and projects including Vampire: The Requiem, the Dragon Age RPGLord of the Rings Online, Always/Never/Now, and Project: Dark. Will's game design expertise and love of writing are at the heart of Storium.

4. J.C. Hutchins: Advisor and award-winning transmedia storyteller. J.C. is well-known for his acclaimed 7th Son series of thriller novels. He also co-wrote Personal Effects: Dark Art with Jordan Weisman (of Shadowrun fame). He has worked on major transmedia projects for Cinemax, A&E, Discovery, and many others. His new serialized fiction project The 33 is in production now.

5. Mur Lafferty: Advisor, Campbell-winning novelist, and podcaster. Mur is an acclaimed author who has won rave reviews for her novels The Shambling Guide to New York CIty and Ghost Train to New Orleans. She has recorded over 300 episodes of her Parsec Award-winning podcast series, I Should Be Writing.

6. Chuck Wendig: Advisor, Campbell-nominated novelist, Emmy-nominated screenwriter, and widely-followed blogger. Chuck is known for his popular novels, including the acclaimed Miriam Black series, the genre-bending Blue Blazes, the young adult novel Under The Empyrean Sky and many other works.

Video credits

Filmmaker: Erik Scanlon

Music: "A Promise" by D.P. Kaufman

Special thanks to the city of Carmel, CA

Risks and challenges

The foundation of Storium has already been built and tested extensively. The game is real, and it works. We have the knowledge and skills needed to complete the job. We are also fully committed to the task and do not foresee a situation — short of a confluence of major, unplanned life events — that would derail our efforts.

Our founding team has a combined 25 years of experience with building online products and managing startups, and they have worked together for over 8 years. We are an effective team and are confident we can overcome problems that might waylay a less experienced group.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

  • You'll find the info you need to join our Beta in the very first campaign update (Update #1). Here is a direct link to the update. The link will only work if you are a backer and are signed into Kickstarter:

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/stlhood/storium-the-online-storytelling-game/posts/804415

    Last updated:
  • Nope! When you join our Beta and start a game, Storium will help you invite anyone you like (via email), and they don't have to be backers to play with you. (Now, if they want to go off and start their *own* games, then we'll ask them to become backers.)

    Last updated:
  • These rewards relate to the public launch of Storium (which this Kickstarter is funding, and is targeted for November). When Storium launches publicly, we'll give you a nifty online tool to easily invite your (up to) three friends or family. Those people will automatically get one year of MEMBER access! If you chose the TEAM LEADER reward, they'll also get access to every world funded by this Kickstarter!

    If you want to invite people *right now*, for the Beta test, that's totally separate. As explained in the prior FAQ, as a Beta tester you can invite whomever you like, and these invitees will NOT count towards your TEAM PLAYER or TEAM LEADER invitees. So go nuts!

    Last updated:
  • You own what you create on Storium.

    In the future, when we launch the public version of Storium (which this Kickstarter is funding), if you create and share your own "world" you'll have a say in how people can use it. But in no case will Storium claim any ownership. All we need is the right to host and display your stories, because otherwise... well, there would be no Storium! :)

    Our goal is to provide a tool that helps you be creative, and then get out of your way.

    Last updated:

Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    1,276 backers

    BETA PLAYER: Instant access to the Storium beta playtest. You can start playing right now and invite friends to join you! (See “Beta Player” at left for instructions on how to claim your access.)

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $20 or more

    1,611 backers

    MEMBER: Everything in BETA PLAYER, plus one year of Storium, starting as of our public launch.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $40 or more

    2,769 backers

    THE DEAL: Everything in MEMBER, plus you also get every world that we fund through this Kickstarter, including all stretch goal worlds. The more we raise, the more worlds you get.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $60 or more

    500 backers

    PIONEER: Everything in THE DEAL, plus you get a special badge on your Storium profile showing everyone that you are one of our founding supporters. We will also inscribe your name forever on a special “thank you” page at Storium.com. Thanks for helping us make Storium!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $90 or more

    255 backers

    TEAM PLAYER: Everything in PIONEER, plus up to 3 of your friends or family get access to Storium that is equivalent to the MEMBER reward.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $150 or more

    10 backers All gone!

    MASTER CLASS: Everything in TEAM PLAYER, plus you and up to 3 of your friends or family get to attend a special Google Hangout where Storium’s creators share lessons, advice, techniques for getting the most out of playing Storium.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $150 or more

    127 backers

    TEAM LEADER: Everything in PIONEER, plus up to 3 of your friends or family get access to Storium that is equivalent to the PIONEER award. This means you *all* get every world that is funded by this Kickstarter!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $750 or more

    10 backers All gone!

    CREATOR: Everything in MASTER CLASS, plus you get to work with one of our world designers to create a new Storium world of your own, available to the entire Storium community, with credit given to you.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    2 backers Limited (8 left of 10)

    COUNCILOR: Everything in MASTER CLASS, plus you get a spot on the Storium Backer Council, a group of backers whom we consult about new features early in the design process.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $2,500 or more

    3 backers All gone!

    Everything in MASTER CLASS, plus you get to spend the day with Storium’s founding team in the San Francisco Bay area. We’ll have a candid conversation about our plans for Storium's future, listen to your feedback, and take you out for a fun lunch or dinner. You must arrange your own travel and lodging.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $2,500 or more

    0 backers Limited (3 left of 3)

    Everything in MASTER CLASS, plus you get to spend the day with Storium’s founding team in the San Francisco Bay area. We’ll have a candid conversation about our plans for Storium's future, listen to your feedback, and take you out for a fun lunch or dinner. You must arrange your own travel and lodging.

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (30 days)