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
“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:
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 RPG, Lord 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.
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
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:
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.)
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!
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.
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