About this project
Wyrd Con V is an interactive storytelling convention that will take place from May 22nd to May 26th, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.
We have reserved space at the Westin Los Angeles Airport Hotel located at 5400 West Century Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90045
Wyrd Con is a Storytelling Conference that examines the ways stories are experienced. In the 21st Century, stories are experienced through media, such as a book, a film, computer programs, or an online blog. Some stories are so compelling that people want to evolve them further through the use of TransMedia (a storytelling tool). Tools provide avenues for growth of a story that starts its journey across various media platforms. As this journey evolves, the story evolves as well.
Stories take on and reflect the elements of each platform used in the telling of the story. Certain stories may even come to life in an Augmented Reality Game - ARG (another storytelling tool) where the audiences' day-to-day world come into contact with elements woven into real-life. Some storytellers want to see their stories come to life and thus a Live Action Role Play - LARP (yes, another storytelling tool) is created so that others can expand the story and participate actively in the actual storytelling.
This is Wyrd Con: a place, a time, and a gathering. We weave all of these 21st Century methods of storytelling into four days and three nights of exciting, interactive, educational, and thought-provoking experiences running from May 22 through May 26th.
Play in stories. Create stories. Learn to grow stories.
Since 2010, Wyrd Con has proven that it is a fun and educational gathering. With the support of our Kickstarter family, last year's Wyrd Con grew in size and attendance by over 25%. The realm of interactive storytelling is a powerful way to expand our knowledge of the day-to-day world. Our understanding grows as our worldview adjusts and it is only limited by our imagination.
Wyrd Con V will be four days and three nights of total immersion into the depths of your imagination, limited only by your willingness to take on your greatest fantasies, face new challenges, and experience different social roles. Learn to be a powerful leader. Realize what it means to follow your heart. We leave it up to you to choose how to mix it all together. Come be a part of the story of Wyrd Con.
As we approach our 5th year, we will once again expand our interactive experience out to the world by streaming not only some talks and panel discussion, but also taking viewers inside a live action storytelling game in progress.
Wyrd Con is a BYOST (Bring Your Own Storytelling Tools) event for designers and a great way for participants to experience a wide variety of storytelling formats in a short period of time. We can help you sharpen what you have in your kit. If you don't have any on hand, we will help you forge your own with the advice of experts!
We want to make Wyrd Con V the best yet, but we need your help. We have proven that with a little backing, we can go a long way. With substantial backing, we could go places never before imagined.
Opinions on Wyrd Con
How Will Wyrd Con V Evolve for 2014?
Three Big Changes are Coming to Wyrd Con
1) Master Classes, special educational courses designed to impart the knowledge to gain mastery in specific skills. Wyrd Con aims to host three Master Courses this year. These courses are separate from our standard talks and panels and are designed to provide in-depth knowledge on particular topics. Spend a few hours in a course with someone who is truly an expert in their field and begin your path to mastery.
Please see the Master Classes section below for more details.
2) More: More experts, more hands-on activities, and more variety in both entertainment and educational concepts in the program. We intend to leave no stone uncovered in our quest to expose every aspect in the world of 'Stories'.
3) Themed Tracks, Although not every event will fall within this design, the tracks are designed to allow those new to Wyrd Con and the experienced alike to go through a specific journey of their choosing at Wyrd Con.
What Are This Year's Themes?
- What is? This track is designed to give you a tour through the different storytelling tool sets of Wyrd Con, provide concrete examples, and interpret their forms. Offers those seeking to gain experience a guided journey with events that are prepared and recommended for those new to Wyrd Con. If you want to learn a little bit about everything, this is the track for you.
- Mixing Tool Sets This track focuses on panels and activities that include more than one tool set in their design and development. Discussions such as Transmedia + Live Action, or using an ARG with a Tabletop may occur.
- Creation This track focuses on workshops discussing the fundamentals of the various concepts needed to actually utilize the tool sets described at Wyrd Con. Writing Workshops, Live Action Development, and even how to organize and use the mechanisms that can manage an ARG are all demonstrated in this track.
Who Should Attend Wyrd Con V?
Anyone who tells, likes, writes, wants to participate in, or listens to stories!
Watch Jim Butcher's thoughts on Wyrd Con below:
Are you interested in communication and social interactions? Wyrd Con V will expand your understanding of these activities.
Are you a writer or teacher? Learning how to tell a story is essential. Engaging others in what you are trying to communicate is at the heart of Wyrd Con V.
Are you interested in stretching your imagination and trying new ways of seeing the world around you? Wyrd Con provides unique opportunities and perspectives, allowing you to step into someone else's shoes.
Do you want to experience a world of the future or head back to the past? Anything is possible at Wyrd Con.
If you have wondered about LARPs or table top gaming, Wyrd Con is the perfect gateway to step into the unknown surrounded by supportive and friendly people. You don't need to wear a costume to participate!
“Wyrd Con is Italy during the renaissance for interactive storytelling.” Aaron Vanek, Seekers Unlimited
Want to Know More about Storytelling Tools?
Still unclear on what an "interactive storytelling convention" is all about? The convention centers around several modern tools used to interactively tell a story...
Transmedia storytelling has rapidly become a hot topic of conversation in the entertainment industry, as well as the corporate world. Hollywood, media arts, branding, marketing, and UI/UX (industry shorthand for User Interface and User Experience) designers are using storytelling through various media to immerse the consumer and create interactive materials. This enriches content and allows consumers to actively participate in these new worlds.
Wyrd Con is “potentially an avatar of the future of popular culture!” - Jeff Gomez, Starlight Runner
Storytelling has been the main way to tell the history of and provide insight to a culture across generations. Today, storytelling still has the same impact and effect. Great storytellers can weave a story about a hero’s journey in such a compelling way that one could easily believe it is an accurate portrayal of a historical event.
LARP is live-action role-playing, an interactive form of group storytelling. Anytime one assumes the role of another, in any context, he or she is essentially participating in an interactive story. LARP is akin to acting in a movie, television show, or play. You can assume the identity of a character in the story, portraying that assumed identity to the rest of the group, and interact with others in the group who are also taking on alternate roles.
Costumes, props, and environment all can be factors that can be enhanced to create a richer experience. Even combat can be simulated to give the participant the feeling of battle without the hazard of actual combat.
A role playing game (or RPG) is a game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fantasy setting. Players act out these roles within an interactive narrative, either through literal acting or through a process of structured decision-making. Actions taken within many games succeed or fail according to a system of rules.
Wyrd Con explores the future of interactive entertainment and explores environments designed to immerse you into their worlds. With guest panelists from the amusement park industry, MMORPG game designers, LARP builders, and enthusiasts, you can explore these new realities. The immersion makes Wyrd Con unlike any other convention. Alternative Reality Games give you a chance to touch the game in the real world. Through this style, you interact with the game live, wherever you are.
Every event is a new world to explore and a chance to be a hero.
Halloween is arguably the only holiday that allows individuals to express unique individuality through wearing costumes. When one puts on makeup, wears a mask, or wears certain clothes, he or she is telling a story. Whether it be a story about a princess or a vampire, each costume tells the story of the individual who wears it.
What Are We Going To Do with The Kickstarter Funds?
The energy and money created through our first Kickstarter project had a wonderful and profound effect on Wyrd Con 4. We were able to expand the event and prepare ahead of time to enhance the flavor of the convention. We also brought in a lot of first time attendees.
Attendees came in from around the world and engaged with other storytellers through out the conference. We were able to offer live streaming and had people asking questions and engaging with the panels and presentation through out the conference.
Wyrd Con at its core is a community-based conference and so we have kept the basic attendee price very low. This year, we added an entire day and night to the conference and we haven’t increased the price. The Kickstarter funding donations, whether $10 or $10,000, provide us with the funds to build in advance of the convention, bring in more interactive presentations, more technology (like our Master Class on Conducttr); build a stronger infrastructure that support the various designers so that they can include elements (lighting, audio support, and others) that allow the attendees to dive deeper into their character and the world.
We want to build on top of that amazing experience as we create Wyrd Con V! Your support will allow us to create even more elaborate LARPs, help us to dive deeper into the world of table top games, and to expand our panels and workshops to include interactive workshops and creative workshops. We are featuring a set of Master Classes. These are all day classes with top professionals in their respective fields. Details on these Master Classes are listed below.
And finally to bring together multiple presenters, who are masters of one of these "tools," to discuss how to weave two or more "tools" together to create an unique new experience. Finally, we will take that discussion and breathe life into this new creation as audience and presenters work together by taking on role and tasks all to create and tell this story in a very new way.
A sample of our special events includes:
The Order of Umbra
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(If you need a translation of the above secret text then you need to find out how to enter the secret world of The Order of Umbra.)
The Storytelling Contest 2014 Special Event!
Five minutes on stage to tell the best story as determined by our panel of judges. This year, our resident guest authors will evaluate and determine who truly tells the best story at Wyrd Con. Fabulous prizes to the winners.
Two dinners will be held to allow everyone to gather together to break bread. Sit down at tables with friends, old and new. You could even secure through this Kickstarter an extremely limited opportunity to sit down at a table with your favorite authors or industry guests.
Cocktail Party & Dance
Our opening party and dance provide a great way to mingle and make connections throughout Wyrd Con. Every year, guests and VIPs alike are encouraged to interact through the use of ice breakers at this semi-formal event followed by a rousing evening of dancing.
Returning again with a new guest Captain, Todd McCaffrey, this year's Steward Badge event is sure not to be missed.
Need a place to work on props or learn how to design and sew your own costumes? The crafting area at Wyrd Con provides hands on experience and experience on hand to assist you in making your stories come to life. Learn how to design hats, sew a blouse, create an elegant scroll, age paper, or whatever suits your fancy. Wyrd Con provides for use in the room of a sewing machine, basic sewing supplies, basic crafting materials, and a hot glue gun. You can take your dream creations home with you. Be warned, you may need to bring an extra suitcase!
Costume and Prop Contests
Wyrd Con is stepping up in the arena of costumes and crafting and providing recognition to people who excel in prop building and costume design. The contests allow those who tell stories with their hands, the ability to show off their craftsmanship and designs.
The events submissions currently contains movie pajama parties, writing workshops, political intrigue events, live combat activities, Transmedia philosophy on changing world views, and more!
Wyrd Con aims to host three Master Courses this year. Each course is an additional investment beyond just a badge and runs between four to eight hours, depending on the course. These are truly investments in your future from skilled masters of their industry.
Certain levels of Kickstarter rewards include a Mastery Class of your choice. This is a new frontier for Wyrd Con, and if we expect only great things.
* Please note Master Classes may be held on Thursday, May 22, 2014.
Mastery Course One
Professional Writing Skills, Lead by Jim Butcher
Jim Butcher will personally lead a course in professional writing. This six hour course will provide significant experience for those interested in taking the step towards becoming a professional author.
Topics to be discussed include:
- How to Write Story Questions, Beginnings, Middles, Endings
- How to Write Clearly
- How to Design Characters
- How to Write a Scene
- How to Write a Sequel
Mastery Course Two
Build an interactive story world into which your participants can grow. Master the technology that makes this possible and gain access to the software product, Conducttr. Learn more at: http://www.tstoryteller.com/
This course will take you through the step by step process to develop an interactive system that will respond to the online feedback of your audience. Imagine being able to send emails, texts, and more through a system that provides hints and clues in real time. Develop characters that provide dialogue to your participants and invest them deeper into a story that reveals itself by your design. This course is lead by a creator in the product, includes a year of access to the software, and also has a 'pre-meeting' to discuss your particular story goal, so the course is custom tailored to the audience's interests.
Robert Pratten is CEO and Founder of Conducttr, an interactive multi-platform storytelling tool used for Alternate Reality Games, interactive theatre, educational and executive games, social TV, and web series and many other Transmedia storytelling applications. Robert has established himself as a thought-leader in the field of Transmedia storytelling and is author of the book, Getting Started in Transmedia Storytelling: A Practical Guide for Beginners.
Master Course Three
We can't say just yet what this will be as we are still in negotiations. But based upon who we are talking to, it's going to be amazing.
First to answer the question in the room.... What is a sigil?
The sigil is a metal symbol approx 2.5" in size. It is made of heavy die cast metal and represents the creativity and strength within the power of story.
Below is the Wyrd Con Reward Sigil. Important note, rewards #4 and #5 include the sigil, but do not include entry to the conference.
All Rewards include a link to view specific panels and events. This is not mentioned in the higher level rewards, but is a feature. We will be operating a live stream of the convention, showing specific panels and events of the convention in this stream during the show. Anyone who contributes will get access to this stream!
As a Kickstarter Backer getting a full pass, you get a special Wyrd Con Badge!
All Rewards from #6 on up include a mention on the Website and Banner of Honor. Your name or a PG-13 nickname will be posted on the Wyrd Con website and a banner at the upcoming convention.
What does a Steward Badge include?
Last year we introduced the Steward Badge for Wyrd Con and it was a great combination of rewards. This year we are offering it again. Wyrd Con V Stewards will have the opportunity to participate in the following elements:
The Steward Badge Includes:
- Access to the Steward Game of the Year
- A special photo session with Todd McCaffrey and Jim Butcher
- Access to the opening party, lunch buffet, and formal dinner, included
- Wyrd Con V T-Shirt
- A special character class for participating in Wyrd Gate.
- A special movie social event for stewards.
- Hard mode for Wyrd Gate automatically unlocked, if you dare...
- 2 add-ons in KS or 1 Dinner in the Online System
- A Wyrd Kickstarter Sigil
NEW THIS YEAR!
The Wyrd Con Add-Ons!
(You will select your add-ons during the registration process, but below is the list to consider)
- Lunch Buffet
- One Private Tour of Wyrd Gate
- Steward Game
- Opening Party
- Dinner For Two
- Photo Session
- Access to Conducttr (just product no class)
- Wyrd Gate Unlimited Access (Does Not Include the Hardmode setting)
- Wyrd 5 T-Shirt
- Sigil - Four Wyrd Dragon
- Sigil - Tri Wyrd Dragon
The ALMOST EVERYTHING reward includes the following:
- Meal from one day's Lunch Buffet
- Tickets to the formal dinner, night of your choice.
- Private Behind the Scenes Tour of Wyrd Gate
- Access to the Opening Party
- Access to the Photo Sessions with Todd McCaffrey, Jim Butcher, and more.
- Access to Conducttr (just the product, not the Master Class)
- Wyrd Gate Unlimited Access (Not Hard Mode)
- Wyrd Con V T-shirt
- Sigil - Kickstarter Dragon
Below is an image of the badge full attendees of the Kickstarter receive:
Last year we offered and reached several stretch goals and this year we are looking to you to help us Blow the Roof Off at Wyrd Con.
Stretch Goal #1 - $16,789 -- We will make two versions of the Wyrd Con T-Shirt – we will offer both Fire and Ice T-Shirts. Select any goal with a t-shirt as the reward and both of these designs will be available.
Stretch Goal #2 - $20,517 -- Will result in themed drinks and snacks at the Wyrd Cafe during Wyrd Con. Anyone obtaining a badge through Kickstarter will also receive two free drink tickets!
Stretch Goal #3 - $26,140 -- We will have special branded lanyards for Wyrd Con V.
Stretch Goal #4 - $36,543 -- We will significantly upgrade our crafting workshop area and expand our crafting workshops with professional equipment and really cool supplies.
Stretch Goal #5 - $49,877 -- We will reach for the sky and add a special (yet to be announced) entertainment event for Wyrd Con. Names to be announced when we reach this goal.
Stretch Goal #6 -$77,777 -- We are still working on this reward, as it needs to be extreme and extra cool.
Stretch Goal #7 - $101,010 -- The reward will reflect the amount. Maybe an international storytelling star or something you would never expect. Since Wyrd Con is about creating worlds with this level of support the world we create for you will be a truly unique and powerful fantasy. This is our final goal unless our Kickstarter goes viral and then we will respond with a mind boggling reward.
Wyrd Con is “a unique story telling conference in that it blends theory and practice together!” - Geoffrey Long explores the future of entertainment as the Technical Director and a Research Fellow for the Annenberg Innovation Lab at USC
Our Special Guests of Honor:
Jim Butcher is the author of the Dresden Files, the Codex Alera, and his new steampunk series, the Cinder Spires. His resume includes a laundry list of skills that were useful a couple of centuries ago, and he plays guitar quite badly. An avid gamer, he plays tabletop games in varying systems, a variety of video games on PC and console, and LARPs whenever he can make time for it. Jim currently resides mostly inside his own head, but his head can generally be found in his home town of Independence, Missouri. www.jim-butcher.com
Todd Johnson McCaffrey wrote his first science-fiction story when he was twelve and has been writing on and off ever since.He has written eight books in the Pern universe both solo and in collaboration with his mother, Anne McCaffrey.
Recent works include the collection The One Tree of Luna (And Other Stories), and the science-thriller, City of Angels.He has just finished The Steam Walker, a novel set in an alternate history Scotland.
He is the editor of Dragonwriter: A Tribute to Anne McCaffrey and Pern (Benbella, August 2013). http://www.toddmccaffrey.org
Award-winning and seven-time New York Times bestselling author Christie Golden has written over forty novels and several short stories in the fields of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Among her many projects are over a dozen Star Trek novels, another dozen for gaming giant Blizzard’s World of Warcraft and StarCraft novels, and three books in the nine-book Star Wars series, Fate of the Jedi, which she co-wrote with authors Aaron Allston and Troy Denning.
New in 2013 are collaborations with Insight Editions to produce Blackbeard: The Lost Journal, for Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag, and a novel for Cryptozoic’s online card game, HEX. 2013 also sees her most recent World of Warcraft novel, War Crimes.
Born in Georgia with stints in Michigan, Virginia, and Colorado, Golden has returned to the South for a spell and currently resides in Tennessee. http://www.christiegolden.com/
A Sample of Speakers at Wyrd Con V
He is currently creative lead on Google’s geo-mobile Alternate Reality Game, Ingress. He is responsible for authoring Social Storm for DARPA and world-building at DreamWorks Animation as well as co-writing Primacy, the third installment of the Autocracy graphic novel trilogy from IDW.
MICKY NEILSON is a Lead Story Developer at Blizzard Entertainment. Micky's game writing credits include World of Warcraft, StarCraft, Warcraft III, and Lost Vikings II. Micky is a television and movie fanatic. With his writing partner, Sam Didier, he writes screenplays in his spare time (What spare time? Luckily he was able to create a fold in the time/space continuum!).
Micky’s first comic book, World of Warcraft: Ashbringer, hit number two on the New York Times Bestseller list for Hardcover Graphic Novels. Most recently, his graphic novel, World of Warcraft: Pearl of Pandaria, reached number three on the New York Times Bestseller List. With the support of his wife, Tiffany, and daughter, Tatiana, Micky looks forward to continuing his adventures in the worlds of Azeroth and beyond for many years to come.
True Thomas the Storyteller has been practicing his craft for many years. He is well known in the southern California Celtic Community as a person who brings traditional stories to life with passion and wit. He is following the Celtic Seanachie tradition, a wonderful oral tradition that is slowly fading away in its native tongue and countries.
For general updates and more details about Wyrd Con and our program please click here.
Risks and challenges
The greatest challenge with running a convention is coordination and communication. Bringing together the guests, events, and activities that makes it a worthwhile endeavor. We are entering into this Kickstarter with the experience of four years already established.
In addition to that, the staff of the convention have experience in many conventions from local gaming conventions (with a few hundred people), to the World Science Fiction Convention (with many thousands of people).
Additionally, this is the second Wyrd Con KickStarter campaign. Wyrd Con 4 was also successfully crowd-funded. Our backers all received their rewards as promised and the event took place just as described. We feel that crowd-funding is a great way to get the fans involved and collectively build the best Wyrd Con ever.
Wyrd Con started itself from the operations of running a Live Action organization for many years and formed when the world of Live Action, Transmedia, and Augmented Realty combined. It has built a large support community that stands behind it, and these individuals act as the volunteers and staff that make the backbone of Wyrd Con possible.
By day, Wyrd Con's founder Ira Ham is employed by a rather large corporation and keeps things running there, but by night, he maintains Wyrd Con's events activities and seeks to take it beyond the stars.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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