Introducing… The First Storyworld Jam

StoryWorldOn Friday 4th – Sunday 6th July at Abertay Univerity’s Hannah Maclure Centrea brand new ‘jam’ will be held.

Rather than the increasingly common 48 competition in which multiple games are created, this jam is centred around the theme of a storyworld.  Different narratives within the same environment or universe (think The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings…)

The event is open to creative minds from all disciplines. The organisers are hoping for games, animations, live-action films, audio scores, and even interpretive dance to be an output from the Storyworld Jam, rather than specifying any particular media output.

The goal is simple – create something amazing.

The Storyworld Jam has already reached full capacity, with just over 50 tickets sold out within the first week.

We spoke to the organisers, Andrew and Max, to find out more about the jam and the thinking behind it…

Scottish Games Network: Who’s organising the event, what are your backgrounds?

Andrew Reid:The organisation of the event has been conducted by myself (Andrew Reid) and my colleague, Max Wrighton. We are both students of the University of Abertay Dundee, currently completing our third year on the Game Design & Production Management course. While we aim to focus on game development as our primary project, we have also taken interest and participated in numerous other avenues, such as student journalism, event management, and academic research, with the mindset of contributing to the Scottish games industry.

The idea for the Storyworld Jam came about when we were introduced to writer and director Jörg Ihle (Anno 1404, The Settlers 7), who ran a workshop on the creation of Storyworlds. Max was then provided with the opportunity to study in Copenhagen, as part of the EUCROMA (European Cross Media Academy) programme, engaging him with the production of storyworlds. After attending numerous game jams in Denmark, Max suggested the idea of creating a jam based on the concept of the storyworld. With Jörg’s blessing, we began outlining the Storyworld Jam: Max developed the core design of the jam while I developed the logistics and operations.

SGN: What’s the goal of the event?

AR: The goal is to engage participants of multiple disciplines in the concept of transmedia development. To me, the creative industries are converging together at a faster rate than before, and soon the notion of transmedia will be commonplace within multiple industries. Whether those industries are creative, health, education, political and so on, there is an apparent collaboration currently taking place and continues to grow. We are anticipating the explosion of transmedia and aiming to be one of the first (if not the first) to organise a jam based on this production model.

SGN: Why did you decide to move outside the traditional development-focused ‘jam’?

AR: I don’t feel like we have necessarily moved outside the boundaries of traditional development-focused ‘jam’ models: rather, we have widened those boundaries and explored a new opportunity for multi-disciplinary development. Traditionally, jams are constricted to a ‘game’ jam, or an ‘animation’ jam. The storyworld concept opens up the opportunity to have these varying types of jams moulded together and to work within the same restrictions: to develop anything within the theme of the storyworld. That way, we are offering an opportunity to engage with individuals outside of a participant’s specific industry, and facilitating for future collaborations between industry personnel.

SGN: What will happen to the output from the jam?

AR: Each team that participates in the jam will be free to do whatever they wish with their output. We don’t want to constrain participants with any IP issues: participants have the knowledge of freedom with their created content during and after the Storyworld Jam. Some recognition and reciprocity of the Storyworld Jam being it’s place-of-origin wouldn’t be frowned upon, but we don’t plan to hold anyone back from expressing their work post-jam.

SGN: How can people find out more?

AR: There is currently a Facebook page being set up, which will be made available at a later date (once advertising materials have been collected). We will make sure the SGN are updated when the Facebook page is live. You can also follow the hashtag on Twitter at #SWJ14 where we will be posting updates before, during and after the Storyworld Jam. We’ll also keep the SGN in the loop with any further information.

Watch this space…

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