Enchanted Assemblages Re-booted


I've been teasing for some time what this newly rebooted Enchanted Assemblages project is all about; so let me explain in detail.

Enchanted Assemblages is a medieval multimedia narrative. It tells the story of Bede Darthur, an undergraduate studying medievalism at a fictional university. A participant in a VR-MMORPG (Virtual-Reality Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game), a world renown educational video game which fully immerses the player in historically accurate gameplay, Bede faces his greatest challenge yet in his young life-- beat the game's academic mode, earn a high mark from his demanding professor, one of the game's strictest Admin's, all while fulfilling his college ambition of finding himself.

As I said, this story is told through several media platforms, each one offering a different kind of immersion for the reader (or "wreader" as you will eventually be called). With each platform offering a different kind of educational quality-- yes, you should be able to learn something from each piece, dear reader-- I will now go through and explain each platform.

Platform #1: traditional literary chapters.
Platform #2: "Image Videos" and "Stop-Motion" videos.
Platform #3: Inform-7 Interactive Fiction novellas.

Platform one should be familiar enough. You will read short to medium length chapters which form the bulk of the narrative. Because our protagonist is a participant in this primer educational video game, the genre of these chapters will be that of a "Lit-RPG"; or, for those of you not up to date with the Indie writer lingo, a Lit-RPG is a "literary role-playing game", something which locates storytelling through a lot usually revolving around protagonists becoming trapped in video games, or playing them, and navigating themselves to freedom. Think, a video game but told in literary form.

The second platform requires some explaining.

What I mean by "Image Videos" is this: simple YouTube videos where I do a funny voice in the form of the protagonist-- you are supposed to think that it is the protagonist-- and explain some minutia about the middle ages. Essentially, these are Bede's academic journals; as he learns about the middle ages in his coursework, he will ponder or ruminate on select aspects of his study which cannot otherwise be fit into a normal chapter.

The second kind of YouTube video is "Stop-Motion". These videos were originally part of a larger, more ambitious, but limited, project. Essentially, these videos are done in one-point perspective utilizing collage (magazine cut outs, materials printed from the internet, whatever). I would animate the contents of the video using a stop-motion camera and that would be the video (I will do whatever editing and special effects I can do later). These videos show the player important game challenges which Bede must overcome; in a sense, they tell the player clues as to how to complete the third platform: players watch and try to absorb what Bede does while integrating that knowledge with information from the first platform. Such videos will last anywhere from seven to nine minutes and will pop up about once a season.

The third platform, meanwhile, utilizes interactive fiction using Inform-7 software. Simply said, interactive fiction is fiction where you, the reader, can interact with and explore the literary work. It is part literature and part video game. So, this third platform, consisting of interactive novellas, is your chance to actually participate in this fictional world and apply what you've learned to an education game. I am looking forward to creating these novellas and I hope you will enjoy them too!

So, that is all: this grand story of Bede is planned for at least four seasons but, as I said, will likely carry over for far longer. Please, check out the first entry when it is up and help spread the word.

A basic content schedule has been written. Though this is liable to change as my priorities during the academic year shift, the basic idea is this: (1) Three chapters, Image Video, Three chapters, Stop-Motion video, One to two chapters, Interactive novella. I hope to get a couple chapters out a week, an image video in the following week, while the stop-motion video will likely take two or three weeks (depending on my obligations). An interactive novella will probably take a week or two to write and program. With this schedule I hope to get a regular stream of content uploaded.

An epic tale, this newly reformed Enchanted Assemblages is something I hope to continue working on years in the future. Please check out the first entry when it is up later this coming week. Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing some feedback when the project gets underway.