Now that I have at last resumed progress on Siboot, I realize that it’s time to revisit fundamental strategic plans. We start with the restatement of the fundamental goal of this project: to launch an interactive storytelling industry. The central problem here is to assemble a cadre of authors. These people have to be willing to learn how to use the Dramagine technology, which poses a considerable challenge for most people. They will only accept that challenge if they are inspired by an example. Siboot’s purpose is to provide that example.
But there’s another consideration: the target audience. Until now I have been thinking of gamers as the primary target audience for Siboot. But gamers have always brought two impediments along with them: first, they already know what a game is, and they keep trying to transform interactive storytelling into a game. Second, although they know that stories are important, they have little sense for the fundamentals of storytelling, and so they have difficulty grasping the significance of major features of the Dramagine technology. For example, many gamers simply cannot get past the set-in-concrete obsession with spatial reasoning. They just GOTTA have a map in the storyworld. They really, really want to integrate the Dramagine technology into the Unity platform so that they can make it 3D. I’ve been patient with these people, trying to explain the inappropriateness of these ideas, but I don’t think that I have accomplished much.
The fundamental problem is neatly expressed in these two photographs:
“No, thank you, I already know what a game is.” “I’m looking for new adventures!”
It’s this younger group that I need to reach. These are people who have been brought up with games and perceive the field as creatively dead. They are bored with games, and they are especially interested in storytelling. There have always been people like this, but their numbers have been growing rapidly in the last five years. Colleges all over the world have been creating educational programs for these interests. Here are just a few examples:
These are the students I need to reach.
So here’s my preliminary thinking on the strategy:
1. Finish Siboot so that it is playable and entertaining, but don’t expend resources making it pretty.
2. Make Siboot available for free download and publicize it.
3. Approach colleges and universities with an offer to deliver a free webinar on the technology.
4. Offer an onsite seminar to any educational institution willing to pay my travel costs.
5. Assemble a team to build Dramagine.
6. Build Dramagine.
7. Drop dead from exhaustion.