Narrative ... Text ... What next?: Transmedia publishing in a Brave New World

20 November 2013 6:30 pm

Main Lecture Theatre, Oxford

Narrative ... Text ... What next?: Transmedia publishing in a Brave New World

This event moves away from the more traditional topics that OPuS normally deals in, and looks at some of the other parts of the creative industries that are also publishing stuff.

We have brought together speakers from places where some of the most interesting creative work is being done, and we have linked the evening together with a look at the power of story.

So in eBooks what is it that makes the reader want to 'turn the page' and find out what happens next?
And find out why enhanced eBooks are quite different from book apps.

So in Games what makes the player want to go on to the next level, and find out what happens there (technically, the conflict between player agency and author storytelling, or the area of 'ludo-narrative dissonance')
And catch up on the development of a new game from an Oxford-based designer.

And in Interactive fiction is there any sure-fire way of making sure that each branch of the story carries the reader along? What is the role of 'narrative' where there are many narratives being carried along at the same time.

And in these new forms, what is the relationship of the reader/user to the text, to the story, to the creative artefact?


Dave Fletcher: White October

A whistle-stop tour of some of the amazing, creative things (including the Lambeth Libraries app) that you can do with web technology these days.


Dave Fletcher is founder and Managing Director of White October. Over the past 10 years he has grown the agency to 25 full time staff.


Dave completed a Mathematics degree from Nottingham University before training on the job as an analyst programmer with RM Plc in Oxfordshire. With a passion for the web and its potential, Dave has kept at the forefront of technology. He and White October have gravitated towards projects that are novel or pose a technical challenge - his creative drive, technical grounding, and commercial awareness make him ideally placed to advise clients on product development strategy.


Dave is responsible for the continued growth of the company, and is focussed on creating a talented and empowered team to establish White October as one of the leading digital design and build agencies in the country.


While at White October Dave has forged ties with a number of UK universities, collaborating over new digital products in the social research and healthcare markets, and entered the company into a Europe-wide FP7 consortium researching the public’s perception of food risks. He has also played a key role in the formation of Flip, a funded technology start-up and social enterprise, building a platform designed to showcase young people’s potential to employers.





Blog Link for Lambeth Library app in main copy on event.

Lambeth Library Challenge


Graham Nelson and Emily Short: Interactive Fiction

He is a lecturer in Mathematics, interactive fiction software developer, published poet, and managing editor of Legenda Publishers. She is Creative Director for the app Versu by Linden Lab and an interactive fiction author.


Graham Nelson is a fellow in pure mathematics at St Anne's College Oxford and the managing editor of Legenda, an imprint for scholarly books in the humanities, especially modern languages. He is also the creator of Inform, the most widely-used programming language for creating interactive fiction. Inform 7, the most recent iteration of Inform, is designed to appeal to writers without extensive programming experience.


Emily Short is a creative director working on the Versu project at Linden Lab. She specializes in interactive narrative, especially dialogue models. She is the author of over a dozen works of interactive fiction, including Galatea and Alabaster, which focus on conversation as the main form of interaction, and Mystery House Possessed, a commissioned project with dynamically-managed narrative. She has also assisted with the development of Inform 7.

Download Emily Short's Slides

Richard Fine: Making Games

He has worked in the games industry in Oxford, is now developing his own game which should be launched by the end of the year, and is a visiting tutor at the National Film and Television School. He covers what’s involved in developing and launching a game, and gives some examples of Good (and Bad) practice in games.


richard fine


Richard is a development consultant within the games industry. Programming since the age of 4, he has helped ship games at Rebellion and NaturalMotion in Oxford, has assisted Microsoft in providing tools and services to game developers, and has spent seven years running developer resource Richard also spends a lot of time on the Unity game engine developer forum, and in the accompanying chatroom, moderating discussion and advising new users.


Currently, he is completing work as the technical lead on Infection: Last Rites an action horror game for PC, Mac and Linux due for full release before the end of 2013.

Twitter: @Superpig

Jen Porter and Kirk Bowe: Beyond the Story
Talking through and demonstrating the process of developing a lasting eBook product - and how eBooks are different from apps. (They have produced the eBooks for Anne Frank's Diary, David Starkey's Kings and Queens, and The Wind in the Willows - an impressive list). 


Jen Porter is Chief Executive and co-founder of BeyondtheStory. She focuses on creative partnerships with publishers and media partners and believes passionately in the notion that great stories have the power to transcend any medium. As more people choose to read on digital devices, BeyondTheStory is leading the way forward, transforming linear narratives into dynamic storytelling experiences, making full use of the technology under the reader's fingers, while always anchoring the reader in the author's text.


Click here to see the Beyond the Story slides from the event


Kirk Bowe is Chief Creative Officer of BeyondtheStory where he spearheads the company’s direction in digital entertainment platforms and is leading the development of the soon-to-be released BTS Publisher Plus, bringing authors and readers closer together, providing writers, publishers and other creative professionals with a new channel through which to expand and share their work.



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