(Mirrored from Play Well Together‘s Dev Blog)

I’ve just finished the last few fixes to bring Play Well Together – my collaborative storytelling game – to a stage ready for limited testing. This is the official announcement of Play Well Together – Alpha. Friends, family, and extreme enthusiasts testing first, and we’ll see what comes out of it. Go check it out – but be charitable, and remember that your comments are invaluable!

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The idea of the game is that there is a play produced every 12 hours, so people can contribute from anywhere in the world and be able involved in at least one. There is a counter at the top of the page which gives the time left before the end of this creation period. Once the time is up, the current most popular content is rolled up into a movie, and the slate is wiped clean for the next round. Movies can be embedded on your homepage.

I spent quite a few days furrowing my brow regarding how to allow atomic collaboration. Hopefully Play Well Together does this to the point where things are fun and interesting. Character creation, locations, writing of sections of scripts, and the more broad storyline are all decoupled from each other. The inclusion of the forum at this stage gets people into the spirit of lobbying for their content, or discussing possible themes.

Needless to say there will be bugs, and unpolished bits. This is the very first stage for testing the dynamics to see how it will work. Here’s a list of improvements that are upcoming:

  • ability for users to contribute their own characters – excellent!
  • hooking forum conversations onto appropriate content areas (eg. discussion about the current play on the movie preview page),
  • Improved sophistication of dynamically generated content,
  • choice of location/backdrop for each scene, including user-uploaded backgrounds,
  • user-created props, that will work with actions,
  • many more actions, which will be actually scripted,
  • allowing downloading of movies, and linking to a movie of your voted parts, instead of just the most popular,
  • and a bunch of UI and flash bugs and improvements.

There is a forum set up, where you can report bugs, request more scripted actions, and discuss/lobby your layouts with others.

You might need some help getting to grips with the interface, so here’s a walkthrough video, showing the creation process from start to viewing the finished content. I’ll upload a better quality one with audio if people want it, and if I can dig up a microphone.

Have fun!