Last year on Halloween I thought I’d have some fun with my Twitter stream and live-tweeted an improvised story about me being in a zombie apocalypse type world. It was so much fun to do, that this year I thought I should do something a bit more elaborate. Only… I pretty much forgot about it up until last Friday. Oops.
I still thought it would be fun to do, so late Friday night I started planning. What would this story be about? I brainstormed some general storylines I could use: another zombie apocalypse, a virus outbreak, a vampire attack, a haunted mansion, an escape room (since I’m addicted to them)… hmm, what about an Alternate Reality Game leading to a haunted escape room? What if I could make it a bit more interactive and get people on Twitter helping me solve clues? That’s the initial idea I came up with, and I started creating several puzzles and riddles I could use during the day.
Reading the end result (see previous post) you can see that the initial idea did adapt a lot. I pretty much just started tweeting on Saturday without any real plan on how the story would evolve or even how it would end. That’s definitely the fun part though: coming up with the story on the fly and just improvising as you go along!
I did visit all the places I mention in the story though: all the photos I took were on the day itself, albeit an hour or so before I sent the tweets. I quickly realised in the morning that just staying still, waiting for people to respond with solutions, wasn’t that handy, especially since I was meeting with friends for lunch (hence the long and slightly awkward encounter with the Swedish tourists). So instead I started taking photos earlier and doing the tweets “delayed” and adaptable to those following the story. One of the things that I completely forgot though was how early it gets dark! There were a bunch of photos I took that I ended up not being able to use, cause of that.
In the end I had come up with way more material than I could use, and I ran out of time to use it all. I still have several prepared puzzles and riddles, and I’ve got an entire backstory figured out about what happened. Rather than throw it all away though, and leave the story hanging on an incomplete note, I thought it would be fun to take it a step further: could I continue the story over 2-4 Saturdays in the next couple of months, and actually plan it out better?
So that’s what I’ll be doing: The Others Episode 2 will take place in a few weeks time (I’ve got my eye on November 28th) and will pick up where the previous “episode” left off. It again will contain puzzles, riddles and ways for you as a reader to get involved in the story and influence its outcome. Want to hear more? Sign up below to get notified when the next episode starts!
It would be great to hear what people thought of the first episode. Did you like how it unfolded? Did you enjoy the puzzles? Did you follow along during the day/night, or did you read it at a later point? Did you like the Twitter polls? I really want to know what people enjoyed and what they didn’t, so I can adapt the next one!
I’d also love to get actual London museums or other interesting places/sights involved in this! I really like the idea of people learning more about the history of London through games likes this and it’s one of the things I want to highlight more in the following episodes. If anyone is working for a museum or something like that and would like to get involved, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.