The Value of Truth in Transmedia

There are many important aspects to consider when starting out creating a transmedia property. There is creating the mythology, the narrative superstructure, as deep and rich as possible. There is timing all different releases, and making sure the right things get released on the right platforms. There is securing a sound financial basis to stand on – i.e., where’s the money going to come from?

Every aspect is vital, some to the core of the story being told, some to the framework around the story that lets it find its’ audience and gives its’ creators and producers funds to work with to take the story in the direction it is supposed to go.

But since everything about a transmedia project, in my opinion, goes back to the need to engage an audience and give them the best experience possible, I’ve found truth to be the most important aspect.

”Truth” in transmedia, as I see it, is the simple fact that everything needs to fit. The things that do not fit must also fit, as non-fitting parts (carefully planned, naturally) or be re-developed or omitted. We as human beings can tell when things are not as they should be, when they are not true. We might have been conditioned to set aside our beliefs, or willingly believe in certain things, but if we just let our instincts guide us, we mostly have the gut feeling of what’s wrong and what’s right, what’s ”True” and what’s false.

”Truth” in transmedia is keeping in mind that platforms do not matter, OS or programming languages do not matter. What matters is the story and that the users experience it the way you as the creator/producer planned for it to be experienced.

”Truth” in transmedia is a fragile thing. It can be shattered by a wrongly worded tweet from a character in a series. It contains a lot of pitfalls – and I know from my own experience that you, as a developer, will fall into many of them. The trick is to recognize when you’re in a pit and quickly get your ass out of there before anyone notices. You might need help to climb out of the pit. You might experience resistance, in the form of partners, sponsors, financiers, directors. But you know what ”truth” means in your creation. Stick to that.

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