By Brett McKay
There are stories lining the streets of Edmonton, waiting for you to step into them. An interactive storytelling app aims to immerse users in these fictional worlds crafted by Edmonton artists.
Story City uses geolocation to lead people through tales written into a map of the city. The company is currently seeking pitches from writers who live in Edmonton or know it well to expand its library of local stories. The deadline for submissions is June 5.
"In terms of selecting pitches and experiences, nothing is too crazy for us," said Story City co-founder Emily Craven. "This is a new type of storytelling format, and it opens the gates to telling stories in a way that doesn't necessarily have to be that kind of linear start-to-end."
Billed as a choose-you-own-adventure platform, the closest parallel to Story City's format is probably the player-determined plotline of a video game. Craven's co-founders, Brett Ludwig and Justin Khan, have backgrounds in the gaming industry — at one point, both worked for Edmonton's BioWare — and Craven said members of the local gaming community were early supporters of their idea.
"With this type of technology, you can really play with, well, what happens if this person makes a different choice? How does that change things around different themes? Do you end up with a different genre completely? That's something that's really exciting about this type of storytelling, and was kind of locked up in game development."