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Sword & Sworcery: Socializing the Narrative

by Will Simon / April 28, 2011

Note: This blog entry is available in English only.

http://vimeo.com/sworcery/audience-calibration-procedure

I recently picked up a curious app for the iPad called Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP, a game that’s caught some buzz for its compelling art and immersive sound design. Describing itself as a “psycho social audiovisual experiment,” the game combines classic point-and-click adventure elements with innovative storytelling and social media integration.

 

You play as The Scythian, an adventurer wandering an ambient, pixelated landscape on an enigmatic quest, narrated by a shadowy, cigar-wielding character called The Archetype. While Sword & Sworcery is certainly a game at heart – puzzles, battles, and engaging dialogue – one of its most intriguing elements lies in the way social media is built into the narrative framework.

The game allows all of its content to be tweeted from within the story, inviting others to capture moments from your quest (while promoting the game at the same time). To support this feature, all of the game’s text is written within Twitter’s 140-character limit. The developers had this in mind – creating content shaped for players to harvest and export to their own personal feeds. By searching the game’s hashtag, you can take the pulse of the audience and see which story elements resonate with players.

Sword & Sworcery makes us really interested to see how more traditional forms of media will begin to evolve around social formats. Last month, Sygyzy Lab took a stab at what the future of TV might look like if programs were deeply integrated with an iPad and overlayed on a social network. While only a concept piece, the idea of combining that level of technology with the intuitive storytelling nature of Sword & Sworcery offers an intriguing look toward the future. Brands could benefit greatly from this type of narrative building – allowing fans to go from talking about an experience to actually capturing, extracting, and sharing it in real time.

How could other brands begin to structure their stories so that audiences are compelled to make them their own?

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Comments

  1. Sven Larsen on April 29, 2011

    Really interesting stuff. I love how the game content is optimized for sharing/social media. It does make me wonder why we haven't seen more Twitter based gaming experiences. With the success of things like FARMVILLE and MAFIA WARS on Facebook you would think someone would be looking toleverage the platform.