Catching Up With Storium

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Catching up with Storium
Storium screenshots and montage by Helen Barker. Storium logo © Storium

Last month I wrote about Storium, an online collaborative storytelling game. They were in the middle of their Kickstarter campaign, and although at that point they had already met their first funding goal, they had many incredible stretch goals yet to reach. During the campaign I played Storium extensively, both as a player and a narrator, and I have been thoroughly enjoying my writing experiences. One minute I’m an office worker with a mysterious past, the next I’m a young warrior battling evil, pollen-throwing plants. It’s such fun and also incredibly engaging to be playing a such an interesting game, either with friends or with strangers from all over the world.

I have followed the Kickstarter campaign very closely, as I absolutely love Storium, and I’ve been very excited about their progress. So, what’s happened so far and what do Storium fans have to look forward to?

For starters, Storium absolutely smashed their original funding target of $25,000. They raised a massive $251,362 from 6,676 backers, taking them just over 1000% past their goal. In the process, backers have unlocked 60 worlds that will be available to play later in the year. Highlights of the new worlds for me include:

  • Charles Stross’ Merchant Princes, where players must find their way through a multi-dimensional panoply of worlds, while threats build and timelines twist and turn. I love Stross’ work and think that this world could be incredible to play in.
  • Maureen McHugh’s After the Zombie Apocalypse, where zombies have been rounded up into camps while a shocked and damaged population works out what to do with them and hunts down the remaining undead. Throw some other undesirables into the zombie zones too, and things could get very interesting very quickly.
  • Seanan McGuire’s Chambers of the Sea, where you must survive in the wilds of the Atlantean sea. There are dark things under the waves—and mermaids and pirates to deal with too. I thought that this sounded like it had lots of scope for really interesting character interactions.

But these are just the tip of the iceberg as there are a huge number of worlds now funded from a host of award-winning writers and game developers. There are ghost stories, space SF worlds, horror stories, quest adventures, historical stories, romantic worlds, steampunk tales… I can guarantee that there will be a fully funded world that will float your geeky boat.

So what else will the Storium team be working on? They now have the funding to integrate more language and socialization features into the game, as well as new avatar and story card artwork. A gamma test platform will be built to try out new features and invite feedback from backers. The biggest news for me is that at the $200,000 point, Storium for Schools was unlocked. This will be a specially adapted version of the game for students and teachers to use, with appropriate features and game worlds. I am incredibly excited by Storium for Schools, as I think that it could be a very powerful tool in helping children to improve and enjoy their writing. Development of this new version will begin after Storium has had its public launch. So, although I’m itching to get my hands on it, I’ll have to be patient!

If you missed Storium‘s Kickstarter campaign but now feel like you’d like to join the fun in the beta game, it might not be too late. You can sign up on the Storium website to find out when any more crowd funding opportunities will arise, or keep an eye on their Twitter feed.

In the meantime, I’ll keep playing Storium, including taking on another couple of characters and maybe setting up another story to narrate. I’ll be keeping a close eye on the game’s development and will let you know how it progresses over the coming months. Congratulations to all of the Storium team for such a successful crowd funding campaign, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

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