Alright, I should have written this post a while ago. There isn’t much time, so I’m going to break it down fast.
First off: Storium is in its last week of its Kickstarter. Go there now and back it. Watch the video, read the breakdown, look at all the awesome stretch goals that they’ve already reached. Go. I’ll wait.
Great, you’re back. Did you back it? If not, shame on you. You’ve only got six days…well, five when this posts, to correct that mistake. That being said, lets talk about Storium.
Storium is a web-based, multiplayer, storytelling game. I liken it back to ye good olde days back when Yahoo Groups was good and didn’t suck. There were several groups dedicated to telling group based stories. One person would start it, then others would join in and the various characters that you created would move the stories along. Unfortunately, there was no structure, no guidance other than what the group would provide, so things could go crazy and everything could fall apart pretty quick. But when it was good, it was a whole lot of fun.
Storium is a bit like that, but more focused, and much more structured. Every “game” has a narrator and several players. The narrator is responsible for setting of the world (if applicable) and getting the story rolling and roughly staying on track. Each player makes a character, who then acts using cards to affect the outcome of each scene (more about that in a moment.) In any scene the narrator will set up challenges or objectives for the characters to face, overcome, or fail and the story will move with how the players deal with this. The players can complete objectives and challenges with their Strength and Weakness cards (and others). Strengths will move the scene toward a “strong” conclusion while Weaknesses will move it toward a “weak” conclusion, each of those being determined before hand. The player who actually finishes the objective will then get to write how that turns out.
This is really neat, because it encourages players to strive for more than just “beating the bad-guy” and winning the prize. Even completing the objective with a weak outcome can be fun and interesting to write, sometimes more interesting. There’s a lot of room within the system to tell some interesting fun stories while still really feeling like you’re playing a game with other people.
Kicking Storium will let you play instantly. Right now. As soon as you back it you can go and find a game to play in or make your own, which is great since the instant I saw the video I knew I needed to be in on this. I started off finding a game to play. That first attempt didn’t work out to well. Turns out I might not play really well with others because I have strong ideas about where story should go. Solution: create my own game! Which I did. I’m currently running a game with four players, trying something that I haven’t seen other games trying. Really, I’m experimenting with the system (the whole point of a beta test, I should think) and having quite a good time. I’ll have to be careful to let Storium get in the way of my other writing responsibilities, but its a good way to get the creative juices flowing.
Right now, Storium has about 10 pretty basic worlds, but the Kickstarter has hit a LOT of stretch goals and it looks like they’ll be close to tripling that with a lot of custom worlds made by some really well known authors., like Chuck Wendig (who I am NOT fan-boying about.) Seriously, check ’em out and lets see if we can’t kick them up to $200,000. If you do kick them, and are interested in checking out my game, just go here and follow along as we play “The Newly Blooded“, an evolving urban fantasy.