For the last five weeks, I’ve been managing a ghost town, thanks to a creative support team and some wonderful players.
Once or twice a year, my transmedia, alternate reality game team gears up for a new project. During the weeks leading up to launch, we run Transition Village, a smaller-scale experience designed to keep momentum going.
This is a time-intensive job, mainly for me. Monday through Saturday I write individual responses to between 10 and 20 players each night, giving them (mostly) free rein in a small, “choose-your-own-adventure” world of my creation. During Transition Village seasons, I normally stay up late at night, typing interactive fiction into the wee hours. I don’t get a lot of sleep, but I do have a lot of fun.
Transition Village players are among the most creative, fun-loving people I’ve had the pleasure to communicate with. Most evenings I’m up laughing out loud or just smiling, and I’ll nudge my husband and say, “Look what this traveler sent in! I love it!” The way our players take this world and run with it, developing characters of their own, even submitting their own art and music, never ceases to amaze and thrill me. Transition Village is one of my busiest and happiest times.
In order to engage players who are watching from outside of the village, or players who just want more than one interaction per day, we also offer the Transition Times newspaper. This is a group effort from all members of our team. Each week, every one of us submits a few items to be included in the online paper, and that adds a bit more to the world. Mike does the hilarious horoscopes. Rob does the ghost humor and other related columns. I do the Ghost of the Week and the Traveler Spotlight. Brent does any video elements (plus he’s the voice of Dr. Dark Owl). Necole edits the newspaper (whew!) and contributes an article once in a while.
This past Friday I finished Transition Village III. Yes, that means our next “real” game is right around the corner. My lips are sealed on that one. (but maybe you can sneak some information from Mike).
After I finished TVIII, I woke up on Saturday and realized I wouldn’t need to plan responses for that night. It was a little weird. I’m able to catch up on my sleep now, but I will miss my little ghost village and my awesome travelers.
Then I looked at the message boards, where players were commenting about the final episode for this season, and I felt an overwhelming amount of appreciation and love. To answer many of your posts, yes, the PMs do read the boards.
And, thank you, thank you, thank you.
Today’s blog is my way of doing an informal, post-game… thing. Transition Village, though fairly popular, is really just a transition between larger games, so we don’t normally do an official chat after it ends. If you have questions or comments, you can feel free to post them here – keep in mind that TV is technically an ongoing world, so I can’t give away too much!
Basically, I just want to say thank you (again) to the players and the lurkers. If you didn’t get in this time, don’t worry. There’s a new experience coming soon, and you’ll be sure to have a place there. If you prefer our Transition Village style of game, then hang in there. The Governor will reopen for visitors before too long. He always does.