#FutureOfFiction,  #FutureOfStorytelling,  #Unity,  Greyville Writer's Colony,  interactive books,  interactive content,  Interactive Novel,  Random

Bringing Interactive Virtual Environments to the Kindle


Don’t tell Mr Bezos but I hacked my Kindle so I could download apps from the Google Play store. I particularly wanted to be able to get a better browser. In answer to a user question as to whether the storytelling environment we are building would run in Chrome. This is Chrome running on a Kindle Fire HD 10. I believe the OS for that is a fork of Android 7 (Nougat).

There is no navigation interface for mobile devices in our app yet. It is a goal.

The ultimate goal of this project is to create storytelling environments that will run inside an ebook. Let’s say you are reading along about how our hero is in jail for murder an his girlfriend wants to break into the crime scene to search for clues to his innocence. In a click you should be able to open the virtual crime scene and inspect the area with her. Think of it as a reader’s personal holodeck tucked into the pages of a novel.

Much like the current login screen for our writer meetups (another screenshot from my kindle) you click on those arrows at either side on the bottom of the interface to select the character you want to explore as. We only have four placeholder avatars at the moment. If all goes well at the Monday Meetup and there are no major interface bug to deal with, we can turn attention to how to make the avatars customizable for users. As this is intended to be solely an environment for learning and storytelling, we have no need for inventory. We do recognize that telling each other apart with more than just a name tag is desirable for community meetups, so we’re thinking of making some sort of selectable outfit HUD that might work similar to the shapeshifting avatars inworld–when one appearance is visible the others are transparent.

There is much to be done but I think the project has reached a stage where we can begin adding to it and growing with it as a community. Rather than hop on the next wave of whatever rises to popularity in the publishing world. we’re trying to shape our own future. We want to build the next new thing. We hope you’ll join us.

You can try out the current demo here. Use a computer as the current version, as your browser will tell you, is not designed for mobile. I said login anyway and it worked. Possibly selecting desktop mode in the browser and linking a bluetooth keyboard will let you walk around. I’ve not tried that yet.

We’ll be holding our storytelling meetups, Monday evenings 5 ET at Greyville in your browser.  We hope you’ll join us.

More on how to join us here.

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