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Setting the Stretch Goal

Even though the Historical Williamsburg Living Narrative has reached its funding goal, there are 16 days left in the funding period, and we want to put that time to good use. To that end, we are setting a stretch goal of an additional $500 in funding (for a total of $2000 altogether). These additional funds would go toward increased research resources and even some money to market the finished product to the target audience (educators, historians, and IF gamers).

Unlike the initial funding goal, the stretch goal does not have to be hit for us to make use of the additional funds. So at this point, every backer contribution helps us move the needle. Please spread the word and help us to continue to raise funds for the project.

To go to the Kickstarter project page, click here.

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Kickstarter Intro Video Complete: Project Launch in Progress

April 16, 2012 Leave a comment

The Kickstarter introduction video for the Historical Williamsburg Living Narrative is complete, and it is now on YouTube. It’s embedded here for your viewing convenience:

We are now in the process of getting the final Kickstart site details completed, which includes setting the actual donation level awards. The project launch is right around the corner, and we hope you will support us by spreading the word and making a funding donation, big or small!

Wanted: Teachers Interested in Interactive Fiction

April 5, 2012 Leave a comment

  • Are you a teacher at any grade level with an interest in history?
  • Do you have familiarity with the Interactive Fiction format of computer games (or would you like to know more)?
  • Would you be willing to participate in a study on the use of Interactive Fiction in curriculum?
  • Would you like to learn how you might make use of the Historical Williamsburg Living Narrative project in your class?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then we need to connect! The Historical Williamsburg Living Narrative is not just about creating a fun Interactive Fiction computer game about some of the exciting events surrounding the birth of the United States. The project is also about providing a tool that can potentially engage more students in a way that promotes thinking and problem-solving skills that can help in all areas of their academic lives.

To connect with the Historical Williamsburg Living Narrative, feel free to post a comment here, or you may email directly at historicalwilliamsburg@gmail.com. We will be happy to answer any questions you might have about the project or about Interactive Fiction in general, and we will work with you so that you and your students can participate interactively with people and events from the early days of this nation.

Status Update: Kickstarter Launch Checklist

April 3, 2012 Leave a comment

The picture above is of me standing outside of the Governor’s Palace in the nortwest section of the historical Williamsburg area. This was the home of the colony of Virginia’s Royal Governors (before Independence), and then home to famous Americans Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson. The picture is from the collection of photos and video clips I’ve gathered for the making of my Kickstarter project intro video. That’s the only thing standing between now and project launch, so I need to edit the visual content together. I’m still penning the text for voice-over narration to the video, so that will likely take me a few days. I hope to have the video complete by the end of the coming weekend so I can get the project off the ground!

I used two cameras for the photography work: my Sony NEX-7 (primarily) and my Sony DSC-HX9v (mainly as a backup). They are both excellent small cameras, and I recently picked up the NEX-7 to replace my Canon 7D. I’ve been a long-time Canon fan, but I got tired of waiting for them to come out with a mirrorless camera offering. For my money, the Sony NEX-7 represented the best bang for the buck. Well, the proof is in the pudding, and the pictures I took of all the Williamsburg sites turned out extraordinarily well.

So far, so good!

Coming to Kickstarter: The Historical Williamsburg Living Narrative

What is the Historical Williamsburg Living Narrative?

Imagine Interactive Fiction crafted around real places and people in history, where not only can a person read about settings and events, but the person can be a part of the unfolding story as an actual character. The intent of the Historical Williamsburg Living Narrative project is to build the geography, culture, and characters from the years surrounding the birth of the United States in Williamsburg, Virginia, using the literary format of Interactive Fiction. This three-phase project will include the development of functional maps, the architecture of the historic buildings, and interaction with significant characters such as Patrick Henry and George Washington. Each phase is a project milestone, completion coming 150 days after start.


The Historical Williamsburg Living Narrative is three things:

  • It is a computer game: Individuals will “play” a character out of the historical times around the date of the American Declaration of Independence. They will be able to interact with actual historical figures of the day that lived or visited Williamsburg, Virginia, and they will learn about the events that brought the 13 colonies to sign the Declaration on July 4, 1776. The game environment will be an accurate map environment of Williamsburg as it existed then, and players will be able to roam the streets, enter the buildings, and go anywhere as they encounter people from the past with stories to tell. The game will be in the format of Interactive Fiction, which you can learn more about at the Interactive Fiction Wiki here.
  • It is a history lesson come to life: If you are someone interested in the history of how the United States was formed, the Historical Williamsburg Living Narrative will be one of the best ways to learn it. Like a time machine for the imagination, it will transport people back to the days of Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, and Peyton Randolph, where they can learn about the events of the times by talking with these historical figures. Whether you are a history buff, history teacher, or just a fan of Interactive Fiction and period pieces, this game will have something for you.
  • It is a Kickstarter project: If you’re not familiar with Kickstarter.com, then you should check it out here. Kickstarter is a wonderful way of funding projects, where individuals may donate funds (in small amounts or large, and anything in between) to get a project off the ground. The Historical Williamsburg Living Narrative is a Kickstarter project, and it will be launched officially sometime in April. More details on participation and rewards will be coming, so you can check back here–or better yet, subscribe to this blog for updates on the project.

This is an exciting project to launch, and we hope to have your participation and support! And be sure to pass the word to anyone that you think may be interested in bringing the history of Williamsburg, Virginia, to life!