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hank goes swimming

concept for a virtual cage format

alexandra reill
developed for

sagas symposium
writing interactive fiction

munich 1999



hank goes swimming

concept for a virtual cage format


Staged installation.

In a nice villa in L.A an actress finds an author dead in the swimming pool. She alarms the owner of the villa, a director, as well as the guests who are staying in the villa to work out on a film project together. A detective is called and investigates the crime.

Dead Author, Detective, Director 1, 2, Author 1, 2, 3, Actress 1, 2, 3, Actor 1

The main plot is divided into 3 plots after an introductory linear phase where the user gets to know the characters. At the first key point all key points are interactive junctions and take place in form of interviews led by the detective whom the user follows the 3 plots work in linear form. The interviews form the nodes.

PLOT 1: The Dead Author was killed by Actress 1 as he had not written a role for her.

PLOT 2: The D.A. was killed by Author 1 as he was jealous because of Actress 1.

PLOT 3: The D.A. was killed by Author 3 because he always had gotten the good jobs whereas Author 3 didn't.

The user can swap the line at several key points in the nodes (about 10). He cannot go back but is sent either from interview to interview in a zig-zag manner or comes closer to the solution of detecting the murderer. On a special evaluation board he can vote for somebody being the murderer when he finds the person suspicious. When the murderer is detected at the end he will get a reward in the form of a list of right suspicions taken reminding him of the situations and giving him a score.

The user follows the detective in 2nd POV, changing to 3rd POV.

Media Forms
Video still-frames taken from 3rd POV. The different clips are treated with colouring effects, using mainly light green, red and blue. ECUs and CUs are presented on the broad screens, CUs only on the high screens. Dialogues and music are played through the Hi-Fi system.

Using sensors the user can change the video clips on the broad screens. The frame on the screen he points at will also change. To decide for suspicions on a character he points at one of the high screens and thus changes dialogue and plot.

Target Platform/Stage Installation
A 3-D projection into a public room displays the actual location of the actual line. On the transparent screen is received the projection of the character scenes. 5 broad screens and 5 small screens build a pentagonic circle around the single player and the public.

Target Audience
Not very computer-literate. Interested in film. 15-45 years old.

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