The hypertext story assessment task has provided us with a way of expressing ourselves as musicians in a format that is not exclusively musical, whilst exploring an idea that is familiar to other musicians, as well as (hopefully) humorous to general hypertext browsers. As Jeremy covers in the week 11 YouTube-based lecture, user input is extremely valuable when considering how to make a hypertext story more immersive for the user, and as a result of this we came to a collective agreement as a group to ensure that we had different options available based on what each particular user chose to do as they moved through our story. User reward was another factor considered in why people might take the time to complete a hypertext story, so we arranged ours in such a way that one would eventually reach a ‘successful’ end to the story, thus allowing them to access a Soundcloud link with all of the audio we recorded for the assessment task.
On an aesthetic level consideration was given to ensuring that the hypertext story has a cohesive and consistent look and feel throughout the entire experience, with similarly designed yet unique backgrounds adding to the immersion of the overall piece. We specifically made use of graphics that were covered under creative commons, and more specifically those filed under CC0, or the non-attribution license. This allowed us to make our hypertext story appear more streamlined as we didn’t need to include attributions to each image that we used either directly or post-editing. The opportunity to create our own media was one that we embraced, with musical and spoken word recordings intended to not only make the experience more interesting overall, but also to provide a level of authenticity that other musicians and content creators in general could relate to.
Due to the story being consequential in nature based on the user’s input, the website was constructed without a way of undoing a choice once it had been made. This allowed us to streamline the narrative experience for the user until they reached the end of a storyline, at which point they would be able to restart and choose a different path. This required replay mechanic served to increase the overall time value of the hypertext story, as well as generate curiosity within the user as they discover what happens throughout the story. As musicians ourselves, we have a natural sense of what topics and music-based clichés our target audience would find either funny or interesting. The Week 10 reading from Mark Bernstein suggests that interest and attention are maintained in hypertexts by combining regularity and irregularity, which is something we strived for by writing storylines that varied greatly depending on which of the multiple pathways the user chose, with unexpected twists, turns, and points of humour within each individual pathway.
On an overall note we feel as a team that roles were equally shared based on both workload and each individual’s strengths and weaknesses, with effective communication employed throughout the creative process.
Bernstein, Mark. “Delightful Vistas: Revisiting the Hypertext Garden.” Travels in Intermediality. Lebanon, US: Dartmouth, 2012. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 8 February 2016. 142-146