Saturday, 3 May 2014

So, what's new about it?

Although reading a book about someone can be an excellent way of getting to know about them, it’s not like getting to know them. The ways we impart and receive information during interpersonal contact are radically different from the ways we absorb stories from books. The order of information sharing, what is given and withheld at any particular moment, how much the sharer reveals about any particular event, what happened, how they feel, their degree of honesty, and so on, vary, depending on all kinds of factors, including why and how people meet, how much time they spend together, how much they like each other – and in which kind of way. If people were books, they would be a different book for each individual they formed a relationship with.

And that's how I want to make HayleyWorld. As a different experience for every reader, based on their individual interests and interactions with the app. This means that I need to break down each story/event in William Hayley's life into a "nugget" of information, write each significant nugget in tow or three ways, with varying levels of detail and emotional content, so that Hayley "tells you" the story in a way that's appropriate to how well you've got to know each other.

So, yes, readers will be asked to enter some information about themselves. Their journey through William Hayley's life and storyworld will be determined partly by their choices and partly by other triggers including chronological date, the amount of time they've spent in his company and what William Hayley "wants" to tell them about…

Making that work isn't going to be easy. There are certain aspects of the process – particularly ensuring that the various nuggets link up every which way into different, but equally satisfying, narratives – that will be exceptionally challenging

HayleyWorld will be built as an app for tablets and smartphones, using Padify, and – thanks to Michael Kowalski – with help from Contentment's team of developers.