jeudi 4 octobre 2012

ALT-Minds - new French Transmedia project

The collaboration of Lexis Numérique (creator of In Memoriam) and the European telecommunications giant Orange has given birth to an exciting new Transmedia project, Alt-Minds. The project is scheduled to launch on November 5th simultaneously on the Internet tablets, social networks, as well as in the real world.  Baptised a total fiction by Eric Viennot (Co-founder of Lexis Numérique) , Alt-Minds is a paranormal thriller that combines the world of web fiction with investigative gameplay.

Wanting to know more about this long-awaited project I interviewed Morgan Bouchet, VP Transmedia & Social Media at Orange "Transmedialab"
l'interview concernant Alt-Minds


Interview with Morgan Bouchet, Orange

 1. What differentiates Alt-Minds from other Transmedia projects?

Most of the Transmedia projects which exist in France and in Europe are series, web documentaries, but rarely games. Alt Minds is a game that gets closer to the world of web series (4 hours of videos and web series) and  this is why Alt Minds is different. We know that the playful aspect has an important role to play in a multiplatform project as we have seen in previous projects (Fanfan 2, Detective Avenue and The Prodigies). Today we wish to complete the  cycle with a new kind of  Game.

2. What platforms do you use? 
Alt-Minds uses many supports.  It goes from smartmobiles,  tablets, to PC and Mac. Depending on various moments of the game the tablet, the PC or the mobile will be more or less used . However, the tablet is at the heart of Alt-Minds.
Regarding the video content, we use a platform which is close to that of Orange: Dailymotion. It  allows us on the one hand  to address various countries who are involved in the project (all of Europe) and on the other hand to lean on its technical structure.

3. What is your business model?
We use mainly the game economics and advertising. 
The first economic strategy: game economics.
The game lasts 10 weeks. The complete season costs  less than 20 euros. The first chapter which lasts 15 days is free and then the access to the next ones is charged between 2 and 3 euros by chapter. The cost is therefore affordable.
 Moreover, players can access additional paying premiums.
The second economic strategy is advertising on the Webseries videos that accompany the game on Dailymotion with the same weekly frequency of 10 weeks. It is free for the audience.

4. You have produced this project with Lexis Numérique. How did you share the responsibilities ? 
We went into coproduction with Lexis Numérique whose main activity is the game’s creation. Lexis is in charge of the executive coproduction (scenario, game design, production of content).
And Orange is more  of a technological partner. We brought in technology and our expertise in transmedia, the topic that we‘ve been considering since 2009.

5. Orange sponsors  The Transmédia Lab and makes a commitment to the creation of the transmedia projects. You manage the Transmedia and SocialMedia team. What is the ambition of Orange in the field of transmedia and precisely: what is your commitment to the creation of multiplatform projects? 
Our short-term goal is to test, to learn and to understand through experiments with Orange technology and solutions through our project tests (API of Player, Geolocalisation, SMS, solutions for Social TV), longer down the line we will study the possibility of industrializing these tools bound for the creators, TV networks, media...
Concerning our commitment to the multiplatform projects, the Orange Content Management also accompanies the creation of innovative formats through two funds: the SACD and the Beaumarchais organization which allows to reward about ten projects a year.

6. Let's now talk about the user’s point of view. Could you describe in a few words the different stages of this search which began at The University of Belgrade during the mysterious disappearance of scientists?
As a user, starting in mid October I saw some very weird but funny  videos air in my network of friends. These allowed me to obtain information about the missing researchers and to recruit players (it is an Alt-Minds project which begins at the interactive level).
At the beginning of November, I discovered another level of information: find 5 missing researchers. The Foundation which finances their research on paranormal subjects decided to hire a team of  investigators to track them down. The Internet users were brought in  to help the foundation.
I could also be brought to ask my close friends to accompany me in this adventure. The investigation will have a week to week frequency. I will get the clues which will allow me to advance to the next step at the end of the week.

7. Today there are 2 active protagonists on Facebook: a photographer named Peter Edgarson, who is in Paris at the moment and Laurence Spencer who announced the search for her friend Sofia Milleva. Where can I find other information about the investigation? Is there a dedicated blog or other profiles on Facebook? 
I do not want to give away everything, but there are various entrances that have already been set up in order to enter the Alt-Minds universe. Forums are being created. There are communities which have already seized the game. All the information on the characters and the various elements of the investigation will be revealed during the course of the game. But already today, we can begin to find some of the clues by tracking Alt-Minds play on our PC  as well as certain people’s Facebook pages.

8. If I imagine myself as a casual gamer, much of a web series fan; how can I participate in the Alt-Minds adventures ?
If I am a casual gamer, as I am,  I can track a game either with the same frequency as the other players, or recorded, every week, by using the application on the tablet. This application is developed like new fluids on Facebook and allows me to track the news of the week in a fast way, by unwinding days. 
Since I’m a bit lazy and I don't  have that much time to search for the clues daily, some options will help me to accelerate certain missions and thanks to this to follow and to move forward with the same frequency as the others but spending less time.
Additionally, I have the video dimension, which is much more casual and which, this way, can allow me to understand the progress of the game weekly without forcing to play 1 hour per day.
There will also be casual games on mobiles and on Facebook that have easy access for entering the Alt-Minds universe. 

9. If I am an avid fan, what do you have in store for me ? 
Eric Viennot, the author of the game, attached a lot of importance to giving meaning to the game and going all the way for avid players. He has embellished the Alt-Minds universe in such a way in order to satisfy the most dedicated players.

10. The web fiction is available in four languages (French, English, German and Spanish). How can the players living abroad participate in Alt-Minds?
Each task was thought out in a way to be accessible from any one of the European countries, as much in terms language and in terms of enigmas. However, Alt-Minds is available only in Europe.

11. Are you planning on launching Alt-Minds in America? 
We hope to do so in 2013. We’re waiting to see the outcome in Europe, and if it is a success, we can export it to  the rest of the world.

12. Can players from abroad access your site www. 
Completely. There will be a localized site of in various European countries. We have also planned some enigma abroad which will require geo-localization.

13. How do you feel just one month before the launch of the  project ?
I’m feeling very good about it.  We are at the final stages of finishing the project. We are in contact with media and bloggers who are very interested in this kind of game.
It's interesting to see a real craze for the project because it is a new kind of the game inspired by In Memoriam. In terms of creativity, we flirt with the playground of people who create editorial content and individual series in video. It is interesting to see that the transmedia is a combination of game and technology with the world of fiction.

Realised by Urszula Gleisner     Translated by Rebecca Levin