Episode also makes it nearly as simple to write one’s own story. A straightforward scripting engine is available on the website, with a drag and drop creation mode in the application. Without any prior knowledge, it does not take very long to create a story with the potential to generate money in addition to accolades through the writer payments program. Cass Phillipps, director and inventive manager at Pocket Gems, says there exists a small team of internal writers, in addition to a vast community creating their own content. “I do more work with the community writers having said that i do some assist our internal writers as well,” she explains.
Phillipps joined Pocket Gems about six years back as being a game writer. She got involved with Episode Choose Your Story Free Passes when there was just about five people around the team — a far cry from the 80-person team these days. Now director of stories, she helps lead and guide the themes for those future stories.
Phillipps states that the plan all along would be to build tools that might be used by the team along with the community, with Episode always driven by the need for a strong social presence. She regularly works on how better to increase the scripting tools, how she and Episode may help the community write better, as well as liaising using the player experience teams.
“[At launch] we wanted to make certain our tools could be turned on for your community [concurrently],” she notes. “Using a platform for a community of writers has long been our vision. We believe a lot of writers and creators in general are out there.”
The thinking was to be able to give them a place to inform their story. Alongside that are many internally-led stories, along with established familiar names like stories centering around singer Demi Lovato. New IPs are set to carry on throughout 2017, although Phillipps wasn’t capable of confirm any sort of names yet.
In each case, internal stories are made in a similar method to any kind of game developments. “It makes sense the essential notion of pitching sessions in-house,” Phillipps says. “Anyone can include a pitch, and they’re fleshed out slightly [prior to going through a process] we call a ‘life through’…We simply explore the history a bit for about four hours and find out when it has legs…if it features a spot to go.”
Split up into numerous stages like script writing, iterating, deciding choices, and so on, the history then undergoes internal qualitative testing, and after that external quantitative testing. The procedure may take between half a year to some year for a finished product.
As Phillipps explains, it’s “simple to learn” but it’s also currently quite difficult to master. “I just think it’s a touch too hard to master, so I’m looking at approaches to improve it,” she says. Fundamentally though, getting characters on screen, and obtaining fzjnpm talking is a reasonably basic process. “Our goal is always to keep it that easy and to really make it easier and easier.”
That level of ease has ensured Episode’s success. Over 5 million creators use the platform to varying amounts. “Some are simply making small stories they show to friends,” Phillipps highlights, but there’s also a lot of cash to be made through the service.
That’s not the reasons people start writing though. Phillipps found through numerous user calls the community aspect is usually what draws players to become content creators — achieving some fame and popularity online being a big appeal.