Once installed in a venue, Wander links multiple physical interactive stations and tracks visitors actions to provide them a personalized, always evolving Story.
Wander will turn visitors into adventurers, crossing the park in search of clues, rewards or surprises, talking with actors, interacting with props,..living a personalised adventure in an immersive themed environment.
Visitors can actively engage with the adventure and the environment, creating an emotional connection with it.
Wander is the first technology capable of industrializing the creation of interactive immersive experiences.
It follows the entire life of the product and facilitates the process: from the design phases to the application in the venue.
Wander allows attractions to:
- Intuitively design enough stories for multiple days of adventures, thousands of players at the same time and an evolving world. The user Interface has been created to be easy to master for a creative team, using classic design tools
- Deploy the content of all these stories on the hardware installed in the park
- Play the content of the adventures in the parks. This allows interactive stations plugged into the whole story with any type of interactivity (live actors, physical puzzles, shooting on a screen, motion tracking…)
- Keep logs of the actions of visitors, their special status, next adventures to discover, changes in the world, history of actions or elements of the world.
- Understand the behaviour of the visitors and improve the stories as well as create additional content.
Immersive experiences and activations have been a trend in our industry for the last 10 years. We believe the depth and complexity of the immersive experiences will keep evolving, allowing guests to change the whole environment, return and continue their adventures, interact with the attractions as well as with live actors, props, and every other element a themed venue can provide for a full immersion.
This raises the question of how to efficiently design these complex, intricate and ever evolving stories? And how to make sure that the venue is going to activate them as designed, follow each visitor’s stories, while keeping a cohesive ever evolving world?
The innovation of the Wander lies in the approach to the problem and the industrialisation of stories which until now had to be handcrafted.
Multiple activation and full scale LARP’s styled interaction have already been created for themed venues or brand representation. But all of those had been manually written, then played by actors who had to learn texts or clues to be able to follow the personal story of each visitor. This limits the scope of the adventures, of the world in which the visitors can interact, the impact possible on this world, the possibility to come back another day and continue his story, and so on…
Our approach has been to design a softwares’ suite as a support tool to create and activate the stories in the mind of designers and to avoid natural limitations. We have studied and adapted the tools and concepts used in the video game industry, as this industry has created massive multiplayer open world games for years.
We have then adapted that to the themed entertainment industry in order to provide tools which would respect the usual production process of an attraction, taking into account the physical limitations created by a themed venue, standardizing the software layers and communications to add any type of interactivity and adapting the content to match the usual visitors journey in a park and finally make sure the product would be profitable for the themed venue
The Wander uses a suite of software packages which are dedicated to each step of the product life cycle and profession in our industry.
Interactive Story Designer (ISD) is a software dedicated to create the interactive world: thanks to it the designers can list characters, locations, adventures, objects and variables which create the world. The user interface has been designed to be intuitive to use and avoid any technical knowledge prerequisites.The description of the world is stored in a database (called Stories Database) on a dedicated server allowing multiple designers to work at the same time with their own version of the software. It contains features to match the standard approach of designing an attraction: storyboards integration, a writing area to keep track of the backstories, and so on…One of the big strength of the ISD is that this software is able to replay the visitors’ adventures and get back the overall statistics. A useful tool to gain a better understanding on how the guests are using the adventures in order to improve the content.
The Implementation Manager is the next component which is used by the engineering team. In this tool they will configure the physical components.
For example when in the ISD a designer has created a character with whom the visitors can interact with, this is the place where the engineering team will describe if that character is a live actor, a media based character or an animatronic. This abstraction layer allows the designer to not worry about the technical specifications, while the engineering team and budgeting team can figure the best implementation at this stage. The engineers will as well provide details on the communication protocols, list of hardware and software per station in order to automatize the communication in the park. This communication has been standardized in order to be able to plug any interactive vendors hardware and software, not only the Alterface’s technology.
Once filled with these datas, the Implementation Manager will export files containing the logic for the whole world and at each interactive station. It will automatically filter and format the content from the Stories Database and technical description from the engineering team to describe files containing only the required information per station and a general file for the whole world.
The Interactive Story Player (ISP) is the software in charge of the interactivity in the themed venue. It is this software which will read the description of each adventure and will apply that logic in each station and for the whole world. The ISP softwares are on the main server and in each station. They will manage the logic of the stations to adjust the content depending on the visitors history and actions with the interactivity designed at this location. For example if a visitor talks to a character, the Character will play one cue or another depending on the past of the visitors. If the visitor choses to activate a magical artifact the Interactive Story Player will decide which cue the local Show Control has to play and will record that event in the Wander Database.
The Wander Database contains the history of each element of the world as well as each visitor’s actions and history. It can be accessed through a dedicated API, this is how the content will vary and the current status of each element as well as the logic of the world can be synchronized from every visitor’s actions.
Given a certain size of venue that amount of data is challenging (mainly the speed of access and modifications while interactivity requires fast access to data), this is why Alterface is partnering with EuraNova specialized in big data and AI solutions for a quick access.
This database can be accessed by the editor as well in order to reproduce the history of a visitor and to better understand how the stories are used, as well as whether the users retention lowers at a precise point. It can be used to gather general datas as well (for example, how many % of visitors started a precise adventure)
Wander Backend is the tool used by the maintenance team of the park while the attraction is running. It allows to know when some required objects are in limited access (for example if an object needs to be moved to a precise location for story points reasons, or if an adventure starts on the distribution of anonymous letters and the location has a low stock of these letters).
It can be used as well to close adventures in some area of the venue (for example in case of a show, or if an attraction is down).
Finally this is where the whole Adventure system can be plugged to external systems such as Virtual Queuelines systems.