Episode also causes it to be nearly as simple to write one’s own story. A straightforward scripting engine is available online, with a drag and drop creation mode in the application. With no 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 creative manager at Pocket Gems, says there exists a small team of internal writers, as well as a vast community creating their own content. “I do more work with the community writers but I carry out some work with our internal writers also,” she explains.
Phillipps joined Pocket Gems about six years ago as a game writer. She got included in Episode Free Passes when there were no more than five people on the team — a far cry from your 80-person team nowadays. Now director of stories, she helps lead and guide the themes for many future stories.
Phillipps says that the plan all along ended up being to build tools that might be employed by the group as well as the community, with Episode always driven by the need for a solid social presence. She regularly works regarding how best to enhance the scripting tools, how she and Episode may help the neighborhood write better, as well as liaising with all the player experience teams.
“[At launch] we wanted to make sure our tools will be turned on for our community [simultaneously],” she notes. “Possessing a platform for a community of writers has long been our vision. We believe so many writers and creators generally are available.”
The thinking was so that you can give them a place to share with their story. Alongside that are several internally-led stories, as well as established familiar names including stories centering around singer Demi Lovato. New IPs are positioned to carry on throughout 2017, although Phillipps wasn’t capable of confirm any specific names yet.
In each case, internal stories are made within a similar method to any type of game developments. “It follows the essential idea of pitching sessions in-house,” Phillipps says. “Anybody can come with a pitch, and they’re fleshed out a bit [prior to going through a process] we call a ‘life through’…We merely explore the tale a little bit for approximately four hours and see when it has legs…if it features a location to go.”
Split up into numerous stages including script writing, iterating, deciding choices, and the like, the story then undergoes internal qualitative testing, and then external quantitative testing. The process can take from 6 months to a year for a finished product.
As Phillipps explains, it’s “very easy to learn” but it’s also currently quite tough to master. “I actually think it’s a touch too hard to master, so I’m taking a look 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 to remember to keep it that simple and to really make it easier and simpler.”
That level of ease has ensured Episode’s success. Over 5 million creators make use of the platform to varying amounts. “Some are simply making small stories they present to friends,” Phillipps points out, but there’s also a lot of cash to become made through the service.
That’s not why many people start writing though. Phillipps finds through numerous user calls the community aspect is often what draws players to be content creators — achieving some fame and popularity online as being a big appeal.