Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Leonard Balsera

#Writing Can Be All #Fun & #Games . . .


storium - online storytelling game Anyone who’s been following this blog should be able to tell that the title of this post must have an interpretation beyond those words’ surface meanings

Those who may be reading one of my posts for the first time may wonder about my mental condition since writing can often be anything but fun and games

So, I must quickly reference a past post—Storium — The Online Storytelling Game.

When I wrote that post, nearly two years ago, Storium was still in Beta and looking for support on Kickstarter.

Recently, Storium opened up to the public.

Even though it’s evolution over two years has turned it into an even better storytelling medium, my descriptions from that past post are good enough to let you know enough to, perhaps, go check it out:

“Have you ever played a game and had it turn into a story? 

“Have you ever read a story and felt like it was a game?

“How about playing a game that actually helps you and few other folks write a story?”

O.K., there’s the basic concept

Then, I went back into my blogging history concerning storytelling and games:

I’ve blogged before about how stories and games can interact:

The Fiction Game

“Is fiction just a game authors play with readers?”

Writing & Games ~ Sometimes It’s Hard To Tell Which Is Which…

“…when you’re writing, it can sometimes seem like you’re in a game with your characters and you’re not sure who’s going to win…”

Games for Writers ( or, really, anyone :-)

“If you want to write your best you need to be your best; and, if well-selected games can help you be your best, what are you waiting for?”

Then, there was their own description of Storium:

“Storium is a new kind of online game where you and your friends tell any story you can imagine, together.”

“Stories are part of what makes us human.”

“They’re all around us, from books and movies to TV and video games.”

“Experiencing a good story can be one of life’s great pleasures. But telling your own can be even more fun!”

“Storium uses familiar game concepts inspired by card games, role-playing games, video games, and more.”

“In each Storium game, one player is the narrator [though, now, the narrator role can rotate amongst the players], and everyone else takes on the role of a character in the story.”

“The narrator creates dramatic challenges for the other players to overcome.”

“In doing so, they move the story forward in a new direction.”

“Everyone gets their turn at telling the story.”

And, I must include their Bullet Points:

“What makes Storium special?

* Total freedom: You decide what happens in your story.
* Multiplayer: Write and play with your friends, online.
*Asynchronous: Play at your own pace.
*Worlds: Pre-made playsets that help you tell stories in different settings and styles. [or, make your own World…]
*Something for everyone: You can tell any kind of story you want!”

Then, there’s the actual story that I and a few friends wrote with Storium

We all had real life interfere with the game so it does end abruptly :-)

Storium is free (with paid upgrades available), it’s fun, and it just might turn you into a writer (or, if you’ve already jumped off the cliff, make you a better writer…)

“The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.”

~ Muriel Rukeyser

And, here’s the Team behind Storium.

Now, a video to Show & Tell :-)

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Helping Youth Write Stories Through A Game :-)


“OH, My! Storytelling is much too serious to be taught through games!” Storium

That last sentence is from a character I created, in a story I might write, who has overblown ideas about the “sanctity” of stories…

Certainly, storytelling is Important; but, if a game can help youth learn the subtleties of telling a story, Bring On The Game!

I’ve written before about Storium—“It turns creative writing into a multiplayer game and lets you tell any story that you can imagine.”

If you want to try playing Storium <— take that link :-)

I’ve been playing a game in Storium—writing a story in Storium—with two friendswriter and publisher, Ali Noel Vyain, and author Jane Watson.

Storium is still in Beta and very soon to be in Gamma—fully-developed—with hundreds of pre-sturctured story-games to play-tell; and, fully customizable to play-tell whatever you and your friends can imagine…

And, most-excitedly, they are in beta-testing with a version for youth—Storium for Schools.

From a recent email update from the Storium Team:

“ENnie and Origin Award-winning game designer Leonard Balsera has joined our team as project manager for Storium for Schools. As one of the designers of Evil Hat Productions’ popular and respected Fate roleplaying system, Lenny has seen first-hand the power of games to inspire players of all ages, including those in the classroom. He’s passionate about Storium’s educational potential. In fact, it was Lenny who convinced us to “go for it” and make education one of our areas of focus.”

“Under Lenny’s guidance, we’ve just completed our first official trial of Storium in the classroom! Nearly 100 students at Manor New Technology High School (located just outside Austin, Texas) recently played Storium as a part of their sophomore World Civilizations class. Through gameplay and storytelling they internalized and demonstrated what they had learned about ancient river valley cultures.”

Check out what the youth who played-wrote have to say :-)


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Storium — The Online Storytelling Game


Have you ever played a game and had it turn into a story? Storium

Have you ever read a story and felt like it was a game?

How about playing a game that actually helps you and few other folks write a story?

I’ve blogged before about how stories and games can interact:

The Fiction Game

Is fiction just a game authors play with readers?”

Writing & Games ~ Sometimes It’s Hard To Tell Which Is Which…

when you’re writing, it can sometimes seem like you’re in a game with your characters and you’re not sure who’s going to win…”

Games for Writers ( or, really, anyone :-)

If you want to write your best you need to be your best; and, if well-selected games can help you be your best, what are you waiting for?”

Now, I’ll introduce you to a new online storytelling game—STORIUM.

The game is still being Kickstarted but they do have a Beta version you can play with ( I just donated $10 and have access to the Beta :-)

From the site:

“Storium is a new kind of online game where you and your friends tell any story you can imagine, together.”

“Stories are part of what makes us human.”

“They’re all around us, from books and movies to TV and video games.”

“Experiencing a good story can be one of life’s great pleasures. But telling your own can be even more fun!”

“Storium uses familiar game concepts inspired by card games, role-playing games, video games, and more.”

“In each Storium game, one player is the narrator, and everyone else takes on the role of a character in the story.”

“The narrator creates dramatic challenges for the other players to overcome.”

“In doing so, they move the story forward in a new direction.”

“Everyone gets their turn at telling the story.”

“What makes Storium special?

  • Total freedom: You decide what happens in your story.
  • Multiplayer: Write and play with your friends, online.
  • Asynchronous: Play at your own pace.
  • Worlds: Pre-made playsets that help you tell stories in different settings and styles.
  • Something for everyone: You can tell any kind of story you want!”

They have two videos on the site:

First, one of the creators telling you about the background of Storium and what their Kickstarter Project is for.

And, one showing you the basics of how a game of storytelling works.

If you’re already a writer, this game could help you relax any tensions you might have about how writing “works” and even inspire new ways to create your own stories.

If you been toying with the idea of becoming a writer, this game could become your “basic training” :-)

“The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.”

~ Muriel Rukeyser

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