The Future of Storytelling- Chapter 6: Location Based Storytelling & Augmented Realities- Part 2

Chapter 6: Location Based Storytelling & Augmented Realities with guest lecturer, Michael Straeubig, continued…

Unit 2- Where does LBG come from?

LBG comes from games like Geocaching, where you find treasures in your environment. Origins of Geocaching comes from the popular children outdoor game- Scavenger Hunt- where children follow hints, clues, maps and riddles to find their way from one place to another, to a hidden secret treasure. The only difference now, is that you use electronic means.

So you can define Geocaching as – “Scavenger hunt using GPS data and mobile devises to locate hidden treasures or a challenge to be solved”

Unit 3 – Digging Deeper – Narrative Design and Game Mechanics

Story and plot type of the game- Secret City:

Analyze- Intro video gives us a lean back story exposition and insight inside our ordinary world. You get a message from a friend in need of help.


The adventure starts as you cross a threshold of no return, into a special world, on a heroes journey into the secrets of Secret City- looking for an object of desire, which in the game is your friend, who is the protagonist in the game, who has asked you for your help.




The mechanics of this game and the given dialogue choices resembles those of a classic adventure game. As you advance in the game, you start finding clues, collecting inventories which are provided via augmented realities, which might be useful for you to use later on during the game.

Unit 4 – How to create a Location-Based Game or Story?

Challenges in creating a location-based story or game?


  • One of the challenges faced, is by deciding if you want your LBG to be site specific- which means you can tell your story only at one place. This can make the story better because you can incorporate the story in a deeper level than if you make a location-based story which can be played at different location
  • Specific site location can also be a problem- because it will mean that your story can only be played in one destination which might limit your audience and number of fans

Weather Condition

  • Nobody wants to play in the rain
  • If it gets too long, it becomes tiresome and boring
  • Environmental relationships to your game. If you incorporate the environment into your game and it changes, your game breaks because something has changed. The environment is constantly changing and you have to deal with that when designing your game
  • Think of interesting places that have lots of energy and interesting historical structures in the cities that will give your story character


  • Give options in the game to foresee location entry problems


  • You have to decide if the game should  be restricted to one type of device or optional devices e.g. Android or IOS? This decision can decrease or increase possible experiences to those who have access to these devices


Classic adventure genre is used as a “Structure” and “Rule Giving Foundation” for this particular LBG- Secret City.

KEEP IT SIMPLE! This is important when designing a location-based or any new media experience.

The future of storytelling is now! We just have to take advantage of the different possibilities available to build new kinds of stories


“Keeping it simple” when creating location-based games or stories means that you have to find a good balance between innovative and well-known story elements/structures and technologies used.

References on LGB talked about in Chapter 6 of this course, in Unit 2:

If you want to dig deeper and read:

Benford, S., Magerkurth, C., & Ljungstrand, P. (2005). Bridging the physical and digital in pervasive gaming. Communications of the ACM, 48(3), 54.

Montola, Markus. (2013). On the Edge of the Magic Circle. Understanding Role-Playing and Pervasive Games. University of Tampere.

Walz, Steffen P. (2010). Toward a Ludic Architecture. The Space of Play and Games. Pittsburgh, PA: ETC Press / Carnegie Mellon University.

If like me you had never heard of “Location Based Games” or “Geo-caching” or “Augmented Realities”, now you know. It was really an interesting chapter and I had to keep re-winding to fully grasp this new knowledge. I am much wiser now in my old age! I look forward to implementing these principles in the  social innovation solution design that I am embarking on (another story for another day-soon!)

picture credits: screen shots from the future of storytelling course page

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