The StoryPlaces Platform
Proceedings of the 29th on Hypertext and Social Media - HT '18
Locative narrative systems have been a popular area of research for nearly two decades, but they are often bespoke systems, developed for particular deployments, or to demonstrate novel technologies. This has meant that they are shortlived, the narratives have been constructed by the creators of the system, and that the barrier to creating locative experiences has remained high due to a lack of common tools. We set out to create a platform based on the commonalities of these historic systems,
... th a focus on hypertext structure, and designed to enable locative based narratives to be created, deployed, and experienced in-the-wild. The result is StoryPlaces, an open source locative hypertext platform and authoring tool designed around a sculptural hypertext engine and built with existing Web technologies. As well as providing an open platform for future development, StoryPlaces also o ers novelty in its management of location, including the separation of location and nodes, of descriptions from locations, and of content from pages, as well as being designed to have run-time caching and disconnection resilience. It also advances the state of the art in sculptural hypertext systems delivery through conditional functions, and nested, geographic and temporal conditions. The StoryPlaces platform has been used for the public deployment of over twenty locative narratives, and demonstrates the e ectiveness of a general platform for delivering complex locative narrative experiences. In this paper we describe the process of creating the platform and our insights on the design of locative hypertext platforms.