BattleKasters

Transmedia: BattleKasters

Transmedia Storyverse Content and Mobile Game Production

BattleKasters is a spell-casting adventure, launched in spring of 2015 at fancons across the U.S. The downloadable mobile game, an extension of Adams’ Norse mythology-based Legends of Orkney™ book series, turns live events into dynamic game boards, allowing questing players to collect digital trading cards and cast magic spells that literally change the state of the game for everyone playing.

Nicole Hansen of Green Galaxy Pictures executive produced the mobile game, bringing together Alane Adams Studios and longtime collaborator Brent Friedman and Artifact Technologies as co-creators of the app.

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BattleKasters Interview with Alane Adams and Halo Game Designer Brent Friedman – by Nathan Stevens

 “A  mutual friend, Nicole Hansen, introduced me to Alane to discuss creating a mobile game for her Legends of Orkney book series. Originally, the idea was just to build a mobile transmedia extension of the book property.”


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BattleKasters Partnership-Advisory Board: Facilitated by Green Galaxy’s Nicole Hansen

Artifact Technologies and Alane Adams Announce BattleKasters

Fantasy Illustrator Dave Dorman Creates Original Art to Promote Dynamic Spell-Casting Game for Adams’ Legends of Orkney™ Adventure Series

Orange, CA and Seattle, WA — March 24, 2015Today, Brent Friedman, founder of Artifact Technologies and Alane Adams, founder of Alane Adams Studios announced BattleKasters, a spell-casting adventure launching this spring at fancons across the U.S. The downloadable mobile game, an extension of Adams’ Norse mythology-based Legends of Orkney™ book series, turns live events into dynamic game boards, allowing questing players to collect digital trading cards and cast magic spells that literally change the state of the game for everyone playing. Fantasy illustrator Dave Dorman, best known for his Star Wars artwork, is creating original art for BattleKasters, which players of the game can win.

BattleKasters leverages Artifact Technologies’ proprietary Mixby™ platform, which uses location-aware technology to unlock rich experiences for users within range of specific hotspots where content can be acquired. For players of BattleKasters, that means discovering an array of interactive quests throughout event spaces such as fancons and other gathering places. Players who download the game are challenged to a race against time to cast the spells that will close a portal – the stonefire –between realms to prevent dangerous dark magic from seeping into the Earth realm.

“The emergence of location-based technology opens up entirely new opportunities for gaming and interactive storytelling,” said Brent Friedman, BattleKasters Lead Game Designer and Co-founder of Artifact Technologies. “We’re excited to work with a forward-thinking author like Alane, who sees the potential this platform represents to fans of her books and mobile gaming in general.”

Friedman created, wrote & produced across all transmedia platforms: working with all the major movie studios and networks, he wrote on shows such as “Dark Skies”  “Star Trek: Enterprise”  “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” and the feature film “Mortal Kombat Annihilation,” which opened #1 at the US box office. Friedman founded Electric Farm Entertainment, a leading digital media company, where he created and produced four award-winning multi-platform web series, working with a range of brand partners including Sony and NBC to Microsoft and Kodak. Additionally, he has written on several high profile video games such as “Halo 4,” “Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars,” “Tales from The Borderlands” and “Empires & Allies.”

“As a storyteller, my challenge is to deliver experiences that will trigger people’s imagination in new ways,” said Adams. “BattleKasters brings my Legends of Orkney series to life at fancons and provides an innovative and immersive experience for attendees.”

BattleKasters was created by Friedman, with illustrations from Lead Artist, Jonathan Stroh. To help guide the development of BattleKasters, Adams and Artifact have assembled an advisory board made up of experts in the fields of education, gaming, publishing and transmedia. The board includes:

  • Alane Adams, author, social entrepreneur, CEO of Alane Adams Studios and founder of the Rise Up Foundation, whose philanthropy efforts focus on organizations and initiatives that help families and children.
  • Gordon Bellamy, former exec director of IGDA, with two decades of experience and leadership in the interactive entertainment industry.
  • Peter Deutschman, Chief Buddy of digital engagement authority The Buddy Group, whose career has been at the convergence of marketing, storytelling and connected technology.
  • Brent Friedman, co-founder of Artifact Technologies, award-winning creator, writer and producer, with more than 25 years of experience in entertainment across all platforms.
  • Joe Heally, accomplished producer for projects ranging from independent films to cable and broadcast network programming.
  • Mitch Lusas, entrepreneurial, award-winning creative director and producer of apps, games, transmedia experiences, and scripted projects.
  • John Nee, CEO of Cryptozoic Entertainment, a premier developer and publisher of original and licensed board games, card games, comics and trading cards.
  • Pamela Rutledge, social scientist, educator and author focused on the intersection between behavior and technology.
  • Rob Salkowitz, writer, consultant, author of Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture, faculty at the University of Washington CommLead program and expert in digital media as it relates to business, culture and entertainment.

Nicole Hansen of Green Galaxy Enterprises facilitated the partnership between Artifact Technologies and Alane Adams Studios and secured Advisory Board members. She will Executive Produce the game along with Greg Heuss, CEO and Sam Teplitsky, COO of Artifact Technologies.

Fans can get a sneak preview of BattleKasters at fancons throughout 2015. Net proceeds from the art and Legends of Orkney™ series will go toward improving literacy. The first book of the series, The Red Sun, is available for pre-order at www.AlaneAdams.com. More updates on the release of BattleKasters can be found at www.BattleKasters.com.

About Alane Adams

(Wendy) Alane Adams is a social entrepreneur, philanthropist, professor and award-winning author. After retiring from a successful business career, Adams founded the Rise Up Foundation, which focuses on creating collaborations to empower people to make lasting changes in their lives with a special emphasis on improving literacy in children. A believer in the power of transmedia storytelling, Adams founded Alane Adams Studios to create more interactive, immersive experiences for readers of her books.

About Artifact Technologies

Artifact Technologies is a Seattle-based software development company specializing in location-based technologies.  A pioneer in content-rich beacon programming and integration, Artifact Technologies partners with major event organizers, attractions and entertainment and education industry leaders to build world-class experiences. The company’s proprietary Mixby™ platform connects the physical and mobile environments, driving deeper engagement and bringing more value to the audience experience.

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Published in ‘Produced By’ Magazine

Producing Green Soldiers to Lighten The Burden

produced-by-cover“At the very first Produced By Conference in 2009, I was surprised to see a panelist in a US Army uniform. Speaking on the topic of green productions, there was Dr. Kevin Geiss, then the head of the US Army’s Energy Security program. In his opening statement, Dr. Geiss mentioned that many of the American soldiers killed in Afghanistan and Iraq had died while guarding fuel convoys and not in combat. The news was dispiriting, but left me wondering what it had to do with green production…”

Read the full article (PDF) by Nicole Hansen in Produced By  (July-August 2014),
The Official Magazine of the Producers Guild of America


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The Burden

The Burden Fossil Fuel, The Military, and National Security

Reviews:

For Military, ‘No Alternative but Alternatives,’ New Documentary Shows

The Burden opens like a James Bond film.

A U.S. Air Force cargo plane flies over unidentified snow-covered mountains as packages slide out of the plane’s open cargo hold and parachute down thousands of feet onto the icy ground below. The music picks up; tight shots get tighter. It’s not clear what exactly is wrong – but you know that what you’re seeing isn’t right.

By Tucker Higgins

CleanEnergyWorksForUs


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Save It (PSA)

Save It, A Global Warming Message by a 10 Year Old

Poster with actor Dimitri Spiridakis

As 10-year-old Nikos Spiridakis watched his mom pumping gasoline, he listened to the methodical beeps that kept tempo with the gallons of fuel funneling into their sedan.  To him, the beeps resembled the sounds of a hospital EKG and he knew that every gallon burned was contributing to the death of our planet.  He shared an idea for a story, incorporating those sounds and images with his mom, and he insisted she couldn’t tell the idea to anyone unless they could help him get it shot.  She agreed, and immediately called producer Marshall Herskovitz.

Herskovitz (The Last Samurai, Blood Diamond) thought it was a great story for anyone, let alone a child, to have conceived, and he offered to executive produce. Nikos himself mentioned the idea to his godfather actor/director Tony Goldwyn (The Last Kiss, Dexter) who was so impressed, he offered to act in the spot and be his directing mentor.

Film director Gary Fleder (Runaway Jury, The Express) thought it was the kind of visual storytelling that showed Nikos was capable of directing even at age 10 and took on the role of Nikos’ directing consultant.  Nikos’ mother Nicole Hansen helped to put the entire project together and his brother Dimitri played the little boy.

Everyone from the cinematographer to the editor gave their time in the effort to help Nikos make his first “home movie,” since Nikos financed it all with a gift from his grandmother.

Nikos’ idea can have a real impact on the way people view the reality of global warming — a vision especially poignant coming from the mind of a dyslexic child, who tells his story with pictures more effectively than almost anyone could using words.

Nikos knew his future was in the hands of the older generations and believed that if the world could see his vision of our future, he could inspire us all to do our part and “Save It” for future generations. The video message Nikos envisioned soon became a 1Sky campaign and debuted as TakePart TV’s inaugural release for YouTube at #2 for non-profit videos. It ran on CNN and MSNBC during the 2008 Presidential Debates, and appears on the Weinstein Company’s 2009 DVD releases such as The Reader.

On Nikos:

“In a long career as a producer, I’ve hired over forty first-time directors, and have seen first-hand that the essence of film directing cannot be taught – a person either gets it or doesn’t, a person either understands how to think through a camera lens and understand how images will go together or doesn’t.  It was astonishing to me, though, to see that ability so fully established in someone as young as Nikos.  His ability to visualize carried him through every aspect of this process, from pre-production, to the day of filming, to the many long hours in the editing room.  He’s simply a born filmmaker.”  Marshall Herskovitz, Executive Producer, Save It  (credits include: Defiance, Blood Diamond, The Last Samurai, My So Called Life and Thirtysomething)

“The word prodigy is overused and, it seems to me, often misunderstood.  If you want a terrific example of a prodigy – a person with exceptional talents, particularly at such a young age – then take a look at Nikos.  He is a natural born filmmaker, and it’s our responsibility, I believe, to encourage him and nurture those talents. “ Gary Fleder, mentor (credits include: The Express, Runaway Jury, Life Unexpected,Kiss the Girls)


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