Telling stories between realities

In an era when mixed reality (MR) technology is rapidly evolving, how should creators craft immersive and compelling stories?

MR merges the real and virtual worlds, creating immersive experiences that captivate audiences. To harness the full potential of MR, however, there is an urgent need for sophisticated tools that allow creators to design these compelling narratives seamlessly.

In their paper Authoring Tools for Mixed Reality*, LoGaCulture researchers Jack Brett and Charlie Hargood (Bournemouth University, UK) delve into the best practices for developing these authoring tools, drawing insights from a comprehensive review of literature across games, interactive digital narratives, and extended reality installations. By integrating these diverse fields, their research aims to build a comprehensive framework that guides the creation of effective MR storytelling tools — essential for making the complex process of MR storytelling accessible to a broader range of creators, ensuring that the medium’s unique affordances and challenges are effectively addressed.

The importance of this study lies in its detailed analysis and synthesis of current authoring tools, identifying their strengths and weaknesses — e.g., it evaluates how different tools help creators overcome technical barriers and prioritise accessibility, ensuring even those with minimal technical skills can produce high-quality MR content.

The study’s findings pave the way for developing specialised authoring tools tailored for heritage sites and museums, enabling these cultural institutions to offer engaging, interactive experiences to visitors. By understanding and addressing the specific needs and preferences of MR users, Drs Brett and Hargood’s research promises to revolutionise how we create and experience stories, blending the physical and digital worlds in novel and captivating ways.

As with all of LoGaCulture’s work, this research is not just about improving technology — it’s about enriching the way we tell and experience stories on and about our shared cultural heritage, making them more immersive, interactive, and accessible to everyone.

*Full article details: Jack Brett and Charlie Hargood (2023) Authoring Tools for Mixed Reality. HT ’23: Proceedings of the 34th ACM Conference on Hypertext and Social Media.