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Beware Madame la Guillotine
In my last post, I wrote about how I found the voice of Time Traveler Tours thanks to a perceived failure. But the learning did not end there. Not by a long shot. It took another misstep en route to preparing our newest title, IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF GIANTS, to make us realize we had not yet cracked the code as to who our characters should be, and what stories they should tell.
It was another lesson learned by trial and error on our way to developing our mission and vision for Time Traveler Tours & Tales...
Did I ever tell you the story about how I met Charlotte Corday? How she came to be the narrator for Time Traveler Tours’ first title: Beware Madame la Guillotine?
Did we ever disclose how Mary Hoffman came to choose Michelangelo as her guide for In the Footsteps of Giants when she thought that job would fall to the model that stood for the David?
These stories are core to our burgeoning media company for they form the foundation of our model and Voice. They also both stem from potential failures that – were it not for our tenacious spirit and a willingness to pivot – resulted in twin successes.
Today I am thrilled to begin pulling back the curtain on the making of our launch StoryApp: In the Footsteps of Giants.
The nexus of the project, and the most important element of all, is the story. So this is where we began. And as we close out the first month of a new year, I am happy to say that we're closing in on a working manuscript.
But the road traveled thus far is not been straight. Is it ever?
You never know what’s going to happen when you give yourself over to the creative process, no matter the medium of expression. You conceive of an idea. You pitch it to an agent or editor, who takes it to a publisher or producer; or you take it directly to the crowd. And they say, “Sure! Let’s make that.” At which point you do a happy dance. Maybe celebrate with your friends.
Last Friday, Mary Hoffman and I met up in London for a good old-fashioned brainstorming session. Our Kickstarter campaign now successfully funded and our much deserved holiday breaks behind us, it was time to crack on with our collaboration: In the Footsteps of Giants.
As with most creative endeavors, the way forward seemed smooth sailing at the outset. But once Mary waded into the breaking tides of the writing process, the route we’d planned proved un- navigable; her intended narrator an inadequate guide. We needed to chart a new course, together.
Our ensuing discussion, which focused on questions of genre and voice, forced us to examine the heart and soul of our mission to Turn History On. It compelled us to ask,
We couldn’t very well write about Assassin’s Creed without diving into the world and getting to know it ourselves. So Caitlin and I met up during my last visit to Paris to time travel together to Renaissance Rome.
We went there via Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood. It was a grand outing, indeed, as you'll see from the video left!
We weren’t able to do Unity this trip because it’s not yet available for play on a Mac. Now, we know some will take issue with our playing the game on a computer. But you gotta do what you gotta do. And the tools we had available to us were a Mac and Brotherhood.
Off we went to the world of the Renaissance. But Tock the dog had some objections. She thought we were wasting our time when we could be doing something educational. She wanted to shield us from the objectification of women in video games.
So we took her with us, and even she was left speechless.
She still thinks Ubisoft left out the most obvious assassin: Charlotte Corday. And we quite agree.
But at least she’s reassured that Beware Madame La Guillotine makes a great educational complement to the latest Assassin’s Creed world: Unity.
Do I hear possible holiday gift combo?
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