How do I create a story for my Explorama digital journey?

Why add story-telling to your digital journey?

Whether your objective is to promote local heritage (nature, tangible, intangible or built cultural heritage) and / or to raise awareness of a cause, your best tools to interest your visitors will be games and history.

The importance of the game in the course

Explorama designed the studio with the objective of building playful digital routes but also treasure hunts on local heritage thanks to the addition of games in the missions. A game having the characteristic of being an entertaining activity, it makes it easier to engage the audience in the activity. The player learns more about what he has discovered, progresses and becomes a true explorer and ambassador of his territory!

Many territories and destinations are betting on digital technology and gamification as tools for enhancing cultural, architectural and natural heritage.

It is an effective approach at all stages of the decision-making process:

  • before the experience: make people dream, promote the territory, make people want to go and discover it
  • during the experience: create positive emotions, sharing, memories in connection with this territory
  • after the experience: re-address more easily, build loyalty, make inhabitants ambassadors of their territory

History, a tool promoting immersion in the course

In addition to the game elements, imagining a story around a digital journey of discovery makes it possible to add a part of escape to the harsh reality. The audience will then immerse themselves in a universe and potentially identify with the main character. Allowing a better understanding of the objective, the story thus facilitates public involvement.

“You tell me, I forget. You teach me, I remember. You involve me, I learn. ”

Benjamin Franklin

“what is your story?” royalty free image Unsplash

What are the steps in creating a scenario?

Information research phase:

1.Define the objective of this treasure hunt: raise awareness, promote, educate, engage, preserve

2.Collecting elements:

  • Identification of the places of the treasure hunt: forest, city, building, room, mountain, etc.
  • List anecdotes, events or key people of the place
  • Inventory of points of interest and objects to find: relic, work of art, fauna, flora, jewel, decorative object, place …
  • Find links between these points of interest: events, eras, characters, their function …

3.Decide on the target of the game:

  • families, young people, children … who de facto provide information on the level of difficulty of the game
  • Depending on the target, identify which player profile you want to target:

-The killer thirsty for competition

-the explorer who wishes to discover

-the socializer who seeks to share memories …

Table presenting the 4 types of player profiles on the site
source :

4.Decide on the setting of the game

  • The duration
  • The starting point of the course / game
  • The end point of the course / game

Scenario foundation phase:

1.Define the style of the scenario:

  • Action : The scenario will include quite a few fights and chases.
  • Adventure: The scenario will revolve around the exploration and organization of these explorations.
  • Mystery: The scenario will be of the investigation type and its objective will be to make discoveries. The organizational aspect will also be important.

2. Imagine a theme :

Two types of possible themes: The structural and conceptual theme

Structural: very general idea of ​​a scenario

  • The quest : It is a question of accomplishing a precise objective: to find a person, an object, to foil a conspiracy or to accomplish a mission.
  • The central character : The scenario revolves around a character whose Machiavellian plans generally have to be thwarted.
  • Travel and exploration : The gist of the story is to discover an unknown place.
  • Everyday life : For simulationists. The idea is that the scenario allows you to immerse yourself in your character and in the game world.

Conceptual theme: short statement or a “philosophical” question that will guide the scenario.

Example: love, war, ecology, good and evil, life and death, mythology, corruption, fatality, courage, heroism, justice, apocalypse

3.The overall scenario:

  • Answer the question: Who, what, where, when, how, why?
  • Act 1: Introduce and establish the context

-Imagine a first scene / an event marking the beginning of the plot
-Present characters in a universe. The goal is to arouse the interest of the viewer.
– Introduce conflicts, the disruptive element.

  • Act 2: pose obstacles and trials

– Determine the narrative arcs of the characters

– Evolve the characters to solve the problem.

-Make a series of scenes illustrating the protagonists’ efforts to get out of the crisis: twists and turns

  • Act 3: Resolve and resolve conflicts

– Show the ultimate confrontation.
– Resolve intrigue and conflicts with a happy or unhappy outcome.

Source :

Character design phase

1.The players :

  • Give a role to your players: the main character, the sidekick of the main character
  • Explain the goal to your players

2.The protagonist (the player):


  • His personal story
  • His relationships with characters (family, friends, enemies, contacts, creditors, debtors)
  • Its status (position, prestige, degree of influence)
  • Its various qualities and defects
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3.The antagonist (the person (s) the player must fight against): optional

  • Define whether it is a group or a person
  • Give it a purpose:

-The power : the antagonist seeks power or absolute mastery in a domain

-The wealth : the antagonist wants to obtain material wealth, a unique object, or hidden knowledge.

-The conquest : the most common goal. It constitutes a threat to the greatest number.

The destruction : absolute annihilation. The antagonist can be helped by an army or his own powers. The target can be a country, an ideology.

  • Decide how he will achieve this goal.

Economical method: It consists in disrupting the trade of his enemy, destroying sources of wealth, stealing and looting.

Force brute : The easiest to use, the most obvious and the least discreet.

Ruse: Also widely used, by an “intellectual” antagonist or with social skills.

Intimidation : Use of threats. The antagonist may or may not bluff about carrying out his threats.

Inclusion phase of the clues in the plot

-hair, fingernail or skin tips.

-In addition to their nature, their presence, their location (on the victim, in the background) or their absence can provide information.

-Objects (having been used before, during or after the murder)

– absence or suspicious movement of an object, traces (footsteps, tire, dragged body, break-in, use of a ladder, etc.)

-inorganic residues (earth, sand) on the victim or in the scenery.

DNA, fingerprints, cleaned blood stains, chemical traces (powder, drugs, medicine or poison).

  • Signature : Common among serial killers. It is the staging of their crime with, for example, the presence of an identical object or brand.

Sources :

2 roadmaps to build the story

Hollywood screenwriter Blake Snyder’s roadmap

Blake Snyder’s roadmap for scenario design
source :
  1. Opening Image. Opening image. From the first minutes, the film must give us the tone, the atmosphere, the genre
  2. Theme Stated. Main theme. The screenwriter must then place the theme, the message of his story
  3. Set-up. Setting up the elements: context, scenery, characters before launching the action
  4. Catalyst. Triggering incident.
  5. Debate. Call to action.
  6. Break into 2. Passage to act 2A. It is the point of no return, the hero switches into the story, the action, the act 2.
  7. B story. Secondary plot. In order to keep the audience’s attention, the screenwriter engages the subplot
  8. Fun & Games. Humor & Peripéties. The action and the plot are revived by situations, encounters
  9. Midpoint. Passage to act 2B. It is also called the median climax. Blake Snyder defines it as the false victory. The hero thinks he has triumphed over his opponent, but he is wrong.
  10. Bad Guys Close in. The bad guys are coming back. It is then that the opposing forces combine to counter the hero one last time.
  11. All is Lost. The hero thinks he has failed.
  12. Dark Night of the Soul. The hero having fallen to the lowest, he can only rise again. He walks towards the light in the midst of darkness.
  13. Break intro 3. Passage to act 3. The hero finally finds the solution
  14. Finale. Climax. The hero crushes his antagonist
  15. Final Image. Closing image. The epilogue leaves us with a last image, an emotion before the curtain falls.

“The Writer’s Journey” by the American screenwriter Christopher Vogler.

“The Writer’s Journey” by American screenwriter Christopher Vogler

  1. The ordinary world: When the story begins, the hero is still an ordinary character, who evolves in an ordinary world.
  2. The call of adventure: The hero learns that his world is in danger, and only he can save it.
  3. Refusal of the appeal : The hero is afraid to answer this call. He doesn’t know who’s waiting for him on the other side of his world.
  4. The mentor: The mentor encourages the hero to take the leap and gives him a magical item, which will help him on his journey.
  5. Crossing the threshold: The hero decides to answer the call.
  6. The tests: Now in the extraordinary world, the hero meets characters who will help him, others will subject him to tests.
  7. Approaching the cave: The hero finally approaches the goal of his quest. It is in the “cave” that a fabulous treasure is hidden: the elixir.
  8. The supreme test: This is the major test of his adventure. The treasure is of course guarded by a formidable entity.
  9. The elixir: The hero has passed the supreme test, he obtains the supreme reward: the elixir, which will allow him to heal his world.
  10. The way back : The hero must now return home and will face the wrath of those from whom he stole the elixir.
  11. Resurrection: The hero returns to the ordinary world, transformed by all these trials.
  12. Return: The hero uses the elixir and heals his world.

Source :

As soon as this story-telling phase is over, all you have to do is start your digital journey in our studio.

If this is your first visit, we invite you to consult the article “How to create a digital journey”.

Article written on July 15 by Fanny DARIO, Marketing Assistant at Explorama.

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