Experiencing FoST Summit 2017 – Turn a conference into a story

The Future of StoryTelling (FoST) community consists of people from the worlds of media, technology, and communications, who are passionately exploring how storytelling is evolving in the digital age. FoST Summit, a two-day invitation-only gathering of 500 leaders from the worlds of business, technology, media, and the arts. Because of its invitation-only nature plus the $2000 ticket price, I went there as a volunteer. Even I didn’t get a chance to attend the round table workshops, I was still very inspired by the rest of my experience.


The mega narrative this year is “FoST university”. From the venue selection to the organization – theme song, uniform, badge, brochure etc., every arrangement contributes to this overarching theme.

What impressed me the most of this year’s Interactive Narrative Expo is the improvement on incorporating social element. 


Produced by WITHIN & ANNAPURNA PICTURES, Life Of Us reminds me the Soarin’ ride at Disney. Even it was made using low-ploy rendering, the transition between two scenes was very smoothing and exciting. The social part is that players can see how their own body looks like through by looking at Player 2. When players talks the each other, the characters will also produce some effects (bubble for marine animal, fire for dragon etc). 


Produced by TWO BIT CIRCUS, Monster’s Bounty is an asymmetrical VR multiplayer game that pits players against a gigantic clawed sea monster in an attempt to steal the world’s finest treasure. One group of players plays as the deep sea divers attempting to steal the treasure, while one VR player takes control of the giant sea monster protecting its bounty. This design made VR game much more for social / family setting.



Forest is a bridge between drawing and virtual reality. At the center is a table where you draw the forest as seen from above. Around the table are VR headsets for everybody to experience the drawn forest as a shared 3D virtual world. The company was at last year’s expo as well, but that version was without VR element at all, only AR through an additional big device (a thing like the X ray reader). Their new iteration now seems to have more potential in education and games. 



Replacing the controller with the gun, the PS4 game is much exciting and easier to maneuver. Produced by Human InterAct, Starship Commander driven by human speech, and uses gaze and body leaning to control. Players are given agency in the middle of a sci-fi story as members of a military embroiled in a dark intergalactic war.