By Karen Y. Snyder (KYS Realm), MFA
With women ages 35-54 years being the number-one mobile video game player and with romance being the top selling ebook, could a transmedia series that crosses over media capture their attention? From e-books, to casual video games, to online episodes, The Elements Club® mixes together a dash of cane fighting, a good round of scientific investment, and lots of seductive lip smacking.
Set in Victorian London between 1892-1897, The Elements Club® follows the lives of various members as they each unlock the power of love and fortune. The premise of the series is that it was founded by Lord Ashton Gray in 1887 as an investment group dedicated to scientific endeavours. Even as members debate the latest scientific advancement to invest in, or engage in a patent fight or a bit of semi-naked gambling, each season one member will find himself falling helplessly in love.
The Elements Club® story merges the TV shows “Downton Abbey” and “Friends” with a dash of “Shark Tank.”
When a new romance develops in The Elements Club®, it is featured as special “segment.” A segment is a group of products that feature a certain male and female lead. From invention loving scam artist, to a prophetic animal-lover to a stoic club founder, the series capitalized on "quirky, yet loveable" characters and plot lines. As a late-Victorian story, the look and feel pulled heavily from periotic aesthetics.
~ The World's First Transmedia Romance Series ~
~ First to create an interactive romance novel (over 100,000 words) ~
~ First to create a full-motion romance genre Match 3 video game ~
Elements Club: Unity Match® is the World’s 1st full-motion Match 3 casual video game! The Unity Match® video game and the online interactive story world feature integrated branding features that matched the style of the project. All assets were crafted from photographs of period furniture and decor. The game was distributed on iTunes and through Facebook. Users noted: “Great game. Love it,” Lisa Marie Mann. “This is a very intense adult Match-3 game. Keeps you on your toes,” Jeff Pool. Most Match-3 games are just really dorky.You have awesome graphics,” Julie Duncan.
Don’t just read a story -- interact with it! Enter The Elements Club® Story World. The series web site offered a natural hub that glues together all the assets in the story’s collection. A custom transmedia platform was developed that allowed the audience interactive mini-games within the book text, a leaderboard and Facebook account integration.
For segment one of the series, 54 minutes of video was crafted into 11 episodes. Segment two featured 57 minutes of video which was edited into 9 episodes. All episodes were filmed within the Heritage Square Museum in Los Angeles.
The number-one request from players of the video game was, "Where is the show on Netflix?"