Hey there! I’m Xinyue ︎︎
An interactive designer & creative technologist based in NY → READ MORE

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ELSLAND - Interactive Narrative Experience on Big Screen

Role: Project Management, Interaction Design, Web Interface Design, Visual Design
Collaborator : Carol Chen, Chenwei Jin, Rui An, Qice Sun
Time: Oct 2019 - Dec 2019

This project was a part of the annual Big Screen Showcase on Dec.20 2019, created for the InterActive Corp’s (IAC Center) 120-foot long video wall in West Chelsea, New York.

ELSLAND is an interactive multiplayer narrative experience that invites you to join a journey with our protagonist Ming, a typical worker in the city, who often dreamed about escaping his seemingly endless, repetitive, and mundane life.

One day, he finds his way to a utopian destination called “ELSLAND”... 

Documentation Video:

Interaction Design:

Apart from project management and graphic design, my main role in this project was designing the user interactions and interface on the web side, which is the vital part for audience to engage in this narrative experience.

In this project, considering the specific venue and the amount of participants, we decided to combine the traditional cinema experience where hundreds of people can be fully immersived, and the interactivity of games, where everyone’s individual action would make a real-time reflection on the screen. And all their small changes would collectively lead the story into the next phase.


As the big screen would be the main medium for the narrative, I decided not to put any complex forms of interactions on the mobile screen to minimalize the distraction: the audience would only make simple interactions like wiping, clicking, and dragging when the main storyline of the protagonist were interrupted

Below are the details of the interface & interactions along the story:

During one earlier round of the play-test, I got the feedback from the participants that they were not clear about when they should use their phones to interact. After some further research, I found there’re actually 2 main types of audience: 

  1. Not aware of the “keypoints” as they were not familiar with the story and get too focused on the big screen

  2. Fear of missing out. Constantly checking their phones during the screening once they know their device plays an essential part of the overall story

To solve these problems, I decided to set one very clear hint for all the interactions keypoints. After discussing with the team members, we added several new elements into the project to use as indicators, including b&w flashing screen on mobile device,  glowing particles (also referring to the audiences) on the big screen, and a unique sound clip playing each time when the interaction points comes.

And to stress them, we also added an on-boarding scene with clear instructions as well as  all those elements about cues above at the beginning of this experience, before the story starts. Although these instructions might to some extent affect the on-screen asthetics, but for audiences attending a showcase with very limited knowledge about our interaction mechanisms, but in the end it proved to be very clear and helpful for the overall experience.


Some sketches 

Visual Design

The whole story is focused on ELSLAND, the ultimate destination of endless joy. It should be a much more flamboyant place compares to our protagonist’s daily life. So I used quite a lot satuated, bold colors in the main poster, in contrast with the protagonist stays dark in the middle. It reflects his imagination about ELSLAND.

Some Documentations:

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