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Madeleine's Mind

By Digital Planet


Madeleine's Mind is a six-part interactive animated series designed for the World Wide Web.

A "psychological thriller with a soul," Madeleine's Mind walks a fine line along the hazardous frontiers of madness, dreams, and imagination. Its heroine, a young woman named Madeleine Leonard, is granted unlimited mental powers by her scientist father -- but finds herself a prisoner of a mysterious agency determined to take it from her by any means necessary.

Guided by the ghostly memory of her father, Madeleine must go inward -- into her own memories, fantasies, and nightmares -- to unravel the secrets of her mind and unlock the six "Talismans" which comprise her power. As Madeleine discovers, the path to fr eedom is travelled by demons, both imaginary and real. Only by mastering herself can Madeleine master her power, overcome her captors, and find her true place in the limitless world around her.


Web site

How is it interactive?

In Episode One, interactivity was primarily branching story lines. In the current episode, there are more dynamics of puzzle solving and gaming. New technologies of course influence our content. Shockwave 5 has made certain scenes more doable (longer dial ogue for example can be done using streamed audio).

Tools used:


Narrative structure:

Each of the six "episodes" of Madeleine's Mind corresponds to one of the six Talismans that make up Madeleine's power. These Talismans represent pieces of Madeleine's personality which are currently held in check: memory, imagination, reason, fear/desir e, hope, and choice. Thus, the overarching structure of the story is a young woman's struggle to understand and empower herself.

Each episode is broken into some 40-odd scenes; two new scenes are debuted each week. Some have compared this to the old movie serials, in which a story gradually unfolds with a cliffhanger every week.

Interface design:

The interface is designed to be as simple and transparent as possible: a standard, 380x280 pixel window in which the shockwave scenes load and play. The use may click to begin certain scenes: streaming audio is downloaded in the background. At certain points, the user is able to interact with the scene -- at such times, a "hand" symbol appears.


The idea originates from our interest in the mutations of the society, which underlie the future evolution of design. We consider a design-dictation expiring in the future and hope that the user will be more involved in a design process. Information trans fer from the designer to the consumer will become information exchange.

Forecasting was until now presented as a linear story, what allowed the dictation of few people over the changes in design. Non-linear of interactive story-telling should make forecasting more 'democratic'. People could chose pieces of stories they're int erested in and bring more variation in the products in the future (make their own stories).

The forecasters are not dictators any more, but more something like 'foretellers' in the middle-ages: they bring bits and pieces of news important for a particular location of the (global) village, they entertain the people with their story-telling, but i t's up to the people themselves make their own associations and connections to their own situations. The creators of the future stories are therefore not only the people gathering information and visualizing it, but also the people from public themselves. The notion of the author and receiver is nowdays beginning to blur.

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