Help write a space adventure with Unity Macroverse's 'Online Story Jam'

A comic book called 'Journey's End'' from the Unity Macroverse series. Photo: Handout

How many of you are looking to hang out - virtually - with a bunch of local sci-fi writers during these long days of the movement control order (MCO)?

Well, here’s a chance to help create a space adventure with Malaysian sci-fi collective Unity Macroverse, which is having an "Online Story Jam" on its Facebook page. Anybody can take part in this series by contributing a sentence to an ongoing story, which will eventually be compiled and published by Unity Macroverse.

Unity Macroverse Community marketing manager Akmal Izzat says this "story jam" is one of the activities to help keep the "Uniteers" busy in these times of shutdown.

“Usually, we do face to face (sessions) or event meet-ups to get (new) writers to join us. We help them earn when they contribute stories, which we will publish in the 'micro stories' series in our alternate universe Malaysia called Unity Macroverse, ” explains Akmal.

“Since MCO, we have been mostly active online and looking at new ways to get people to start writing and earn as well, that’s our intention, ” he adds.

The Online Story Jam will begin with the Unity Macroverse Core Team contributing a "starter sentence". Public members are free to contribute their own sentences to the story after that.

A screenshot of the Online Story Jam from Unity Macroverse. A screenshot of the Online Story Jam from Unity Macroverse.

The project takes place between 11am-5pm over the next few days, or until the story ends. There are plans to extend the Online Story Jam series.

Once a story is finished, it will be published as either a Micro Story, Mini Story or Graphic novel by Unity Macroverse, in the form of a PDF for public download. All contributors of accepted and published content will be credited and will receive 1 Unity Credit for each sentence used. These credits can be used in exchange for Unity Macroverse products and merchandise. Additionally, every download of the published PDF will result in contributors earning more credits.

Akmal says there could be more than one story generated from this project as the Core Team will provide a new story if the current story ends. The team, he mentions, has illustrators, graphic designers and 3D modellers on hand to bring the Online Story Jam to life after it is finished.

"We think this is a new way to collaborate and contribute. Post-pandemic, we hope that (online) collaborative initiatives become the norm, and barriers are lowered, so anyone can participate, ” says Akmal.

Established last year, the Unity Macroverse - based in Petaling Jaya - is a unique "canvas" which allows for creative communities to collaborate. It has produced comics, graphic novels, tabletop games and limited edition (toy) collectibles - all derived from an ongoing science fiction saga, which centres on an alternate version of Malaysia.

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