If you don't already know, Frankenstories is a fun, fast-paced, multiplayer online writing game we've created as a companion to Writelike:
Where Writelike is deep and methodical, Frankenstories is wild and free-wheeling.
It's super fun, but with 20+ kids in a class, things can get pretty crazy, so we've created a teacher panel that integrates with Writelike to give you complete control of your games.
It's a really big update, with a lot of new stuff!
HERE ARE THE KEY POINTS IN A NUTSHELL
You can divide your class into smaller groups
The teacher panel lets you assign cloned games to a group in Writelike:
This means students can split into smaller teams while using the same prompt (and compare stories at the end):
Here's how games appear to students within their Writelike group. There's no assigned seating; you need to tell students which game you want them to join:
You can control the stimulus
You can now preview a random prompt and refresh it until you see something you want:
Or upload your own image and text prompt:
You can see what all your players are submitting
As a teacher, you can launch the game without having to play, and you can see every submission in the game—from every player, for every round—live, as it happens.
So while your players will see something like this:
You get a game-monitoring view where you can see all the replies in a single round:
Or all replies from a single player:
Or all winning replies in the story:
Plus you get controls to join, end, or delete the game.
All of this, so that you can get a crazy collaborative story like this:
BIG BENEFITS 📈
You'll find all sorts of other improvements, but those core features provide some big benefits.
More chances for students to contribute to a story
Large groups can be fun, but the majority of players will not be able to get responses into the final story. Smaller groups provide a chance for more equal participation and representation in the final product.
(Also students can form like-minded teams to write the same 'style' of story—not everyone wants to vote for the gag response every time.)
Harder to derail the game
If students can pile into a game, change their usernames, and write whatever they want with no accountability, then they can go pretty crazy enjoying their freedom. Sometimes this is good, other times... not so much. Using the teacher panel means students have usernames and greater accountability.
You can align the game with your current class unit
Now you can upload an image to suit your current unit theme, and you can craft more technique-specific prompts. For instance, the prompt for the Popo story above challenged players to write an action scene using only dialogue.
ONE MORE THING: A SWEAR FILTER
Amongst all that, we've also added the option for a swear filter.
These aren't foolproof, but they are a way of signalling to your group that you don't want swearing or other inappropriate language, and if any group members want to break that norm they have to actively work around it.
"CAN I STILL PLAY FRANKENSTORIES WITHOUT A GROUP OR WRITELIKE ACCOUNT?"
Yes. You can start an anonymous game in <5 seconds and invite whoever you want via the 6-character game code. However, you can't run more than one game at a time, monitor responses, or upload a custom prompt.
"WHERE DO I FIND THIS AMAZING TEACHER PANEL?"
You can access the Frankenstories teacher panel from the Frankenstories home page, or from My Lessons > Manage Group in Writelike.
To use it, you'll need to have a created a group in Writelike (and your players will need to be members of that group).
IF YOU ENCOUNTER BUGS
We test continually, but Frankenstories has become increasingly complex and can still produce occasional situations where a round or player gets frozen, so let us know if you encounter something.
WHAT'S NEXT IN FRANKENSTORIES?
- We're doing a bunch of polishing on the existing features, trying to make everything as intuitive, fun, and robust as possible.
- And we'll be adding some more image themes.
- After that—we have lots of ideas, but what we do depends on how people use the game!