Frequently Asked Questions
- How Do I Use Story City?
- What is Story City?
- Is It Really Free?
- Who Creates The Stories?
- What Are The Stories Rated? Can I Do It With My Children?
- How Do You Make Money?
- What Should I Bring With Me On My Adventure?
- How Can We Work With Story City For Our Project?
- Can I Use Story City To Create My Own Stories?
- How Do I Test An Adventure To See If I Like It?
- What Stories Are Available?
- I Have Visual Or Audio Disabilities. Can I Still Do Adventures?
- What Languages Are Your Adventures In?
- I’m Wheelchair Bound. Are Your Adventures Wheelchair Accessible?
- We Like You Guys A Lot. How Can We Help Out?
- How Do I Download Story City?
- What Type Of Phone Do I Need?
- What Settings Do I Need On?
- How Do I Get Started?
- How Does The Whole Choices/Choose Your Adventure Thing Work?
- How Do I Stop/End The Adventure?
- The App Won’t Show Me The Next Part Of The Story. Why?
- The App Triggered Before I Reached The Location. What Do I Do?
- The App Is Triggering The Wrong Or Next Location And I Can’t Get Back To The Location I Was Going To. How Do I Fix This??
- The App Wants To Know My Location. Why?
- Why Is The App Taking Up So Much Of My Battery?
- I Keep Getting The Error Message ‘You Have Too Many Adventures Open. Please Close Some Of Your Adventures To Open More.’
- I Don’t Have GPS On My Device. Can I Still Do The Adventures?
- I Don’t Have Mobile Data On My Device. Can I Still Do The Adventures?
- I’m A Tourist & Don’t Have A Phone Plan In This Country. Can I Still Do The Adventures?
How Do I Use Story City?
Check out this handy video below telling you everything, from what Story City is, to how it works.
What is Story City?
Why be a tourist when you can be a pirate? Or the apprentice of a hero? Or survive a zombie apocalypse? With Story City you get to be the hero, you get to choose your adventure.
Story City is a creator of locative stories, stories told in the location YOU are standing. Each story is accessed via our free, GPS smartphone and table app, which only unlocks a story when you’re standing in the right place. Whether they are real-life choose your adventures, puzzle trails, indigenous myths or historical tales, our stories are written, scored & illustrated by local artists who know their city best.
So how does this work? Story City stories aren’t like your everyday stories where you are a sideliner, separate from the narrative. We want to give you stories you can see and touch, stories that allow you to interact, be a part of them, and to make choices that can change them. As you make the decisions that affect how your story ends, you also travel a unique path through the city you’re exploring. All the while you could be picking up pirate supplies, dodging zombies or finding clues to solve a mystery.
We want you to see the world differently. We want to redefine stories so that they are something you are a part of, rather than something you are told. And we want to support the local storytellers you know, to do it. This is who we are, this is our vision.
Is It Really Free?
Yes! At this point in time both the App and all of the stories on it are free for you to download and enjoy. If you were after a free way to explore your city, or a place you’re visiting while doing something a bit kooky and fun, you’ve found it. In the future we plan to also add an in-app store that will allow you to purchase more stories for the places you visit, but for as long as the app is around, there will always be free stories available in the list.
Who Creates The Stories?
All our stories are created by local writers, artists and musicians who know their cities best.
At Story City we believe it’s the local stories that really matter. It’s the local storytellers that define our culture in the here and now, that give us belonging, empathy and allow us to really see the world through a different lens. It is through stories that we open our eyes to the world and make change.
This is why we have set up Story City so that we only works with local writers, artists and musicians in the towns and cities where we run our projects. We believe every city is full of stories that are worthy of a local and international audience and that there needs to be a platform for those stories to be heard. We have started to create that platform in Story City.
We engage the local community with every Story City arts project. We do this by running an open Expressions of Interest process, inviting applications from the community to create the stories for the area. From these community applications we invite 30 artists to attend a workshop aimed at fostering creative networks and training the writers, artists and musicians in creating digital art projects. To date we have trained 130+ writers, artists and musicians from 3 communities (Brisbane, Adelaide and the Gold Coast), and have employed 31 local writers, artists and musicians in those communities.
Find out more about our amazing writers, artists and musicians by clicking the following links:
What Are The Stories Rated? Can I Do It With My Children?
Our stories range from G to M15+ so they are able to be enjoyed by families, teenagers, AND adults. We put these ratings on all of our stories so you can make informed decisions about which is most appropriate for you.
You can find these ratings by clicking on a story in the List or Map view pages of the app.
The introduction page will give you a blurb on the story and it’s rating, below the blurb.
How Do You Make Money?
We work with Government (local & state) and businesses to fund the creation of each story. Through this funding and sponsorship we are able to pay ourselves and our artists for the creation of the work, and allow the stories to be available for free for you to enjoy for up to 2 years from publication. It is for this reason that you will occasionally see logos, sponsor messages and discounts at the end of your adventure.
If you are a business and interested in sponsoring the creation of a story, or you’re an organisation who wishes to activate stories from a specific group in your community, get in touch with us below:
What Should I Bring With Me On My Adventure?
We recommend that you bring the following on your adventure:
1. Friends: It’s a little lonesome if you have no-one to argue over your choices. If you don’t have friends, commiserations.
2. Your smartphone/tablet loaded with Story City: You can’t do an adventure without it!
3. When Hot: Sun Protection – hat, sunscreen, weather appropriate clothing.
4. When Cold: A warm jacket and shoes, umbrella for any rain etc.
6. Your headphones or a speaker: for the best sound quality.
7. A portable power pack: Using GPS and audio drains your battery much quicker than normal. A portable power pack will allow you to a) keep using your phone for the rest of the day and b) do another adventure!
8. Common sense: Don’t look at your phone when walking, it’s an accident waiting to happen. Always cross the road at a set of traffic lights, and whatever you do don’t stand in the middle of a road when doing a story! By using the app you agree to our terms and conditions.
How Can We Work With Story City For Our Project?
We love collaborating with a variety of organisations and creatives, from arts, to tourism, to education, to community development. If you’d like to have a chat with us about collaborating on a project, then drop us a line using the information on the Contact Us page:
Please keep in mind before you approach us that we get many requests every week for information, and potential collaborations, and while we’d love to work with as many of you as possible, particularly in the community development and social impact side of things, we can’t work with you for free. Sorry guys, we’ve only got limited time and staff and those are the considerations we have to make.
If you’re a writer, artist or musician who would like to be considered for future projects, then sign up to our writer or artist newsletters. In these newsletters we let you know about the opportunities that are available as they come up. It’s the best way to keep in touch with us.
Can I Use Story City To Create My Own Stories?
At this point in time we don’t have the platform to allow people to create their own stories using the app. We are working on it though!
If you’d like to work with us on an official project, see the question above for how you can do that.
How Do I Test An Adventure To See If I Like It?
There are several ways you can test an adventure. First, you can tap on an adventure in the list or map view to see the blurb for the story. This will give you the vibe for a particular story.
You are also able to view the first page and story segment without having to be in the start location for that story. Just tap the ‘Start’ button and the first section will load. You can read the start of the story, see the artwork and by tapping the ‘Audio’ button you can hear the story narrated to you.
Please note that the next section of the story will not load unless you have gone to the start location, and the app has registered you’re in the correct start location. You then have to walk to your next choice in the story before the app will then open up the next story segment.
What Stories Are Available?
You can find out what stories are available in your area by going to the ‘Story’ page of the website. Just click on the link below:
I Have Visual Or Audio Disabilities. Can I Still Do Adventures?
We hope so! Each story is provided either as text, or audio narration. If you’re problem is vision, you may want a companion to come with you on your adventure to aid in getting you between locations, as we provide direction via a map, and only briefly in the audio.
What Languages Are Your Adventures In?
Currently at the moment our adventures are only in English, however we do provide the stories as both text and audio in the hope it will make things easier for English as a Second Language peoples.
We hope sometime in the future that we will be able to provide the stories in multiple languages. If you’re willing to fund this accessibility, then please, we’d love to hear from you! Contact Us.
I’m Wheelchair Bound. Are Your Adventures Wheelchair Accessible?
All CBD stories in Brisbane and Adelaide are wheelchair accessible. As is the Woolloongabba detective story, and Gold Coast Southport Wizard story.
For the Gold Coast Sanctuary Cove and Coolangatta stories, and the Brisbane Sandgate and Dutton Park stories, some paths do have stairs. While it is completely possible to complete these adventures with a wheelchair, until we have added in notices that a potential path is not wheelchair friendly, we recommend that you stick to the stories mentioned in the first paragraph.
We Like You Guys A Lot. How Can We Help Out?
We’re excited you guys like what we do! If you’re keen to give us a leg up so that we can spread the word about the app, below would be a great help:
1. Rate us and give us a review on the Apple or Android App stores. This is the best way for people to gain confidence in the app, is via your testimonials! To rate on Android click here. and to rate on Apple click here.
2. If you have a blog, whether it be a tech one or your own personal one, write about your experiences with our stories and app and post it on your site. Don’t forget to send us the link so we can share it with others via our social media!
3. Like our Facebook page and comment and share any posts that come your way (and you think are great).
4. Introduce us to people you know within organisations and government. The best way to get a project off the ground in another city is to introduce us to the right people!
5. If you run a business and are keen for some local visibility, why not sponsor one of our current stories, or the creation of a new one? This allows us to train and mentor more artists, and get more local stories into the world. Contact us here.
How Do I Download Story City?
To download Story City, search for us in the Apple app or Android app stores. If we don’t appear on the list (sometimes if another app with a similar search term has more downloads it will be placed higher), then just click on the link below and select which version of the app you wish to download. These buttons will take you directly to our app on the appropriate app store.
What Type Of Phone/Device Do I Need?
Our app works on most Android and Apple smart phones and tablet devices.
Android: For those with Androids, it should work if you have the jellybean (5.0) Operating system or higher. The Google Play store will tell you if the app is supported on your device. We are currently having troubles with the new Android 6 operating system and the app and are currently working to fix the problem and stop the crashes.
Apple: You need iOS 8.0 or higher for the app to work on your Apple product. The good news is that iPhones as low as the iPhone 4s can be upgraded to iOS 8.0. The Apple App store will tell you if the app is supported on your device.
What Settings Do I Need On?
When you first install the app, you are automatically taken to the ‘Config’ tab, which is the configuration page of the app to check your settings. Both the Apple and Android app stores require us to send you to this page first. HOWEVER, you will find that everything has been set to the appropriate settings for you already, you don’t have to touch them. Just tap the ‘List’ or ‘Map’ tabs to see the stories on offer.
If you have accidentally touched the settings, below is what we recommend you have off and on. Note that the square being red means the option is ‘ON‘ and the square being grey means the option is ‘OFF‘:
1. Download Media on Start of Adventure: We recommend it be turned OFF – If this is on the app will pre-download all the files for the adventure. This takes up to 1hr to do and is only recommended if your device doesn’t have mobile data in the area or GPS.
2. Show Distances: We recommend ON – This will help the app tell you how far away you are from the start point of the stories.
3. Show Current Location: We recommend ON – When you bring up the map during your adventure, this shows your current location on the map to help you get your baring and head in the right direction to your next location.
4. Show GPS Warning: We recommend ON – The app cannot detect you are in the right location if your GPS is not turned on, so this allows the app to notify you of the problem if you have turned your GPS off. Just to avoid any future frustrations!
5. Background Location Updates: We recommend ON – You MUST have this option turned on for the app to work on the Apple iPhone and iPad. If this option is turned off on the iPhone/iPad version, the app will not work. This allows the GPS to run in the background of your phone, so that when the screen is locked and dark the phone still detects you are in the correct location (This is how the Android version works too). If your battery is running low, Apple iPhone/iPad will ask if you want to turn background GPS off to conserve battery. If you want the app to continue working do not allow your device to turn it off. Unfortunately we don’t have any control over these automatic Apple pop-ups, but we highly recommend you bring a battery pack to help keep your battery levels up so that this message does not keep popping up for you.
6. Navigate Using GPS: We recommend ON – This allows the app to use the GPS to determine your position. This will also allow you to get directions between where you are and your next location when you tap the next location on the map. You will only turn this OFF if you are on a device that does not have GPS capabilities.
7. Show Unfinished Stories: We recommend OFF – This option is only for us at Story City, this is how we test stories that we are getting ready to make live without us messing up your experience! You need a password to turn this on, and only our employees know that password.
8. Collect Usage Statistics: We recommend ON – We use these statistics to show the people who fund us how many people are doing the stories. We also give the statistics to our writers so they can see which endings people liked the most and use it to improve their writing. We use Google analytics which does not collect any personal or locative information, just information on the pages you visit and how you use the app.
How Do I Get Started?
Download and install the Story City app for your Android or Apple phone or tablet from the Android or Apple App stores, or at our download page on storycity.com.au
Before you open the app, make sure your GPS is turned on, in the highest accuracy mode (Apple devices already have high accuracy mode on, for Android you need to turn it on manually as seen below) and your internet data is on.
Your device should automatically have the GPS turned on for the Story City app. However, if your location isn’t registering it’s possible that you have to turn on the GPS manually for the app. In your iPhone/iPad go into settings, scroll down until you find Story City, select the app and turn the location function to ‘always’ as shown below.
If you’re visiting Australia from overseas and don’t have or don’t want to use your internet data, don’t worry, we have a solution for you later in this FAQ.
When you first open the app you’ll be asked several questions by your device (select ‘yes’ or ‘allow’ for all) and taken to the ‘Config’ tab, which shows you the configuration settings. All of the appropriate settings are already activated, we are just required to show you this page on the first time you open the app. So leave everything as it is and move onto the ‘List’ tab to see the stories near you!
Open the app and browse the stories near you! You can either browse the stories in the list which tells you exactly how far away you are from the start point of each story, or you can view the start points on the map.
Tap on an adventure to discover what it’s about and what it’s rated.
Once you’ve decided on your adventure, select the Start button to begin!
Each story has associated artwork, text and audio. So you can choose to read the story, or listen to it by selecting the audio button. Remember, how quickly your audio loads will depend on your phone coverage and internet data plan. Every file on the stories pages is optimised to be very small so we don’t dig too much into your internet data allowance. At the most you should only use 15mb of data during one adventure.
How Does The Whole Choices/Choose Your Adventure Thing Work?
The map button shows you the location of the current story segment and the locations of your next choices. Make sure you are standing in the correct start location, otherwise the app will not show you the next locations in your adventure. And besides, you want to get the full experience by making sure you’re standing in the right spot!
Once the story in this section is finished, you must make your choice! Use the map as a guide to walk to your location. Turn the screen off as you’re walking to help conserve your battery. Once you’re at the right location turn your screen back on and the app will register you’re in the right spot, opening the next part of your adventure with a buzz.
Sometimes the next part of the adventure triggers before you reach your location. Just use the map to continue walking to the right spot before continuing your adventure.
Keep going until you reach ‘The End’!
How Do I Stop/End The Adventure?
To end the adventure at your final location (or if you want to end an adventure part way through) just press the Stop button. Once you press this button your adventure will close down and let you restart the experience with different choices, or do a different adventure all together.
For those who have pre-downloaded their adventure on WiFi, if you select the ‘Stop’ button, this will instruct the app to wipe the download from your device to free up space.
The App Won’t Show Me The Next Part Of The Story. Why?
The App Triggered Before I Reached The Location. What Do I Do?
The App Is Triggering The Wrong Or Next Location And I Can’t Get Back To The Location I Was Going To. How Do I Fix This??
The App Wants To Know My Location. Why?
Why Is The App Taking Up So Much Of My Battery?
I Keep Getting The Error Message ‘Too Many Stories Started. Please Close At Least One Running Story And Try Again.’ What Do I Do?
I Don’t Have GPS On My Device. Can I Still Do The Adventures?
I Don’t Have Mobile Data On My Device. Can I Still Do The Adventures?
I’m A Tourist & Don’t Have A Phone Plan In This Country. Can I Still Do The Adventures?