A month ago, I was about to start packing a suitcase to go to SXSW in Texas.
We had arranged a party to announce the launch of the new Charisma app. I had even bought a Sherlock Holmes steampunk outfit for the occasion.
Four weeks on, and 2020 has changed beyond recognition. The suitcase is stored again. The Sherlock outfit is unworn, and every conference and festival has been cancelled (or should have been!).
We have thought long and hard about whether to halt the launch of Charisma. We have worked for over 18 months towards this moment, bringing together writers, artists, musicians, sound engineers, and all of our dedicated team to create something which we think is valuable, entertaining and fun. Given all this effort from a great team, and the feeling that perhaps people might enjoy a bit of a break from the news cycle into great fictional storytelling, we decided that Charisma should launch to the world.
We are exceptionally proud of our project. It is a simple concept: put the reader inside stories so they can talk to characters and change the story.
To achieve this needs complex technology, a new story format, and an approach that is focused on writers to make the whole production process simple and rapid. You will likely never see this complexity – it should be invisible to readers and writers alike. Hopefully you will just feel that it's fun, and magically believable.
At this point, I have a favour to ask: if you find bugs, please let us know. We have already had a couple of brilliantly rare glitches reported, and are keen to find more. If you like the app, please give it a good rating and review. As you likely know, these are hugely influential to other people. And finally, take screenshots of moments that make you laugh, make you cry, make you scared, or just that you enjoy and share them out. We like Likes, but we love Shares!
Thank you for being part of this early Charisma community and bearing with us as we develop our first product. It is hugely appreciated, and all of us at Charisma hope you enjoy these first four titles. And hopefully I'll get to bring out the Sherlock outfit as well.