'Welcome To Sand Hands' is a choose-your-own-adventure horror parody novel written with A.I. predictive text keyboards trained on dozens of Goosebumps books. This Halloween season, Twitch viewers took part in an interactive readthrough, deciding as a group where the story goes! The show was live on the BotnikLive channel and the front page of Twitch on Thursday October 31st (Halloween).
The project was a collaboration between three unique startups: The book was written by the comedy writers and predictive keyboard of Botnik Studios; The interactive live stream crowdplay, polling, and graphics are powered by Hovercast; The virtual live streamer was created by Expressive AI.
An autonomous CGI live streamer read the book aloud to the audience, who voted on polls at key decision points to choose what happened next. More than 30 endings were possible, including gruesome deaths, triumphant victories and hauntingly ambiguous enigmas. Each unique outcome unlocked a link to a different new Halloween-themed predictive keyboard that viewers could use to write new Goosebumps sentences of their own.
To contextualize the project’s creation process, Jamie Brew of Botnik shared: “We wrote ‘Welcome To Sand Hands’ with predictive keyboards suggesting words from R.L. Stine's Give Yourself Goosebumps series of game books. The writers chose which of those words became sentences, then lead writer Tom Koff chose which sentences got into the adventure, and now Twitch is choosing paths through that adventure. So there's a lot of choices, each limited by the one before it, all the way back to Mr. Stine himself, maybe even beyond...”
Expressive’s CEO Jared Peters says: "Most people haven't seen AI character animation like this yet, and we're excited to share it with the Twitch community first."
When speaking about the exciting implications that this project holds for future entertainment technology, Hovercast’s CEO Eli Stonberg states: “Interactive live streaming is an intriguing new format because it unlocks the possibility that a show can react to its audience in real-time. Projects like this point toward a future where the word ‘creator’ can be thrown out the window because this story is being co-created by thousands of audience members at once”.