Brightcove Interactivity offers two techniques for creating branching or "choose your own adventure" (CYOA) content.
- Video to video branching - This technique uses a Branching Experience where multiple videos are strung together. The viewer jumps from video to video using annotations.
- In-Video branching - This technique uses a single video. The viewer jumps from point to point in the same video using annotations. Examples here and here.
Both work equally well, it's a personal preference based on your production process and how your videos are already produced.
Creating a video to video Branching Experience
For information on creating a video to video Branching Experience, see Creating a Branching Experience.
Branching withing a single project
- Create a New Project in HapYak.
- Add Chapters for each point in the video where a choice begins (don't worry, these are invisible to the viewer).
- For each Choice Point, add hotspot, text or image annotations that the viewer will click on to jump to different parts of the videos. Make sure the start time and duration for each of these is identical.
- On one of the choice annotations. Set "Action to take if the viewer doesn't click" to loop back.
- On each annotation set Link / Actions to Jump to video time and select the correct Chapter or enter a custom time.
Branching best practices
- Focus on just 2 or 3 choices at each choice point. Having fewer choices is much easier for viewers to process and results in higher interaction rates.
- Make sure each choice point lasts for at least 10 seconds.
- Add bumpers (sections of white or black or motion graphics) between the different choice sections to ease the transition. We recommend about 5 seconds.
- Always allow the viewer to return to the choice points. You'll be surprised at how many viewers want to watch a branching video over and over again. To do this, simply add a text or image annotation that links back to the choice point.
- Optional Pro Tip: Continue the audio track underneath the choice points and bumpers. This creates a more seamless experience for the viewer.
- Super Pro Tip: You can even track how viewers are experiencing the branching video and trigger actions based on those paths.
Here is a video that walks you through the best practices for branching and choose your own adventure video.
We're always happy to advise on your branching interactive video project. Email Brightcove Support any time for personalized advice.