Harry Potter fans get fresh Pottermore details at LeakyCon 2011

first_imgTo say that Harry Potter is a popular series of books and movies is a bit of an understatement. The last book, released in 2007, managed to sell 11 million copies in the first 24 hours. As for the movies, they’ve grossed over $6 billion, with each film averaging over $916 million at the box office. That’s not including the latest and last movie.Author J.K. Rowling could have sat back and relaxed once the series was over, but she way far from finished and earlier this year announced Pottermore.AdChoices广告We originally thought it was going to be an MMO, but the official reveal last month gave us the first details of a Harry Potter-focused social network that would expand the detail beyond what the books and films offered with fresh writing by Rowling.Those initial details left us with more questions than answers, but now we can reveal a lot more of what is planned after a presentation given by the Pottermore team during LeakyCon 2011 this week in Florida. We’ve summarized what was revealed below.First of all Pottermore is not a new idea. Rowling has been working on the concept since 2009, which makes sense seeing as she had to write a lot of new material in order to support it.Pottermore has to be kid-friendly throughout due to the wide age-group that reads the books and will want to take part. So, on registration you will not be allowed to choose your own username. Instead, five options will be generated for you to choose from. After that, a dirty old hat will appear to ask you a number of questions Rowling came up with to decide which House you will be assigned to (Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, or Slytherin).With your username and House decided, the user page will take on the look of your house and the focus will be on the books. Seven branches will be presented, one for each novel, and on each branch will be dots representing each chapter. It looks as though you are expected to read the books in conjunction with using Pottermore as each chapter has unique animations and illustrations both representing and extending the information contained within each.Rowling has also written thousands of words of new back story and character profiles as well as including sections she wrote for the books that never got included in the final versions. This information extends as far as introducing the complete back stories of each character, even the minor ones. The example given at LeakyCon was the story of Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon. You learn how they met and fell in love. Professor McGonagall also has her childhood explained.As well as your user page there is access to Hogwarts School. Here’s things get a little more in-depth in terms of the social aspects. The school is split into the following areas:FavoritesFriendsIllustrationsSpellsPotionsTrunkThere will also be well-known locations you can visit including a common room and the Great Hall. Both of those rooms are expected to be chat rooms where we assume the distinction will be the extent of the people you can talk to. The common room will be anyone in your house where as the Great Hall will be anyone logged into Pottermore.Pottermore also uses Gringotts as a virtual currency which needs to be earned. One example of this is given and involves the user taking part in wizard battles. You need the Gringotts in order to purchase items in Diagon Alley. That includes schoolbooks, but also the more interesting items such as your first wand and your very own pet. For the wand, there are 33,000 possible combinations meaning it’s unlikely you and your friends will end up with the same wand.Points also feature and are related to your House. We expect individual users will be able to influence their House’s standing by carrying out tasks. This should make for some interesting team social events as well as the usual repeated tasks you can do on your own every time you visit.It has been made clear that Pottermore will be free forever, but then the revenue is going to come from the sale of eBooks and audio books. Remember, Pottermore will be the only place you can buy the digital versions of the Harry Potter books, so it’s sure to be popular for many years purely for that fact. There’s also going to be an option to introduce new items as time passes, and if Rowling decides to write another book she has an active community she can sell it to directly.Pottermore will launch to one million users on July 31 and then open fully in October. All the content has been translated into French, Spanish, Italian and German as well as default English language option. Japanese is also in the works, but won’t be available in time for the October launch.What remains to be seen is how Pottermore conveys the experience to its users. Will it be a static 2D experience, or will we be getting interactive in-browser environments for key places like Diagon Alley? Everything will be revealed on July 31st.via Big Shiny Robotlast_img read more