We spoke to Michael Orwell, Development Editor, to find out a bit more about Tell Me Your Secrets
What is it?
'Tell Me Your Secrets:Binaural version’ is an interactive graphic novel that lets you take the role of Sir Henry Tizard, a World War Two government scientist who was sent on a desperate mission to the USA to exchange scientific secrets and gain assistance from the erstwhile neutral American military power.
You get to choose three secret pieces of technology to take to the United States then negotiate with the generals and politicians to get the best result for Britain’s war effort. Beware, at this stage of the war, the US had no real interest in helping Britain, in fact they viewed us with a degree of suspicion.
If you make a mess of the negotiations, the consequences could be serious. We asked historians to imagine some of the likely outcomes of different results from the negotiations. Some of them are shocking!
How does it work?
It’s an HTML5 web-app that works on up-to-date browsers on desktop, tablet or smartphone, however it’s ideal on a tablet. Many different outcomes were produced, so even small choices in the negotiations can have big effects on the future.
Games music composer, Ross Tregenza created a soundtrack that is triggered by your progress through the graphic novel. There are over thirty different outcomes for the eight secrets, depending on how you handle the negotiations.
What is the true story behind 'Tell Me Your Secrets'?
In 1940, Sir Henry Tizard was asked by Winston Churchill to exchange some of Britain's top secret technology with the Americans, and see if they might manufacture or finish development on some of the prototypes. Britain was keen to make a version of the American gyroscopic bombsight which it hoped would improve their bombing raids.
Sir Henry took the first prototype of a miniature radar system, which had the potential to completely revolutionise air defence and the fight against the Nazi U-boats. Although difficult at first, the spirit of scientific collaboration meant the two nations joined forces in a way they had failed to do in any other way.
The collaboration led to the gradual entry of America into the Atlantic war; and the 'Special Relationship’ between the two countries flourished. Some of the technology Sir Henry discussed would become cornerstones of the 20th century, with jet engine designs, atomic bomb theory and long-range navigation all part of the mission at some point.
What is binaural sound?
Binaural sound technology allows the creation of immersive spatial audio experiences for headphone listeners. This can enhance programmes as well as create immersive interactive experiences including virtual reality. Binaural techniques simulate the hearing cues created by acoustic interaction between our bodies and the environment around us.
Audio signals are filtered to introduce these cues and give the impression that a sound source is located outside of the head at a given location in space. We wanted to try to increase the immersive nature of this narrative by processing parts of Ross Tregenza’s soundtrack.