In this episode, we take a deep dive into the creation of the world’s first voice-first interactive documentary: Hidden Cities Berlin for Google Assistant.

The action is part of a collaboration between Google and the Financial Times and was created by Rosina Sound and Reduced Listening.

We’re joined by the people behind the action, founder of Ronsina Sound, Nicky Birch; interactive and immersive producer and BAFTA-winner, Michelle Feuerlicht; and audio software engineer, programmer, two-time BAFTA winner and all-round audio veteran, Nigel James Brown.

Together, the dream team take us through the creation process of Hidden Cities Berlin. We discuss the brief, the ideation and creation process, the design considerations and the technical build.

In this podcast, you’ll learn about

  • Considerations for creating long-form, rich interactive audio content
  • The challenges of creating interactive narrative as opposed to linear narrative
  • Storytelling with empathy
  • Documenting design and the ‘pearl necklace’ approach
  • Why you should consider having two narrators
  • When to give users a choice and why
  • Clustering intents around one area
  • Some limitations of Dialogue Flow when working with audio
  • How to start with an Alpha and what to include
  • Personalising experiences based on previous session behaviour
  • And much more (obviously)
Map of the Hidden Cities Berlin action and navigation, from the Financial Times Map of the Hidden Cities Berlin action and navigation, from the Financial Times (click to download full size)

Where to listen

Apple podcasts











Visit the Rosina Sound website

Contact Nicky:

Say ‘Hey Google, speak to Hidden Cities Berlin’