Saturday, 13 April 2013

Speaking Defiancely

It's about to start, the generic 'can we survive post-apocalypse' where the apocalypse at the moment is an alien invasion thing. Doesn't sound that inspiring, not even sure I'll bother to check it out.

However, the big thing about it, is that there's an associated video game (MMO style). And they have claimed that what happens in the show will affect the game, and vice versa. There are many events in the video game to deal with, but there are 'Ark' events that will be big. However, I see some issues with this, and this 'big thing' can't be that big at all.

First of all, this really depends on being able to watch the series to really get it. Which is limited to people who get the Syfy channel. (...and whoever else can get a hold of it...) But mainly Americans. So, on behalf of the rest of the world, thanks for that. I guess you don't want me in this game then? And if there are overseas screenings, will there be repeated on the associated video game moments? (Let alone reruns... and then there are DVD sales...)

Beyond that, events in the video game will be referred to in the show. Let's just think for a moment about production cycles. How many shows do you think record the week leading up to screening? Let alone still have actual production (not post-production) up to then. No, the episodes are recorded several weeks in advance. So any references will be limited at best to what they can drop in at the last moment. Probably easiest if they just have some audio dialogue without needing to have associated screen lip sync, but they could also record different versions of the 'they succeeded'/'they failed' moments. Assuming it is any more than 'hey this thing happened... yeah... over there... just beyond the side of the screen... and it's a thing... over there... anyway, over with us'. (Psych, for its 100th episode, had an ending that depended on how much twitter chat there was... yeah, like they didn't have different endings pre-recorded to drop in. Would have been more impressed if it was a live show.)

But another point is, the show has its plotline, which, again given the lead in in the recordings, can't be disrupted too much by what is happening in the video game. What if the players all fail? Or no-one shows up? Or win so decisively, the eventual upcoming combats aren't even in doubt. (Let alone any technical issues that cause the show to be delayed, or servers to go out.) The show has to be ambivalent to this. So, at best, there will be references of 'this thing happened, and we kicked ass', but nothing else relevant to the outcome will matter. If someone/something is being delivered in that moment, that will have to happen regardless of the players killing everyone/stealing everything.

Ultimately, the video game cannot be anything other than irrelevant to the game, aside from minor token mentions.

Unless I'm completely wrong and this integration is amazing... but based on how well the game has been made, I'm thinking they don't have that level of production quality.


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