394 CYO-TV (Choose Your Own)

A choose-your-own-adventure style TV show.

In recent years, Quantic Dreams has blurred the line between games and TV/film, crafting a unique blend that many call “interactive fiction” with 2010’s Heavy Rain and 2013’s Beyond: Two Souls. Experiences like this have been around in some form or another since we could interact with things (the infamously terrible and cheesy example of Sewer Shark on the Sega CD from 1992; others include The 7th Guest from the early 90s, all those point-and-click adventure games from Sierra/LucasArts, and more recently anything from Telltale Games).

So why not take it step further? I have recently been (joyously) watching Persona 4: The Animation and after last year’s little incident or obsession or infatuation with Persona 4: Golden, I’m glad to be experiencing the world and characters again, this time in a slightly different way.

However, there are certain moments during the animation that I wish I could chime in and make small decisions about what the character decided to do in a given situation, similar to the options I had during the game. These could be simple things like which female love interest does the main character decide to spend time with, or how to handle certain high intensity situations.

The idea wouldn’t be for the viewer to have complete control over the outcome or plot, but to allow them to interact and contribute to certain aspects of the show, especially pertinent in this example when the narrative is told directly from one character’s point of view. If the viewer decided not to interact, the show would continue on as usual without their involvement. It may even be able to integrate it in a way where viewers make decisions on screen without the animation pausing to wait, giving the choice for 10-15 seconds before it disappears and the default is selected.

[ Today I Was Playing: Life is Strange and The Witness ]

January 29, 2016

#experimental-game, #narrative-game