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Sci-Fi Television Games

Defiance Combines TV Show and MMO 45

In 2008 we discussed news of an MMO in an early phase of development that sought to merge two different forms of media: TV shows and video games. Now, reader querbeet points out that work on the game — Defiance — is much further along. Screenshots and an interview with a senior developer provide a clearer image of how such a project will work. "Both the game and the show take place in a near future, post-apocalyptic version of Earth. ... The game is centered in the remains of San Francisco, while the show will take place in St. Louis. 'They exist within the same universe,' Hill told Ars. 'And primarily where we're going to be different is the fact that things that happen in the game will occur in the show and things that happen in the show will occur in the game. From a global standpoint this could be a large political change, a big environmental change, and they'll happen simultaneously on both.' As an example, Hill said that a character from the show could leave for San Francisco, show up in the game and go on adventures with players, before returning to St. Louis to discuss everything that happened while they were in the game world."
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Defiance Combines TV Show and MMO

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  • by Joe_Dragon ( 2206452 ) on Monday June 20, 2011 @06:06PM (#36506424)

    Syfy will not let it last and g4 is near death / UFC take over.

    SYFY and G4 seem to be merging and if it's any thing like what happened with tech tv and G4 all the good shows will die.

  • Won't last long (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Nidi62 ( 1525137 ) on Monday June 20, 2011 @06:09PM (#36506450)
    Premise sounds good and all, but in all likelihood, the show will be cancelled before it can get more than a few seasons in.
  • How? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    This is just a statement on the core concept, but how could they keep the show up to date with the MMO?

    Shows require a significant production period - writing, preparation, acting, post-production and editing. In order to have characters reference events in the MMO, the events would have to be written in as particular plot points or relegated to token references (say a shot of a character facing away from the camera and we hear a voice over) that have little or no bearing on the plot.

    • by Cstryon ( 793006 )

      I agree, the idea is flawed. Though maybe if they have the TV series airing sometime after events in the MMO. Say the MMO starts recording and noting events happening starting in Feb 2012. But the TV series waits till later in the year to start airing episodes. Making the TV series months, behind the actual game. Might be too long to wait for that satisfaction of having a part in the plot, but it also makes room for 3 different demographics: The viewers, the players, and the ones that are actively following

    • I assume the production methods will resemble something like Sanctuary [] which Syfy already has going. Actually there have been other shows (and still are) that seem to have found some CG/chromekey techniques. Remember that South Park/WoW cross-over? There's some kid's shows now that seem to be doing some wierd stuff as well combining CG with green screens and live actors. Actually Adult Swim has bunch of that stuff as well.

      Well that's one way they could do it...

      The issue is creating a successful MMO is a

      • Putting it on Adult swim could actually give it a huge following if it is done well.

        You don't have to worry about amassing millions of viewers, as long as your core viewers are also interesting enough to engage in the game.

        Griefing the cast would probably be pretty funny as a show anyway... (aren't there hundreds of WoW videos based on that premise already?)

    • by murdocj ( 543661 )

      I assume the "events in the MMO" would be scripted events... the character witnessing the Golden Gate Bridge collapsing, or some such. It wouldn't be a spontaneous, player created event, and would be just as scripted as the TV show.

      • Damn you murdocj, you just gave away the major plot point for sweeps week in the first season. ;)

        Other than a core group of players, who's going to be online at the exact moment the episode is aired. I *never* watch anything that's not DVR'd these days... TV conforms to my schedule and not the other way around.

        Plus how does one keep spoilers from spreading between time zones?
        • by murdocj ( 543661 )

          Thinking about it a bit more... they could have events in the MMO with two outcomes (bridge collapse, or the survivors work hard & manage to keep it propped up). They couldn't film two entire episodes & only show one, but they could probably have 5 minutes of the same scenes and just change the dialog... either "amazing how everyone in SF pulled together when they really needed to" or "Well, I guess the collapse was inevitable". If they work it right, it wouldn't be too much trouble but they could

  • If I were a player, would I have to sign a release, or agree to something, that says they can use my handle in their TV show? I just don't think they are going to take it well when 'ThEBigB@LLA2121!!11!!' seems to be wreaking havoc in San Francisco. Hopefully they have the sense to...ehem...correct any names of players that have significant impact on the universe. But correcting my also be bad as well.

    • Yeah if they're using real player names in the TV series, obviously nobody on the development team heard the joke about naming Aeris "Stupid Slut."

  • by Tolkien ( 664315 ) on Monday June 20, 2011 @07:01PM (#36506976) Journal
    They'll end up being watered down prescripted events instead of retelling the adventures that happened with real players and the show's character(s) within the game.
    • The idea sounds similar to the Pokemon RPGs/Pokemon series. At least when I was a kid and used to watch the show, it roughly followed the storyline of the game (they're all pretty linear games - the only variables are basically which Pokemon you have and which items you picked up), but of course there was no way to time them. You had the opportunity to buy the game, then the series started running, and that was it.

  • I believe that Dofus [] already has a TV show [].
  • I can see this going all kinds of wrong. "Frank" gives his account of fighting with elements in San Francisco: "It wasn't looking good. We were cornered. Then luvz2sp00g and his unit Serenity Now came to the rescue, using incredibly powerful weapons to take down the aliens. However, I couldn't understand why they stooped over the dead to rub their genitalia in their faces..."
  • I like the idea but it seems like Syfy is trying to hard to be relevant. First with the name change and then with this.

    What they really need to do is tell good stories with believable characters. Create a good show and a fan base will follow. Go back to the fundamentals.

    The reason the network does poorly is because most of it's original programming is garbage.
    Character 2: "This sucks, I cant listen to this, i'm turning off my headphones and microph..."
    Character 1: "Your a loser.. go suck a fart you stink weiner"
    Character 3: "What are you, 13 years old?"
    Character 1: "Shut up im prolly smarter than yous guys"
  • Finally a new shwo Charlie Sheen has a shot of being on
  • Great. My friends already get glassy-eyed with dismay and start eyeing the exits if I happen to mention WoW or Star Trek in the course of a conversation, and bolt for cover if both happen to come up in the same conversation. Now I can skip to the chase by just mentioning the latest episode of Defiance...
  • reminds me of the .hack project--it was cool (briefly) to watch the anime and be able to say "hey, i walked down that street yesterday on my ps2!" hopefully the plot will be more interesting....

"If it's not loud, it doesn't work!" -- Blank Reg, from "Max Headroom"