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"Rival Peak": Reality TV meets video games ... on Facebook?

“Rival Peak”: Reality TV meets video games … on Facebook?

Some video games, some reality shows, some anime series, and new projects airing on Facebook want to change the way we think about interactive television. “Rival Peak” runs daily for 12 weeks, enabling different levels of user engagement and deploying as a series of scripts that change based on viewer input.

The “Rival Peak” that started on Wednesday may seem like “The Sims”. Only here you don’t have much control over your character. It also deviates from the “Choose Your Own Adventure Series” feel of many live-action attempts to integrate games and television, including the relatively high-profile example of streamer Netflix.

“Rival Peak” does not emphasize big life-threatening choices, but invites participation in a more continuous and playful way and encourages artificial intelligence characters to read and pitch. And I want to build an emotional connection between the viewer and the player. tent. If it works, it will seamlessly integrate games and TV by leveraging the strengths of the former: regular feedback and collaborative involvement, rather than asking how to make TV shows more game-like. I can.

If this is an “experiment,” Facebook’s Vice President of Content Planning and Strategy, Matthew Henick, will either feel like a show or be inspired by the game, depending on how aggressively the viewer is. It says it will be decided.

“Whether it’s’survivor’or’big brother’, reality shows have a familiar presentation style and game elements,” says Hennick. “They opt in to the game part. At the top level, this is an interactive reality show that uses game elements and a game engine.”

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Of course, part of the appeal of reality shows is to see real people make bad choices. In “Rival Peak”, all the participants are brightly drawn anime characters that boast a cartoon-like clay animation-like appearance. The underlying story and the “lost” mystery gradually become apparent, but to be successful, you need to connect with these characters, just as you would with animated film characters.

That’s where the game elements come in. Hook gently moves the character to see how (or if) our choices are compared to other viewers.

“People want their choices to be important,” said dj2 Entertainment, who co-produced the “Sonic the Hedgehog” movie and is working to bring more game properties to movies and television. Says Stephen Bugaj, Chief Creative Officer of. Bugaji, a veteran of the deceased studio Teltail Games, who worked on popular narrative games such as The Walking Dead, helped direct the storyline of Rival Peak.

“Big changes—big shakes—are often overlooked or unappreciated,” says Bugaj when asked about the lessons learned from working at Telltale.

Therefore, in “Rival Peak”, tap and click depending on the screen you are using to influence the character’s actions and lines, then sit down and watch it unfold. The show runs live for eight hours each day, but is intended to be in the background. Expect relaxing music. Viewers can see what the characters are doing and what choices the community has made. Actor Wil Wheaton hosts a weekly summary show to hit key story points.

Check out the new Game Meets Show “Rival Peak” on Facebook.

(Facebook original)

“What people really want is to care about the character and influence the character’s journey,” says Bugaji. “The large plot movements are scripted, but how they are performed is influenced by user input. The most directly noticeable result that the user changes is who is eliminated each week. But to do that, we need to pivot the story to explain these changes. “

The more I jumped into “Rival Peak,” I remembered one of the first computer games I fell in love with, Activision’s title “Little Computer People,” in the mid-1980s. When I was five, I was fascinated by the relaxed lifestyle of a small digital sprite that lived on an underground desktop. Most of the time, they did their business without me interacting, so when I gently tampered with their domesticated virtual life, I could act as a divine voyeur. It’s done.

“Rival Peak” exists in the continuum from “Little Computer People” to virtual Tamagotchi pets. Only that has the Pacific Northwest setting, and the underlying story is inspired by the “survivors.” The 12 characters in the game will be presented with challenges and resources to discover while exploring the wilderness.

The project certainly leans towards that medium and simply presents elements that look like glitches in the game, revealing that the characters in the game are talking about what was shown as an error. Of course, such a mystery is the fuel for telling, discussing, and creating dramas of different characters to the audience.

“Even if they aren’t live-action characters or they don’t do a lot of deep things, they’ll just be part of your world,” says Bugaji. “Tamagotchi effect. What did the cat Tamagotchi do? Nothing. But when Tamagotchi died, people cried, so you can spend a lot of time with the character and get used to it. This is a big boost and I don’t think many people see it. It’s permanent and part of your life in a way that doesn’t require much attention, like a Tamagotchi or an aquarium. It can be. “

If “Rival Peak” finds a viewer, it is expected to not only show the power of live cloud streaming games, but also to further blend linear TV-like storytelling and interactivity. From Netflix’s “Black Mirror” episode “Bandersnatch” to games such as “Quantum Break,” which alternates between gameplay and live-action programming, it’s an experimental area.

“If this experiment goes well, it will open the door to a new type of storytelling,” says Facebook Hennick. “It’s sociable among the viewers and interactive between you and the creative itself. I hope there are more of these. I want to allow users to create their own. I think it’s important to be people-centric. People drive the story, not just passively receive it. ”