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Defiance Combines TV Show and MMO

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the your-death-to-sewer-rats-will-have-a-laugh-track dept.

Sci-Fi 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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Syfy will not let it last and g4 is near death / U (3, Informative)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Syfy will not let it last and g4 is near death (3, Informative)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 3 years ago | (#36506566)

Ha! They have out smarted your, there are no good shows left on syfy or g4.

Re:Syfy will not let it last and g4 is near death (1)

hyp3rhippo (2224914) | more than 3 years ago | (#36514392)

Not a big lost at this point. I already stopped watching G4 when they canceled CodeMonkeys

Whoda thunk gutting all good content... (4, Insightful)

decora (1710862) | more than 3 years ago | (#36506846)

would make your network go bankrupt?

comcast will just put sports or other stuff to fil (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507174)

comcast will just put sports or other stuff to fill the gap.

VS is becoming a real sports channel and the less stuff will need to go a other network.

Re:Syfy will not let it last and g4 is near death (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507006)

You forgot to include Spike... I eventually see those three forming some kind of three way love child.

Re:Syfy will not let it last and g4 is near death (2)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507758)

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

Glad I'm not the only one who thought that. Really, who is still watching that channel? Do they have anything worth watching?

Re:Syfy will not let it last and g4 is near death (0)

lostthoughts54 (1696358) | more than 3 years ago | (#36508380)

Screen Savers > Attack of the show, screw periera and bailey, Give me Leo and Patrick any day. as a note, if u havent watch techzilla(or any of the other Revision 3 shows) you should. Old school tech TV fans will recognize alot of faces.

Re:Syfy will not let it last and g4 is near death (1)

AP31R0N (723649) | more than 3 years ago | (#36510708)

Back when i was a techie, i'd watch Screen Savers and use what i LEARNED the next day on the client's computer. Yes, i LEARNED from a TV show. Crazy, huh?

Anywho, television is a business model more than it is a medium. It's also obsolete. Each show should be it's own "network", allowed to thrive or die on its merits.

Re:Syfy will not let it last and g4 is near death (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#36512960)

Man I miss Leo Laporte. That guy was a fucking god. A god with horrid taste in shirts, but a god nonetheless.

Re:Syfy will not let it last and g4 is near death (1)

Techie_79 (2287884) | more than 3 years ago | (#36511718)

Um. G4 does not suck. How else am I gonna get my gaming conference coverage?

Re:Syfy will not let it last and g4 is near death (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#36512926)

G4 has only two moderately decent shows left ("Attack of the Show" and "X-Play") and even those are just sad shadows of their ZDTV/TechTV predecessors ("Screen Savers" and the original X-Play, back when it aired more than twice a month). Any further downhill and their primetime lineup will consist of "Men Farting," "The Bimbos in Bikinis Power Hour," and "Oww, My Balls!"

Re:Syfy will not let it last and g4 is near death (1)

Phoghat (1288088) | more than 3 years ago | (#36515194)

From TFA

Syfy, cable’s premier imagination based entertainment channel.

Yeah, right

Won't last long (3, Insightful)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Won't last long (2)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 3 years ago | (#36506488)

That's ok, griefers will probably kill off most of the TV cast anyway ;)

Re:Won't last long (1)

drb226 (1938360) | more than 3 years ago | (#36506550)

My thoughts exactly. This show sounds like a huge troll magnet.

Re:Won't last long (4, Insightful)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507126)

Wow, I'm actually interested in this. I know it's going to turn into a trainwreck, but seeing what kind of trainwreck will be the real fun.

How? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36506562)

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.

Re:How? (1)

Cstryon (793006) | more than 3 years ago | (#36506664)

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 both, and trying to play/watch in accordance. I see this being hard to pull off.

Re:How? (1)

keith_nt4 (612247) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507268)

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 challenge and creating a successful TV show is a challenge and with this they're creating both at once and probably neither will work unless their BOTH successful. Either that or the show will cost about $2 and be the quality of your average "Tim and Eric" type show on Adult Swim...

I just hope it's better than that Stan Lee reality show...

Re:How? (1)

zero0ne (1309517) | more than 3 years ago | (#36508364)

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?)

Re:How? (1)

murdocj (543661) | more than 3 years ago | (#36508356)

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.

*Spoiler Alert* (1)

BBF_BBF (812493) | more than 3 years ago | (#36508578)

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?

Re:*Spoiler Alert* (1)

murdocj (543661) | more than 3 years ago | (#36516954)

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 make the MMO players feel like they've actually had an impact on the universe.

Game Name? (1)

Cstryon (793006) | more than 3 years ago | (#36506576)

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.

Re:Game Name? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#36510974)

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."

Fox (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36506674)

But what happens when Fox cans the show? Does the MMO lose its edge?

Just when you thought Syfy could't get any worse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36506718)

... it does :O

in 2012 I can see NHL playoffs and olympics on it. (0)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507196)

in 2012 I can see NHL playoff games and olympics on it.

Grandiose wishes (2)

Tolkien (664315) | more than 3 years ago | (#36506976)

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.

Re:Grandiose wishes (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#36511008)

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.

Re:Grandiose wishes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36511012)

That is just the innovation we need in MMOs. Instead of doing a boring escort quest or fetch quest, we will watch someone on TV do it.

Re:Grandiose wishes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36511042)

This is what happened with Rift. Their 'dynamic content' is just pre scripted events that happen at random times. Nothing dynamic about them at all. The same company that made Rift is making Defiance . . . Trion.

Also on the Trion website it states: "Being developed for the PC, Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, and PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, DEFIANCE unites the MMORPG and Shooter game genres across the most popular platforms." . . Translation: It's a dumbed down MMO so that console players will understand what's going on.

Dofus? (1)

Spykk (823586) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507056)

I believe that Dofus [] already has a TV show [] .

Oooo. Fun. Feedback to a TV show. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36507058)

So, if you kill one of the live-action characters in the game during a crossover, do they leave the TV show permanently?

Grouping/guilds (2)

haggus71 (1051238) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507742)

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..."

Interesting concept... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36507866)

...but will anything actually change? Will this be like a WoW MMO, where the only changes are scripted by the designers, and nothing the characters do actually matters? Or will it be more like Anarchy Online or (I've heard -- never played) Eve Online, where the actions of the players can actually change the universe, at least in some small way? If nobody plays the MMO, do the bad guys win?

Trying too hard to be relevant. (2)

incognito84 (903401) | more than 3 years ago | (#36509744)

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.

Misread the summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36510122)

I thought it said DELIVERANCE. :(

Re:Misread the summary (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#36511030)


Oh wait, we already have a Deliverance MMO, it's called Second Life :-P

Season 1, Episode 2: The Teabaggers (1)

Combatso (1793216) | more than 3 years ago | (#36510952)

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"

Great news for Charlie (1)

Combatso (1793216) | more than 3 years ago | (#36510964)

Finally a new shwo Charlie Sheen has a shot of being on

How to reduce a conversation's half-life... (1)

rocket rancher (447670) | more than 3 years ago | (#36512504)

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...

return of .hack (1)

adavies42 (746183) | more than 3 years ago | (#36512772)

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....

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