First Will Wright gave us the power to control virtual doppelgangers and build a world around them. Then he gave us the power to start our own species and rule the world… Well now he’s throwing the power of television into the mix, and giving us our own TV show.
Players, fans, participants – whatever you want to call them – will create and produce a weekly TV show, in collaboration with Stupid Fun Club, Worldwide Biggies, Current TV network, and a community of other creative minds around the country. It’s not so much a game, as it is a choose-your-own-adventure kind of TV, but you could certainly call it a “social game”, and it will no doubt get interesting, with the Sims developer behind the scenes.
We already knew that Will Wright was working on a reality TV show, but the big news today is – now we have more juicy details from Camp “Creation Project” (aka: executive producers Will Wright, Albie Hecht and David Cohn).
Last weekend, on Easter Sunday of all days, I got an inconspicuous email from Stupid Fun Club and co, inviting me to take part in their latest project’s upcoming beta test (woot!) Upon logging into the beta site, I was greeted by a project update from the man himself and a brief overview -
“Our largest worry was that we would have to spend weeks convincing everyone that we couldn’t produce “Lost”, but it seems almost everyone is focusing on ideas that we can actually produce and produce well.” said Will Wright, CEO of Stupid Fun Club. “Once we nail treatment we’ll move onto genre, characters, casting, and other fun things. In the middle of all that we’ll starting testing out the Storymaker and try a few throwaway test plots to get a feel for it.”
“Creation Project” described:
Right now we’re calling this “The Creation Project”. This will not necessarily be the name we will use for the actual TV show, that will up to the community to decide.
The basic idea for Creation is that we want to produce a TV show that the viewers control as completely as possible. Think of it as very interactive TV (but with a rather long lag-time). We would like to give the community control over genre, settings, characters and plots (and many more elements as well).
For the episode plots we will have a website where viewers can submit story ideas on the site for several days. Then everyone explores, and discusses the web of submitted plots and then votes for what they think is the best plotline. The winning plotline is given to our guerilla film team to produce in 2 – 3 weeks then it goes to air on Current TV.
From the welcome letter:
Together we will re-invent TV storytelling and production.This new type of TV production will be collaboration between us, the TV production team and you, the Web story community. You will use our website to create a branching tree of possibilities for each episode. Then, explore, discuss and vote for the best plotline from this pool of ideas. We will then shoot this plotline as our pilot! After that, we’ll develop the idea more fully including the genre (tone) character bibles, location, production design and sponsor integration. Then, finally, you will use our Storymaker to create the pilot story.
I’m not going to post it here, but if you’d like to read the whole welcome letter, someone did publish it’s entirety over here.So how will it work? Viewers will submit high-level storypanes with images and text to tell a story, but are not required to submit an entire plotline (phew!). Instead, you can branch in and out of other users’ submitted story threads.
The Creation Project team says the submission process should be no more difficult than editing your Facebook profile. Apparently, story construction, browsing and voting will all take place in a browser app (Storymaker), which the team hopes to have ready in a few weeks to start early testing.
Did I mention how totally cool this sounds? Very! Combining games, web and reality TV is like putting awesome and fantastic in a bottle together and shaking them up to make amazing. Let me (and the world) know what you think about the Creation Project (and if you’re in the beta) in the comments below.