Defiance is due in April, launching both as an MMO and a TV series which will be affected by player activity. Trion World executive Nick Beliaeff has gone into further detail on just how that works.
The senior vice president told GamesIndustry that Trion and Syfy have been working closely together for over five years to bring the twin project to fruition.
“They’re synchronized within an inch of their life. That’s the whole goal. That’s some of the secret sauce that we think we have, just making sure that whenever an episode of the show is on air there’s a big beat happening in the game,” he said.
“Our real goal is whether it’s from game to show or show to game, that those big beats are happening whenever there’s an episode on.”
Beliaeff gave an example of one such “beat”.
“In one of the episodes of the show, we have an Indogene doctor who figures out there’s this nanite contagion spreading and it could doom the town,” he said.
“So she reaches out to her counterpart in the game in San Francisco and now the players in the game have a series of missions that they can fulfill, getting reagents an trying to help the doctor in San Francisco create the cure. The time pressure on the players is they need to do it before next week’s episode airs.”
Because the show will air in different timezone and on different days around the world, the in-game events will run for a full week. Beliaeff said if players fail, the next episode will reflect that, noting that the tie-ins are “closely choreographed”, and that both gamers and viewers (or those who are both) will be “satisfied with the outcome”.
Beliaeff said that you can play the game or watch the show individually and not suffer from missing the other half, but that those who do both will have an even better time.
“On the TV side, it’s a character story; they want interesting characters and a deep narrative over time that gives people a chance to fall in love with the characters. On the game side, we’re telling two different stories,” he said.
“One is the story of the player as an individual in the world and how they affect the world as an Ark Hunter in San Francisco. Because this is a persistent online game, whether you are logged in or not the world is going to move on without you. That’s really the secondary story, the world of Defiance progressing through time and then how you as an individual affect that.”
Defiance launches in April on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.