How do you create a transmedia experience accessible for the largest broadcast audience?
Why Transmedia, anyway?
Typically BBC 2 documentary usually means 1-2 millions makes aged 55
For this show, they wanted to do something younger: so they came up with the idea for a treasure hunt.
The Code is a three part series:
- Watch the show – 3 TV episodes
- The code breaker – 6 questions – To get a password
- This will give you three passwords over three episodes to unlock the clue.
- 3X3 Youtube Videos
- Would reveal numbers (like the 6 in the flying birds)
- 3 games – on Flash Portals
- Kingdom of Catapults
- Master of mosaics
- (missed the name of this one)
- This equals three keys/clues to the treasure hunt – this would lead to unlocking the next level.
Grand Prize – 3D nested object made by a 3D printer
Game Design Concepts
Broadly inclusive but satisfying for all
Different levels of participation
Carefully considered difficulty core
Inspired by Masquerade Treasure hunt:
Keys to success:
Individual puzzles relating to show concepts
Continue with Supplementary material in book from the hunt
Construct second level puzzle
Second part of The Code treasure hunt:
Puzzle Book – 86 Pages – With regular puzzles and deeper hidden clues.
What’s the best way for game and TV productions teams to work together?
- Everyone was on board – All the people in the decision making change was on board with the idea of having a treasure hunt and people should discover something.
- Embedding Your Producer– This is to counter poor communication between the TV/Game teams. Matt was imbedded right next to their producer at the BBC so they were together. If you have those poor communication problems, it makes everyone more conservative in their creation. So eilimating that makes it so much better!
- Joint Goals – BBC Web Producer embedded in TV production Team as they traveled. This allowed the needs of the Web/Game team to be addressed while they are shooting the images they will work with in post.
What advantages and disadvantages to interactive and TV teams working together:
- Uncertainty at every step along the way – Sometimes in production, things get cut. And so from the web/game side, if something gets cut, it can have a lot of ramifications.
- Unknown TX date! – It can be difficult to plan things around schedules when you don’t know what the air date is.
- Different Schedules – TV can change very late in the day which is hard for the Web teams.
- Legacy tech and legal problems
- Embrace the madness
- Massive synergy for driving audience to tv and website
- From Game Side: Rich video to explain difficult science concepts
- From TV Side: Games can delve into concepts in a richer way.
Just the Facts:
1.7-1.8m viewers for TV
20-40% boost including time-shifted figures (iplayer.com, etc)
Over 1Mil+ players of games
Very High Engagement times – 24min average session time on Master of Mosaics!!
What are the practical and information security implications of running this kind of treasure hunt?
- Two stage treasure hunt with firewall
- Don’t write anything down ever
- Don’t text it ever
- Encrypt final treasure hunt data
- Only two people knew the Final Answer
- You would not believe the lengths to which people will go
- Can’t tell how long the solve will take – The idea was to last longer than 3 days but not so difficult it would take longer than 3 weeks.
- Who’s going to win? You don’t know who’s going to win…
- It might be broken. In fact, if you are going to do a treasure hunt of this magnitude, it IS broken somewhere. Chances are you made a mistake somewhere. In fact, it is definitely broken (if it’s complex and done quickly)
- Need to impress entire team how important the details are.
- It can never be to easy too get into. – You have to make the entrance very straightforward.
- Embedding is essential.
- Embrace the uncertainty. Be Prepared. Things will not go completely according to plan
- Players can get crazy. Things will go wrong.
- Massive engagement and viewers boost (and people love this)
The interactive portion cost about 120-130K pounds
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