Posted by:
Matt McGloin

SYFY Melds Gaming and TV with "One World"


pic Updated 3/24/11: The name for the new TV show/game appears to be "Defiance."


Yesterday, during the SYFY channel's event held in NYC that saw the cable TV network announce its largest original programming in their 18 year history, was mention of a new original show that combines television with gaming.

Dubbed "One World," with the title most likely to change, SYFY has teamed with Trion Worlds to create a hybrid form of entertainment as television meets video games.

"One World" is described similar to the popular alien sci-fi movie, District 19, that sees alien travelers make their way to earth and "cohabitate" with mankind. "One World" will not only see similar settlements to D19 - but the "planet too is altered by the aliens, with cities covered in jungle vines or half-leveled beneath frozen tundra."

This won't be your basic tv adapted version of a video game - or vice versa - but the two will actually work together to create a new shared universe for both television and gamers alike.

“To have a television show and open-ended game that becomes a community, that is something that no one has ever done and it would be a game-changer," said David Howe, President of SYFY, to La Times Hero Complex.

Just how will it work?

The SYFY version of the show will be the "foreground," with the actors having weekly episodes based on the play of gamers - which would be the "background."

“It’s almost like having an artificial intelligence at work behind the primary story but your audience is the A.I,” stated Howe.

The SYFY television show will follow "a small group of characters in this strange new landscape," while the gaming experience will determine the "battles that rage in distant cities and power struggles."

Players can choose whether to be an alien or a human, and how they play will effect the long-term plans of the show’s writers. It's even stated that some of the players gaming will make its way into the TV show as footage.

Sounds interesting.

The LA Time Hero Complex notes this combined venture doesn't come without its own hurdles, as there is quite the difference between the way video games and television shows are developed.

One example would be taking the aliens from the game and getting them adapted for TV screens - costs are involved. Howe had to tell Trion to tone down the aliens as some of the alien concepts were "simply too expensive and impractical for a weekly television show."

“We needed castable aliens, ” Howe said.

With "One World," SYFY is attempting to dip into the Warcraft world of paid-subscription online gaming -- another hurdle to be faced. They would certainly need some quality actors and quality gaming to pull this one off, I would think. Some sort of enticement would be needed to keep the audience returning, and particularly, gamers paying.

We'll have to wait and see how this develops, but sounds promising.

Head on over to the LA Times Hero Complex for more.