The video game industry is never stagnant. Developers and publishers are always striving to improve and, more importantly, innovate and discover the next trend in gaming. Whether that's augmented reality, virtual reality, or something else entirely, the industry will continue to move in new and exciting directions.
Production company Realm Pictures have pursued a unique take on the popular first-person shooter genre, bringing the gameplay and genre conventions into reality. Originally envisioned as a prank, the team created the "Real Life First-Person Shooter," controlled entirely by random people on Chatroulette, Omegle and Skype. The participants are able to give voice commands to the actor and together they play out a short scenario. The first level took place in a garden, infested by zombies. For Level Two, the team created something much bigger.
Realm Pictures has released the full video of the second level, which can be viewed at the top of the page. This level finds the unsuspecting viewers aboard a derelict ship, with the protagonist waking up in the med bay. It's up to the participants to guide this player character through the ship and to the escape pods. Unfortunately, the crew has been infected by an unknown virus and are waiting throughout the ship to attack this lone survivor.
The first installment was an impressive production; dozens of actors playing out the zombie apocalypse scenario countless times and adapting to each individual's instructions. This latest video surpasses it in every conceivable way. The sets are detailed, with the team creating a labyrinthine, multi-level spaceship. There is an instance where the players are left in control of a turret, providing cover while the character attempts to bring the escape pods back online. The video even has a final boss battle, featuring an Aliens-inspired power loader.
Check out their behind-the-scenes video to see how they constructed the sets and built a more immersive narrative for Level Two:
The Real Life First-Person Shooter may have started as a prank on chatroulette, but it's quickly grown into something more. Realm Pictures is changing up their model for the next level, aiming to build a cohesive narrative spinning out of the events of Level Two. That narrative will start with a prologue, which will be entirely driven by the choices of a community of financial backers, similar to the structure of Twitch Plays Pokemon. Those who want to get involved in the production are encouraged to check out the game's new site.
The team makes some big promises about the contents of Level Three, including the addition of new characters to the story. The aim is to have the characters react to the players and inform the narrative based on certain decisions. It's a model that sounds similar to Telltale's The Walking Dead, with characters remembering your actions and opinions. Whether that's a viable model for such a massive undertaking remains to be seen, but it's nice to see that Realm Pictures will continue to innovate and investigate a new avenue for gamers everywhere.