Subscribe to the daily newsletter.

“We’re in unchartered territory”- Megaverse produces climate themed interactive game

Sheffield’s Megaverse is producing a live action narrative game hoping it will become a new model for engaging audiences in climate crisis conversations.

Not only that, but it will be pushing technology, with performers in motion capture and an AI robot all performing live with an online audience.

“We’re in uncharted territory which is very exciting but also slightly nerve-racking! The fact that the performers are live inside the games engine in full mocap with finger articulation and face tracking puppeteering all the characters is mind boggling – especially when you add on top the live camera crew operating virtual cameras…,” said Megaverse Co-director, Ben Carlin.

“We’re really pushing the limits of what’s currently possible with the tech. But ultimately, for us, it’s about creating an unforgettable audience experience, giving them real ownership of the story as they play a role and have their voices heard”.

From 14th to 17th August, there will be 2 shows of the 2-part game, which has been written to empower its audience and drive collective decision making. 

Each show will feature new improvisations and be unique, because different audience choices will result in different narratives.

It’s been created in partnership with academics, creatives and technologists and is set in a fictional Northern town of GreenView.

“As we all face real-world climate concerns, Game Changers asks audiences to move beyond anxiety and apathy towards collective action,” explained the studio.

It’s been funded by UK Research & Innovation and this pilot explores how gaming and non-gaming audiences, as well as marginalised communities, and those first to be impacted by the climate crisis, can galvanise and act towards positive change.

Split into two distinct parts, the show introduces new challenges and character dynamics which gamers must come together to help resolve, with the audience having agency to shape narrative outcomes. 

Remote audiences can select story choices in a branching narrative, vote in polls, chat with each other and with the character of ECO, as ‘data points’ in the show. The innovative format marks a new stage in digital storytelling.

“Megaverse constantly seeks to push boundaries in mixed reality, interactive and live performance with the highest production values,” said John Rose-Adams, Senior Creative Producer, XR Stories and Project Manager, XR Network+.

“This new show makes new connections between TV, streaming, gaming, theatre and interactivity, engaging mass audiences in a story about climate change activism.”

The show is made using a games engine with live actors in full body motion capture and live camera crew. This is then streamed through a website with everything viewable at playgamechangers.com

The game was written by Emma Nuttall, combining research from University of York lecturer and climate communications academic, Dr Lynda Dunlop and University of Lancaster’s Zoyander Street an expert in gaming for good and consulting on inclusion.

It’s produced by Megaverse, directed by creative XR technologists, Ben Carlin and John Ingle of Megaverse, working across the theatrical and technical roles respectively. 

Subscribe to the Prolific North Daily Newsletter Today!

Want all the latest content from Prolific North delivered direct to your inbox daily? Of course you do!

Related News