The concept was simple, to combine a show and game into a single playable experience. Working with a brain trust managed by AFI’s digital labs and gaining access to Playstation 3 information pre launch, Dreamsocket developed an application that was a first of its kind.
Appropriately coined the “Megasode”, the solution had two branches, a game and an ondemand video area. The “gamer,” leaning forward on the couch, was treated to multi-user play which evolved and was added to by the network over time. Relaxed a little bit further back on the couch, the “show viewers” were given a setup akin to the DVD game SCENE IT, with contextual microgames embedded randomly throughout the video. They elicited quick, spontaneous responses from users, which were based on their active knowledge of the linear narrative. Instead of distracting from the story, they forced the user to be completely engaged in it.
Alone the two branches were enticing, but the real glue between them was the reward system. Doing well in a game could unlock an episode a day or two before it was aired, while doing well in the “video” game could unlock elements in the multi-user game. A full feedback loop existed, blurring the line between “viewer” and “gamer” by providing encouragement for one to become the other.
With a working application and Playstation’s efforts to increase the Flash player performance, Dreamsocket was able to develop and reveal to the world the first application built on PlayStation 3’s built-in Flash player at a press release in Hollywood. The “Megasode” was quickly soap boxed as the next great thing by all of the gaming sites and proved to illustrate how entertainment can follow your audience from remote to controller.