30 Dec Netflix launch interactive film
Netflix debuts its first choose-your-own-storyline or interactive film called Black Mirror: Bandersnatch. It was developed over 18 months using Twine, a game writing tool.
However, it doesn’t have a running time. You might watch it in 50 minutes, or it might be closer to 70. It might take you two hours to watch. Bandersnatch isn’t just ANY episode. It’s an “interactive film”—one you steer as you launch, choosing the way you want the story to unfold.
Set in 1984, Bandersnatch tells of a computer programmer trying to adapt a fantasy novel into a video game.
Viewers must make the lead character’s choices for him – decisions that send the plot in different directions.
Your first decision as a viewer comes less than five minutes into Bandersnatch, as game developer Stephan sits down at the breakfast table with his widowed father. Nothing life or death here; it’s just a matter of what cereal you want to eat. Regardless of whether you choose Sugar Puffs or Frosties, though, it accomplishes a couple of very important things, both for the very first time.
The cereal choice registers your choice via “state tracking,” a technology Netflix developed to accomplish and was what
Is your interactive choice setting you up for targeted advertising? We think so.
The end result is the culmination of more than 18 months of planning and production, but it’s also the beginning. While Netflix already pioneered the art of nonlinear television, the company is bent on doing the same for interactive storytelling. As a result, we’re likely to see more of this type of interactive content. But will it change the way we watch the small screen? For instance, imagine the BBC’s Sherlock as an interactive film! So grab your remote control. You’re gonna need it. And some munchies.
Netflix signed up more than 27 million new subscribers in 2018.