Transmedia Entertainment & Marketing

IBCoM: CM2052

Transmedia Extention: Real-life video game (Team 4)

Numb3rs

Idea

We came up with a unique transmedia extension – a “real-life” video game. The idea behind it is to blur our the boundaries between the real life and the fiction life of video games. As transferring screen experiences into the real world might be slightly dangerous, we decided to apply this extension with a different spin on the usual real-life gaming.

The real-life game is an extension to an already existing series – Numb3rs. The last season of Numb3rs came out in 2010, therefore, this game would be a great promotion element for introducing a brand new season of this serie.

About Numb3rs:

“People lie. Numbers don’t.”

Numb3rs is an American crime drama series which aired on CBS in 2005-2010. It goes about Los Angeles office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Special Agent Don Eppes and his team investigate critical and baffling crimes with a special edge. That advantage is Don’s brother, Charlies Eppes, a brilliant universalist mathematician who uses the science of mathematics with its complex equations to ferret out the most tricky criminals. With this team, the forces of evil learn their number is up (source: IMDB review).

The series had over 10 million viewers and were ranked in top 50 series in USA. The popularity and quality of Numb3ers is proven with BMI TV Music Award and nomination for an Emmy.

Real-life video game transmedia extension

The game will be based on solving crimes – helping Charlie and Don with FBI cases. To solve these, players would need to find clues which will be hidden in the main Blog – in videos made by series protagonists, in different places around the city, clues can be sent by mail, they can get a call, etc. Players need to connect the dots between the clues, to figure out what actually happened. The Blog will also include blog-posts of the main characters, FBI files that can be used in the process of resolving the crime, etc. Players have to solve each crime within a certain time span. The first one to connect all the clues and resolving it will be given an opportunity to contribute in writing an episode of Numb3rs.

Although, not all of the viewers might be interested in real-life video games, blog and live chat option with the possibility to talk to the main characters of the series will be available, so that nobody is left out of the surreal experience.

The core of the project is to bring the series Numb3rs closer to the viewers and enlighten and educate them in the field of Mathematics in a fun and entertaining way. The aim is to engage audience and create unforgetable experience no other series can provide them with.

Monika Hlubinová, Linda Weidinger & Bilal Kabdani

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6 comments on “Transmedia Extention: Real-life video game (Team 4)

  1. Sofia Z Berkhout
    October 1, 2012

    Hi guys,

    I really like your idea its very unique and interesting. I have seen a few episodes of numbers and from what i remember… the mathematical parts of solving crime were extremely complex. I was just wondering how much you would have to “dumb down” this aspect in order to make it into a game, in order to make it appealing. Also i wonder whether this would make fans of the original show away…. of course it may work the other way and attract more audiences who found the show more complex. Just something i thought i would point out.

    Good luck with it!

  2. Veronica
    October 1, 2012

    Very interesting idea guys! Kinda reminds me of bringing the Angry Birds to life in the T-Mobile commercial. However, I agree with Sofia on the “dumbing down” of the mathematical parts of the show to make it feasible for the real-life game. I´m curious to how this would work out, because if I remember it correctly, are´t the mathematics of solving the crime what makes this show unique in comparison to all the other crime shows? Additionally, I like that you guys came up with an alternative experience for people who are not willing to go all the way and play the game, because to me it seems like a whole expedition which you have to go through to play the game – it isn´t something that you can do in a spare half an hour. I´m curious to how this will work out, but I certainly do see potential, as there is a large audience for crime series! Good luck!

  3. Monika
    October 1, 2012

    Thank you guys for feedback!

    The Math involved in the game would not really involve formulas or other “high class math skills”. We do keep in mind that not everybody is talented in this field. We were thinking of putting hidden messages in the videos, which would involve sequence of numbers – as you all may know, messages can be hidden in numbers using different coding systems. Therefore, Charlie, the mathematician would make a blogpost explaining different coding strategies, so players could apply this in the real life video game. For less skilled, we were thinking of providing a Code Generator, which would translate the number code into the message.

    We do hope that the regular viewers of Numb3rs (as well as new ones) would enjoy daily vlogs/blog posts from the main characters of the show. They would still be engaged in the story and they could follow the lifes (work and private) which would make the serie more interesting and different for them.

  4. selma van slobbe
    October 2, 2012

    Hi Guys, I really find this an interesting idea. I haven’t ever watched Numbers myself, but I would want to play this game anyway. The game really appeals to a very broad audience, as many people like to solve problems themselves. The blogging and live-chatting with the main characters I find a very good idea aswell, which would become very popular, however, how will you finance this? The main characters will propably want to receive high amounts of money, or will they do it for free as it is a marketing strategy?

  5. Monika
    October 2, 2012

    We were thinking, that blog posts could be written by the usual series/script writers in 1st person as if the character said/wrote it himself. Of course, we would have people assigned to maintain the Blog – game and post wise. Vlogs would be short (2-3 minutes) and less commonly uploaded, We believe that 2-3 minutes is an ideal time range, as we expect the attention of the audience to be more scattered. Therefore, we do not think it would be a lot of extra work for the actors to make blogs. These could be made right on the set with a simple phone camera and uploaded, which would give it more credibility and feeling of realness.

    Anyways, thanks Selma a lot for your comments! Vey helpful!

  6. Mathilde
    October 3, 2012

    Hey guys, I think this idea definitely has potential! I think, like Selma already pointed out, this game will probably appeal to a broad audience! However, i’m not sure if the idea of using the series Numbers is the best option. 2010 was their last season so maybe they have reached their top and perhaps continuing with another season would be too optimistic? Or was there already a plan from the creators to do another season? Anyhow, the idea is really good but maybe this idea could also be used for another, newer, show? Goodluck!

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