regen2.jpgWhen ReGenesis hit the airwaves last year, people were not sure what to expect with the “extended reality” that was built for the show. After all, this was the first time that a Canadian-made television series had attempted to try anything as large in scale as an Internet-based companion adventure. The end result, to the delight of many fans, was an interesting and immersive experience that showcased the talents of the team at Xenophile Media, creators of the game. Tonight, season two of ReGenesis will debut on The Movie Network/Movie Central, and with it comes a new extended reality game. This season, the game will hit the ground running, starting with tonight’s episode. Players will be able to participate on many different levels, and the worldwide audience will have greater access to key game elements, making it more accessible to people who are unable to view the series on television.

In a newsletter sent out to players earlier this week, the game will include “over an hour of exclusive interactive footage, new websites and clues in the series that make you an investigator in the story.” The game currently involves a Flash-based tour of the NorBAC laboratory (NorBAC is the fictional biotechnology commission on which the series is based) which is very slick and rich in content. The ReGenesis Official Website promises that the game will offer a truly immersive experience: “Pieces of the puzzle can be anywhere. Beginning with emails that are synchronized with each episode, you will soon enter a maze of communications across multiple websites, discussion with other viewers, email dispatches, webcam video, classified documents, even telephone voicemail and a login that allows you access to the internal network of NorBAC.”

According to Evan Jones, the creative director at Xenophile Media, the way the game has been created is very much a “tiered experience” where there is no “startling entry point.” Instead, the entry point is the aforementioned laboratory tour, which then leads to bigger and better things for those who want to take the step down the rabbit hole. The choice to build the game in this way is based on the different interests and curiosities of the broader playing audience — Jones compares this to “funnel” where only a certain part of the player base will take the journey into the deeper levels, but at the same time, a larger audience will be able to get entertainment from other parts of the experience that don’t necessarily involve immersion. An example of the work put into this game is already evident in the lab tour, which Jones reveals was a product of “working with A-List biotech scientists” from Ontario. The tour is “as realistic as possible” and is based on “real science.”

The extended reality game for season two is bigger and offers more in the way of connectivity to those brave souls who take the plunge. The game has been developed in conjunction with writers from Shaftesbury Films, who produce the show. In fact, most of the dialogue players will experience as part of the game have been written by two Shaftesbury writers, creating a seamless cohesive connection. For those playing along outside of the broadcast area, the game will include video podcasts which will recap important events from past episodes and past events from the game. Jones told us that the decisions made concerning the game were done with the idea of including as much of an audience as possible, so that each person could play on their own “personal level.”

We will be monitoring the series and the game and will have updates whenever possible. ReGenesis airs tonight at 8pm Eastern, 7pm Pacific on The Movie Network/Movie Central.

:: discussion at unfiction