Over the years, Rockne S. O’Bannon has transformed more than a few science fiction projects into cult classics: O’Bannon helped shape the futuristic worlds depicted in properties including Alien Nation, SeaQuest DSV, and Farscape. With his newest project, Defiance, O’Bannon explores a future, post-apocalyptic Earth where aliens and humans are forced to cooperate in constantly-warring factions to survive.
While humans and aliens are entering a tentative alliance in the Defiance narrative, television and video games are entering into a novel alliance to tell the story. While a Syfy television show will play out in a refugee camp located in the former city of St Louis, a massively multiplayer online first-person shooter (MMOFPS) developed by Trion Worlds (makers of the popular MMORPG Rift) will follow events in San Francisco, with crossover events from both storylines impacting the developing narrative. The Defiance television show does not debut until April, with the video game version preceding the television premiere by one week. However, the stage is already being set for the launch through a website for Von Bach Industries, a company within the transmedia narrative’s universe.
Von Bach Industries, which specializes in taking alien technology and modifying it for human use, is currently offering the technology to those who want to participate in training to become Ark Hunters: people who scour the Earth’s wastelands in search of alien technology to be recovered and sold to the highest bidder (presumably Von Bach Industries). The tech used by the Ark Hunters is called the Environmental Guardian Online (“EGO”). The symbiotic implant “alters its host at the genetic level, providing encyclopaedic heads-up intelligence, while simultaneously unlocking and managing corporeal-maximization, or EGO Powers.” Some of these “powers” include enhanced instincts, informational overlays to aid in threat identification and bio-medical monitoring, and personal cloaking.
The EGO technology will be made available to anyone wishing to become Ark Hunters and participate in the next Advance Mission BETA. According to the countdown on the Von Bach Industries website, the “exclusive opportunity for in-the-field combat and exploration” will start on January 18th. Registration is required and interested parties are encouraged to do so soon, as a limited number of spots are available.
Interested in learning more about what might be the next form of interactive storytelling? Then head over to Von Bach Industries and enlist as an Ark Hunter for the Advance Mission BETA, or watch the Making of Defiance documentary series for more information on the transmedia production’s storyworld.