First interactive drama launched by BBC

Monday, November 6th 2017

The first interactive drama, a sci-fi comedy called 'The Inspection Chamber', has been launched by the BBC. It is available for Amazon Alexa. Other platforms are due to follow online later. The video game story, inspired by the late Douglas Adams, has the users play an active role as the fourth character in the story.

The drama begins with 'Dave', the computer, explaining that a pair of scientists are arriving to inspect you. They will try to identify what kind of creature you are. The direction of the story depends on the answers given during the scientists' inspection. The answers influence the plot, with a variety of potential endings that the players will be led to, during the experience.

Inspection Chamber is developed by BBC Research & Development, in collaboration with Rosina Sound, the production company. It is available now via BBC Taster and the Alexa Skills Store. BBC R&D has developed a story engine from scratch. Modelled on the type of engines adopted by video games, each interaction is ensured to feel natural and intuitive as possible.

The head of Internet Research and Future Services at BBC R&D, George Wright, said that this is an experimental first step. The Inspection Chamber uses an emerging medium to enable users in a way never before done, letting them take part and interact, he pointed out. They no longer are just listners of the radio play, but have an active role to play as the fourth character in the story, putting them at the heart of the action he said, adding that they were all excited by it.

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