We caught up with the Producer of Casualty: First Day, Wendy Wright, to get find out a bit more about the interactive drama.
How would you describe Casualty: First Day?
It’s an interactive episode of the popular BBC One primetime drama ‘Casualty’. Told in the first person, the story puts the viewer in control of the story, where the decisions you make will have a real impact on the story. There are several different endings to the story and a personalized report card at the end of the episode will give feedback to the player.
The pilot is written, directed and produced by the ‘Casualty’ team and is very faithful to the world of Holby City Hospital, including interaction with familiar faces.
What were you trying to achieve with ‘First Day’?
Casualty has been on air for nearly 30 years we are always looking for ways of keeping things fresh and exciting for the audience. As well as something new for existing audiences we are hoping to attract a new and younger audience to the programme.
How was it made?
Our partners in this venture were the digital production studio, fish in a bottle, who used a tool called Treehouse by Interlude. This allowed them to ‘branch’ the story off in different directions depending on the choices the audience make.
As well as forcing the audience to make decisions under pressure, as they would in a real A & E, we wanted to further immerse them in the drama by putting them right at the heart of the medical procedures. These procedures effectively became mini-games which were embedded within the drama and influenced the story path.
One of the biggest challenges we faced was creating the games using the Interlude technology, which wasn’t actually built for this purpose. We were all really impressed at how far fish in a bottle were able to push the technology to create these moments of heightened interactivity.