Working with new tools created by BBC R&D, BBC Creative took one of the formats they were looking at for the promotion of His Dark Materials – a social media bot – and used Storyformer to make a deeper, richer and more immersive experience.
They were interested in how the tool could bring their production processes for interactive work much more under their control, and how it might fit into their production processes.
The technology that makes this possible is called object-based media, and has been pioneered by BBC R&D. It allows programme makers to break all the different parts of a programme down into individual elements to create new kinds of interactive TV shows.
These objects could be large - like the audio and video used for a scene in a drama - or small, like an individual frame of video, a caption, or someone on screen doing sign language for the show.
By delivering the programme as individual objects, the show can then be built around the viewer - so that they can decide which path they want to follow - or by personalising the version of the show based on the viewer’s preferences or requirements.
Working with BBC R&D, the BBC Creative team then put these objects together into a branching narrative format, using a tool built by BBC R&D called StoryFormer, that lets the viewers choose how they how they want to watch.