Defiance - Interview with Ron Hill and a brand new live action trailer
Announced last week, Defiance the game will officially be launched globally on April 2nd, allowing players to become part of the online world ahead of the TV show. Originated for Syfy US, the epic fantasy drama combining the scope of a sci-fi blockbuster with the intimacy of a small-town drama series will make its UK debut on Tuesday, April 16th, 24 hours after its US launch.
We chatted to Senior Producer Ron Hill about how the game and TV show are interwoven and what we should be looking forward to come April.
“First of all, it’s important to note that you don’t have to watch the show AND play the game to understand what is going on in the Defiance world. This has been hugely important to us from day one.”
In the first season of the TV show, we’re told that an event will happen in the game that will also happen in the TV show. Players will accompany key characters in the Defiance universe on a mission at the start of the game that will uncover an object that has a huge influence on the pilot show. Mid-season, a character with a rather unpleasant personality will disappear from the show but will appear in the game where players will follow her experiences for a couple of weeks. She will come back to the show a different person because of her experience in San Francisco but only those who engage with both the game and TV will have the full, inside story. “We introduce things from the show, but if a person playing the game hasn’t watched the show, it won’t mean that person will have no idea what’s going on. Engaging in both will give much more depth but the two absolutely have to exist separately from each other; particularly when the 13 week season one comes to an end, as the game will continue” explains Hill.
Defiance stars Grant Bowler (Nolan), Julie Benz (Amanda Rosewater), Stephanie Leonidas (Irisa), Tony Curran (Datak Tarr), Jaime Murray (Stahma Tarr), Graham Greene (Rafe McCawley) and Mia Kirshner (Kenya). The series, produced by Universal Cable Productions, is executive produced by Kevin Murphy (Desperate Housewives, Caprica; Hellcats) & Michael Taylor (Battlestar Galactica). Scott Stewart (Legion, Priest) directed the pilot whilst Michael Nankin will serve as supervising producer/director on the series.
From what we’ve seen so far, the characters and hellbugs look exactly the same in the game and the show that’s a more colourful post-apocalyptic imagining than the run-down or completely destroyed environments of Fallout or Mad Max. “Sure, we’re post-apocalyptic but this is a period of regrowth so people aren’t scrabbling to survive – no depressing Mad Max. Looking at post-apocalyptic views and saying this is what we don’t want to do has been just as important to us when thinking about the Defiance universe” insists Hill, driving the side of his hand into his knee, emphasising his view. “We want our view to almost be uplifting. More importantly, we didn’t want to do an alien invasion story; that is certainly NOT what Defiance is. The aliens came to Earth to colonise without realising we were here – they didn’t come to conquer, they just wanted a new place to live. Things got a little out of control and Defiance is about humans and aliens working out how to live together in a strange new interesting place with new dangers.”
Aliens check. Post-apocalyptic environments check. So what else can sci-fi fans look forward to when the Defiance universe opens its doors? How does collaborating with up to 50 other players all using futuristic weapons against alien-hybrid horrors in massive multiplayer encounters sound? “Y’know, it’s an interesting time. We’re looking at the next gen of consoles coming out this year but we’re really pushing what can be done now. Consoles are 6-7 years old. We have to do a lot of interesting tricks to make sure we can actually load the game without the frame rate dropping and that’s our biggest challenge, but the core moment to moment gameplay and the difference of expectation when playing with aliens and humans is broken and will hopefully be really exciting for sci-fi fans” smiles Hill.
Defiance the game will be available on Playstation 3, Xbox360 and PC on April 2nd whilst the TV show will start on the SyFy channel on April 15th.