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Interactive Storytelling Unexpectedly Evolves With ‘Buddy Thunderstruck’

"We created our own unique script format."

In producing interactive Netflix series

Buddy Thunderstruck

, series creator Ryan Wiesbrock tells

Darryn King,

“‘We created our own unique script format. We had to draw little maps for each other in order to track the different story paths. I often found myself in a Doc-Brown-explaining-alternate-1985 situation, where I’m drawing a timeline and showing where forks happen in the narrative.’

“[Writer Tim] Krajewski and Wiesbrock realized early on that, even for this relatively low-stakes interactivity, there’s something fundamentally different about the psychology and expectations of an interacting viewer.

“‘When watching a normal TV episode, a story moves from scene to scene, and you’re along for the ride,’ says Wiesbrock. ‘When you introduce a decision point, and a user makes a choice, we realized there is a different expectation once that choice is made. We’ve highlighted this moment, so we’re on the hook to pay it off in some way. As a result, it becomes a little vignette and has its own beginning, middle, and end before going back to the spine of the story. Each scene is really packed full of flavor.'” To read more about the show’s production,

click here


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