Public event peeks inside gamers’ minds


Ever wonder what video gamers are thinking as they stare at the screen? Well, the world premiere of “Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series” was an example of just that.

On Friday evening at the Paramount Theater on Congress Avenue, SXSW festival goers were able to experience the “world’s first Crowd Play” event. Crowd Play is an online gaming system in which multiple people are able to play a single game simultaneously by joining a “room” via their mobile devices.

At this special event, audience members were able to control the story of the game from their seats by choosing options from their mobile devices. Each choice the audience members make, changes the plot and adventure that the characters and players are able to embark on. It felt like a manifestation of all of the thoughts a gamer is thinking while playing.

Telltale Games, which is an award-winning developer and publisher of digital entertainment industry, partnered up with Marvel Entertainment to create “Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series.”

This new game series is episodic. The game is five episodes in total but only Episode One was premiered at SXSW. The game will be available on consoles, PC and mobile devices.

The project is still a work-in-progress so there were many technical glitches. Prior to the actual screening, the Telltale crew displayed a list of known problems. It included lagging, connective issues, dubbing delays and other technical issues associated with unfinished and incomplete games.

Being in the theater felt like being in the brain of a person playing the video game. The crowd was encouraged to shout out commands and choices. People were yelling “look left…fly up” or “turn around,” as well as other commands to direct the characters in the game. From the mobile devices on a web page, the audience was able to choose one of four options when a choice popped up on the screen. The option chosen was based on a majority system.

Following the screening, which lasted almost two hours, Scott Porter, one of the voice actors for the game joined the Telltale crew on stage to wrap up the event. They discussed the project more and then showed a preview for the next episode.

Due to the project being unfinished and due for release in a little over a month, details, choices, characters and photos of the actual episode are not allowed to be shared with the public.