One of the most interesting new projects to debut at San Diego Comic-Con was Syfy and Trion World's Defiance original videogame and television series project. The multiplayer videogame will run concurrently with a new Syfy series that will debut in 2013.
Both were created to share feature storylines, characters and a massive universe mythology that revolves around seven alien Votan races that come to Earth to emigrate and end up changing the planet and humanity forever.
SVP, Development, Trion Worlds' Nick Beliaeff explains that "the idea of Defiance is a melting pot. It's America. It's an immigrant's story, if you like. The seven Votan races are coming to Earth to emigrate, not to conquer. In a way Defiance is our story. We are a melting pot of Trion and Syfy, and genres and media. The show itself is really the story of people starting over, and it's universal."
The idea itself was born four years ago with the thought of how you create a Triple A videogame and a hit TV show together without either being compromised. Beliaeff says, "We had these early talks about how to make it work with traditional pitches and it didn't work. We hit the reset button and came up with a completely new approach, and it was to make a world that is big enough for both of us to be successful."
The original series will be a live-action representation of what players experience in the game. However, executive producer Kevin Murphy explains that even if you're not a gamer or a sci-fi fan, Defiance isn't isn't the kind of geeky project that will be exclusionary to outsiders.
"It's a genre show for people who may not necessarily like genre shows," he said. "It's really what we are trying to do. It's got points of access for many different people. Julie [Benz]'s character says in the two-hour premiere that 'we are stronger together,' and that's the whole theme that comes together from the videogame to the television show. There are two amazing creative teams who are trying to one-up each other in terms of how cool things look and how great the stories can be. But the eight races, including human beings, are stronger together."
If you do like gaming, Murphy explains that getting in on the multiplayer Defiance game will have a lot of advantages.
"Two weeks before the show premieres, the videogame will go online," he shares. "For that period, if you play the game right away, you get to hang out with Nolan (Grant Bowler) and Irisa (Stephanie Leonidas) as non-player characters. When they leave the game, they are gone into our [TV] world. In the pilot, there is a very small role of Ryn, who is a spirit-rider. She becomes very important in episodes four and five, and then she leaves the show in episode five to go into the videogame. If you are watching/playing both, she comes into the game in a very big way, then returns to the show at the end of the season."