Created by the Kanpur-based development firm Hexolabs as a marketing device and demonstration in the effectiveness of branded, interactive storytelling, the series makes clever use of YouTube annotations. With an XKCD aesthetic and Dragon’s Lair-like gameplay, players must click on in-video pop-ups in order to navigate a car through 7 precarious situations so it can live to ride another day.
It’s not a substitute for MetaFilter’s Flash Friday fun, but it’s an interesting way content creators can use simple tools to create unique entertainment experiences specific to the web. Some filmmakers, like Madrid-based Victor Losa, have already caught on.
Despite Hexolab’s claim that A Car’s Life is the “the first ever interactive game in YouTube,” Losa’s been experimenting with the video sharing site’s annotations for several months, creating a Zelda-like, choose-your-own-adventure, Spanish language, role-playing game complete with retro Nintendo sound effects.
Only the first few installments of Tube-Adventures are subtitled, so it’s tough to follow if you don’t speak the language, but maybe that’s a good thing. The confusion creates a thin veil for foreign viewers that, for at least a brief period of time, hides the amateur production and adds a quirky novelty to the scenes.
But if the series is good or terrible (having not survived more than 2 years of high school Spanish, it’s tough for me to tell), Losa is clearly onto something. The trailer for Tube-Adventures has racked up nearly 400,000 views and a second season is in the works.
In terms of interactive options, online filmmakers are now capable of creating stories way more engaging than “choose A or B,” Satacracy88 narratives. I expect to see a lot more experimentation with these types of tools.