“Black Watch”

& Fortnite.

Programming / Show & Video Game.

Today, a concrete case.

I’m sticking to my perspective: linking a show with a video game – and to be really clear, I chose the first video game that dared to go outside its framework, with its live concerts inside: Fortnite.

It’s obviously to them that I’ll address first.
Fortnite is a battle Royal – its principle is that in the end there is only one: the winner.
In order to force the players to fight each other, the original map gets smaller and smaller.
It’s a good old-fashioned game of shoot and kill them all
It’s an ultra popular game.
It’s the game that can launch the principle of Altair if they agreed to play with us.

I’m certainly not going to come in with a stupid look and my pretty smile, just to offer them a concept.

No, if I can ever really do something for Altair, I’ll start by preparing the show I want to associate with Fortnite.

And – well not me, I’m not able to write seriously in English – I will have written in French how I want to adapt my show to their game: to have a moment to kill them all in their game with my artists and an e.sport tournament.

So I need to find a play that can match.

I stopped at Black Watch – it’s a first choice – I haven’t been able to see the whole piece and I don’t have the text in front of me yet.

Black Watch is a play written by Gregory Burke. The play focuses on the Scottish soldiers of the Black Watch regiment who took part in Operation TELIC in Iraq in 2004 – it is difficult to be more contemporary – and part of the action takes place on the battlefield.

Here is the context of the main action, actual context : “Based at Camp Dogwood, located between Fallujah and Karbala, in an area later dubbed the “Triangle of Death”, the Black Watch came under sustained insurgent attack from mortars and rockets. On 4 November three soldiers and an interpreter were killed by a car bomb at a check point.

If I understood correctly (I put reservations – I’m just a French girl with folkloric English) the play is not about politics, but about humans caught up in a war that is completely beyond them.

So – so frankly – look at the excerpt and dare to tell me that if, at the time of the fighting, we see on stage, on screens, the fights of Fortnite’s pro-gamers, we are off topic?
Of course not.
Of course, the play will have to be adapted – but it’s completely adaptable.
That’s the entertainment side of it.

The game side is: a Fortnite map built around this famous Triangle of Death – and players struggling to stay alive – each of them can be the traitor – that will be the game and the adaptation – you have to be the only one left. Here is my Battle Royal.
As a team, it may even be closer to the play: there will be those who remain standing from the engaged regiment – or those who remain standing from the fighters of the country. – or those who remain standing from the mercenaries whose only goal is to win as much as possible (this is my 3rd team, which I care about, yes yes).

But the non-player characters are the actors – it was necessary to choose a few minutes of the play where they will act in such a way as to disrupt the course of the Battle Royal: friends? enemies? should they be killed? does it work? what to do with them in order to, in the end, be the last one?

Given the subject, we can even imagine taking the moment when the Black Watch soldiers receive the orders: change the orders, take them with you. Or you will have them against you.
All right, now no one is really looking at a “pure” excerpt of the play.
It’s an excerpt that’s built into the game.
You can vary: take a pure extract and then, without warning, let the players appropriate these non-player characters for their own game.
Or just, if you really want to stay in the purity of the beautiful show, put in the middle of their fights the beautiful fight of the play.
In fact, the possibilities are quite countless – and I have no moral restrictions on this point.

The only restrictions are: the author (still), and the developers of the game.
And how much it costs. But that’s obvious.

Royal Black Watch

What do I, Altair, have to do to make my idea work?

– I have to totally betray the narrative of the play (yes, I know, it’s not morally defensible).
And find/write two sequels, two endings – I can keep the end of the piece anyway in my options.
The ending where the Scots win
The end where the Iraqis win
The end where the translator wins – he was a vile traitor –

If it’s the end where the Scots win, cheating will be for them – so much the worse for those who chose the other side.
This allows me a huge but not too unfair cheating: a lot of players will have their chance to win.
For the end where the translator wins, when he’s supposed to have died in the bombing, there I admit that Altair’s cheating is absolutely outrageous and it will rage-quit in the houses. Well. I don’t care – it’s for the fun.

So this is exactly what I will do – in the future tense, not the conditional – the moment I managed to get out of this bottomless hole I’m stuck in:
I get the author’s approval – I take the piece : Black Watch– I identify the five minutes to transform – I prepare 3 suites and 3 different endings – and I propose this to the Fortnite‘s developers.

And this will be the first real link between a game and a show – a link that goes both ways – starting with the most unexpected and entertaining one: an e.sport tournament.

If the players are there and are happy, Altair has won.

I wanted to start with a game from Ubisoft – because I have serious contacts – but… how can I put it? I have the impression that at the moment, for them, it’s not too much time to listen to the ideas of a crazy person. Then maybe I’m wrong.

Another good news is that there is not just one play on this theme. So it wouldn’t be a “one-shot” collaboration.

And the latest news (well, news, I exaggerate) is that there are dozens of ultra-popular and ultra-played video games in e.sport tournaments on the theme of contemporary wars.

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Featured Image: Black Watch, directed by John Tiffany for the National Theatre of Scotland.

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