machina eX: Live Action Point And Clicking

Use HANDS on HEAD.

Live action roleplay so rarely takes the form of point and click adventures. Yes! A gross oversight! And one taken care of by a German group called machina eX.

This is remarkable stuff. They’re not just mucking around here – it’s a combination of adventure gaming and live theatre, in which players interactive not only with actors, but also all the objects found in the room, in order to solve puzzles. There’s a great deal of footage of this below.

What’s so interesting to me is that the players aren’t the protagonist. Just like in a point-and-click, you’re an active observer, puppeteering the main character, investigating all the objects in the scene, and working out how to manipulate them to allow progress. Have a watch. (While it’s all in German, it’s pretty easy to follow.)

Big thanks to Konrad from Strictly Showreels for the tip.

37 Comments

  1. Mike says:

    What an incredible idea. I’d love to see this done live. The next RPS meetup should improv one of these.

  2. lhaymehr says:

    You know what’d be cool? Live action point and click T&A.

  3. Hoaxfish says:

    So, is this like Fighting Fantasy, but with youtube videos or something instead of paragraphs?

    • matty_gibbon says:

      No. It’s like a live action point and click adventure, like the post says.

    • sbs says:

      The people walking into and out of the rooms are players, and as soon as a part gets to a point where it repeats, they need to figure out how to interact with the scene to keep it going.

      I think the best thing about this is that it highlights the main thing that games have and other mdeium hasn’t, when you do not take part it just stops. A book is written front to back, music, a film, tv a film keeps playing when you leave the room or whatever, games don’t.

    • sbs says:

      The Actors (or NPCs rather) give tips in the form of feedback as well. For example, the puzzle around the 15 minute mark, when the players start interacting with the radio: she implies she dislikes classical music, and as soon as the players figure out the radio station, she complains about the static noise, so they know they need to get rid of it.

    • Asherie says:

      @sbs ‘the best thing….keep playing when you leave the room…games don’t’

      Actually, unless you pause it, they do keep playing. On an RTS you would get attacked by the AI or opposing player. On an FPS you are unlikely to trigger any events just standing there but if any are timed and not based on you passing an invisible threshold – more death to the uncontrolled player’.

      I think what you mean to say is that like a game, this has improvising. Play it twice and it wont be the same even if its a scripted single player.

    • icupnimpn2 says:

      So, this is like Tickle Me Elmo, but with Germans or something instead of Muppets?

    • sbs says:

      Asherie: Well but the narrative doesnt continue, is what i mean.

  4. tanith says:

    I do speak German however I don’t really understood what the story is about. It’s either a hospital, a home for children or a mental institution.

    • sinister agent says:

      I’ve got 50p going on “all three”. Six to one.

    • machina eX says:

      @tanith: thats right. it is about a hospital, an orpanage and somehow also about the military base it used to be. the plot was about these three time-levels of the building clashing together somehow, but lots of people did not completly get it. the second piece (15.000 Gray) was a bit different because we realized the first one confused some people. its a bit of a pain in the neck to make these kind of games a) playable and b) understandable. but we’re making progress ;-). besides this: this is just the first half of the game. in the end it might all become a bit clearer.

      @rockpapershotgung: hell yeah. thanks for featuring us (just discovered it via our wordpress pingback and cried out loud). we are proud to be mentioned on a international gaming platform. next game will be released in april 2012, btw. in berlin, germany. maybe you like to come over and play?

      greetz
      philip of machina eX

  5. Joyo says:

    What a superlative idea for a Halloween Party.

    THANK YOU, GERMANY!

  6. awwells says:

    Expect to see alot of development in the theatre space in the next few years in relation to gaming. and not just from a marketing perspective like here…

    link to telegraph.co.uk…and-darkness-descended-Waterloo-Station-Arches-review.html

    in resent years london theatre has been enjoying a innovation explosion like the gaming scene. Both aiming at immersing their audiences in their work – cannot wait for someone to team up with tale of tales.

    • JuJuCam says:

      The interesting thing is that this could almost be seen as a natural progression of theatrical modes and methods that have been developing for a while. Some friends of mine developed a show last year in which some of the audience members were given character to play, some props and a short brief and had an opportunity to influence the progression of the story. The writer / producer is not by any means a gamer and didn’t see it as a game at all, more a semi-improvised theatrical performance. Which may be the reason it didn’t quite find its audience, despite a four star review in a major city paper.

  7. Inglourious Badger says:

    Don’t they know it’s rude to point and click

  8. lsf says:

    Something… similar(?). On chatroulette, back when it still existed.

  9. nameroc says:

    Soo… no one here heard of Byzantine: The Betrayal? A live action point and click that came out in 97? That makes me sad. It was a cool game that was under appreciated. It wasn’t a pinnacle of technology but it looked awesome when it came out!

    Edit: Oh wait, this is ACTUALLY live. Huh. That’s what I get for not watching it with sound on. Now I’m intrigued!

  10. fenriz says:

    brilliant! And american games are about killing everything and everyone in their warfares. Bravo!

  11. Chorltonwheelie says:

    Germans having fun with their clothes on?
    Antoine de Caunes should be told.

  12. jeffthewonderbadger says:

    Staring Eyes, surely?

  13. maddogx1 says:

    This has nothing on Knightmare
    link to youtube.com

    The Germans don’t have Treguard or the cool intro segment.

  14. Premium User Badge

    Hodge says:

    This has a better interface than Grim Fandango.

  15. misterT0AST says:

    it’s already been done by Terry Cavanagh, the creator of VVVVVV, check out Deterministica, this little live-action point and click game he posted on Newgrounds
    link to newgrounds.com

    • mejoff says:

      Like the poster above, I think you’ve missed the point, this is a combination performance-art/puzzlegame/LARP, you’re not watching in-game footage here, you’re watching the game being played on site.

  16. JuJuCam says:

    It’s amazing how people comment without watching the video or reading the post and comments. This isn’t something you can download and play, people!

  17. WJonathan says:

    And this will devolve into porn in 3…2…1…

  18. Ergates_Antius says:

    It amuses me that (at around 10 seconds in) the german for “Point and click adventure” is “Point und click adventure”.

    Also, this thing is, in general, badass.

  19. TariqOne says:

    This sort of thing is being done in various forms around the world, primarily without the games overlay.

    Here in NYC, and I believe originating in London, Sleep No More (link to sleepnomorenyc.com) is probably the most high-profile, high-production-value example of this kind of interactive theater ’round these parts. But the whole notion of storytelling is getting tossed about in multiple media, not just games/games derivations.

    Yay!

  20. machina eX says:

    btw: the second part of the performance can now be found here:

  21. Hastur says:

    Paging Roger Ebert….

  22. TamraErl2122 says:

    quang ba website
    I am really looking forward to this, a fresh idea for this console generation. As other mentioned before there are games similar but some may find it hard to get passed the old looking graphics and I think for this game to succeed it will have to look mighty pretty, considering it is all about capturing your surroundings.