Knightmare Lexicon - A Knightmare Encyclopædia
Lookup:

#  A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

[Home] [Login]
1. TimeGate
 
 [Related Image] TimeGate was an adventure gameshow format devised by the makers of Knightmare, hotly anticipated by KM fans but ultimately never commissioned. Its tagline was "a game to die for".

Tim Child first mentioned the project (jointly developed by Televirtual and Fremantle-Thames Media) in July 2001, providing Knightmare.com with a promotional graphic that the website described as "The first glimpse of what could be the next Knightmare". The subsequent announcement in November 2002 about plans to re-format Knightmare caused some confusion among fans, with several assuming that TimeGate had been a working title for KMVR. Child confirmed that the two were separate programmes using the same software engine - the latter would resemble Knightmare's simpler early seasons, allowing it to be broadcast live to a younger audience, while TimeGate was "a far more complex and adult-orientated adventure" incorporating the "interactive drama/soap elements" that crept in during the Lord Fear era. Channel 4 had the option of airing TimeGate (an hour-long show) but reportedly pulled out, with BBC2 said to be its likely new home. However, it had to be sidelined while Televirtual prioritised the development of KMVR, and both were eventually shelved. In a 2007 interview, Child said: "We spent about £20k on TimeGate and £40k on KMVR. After that we waited to see if a broadcaster would pick up and fund. They didn't."
 
 [Related Image] Like KMVR, TimeGate was a virtual reality game (described by Child as "a coming-of-age for VR in television"). The dungeoneer's face was virtually cloned, transforming them into an avatar, and they were not blind but restricted to a first-person view. They were guided by a single advisor in a museum-style antechamber, with a Barco Baron projection table giving them a "god's eye" view of the gaming environment. Up to 30 virtual characters could be driven by a cast of actors in real time, using gesture recognition and natural language technology that took six years to develop.
 
 [Related Image] TimeGate was set in a hostile fantasy world called Underland, "the size of a large English county and as unpredictable as a Beirut street". It was populated by wizards, warlocks, warring elvish tribes, goblins/orcs, thieves and merchants, who would have to be handled with care: "Combat could result in the player's death and elimination from the game. It's a dangerous world, so they must forge allegiances with other characters." They would also have to find clues and perform a series of tasks. The most obvious difference between Knightmare and TimeGate was the aim of the game - instead of questing for a symbolic object, players collected virtual treasure which could then be converted to a real cash prize if they made it out alive. In order to escape with the loot, they would have to locate the mysterious shifting portal known as the TimeGate. To cover production costs, the TV show would be accompanied by a multiplayer online RPG where viewers could pay to explore Underland themselves.
 
 [Related Image] Though a full pilot episode was too expensive to produce, Televirtual released a 3½ minute trailer starring Tom Karol as the bespectacled host, with his nephew Kosmo as the dungeoneer and niece Holly as the advisor. The intro showed glimpses of Underland while a sinister narrator warned: "In a world of incredible dangers, the greatest hazard of all is time. So, you have to watch the clock if you want to keep your head."
 
 [Related Image] Kosmo was seen jumping through the TimeGate from the antechamber, instantly transforming into a virtual avatar before arriving at a crossroads. Holly confirmed she could see him from above, and would be able to track him as he moved around. The host advised against standing still for too long.
 
 [Related Image] The narrator explained that the TimeGate was "never in the same place twice". Kosmo found a gate marker indicating that he was on the right track - which meant this path was doubly dangerous.
 
 [Related Image] Kosmo discovered a gold bar and pile of gemstones. The host said they'd picked up £15,000 worth of treasure, but would lose everything if they failed to reach the gate.
 
 [Related Image] A shady-looking character offered them a key in exchange for £5,000 in gold or gems. This would allow them to operate the golem - "It's the only way over the River of Pain." They agreed to part with some of their treasure rather than risk getting trapped in Underland.
 
 [Related Image] Kosmo was then seen operating the golem (a huge mechanical creature) from inside. As he could see nothing except the controls, he needed Holly to confirm that it was working.
 
 [Related Image] The golem was able to walk across a white hot lava stream. With the TimeGate now open, they had only a minute left to escape. The trailer ended on a cliffhanger as Holly urged Kosmo to hurry.

Provided By: Canadanne, 2015-12-18 20:36:16
Thumbs up    Thumbs down
1 up, 0 down
login to vote