Sep 30 2008 12:43pm

Choose Your Own Infection: The Outbreak

Remember those Choose Your Own Adventure books from way back in the day? You know, the ones that read non-linearly and offered choices like:

If you decide to start back home, turn to page 4.
If you decide to wait, turn to page 5.

Of course you do.

Well, director Chris Lund has done us one better: The Outbreak is a choose your own adventure film about—you guessed it—a zombie outbreak.

Visit the site and as you watch the movie, you’re presented with choices you have to make in order to move the plot along. Depending on what you choose, a different sequence in the film is cued up. Decide on the right course of action, and you live on to the next sequence. Make the wrong choice, of course, and you die a brain-munchingly gruesome death.

The site loads pretty quickly and has a handy plot tree so that you can go back and take alternate paths in the story. As with the books I remember as a child, half the fun is finding yourself up against a dead end and backtracking, in order to make a “better” choice.

Via Matt Stagg’s Twitter feed.

Eric Braddock
1. EricBraddock
That actually sounds pretty rad. I remember those books and I think it's an interesting concept to adapt into a film context. Pretty sweet, I'll have to check that out sometime.
Eric Tolle
2. ErictheTolle
The immediate (most likely pretty horrible) idea I had was to translate this into a movie theatre experience, the same way that ((IIRC) Clue did. Let the viewers vote on the path to take, and see how far they get into the story.

Now, if we can get an AI with dedicated super-graphics capability, it could create new scenes accordign to the audience choices. We could have something really neat there, as every story could be different.
Clifton Royston
3. CliftonR
Reaching waaaay back here, I remember reading that the Czech pavilion at Expo '68 had a branching movie, where the audience would vote on what happened next at various junctures.

To make it work, they had the movie structured so that each of the two choices would eventually reconverge just in time for the next choice, so throughout the movie the projectionist really just had to turn on the bulb in projector 1 or projector 2, depending on what the audience had voted.

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