Cross Platform Persistence

Over the past few weeks I've been setting up and using iCloud, and it got me thinking about how great it's going to be when iOS game saves are stored in the cloud as standard, so I can be playing Hardlines or Jetpack Joyride on my iPad at home, and later be sat on a bus somewhere and pick up the game on my iPhone and carry on from where I left off, just like I do when reading books on my kindle app.

In fact kindle takes this a step further and you can read on your iPad, Mac, PC, iPhone or Kindle and it will always keep track of where you are in the book and start you on one platform from where you left off on the other

It's a persistent experience across multiple platforms…

Which got me thinking about the possibilities for cross platform persistance in Videogames.

But you couldn't do that with Videogames, you couldn't start, say Uncharted 3, or Gears of War 3, on your console in the morning and that afternoon at work carry on playing on the iPad.. you have platform limitations for a start…

Yet technically you could share the save data itself across multiple platforms, or allow access to stats, GTA 4 allowed me to see my progress in a PS3 game, in realtime on the web...

So why not create a set of cross platform experiences suited to the individual devices, but that use the same save data, create a sort of metagame, or Videogame ecosystem surrounding a title, why not allow;

Persistence of content across multiple platforms 

So let's take a straight forward example;

You're playing Resident Evil 7 and you've just discovered a wannabe evil scientists lair, as our burly hero Chris leaves, he looks back and get's out his radio. 

"KC, you should check this place out, I'm sure we could use some of this stuff to upgrade our equipment"

At which point a notification pops up on the screen

"Jacob's Laboratory unlocked" 

And, a few seconds later the same notification appears on your iPhone (in real life) notifying you that by clicking a link you can download Resident Evil 7 Assist, an iOS/Android game, and help Chris in his struggle against Umbrella.

You download the game, it syncs to your Playstation, Xbox and iOS accounts, gives you a trophy or achievement, and you're playing a side game on your mobile. 

It's more of a puzzle game, you take the role of KC, working in the lab to upgrade equipment and create weapons, and you can trade gold and equipment in realtime with the ps3 version of the game, or offline, so you can take KC to work and carry on the experience…

You could have a;  

  • Garage experience for Grand Turismo, allowing you to tune the cars and hand paint them with your iPads touch screen
  • Backstory for an inconsequential character that gets killed in Gears of War, as soon as they're dispatched you can play their final 60 minutes in an iOS game that reveals a twist and alters the ending of the game
  • If you wanted to get really clever you'd take a leaf from Ian Banks and have multiple story lines that merge together, so you have two exclusives on different platforms one tells a story, the other looks at the story from a different perspective, both using the same save data, so the two frequently collide and your actions on one platform alter the other.

I could go on for hours about the possibilities, but I'm sure you can take it from here :)

 

Just a thought :)