The newly formed Vancouver-based developer Smoking Gun has unveiled its first collaborative work with famed writer Douglas Rushkoff; an online comic which ventures into the fictional world of the developer’s next – and still undisclosed – title.
Smoking Gun Interactive was formed of several industry veterans who left Company of Heroes developer Relic back in 2007.
After a quiet period, in May the group announced its aim to create transmedia franchises, claiming that its partnership with Rushkoff (pictured) was central to that goal.
Rushkoff has gained a reputation as an essayist, a New York University lecturer and as a consultant for the United Nations Commission on World Culture.
The new online comic, entitled ‘X’, is the first outcome of Rushkoff’s aim to assist Smoking Gun on the narrative behind the studio’s new project.
The series of comics, which can be found on exoriare.com, is jointly-illustrated by Smoking Gun’s lead concept artist Cheoljoo Lee.
True to Smoking Gun's transmedia direction, the comic itself already features ineractive elements which links to an Alternate Reality Game.
“One of our main goals as a studio is to constantly innovate in how we tell our stories”, said Smoking Gun CEO John Johnson.
“Our perspective is, if you can interact with it, then it can be part of the experience we deliver. And if you cannot interact with it, then we will evolve it to the point where it can be part of our universe. There are no boundaries to where we can go or what we can accomplish. The first time we buried something in the desert, this time we buried a world inside a graphic novel, in a way that’s never been done before”
Rushkoff himself claimed that his work with Smoking Gun has been “insanely challenging and insanely fun”.
Said Rushkoff: "While I work on threading one narrative through this material, other artists are building it out on many other levels, all at once, for different people to engage with in so many different ways. So for the audience this multi-faceted, multi-media approach brings new dimension to the epic struggle that we're talking about here: nothing short of how humanity defines itself."