Televirtual wireframe for its Real-Action Pipline (RAP) software demonstration.

New Software Helps Rekindle Knightmare

By Alan Boyd

The maker of 1980s kids adventure show Knightmare is developing new software to bring the show back as a live interactive virtual reality dungeon adventure show, writes Sam Espensen


We want to do something deep, dark, dirty and full of dangerous things.

Tim Child

Devised by Televirtual's Tim Child, the original show pioneered blue-screen technology involving blindfolding a 'dungeoneer' and sending him into a blue screen studio.

The player would then 'walk' around a hand drawn chromakey dungeon. The new version will feature virtual reality and avatar (3D cloning) technology.

Mixed reality shows are costly, Child said, because they combine the most expensive elements - studios, real people and interactive computerised environments.

So Child has been developing a RAP (realtime animated pipeline), a PC-based system that allows several characters to interact with each other and dispense with the need for a studio.

Child is surprisingly not looking for a commission for the new Knightmare because, he said, right issues surrounding the original meant that: "it made 17 million quid and everyone got a big drink except us. I'm not saying if someone comes to me I won't do it."

We believe there's a worldwide market for this show, but everyone's waiting for everyone else to show them the way and we think the only way to slash through the Gordian Knot is to start putting together the system ourselves.

Tim Child

Child added that steering clear of kids channels means he won't have "characterised animation forced on us. Perhaps we won't be customising some of this content to the market we want to address, but we want to do something deep, dark, dirty and full of dangerous things".

BROADCAST Magazine
21 February 2003

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