I just finished my first trip on the Galactic Starcruiser and I have some notes. The first one is on the path, I played the smugglers path and won’t be posting any spoilers here just the minimal concepts necessary to discuss the work.
I’ve been cast at a Renn Faire, did some theater in college, played LARP for a number of years and i also later served as a storyteller in the same game. I spoiled myself on story elements and read all the available material on Galaxy’s Edge and Starcruiser that I could find. Also participated in groups trying to figure out the technology and methods used on the Starcruiser.
First off, Disney made a new thing, blending in person activity with interactive missions online so they deserve credit for making the Datapad work on iOS and Android and integrating the Magic Band into the ecosystem.
Video games have had those for a while, but not Live Action.
There are storylines where the datapad carries the load, try to imagine Mass Effect without letters to Shepherd. The datapad also has utilities that help you do stuff like hacking in Mass Effect and track your itinerary. There are character interactions, imagine the dialogue options from ME in the datapad, but then add in free-form interactions where you’re talking to a real human. Stuff is happening all around you in the world that doesn’t touch the datapad.
Then somehow using Magic Band taps on doors anf consoles and remotely sensing the bands location, with input from the actors that in person activity is linked into the datapad keeping track of your progress.
At various points the system tags your tracker and schedules new events based on both virtual and in person interactions.
Losing the Plot
Sometimes you don’t badge into an already open door or talk/listen to a human but maybe you are too far away to be picked up on the actor’s sensory gear. It’s possible that your datapad won’t process the milestone add so it doesn’t add you to the next story activity.
It’s also possible you had something come up and missed a step, life happens.
There’s no safety net that I’m aware of that automatically catches you. If you are aware of the discrepancy you can ask the actor or another cast member and they’ll have you scan your band and that should get you back on track. If you don’t know that you fell off the guardrails, and therefore don’t ask and miss a story element, there’s no getting that moment back.
My suggestion is to add some kind of loose thread collection that messages you in the app as the character to see if you’re coming to event at a certain place, at the appointed time and then drop an event into your schedule if you say yes.
How do I know this?
I’ve read the message traffic for a lot of the datapad interactions, and by cabinmate and I were both on the smuggler’s path, when we compared notes I had one event, while my cabinmate had two events. We found out cast member, he explained what was needed and then had us tap our magic bands on a nearby console.
So while it’s fixable, you have to know it’s broken and go seek out an immersion breaking solution.
All credit to our Raithe Kole, he fixed it and kept it as in world as possible.
There was a period of time on day 1 when the interaction seemed to die off, we might not know if we fell off the guardrails or people were getting a break before dinner.
An Aside About Spoilers
I’ve read most of the spoiler threads about the stories, having read the plotline is one thing. Raithe claps you on the shoulder and tells you you’re going somewhere, meet character, doing a cool thing is totally different than reading what happened to somebody else.
There Are Many Like It, But This One Is Mine.
From the actors and the datapad you’ll go through a series of fetch quests and push the button quests, and A to B to C quests. While everyone on your path has the same quests, YOU did the thing. In the market for experiences people go to movies and take away their own experience from essentially the same input. In this case your subjective experience is even more different and that stimulates different areas of the brain and reward centers than passively receiving entertainment.
Getting To Know You
On day one people check in for a while and take different amounts of time to get to the same point in their stories. It’s kind of funny that the first time we really meet the other people on our path is later in the afternoon. You might stumble across others on your path at some unrelated activity, but that’s leaving a lot up to chance.
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