NotGames is a small group of friends who decided to make a Full Motion Video Game called Not For Broadcast just before a global pandemic. Somehow we were able to shoot a TV show, turn it into a video game and accidentally break a Guinness World Record in the process.

Joining the AMA are:

Alex Paterson - Director, Writer, Designer and Art

Jason Orbaum - Director, Writer, Music and Programmer

Denis Sewell - Director of Photography, Film Production, Video and Art

Andrew Murray - CEO, Localisation, Additional Writing and Level Design

Ask us about bringing TV into video games, the present and future of Full Motion Video, filming during a pandemic, the Early Access model or comedy in games.

Not For Broadcast on Steam

Chat with us on Discord

Proof: Here's my proof!

Comments: 229 • Responses: 36  • Date: 

iMogwai326 karma

What exactly is the record you broke?

notgamesltd650 karma

"Most Full Motion Video footage in a videogame"

The game has 42 hours, 57 minutes and 52 seconds of video in it. The previous record was 7 Hours and 11 minutes!

CrassostreaVirginica194 karma

I'm unfamiliar with Full Motion Video, could you talk a little bit more about that tech and how your video game fits into the broader industry?

notgamesltd269 karma


FMV (Full Motion Video) means footage of live action actors and real sets shot on real cameras. There's a long history of FMV games dating back to the 80s, games like Night Trap in the 90s and more recent additions like Her Story.

The vast majority of FMV games try to merge live action film with CG locations etc for a feel that is more like an interactive movie. What Her Story and us have done is to keep the video footage AS video footage. The character in the game knows they are watching video footage and that creates a much more immersive and interesting experience. We have built the entire game and its mechanics around this.

You are a TV editor tasked with creating a live news broadcast from the footage coming in. You pick the camera angles, censor the language and make editorial decisions. As far as we know, it's the first time anyone has tried to do something like this in a game.

SilvermistInc80 karma

Love your game guys! I gotta ask though, what was inspiration for the Police Chief with a sex dungeon in his closet? Holy crap. That thing caught me so off guard that I laughed until I lost my voice.

notgamesltd88 karma

There was a famous interview on BBC news where a kid interrupted this serious interview and we really liked that idea. The first interview (where the lawyer gets divorced) we tried to match the original reference and then each following scene we tried to top the ridiculous of that....

Mouse_Nightshirt34 karma

Irony of ironies, I bought this very game this morning. Really enjoying it!

How do you go about getting acting talent for a game like this? Do you find actors think differently of this work than other mediums? What are they hoping to get out of working on a project such as this?

notgamesltd46 karma

Alex: I started out as an actor before becoming a game dev so an awful lot of teh cast are friends from my acting days.

Yes! We found most actors didn't really understand the world of gaming and as this is a completely new way of approaching it - they didnt really always get what we were trying to make!

Paid !

AtomicAus27 karma

Hey guys! I've had NFB for about two years after seeing from JackSepticEye. I love the humour you create and feel it translates really well across cultures, but I've been wondering if there are any jokes you had in the game that you removed because you didn't think they'd work well with an international community?

notgamesltd26 karma

Nope! If it made us laugh it went in.

ThatGuyCrasher20 karma

I can imagine that developing a video game during a pandemic, and especially one such as this, could be very demanding and/or challenging, but after only playing through the first episode and the "bonus" episode, I have to applaud you for creating a brilliant game that I can really feel and sympathize with as a broadcaster myself ^_^

Now onwards to an actual question: Regarding the challenges, what sort of challenges did you all face during development, and as a followup, how would you rank them?

Thank you again for taking your time on both the game and reading this!

notgamesltd33 karma

Thank you so much. Our exhausted emotional brains needed those kind words!

  1. Covid.
  2. Each Other
  3. Running out of milk
  4. Running out of money
  5. Unable to afford more milk

Lerkscore17 karma

Will this game get VR support anytime soon? I think this game was practically made for VR

notgamesltd24 karma

We've always wanted to. It started out in that format initially and so we'd still love to see it.

TidoTBliss14 karma

I've likely only seen a fraction of the new content, having just finished one route myself, but it was a fantastic experience and definitely worth the wait. But I do have one question, with a mild bit of spoilery-ness to it.

What in the (pardon my language) hell happened to the real Patrick Bannon. Assassinated? Ground up into mulch? Hiding on a tropical island?

notgamesltd22 karma

Alex: Banished to another dimension.

Jay: Only Fans.

Den: Turned into a viscous liquid.

Andy: Gave up his career as a journalist to fight mediocre crimes as a vigilante.

Broastro13 karma

How did the snuggle hugs level come in? What inspired that?

notgamesltd33 karma

We were supposed to be shooting Episode 2 and then there was a pandemic so we had to cancel it. We quickly needed to find a way to do SOMETHING because we didn't want to let the fans down. The Snugglehugs was because we needed to have a reason for the characters to be locked down - but didn't want to do a pandemic. we thought people would be sick of that sort of stuff by the time it was out and also at that time in March 2020 we weren't sure how deadly Covid would be and didnt think it would be very funny to do a comedy pandemic as lots of people lost their lives.

There's a documentary on youtube about how we did it.

JusMonika9 karma

How many takes in total or atleast estimated were done in order to record everything for NFB?

notgamesltd14 karma

Impossible to say!

Easily thousands.

InfinityHeptik8 karma

Ooh, ooh, I've got some!

Obviously, with a game like NFB that has so many different choices and paths to take, there's a lot of creativity required. Did you get any ideas or inspiration from any books, films or TV shows? If so, what are they?

Also, what are your favourite in-game/irl commercials/advertisements?

I love the game - I've been playing since the Episode 1 release, only one broadcast into Episode 3 and I can already tell it's shaping up to be a roller-coaster. Even wore my NFB logo tee to work yesterday to commemorate! Keep it coming! ✌️

notgamesltd12 karma

Question One:

Andy (wrote incident story and text): The Bioware games for branching narrative and character arc.

Den (DOP): Day Today.

Al (wrote/directed roughly half the game): Python, Partridge, Mitchell and Webb, and Cowards.

Jay (did the other half): 1984, Brave New World, Brazil, Handmaid's Tale, and many many comics and graphic novels - The Department of Truth made a big impact just before writing episode three.

Question Two:

Andy: Crazy Neil Bankrupt.

Den: Flard Festival.

Al: Check your Prostate.

Jay: Eau de Baboin

Thank you for your lovely compliments. I hope you enjoy whichever ending you reach. :)

fallguysfan1039456 karma

have you guys still decided on spinoff broadcast dlcs?

notgamesltd12 karma

Talks are ongoing over tea.

Pinkuaeris5 karma

How many pineapples are there? over 10 at least?
(tempted to go and find them all)

notgamesltd6 karma

Waaaaay more than 10. Just look at the wallpaper for starters!

Pinkuaeris5 karma

It's over! How does everyone feel? I assume a large party is in order! Congratulations to everyone who took part in the making and support of this game.

notgamesltd7 karma

Den: Really Really tired.

Alex: I thought I would be absolutely ecstatic but I'm not sure it's sunk in. It can't be done surely?

Andy: Tired but happy with where the game is in the end.

Jay: Tired. Beyond that I don't know yet. I'll let you know when I'm less tired.

Happy-Kevin4 karma

What is your favorite episode/chapter? Like the first episode which were in the initial release, the next episode which went up to liberation day and then the final episode which was released with the official launch? I’m wondering which one was your favorite

notgamesltd5 karma

Jay: They all have different strengths. Episode One sets up the world and is very funny. Episode Two has the first of the big dramatic sequences, and Episode Three does all the big reveals and player conclusions. It's very hard for me to pick a favourite because they each do such different jobs. Sorry to cop out.

CaptainPedge4 karma

How much influence did the actors have? Was there much in the way of improv on set, or were you quite strict with the script?

notgamesltd12 karma

Different actors have different approaches. The Prime-Ministers pretty much were word perfect, as were some of the guests. Jeremy and Megan paraphroased around the script as was required in long takes to cover/patch, but even they stayed pretty tight to the script as written - maybe one day we'll publish it so you can see what a herculean line-learning effore it was! On the other extreme, George Vere (Patrick Bannon) likes to embellish (and is very funny so we let hime) and with Stu Morrison (Crazy Neil) we just show him photos and let him riff for 20 minutes than cut the craziest bits out of that. It's good practice to suit your technique to the talents of the artistes with whom you are lucky enough to work.

Pinkuaeris4 karma

There are many endings, which is the "true" ending?

notgamesltd9 karma

Jay: They are all canon. This is the end of the story and any further additions we may be planning will not contradict any of the endings. They are the correct ending for the story you, the player, chooses to tell. I wrote them all and approached each as the end of a particular story and combination of events. Al then built the Epilogues out of the ending reached plus the behaviour of the player at subtler levels throughout the game.

WoOmYnAt0r4 karma

How do you feel about the Telethon? How did you get the idea to film it?

notgamesltd13 karma

Jay: I love how the Telethon is like a one act play. George Vere carries the majority of the work on his back and thank god he's so incredibly talented! We had plans for other bonus levels set in other time periods but they had to be shelved to make room for finishing the actual main story! Or we'd be in Early Access for ever! :)

HGMIV9263 karma

Hey guys! I've played a few hours of the game so far and I'm loving the experience!

What are some things you wanted to put in the game but didn't make the cut?

notgamesltd11 karma

Jay: We had a prologue about the fall of the previous primeminister (in a scandal involving parties...)

Andy: We wanted to have the main menu change to reflect your experience.

Den: A long, full cut of one of the beauty adverts.

Alex: A few of my favourite jokes ended up on the cutting room floor but I managed to sneak my all time fave back into an ending... (They think it's all over, it is meow.)

PieEnvironmental94453 karma

FMV games have historically been crap. What makes yours good?

notgamesltd15 karma

Jay: We decided very early on that we would strive to be "not crap". :)

Also, more seriously, we used trained professional camera-trained actors and worked hard to stop them from overplaying (which has haunted much FMV) and we only showed real humans on screens WITHOUT pretending they were anything other than screens. Thus, hopefully, we stayed out of the uncanny valley. We looked to what makes TV such a popular activity and tried to look at that. Long single continuous takes, with level's the length of short plays, also helped to ground and draw the player into the world.

JonathanRL2 karma

What was your main inspiration for the humour in the game?

notgamesltd4 karma

All sorts but a lot of: The Day Today, Brasseye, Monty Pyton and Partridge

chaosdemon20042 karma

What were some of your real life inspirations for certain events or characters in the game?

notgamesltd3 karma

Alex: Some of the big musical characters were based on Britney and Kanye respectively. Gordon Ramsay goes without saying...

Jay: Corona!

AmanGiDi2 karma

When you guys make the system for the broadcast, whether it's scoring the edit or the broadcast meter that goes up that's also affected by the swearing, I know the input has to be manual, what kind of difficulties did you encounter when tinkering with those gameplay elements?

notgamesltd5 karma

Andy: When we first started we scored the footage in Adobe Premiere Pro. This meant doing a "scoring exports" with different colour dots (green/yellow/red) at the relevant times over the footage, that the game would then read and import. It would also require manually marking all the swears in time with the footage. Fast forward almost three years, I now score it all using timelines in Unity itself, checking against the footage with different AV events for different scoring and different mechanics.

Things like electricity/fan overheat were, originally, done by manually timing when to trigger the event (I distinctly remember having to play the final segment of level 03 over and over again while tweaking when each part of electricity would happen and for how long. Every change required a new play through and was a very time consuming process). Thankfully, these are also now tied to timelines and I can see the footage as I go. The old interference was built by laying out a level and testing in play mode, but it had an awful tendency to randomly start any movements/rotations which made consistent testing impossibly hard.

The final thing is scoring swears in different languages - to do this, I import a track in Russian or Chinese, which the dubbing teams have bleeped over any swear words/phrases, and then by ear and eye manually add a swear event for each bleep on the track. So it's much better integrated and more intuitive now, but still takes a long while!

TL;DR: It's better now than when we started and done in the Unity timeline, but is still a manual process that requires multiple iterations and polishes.

MisterScrub2 karma

What was it like trying to A. Find all the actors for the ridiculous roles you guys wrote? and B. Scheduling all of those actors for shooting?

Thanks for the great game guys! Really excited to play through the final part!

notgamesltd5 karma

We are lucky enough to have a LOT of actor friends so we started there and then went to the usual casting places when we ran out.

B) Let me ask our producer Zara.

Zara: It was complicated. It required perseverance...

Pinkuaeris2 karma

Now that Ep3 is released, what is everyone's favorite bit/scene? any favorite endings as well?

notgamesltd5 karma

Alex: Changes every day. Right now - The Unsuccessful sitcom.

Den: Ending 09-03B-01

Andy: The noticeboard finales

Jay: Staceys final thought

Keswik2 karma

What is a full motion video game? Is it like a choose your own adventure type thing, where different choices lead to different scenes?

notgamesltd10 karma

Any game that involves fully-filmed video footage. They can be any genre or style but there is certainly a tendancy to to interactive movie or adventure style.

We specifically wanted to move away from that stereotype and show that FMV games can be very different to that. Not For Broadcast puts you in charge of a News show on TV having to live edit camera angles in a dystopian alternate Britain.

UnadvertisedAndroid3 karma

Was the prime minister prologue cut before or after the scandal was revealed? I mean, were you guys predicting the future and not even realizing it? Or was it pulled because it was too fresh and you would have caught flak?

notgamesltd8 karma

No, it was pulled long before recent events. He was going to be brought down in a sex scandal, if we're honest. A disgusting one. We had it all worked out. Bannon was going to bring him down with Jeremy live on the news at a press conference. In the end, it would have cost a lot of money and not gained us much. The plan was to use it for the demo so you could play the demo, get some extra story, but not actually have played the main story at all. Like the Stanley Parable did.

Callum90001 karma

What was the inspiration/original idea for the game?

notgamesltd6 karma

Jay: A scrap of paper Al turned up at my house four years ago waving frenetically with a drawing of the broadcast room. Everything grew from there.

Tortussa4351 karma

What engine did you use for the game?

notgamesltd6 karma

Yes Unity :)

OfficerDab1 karma

What was the most finniest scene to shoot & why?

notgamesltd7 karma

Alex: Tommy Harris - Check your prostate. I was sent out of the room because I ruined so many takes by laughing.

Den: Yeah me too - Check Your Prostate.

Jay: Big Chris' House of Chris'. I got sent on that one by giggling...

Andy: The Sommerset-Bentleys. Watching us film that outside my parents house was so surreal.

thedarkreaper2251 karma

Was there any moment when you guys were about to give up and stop developing the game?

notgamesltd3 karma

No. We annoyed almost everyone we knew with out stubborn refusal to give up and just did it anyway. I'm glad we did but acknowledge it could have been huge hubris.

GasolineCrea1 karma

Is there a reason for the gag/thing with Patrick Bannon? (to be vague enough not to spoil)

notgamesltd5 karma

It was something that was in the story from the very beginning. We've always loved it when teams really 'commit to the bit' eg Hollywoo in Bojack or anything Mac does in IASIP!

We nearly cut it because we werent sure it would play but decided to back ourselves.

vo1tis1 karma

Hey guys ^^ !

I love your game, it's a really interesting way to create video games (link a game and reality with Videos, etc.)

I had a few questions:

1- How have you been inspired about the scenario, and the game mechanics ?

2- Do you have any plans to be published to others stores (such as EpicGameStore, Origin) ?

3- What was the hardest scene to produce ?

4- Would you like to create more games, in the same or in a new universe in the future

notgamesltd3 karma

  1. We started with a drawing of a TV broadcast room and grew it organically from there. The scenario was born out of a logical progression - what TV show is always live and on loads - The News? Okay, so the story will be political/satirical.
  2. We're on Gog and Epic now. I think Origin is for one specific publisher, isn't it? These decisions are made by our fabulous publisher tinybuild, but I'm sure they're as keen as we are to get it in front of as many players as possible.
  3. Al: The Nightly Show. Den: The Level 7 Memorial Service. Andy: The Nightly Show. Jay: The Team Awards.
  4. Yes, probably in a universe parallel to this.

PrizePick1 karma

Do you have any favorite Indie games? Not any that necessarily inspired the Not For Broadcast but Any that found comforting or entertaining during this or the past year?
I'd be pretty interested to know if have any in the wholesome Genere of Indie Games :)

notgamesltd3 karma

Alex: I know I'm late to the party but I've been obsessed with Outer Wilds recently.

Den: Thomas Was Alone

Jay: The Outer Wilds too!

Andy: Don't Starve together or Human Fall Flat

_Ellwill_1 karma

Question for Jay, will full versions of the songs featured in the New Future Album advert in Episode 3 be featured on the OST? 'Betterment' and 'Masque' in particular?

notgamesltd3 karma

Sadly not. Everything I recorded for those songs is on the OST - it's more than is in the advert but not by much!

I'd love to finish Betterment, but fear I might ruin it! Masque, being a Vogue pastiche, probably sounds very similar throughout.

shadyshadok1 karma

Have you already a fix idea of your next game? Will it also be Full Motion Video?

notgamesltd6 karma

Andy: We don't know what our next game is going to be but we're definitely not done with FMV. We've bought all this filming equiptment... seems a shame not to use it... :)