Orange Is the New Black

How “Orange is the New Black” May Change Games


Orange Is the New Black is famous for its huge cast and rich narrative. The show would be a hard act to follow as television, so how crazy would it be to try to apply OITNB’s storytelling to games?

Maybe not as crazy as you think.There have already been a few big games with multi-character narratives, such as Heavy Rain and Grand Theft Auto V. You can even go back all the way to Infocom’s Suspended, which forced you to look at the world through the eyes of six very different robots.

The narratives in these games are still fairly primitive, though. They’re mostly linear storylines, with minimal interactions between the viewpoint characters. There’s a next step waiting to be taken.

Orange Is the New Black is a little too complex to just turn into a game, of course. But here are five things the show does that could lead to a true multi-character narrative game.


Confined Spaces

Aug 17, 2015
Confined Spaces

There are not a lot of places to go in prison, but Orange Is the New Black makes the most of minimum security. The setting is lively and detailed, with spaces that range from cavernous to claustrophobic. There are flashbacks and field trips to add visual interest, but the show can play any scene it needs to within the walls of Litchfield.

Game Feasibility: Building out 3D spaces can be slow and expensive, so many games already make the most of a few locations. Ambitious game makers should be looking at making their spaces more flexible. There should be intimate spaces and gathering places for crowds. There also should be places that only some viewpoint characters can go. The player shouldn't be able to see everything unless she spends at least a little time with every character.

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