Ghostbusters: Franchise 84 is an original, in-canon extension of the Ghostbusters universe, crafted specifically for Amazon’s Alexa voice-first Echo devices.
The game follows the story of a new franchise of Ghostbusters and introduces three new characters (Mags, Logan, and Ziggy) as they come together to learn how to be Ghostbusters and, most importantly, how to be a team. The game is an audio-first experience for Amazon Alexa, which we’ve often described as an “interactive radio play.” To craft this piece, the small Sony design team formed a writers’ room, plumbing the Ghostbusters mythos for a variety of settings, equipment and, of course, ghosts to break the characters and the full story. The initial plan was to release the game in multiple “seasons” and within each season, have multiple episodes. I worked on shaping and writing for the first season, with a focus on Episode two, where the team encounters a haunted warehouse.
One of the great challenges of designing for an interactive narrative in an audio only space was figuring out the user experience of basic navigation. While I was primarily a writer on this project, I was also a designer, conceiving of and implementing the navigation system using the diegetic device of the Ghostbusters’ PKE meter and having the spectral energy readings hint at where players should move next.
Ghostbusters: Franchise 84 is live and available on the Amazon Alexa store. Click here to enable the skill.