Some of the world’s a stage in Secret World’s next update

, | Games

Funcom designer Tanya Short introduces the Albion Theatre, which will be open for business in the next update.

…you’ll be able to go inside, and put on whatever kind of show your heart desires! Our goal is to empower players. Open mic night? Sketch comedy shows? Extensive Shakespearean productions? Cabaret? Music video? It’s really an open toolbox — you and your friends can use the Albion to do whatever you want.

Intriguing. If you’ve played Lord of the Rings Online, maybe you’ve seen impromptu bards loitering around Bree, availing themselves of the game’s indepth music system. I was gobsmacked to hear a halfling plucking perfect Zeppelin out of a lute. Maybe this could be like that?

One group at a time can reserve the stage for an hour for a small fee. Anyone who joins that group at any time has free access to get on stage and do almost anything you can think of! Raise and lower the curtain, place out sets willy-nilly, change the backdrop, add visual effects (weather, filth, confetti, etc), adjust the lights, trigger sounds and music… and tadaaaa you can host whatever show comes to mind. We’ve also added the “stagesay” and “act” chat commands, which broadcast your screenplay across a broader radius than the usual “say” and “emote” commands.

We wanted to keep the Theatre as personal and player-driven as possible, with an eye to promotion. Any would-be directors or comedians can also organise their publicity, through the forums, chat, etc. We’ve combined the Theatre chat channels with the London ones for convenience, and we’re sure some of our fan radio stations (there are multiple!) might also help spread the news of the upcoming high-quality productions, and reviews of those past. Perhaps cabals will use their message of the day to track promising young screenwriters?

As much as I think it’s a fascinating idea, as much as I admire the thinking behind it, I can’t imagine Albion is going to be anything but entirely empty after a week or so.