LotRO's Yule Festival Theatre transforms players into actors

It started as a simple idea: To include an interactive theater experience with Lord of the Rings Online's revamped Yule Festival. However, as Turbine's "Rhidden" writes in a new dev diary, the simple idea became fiendishly complex in application.

With the advent of next week's festival, players will be invited to Frostbluff Theatre in Winter-home to watch "The Curious Disappearance of Mad Baggins," the story of Bilbo's vanishing at the beginning of The Fellowship of the Ring told from the Hobbits' point of view. What's interesting is that Turbine wants players to be involved, both as audience members (throwing flower petals or rotten fruit, based on the performances) and as potential actors (who may "choose their own adventure" with emotes to complete the story).

Because the LotRO team wanted this to be more than just a "Simon Says" game, they created an intricate script and whipped up a powerful, yet invisible, NPC called "The Audience" that handles the interaction and score-keeping. Based on performances, actors can be rewarded with titles for stellar performances as well as horrible ones. Rhidden promises that no two performances should play out the same.

Read more about this truly unique festival event over at LotRO's site!

This article was originally published on Massively.