The Million Pound Drop – play along game

1_startsinWhat a week this is turning out to be, each night I’ve been on set at our new live gameshow ‘The Million Pound Drop‘. Why? because this is the first live production Endemol and Channel 4 have done that offers a complete play along at home game experience to complement our TV show. (watch it here!)

For the last few weeks I have been working closely with social TV company Montrerosa and digital agency Pancentric putting together a game that completely complements the game.
The format of the show is simple – players are given a million pounds at the top of the show and to keep it must survive 8 questions.
Each question has several possible answers, in front of the contestant are up to 4 trapdoors corresponding to each of the answers. They must bet all their money on what they think the correct answer is by pushing their cash onto appropriate trapdoors – if players don’t know the answer they can hedge their bets by dividing their million across the different trapdoors (although one must always be left empty).
When the answer is revealed the incorrect trapdoors are pulled and any money placed on them literally drops through a tube to the studio floor below, the player keeps any cash left on the correct answer to take with them into the next question.


Sounds easy, but devilishly hard in practice.


ingameThe online game we have put together allows players at home (you know, the ones that would normally spend their time shouting at the television!) to put their money where their mouth is and answer all the questions on the show with their own virtual million.


The great feature of the game is that should any of the contestants on television lose all their money the players at home can carry on to answer the next questions with whatever virtual cash they have remaining – they can really find out how they would have done had they been in the contestant’s shoes!
But the really clever stuff going on in this game are the stats we’re able to collect about our players online – we’re able to have them fed into the live television gallery so that our presenter Davina Mcall can read them out live on the show, or be shown as graphics to build the tension for viewers at home.


And that’s why I’m here this week every night in the live gallery – supervising the broadcast of questions and feeding realtime stats about the show through to the TV producers.


And it’s tense work! ..last minute changes to the show’s format add an extra layer of tension, but just the energy and organisation required to pull off one of these shows is enough to put anyone’s nerves on edge.
But it’s being going great all week – we’re breaking records for online co-viewing and making real firsts for Endemol. So far, on show number 2, we had over 76,000 unique players playing along – that’s translating into 4.2% participation rate.. where the average for this kind of thing is more like 0.5 – 1% these are great numbers! It bodes well for the rest of the week and for us doing much more of this kind of thing in future.