by Shelby Reilly and Scott Bullock
UCC Omega aka the Ultimate Cinema Convention, was our last in person production before the pandemic hit, and a very ceremonious ending to this chapter of the LUX narrative universe.
A large portion of 2019 was at first taken up by the production of The UVX Featuring the Most Dangerous Man, another chunk by administrative and documentation standardization and revitalization, and another large bit by [REDACTED ON THE AUTHORITY OF THE LUX ANTI-SPOILER BRIGADE]. Of course, it’s not like the LUX Universe had been silent: the Buddy Resistance, Central Services, and LUX were still up to shenanigans, but had moved to mostly online releases for the most part.
The first version of a LUX Streaming Channel, then called LUX Omega, was launched, the Resistance started having Discord Discourse, and the conspiracy theorists of Central Services were busily revamping their web presence and recruiting a team to enhance their anti-LUX capabilities. Things were moving in the wake of the UVX Featuring the Most Dangerous Man, and that’s when we started plans for the year’s big physical event, the Ultimate Cinema Convention, or UCC.
A send-up of D23, E3, and any number of comic-cons, UCC was a clearing house for every stupid idea LUX had ever had. Throughout the night, the audience was encouraged to engage in dozens of installs and minigames that would bring them in contact with a variety of doofy characters and factions, all jockying to enlist their aid. The Resistance was there handing out USB drives and asking the audience to find the ports hidden throughout the venue to inject code and hack the mainframe. Central Services had realized that LUX Director Ronnie Champaign was actually a brainwashed ex-member who had lost his memory, and enlisted the audience in breaking his conditioning and bringing him back into the fold (by T posing and chanting “Renew”). Ex 8th-Row Member Bill was there as a Resistance plant and member of the Press, and Bruce Warford was the new LUX deliveryman who needed football-themed encouragement to finish his deliveries. All this revolved around the LUX Votable Keynote presentation heavily reference and alluded to through the night with a big announcement about the future of LUX.
Including locations like the micro-movie theater “Omegaplex”, the chivalrous customer service and fan-club “Lux Knights” Booth, The Hard Rock Cafe spoof “Most Dangerous Lounge”, “The Carousel of Paulbert”, a propoganda-heavy mini-museum and audio tour of LUX History, a shitty cubicle generously describe as the office of the future called “BusinessLand”, tropical lounge and bar “Paulberitaville” and beloved car Central Services Truthmobile, the 1997 Buick LeSabre Sadie, UCC Omega was easily the most narratively varied and gameplay-dense event we have ever put on. Each location touched on different corners of the LUX Universe that we had spent most of 3 years building and refining, with enough content for both the LUX Lore Veterans (looking at you, OldN0Eyes) and and fresh faces to enjoy.
This event, without a doubt, was easily our best. The tech worked (or when it didn’t it was on purpose), the scenes moved seamlessly, nobody waited in line, the games were understandable, accessible, and fun, and every part of the world was represented without stealing all the focus. People, from returning audience to newbies, were immersed in our world. While a lot of the reason everything worked so well can be laid at the feet of having full space control, or more prep time for design and build, or our excellent (as always) cast and crew, the biggest difference came from experience and hard-won knowhow.
This was Future Proof at full power, a fully operational battle station of crazy bullshit firing on all cylinders, with a few other metaphors and idioms mixed in there for good measure. This was what we were capable of, and what we were ready to keep unleashing on the world in a continuing litany of live, in person, closely-packed, coughing-distance events. 2020, we were sure, was going to be our year!
The next thing we made was a video game.
For more information on UCC check out our glowing review from nopro.