By John McCarthy, Opinion editor

November 20, 2014 | 2 min read

Orange Bus has created a website to host a gritty interactive show called ‘Trylife’ which aims to engage “disenfranchised youths” in debate regarding drugs, sex and violence.

The digital agency worked with the show's creator to build a website suitable for hosting the dynamic story documenting youth issues in East London.

Setting 'Trylife' apart from conventional TV however is the fact that viewers can choose the lead character's path as the result of a new storytelling platform where they make the girl’s decisions.

Viewers are taken down one of 60 possible narrative routes with the second episode of the series mustering 450 pages of script, compared to an average feature film which would sit at 95, according to Orange Bus. This occured as the producers had to write and shoot every option in the narrative.

The show was created by Paul Irwin, a former youth worker, who asked Orange Bus to create the technology to support his idea. When writing the script, Irwin spoke with officials from the NHS, police, youth offending and drug action bodies to make the experience as authentic as possible.

Mike Parker, director of Orange Bus, said: “This is pretty complex stuff and as designing for young people is notoriously difficult, understanding this audience was the ultimate test. Our concept strategists, experience designers and technical engineers worked tirelessly with the creators, writers and directors to ensure the viewing platform reflected the messages across all mediums and inspired engagement.

“As a result, we are able to tell the story using powerful technology that works un-intrusively in the background. We crafted a user experience that felt natural to the audience, designed an interface with high-impact visuals and built these onto an intuitive website, supported by a robust decision engine.”

Parker concluded: “It works perfectly on mobile phones, integrates seamlessly with social media and coupled with the gritty content it’s perfect for engaging the young demographic it’s aimed at.”

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