Daily Archives: November 3, 2010


Something I keep thinking about is video-game-movie synthesis. Could you have a film which is, on the whole, something you WATCH. It’s mostly a film. But there are sections which are playable. The questions are 1) how could this be done enjoyably and 2) how could this be done in a way which IMPROVES, emotionally or story-wise, upon either video games or film and 3) how to do it so it’s relevant and not a gimmick.

It could be done stupidly and poorly. A choose-your-own-adventure-movie would as pointless as the choose-your-own-adventure books, but it’d be “interactive” (but who would care?).

An example in my head is, that long scene where Gandalf rides into the Shire, on his wagon, with Frodo, at the start of the Lord of the Rings movies. What if there was a way to control that, occasionally stop Gandalf and watch something happen, then resume, or take a long and ambling route.

Here, the questions are 1) transitions. If the film is made of actors and settings, and then BLINK the scene turns into a video game, it would be pretty jarrring. But if it were done with randomly-entered-video-performances of people instead, it would be those horrible live-action video games from the early days of the CD-ROM. 2) purpose. It would be fun to meander, one of the great things video games have that games don’t…but you couldn’t do it at all points. It would really kill your Lord of the Rings film if you stopped to meander through Khaza-Dum.

And the big question is still: HOW TO IMPROVE UPON EITHER MEDIUM?

And I don’t know. You don’t NEED a synthesis of Pan’s Labyrinth with Shadow of the Colossus. they’re both perfect on their own. How would it all benefit?

Beats me. It’s just one of those things on my brain that I ruminate on, when I should be doing something else.

(I would love to work on video games, and really PUSH them. I think there’s so much to do that would be brilliant. I think it’s as amazing and potentially important medium as film, or books. And I think that there has been no successful writer who has transitioned into video games. You get examples like Orson Scott Card (bleah) who “worked on” the Advent Children game. But what does that mean precisely? I suspect he comes up with a plot outline and some dialog. You have to be more involved than that. You have to be in the guts of the game with the creators, the artists and designers, actually talking and working on building levels with them, perhaps writing the dialog trees, coming up with bad guys and suggestions and everything else, so that you all build one coherent, cogent video game.)

Done babbling. Time to go work some more.

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Posted by on November 3, 2010 in Uncategorized