Sunday, August 29, 2010

Great sci-fi that would make great games.

Once in awhile, a website's post inspires me to write up a very long response. This time, it was io9's "10 awesome science fiction stories for gamers" - which was based on the premise that the list included 10 awesome sci-fi stories that had yet to be made into games.

However, I felt that their list didn't really cut it.

So I offer up my own "10 awesome sci-fi stories that would make a great game and haven't really been done justice if they already have been":

Ender's Game: Sure, every space-faring RTS feels like Orson Scott Card's book, but what hasn't been done is the "Zero-G strategy/shoot-em-up" that composes the first half of Ender's school daze.

Logan's Run: By William Nolan and George Johnson. Sci-Fi Survival Horror. 'Nuff said.

I am Legend: While Richard Matheson's book strattles the line between Sci-Fi and Horror, this is another candidate for a Survival Horror game. Or, howabout a "Tecmo's Deception" style game where you build traps to lure the vampires to their demise...

The 10th Victim/Hunter Killer: The 10th Victim was a pretty poor movie based on Robert Scheckley's book series, but while the competitive nature of "The Big Hunt" has been often imitated in many FPS death match modes, no game has ever quite captured in the way it plays out in the book.

Dream Park: Take World of Warcraft and let you choose the genre - that's the basis of this fantastic (and predictor of MMO's and LARPing by at least 20 years) book by Larry Nivens and Steve Barnes.

Snow Crash: IIRC there was one attempt to make Neil Stephenson's book into a game, but it never captured the Saint's Row meets Neuromancer vibe the game should have. At the very least, sword-fighting melee combat is a must.

Sunshine: Danny Boyle's 2007 would make for a great survival horror game in the tradition of System Shock. Hard Sci-Fi, IMHO, is pretty overlooked in gaming.

The Lensmen: E.E. "Doc" Smith's Galactic Patrol of "cops and robbers" in space (and pre-cursor to the Green Lantern Corps) would make for all kinds of great gaming experiences. "Grand Theft Auto in Space" is the obvious choice.

The Automatic Detective: A. Lee Martinez's hard-boiled noir story with the detective cast as a killer robot with a heart of gold would make for a great adventure game.

Flash Gordon and/or Buck Rogers: Other than the Colecovision "Buck Rogers: Planet of Zoom" and the Commodore 64 "Flash Gordon" game, I don't remember any video game based on either of these two classic sci-fi properties since the mid-80's. Laser blasters and swordplay, cigar-shaped rockets, jetpacks, space pirates and evil space dicators? Count me in!

Got any of your own suggestions? Post them in the comments section!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Michel Gondry

"Every good idea borders on the stupid."

I used that quote from Michel Gondry in Level Up! and I did because have a lot of respect for him and his work. Even though we live in a world overflowing with creative imagery, some how his visions remain unique and very personal.

So when I recently discovered "The Work of the Director: Michel Gondry" I found his list of his "10 principles*" and who he learned them from.

1) My Mother: We don't fall from the earth because we are attached to it.

2) My Father: You're gonna be all right.

3) Mr Lefoll (school teacher) An infinite straight line goes forever.

4) A friend of my parents: Draw from real life, not from a picture.

5) Physics teacher: When you do a demonstration, don't use the word "because" but "so" instead. In others words, don't start with the consequence to find the cause, but start with the cause to find the consequence.

6) French teacher: Your life is as interesting as any celebrity's life on TV. Tell me about it.

7) Guy Bouart: Even if it's just a fly, it's alive. Don't play with it.

8) Jean-Louis Bompoint: You have to finish your project.

9) Bjork: Follow your instinct.

10) Julie Fong: You are much stronger than what you think.

11) George Bermaan (my lifetime producer): Don't ask the question if you expect a negative answer.

12) My brother Twist: You can't be in love with your girlfriend everyday. It comes and it goes and it's normal. But in always comes back in general.

* just like Gondry to have twelve "ten principles"