Thursday, March 29, 2012

Novel in the game.

I must apologize for the lack of a post on Monday. I was sick with hay fever in the way that reminds you more of a bad cold than a stuffy nose. I'm feeling good enough to function but I'm still reeling a little. so I'll make this rant as short as possible. Oh one thing though: As part of the Magic Appreciation E-tour, the very talented Harrison Davies will be reviewing my book 'Walking with Summer Dreams' sometime in the near future. I will keep you all posted on that as soon as I learn more.

Anyway, this is something that's been kicking around in the back of my head for a while. How come there aren't many book to video game adaptions? No, no I don't mean novels that are based on video games, there are plenty of those (like the Gears of War novels, The Elder Scrolls novels, The Dragon Age novels Etc). And I don't mean novels based on Pen and Paper games like Forgotten Realms. I mean a novel (or series of novels) that have been adapted directly into interactive form. particularly in the fantasy in the sci-fi genre which in my opinion is just bursting at the seems for video game adaptions. Some of you will undoubtedly point to the never ending string of games based on The Lord of Rings, like the most recent example 'Lord of the Rings: War of the North' And Atlas' upcoming RPG based on George RR Martin's 'A Game of Thrones.'
         "These games are based on books," some of you might say. Well yes and no. 'War in the North' is based on more on Peter Jackson's film versions of 'Lord of the Rings' and not so much the original books. Similarly, The Game of Thrones game is based on the TV series on HBO. And besides which, the two games in question are really spin-offs of their respective source material and not actual adaptions.

I've heard some people say that adapting a novel for an interactive format like video games isn't done normally because a novel doesn't really lend itself to an interactive medium without seriously butchering the story. I must disagree.  Yes I will consed that changes will come into like they would with any adaption (video game, film or otherwise), but to say that these changes in of themselves is what's keeping the two mediums from coming into bed is just wrong in my estimation.  Because, unlike a movie, a game can have the room to tell the full story with full character development. A case in point:  Harlan Ellison's story  'I have no Mouth and I must Scream' which was adapted into a point and click adventure game for the PC in 1995. While Not a perfect adaption by any means, it still deviates from the plot and changes things around, but its still recognizable to anyone whose familiar with the story and at the same time it can be followed and understood by anyone who isn't.    

Now, I can understand why some authors wouldn't want there work adapted for a video game, mostly because they probably don't want their work associated with a "kids toy."  But I don't think that's really an issue anymore in this day and age. Video games are not strictly for kids anymore and they haven't been for a long time now, and since this relatively new medium is selling more than movies in some instances. I think its only a matter of time before we more novel to video game adaptions. Any thoughts on this fellow novelists? 

Well I did say I'd keep this short. So I think this is as good a place as any to stop. Maybe one day I'll talk about this in more detail. And with that I'm out for now.  

1 comment:

  1. George RR Martian? That made me LOL.

    As to the actual point of your post, I think it really depends on the book. Some books wouldn't work at all as video games.