Gameological Q&A


Fantasy Adaptations

What work would you like to see adapted into a game?

By The Gameological Society Staff • August 22, 2012

Welcome to Gameological Q&A, where we throw out a question for discussion among the staff and readers. If you have a brilliant question that would make a fun Q&A, send it to brilliantquestions at gameological dot com.

Games adapted from other works have a reputation for shoddy quality, but there are exceptions. The recent console Batman games were well-made, for instance, and the Walking Dead series on Xbox this year has received a lot of praise. So let’s play “fantasy adaptation,” like Billy Campbell did for The Killing a few months back. What work would you most like to see adapted into a game, and what would the broad strokes of the game look like?

John Teti

As my wife and I catch up on the latest season of Justified, I’ve occasionally imagined the show as a Genesis-era, Final Fight-style street brawling game (with plenty of gunslinging thrown in). Mostly this is because the third season features a larger-than-life villain in the form of the grinning blue-eyed sadist pervert monster Robert Quarles. But once I started thinking about it, I realized that all the pieces were in place for one of those clumsy 1990s adaptations. You’ve got charismatic, fearsome bosses ensconced in intimidating lairs, like pyromaniac Boyd Crowder in his white-supremacist church, and marijuana kingpin Mags Bennett in her family compound. Rural Kentucky seems to offer an unlimited supply of barely skilled henchmen for the hero, Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, to bring down. And Givens already has the itchy trigger finger of a video game hero, anyway, so it wouldn’t be that much of a stretch. Okay, okay, it would be a huge stretch. But that’s what I like about it.

Drew Toal

There hasn’t been a Bill & Ted game since the NES version, but that would be a fun open-world game, finding personages of historical significance. I think, though, I’m going to have to go with a game version of Sylvester Stallone’s 1987 family drama, Over The Top. In the film, Stallone plays Lincoln Hawk, a truck driver whose real passion and talent lie in arm wrestling. When he’s reunited with his spoiled, estranged son at the behest of the boy’s dying mother, Hawk slowly connects with young Michael and teaches him a love of the game, and also to stop being such a pompous jerk. When the grandfather, ably portrayed by Robert Loggia, takes his son away, Hawk has no choice but to enter the big Vegas tournament so he can arm wrestle for money and custody of his kid. This game would combine actual physical arm wrestling—like one of those machines where you can test your strength against various primates—intense truck driving, and plenty of fighting Loggia’s goons. This game writes itself.

[No Robert Loggia, but there’s always this. —Ed.]

Gus Mastrapa

We’re ready for a Mad Max game. Car combat has been done before by the likes of Carmageddon and Twisted Metal, but those games angled on fun over consequence. And while the post-apocalypse has been mined by games like Fallout 3 and Borderlands, I feel like there’s much more to explore. My game, modeled after The Road Warrior, would be a brutal, massively multiplayer game where death means a permanent game over. No recovering your corpse, loot, or guzzoline. Players could band together to produce gas, repair vehicles, and scrounge for food. Or they could team up with other like-minded fiends and roam the wasteland preying on the innocent. Games like DayZ have proven that placing grand consequences on violence can create an amazing amount of tension. Imagine how thrilling it would be to hit the nitros on your V8 Interceptor with a dozen bandits on your tail, knowing full well that one twitch of the steering wheel could mean certain death.

Anthony John Agnello

The worst part of this question is that my answer has been adapted, albeit partially. The first book of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials novels, The Golden Compass, was turned into an abysmal movie back in 2007, and Sega in turn made an abysmal adventure game for Xbox 360 based on that movie. Pullman’s worlds, where people’s souls walk around as animals outside their bodies and talking bears are as much a part of the political climate as border disputes, deserve better. Telltale’s format with The Walking Dead games would allow for the sort of lyrically existential dialogues that made Pullman’s characters so memorable, but I’d much prefer an evolving open world in the vein of Skyrim. Set me out as a stranger in Lyra Belaqua’s world where I can find my soul and take on odd jobs as an aeronaut. Or just let me hang out with some armored bears and level up my armor-crafting skill.

Samantha Nelson

My fantasy adaptation is already in the works, so I’m just hoping it doesn’t disappoint. When I read Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn, I thought it would translate amazingly well into a role-playing game and was unsurprised when a tabletop guide was released last year. I was surprised to learn that a video game release is planned for 2013, and I’m really excited about the possibility of stepping into the book’s world where nobles divide their time between courtly intrigue and flying through the nights assassinating people with obsidian knives and telekinetically flung coins. My ideal vision of the game would require you to build alliances and curry favor for access to resources, but it would also have a system for power usage in combat and noncombat situations that’s as nuanced as the one Sanderson lays out in the book. Sanderson’s already signed on to do the story, so I know at least that will be strong.

Richard Hofmeier

I’d love to try playing The Glass Bead Game. This book by Hermann Hesse describes a semi-competitive game in which polymaths create artistic works using musical symbols, more or less. As each Game builds, the performances grow intricately inter-referential and harmonic; they reveal truths, tell stories and form jokes. Since Hesse pulled off this book by describing everything about the game except its core mechanics, we’d have to speculate a little before synthesizing an analog. (Folks do make attempts at creating the definitive Glass Bead Game pretty regularly, but none of them have been any good.) Memes competing for upvotes on Reddit are probably today’s closest parallel, and despite their vulgar pandering, they still use symbols to reveal truths, tell stories, and form jokes. The two defining aspects which Hesse didn’t foresee were his game’s great capacity for sarcastic irony and our insatiable appetite for it. Or maybe Drawception is The Glass Bead Game, which turns out to be a lot of stupid fun if you ask me.

Derrick Sanskrit

One of the books I always turn to when I need some inspiration is Channel Zero, the very first published comic by Brian Wood. It’s the story of Jennie 2.5, a post-Hackers journalist in a neo-future New York City after all of our freedoms have been taken away. It was a fascinating work of science fiction pre-9/11 and significantly less charming afterward. Take the courier-type missions from Mirror’s Edge, apply them to the roller-blade parkour and tagging of Jet Grind Radio, and slap it with the visual style of MadWorld. Throw in some of those pulpy halftone filters from Lollipop Chainsaw for good measure. Add a news ticker at the bottom of the screen that is constantly spewing counter-intelligence, and you’re golden. Release the game for free or for a small donation and take every opportunity you can to remind the player that corporations are oppressing our liberties. The game would probably be shallow and pretty dumb, but that hasn’t stopped any other adaptations so far.

Ryan Smith

How is it that we’ve seen three God Of War games steeped in ancient Greek mythology and a recent title based on Dante’s epic poem about hell, but no developer has yet touched Homer’s The Illiad or The Odyssey? Achilles is even more of a rage-filled jerk of a protagonist than Kratos—chasing Hector down, stabbing him in the throat, and then defiling his corpse until Zeus says that’s enough. Best of all would be a sequel where you’d play as Ulysses, who’d have to fend off the advances of Calypso, defeat a giant Cyclops, win a pentathlon, best a witch-goddess who turns half his men into pigs, ignore the Sirens’ song, slay a six-headed monster, survive a shipwreck or two, and escape some hungry cannibals in order to reach his wife before she gets married off again. Who needs writers to concoct an entertaining plot for a hack-and-slash style game when Homer wrote one thousands of years ago?

Adam Volk

He’s the Dude, His Dudeness, or El Duderino if you’re not into the whole brevity thing. The bearded, THC-addled hero of the film The Big Lebowski is also one character I’d love to see in his very own video game. I picture it as a retro-inspired point-and-click adventure game in the style of Sam & Max. You’d guide The Dude and his trusty pistol-packing sidekick Walter through yet another stoner noir mystery, gathering clues, solving puzzles, interacting with a cast of bizarre characters, and of course, enjoying the occasional bowling mini-game. There’d also pretty much have to be a boss battle against the psychotic, ten-pin pervert known only as Jesus, with health recharged by sucking back White Russians (The Dude’s beverage of choice). More than just a novelty recreation of the film, my version of The Big Lebowski game would really be series of ongoing episodic adventures, complete with Saddam Hussein-filled dream sequences and a lovingly pixilated 32-bit art style. The Dude abides. Now how about we give him his very own game?

Steve Heisler

I’ve been thinking about this question all week, and for the life of me, I can’t think of a single thing I’d like to adapt into a video game, not even in the fantasy world. I’m sure we could talk about this ad nauseum, but to me games exist in a universe where traditional storytelling and irony can exist on a whole different plane. Any movie/TV show/book adaptation is going to fall into the trap of, “Well we have to focus on the plot, of course, because that’s what people like.” I had the thought this morning that Memento would make a great game—not so much the film itself, but the idea of an unreliable narrator, a story told in reverse, and a playfulness with time constructs. Then I remembered Braid already exists. So I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m a gigantic stick in the mud, and I choose no adaptation. [Cue the sound of a thousand game developers promptly ignoring my idea.]

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723 Responses to “Fantasy Adaptations”

  1. TheRainDog76 says:

    Adam Volk speaks for me.

    • Asinus says:

      Was just coming down here to say something very similar. It never would have occurred to me, but that’s a great idea if it were done correctly (the big catch of any video game adaptation). 

  2. I’d love a game set in the world of The Shield, (back before the Strike Team all, well, went away.)

    You could play a young police officer trying to get Mackey’s attention, to try and get on the team. Open world in LA , you go out and solve small crimes, shake down drug dealers, but also solving major crimes, and toeing the line between the neighbourhood/drug dealers liking you/being afraid of you.

    As the game progresses you play a role in small and large-scale police operations, graduate to detective and do some detective stuff, then Mackey comes calling and you join the team for the final 3rd, making choices about whether to protect or betray the Strike Team.

    There was a The Shield video game, but from all reports it was pretty crap.

  3. Enkidum says:

    I really like the idea of the Mad Max perma-death MMPORG, and we’ve already got the basic skeleton: Car Wars. I’m thinking something like my understanding of Eve Online (which I’ve never even looked at, but have read about), where you have people banding together in various ways and the universe sort of constructing itself organically from that. Could be awesome. Plus I could use some of the car designs I spent dozens of hours creating and never actually played in the game itself.

    I’d love to see what someone could do with the Sandman universe, but it might be hard to translate it into something “gameable”. Perhaps an episodic structure, where each episode featured entirely novel art styles and gameplay, but retained the overall storyline plus certain aspects of the gameply could cross over between episodes and affect each other? I dunno, something like that might get some of the feel of the comic across. 

    Off-topic, which is something I’m good at, but has anyone every played Nomic? It’s something that always interested me for a variety of reasons:

    • Merve says:

      I’ve always wanted to play Nomic or a variant thereof. I would love nothing more than to be able to play a round of 1000 Blank White Cards, but alas, most of the people I know wouldn’t be interested in a board game or card game night.

    • EmperorNortonI says:

       Yes, a Car Wars/Mad Max MMORPG, or even an open world RPG, would be utterly awesome.  I was always crap at Car Wars, because I spent far too much time designing armor-heavy tanks and not nearly enough time playing the game to realize that fast little speedsters always win.  It annoyed me to no end.

      • Enkidum says:

        It’s been a long time since I’ve played, but I think the general rule that if someone is way more manoeuvrable than you, they can keep pegging away at you and avoiding your weapons, so yeah, you’d die pretty quick. Depends on the arena and so forth, but sometimes going armor-heavy was awesome, especially if you had the horsepower to push it. 

        One of the designs I spent hours – weeks – on but never actually played was my Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, which were big rigs with trailers, meant to move in convoy on the open road. They were obviously going to be slower than anything else out there that wasn’t a big truck, so were armored like crazy and bristling with weapons. Let’s see… Pestilence was meant to bring up the rear, had all the sorts of nasty things you shoot from behind like oil and smoke and so forth. War was at the front, with basically every possible offensive weapon. Famine had more supply and electronic stuff, I think, and Death… eh, I forget, this was more than 20 years ago. I’m old. At any rate, I’m pretty sure they would have been useless for hauling cargo as they had so much gear that they lacked space. Plus I think they cost upwards of a million bucks each.

        At any rate, it would be cool to have the Car Wars universe realized properly in a game, with all the nerdy stats and numbers but with all the actual number crunching and driving reduced to physical skill with a controller. I’d be able to lose a lot of money on that…

        • EmperorNortonI says:

           Do you remember the 80’s computer adaptation, AutoDuel?  I played it on my Apple II, and absolutely loved it.  You could build your cars, compete in money-limited arena events, and then run missions all across the northeast.  I never figured out what the ultimate point of the game was, or how to beat it, but it was really awesome. 

  4. Jon says:

    I think any macguffin-of-the-week TV series would make for a decent transition to a point-and-click adventure (more along the lines of Telltale’s episodic ones though). White Collar or (the recently departed) Eureka would be my dream P-‘n-C adaptations.

    • zebbart says:

      My first thought for this article was Lost, but then I remembered the Myst series and the fact that I never finished Riven. I should just find a way to play that now and keep trying forget how half baked Lost was.

  5. grizzledyoungman says:

     American Splendor.

  6. caspiancomic says:

    Is it cheating to ask for a proper adaptation for an IP that has been mishandled in the past?

    I tried to think of a world or a story that would lend itself well to a unique gaming experience, and not just a world I found interesting that could be plugged into a standard FPS/RPG/Adventure mould. What I ended up with was a proper adaptation for Cowboy Bebop. You could control the Bebop crew, or it could just be set in the same world and you control a different crew of perpetually broke and starving bounty hunters. The game would be mission based, with a list of possible bounties to choose from at any given time. With any bounty, failure or only partial success would be just as or even more likely than success, and the game would continue regardless of whether you captured your man: no do-overs. I also foresee the more rinky-dink missions laying the foundations for a more over-arcing plot that kicks off around the second act- maybe a drug dealer you nab on some podunk asteroid is at the bottom of a ladder that stretches all the way up to a solar system wide crime ring, or a hired gun you beat up on one of Jupiter’s moons is an assassin picking off meaningful political targets, that sort of thing.

    Gameplay would also involve a bit of shooty-punchy-chasey action stuff (probably some space combat as well), but would also emphasize gathering intel, following leads, shaking down goons for info, tracking marks, that sort of stuff. Sort of like what Assassin’s Creed claims you have to do but you kind of don’t really have to.

    • EmperorNortonI says:

       Yes, this would thoroughly kick ass.  In gameplay terms, I’d kinda imagined something similar to what you’re thinking, but I was inspired by Metroid Prime, so it would have been totally different.

      Talking to people, following up leads, reading through documents (and actually having to READ them and UNDERSTAND them for them to be of any use, not just “pick up document, read short excerpt, get new mission and location on your auto-map), and then hunt down bad guys – any game that actually built on those mechanics in a big space world would be awesome.

      But putting a Cowboy Bebop skin over all of it would just be insanely awesome.  The visual design of that show was simply incredible.

      • Enkidum says:

        “actually having to READ them and UNDERSTAND them for them to be of any use, not just “pick up document, read short excerpt, get new mission and location on your auto-map”

        YES!!! I would love this. In any game, really. Has anyone ever done this? Ever?

        • JoshJ says:

           Not really. Once you’ve played a game type a few times (especially an MMO) you’re so familiar with the mechanics that you know it doesn’t matter. It’s always “go here, kill X these, do this.” Sometimes you come back. Sometimes you move on to the next hub.

        • Enkidum says:

          @yahoo-7434UGH3EEMU2AUKTGMU3NLDZA:disqus Eh, I think if someone tried they could actually make this work. I mean, suppose we limit the actual mission part of missions to the standard assassination/capture/escort stuff. But you have to figure out who your target is, because no one knows whodunnit (or whatever). So you have to sift through evidence to find them, and the crucial bits of text aren’t highlighted or anything like that. You actually need to look and think. And then you make all sorts of different mission parameters hidden in this way – not just who your target is, but where they are, what they’re armed with, who they’re allied with, whether you should actually trust them and rebel against your current boss, etc etc etc. And then you try to design no-typical missions as well. You could get something very interesting out of that – I guess the trouble is that it would appeal to a limited subset of players and so companies wouldn’t want to take huge risks on it.

  7. Seriously, Steve?  Nothing?  Way to mail it in, big fella. Not a single media experience in your life that you’d like to live out, experience, make a better decision than the protagonist?

    Encyclopedia Brown, in the spirit of the adventure game.

    • Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:

      Shoulda at least said something like Synecdoche, New York. Because why not?

    • HobbesMkii says:

       I kinda agree with his “no answer.” Adaptations generally crash and burn, and it’s absolutely the pits to see an IP you like and believe holds so much promise in any medium fail miserably as a videogame. It’s like the wisdom of King Solomon: the fans to whom the IP belongs are those who wish it to come to no harm above all else.

      • Girard says:

         It’s like the wisdom of King Solomon: the fans to whom the IP belongs are those who want it to live on, even in un-ideal circumstances, than are willing to let it die off in a state of perfection.

        (I don’t actually believe this, I’m just inverting your analogy to be a jerk!)

      • George_Liquor says:

        I disagree. There are probably 10 great games based on 3rd party IPs for every one cheap, lousy movie cash-in. If every developer was of the mindset that they *have to follow the movie’s plot*, there would be no Knight Of The Old Republic or Indiana Jones & The Fate Of Atlantis

      • Professor_Cuntburglar says:

         Adaptations suck because they are usually lazily done, and trying to nothing more than cash in on a recognizable name. There’s nothing wrong with the idea of adapting something.

  8. Merve says:

    I have a few fantasy adaptations in mind.

    – Like @twitter-63099089:disqus, I think that many MacGuffin-of-the-week TV shows are well-suited to video game adaptations. Maybe it’s just my love for the combination of humour and action provided by No One Lives Forever talking, but I think Chuck would make a great video game. The main mechanics would be stealth and mêlée combat, and intel flashes would work kind of like the Batman: Arkham games’ Detective Mode. In fact, a Chuck game would probably be a lot like a Batman: Arkham game, except it wouldn’t take itself anywhere nearly as seriously.

    – I read E.L. Konigsburg’s The View from Saturday many years ago in school, and it remains one of my favourite novels to this day. It’s about a group of sixth graders who come together to compete in an Academic Bowl tournament, but the bulk of the narrative centres around their personal lives. I imagine that its video game adaptation would be a sort of RPG, with dialogue choices throughout the “story” portions of the game. Stat-building would revolve around research. But instead of traditional combat, there would be trivia questions, like a game of Academic Bowl. The player would answer those questions from his or her own knowledge, and stats would help the player recall information that could be useful in answering a question.

    – How is there not an Inception video game? Seriously, high-stakes action in dream worlds! This shit writes itself!

    – Some albums, particularly concept albums, would make great video games. How about a video game adaptation of Deltron 3030’s self-titled debut, complete with epic rap battles in space? Or a supernatural thriller based on Porcupine Tree’s Deadwing? I’m sure there’s a video game somewhere in Rush’s 2112. And Coheed and Cambria’s albums have already been adapted into comic books, graphic novels, and tentatively a film – why not add a video game to the list?

    • caspiancomic says:

       An Inception game where you have to do several missions’ worth of extraction would tickle my fancies. That process is almost as interesting as the titular inception, and it would be a blast to see it get better fleshed out. A stealthy information collecting style game starring a sharply dressed cast of international superstars set in a dreamworld of undulating surreality, like Splinter Cell crossed with Psychonauts? Where do I sign!?

    • Girard says:

       Oooh! A game where you play as the TARKUS from the eponymous Emerson, Lake, and Palmer album, and battle the Manticore, could be weirdly awesome.

      Or a game set in any of the Roger Deanscapes from the covers of Yes albums could be neat (or more likely, pretty, but vapid).

      • Enkidum says:

        How about a game where you just get to shoot Rick Wakeman in the face, again and again and again? Shit, I’d probably pay the full 60 bucks for that.

    • zebbart says:

      Even as I watched Inception the first time I thought it would make an awesome video game. I’m surprised someone has not at least ripped off the basic concept for a game.

  9. Zaq Haslam says:

    Cop game set in the Baltimore. You don’t win, but you try to do a little better each time.

  10. rvb1023 says:

    It’s really hard for me to want something adapted to games because it’s so different than many other mediums of storytelling and such.  And most of the stuff I have loved has been adapted, even if only spiritually, to video games already. 

    Maybe a game based on the X-Files that played more like a mystery and was a bit more episodic in format.  Or maybe a Silent Hill-esque horror game based on the Shining.

    • Luc Tremblay says:

      Man, I’d love a Silent Hill-esque game based on The Shining. Or 8MM, as long as Cage supplied his vocal talent.

    • Girard says:

       While a genuine adaptation would be too risky (though may not tarnish it much more than the second season did), your mention of X-Files reminds me that I would love to see a game that tonally captures Twin Peaks’ combination of surreal humor, terror, and small-town cosiness.

      I think it would be hard to create a game world, where the player expects a set of rules to be in place, with the world of Twin Peaks, where the rules are always changing or uncertain, but that tension could be resolved in some interesting ways, I think.

      • Ha! I made my post before scrolling down further and reading yours. While I haven’t seen Twin Peaks, you’ve really summed up what I have been thinking. Actually, Twin Peaks or something Lynchian was like the first thing that I thought when I saw the title of this article.

      • rvb1023 says:

         Well, we have Deadly Premonition, a game that actually had to be delayed to change the look of it because it essentially looked like Twin Peaks.  Hell, even after the change it still looks and feels like Twin Peaks.  I guess it really just goes in line were most of the stuff I like from other mediums already have a equivalent in video games that would make an adaptation redundant.

        So I’m with Steve on this one.

        • Girard says:

           I remember seeing the trailer for than back when it was called “Shady Pines” or something even more overtly Twin Peaks-ish.

          It looks like kind of a lame rip-off rendered even more pointless by having to excise the stuff that made it a rip-off. Was it actually a decent game?

        • rvb1023 says:

          Deadly Premonition is really quite the specimen.  It plays like a clunky RE4, it looks like a high-end Xbox (Not 360) game, and the game is strange as all hell.  I would also say the development team was aware of this the entire time and it comes off more brilliant than bad. Jim Sterling can probably explain it better than I:

          I guess the best way to explain it is that, as a game, it is terrible.  As an experience (A term I normally hate to use as it often excuses being terrible) it’s like nothing else you will ever play.  I picked it up for $10 on Amazon and when I finished I felt like I could have paid the full $60 and would have walked away satisfied.

    • In a similar vein a Twin Peaks survival horror game where the player investigates what happened to Dale Cooper as well as the town would be pretty cool. Or anything Lynchian, to be honest.

      I have played some Alan Wake recently and found that I’m liking the atmosphere, and it’s kind of what I’d imagine a Lynchian survival horror game might be like. It’s got a good atmosphere, though I’m not quite sure why I haven’t been really getting into it.

      • rvb1023 says:

         I still have to try Alan Wake (On my list of things to do once I upgrade my computer) but it almost made me consider getting an Xbox a few years back.

      • Girard says:

         Now that it’s on PC (and DRM-free on GOG), I may give it a try when I have some free time again. I was kind of intrigued when I first heard of it, but the more I heard the less interested I became. I think a tricky thing with a Twin Peaks like atmosphere is that you’d have to have danger, but you wouldn’t really be able to have combat. (Alan Wake has combat, doesn’t it?)

        Maybe something like Silent Hill would work, where combat is an option, but an often ineffective and rarely-used one.

        • It does have combat. The game tries to be not as focused on combat, but I’m not sure if it really works in execution. Either I’ve been playing it wrong (which is entirely possible), or I’m just not good at running away, but so far I haven’t encountered a single fight where I could just run from because I felt like I couldn’t take on my assailants.

          My problems with the game have mostly to do with firstly the plot/setting and secondly the controls. The first aspect is that I’ve played through almost all of “Episode 1” now, and it seems pretty cookie cutter as far as I can tell: Famous author with writer’s block and his wife go to a small town with a lakeside cabin to retreat from civilization, but then strange things happen, with the wife disappearing, the protagonist suffering from memory loss and strange visions, and something supernatural coming out of the woodwork possessing people. There’s a lot of running through dark woods.

          Combat seems almost unavoidable at times, because no matter how much I try to run and dodge the enemies just keep catching up. The controls for basic movement is mouse + WASD, with the camera as well as the direction the character is facing moving with the mouse. It may be that I’m just not used to it for 3rd person games or that I have bad coordination, but I find that it makes it very frustrating to either run and shoot or dodging while running from the enemies. I just become disoriented a lot and while trying to get away end up running straight into the guys trying to kill me and die. It also uses a mostly linear pathway (with some possibility to deviate from it to find secret items) and checkpoints, which makes it harder to run away. I think my problem is that the mechanics, controls and gameplay all remind me too much of shooters (either FPS or 3rd person), which doesn’t work as well for me for a survival horror.

          I’d still say give it a shot. You might like it more than I do, and the atmosphere is great, with some pretty creepy moments here and there. I’m glad I got both the original and sequel off of Steam for like $10 during a recent sale. It’s currently going for $30 on GOG.

  11. unicyclistperiscopes says:

    I’d like that classic 80s sitcom “Alf” represented. Maybe in a collectible/portable form, such as Pogs.

  12. dreadguacamole says:

     That Justified game would probably look just like this:
     Except maybe with less punks.
     (I was playing it last night, funnily enough!)

     I’ve always thought How to Train your Dragon would have made a wonderful Open World RPG/Pokemon hybrid.
     And I would love, love, love to get my hands on a game set on any of China Mieville’s worlds; Bas-Lag as a setting for an RPG would be an obvious choice, but what I really want is a GTA clone set in Besźel/Ul Qoma!

    • EmperorNortonI says:

       Wow, a GTA set in the Two Cities would be utterly insane.  Then again, you could use the computer to automatically “pretend” that certain things aren’t there at certain points in time . . . which would create an incredible sense of deja vu when traveling through the same areas on the other city.  But how bloody disorienting would that be, really?

    • GaryX says:

      GTA set in 2666 where you can never win and Ciudad Juarez ultimately leaves you as an empty husk of a soul, lost in the meaningless violence and corruption surrounding you. Press X to existentially despair!

      • dreadguacamole says:

         Here is a 120 minute cutscene showing the results of horrible violence being committed to girls.

         Hey, I’m sure the devs behind Homefront would jump at the chance to make it…

  13. Inception would make a pretty badass game, speaking of Nolan. All that ski-shooting with the dream-level time synching would be an intriguing challenge, and there’s plenty of story potential in that game universe.

    • GaryX says:

      Somewhere in the AV Club comments I read an awesome proposal for an Inception game (I think involving co-op of people playing at different “levels” effecting each other). I’ll see if I can find it.

    • Asinus says:

      The film also makes it pretty clear that Cobb and his team are by no means unique in their talents or career. The Inception universe would be a perfect starting point for a kick ass game. The beginnings of a class system is already set up– you could have fighters, “wizards” (who are excellent at manipulating the dream space), techies, etc. It would also be an excellent way to take some fun advantage of the awesome physics-crunching abilities of modern computers in a way that isn’t just “Holy shit! You can blow up anything!” As long as they don’t just try to recreate moments in the movie, it would be awesome. 

      I’m not sure how you could do things like transform the environment in real time, like with the stair case paradox things… but there would probably be a work around. Maybe just a paradox talent/spell that could screw with certain pieces of the environment albeit in pre-determined ways. Then you’d have to worry about attracting the subconscious of the dreamer, so you’d be limited by the degree to which you manipulate the environment instead of some kind of magic point pool. Same thing goes for killing off projections. After a while, the whole mind will be aware of you… SOmeone need to make this happen.

    • Professor_Cuntburglar says:

       I would even settle for a Psychonaughts-style FPS.

  14. I would love an Elric game that could translate the battle of wills between Elric and Stormbringer. 

    • Aurora Boreanaz says:

      There’s already two Witcher games…since I hear that Elric was kind of a rip-off of Geralt.  (Haven’t read either one, so only second-hand info.)

  15. Staggering Stew Bum says:

    What work would you most like to see adapted into a game…?
    I’d like to see my work made into a game. Simply titled The Engineer, the game gives the player a realistic look at the every day soul-crushing tedium that is my office job.
    The game will unfold in real time in order to realistically portray the ennui of my job and hence appeal to fans of games such as Dark Souls, who like to feel brutalised in their spare time for some reason. Apart from the Boss fights, the game will be made up of various mini-games and other inane features:
    – Your co-workers are all armed with loud and shrill cellphones, which represent their utter disregard for anyone unlucky enough to be imprisoned in a work area anywhere near them. The phones ring constantly enough that you will often have to mash the X button in order to prevent your homicidal rage-meter from reaching critical levels.
    – When co-workers bring their hideous offspring into the office for some reason, the player will be forced by societal conforms to feign interest, and if you manage to range your interaction between “clearly wouldn’t piss on these arseholes if they were on fire” and “possible pederast” you get an XP bonus, though not enough to feel any long-lasting self esteem or sense of achievement.
    – For all those Metal Gear Soild 4 fans out there, the game has hour long unskippable cutscenes of mandatory team meetings, where the player has to sit through some dipshit carry on about safety and “near misses”.
    – Did you like the cellphone feature in Grand Theft Auto IV? Good! Because your cousin Roman will be ringing you even more in this game, but it isn’t your cousin Roman it is that bloody project manager pressing unrealistic time frames and budgetary constraints on your withered husk-like form. And we all like Lotus Notes right? Well bad fucking luck because you have to work out how the hell Outlook is supposed to work. There’s your puzzle game mechanic right there, trying to work out why someone has sent you an email attached to an email attached to an email. And while we’re on puzzles, you have to try and work out how you’re supposed to fit stacks and stacks of A3 sized circuit schematics on to a desk the size of a postage stamp without maxing out your Insanity-meter. It’s a tough one, but don’t worry as the time limit is measured in decades, but better hurry as more and more stacks keep piling in.
    – System where you gain tiny amounts of XP for achievements such as falling asleep on the bus on the way home due to utter exhaustion, developing bowel cancer thanks to sitting on your arse for years, or successfully chucking a sickie. When you build up enough XP you can purchase items from the in-game store, such as a slightly different job title or a pay rise which almost meets the rate of inflation.
    -No save points! And there is no end to this game either. It’s like that last Lord of the Rings movie, just when you think you’re nearly at the end the retirement age is increased, or a global financial downturn wipes out half of your superannuation and forces you to keep playing the game. The only way to see the beautiful GAME OVER screen is by hanging yourself in the company bathrooms using your necktie (no XP bonus).
    Note: I had more, but Disqus, acting on behalf of good taste everywhere, decided to delete my entire fucking post so have had to reconstruct it the best I could.

    • Electric Dragon says:

      Also the game may randomly end your current mission for no reason and it’s up to you to find a new one. Achievement Unlocked: REDUNDANCY.

    • Girard says:

       I’m liking this because I like it, but also because I’m hoping some small sliver of positivity might help keep you from killing yourself.

    • HobbesMkii says:

      Did you really develop bowel cancer from sitting around? If so, I should really go get screened. 

      • Staggering Stew Bum says:

        No, not me personally but recent medical studies have shown that office workers are at increased risk of developing bowel cancer due to long periods of sitting at a desk. All I’ve got so far is a fucked back but it’s early days.

      • Enkidum says:

        Sitting is actually one of the single hardest activities on your body. Think about the bodies of, say, marathon runners vs, say, me and you (I’m going out on a limb here and assuming you’re not a marathon runner). Marathons are awful for you – they actually harm you, and overall if people who ran marathons did everything that they do training-wise, and just didn’t run marathons, they’d be much much healthier in the long run. But even though they semi-regularly do this activity that literally causes their body to eat itself, they’re still like 9 kajillion times healthier than me or thee, and a big part of that is that we spend all of our fucking time in this horrible position.

        Also, they probably eat healthier, and they definitely get a lot more exercise, but the sitting itself is a bigger problem than you think. Even if you exercise a bunch, sitting for long periods of time is still a major shit-fest for your health, and after a certain basic minimum the exercise doesn’t counteract the effects of sitting at all. There’s a bunch of recent research on this that I’m too lazy to google.

        The moral? Get up as frequently as possible and stretch, at a bare minimum. Say, 30 seconds every 10 minutes or so, with significantly longer breaks every hour or so. I have a program – Time Out – installed on all my computers that dims the screen at preset intervals like this to force me to take breaks. Unfortunately it also has a “skip this break” button, and basically it’s like muscle memory – I just skip every break as soon as it comes up. So basically I’ve added some extra mouse clicks to my day, which I’m sure will help with the carpal tunnel syndrome.

        • HobbesMkii says:

          I’ve always wanted one of those standing desks that raise and lower on demand. Also, I get to ride a train for 2 1/2 hrs every day, in addition to regular work, so this was extremely heartening.

      • Enkidum says:

        Apparently those stupid exercise balls that people sit on are actually a big help as well, due to the constant micro-adjustments you have to make. But seriously, if you have the willpower to do that frequent-break thing, and will actually stand up and stretch or shake your limbs or whatever, do it for real. It’ll both improve your long-term health a huge amount, probably a similar amount to a regular exercise plan, and probably make you more productive to boot. As noted above, though, I am a horrible failure at this.

        • HobbesMkii says:

          What about some sort of couch? I’ve heard we should all be sitting at 120 degrees, not the 90 degrees that chairs are designed for. I’d like to be reclined while at work. It would definitely stress me out less.

      • Enkidum says:

        Dunno about the couch. I’m kind of talking out my ass anyways, since I haven’t read anything beyond blog posts talking about this research. But AFAIK, working on a laptop on a couch is pretty bad for you since you’re hunched over, and really the important thing is to get up and move frequently, whether you’re on a couch, throne, or barstool.

    • GaryX says:

      So, as an architect, do we get some kind of cross-play/co-op where we stay on generally friendly terms but inevitably end up at each other’s throats due to the increase in tension and shitty clients/contractors?

    • Fluka says:

      This is a sad and a beautiful post.

      A professor in my field recently said that he’d like to see someone make a Science Laboratory Game in the form of a Sim.  I’ve been trying to think what it’d be like ever since.  You’d be in charge of a single university or government lab site, and you’d have to manage space and resources to keep your Grant Money, Prestige, and Lack of Despair bars as high as possible.  Install a $500,000 fume hood and a fancy high bay space to attract famous scientists, but be sure to add lots of vending machines to keep the grad students happy!  Put two professors who *hate* each other in adjoining offices and see what happens!  See how many grad students you can cram into a single cubicle farm before utter despair sets in!  Drag the NSF, DOE, or NIH funding bar up and down and up and down until your workers are lying on the floor in a small puddle of their own tears!  So basically, it’d be all the fun parts of The Sims.  Eventually, your lab gets old and starts to break down and is abandoned because it is made of asbestos, or the entire bottom floor gets flooded with sewage (both these things have happened to me).

      • Enkidum says:

        My friend is currently working in a lab with broken asbestos tiles lying on the floor because no one is willing to throw them away…

        • Fluka says:

          I’m pretty sure my desk in grad school was made of asbestos.

          Oo, I’m also forgetting another real thing which happened once, which you could totally add to the game.  The giant government lab where I do science once did two tooootally unrelated things in one day:

          A) They announced lay-offs, and a pay furlough for all remaining employees.

          B) They released a flock of indigenous wolves into the woods around the site. 

          Keep your employees strong and genetically fit!

      • Enkidum says:

        That is the coolest story ever told, bar none.

    • HobbesMkii says:

      I like how the replies to this post have turned into a collection of office peons complaining about their stressful (and apparently life-threatening) work. It’s like Deadliest Catch over here.

  16. Swadian Knight says:

    I maintain that David Petersen’s Mouse Guard is a setting just ripe for adaptation into a great CRPG (particularly since there already is a tabletop version). It’s such an interesting world, simultaneously tiny and larger-than-life, that I just can’t help but imagine, while reading the comics, how great it would be to live out the events in them in a CRPG. Foiling the plans of traitorous mice, fighting and animals much larger than one’s self, and ensuring the safety and prosperity of the nation of mice are all things that sound tailor-made for a videogame to me. Plus I would love to see the lush artstyle of the comics in motion.

    • dreadguacamole says:

       That’s a good one. There’s a Mouse Guard tabletop RPG based on the Burning Wheel system, and it’s pretty great – and a lovely-looking book, to boot.

  17. Elizabeth Penrose says:

    I’m afraid there _was_ an adaptation of the Odyssey, a tame little hidden object game. 

    Get into children’s books, game-makers! Let’s have a Pippi Longstocking game which relies on her strength and cunning and her ability to travel places without touching the ground. A Dido Twite adventure, or a game where you have to solve matters so Arabel can play and Mortimer can eat things. The wild Easter egg hunt from _Moominpapa’s Memoirs_. Little Phoebe “trying to get to Heaven” along the roof ridgepole. (The book is out of copyright.) To go to darker places, an adaptation of _The Chocolate War_. 

  18. Electric Dragon says:

    The imaginary game based on the Danish The Killing (aka Forbrydelsen) is much better than the imaginary game based on the American The Killing.

    I’d like to see a Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy game. Cultivate assets, bug phones, examine intercepts, follow someone (or realise you’re being followed yourself and shake them off), go undercover with only your wits and a false passport protecting you. Level up in tradecraft. Don’t forget that your real enemies may be in your own department.

    • HighlyFunctioningTimTebow says:

      A Tinker Tailor game would be a great way to undercut the monotony of paranoia with dialogue tension, provided that the conversational mechanics aren’t menu or wheel or tree based. On that note, why limit the tradecraft to suits in an office?

      I want a Ripley’s Game title based off Malkovich’s portrayal of the sociopath, where the player has to execute a series of black market transactions, while coercing a hapless mark to execute your bidding throuh con or coercion. Failing that there’s nothing wrong with indulging the player in their judicious use of the occasional blunt object or two.

      • Aurora Boreanaz says:

        *shudder*  The scene in The Talented Mr. Ripley where he hits Dickie in the head with the boat oar, and for a second you think he’s going to be okay, then blood just starts POURING out of the wound on his head…horrifying.

    • Mookalakai says:

       I assume the Danish version is just like the Danish psychic cop show starring Sue the writer in 30 Rock. Namely, it is a blessing, and a curse.

    • GaryX says:

      Oooh if we’re talking about adaptations of Danish material, what about a balls-crazy survival horror based on Riget? (aka The Kingdom).

      • Electric Dragon says:

        Ooh, reading up about that makes me think of a Darkplace game.

        Featuring an original story from author, dreamweaver, visionary (plus actor) Garth Marenghi!

        The acting talents of Garth Marenghi, Todd Rivers, Dean Learner and Madeleine Wool!

        A multimedia FMV extravaganza, specially designed for the CD-i!

        Genuine interactive blood and gore!

        Over 100 lines of dialogue!

        Fight against mutants, demons, ghosts and Scotsmen!

        • Girard says:

           I’m surprised an ironic post-modern FMV CD-ROM game hasn’t been made, along those lines. I remember a bunch of the MST3K folks were involved in an FMV game 10 or so years ago, but that was sadly played straight, looked abysmal, and didn’t ever see the light of day…until apparently 2 or so years ago when it was released. Wow. They spent a long time on that thing.

      • dreadguacamole says:

         Heh. The down syndrome kids explaining the plot would make so much more sense in a computer game.
         How much better would Gears of War, or Final Fantasy XIII-2  be with those two providing the plot recaps?

      • If the onscreen tutorial started to give instructions like, “HELMER has entered the room.  Use the TAB key to switch to toilet-cam perspective”, then, ah, no.

  19. Girard says:

    I was going to get on Adam Volk’s case for using “pixilated” instead of “pixelated,” but apparently “pixilated” can also mean unbalanced, whimsical, and drunk, which is wholly appropriate for the source material.

  20. PugsMalone says:

    I’d love to see a decent Itchy and Scratchy game. I know that there have been at least two in the past, but they missed the most vital component- being rated M.

  21. Ziegfelding says:

    The world of Clive Barker’s Imajica would be a great setting for an open world single player RPG like Skyrim. There are so many unique and dangerous locations in it I’d love to walk around in or just see a visual adaptation of. The sea in The Cradle, the inverted city Yzorrderrex, particularly post reconciliation, the InOvo. All would be worth exploring in digital form.

  22. Girard says:

    I would love to see more established authors try their hand at writing Interactive Fiction. Douglas Adams’ adaptation of HHGttG and his original IF, Bureaucracy, are two of the funniest, most well-written IF games out there, and it would be interesting to see other authors (other comedy authors, or genre authors, or literary authors) try their hand at either adapting/expanding their work into IF or making something new in the medium.

    I think the text-to-text transition would allow for less chance to mess things up in the adaptation, as well as provide a low enough bar of entry that the authors could largely write the adaptation themselves (maybe with input from game designers), which would also hopefully minimize any heinous problems of adaptation.

  23. lokanoth says:

    I’d like to see High Rise by J.G. Ballard as a game. The residents of a modern, (or 70’s), skyscraper go insane and you must climb it, fighting your way through, level by level, perfect for a video game.

  24. stakkalee says:

    I was trying to think of something from Philip K. Dick but I don’t think any other medium could really do his stuff justice, so I’ll choose another IP that has the same feeling of paranoia – They Live.  You play as Rowdy Roddy Piper, punching and shooting your way through a consumerist nightmare with no easy way to tell who’s an alien and who isn’t.  You’d get some sort of meter you could use to activate True Sight and see the aliens, but the meter is limited and difficult to refill, and the longer you spend surrounded by subliminal advertising the lower the meter gets.  You also have limited access to ammo, and you’re penalized for killing actual humans, and of course, every killing, either human or alien, will get the cops on your tail; some of the cops are human, some are aliens.  The ultimate goal will be to kill the doppleganger president.

    • GaryX says:

      I loved the Ubik film idea Dick had: “the film itself appearing to undergo a series of reversions: to black-and-white, then to the awkward jerkiness of very early movies, then to a crookedly jammed frame which proceeds to blacken, bubble and melt away, leaving only the white glare of the projection bulb, which in turn deteriorates to leave the theater in darkness, and might almost leave the moviegoer wondering what sort of dilapidated, antique jalopy he’ll find his car-keys fitting when he goes outside” [from Wikipedia]. They could make a game adaptation of it that goes equally meta where the game is jumping through generations and game mechanics.

      • dreadguacamole says:

         There *was* a game adaptation of Ubik, made by french weirdos Cryo. They somehow made it into a tactical strategy title; I gave up in disgust before it got to use Dick’s ideas, but they explained the save system within the game’s logic.

  25. FireEmblemIsAFunGame says:

    I always thought Battle Royale would make for an interesting game, since it basically already is a game. I like the idea of being able to choose to form tenuous alliances with other people, whether they’re other players or AI characters.

    Alternatively, you could pretty much adapt any of the many other books/movies with a similar premise, and it would still work. I don’t know much about The Hunger Games, but that seemed like it could also work (I know there was at least a mobile game based on it, made by Canabalt creator Adam Saltsman, but I haven’t played it).

    You could even adapt the presumably shitty Steve Austin vehicle The Condemned, but in that case you would pretty much be obligated to use the old AKI wrestling game controls – just remove the ring and add a crazy island, and your work is done!

    The best variation of all, though, would be an adaptation of The Long Walk. I like to imagine it as a competitive version of Desert Bus, with VoIP, where you need to hold down a particular button to keep walking (the “walk” button would need to change periodically to prevent someone from simply taping the button down – yes I’ve thought about this too much).

  26. enjing358 says:

  27. JokersNuts says:

    How about an actually good Song of Ice and Fire game?

    • GaryX says:

      This was my thought. Possibly one of the easiest properties to adapt to a game, yet it can’t seem to find a decent enough developer. Give it to The Witcher guys or something.

  28. Raging Bear says:

    I’m with Agnello here, although even if they never properly adapt His Dark Materials, “talking, armored bears” alone is enough premise to generate the greatest games that could ever possibly be made.

    Otherwise, I always used to daydream about a Discworld game. And yes, I know it was already adapted as an impenetrable adventure game or two, but I’m thinking more of an RPG. The setting has enough incredibly fleshed-out towns and wildernesses to accommodate a 100+ hour epic, and imagine exploring it all with Sam Vimes, Granny Weatherwax, Mustrum Ridcully et al in your party. Art direction by Paul Kidby.

    • Girard says:

       And there’s certainly exhaustive enough extant text in the numerous books that a world could be fleshed out pretty well, even if Pratchett’s sadly flagging health doesn’t hold out.

      I would recommend a little bit of Josh Kirby’s melty-waxy aesthetic from the older Discworld paperback covers, too. They lend the Discworld an appropriately off-kilter quality that Kidby’s (still great) work doesn’t have as much of.

    • Electric Dragon says:

      That would be a difficult party to manage. Granny W would immediately do the opposite of everything you told her, Sam Vimes would do whatever the hell he wanted regardless, and Ridcully would refuse to do anything unless you explained it three times: each time simpler, louder and slower than the last.

    • GaryX says:

      I don’t really think His Dark Materials is capable of being adapted to a game as much as as seeing armored fucking polar bears would be awesome. We’d most likely end up with a reskinned Harry Potter game (similar to how the movie was adapted, really).

  29. In retrospect, I’m sad I didn’t go with my first thought: a dating sim based on The West Wing. Half the dates would be political policy meetings. The other half would be really hot dates because damn that show was sexy for a while (the Aaron Sorkin years).

    • HobbesMkii says:

      The President is refusing to act. What will you do, Toby?
      A) Attempt to use your personal connection to pressure him into changing his mind.
      B) Attempt to rally the staff into presenting him with a unified front.
      C) In a bizarre and abrupt character shift, commit treason by leaking state military secrets.

  30. David White says:

    I’d love to see a faithful game adaptation of Lone Wolf and Cub.

  31. Mookalakai says:

    I want a Gladiator game like no other. Apparently there were a bunch of games that had you playing as a gladiator for the PS2, but that sub-genre died off apparently.  There’s a Spartacus game coming up, but that’ll probably just suck, as much as I hate to admit it. But the concept is golden.

    • GaryX says:

      Didn’t those guys who made the really cliche fps (that was supposed to “save the Wii” or whatever) make one? Or were working on one? Did that never happen?

      • Swadian Knight says:

        It turned into the rather boring fighting game Tournament of Legends, abandoning its initial notions of realism to include a bunch of magical beasts as playable characters.

    • Swadian Knight says:

      Allow me to recommend Capcom’s Shadow of Rome, for the PS2.

      It had a variety of competition modes ranging from simple arena battle-royale to chariot races, and it really stands out to me for requiring both skill and showmanship from the player and encouraging creativity rather than pure effectiveness in combat. 

      The game was sort of weighed down by the inclusion of some really dull stealth sections, but overall I can pretty confidently say that it’s the best gladiator game I’ve ever played.

  32. Brian Ward says:

    A Veronica Mars game done in the style of LA Noir? 

  33. Cornell_University says:


    it’s really sad that the best one is an arcade game from the early 90s where you just run forward endlessly shooting until you die.  the NES games were dogshit and the less said about Marlon Waynes and Joseph Gordon Levitt (AS COBRA COMMANDER FOR FUCKS SAKE) the better.

    you could make a serious GRITTY military game with despot assassinations, or you could make a crazy action adventure, or an open world Skyrim type game with the ninja characters (GIJOE HAS TONS OF NINJA CHARACTERS) or… or… God you could do so much!

    has anyone read the comic books except me?  there is so much bananas shit you have to work with!  you can mind control ninjas and giant transformer castles and space shuttle battles ALL IN THE SAME GAME!

    and Big Lob.  for the love of God don’t forget to use Big Lob.

    • stakkalee says:

      YES.  YES TO ALL OF THIS.  I fucking LOVE Larry Hama, and the world he spun out of those crappy plastic toys was awesome, with some really surprising depth and great characterizations.  Insane villains, morally ambiguous heroes, political intrigue, terrorist plots, saving the world, what’s not to love?

      • Cornell_University says:

        the Marvel stuff is still my favorite by far (and I like the stuff from well after it had completely come off the rails.  Firefly isn’t dead because he switched bodies with Serpentor and was secretly a ninja master with no face the whole time?  sure, strap me in!) but there’s cool stuff in the later runs too (well, not the Image stuff, but like I needed to tell you that.)  somewhere in the Devil’s Due run there was a miniseries that basically took the plots of GIJOE: the Movie and the Transformers movie and mooshed them together like toys in the sandbox.  AND IT WAS GREAT.  it was completely bonkers obviously, but taking two entries that nobody particularly likes and making a fun, inventive story (plot synopsis: Cobra-La worships Unicron because of course they do) out of it I thought was no small feat.

        I am fully aware the only games anyone will ever make will continue to be shitty tie ins to the shitty movies.  I blame Channing Tatum.

    • Word up, man.  One reason I have a soft spot for Command & Conquer: Renegade, the FPS that wasn’t like the other C&C titles from many years back, is because it made me realize, “you know, C&C is basically just G.I. Joe without all the cool personalities and specialization.  We’ve got the vehicles and tech, we’re just missing the people.  And with just a little more effort at that, and a little more effort with this game, we could be looking at the best G.I. Joe adaptation ever.” 

      All I ever wanted to do as a kid was invade Cobra HQ as one of the Joes (or Joe HQ as Storm Shadow)–blowing up Nod buildings from the inside is the closest feel to that that I’ve experienced so far in a game.  And as for stories, how about some of those Larry Hama Marvel-era plots?  Picture a Fallout 3-meets-Thief-style chapter where you, as Fred VII, have to talk and sneak your way around Cobra bigwigs, never letting on that the guy in the suit ISN’T the real Cobra Commander? 

      The technology is there for this dream game(s), the content is sure the fuck there…let’s make it happen, somebody.

  34. Fluka says:

    *Spits coffee out!*  They’re making a Mistborn RPG?!?  *Balls up hands into tiny fists of excitement!*  Okay, I was going to say the Mieville Bas-Lag books as my choice, but Sanderson’s books are a thousand times more suited for a game.  The combat mechanics are basically already in the books: the mages in the books consume and burn different types of metals to gain access to different categories of magical power: pushing and pulling on nearby objects to for combat and flying, influencing the emotions of others to incite rage or hide, speeding up and slowing down time, buff one’s own powers or debuff the powers of others.  Damn it, writing this down, it already sounds like I’m describing a game rather than a book.  And they are fun little fantasy books!  Probably not of the “literary” level (pff, whatever) of something like GRRM, but really perfectly adapted to the narrative level of something like a Bioware RPG.  Oh god, please don’t suck.

    Otherwise, I’ve recently been reading a biography of Catherine the Great, and have been trying to think of how one would make a game about 17th and 18th century court politics.  Whatever it would be, it would certainly have a strong stealth and strategy focus.  Half disseminating gossip and alliance-building at fancy parties, half sneaking around palaces trying to avoid being caught after a romantic tryst.  (*Imagines Catherine doing non-lethal takedowns and stuffing unconscious guards into the air ducts of the Peterhof Estate.*)  It would sell five copies, and they would all be to me.

    • Enkidum says:

      Yeah, I love the idea of the Catherine the Great one. Or maybe Elizabeth I, or Henry VIII – basically any medieval/Renaissance court would work. But focussing more on mechanics that actually mattered, not Assassin’s Creed.

      • Fluka says:

        I’d like to see Louis XIV, personally.  Bizarrely, some googling shows that there totally was a game about Versailles court intrigue back in 1996.  It looks like it was a point and click adventure game, where you play a guard who has to unravel a plot to burn down the palace.  Check it out – you can totally talk to Jean Racine in all of his 1996 3D glory!

    • George_Liquor says:

       *Hands Fluka a napkin.*

  35. horseradish_road says:

    The Watchmen as a Point and Click, playing as a different main character
    every issue/episode, with Metroid: Other M style frenetic beat em ups

    Actually, there’s a ton of modern comics that would make great point and
    clicks, but Watchmen may be one of the few with mass appeal. There’s
    such a great opportunity for collaborating with the artist and/or using
    really unique art styles + having a story, tone, characters etc. already
    fleshed out for you.

    Even weirder, artier fare like Asterios Polyp or books by Daniel Clowes
    or Jason would work, now that arty browser games have emphasized mood
    and experience over structure/objective.

    Come to think of it, I can’t recall a decent literal “comic book” game
    other than Comix Zone for the Genesis. You could make a ton of great
    beat em ups from the superhero genre alone.

    • Girard says:

       Well, there were plenty of beat-em-ups based on comic properties, and there were some execrable “CD-ROMics” in the late 90s, but nothing that was as self-consciously comics-set as Comix Zone.

  36. Eric Musall says:

    Justified would make a better GTA-style game, I think.  A sort of hybrid between GTA (with law enforcement missions) and Red Dead.  I’d play that to death.

  37. BuntlineSpecial says:

    I’ve made this point in reverse before, but I’ll do it again, in case anyone from EA or BioWare is reading this.

    There is a series of literary espionage novels by Alan Furst, all set in the run up to and the first few years of World War II.  Most are set in Central Europe, but they all spend at least some time in Paris.  I would love to see one or more adapted as a game.  The Saboteur was as close as I’ve seen to this idea, but it’s basically telling smart WWII stories that don’t involve storming a beach.

    • djsubversive says:

      The Saboteur was a fun game. Although it’s pretty hard to suck the fun out of “Irish mechanic climbs everything in Paris, punches Nazis, and blows shit up.”

  38. Guelph says:

    I’ve felt that the Rifts tabletop RPG would be a fairly easy transfer to MMORPG, at least in terms of mechanics, stats, etc. The game itself is a hodgepodge of cyberpunk and traditional fantasy, the only one I’m aware of that would let you see a Robotech-style giant robot fighting a dragon. The factions are already in place (tech vs. magic), and there are dozens of world and sourcebooks ready to draw on for characters, expansions, etc. The main issue would be preserving the skills, of which there are dozens, and coming up with good stories that would allow the use of skills to play as important a role as fighting would. The other obstacle, of course, is that there’s already an MMORPG called Rift. I’m not sure what the trademark laws would say about that.

    • JoshJ says:

       The RIFT MMO seems to be basically the tabletop game (Palladuim games FTW!!!) just ripped out of the world. Same concept, different dressing. But I quit MMOs since they all seem to be the same game with different skins. In my head, they always sound so cool, but in application, it’s the same wasd and clicking timers.

      • Guelph says:

         True. Even it were an accurate translation, I don’t know that I’d play it all that much, simply because I no longer have that kind of free time.

  39. CouchShouts says:

    I would LOVE to see someone do something with Iain M. Banks’ Culture novels.  The Special Circumstances division is BEGGING for an adaptation.  It doesn’t even need to be based off one of the books – it just needs to be set in the universe.  

    • Fluka says:

      Ooo, that’d be awesome.  I’d also say the Alistair Reynolds Revelation Space books, but, uh, they already made Mass Effect (the plot is seriously the SAME you guys!).

    • Brainstrain says:

      I just discovered Iain Banks this summer, and I wholeheartedly agree. Special Circumstances is prime territory.

  40. Cornell_University says:

    I’d also like to play a game based off of Funny Games.  because I would really like quests involving getting eggs from a neighbor, or dropping a cellphone in a sink.  NO OTHER REASON.

  41. Noasis says:

    It’d be great to see the camp Adam West Batman series turned into an episodic point&click adventure.

    Maybe you’d get to manage your utility belt for any threats/types of puzzles you may perceive (i.e. some kinds of ludicrous heat things when you know you’re facing off with Mr. Freeze/The Penguin).

    Inter-cut with the brutal fighting mechanics of the Arkham series, replete with Bams and Pows, perfecting them further.

  42. George_Liquor says:

    I think it’s important to make the distinction between games that are direct adaptations of other works–particularly Hollywood blockbusters–and games that are just set in that work’s universe. Games based directly on big Hollywood movies often suck because they’re developed on the cheap and in a tight schedule timed to coincide with the film’s release, not because they’re destined to by their very nature. I can’t speak for the Walking Dead games, but the Batman Arkham games succeed precisely because the developers didn’t try to shoe-horn Dark Knight Returns or Killing Joke into them. They’re original works with stories written to take full advantage of the video game format.

  43. LoveWaffle says:

    Since licensed games are overwhelmingly terrible, nothing.

  44. Jonathan Scheer says:

    Seinfeld: The RPG About Nothing

  45. a_foreign_film says:

    i have absolutely zero idea how it’d possibly be implemented, but i’d play the heck out of a game based on gene wolfe’s book of the new sun.

  46. RTW says:

    It’s just fantasy for now, but I kind of want to learn how to make games just so I can make David Foster Wallace in A Supposedly Fun Game I’ll Never Play Again.

  47. PaganPoet says:

    Remember Alf? He’s back…in game form.

  48. ricin_beans says:

    I had an idea for a game set in the world of the comic DMZ.  An open world game somewhat like Fallout:New Vegas, but with less emphasis on combat and more on making moral choices that effect the world.  

  49. ricin_beans says:

    Also, an RPG set in Bas-lag.  Flintlock rifles, Might swords, steampunk robots and all kinds of different magic.  It would be awesome.

  50. HilariousNPC says:

    My first thought would be Big Trouble in Little China. I know that Mortal Kombat is supposed to be based on it, but making something into a fighting game is always half-assing it. I don’t want something open world, I want a focused experience where Wang Chi has to save Jack Russell from whatever unpleasantness has befallen him due after the thing’s glommed onto his truck.

    I want something like a hybrid of an old-school Metroidvania and River City Ransom, where Wang’s going through a city, looking for secrets, finding weapons, punching out mooks, leveling up, etc.


    I dunno if this is cheating, because this has actually been made into a game once. As is to be expected with everything that Kevin Simbieda does without having people to smack him around, it was an utter failure, but more importantly it had colossal ramifications. He agreed to make it on the N-GAGE…as the N-GAGE was in its death throes, and he signed away the video game rights to Nokia, so the IP can never be turned into a game without Nokia’s permission.

    If anyone’s ever played a Palladium game for any length of time, you that it’s the tentpole for both “analysis paralysis” and “feature creep”. If you made a character in the first book, and you hit level 20 with them, they were completely useless compared to a level 5 character in the next book. The system and the fiction were enjoyable once you stripped them down, but the full ruleset could easily be computerized, and honestly needs to be computerized to make it enjoyable.


    Nobody’s ever made a good spy game because they can’t ever figure out how to do it. Alpha Protocol was a nice try, but it just felt like they fed a concept into the Obsidian RPG Creation Engine and crapped it out. I want to play a game where a team needs to work together, (or in the case of ISIS, not work together) and pull off a great mission. If it’s being done with the panache and flair of Archer, well, then it’d sell billions.

    Legend of the 5 Rings/7th Sea:

    This is only half-cheating. 5 Rings was licensed to be made into a game, but the prototype they showed at E3 was a crappy ass Diablo II wannabe. That’s not where the game system shines. I want to see either of these made into a full blown RPG/Action RPG.

  51. Total mind screw game that would be awesome to play, but completely impossible do properly, “House of Leaves.”

    In my mind, for thus to work you’ll have to combine 3rd person over the shoulder play style, a lá Heavy Rain, for the Johnny parts, a text based Zorglike bits for the Zampano bits, and then a completely random dungeon crawl horror for the exploration parts. Completely impossible to do, but it would be some kind of magic if it was pulled off. Imagine words and imagines melting away from the screen to transition between the sections, the arc words, colors and numbers constantly shifting you through the story and the absolute terror of a constantly changing labyrinth with constantly changing sounds and those arc words “this is not for you” summoning the horrors from both beyond the comic horror boundary and the inner boundary of the mind.

  52. obiwanchernobi says:

    Both have been done to death before, but I really feel like Cowboy Bebop and Hellboy could make the best games ever.

    But also, while we’re on the subject, does anybody else play shitty adaptions just so they can explore the universe of a beloved property. Cause I played the shit out of Mobile Suit Gundam: Journey to Jaburo and that game was a piece of crap. And same with the Rugrats game that came out on Playstation and let you run around in the Pickles’ house. Shitty games, but fun to get to look around the world of the show.

  53. Asinus says:

    My thoughts are more abstract because I can’t think of anything off hand to say I’d like to see adapted into a game (though maybe game adapted into something else, but that hardly works, either). What seems to work best, or at least the best Thing-Adapted-Into-Game games that I’ve played don’t even try to adapt titular Thing’s story or characters into a game. I mean, why would I want to play through a movie or novel’s plot? What works is when there is an expansive enough universe to make games that can be or feel significant while, at the same time, removed enough from the main story to make your actions and the game’s outcome insignificant. 

    The one that immediately comes to mind is Tie Fighter (same could probably apply to Dark Forces). It’s set between Star Wars and Empire (though it might overlap with Empire) but the player is never sent out to intercept the Falcon or fight Luke Skywalker, Wedge, or anyone who plays any major role in the films (Vader shows up in a couple of missions, but he just kicks some ass and leaves). The galaxy/universe is so huge, and the Empire is so sprawling that a massive defection/coup can ensue with no suspension of disbelief required to assume that it wouldn’t ripple out and affect the movie timelines. 

    Tolkien’s universe is similar, but I’m not at all versed in any LotR games to know if they take place in any of the other Ages or away from he events of the books and movies. It’s probably very difficult to make a game that feels important or pivotal while, at the same time, remaining irrelevant. 

  54. goawayinternet says:

    I’d like to see somebody give a Crime & Punishment game a try.

  55. trilobiter says:

    While I’m not ordinarily super-jazzed about the idea of adaptations, I sure wouldn’t mind playing one set in the Firefly universe.

  56. Professor_Cuntburglar says:

    Back to the Future: Not that recent point-and-click game, but an open-world game where you get a time-traveling car. Maybe your actions in one time period affect the future and whatnot.

    I also recently realized that you could make a pretty cool game set in the Men in Black universe, as long as it wasn’t just a generic shooter. Maybe an LA Noire-style mystery solving game with action bits.

  57. Bowen Kerins says:

    Why we don’t have a video game version of BBC’s “The Cube” is beyond me.  It’s a show built on minigames!  Instant win!

  58. thelandofdoasyouplease says:

    I would love to see a new adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune.  After playing Fallout 3, I distinctly remember thinking, “Why haven’t they thought about making a Dune game like this?”.  My adaptation would probably not do very well, but I think it would be great to experience the world since the book is so well written.

    Alas, I will have to be stuck with the wonderful visions of my feeble mind.

  59. Ted McAdams says:

    They made a Mad max inspired game already…. not officially though. (Called “Outlander”)

  60. Tilden_Katz says:

    A Total War game set in Steven Erickson’s Malazan Book of the Fallen world.