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What do you think of videogames as a storytelling medium? 
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Post Re: What do you think of videogames as a storytelling medium?
darthyoshi wrote:
Kyle wrote:
My favorite, most fully-realized and original story told in a video game is Grim Fandago's

When's the Grim Fandango movie coming, Hollywood?


NEVER ask for a video game movie. Apparently it is impossible to make a good one of those.



Ever since Grim Fandango came out I've been hoping that someone convinces Pixar to take a crack at it. If not Pixar, Spike Jonze.

But at any rate, whenever I see the videogames as storytelling question, Grim Fandango is the first game I recommend. But since it's an adventure game, and that's the easiest genre within which to tell a fully realized story, I also like to point to the Blizzard games, which effortlessly tell complex, rich stories in the context of battles and actions. Starcraft and its expansion Brood Wars being the best examples.


Fri Aug 14, 2009 1:35 pm
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Post Re: What do you think of videogames as a storytelling medium?
darthyoshi wrote:
Kyle wrote:
My favorite, most fully-realized and original story told in a video game is Grim Fandago's

When's the Grim Fandango movie coming, Hollywood?


NEVER ask for a video game movie. Apparently it is impossible to make a good one of those.


I disagree. While I haven't seen any yet that are good, I think it's the execution that gives the game-to-movie transition a bad name.

The problem is that the filmmakers don't find a good balance between the action. Especially in the first-person-shooter genre, where most of the movies come from (it would be nearly impossible to make a 2 hour movie out of something as long and complex as a given RPG. The selling point of these games is the player doing the shooting, and stuff like that. In general, that stuff takes up about 90% or so (give or take) of the game. But a lot of the visceral impact is lost when a person WATCHES action instead of DOING it. So what is hours of fun playing the game becomes tedious watching it in a movie.

The solution, in my opinion, is quite simple. The stories of the games, which, in order to give the player more time to play the game, are usually quite thin. When it's translated into a movie, the story needs fleshing out. Unfortunately, film studios are so risk-phobic that they'll do nothing instead of taking a chance and changing the formula (which, judging by how much money the film adaptations make just on fan base alone, "works"). Either that, or if they get the hint and make the films more story-oriented, they'll fill it with cliche plot twists and get a director for hire whose vision isn't especially interesting. Then the film will be just plain boring, only without the action to liven things up.

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Sun Aug 16, 2009 11:17 pm
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Post Re: What do you think of videogames as a storytelling medium?
The thing that makes individual video games truly great is the story. Without a good story or conflict, you have something fun, temporary, and not memorable. The reason why people have been playing Starcraft for 10 years and dying for the next installment to come out is because Blizzard is so good at both the game play AND the story. Hollywood doesn't understand this. The people making movies now obviously don't know anything about video games. If any of today's filmmakers actually ever played video games, it probably occurred before 1990. Video games have evolved. Apparently there is a Warcraft movie being made. Do you think the producers or the director know anything about it? No, they probably think that it is so popular because it's fun to play, which isn't wrong, but that's only half the picture.

So will Hollywood ever make a good video game movie? Not until they understand video games. Until then, it will be a series of crappy movies that just insult their source material.


Mon Aug 17, 2009 1:20 am
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Post Re: What do you think of videogames as a storytelling medium?
darthyoshi wrote:
The thing that makes individual video games truly great is the story. Without a good story or conflict, you have something fun, temporary, and not memorable. The reason why people have been playing Starcraft for 10 years and dying for the next installment to come out is because Blizzard is so good at both the game play AND the story. Hollywood doesn't understand this. The people making movies now obviously don't know anything about video games. If any of today's filmmakers actually ever played video games, it probably occurred before 1990. Video games have evolved. Apparently there is a Warcraft movie being made. Do you think the producers or the director know anything about it? No, they probably think that it is so popular because it's fun to play, which isn't wrong, but that's only half the picture.

So will Hollywood ever make a good video game movie? Not until they understand video games. Until then, it will be a series of crappy movies that just insult their source material.


You're right. Unfortunately though, studios measure how people like movies based on the box office returns. And video games that are made into movies have a large enough fan base that the films will make a profit regardless of whether people like them. So they will never work to "understand" video games, as you put it.

We need more innovators like Christopher Nolan, who really know how to invigorate a franchise, and producers who are willing to take a chance.

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Mon Aug 17, 2009 1:30 am
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Post Re: What do you think of videogames as a storytelling medium?
Blace wrote:
The Metal Gear Solid series proved to me that games can have engrossing storylines and cutscenes that match film, but because it has 20-30 min (sometimes longer) cutscenes some people don't like them.


I just don't see the point of watching something for that long when the whole appeal of games is that you can play them. I also think that while Hideo Kojima is perfectly capable if thinking up great ideas, his execution of them leaves a lot to be desired. If he let people trim his ideas into something more coherent, I’d probably like his games a lot more.


Wed Aug 19, 2009 12:36 am
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