Friday, July 07, 2006

Arrr, where be dar boat?

This weekend brings the release of the second Pirates of the Caribbean movie. In a perfectly timed move, Atari pens a deal to distribute a game based on the movie. Unfortunately, the game is not slated to be released until September. DOH! (via Red Herring)
[Image from game based on first movie]

So I guess you could say they missed the boat with this one (Oh Ken, you witty devil you). We all know that this isn't a rare occurrence for the spawn of movies and games. A lot are badly done due to lack of time or motivation for excellence. The only game of this type I've actually enjoyed was one of the Matrix games (note that I don't even remember which one).

All this got me thinking, why separate the two types of entertainment? Sure, consumers want different things from each form. They want movies to tell a story and games to give them feedback. But I'm going to step into my time machine here and try to predict a movie-game of the future, something that'll make everyone happy. Ready for this? Here's how it'd worked in three easy steps:

  1. Build an interactive world
  2. Fill world with interesting characters and settings
  3. Write a linear story with a protagonist and plot
Consumers looking for a movie can "possess" the main character and watch the story unfold. Consumers looking for a game can break away from the story at any point and explore.

Let me use some current content to illustrate. Imagine a World of Warcraft movie-game. You possess a night elf and watch an elaborate story being told in the "game" world. At some point, if you don't like where the story is going you can rewind and "jump out", thereby beginning your own story. Now that's convergence!

Current technology can make this happen. Obviously, the movie part would provide a much more "elaborate" experience than after jumping out of the story. Frankly, it's because NPCs are still horrible conversationalist and I'm sure you can think of a few other technological hurdles. But even in this limited state, I would love to experience something like this.

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