The Lovely Bones... as a game

January 06, 2010

What makes a game?  If you list the qualities you like or dislike about a game, I'll bet there is a lot of crossover with movies and music.  Since there is so UCH crossover its highly likely that a movie can be made into a game.  We've seen it go the other way with games becoming movies, but that's rare compared to the other way around.

We've all seen them, all played them... movies that have action scenes are almost automatically licensed for video game,,, I was going to say production but maybe trashing is a better word.

This brings me to "The Lovely Bones". Is this an action movie?  Nope.  Is it a love story with a tragic ending?  Nope.  Is there anything in it that would make a good game... yes!  Of course lets keep in mind that I'm under the impression that I can make a game out of anything, even beansprouts.   But there's more to it than that.

The Lovely Bones is a murder mystery where we all know who did it, its a matter of capturing him with the right evidence.  And that's where the game is.  Movies, TV and games revolve around conflict. Where there is conflict there is drama, suspense and the essence of a good game.

Some of the best games on the market hit a large demographic footprint.  A game based on this movie does exactly that.  If you have ever played, and loved like the rest of us, games like Myst or Monkey Island then you know exactly what I am talking about.

Which character do you play?  Most likely the father, but certainly the detective comes to mind as well.  Or maybe you play the dead daughter, trying to invluence the actions of your family to find the killer?  That last one hits the mark with me.

With today's advances in AI and the love that the gaming audience has of watching "what happens when I do this"...  leads me to believe that a game where I am a ghost, but able to communicate with the living, to find my killer, hits all of the marks we like to see in a hit and innovative game.

The setup is simple, your object is to make sure that the killer is captured, and you lose the game if he gets away. There can be degrees of success, does he get the maximum penalty or a slap on the wrist.

A big thing to keep in mind is, I have not yet seen the movie.  I am creating this concept on the fly and that's exactly how it should be.  If my assumptions are wrong about the basic story of the movie, then that misconception will carry on to the general public. The game buyng public will have the same wrong idea... assuming I am wrong.

Lets make a deal.  After reading this post, go see the movie.  See it twice if you need to. Then lets meet back here and see what e think o my basic game idea.  Does it work?  Is it nonsense?  We'll judge together.

As I write this, its January 6th.  Lets see the movie, at least once, and meet back here Monday the 18th. Feel free to make comments or email any time.  For you facebook people, please make your comments in the blog.

Thanks and save me some popcorn,