The modern movie retro tie-in thread

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Post » Tue Dec 22, 2009 6:53 am

So suddenly for no apparent reason, John Carmack decided that instead of making games about Billy Blaze as Commander Keen, he was going to be a musician rather than a programmer, because musicians always get the chicks and he didn't want to be a Virgin all his life, thus Wolfenstein was ultimately never made, in fact id never existed, neither did Valve or Epic or Bethesda because of that. 3dfx made scientific Calculators instead of the Voodoo boards, nVidia decided to make skin cream for women. 3D games never became the things they are today, computers didn't advance as quickly because there was no no need to and games are still made by small companies of one or two people. Licenses are given out like Ice Cream on a hot day and the Movie industry don't see video games as a worthwhile investment.

So you're a games designer in this alternative world - here's what you do. Pick a modern movie or TV show, and "create" a tie-in game of it, in the retro style, like tie-ins used to be before the movie industry realized the money that could be made from them and everything became impersonal and expensive.

By "create" I don't mean go off and actually make the games. I mean just describe it in your post, it's style, it's selling point, how it would play out. Imagine you're bidding for the rights to make your tie-in and have to impress the license holders, in a world where Amiga, Atari, Sega Megadrive, SNES, Arcade machines and still a few Spectrum and C64's are commonplace and PC's are still DOS with basic color graphics.

You can pick any movie or show (even if it's had a tie-in made recently or long ago), but YOUR tie-in has to be in the retro style, and if it's already been done before, it should be different obviously.

By retro, whatever can be done with construct but taking into account the limitations of past systems. Imagine your game is being made to run on 8bit, 16bit or early 32bit systems and adjust accordingly. You can be funny or serious, come up with the game or write a made up magazine review of it, make it really good, or utterly horrible (like most were, so that would be authentic!). The only limit, is old technology!

A few points to consider
[list:9fm8dedi]
[*:9fm8dedi]Lower resolutions.[/*:m:9fm8dedi]
[*:9fm8dedi]Your game is probably distributed via tape, cartridge or floppy disk.[/*:m:9fm8dedi]
[*:9fm8dedi]Most tie-ins were never all that accurate *cough* alien 3 *cough*, so feel free to follow the source storyline like a drunk follows a white line.[/*:m:9fm8dedi][/list:u:9fm8dedi]

I dunno, I think it would be fun to see the kind of games folk can come up with for modern day movies and TV shows, but in the old style.

A mention about 3D. The 3D games back then were very slow, hard strict limits on what could be done, were mostly primitives, had no textures, and for the most part were often just vectors and no filled polygons at all! The build engine didn't yet exist, and in this alternate reality never would, as Wolfenstein is never made (except as a song three years later when Carmack forms a band called The Binaries with John Romero because he felt Romero's hair was "perfect for his bands rock image"). So if you insist on 3D, bare that in mind. Most "3D" games of the era were the tiled movement ones such as Dungeon Master, Hired Guns, or the sprite based driving type games like Outrun, with only a few daring to use real 3D.

Note #1 And yes I'm aware this alternative world is flawed and many of the modern movies wouldn't exist without advances in technology, but honestly if you're going to get anal about that, you've bigger things to worry about in your life than this thread. :P

Note #2 Yes I know Carmack is married, so don't bother nitpicking that either :P


Ok, have fun! :)
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