As a gamer, you are likely aware that our pastime is seen as ripe territory for crossover media by the television and film communities. And they’re not totally off base to want to create that kind of synergy. As we mentioned before, video games are a great way to introduce and amplify existing stories, or to tell new stories based around an existing universe. South Park: The Stick of Truth epitomized the crossover potential last year, managing to keep all the charm of the long running television show without ever feeling like a worn out retread. As we kick off a new year, I decided to put together a list of recently published books, films and television that are ripe for the jump into a game version.
Old Man’s War
Novel Series: 2005-Present
Old Man’s War is in the midst of its own adaptation from print to the screen, so a video game could also be seen in the near future. This five-novel storyline imagines a galaxy where Earth has remained stagnant as humanity took to the stars. Humanity’s space authority, the Colonial Union, takes center stage in galactic politics, endlessly struggling brutal struggle with their neighbors. The novel takes on the future of human warfare, as well as the diverse array of aliens that populate Scalzi’s universe, which could make for a ton of unique material for game designers. It would work well as a Mass Effect style RPG shooter – taking what humanity needs by war and subterfuge, or striving for a peace where possible.
TV: Currently Running Season Six
Everybody’s favorite animated spy would make for an excellent gaming experience. The stylized animation suggests the possibility of a truly visually appealing title, and the rich game world and lack of a rigid, overarching narrative lends itself to the same opportunities that Stick of Truth capitalized on so well: an irreverent and entirely new journey with some of our favorite characters. Archer's game play could remain simple, and the robust fan base could help recruit a new cadre of gamers into the fold, fans who would appreciate a casual yet energetic experience.
The Paradox Trilogy
Novel Series: 2013-2014
This sci-fi series by Rachel Bach sets up the possibility for a Destiny-esque open world vision of humanity’s place in the stars. Her trilogy follows the exploits of Devi Morris, a mercenary of the human empire around the planet Pandor as she serves with a freighter crew. The lively universe of competing human and alien factions lay the groundwork for a compelling narrative. Combined with the books’ focus on armor and a varied arsenal, this clears the way for a rewarding loot and leveling system. The Pandora trilogy also holds fertile ground for battle systems. A built-in arena aspect to Pandoran culture that could make for an organic PvP feature, while the world’s armored suits are designed into a combative art form, potentially leading to a sci-fi fighting game.
This ongoing webcomic follows the adventures of a demon named Kick Girl as she traverses a post-apocalyptic landscape in – oddly enough – a quest to keep her demonic brothers and sisters kept as far away from human kind as possible. It sports zealous crusaders, fanatical cultists against a backdrop of supernatural beings on the verge of an epic struggle all the while with you, the reader, constantly feeling that there’s a bigger, more tragic backstory than the civilians of the world fully understand. The mystery is genuinely one that I’m now totally invested in, as the comic itself takes place in a world of swords and stone while the flashbacks show a world full of sports cars, cell phones and super heroes. What went wrong? What’s still to come? Where does Kick fit into all of this? But seriously, there’s the potential for a solid, stylized platformer in this weekly webcomic.
Koko Takes a Holiday – How about a brothel owning, mercenary leading lady in a world gone all-out nutty around corporate shenanigans? What’s not to love?
The Venture Brothers – Another animated entry ripe for the Stick of Truth treatment. What’s not to enjoy about a world that enjoys only a casual relationship with reality purpose-built to spoof Johnny Quests and Scooby Doos alike?