Novelist Christopher Fowler: Developers Should Make Hollywood's Cowardice Their Strength

October 5, 2011 -

English Novelist Christopher Fowler shares his curiosity with Computer & Videogames about why more books like his haven't been turned into video games. According to the author, games can be used to create more faithful adaptations of popular novels. He says that his latest project - an adaptation of H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds proves it. Fowler is currently adapting the classic story to an XBLA and PSN title due for release in early autumn, with voice work by Patrick Stewart.

In an article written for C&VG, Fowler explains how game design has changed and what game developers can do to take advantage of the literature that Hollywood is afraid of:

"Games used to be more problematic. The player decided where to go, so how could you have a literary adaptation with multiple endings? Kim Newman tried this with pretty much the first game/ novel hybrid called 'Life's Lottery', but the reading public wanted its stories to have closure, and the book wasn't the success it should have been. Closure makes better stories. The more openings you have, the less powerful the tale is.

Greek tragedies work because right from the outset, there's only ever one outcome, and it usually comes about because the hero/ine has a flaw they can't see, and that flaw gets exploited by enemies. So how could a book ever become a game?

Then a game designer told me something that made sense. He said that since side-scrollers moved on to 3D environments the player imagines having total control, but the secret of most games is that the main options are really all decided for you. So that, I imagined, was gaming's dirty little secret, that you didn't really get the one thing you most wanted - freedom to participate and choose your course of action, not truly.

Then something totally unexpected happened. Games started embracing their stories and acknowledging the secret. By doing this they opened up an incredible new vista for players. If you tell a story well, and then fill it with kick-ass action, you can have both a great time and enjoy a satisfying adventure.

This means that now, Hollywood's cowardice can become gaming's unique strength."

Fowler closes by saying that if game developers want to know which books they should adapt into games, all they need to do is talk to a writer.

You can read the rest of Fowler's thoughts on adapting literary works of art to the digital world here.


 
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DocMelonheadThat and the cherry pickings of logical fallacies05/30/2015 - 4:06pm
MattsworknameTo be honest, I think everyone gets worked up about there own personal causes, Ive done it to be sure. Ip just tends to do it all day everyday.05/30/2015 - 4:01pm
Andrew EisenNo problem. It's rarely an issue so it's not brought up much.05/30/2015 - 3:12pm
DocMelonheadsorry about that, it's just that it seems that IP wanted to make sure everyone knows that Gamergate were nothing but insecure harassers.05/30/2015 - 3:05pm
Andrew EisenFor instance, if everyone finds your comments annoying, try saying the same thing but in a different way. Who knows? Maybe a slight tweak in your approach to communicating will be all it takes to foster awesome and interesting discussions.05/30/2015 - 2:58pm
Andrew EisenDoc - I had to slightly edit a few of your comments. Please keep the heavier profanities out of the Shout box. And everyone, discussions are fine and dandy but do endeavor to keep things pleasant, okay?05/30/2015 - 2:51pm
DocMelonheadWhich is why I find him/her to be annoying as hell.05/30/2015 - 12:34pm
ConsterIP raises valid points sometimes, but they're drowned out by his "REPENT, SINNER!" attitude.05/30/2015 - 12:32pm
DocMelonheadOne of them were friend of those who got harassed by GameGate; another feel that GamerGate made it worst for people like her.05/30/2015 - 12:19pm
DocMelonheadI met several people at Boing Boing who have their own personal grude against them;05/30/2015 - 12:16pm
DocMelonheadSo, the question is this Iron Patriot, WHAT'S YOUR BEEF AGAINST GAMERGATE?05/30/2015 - 12:15pm
DocMelonheadThat's why many Anti-GG here see you as a JERK.05/30/2015 - 12:09pm
DocMelonheadSo in other words, You failed to keep a decent disscusion and proceed to talk down on those who argues against you.05/30/2015 - 12:08pm
DocMelonheadBut that's the thing, all you said that GamerGate is NOTHING BUT HARASSMENT AND VICTIM BLAMING05/30/2015 - 12:07pm
DocMelonheadAlso, IP you're no better than GamerGate; and yes, it ENABLE death threats, but not encourage them.05/30/2015 - 12:06pm
DocMelonheadSo who agree that the report buttion should be put back up.05/30/2015 - 12:05pm
DocMelonheadalso We all agree that you're annoy as heck IP05/30/2015 - 12:05pm
DocMelonheadGoth Skunk never gone victim blaming05/30/2015 - 12:04pm
DocMelonheadHarassment=Bullying.05/30/2015 - 12:01pm
IronPatriotBecause gamergate death threats, rape threats and doxxing are SO SIMILAR to pointing out the facts and logical failings of gamergate.05/30/2015 - 11:29am
 

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