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Greg Bear To Write Halo Trilogy

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the what-are-you-doing-you-won-a-hugo-for-god's-sake dept.

Sci-Fi 73

SailorSpork writes "Many gaming websites are reporting that Hugo and Nebula award winning sci-fi author Greg Bear will be writing a 100,000-year prequel trilogy to the Halo series, focusing on the Forerunners and presumably the construction of the Larry Niven knock-offs. Will he be able to balance the needs of his hard sci-fi fanbase with the Halo fans' need for a soft introduction to 'chapter books?' Despite my sarcasm, as someone who considers both of them guilty pleasures, I am actually really looking forward to seeing how he handles this."

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A 100,000-year prequel trilogy to the Halo (5, Funny)

clickety6 (141178) | more than 5 years ago | (#27486129)

Jeez! And I thought the Wheel of Time series was taking a long time to complete!

Re:A 100,000-year prequel trilogy to the Halo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27486437)

I'm sure this guy will kick the bucket too before he finishes.

BOOK 2 CHAPTAR 1 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27487123)

OMFG have you seen the Halo 2 trailer it's like slow and it's telling you all the stuff you did in the first one then the music kicks in and and the chief comes out and gets a gun the earf is on fire and chief is like fuck this im jumping and HE JUMPS PUT OF TEH SPACESHIP with angels singing and he lands on the bad guys and that annoying ai lady is like GO GET EM TIGER! WILDCAT IS ON TEH SPOKE!!!~`1 and theres less polys but rawkin bumb mappings you can view this on a special MICROSOFT xbox disk that comes with EB games store.

Re:A 100,000-year prequel trilogy to the Halo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27488173)

I like Wheel of Time you insensitive clout!

Re:A 100,000-year prequel trilogy to the Halo (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27492569)

Still Mr. Bear will be finished with this novel, long before Duke Nukem Forever is released.

Books based on video games ripped off from books.. (5, Funny)

synthesizerpatel (1210598) | more than 5 years ago | (#27486179)

The entertainment industry: When it comes to recycling, they're blazing the trail.

Re:Books based on video games ripped off from book (1)

foobsr (693224) | more than 5 years ago | (#27486239)

recycling

You beat me to it; but it systematically seems a little more, quote [wikipedia.org] : "Bear, Gregory Benford, and David Brin also wrote a trilogy of prequel novels to Isaac Asimov's famous Foundation trilogy with Bear credited for the middle book in the trilogy."

CC.

Re:Books based on video games ripped off from book (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 5 years ago | (#27493465)

Same accusations was hurled against William Shakespeare. Worst, he was even accused of making up some words.

Sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27486205)

The writer of Blood Music and Eon is reduced to writing a trilogy of video game spin-offs?
How the mighty have fallen...

Re:Sad (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 5 years ago | (#27486409)

even the mighty need to eat something.

Re:Sad (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 5 years ago | (#27487115)

Have you reread Eon [amazon.com] lately? While it was a childhood favourite of mine, when I turned to it again a few years ago after a long time away, I was appalled by the wooden characters, silly sex scenes, and misunderstandings of Soviet geography. Sure, the ideas in it, the infinitely long tunnel through spacetime and futuristic modifications of the human body, are pretty cool, but I'm no longer satisfied by hard science fiction that can't also be decent well-rounded literature.

I concur. (1)

Grendel Drago (41496) | more than 5 years ago | (#27487353)

I'm no longer satisfied by hard science fiction that can't also be decent well-rounded literature.

I hear you. For my part, I'm no longer satisfied by decent well-rounded literature that can't be bothered to include some decent ideas. Unfortunately, this doesn't seem to be much of a barrier to critical acclaim.

Re:I concur. (1)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | more than 5 years ago | (#27490265)

Plot would be nice too.

Re:Sad (4, Insightful)

syrinx (106469) | more than 5 years ago | (#27487511)

While I'm sure Mr. Bear will take your criticism to heart, he will at least be able to comfort himself with the huge sacks of cash he will be making from this venture.

(I'm not saying this as more criticism -- I'd probably do the same in his position.)

Re:Sad (1)

Creepy (93888) | more than 5 years ago | (#27489183)

yep - I can understand writers taking these gigs, as they pay well and usually pay well up-front, but I can't say I ever read books based on games often. I read a Warhammer book by accident once (and to be honest, it was pretty decent), and a Battletech book because I got it for free (it was horrid), and even a Star Wars book (God forbid... all I remember is the name - Han Solo at Star's End... I think I still have it, but I read it last at age 12 or 13) but if I'm looking in the library or bookstore I'll look for something without a gaming moniker (if I'm even in that section - I read a lot of mystery and some horror).

In my teens I did read some Dragonlance but I didn't really find it all that interesting... or even good. I vastly preferred original books - some of my favorites from my teens were Armor, Stormwarden, LotR, the White Gold Wielder series [up through about book 4 - by 6 I just wanted the guy to die already...], Dune, and pretty much any early Cyberpunk writer, including two Bear books.

The Bear I've read is Queen of Angels and / (aka Slant), again cyberpunkish, which I was heavily into at that time, and they were decent books, but not as page-turning addictive as Stephenson or Gaiman book.

s/Larry Niven/Iain M. Banks/ (1)

rpjs (126615) | more than 5 years ago | (#27486255)

Not played the games myself, but aren't the Halos Orbitals [wikipedia.org] rather than Ringworlds?

Re:s/Larry Niven/Iain M. Banks/ (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#27486301)

I'm not sure of the exact scale, but they're much, much smaller, and don't have a star in the middle. So, yes. They're more like a huge space station than a ringworld.

Also, I'm a bit aghast at the condescension from the summary submitter.

Re:s/Larry Niven/Iain M. Banks/ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27486483)

Also, I'm a bit aghast at the condescension from the summary submitter.

Why?

'Chapter books' certainly seem like they'd be anathema to console gamers who I strongly suspect are also a large part of the 'tldr' crowd. Console gamers appear to prefer their games dumbed down while having shiny graphics so why wouldn't they want the same from their reading material, preferring 'picture books' to 'chapter books'?

Of course that could just be my PC gamer bias asserting itself.

Re:s/Larry Niven/Iain M. Banks/ (1)

BeardsmoreA (951706) | more than 5 years ago | (#27486861)

Oh for god's sake. Perhaps some console gamers just happen to hold down real jobs and have lives away from the crosshair, so we don't want to spend all out time reinstalling Direct X, working out how to bypass SecureRom yet again, and upgrading our graphics card just to relax for an hour in the evening now and then.

Childish antagonism aside, C&C 3 was the last game I will ever buy for PC I suspect. The pain of getting it to work in the first place was just too much, followed by discovering EA had successfully raped the franchise into a shell of its former self anyway. A £150 box under the TV is just so much less hassle, for me. And I will miss really playable RTSs.

(Consider troll fed)

Re:s/Larry Niven/Iain M. Banks/ (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27486943)

Oh for god's sake. Perhaps some console gamers just happen to hold down real jobs and have lives away from the crosshair, so we don't want to spend all out time reinstalling Direct X, working out how to bypass SecureRom yet again, and upgrading our graphics card just to relax for an hour in the evening now and then.

Absolutely. But that sort of console gamer---for precisely the same reason he doesn't want to futz with DirectX---doesn't generally make his presence known on the forums and message boards of the internet at large.

The sort of console gamers who turn up on gaming forums tend to have proportionally a much larger obnoxious child/mouth-breathing adult contingent than their PC using equivalents.

To make things worse, a lot of games are being designed these days for simultaneous PC/console release, or at least early porting between the two. PC gamers who are used to the relatively complex and in-depth menu and control systems facilitated by the mouse don't always react well to the simplified systems necessitated by controller use.

It's an old example, but compare Deus Ex (PC only) with Deus Ex 2 (Xbox and PC) to see what I mean. It's a natural, if unfortunate, tendency to blame console users for the results.

It's a pity that perfectly respectable and mature console gamers get lumped in with idiots---but I think it's an understandable consequence of the skewing of the visible portion of the demographics and spite over the 'dumbing down' of games.

Re:s/Larry Niven/Iain M. Banks/ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27489569)

The sort of console gamers who turn up on gaming forums tend to have proportionally a much larger obnoxious child/mouth-breathing adult contingent than their PC using equivalents.

So... people who post on internet forums tend to be obnoxious twats? Color me surprised.

Re:s/Larry Niven/Iain M. Banks/ (1)

Cube Steak (1520237) | more than 5 years ago | (#27492841)

PC gamers who are used to the relatively complex and in-depth menu and control systems facilitated by the mouse don't always react well to the simplified systems necessitated by controller use.

So you're too dumb to use a controller setup that even children can use and yet you claim to be superior? HAHAHAHA.

Re:s/Larry Niven/Iain M. Banks/ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27493797)

So you're too dumb to use a controller setup that even children can use and yet you claim to be superior? HAHAHAHA.

I think, Cube Steak, that you misunderstood my point, so I'll elaborate.

In Deus Ex---to continue with my original example---your inventory was a grid. Different items took up different amounts of space. A pistol might be 2x2, a rocket launcher 6x3, and a box of ammunition 1x1. I'm sure you get the idea.

In Deux Ex 2, which was designed for simultaneous release on the Xbox and the PC, inventory was simply a list. You could hold an arbitrary amount of items, twenty or so if I recall. It didn't matter what the items were, you could hold precisely twenty. Twenty rocket launchers, twenty bobby pins, twenty mid-sized four-door sedans.

In addition, rather than each weapon having its own ammunition supply (in fact, the original Deus Ex had multiple ammunition types for each weapon) Deus Ex 2 had a single ammunition. "Ammo." Different weapons simply expended different quantities of it.

So, due entirely to the shift from PC-only to console friendly design focus, the inventory system went from a reasonable representation of the carrying capacity of an (extremely strong) human being to a scheme more appropriate to Yakko Warner.

This was, of course, because a Diablo-style inventory system is an annoying hassle to manage without a mouse. Feel free to dig up a copy of the original Diablo for the PSX, should you wish to confirm the matter for yourself.

So, it's not that I'm, "too dumb to use a controller setup that even children can use," it's more that console controllers are suitable only for a limited variety of UI interfaces, most of which are simpler and less powerful than those appropriate to mice.

With the increased emphasis of game developers on multi-platform releases, console-centric systems such as radial menus and grand-unified-inventories have become more and more prevalent.

Not all PC gamers are happy about this. Some, however unfairly, tend to take it out---at least in Internet vitriol---on console gamers.

And as for my, "claim[ing] to be superior" ...when precisely did I do that? For that matter, when did I even say I preferred PC gaming to console gaming?

Re:s/Larry Niven/Iain M. Banks/ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27500959)

PC gamers who are used to the relatively complex and in-depth menu and control systems facilitated by the mouse don't always react well to the simplified systems necessitated by controller use.

So you're too dumb to use a controller setup that even children can use and yet you claim to be superior? HAHAHAHA.

Make an X than even an idiot could use and only an idiot would want to use X.

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

Re:s/Larry Niven/Iain M. Banks/ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27487641)

I don't want to get into this argument, but the "upgrading our graphics card" thing is ridiculous. I don't need to upgrade my graphics card any more often than you need to upgrade your entire console.

And why on Earth does "installing DirectX" take a long time? You do it once when you first set up the PC, and it involves clicking "next" a few times.

And I don't think a console gamer should be throwing the DRM stone. As far as ease of use, Steam pretty much takes care of that nowadays.

Oh look, I got into the argument anyway. Consider troll fed, I guess.

Re:s/Larry Niven/Iain M. Banks/ (1)

Gulthek (12570) | more than 5 years ago | (#27487967)

Of course that could just be my PC gamer bias asserting itself.

It is, but we console gamers are well inured to such slights as are typical from the insular PC gaming cohort.

Re:s/Larry Niven/Iain M. Banks/ (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 5 years ago | (#27487863)

Also, I'm a bit aghast at the condescension from the summary submitter.

It's the conceit of the hard science fiction fan, the sort of chubby white male who worships Niven and Pournelle and Heinlein and believes that girls don't talk to him because they're man-hating feminists.

Here's how you destroy them: "Scrith is fucking magic, you smelly virgins, and the Kzin were more plausible aliens in Wing Commander!"

Re:s/Larry Niven/Iain M. Banks/ (1)

MagusSlurpy (592575) | more than 5 years ago | (#27490125)

It's the conceit of the hard science fiction fan, the sort of chubby white male who worships Niven and Pournelle and Heinlein and believes that girls don't talk to him because they're man-hating feminists.

I consider myself a hard science fiction fan, I worship Niven and Heinlein (Pournelle is okay), and I know girls don't talk to me simply because I wear Dragonball Z shirts and can't make eye-contact with them, not because they're feminists.

Larry Niven knock-offs? (3, Informative)

rarity (165626) | more than 5 years ago | (#27486263)

I always thought that they were knock-offs of Iain M Banks' Larry Niven knock-offs...

Re:Larry Niven knock-offs? (2, Insightful)

synthesizerpatel (1210598) | more than 5 years ago | (#27486311)

Talent borrows, genius steals.

Guys just trying to scrape a paycheck together take whatever work they can get.

The economy is adversely affecting our sci-fi writers as well. Just wait for Corey Doctrow's new tome out on Wiley titled "I was kidding about all that free stuff!"

Re:Larry Niven knock-offs? (1)

alphaseven (540122) | more than 5 years ago | (#27490249)

I always thought that they were knock-offs of Iain M Banks' Larry Niven knock-offs...

...of Freeman Dyson. That sounds about right.

Re:Larry Niven knock-offs? (1)

bughunter (10093) | more than 5 years ago | (#27493981)

Giving up my ability to mod this thread to point out a difference between Banks' "Orbitals" and Niven's "Ringworlds."

The Banks orbitals are ring structures designed to rotate once every standard day about an axis perpendicular to the primary star, creating a natural day/night cycle due to its own rotation, as well as artificial "gravity" due to the "fictitious" centrifugal force experienced in the rotating frame of reference on its inner surface. The center of mass of the orbital revolves around the primary star in the habitable zone (e.g., approx. 1 AU for a star like our own Sol). To get an idea of the scale of this structure, assuming the standard day (period of rotation, T) is 24 hours (8.64e4 seconds), and the desired force of "gravity" (g) is 10 m/s^2. This requires the radius of the structure to be r = (g*T^2)/(4*pi()^2) or approximately 1.89 million km, creating a circumference of about 12 million kilometers. The Wikipedia entry describes them as being approximately 10 million km [wikipedia.org] in circumference, implying either a slightly longer day or slightly higher gravity (or both, if I recall the novels correctly).

In contrast, the much more well-known Niven Ringworld is designed to encircle the primary star, with the structure rotating about the primary while remaining in dynamic equilibrium within the habitable zone, thus defining the radius to be 1 AU, or about 150 million km [wikipedia.org] , 100 times the size of the Banks Orbital... This arrangement has been shown to be unstable, and in fact Niven uses this instability as a plot device in his second novel about the megastructure.

Technical differences aside, I give the aesthetic edge to the Banks Orbital as its concept inherently solves the problem of creating a diurnal cycle, avoiding the need for a second structure of "shadow squares" and providing for the traversal of the sun across the sky, sunrises and sunsets, etc. The Banks Orbital concept is also tailorable to the needs of the builder, in terms of diurnal period and apparent gravity.

/pedant

Re:Larry Niven knock-offs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27494113)

The Banks orbitals are ring structures designed to rotate once every standard day about an axis perpendicular to the primary star,

What does perpendicular mean when our point of reference is a sphere?

Re:Larry Niven knock-offs? (1)

scdeimos (632778) | more than 5 years ago | (#27497105)

The size of the Banks Orbitals could be somewhat less than what you outlined as they themselves have a non-zero weight and so exert a gravitational force on objects placed on their surfaces.

Re:Larry Niven knock-offs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27499789)

On the inside of a circular structure, the gravitational effect cancels itself out.

Hard to follow (1)

Killer Orca (1373645) | more than 5 years ago | (#27486313)

Anyone else find his stories hard to follow or is it just me? Even with his short stories I end up going, "Wait, what?"

Re:Hard to follow (1)

Shrike82 (1471633) | more than 5 years ago | (#27486381)

I know exactly what you mean. I used to get his books from the library, but found them difficult to get into and, dare I say it, not particularly well written.

Nothing against Bear's fans, he's just not for me and I won't be getting excited about these upcoming books.

Ummm , no (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 5 years ago | (#27487049)

Eon and Eternity are some of the best SF I've ever read.

"Good" doesn't mean "easy". (1)

Grendel Drago (41496) | more than 5 years ago | (#27487373)

Nobody saying they aren't good; he's just very difficult to read, especially if you're not already steeped in the genre's forms and traditions. There are plenty of authors who are difficult to read; it doesn't necessarily make them bad. (James Tiptree, Jr. is another one that springs to mind--fantastic stories, but pretty difficult to get into.)

Re:"Good" doesn't mean "easy". (1)

perlchild (582235) | more than 5 years ago | (#27487501)

Have you considered that how "hermetic" they are might be just why they're called "hard" sci-fi(the steeped in the genre's forms and traditions bit especially). I always felt the formalism has been added to move away from space opera, and prevent confusion between the genres.

Re:"Good" doesn't mean "easy". (1)

StuffMaster (412029) | more than 5 years ago | (#27489061)

I read Eon & Eternity as a teenager and didn't find them too hard to read. Of course, I knew science, so I understood the material and really enjoyed it. But they would be difficult for many.

A very similar situation is Tom Clancy books. Some of my friends didn't like them because of all the military jargon, but that's why I liked them. I already knew much of the material from TV.

It's a different kind of hard. (1)

Grendel Drago (41496) | more than 5 years ago | (#27490333)

Hard SF has more hard science in it, yes, but that doesn't inherently make it more difficult to read. Soft SF--Tiptree, as I mentioned above--can be just as impenetrable.

And the formalism is sometimes hard to recognize as such, since it's done so oddly. Eric Raymond wrote some interesting notes about that [catb.org] , though they are, like everything else he writes, suffused with his own brand of politics.

Re:Hard to follow (3, Insightful)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 5 years ago | (#27487427)

Anyone else find his stories hard to follow or is it just me?

Which ones? He's pretty diverse - I don't think you'd guess that "Blood Music" (brilliant), "Eon" (very good), "Queen of Angels" (heavy going, but worth it) and "Vitals" (dull Michael Crighton-style techno thriller) were by the same author.

...and that's assuming you don't get him mixed up with Greg Egan (hmmm - Master Chief as an androgynous posthuman software entity...)

Re:Hard to follow (1)

Headw1nd (829599) | more than 5 years ago | (#27487491)

Maybe he was thinking about "Strength of Stones"

Re:Hard to follow (1)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 5 years ago | (#27487591)

Anyone else find his stories hard to follow or is it just me? Even with his short stories I end up going, "Wait, what?"

I usually find myself going "How the fuck is he gonna top this one?", I got sucked in to his writing with Eon, from then on I found the scale of his books addictive.

I read 'City at the End of Time' over christmas, and again the scale was epic and unexpected. It appeared (to me) there was some hat tipping to Clarke as one of the Chapters included a history which included the City in Clarke's 'City and the Stars' (another one of my favourites) although I haven't checked to be sure. Also I found there was some evidence that Asimov had influenced Bear's writing towards the end of the book.

So since I also didn't mind Halo (games) I think that it's great that Bear is writing about it, and hopefully will bring some depth to the story. I think that Bear is one of the few writers capable of creating science fiction on the scale that can encapsulate the forerunners story (I sound like a Microsoft manager at a meeting playing buzzword bingo). Halo fan's should rejoice that a writer such as this may be involved in the direction of Halo games, what a bonus (especially if it gives me a strategic advantage when playing the game ;-).

Having said that though I think it would be even better to base a video game on the scale of Eon and The Way.

Now that's a game I would buy.

They have a reasonable success rate already (3, Insightful)

quin_chance (975766) | more than 5 years ago | (#27486371)

the halo novels they have already released are actually pretty sweet: the only bad one was the one covering the first game: cos the felt the need to give you a walkthrough of master-chief going through the game... the "stuff everybody else was up to" is cool. They've done a good job of creating a very detailed world, with massive level of detail missing from the game itself

Re:They have a reasonable success rate already (1)

fyrewulff (702920) | more than 5 years ago | (#27486645)

It was also written by a completely different author than the good ones. And yes, it suffered from bad writing and acting as a game walkthrough.

Also none of good ones have really been the "intro to books" style. A vast majority of the Halo playerbase online hasn't even beaten campaign, much less care about it. The books cater more to sci-fi fans and the people who actually care about the Halo universe than the general Halo population does. Also, Bungie has a thing about canon and sticking to it a lot. Instead of rebalancing a weapon and calling it the same name, they go as far as to assign it a different model number in the canon. For example, in Halo 1 the pistol is the M6D, in Halo 2 it's the M6C, and in Halo 3 it's the M6G. And from what I've read and seen, Greg Bear also has a thing for canon and everything 'making sense' so it's a perfect match.

Also we know very little about the Forerunners, so Bear is pretty much going to have free reign.

Re:They have a reasonable success rate already (1)

chadplusplus (1432889) | more than 5 years ago | (#27489549)

The games allude to the similarity between humanity and forerunners. I'll go out on a limb now and predict that whichever option he chooses: a) the forerunners were human or b) forerunners were similar to humans, he'll become the target of a legendary amount of internet man-boy rants and trolls.

I suspect the trilogy will encompass, at least as main themes: the forerunners deification of the precursors, the first encounter with the flood and end with the lead up to and the activation of the halo array.

There is the potential for some very compelling writing, vis-a-vis the decision of an entire civilization to sacrifice itself for the benefit of the galaxy.

Re:They have a reasonable success rate already (1)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 5 years ago | (#27498127)

Dude, Halo 3 includes the line "You ARE Forerunner" from the little AI (Guilty Spark) in the lead up to the final fight of the campaign - so they pretty firmly answered that already. You're not out on a limb, and there's really nothing to rant at him for.

Re:They have a reasonable success rate already (0, Flamebait)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 5 years ago | (#27492233)

the people who actually care about the Halo universe

I will never understand this kind of thing.

As Bad As Hollywood..? (1)

bhunachchicken (834243) | more than 5 years ago | (#27486845)

Is this just Microsoft struggling to milk as much out of the franchise as possible or a sign that the gaming industry is going the same way as the movie industry? Remakes, rehashes... where are the new stories?

Global recession aside, is it now considered too much of a gamble to create a new franchise?

Re:As Bad As Hollywood..? (1)

Shrike82 (1471633) | more than 5 years ago | (#27487035)

This is a new story, set before the events of the games. Yes, it is set in the same Universe, but this is by no means the first time a fictional Universe has been host to prequels and sequels that are quite distinct. Star Trek anyone?

Also, why are they "struggling to milk money" out of this (highly successful) franchise? If they think people will pay money to read this stuff then why on earth wouldn't they do it? And yes, it is often much safer to continue with an existing concept than it is to start a new one.

As Bad? Heck no! Far worse... (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 5 years ago | (#27488249)

When was the last time you saw a game in comedy genre?
Or a romance?
How about a thriller that doesn't involve shooting?
Or an actual SF game with a well written story - that is not an FPS? Besides Portal (which is threading the fine line of being an FPS).
Are adventures games even being made anymore? Or turn-based RTSs?

Game genres are dieing out or being replaced and mutated into a kind of a reality TV version of games - less actual story, more player interaction and social content.

Re:As Bad? Heck no! Far worse... (1)

Com2Kid (142006) | more than 5 years ago | (#27492609)

When was the last time you saw a game in comedy genre?

...

Or an actual SF game with a well written story - that is not an FPS? Besides Portal (which is threading the fine line of being an FPS).

Thanks for answering your own question.

Lets see, Sam and Max, Penny Arcade, and to an extent World of Goo are all at least partly in the Comedy genre.

Romance games typically do not get released in the US, they are huge over in Japan and some other Asian countries though. See Otome game [wikipedia.org] .

How about a thriller that doesn't involve shooting?

Most of Silent Hill counts here. Technically there is shooting, but not very much! Mostly it is running and screaming, if you happen across a few bullets while sprinting down the hallway, figure it as good luck and don't count on it being a regular occurrence.

Are adventures games even being made anymore? Or turn-based RTSs?

There is a recent resurgence actually. King's Bounty" [kings-bounty.com] is a turn based strategy game, and I have played a few others lately as well. I have also played through a number of point and click adventure games recently, though in doing so I realized how much that genre of game really does suck. Monkey Island was good because of the humor, the game play, not so much.

Most of these games are from independent companies. Of course if they are successful the companies will grow large and no longer be "indie", start publishing more "mainstream titles" and in 10 more years we'll be on /. having this very same discussion again! :-D

Re:As Bad? Heck no! Far worse... (1)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 5 years ago | (#27503643)

Or an actual SF game with a well written story - that is not an FPS? Besides Portal (which is threading the fine line of being an FPS).

Mass Effect. As much as I hate EA...I just know I'll shell out the money for part 2.

Re:As Bad As Hollywood..? (1)

penguinstorm (575341) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494655)

Basically, yes it is. And it's to be expected.

As gaming's budgets have increased to Hollywood levels, the risk associated with launching the "new" is extremely high. When the basic entry level is into the multiple millions of dollars, who's going to risk their multiple millions?

So, you milk Halo as hard as you can to generate cash to pay for other less fiscally rewarding ventures. It's kind of the same way that yet another craptastic Seth Green/Judd Apatow movie pays for Rachel Getting Married. Sure the latter made money, but the former made way more money.

Hollywood appears to have completely run out of ideas (Freddy Krueger? Again? Really?.....Terminator 4????) At least the game industry isn't completely bereft.

Don't worry though. It's only a matter of time. Nintendo's been milking Mario for what...almost 30 years now?

Great! (1)

pieisgood (841871) | more than 5 years ago | (#27486869)

Awesome, I actually like the Halo universe. Especially the book that ties together the first and second game... that was just great. I just hope it really doesn't try to work with Nivens material. Steal from the man, please, but never take it to him. Ring World was an awful awful book and it's great thing that Halo took what Niven had and made it better (in my opinion). Did anyone else feel the lucky girl was a bit of Deus Ex Machina?

Re:Great! (1)

QuijiboIsAWord (715586) | more than 5 years ago | (#27487925)

Pretty sure that for the girl to be a Deus Ex Machina, it would have had to have been a secret that she was lucky, rather than directly stated early on from practically the first moment she's met. The fact that she was lucky (or unlucky, or really lucky, or her descendants are really lucky, or however Niven's retroactively redefined it this year) was always to me the whole point of the book.

Re:Great! (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 5 years ago | (#27488311)

Awesome, I actually like the Halo universe. Especially the book that ties together the first and second game... that was just great. I just hope it really doesn't try to work with Nivens material. Steal from the man, please, but never take it to him. Ring World was an awful awful book and it's great thing that Halo took what Niven had and made it better (in my opinion). Did anyone else feel the lucky girl was a bit of Deus Ex Machina?

Considering your nick, sig, spelling and taste in games - the post above is about exactly what I would have expected.

Re:Great! (1)

pieisgood (841871) | more than 5 years ago | (#27493907)

Of course it takes a man of objectively good taste who is absolutely mature to point out all those things doesn't it?

I wonder what will happen after (1)

Sparx139 (1460489) | more than 5 years ago | (#27486927)

I assume that the books will keep being written until Microsoft and Bungie have sucked as much money out of the franchise as they possibly can. Seeing as Bungie's user-base logged its one billionth match earlier this year [bungie.net] , I'd guess that they will keep publishing for some time.

I wonder how long it will take them to go down the alley of what happens after the cryptic ending of halo 3? [wikipedia.org] They'll have to take that alley eventually.

guilty pleasure? (2, Interesting)

OglinTatas (710589) | more than 5 years ago | (#27487157)

I guess I'm a little confused as to why someone would consider reading a guilty pleasure

Re:guilty pleasure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27490475)

I assume he's talking about the sub-genre. If someone only reads Star Wars novels or those novels about the Incredible Hulk... well, hey, I guess that's better than not reading. But it doesn't exactly put you in a position of intellectual superiority over people who watch the dreaded Boob Tube or go see Fast and the Furious. It's not like it's Tolstoy or Joyce or Kafka.

No, I found "Songs of Earth and Power" wonderful (1)

Marrow (195242) | more than 5 years ago | (#27487177)

Its actually a combination of two books under one cover. The books account the adventures of Michael, who receives a key from an eccentric composer and is transported into a world of elves, men, and monsters.

But the backdrop of the story is that magic is in everything: Music, architecture, poetry, even wine. So the book brings an enthusiasm not only for far away places, but for things we see but do not appreciate here at home.

The book has excellent character development and places Michael inside a historical context: An epic battle by masters of the arts and understanding against those who would deny Humanity their place in Art and life.

I loved the book.

Is Greg Bear broke? (1)

Lilith's Heart-shape (1224784) | more than 5 years ago | (#27487719)

I wonder why Mr. Bear has agreed to do this. For the money? (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) I just find it strange that a long-established and respected SF author would resort to writing pro-am fanfic.

Pissing on him already? (2, Insightful)

honestmonkey (819408) | more than 5 years ago | (#27488531)

Man it's just fucking amazing. The first thing most of the commenters do here is to piss on Greg Bear. He's written a ton of books, won awards, is pretty accessible (he's emailed me back and when I met him at ComicCon a couple years ago he remembered the emails and thanked me for my input).

He's written more stuff that anyone here ever has, and he's a damn good writer, as witnessed by having won awards and selling tons of books. And now he's wanting to make some coin writing on a popular game. Like most other writers - Asimov wrote Fantastic Voyage when the movie was coming out, Clarke wrote at least one book for a movie, Niven wrote for the Saturday morning Star Trek cartoon for fuck's sake.

These guys aren't allowed to make money? They aren't allowed to write in different styles? They aren't allowed to write fan-fic? Is the best comment you can make "does he need the money?" What the fuck, really?

Re:Pissing on him already? (1)

HalcyonJedi (1049992) | more than 5 years ago | (#27492667)

Well said sir... well said. Just like Martin Lawrence said: "What the fuck is a critic anyway? That's somebody that can't do what you can do..."

Re:Pissing on him already? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27495283)

So does he need the money?

Halo Movie Warning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27490113)

Hi, I've traveled back in time from the future on a mission to kill the movie exec who pitches the halo movie, and figured I better have a backup plan so I'll give you guy a review of it.

the short version: the movie sucked.

the longer version: it really fucking sucked.

the i-shouldnt-spent-so-long-writing-about-a-terrible-movie version: It was the worst game to film adaptation ever. think the doom movie, with even less of a plot and more corny acting. Paramount should take that $500M it cost to make and flush it down the toilet now, and save everyone the pain of watching it even once. please, when this gets announced, storm the studio and kill the person responsible. repeat when the idea is resurrected. this is a movie that cannot be allowed to happen.

No Time Travel Please. (1)

hhr (909621) | more than 5 years ago | (#27490441)

Maybe I'm jaded from watching too much Star Trek, but I fear there will be a time travel incident that allows the Master Cheif to meet the forrunners.

you mean SYFY (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27496313)

I believe you meant to say SY-FY author.

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