Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Why Are Video Game Movies So Awful?

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the not-just-uwe dept.

Movies 385

An article at CNN discusses why big screen interpretations of video games, even successful ones, often fail to succeed at the box office. Quoting: "The problem with successfully adapting video games into hit Hollywood spin-offs may lie in the way in which stories for both mediums are designed and implemented. Game makers chasing the dream of playing George Lucas or Steven Spielberg will always strive to coax human emotion and convincing drama from increasingly photorealistic virtual elements. The Hollywood machine, in its endless chase for big bucks, can't help but exploit the latest hit interactive outing, often failing to realize it's often a specific gameplay mechanic, psychological meme or technical feature that makes the title so compelling. Both sides may very well continue to look down in disdain on the work that the opposite is doing, which can doom any collaborative efforts. But where the two roads truly diverge is in the way stories are fundamentally told. Films offer a single, linear tale that's open to individual interpretation, whereas games are meant to be experienced differently and in a multitude of ways by every player." On a related note, reader OrangeMonkey11 points out that an 8-minute short has showed up online that appears part of a pitch for a potential Mortal Kombat reboot movie. Hit the link below to take a look.

cancel ×


Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

the mushroom stamp effect (0, Troll)

love2putmypenisthere (1804486) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507178)

I slap them with my cock, that's why

Re:the mushroom stamp effect (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32507834)

Movies are mostly made by macfags, and as we know Macs can't play games.
Ergo, game movies are made by people who can't play games.

Plot and script-writers (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507182)

The plots are too detailed, the script-writer's a newb and there aren't enough people jumping around like the Enegizer bunny on speed. Oh, and no jumping puzzles you have to try multiple times.

Re:Plot and script-writers (5, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507220)

In Short, the staff who make the creative decisions never actually played the fucking games.

Maybe there was one time they got it right: The first-person scene [] in Doom.

Re:Plot and script-writers (2, Funny)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507366)

Did they license the demo?

Re:Plot and script-writers (1)

angelwolf71885 (1181671) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507504)

i know.. why cant they just follow the the game close enough so we know its based on that specific game;but loose enough to take some creative turns

Re:Plot and script-writers (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507710)

Why of all possible examples choose that one?
I mean that movie was awful!
I cringed when it went first person.

Why it ever got a movie adaption I don't know, the game hardly had a plot beyond "blast the shit out of everything that moves" which gets pretty old fast in a movie.

Some games I could see adapting well to the silver screen but unfortunately those games are the ones which have strong plots and are already pretty movie-like already, someone could probably make a pretty good movie based in the halo universe, halflife is also a pretty good backdrop but in both cases it's the worlds which would suit a movie, not the exact plot of the games.

I actually liked the silent hill movie, thought they got some of the feel of the game into it though the ending felt a bit brisk.

Personally... (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507864)

I'd really like to see them do a Mechassault movie. The 'mechs in Avatar showed they can do the CGI just fine; several movies have been mostly CGI already; so all they really need is a sorta-kinda plot. Not for me, you understand, but for other people. Who worry about that stuff. Throw a love story in there, buncha cleavage... I'm good with that. Even if it steals some time from blowing things up. I'll have to blink sometime, right?

I would truly welcome a couple hours of "blasting the shit out of everything." Especially if compelling Mad Cats, Thors, Ragnaroks, Atlases, and so forth were doing the blasting. Dropships. Squishies. Fusion reactor cores going critical, etc. Mines. Jumpjets. Red-hot heat sinks setting stuff the 'mechs step on, on fire. Teamwork and solo craziness. Stealth gear. Oh, yeah. Bangity-bang-bang BANG! Gimme the blue-ray right now. I got a couple kilowatts of multi-channel audio gear ready to make 'mech footsteps shake the building. :)

Sometimes I run the intro to Chromehounds on the XBox 360 just to get a 1080p mech fix.

Then I go all the way back and run Mechwarrior II's intro... low res and pixelated as it is... because it's just so awesome. Sigh.

Re:Personally... (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507988)

Instead you'll get something like this. []

Re:Plot and script-writers (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507734)

In Short, the staff who make the creative decisions never actually played the fucking games.

Oh I think they've played the games and realised how utterly paper thin, stupid, derivative, repetitive or outright silly most game plots are. However it would be nice that movies did follow the game plot where some or none of these things applied, and improved them in a positive way when they did.

Re:Plot and script-writers (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507860)

Even if you take a game with a respectable story (Morrowind, for instance) the way it's broken down into tasks would mean that a film of it would play like a road movie rather than an action-adventure.

Re:Plot and script-writers (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507872)

By and large, games don't have plots, they just have stories. They're not the same thing.

Re:Plot and script-writers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32507958)

I've played the trial version of Worlds of Warcraft for about 2 hours, does that mean I could write a plot for WoW movie?

My point is that fans that play a game invest MANY hours/days in game-time playing these titles, the story writers don't.

I personally believe, as the original poster stated, the story writers have never actually "really played" any of the games - it also wouldn't surprise me if the story writers choosen were among the cheapest in their trade.

Re:Plot and script-writers (5, Funny)

Fallus Shempus (793462) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507772)

OK here's the plot for Doom:

Scene - Mars, night time, gloomy lab.

Sciencey type bods - Hey lets experiment with teleporters, what could possibly go wrong
Other random bod - Oh noes you've open a gatewya to HELL!!
Our Hero - OMFG Monsterz, where am my bulletzes


And they couldn't even get that right!

Re:Plot and script-writers (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507774)

Wow, you hand-picked the one scene from that awful abomination that actually resembled anything that in a dark (and I mean dark) street could be mistaken for an actual game element? ;)

I mean, were was fucking everything from the game?
I wonder how they could even dare to make freaking helldemons not come out of freaking hell. It’s right in the name, idiots!

But it has all been said.

What has not been said, is:
The problem is, that most people still think a game has to have a good story to be a good game.
It’s about the experience. It’s always about the experience. As a whole.
It’s only that movies have only two parts (maybe three) to support the experience: Story and aesthetics. (Maybe technology sometimes.)
While games have three (sometimes four): Mechanics/gameplay, story, aesthetics (and technology).

So movies are subsets of games. But most “big” games nowadays prefer to be good at aesthetics and gameplay. Story is secondary.
So all that’s left for movies, is a weak story and good looks.
But those are usually small to medium budget productions. So the good looks are mostly right out the door. Especially big-time full-frame CGI. (How ironic.)

You see how it’s very easy to come up with a crappy game movie.
The thing is that making a movie about a game, is like making any random movie, and just theming it with game aesthetics and some bits from the game story, if existing.

Of course that’s supposed to be the damn job of the writers. But apparently not.
I wish I could ask the writers why it happened like it did.

Ok, except for Uwe Boll. Who I would offer a cup of tea. Riddick style! ;)

Re:Plot and script-writers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32507802)

And perhaps in the other half of the movies, gamers don't know how to make movies

Re:Plot and script-writers (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507900)

The first person scene in Doom looked totally fake and I hated every minute of it. Turning around and having the Imp standing there? It looked like a guy in a costume, even though I know it was CGI.

I'd have liked the original story for Doom in the movie, and a better actor for Agent 47 in Hitman, but apart from that they were reasonable films. I wonder why thaIT WAS BECAUSE UWE BOLL HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THEM DON'T LET HIM TOUCH YOUR GAMES HE WILL KILL THEM.

Re:Plot and script-writers (4, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507320)

What is sad is even when it should be a simple matter to make a slam dunk they STILL manage to fuck them up! great example: DOOM. hell you take Aliens, throw in equal amounts of Event Horizon, and voila! Instant dark and scary shit. I think it is because they get a bunch of guys that have never touched ANY game, much less the game they are making, to write and direct the things.

That is why one of the first thoughts as I played Bioshock is "Please don't let anyone make a movie, PLEASE don't let anyone make a movie of this!". I mean can you imagine some hack script writer that had never played the game, and what they would do to it? Instead of Ayn Rand's theories pushed to the point of madness you would probably get some hackney Robocop 3 style "comment on consumerism" along with the little sisters being nothing but freakish ghouls and Big Daddies Frankenstein monsters.

To do the stories in most games right you would need writers and a director that had actually played the game and cared about telling the story, not just cashing a check. Sadly I just haven't seen that kind of care and love put into a game based movie yet. The closest I've seen so far IMHO is RE1, and even that they fucked up, just not as bad as...say a Uwe Boll "production". IMHO the story should have been about what a SWAT style team would do when faced with a "gates of hell just opened up" kind of situation, but instead by the end of the movie it became Supergirl VS Frankenstein.

Re:Plot and script-writers (4, Insightful)

jabbathewocket (1601791) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507394)

The problem with Doom was that they tried to turn it into something it is not..

Doom is about 1 guy alone going rambo on some aliens.. and trying to get out alive... NOT about a group of people getting saved along tthe way by a heroic soldier.. which is what they tried to turn the movie into.

The funny thing is.. for as bad as game to movie conversions are (generally speaking), the movie to game conversions are far worse (perhaps its because there are so many more movies to game than the reverse?)

I disagree that the director/author need to play the game, the problem is often that hollywood wants to take a HUGE hit that has little to no story, and convert it into something it is not (such as doom) or worse, they don't add anything at all to it.. and leave it as a special effects set piece..

this is also prolly caused by the fact that most games have plots that are essentially ripped off from 1 scene in a movie from 20 years ago.. its kinda hard to stretch "that cool scene with the zombies and the dude with the chainsaw" into a game.. its even harder to then stretch that back into a 90 minute movie.

Re:Plot and script-writers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32507606)

About the movie of Doom like a lot of movie video games, I think that the problem is that they only try to convert the game in a movie, but sometimes can better to try to make the movie history around the game and then fill history gaps, make a prequel, sequel or even create a history for the game in some cases. In the case of Doom a good movie can be how the hero gets to be in the situation of the game and then finish the movie at the start of the game, for example with the end texts: What a sole man can do in the hell -> Make another hell to go out -> Doom starts here.

Re:Plot and script-writers (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32507654)

Instead of Ayn Rand's theories pushed to the point of madness

No pushing required.

Re:Plot and script-writers (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507756)

Haha, true enough, but Bioshock wasn't about how Ayn Rand was crazy or such (though she actually was extremely egotistical, and Andrew Ryan is similar in some ways to who she really was) but moreso how any ideology can fail due to the common element: the people.

Two Words: (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32507184)

Uwe Boll.

Re:Two Words: (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507470)

Uwe Boll.

On the other hand, the absolute best, by far, 9/11 joke is the opening scene [] of Boll's Postal [] movie. The rest isn't so bad either - it's got a 4.1 on IMDB, but my impression is that a lot of people gave it a crappy rating without even seeing it, because just about everything else he's done really has deserved a score of 1.0.

Re:Two Words: (1)

ahaubold (1705608) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507576)

I actually did like "Postal". And most of Bolls other production are not worse than - just to have an example - Narnia.

Re:Two Words: (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32507586)

Most video games:

  • Boring story bit yawn... make it quick
  • fight! fight! fight! fight! fight! fight
  • More boring story bit - poorly acted - who cares - back to the fighting please.

So when you want to adapt that into a movie you have a choice: fill out the paper thin story... usually by changing/expanding it... which is guaranteed to piss off the fans... or live with the godawful tripe story in most games.

This is the reason most video games make shite movies. There has been more of a focus among the better games in recent years on making good narratives. Perhaps we'll see those turning into good movies soon. We shall see.

Ya, pretty much (2, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507838)

When you look at it, it turns out he does make most of the video game movies out there. His movies tend to suck because there's no incentive for them not to. When you look at it, they generally do abysmal at the box office. However he can afford to do so because of an oddity with German tax law. It basically allows businesses to write everything off if the movie doesn't make money. So his investors are fine with his movies losing money, because all the writeoffs allows them to have a net gain from the government. So even though his movies do bad even by mad movie standards (even crap movies often make back what they cost), he can keep making them.

That accounts for a lot of it right there. Also from something like that you get a secondary effect. Because of those movies being bad, it casts a bad light on the whole genre and does not encourage quality competition. Some of the best and brightest aren't interested in working in the area, and studios aren't interested in funding it. You get a feed back cycle of: Well it sucks so we don't want to be involved in that. Since good people aren't involved in it, it sucks.

While Uwe Boll going away wouldn't fix the problem, it'd really help. Without his crap continuing to come out, it would help improve the image of videogame movies.

However, there may be some changes coming. Currently a Warcraft and a Mass Effect movie are in planning. In both cases, you have a world with a lot of back story associated with it, and some good writing for the game (particularly in Mass Effect's case). So there is a much more solid foundation to start on (many video game movies can use the game as a setting/style only, as the plot and writing are very minimal). Also in both cases they are being done by people and studios with some experience making movies that are quite good. None of that means they'll be great, of course, but it means they have a chance. If we start to have some really quality game movies come out, it may start to gain standing as a legit kind of cinema.

Doomed (3, Funny)

dlsso (1808390) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507186)

"...which can doom any collaborative efforts." I see what you did there.

Story. (5, Informative)

the_raptor (652941) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507190)

Most video games have stories that straight-to-DVD movies would be ashamed of*.

Other than that it is because Uwe Boll makes 90% of game movies.

*The games with good stories general can not compress a 20-40 hour experience into an hour thirty.

Re:Story. (1)

Verunks (1000826) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507310)

Most video games have stories that straight-to-DVD movies would be ashamed of*.

Other than that it is because Uwe Boll makes 90% of game movies.

*The games with good stories general can not compress a 20-40 hour experience into an hour thirty.

and this is the same reason why games based on movies are very bad too, nobody would buy a game that last 1-2 hours, so they have to add pieces that didn't exist in the movie to make it longer

Re:Story. (1)

GigaplexNZ (1233886) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507442)

nobody would buy a game that last 1-2 hours

Sure they would. The original Prince of Persia required you to complete the game in 1 hour (not including starting over if you fail).

Re:Story. (1)

English French Man (1220122) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507914)

And the recent movie Prince of Persia was not so bad :)

Re:Story. (1)

GigaplexNZ (1233886) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507986)

Several points to note there:
  • It isn't based off the original Prince of Persia game.
  • Uwe Boll didn't touch it.

Re:Story. (1)

Psaakyrn (838406) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507550)


Re:Story. (1)

gravos (912628) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507346)

Well, a lot of RPGs (which are usually based around a "story," at least in the JRPG sense) could probably get down to 3-4 hours easily if you took out all the random battles, walking to places, random sidequests, ...

The other problem is that people tend to remember games' stories fondly if they liked the game rather than evaluating games' stories on their own merits. It's difficult to critique parts of a whole objectively even for amateur or professional reviewers who do it all the time.

Re:Story. (1)

the_raptor (652941) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507386)

Most JRPG's fall under the first part of my post. JRPG's in general only have a memorable story because of the way you interact with the characters, which can't be translated to a non-interactive medium*.

*With games "story" is distinct from "story telling" in a way that it isn't for movies. Very few movies are adventurous in the way they tell the story (something like Memento puts a lot of people off because it isn't linear A to B with five acts).

Re:Story. (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507434)

Most video games have stories that straight-to-DVD movies would be ashamed of*.

Exactly. Most games are just not suitable for movie adaptation, is basically what TFA is saying. My problem with that is: most games aren't being adapted to movies anyway. Some games really do have good writing and interesting characters.

I think a Planescape: Torment movie could be really good (although a bit hard to sell to a large audience). Fallout has some excellent stuff, and is a lot easier to sell.

KOTOR should be adaptable to a pretty decent Star Wars movie. Maybe not Empire Strikes Back-level, but definitely on par with the prequels. (Although without the history of Darth Vader, what point would there be in watching the prequels? Hm... I think that's really the problem of game to movie adaptations in a nutshell.)

Re:Story. (1)

ihavnoid (749312) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507514)

*The games with good stories general can not compress a 20-40 hour experience into an hour thirty.

However, books with good stories also have a 20-40 hour experience, and somehow still can be compressed into an hour thirty..??

Re:Story. (1)

Zarhan (415465) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507676)

Except that almost all book-to-movie conversions suck. The few notable exceptions are Hunt for Red October (Sean Connery as Marko Ramius) and Lord of the Rings (which was converted to 10+ hours in extended editions).

Re:Story. (1)

the_raptor (652941) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507806)

It depends on the book. A lot of the page count in many books is descriptive text that accounts for a few seconds in a film. On the other hand many short novels like Dune, which isn't burdened with an extra hundred pages of bullshit like many post word processor novels, do not fit in an hour thirty.

Even stuff like Harry Potter needs everything but the main plot removed to fit within the time constraints of cinema.

Re:Story. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32507662)

This is true but it depends what sort of game you're dealing with. There are plenty of games that don't go in for character driven up close stories and instead are about presenting the world and all the shiny cool things in it.
A genuinely good game to film conversion shouldn't try to simply recreate the experience of the game in a new form, it should try to tell a new story in the same setting. Game settings are incredibly powerful things, well known and detailed, but with only limited exploration of them in story terms. It ought to be easy to claim part of the story landscape that the games haven't touched and do something wonderful with it.
I suppose part of the problem is that the game studios themselves won't want to have their own plot dictated to them if they're halfway through working on a sequel.

Re:Story. (1)

Murmel84 (1033852) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507712)

*The games with good stories general can not compress a 20-40 hour experience into an hour thirty.

True! That's why they should start thinking about making SERIALS based on games and NOT MOVIES. It works well in China, Chinese Paladin [] (xian jian qi xia zhuan) was an awesome serial and very well received by the audience, they then also made a serial for the 3rd part of the game (they skipped the second one though as the story was rather lame, so now there's just xian jian 1 and 3).

You can't just squeeze all the story depth and character development of the games with a good story in a 2 hour movie.

Why Are Video Game Movies So Awful? (2, Insightful)

apostrophesemicolon (816454) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507208)

Two words:


spin-offs are always awful (4, Insightful)

dirtyhippie (259852) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507210)

it's simple, really - spin-offs are, by definition, lame and derivative.

books based on tv shows, books based on movies, tv shows based on movies, movies based on movies (aka sequels), video games based on movies, and movies based on video games - all are driven by profit over artistry. these products don't start with the question "wouldn't this be a neat idea?", they start with "can we extract more profit from this franchise?" because people already have a positive relationship with the brand, there is less incentive to work on quality, because there are large numbers of people who will consume the product regardless of its quality. since the product's quality does not dictate its profitability, the quality tends to suck.

Re:spin-offs are always awful (1)

Cyrus20 (1345311) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507264)

you forgot movies based on books

Re:spin-offs are always awful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32507308)

Two exceptions: Die Hard and Godfather. Both movies better than the books.

Re:spin-offs are always awful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32507602)

Jurassic Park too, in my opinion. The book had some extremely silly scenes mixed in among the cool stuff which the film stripped out and corrected (only to put them back in again in the film sequels).

Re:spin-offs are always awful (1)

N0Nick (319355) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507316)

Which are very often, actually quite good.

Re:spin-offs are always awful (5, Insightful)

domasx2 (1828656) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507334)

A lot of (perhaps even the majority) of grood movies are based on books. Also there is s a growing trend of making pretty decent movies based on comics. Therefore, spin offs are not automatically doomed to be lame. The biggest problem, i think, is that movie studios don't take video games seriously enough yet - the general attitude is "it's for kids, throw in a few half-assed CGI effects and it will do". But if comic books broke through this barrier, certainly it is possible for video games.

Alien 3, the book (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32507884)

I actually somehow ended up reading the novelisation of Alien 3. It was fantastic, with much more depth and back story than the movie itself, and having read it made the movie less of a muddle (though I actually think it's a decent movie... unlike Alien 4).

Two words... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32507218)

...Uwe Boll.

Re:Two words... (4, Funny)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507684)

You guys must really hate Uwe Boll. This is the third identical post.

Re:Two words... (1)

JohnBailey (1092697) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507902)

You guys must really hate Uwe Boll. This is the third identical post.

Watch any of his movies. Then you will understand.

Err, 'cuz everyone's afraid of Uwe-ing it up (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32507228)

So no one bothers to actually try making a story of it. Well, more than a Boll-esque story, that is

Two words. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32507232)

Licensing fees.

I love it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32507242)

I love the story behind it. I love the character ideas. I love the whole thing! I would love to go see this movie if it does ever come it! As long as the fight scenes don't suck as bad as the ones on DoA. I will be happy.

It's because (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32507258)

In society, video game stories just have a short half-life.

More seriously, it's because the directors try to emulate the experience of playing a video game instead of telling a story using film as a medium. They forget that nobody likes watching somebody else play a video game. Unless they're drunk.

Two different worlds (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507276)

Now, that many games didn't get big because they have such a great story but rather because they offer a new twist or gadget that people liked has its analogy in movies that live off their effects rather than a compelling script. The cynic in me would say that similarity should actually lead to a GOOD movie adaption. The writers sure know how to write show over substance movies today.

The problem is that you are dealing with two completely different kinds of entertainment. You can't even say it's like sports where you can actively participate or be the spectator, it's a completely different kind of entertainment. Movies have to tell a story. Their challenge is to convince the spectator that he cares about the hero and that he wants to know how it ends. And that ending has to be logical enough to not smell like a cheap deus ex machina hodgepodge but also unpredictable enough to keep the watcher from snoozing off after 15 minutes because he already knows how it's going to end.

Games necessarily do not have this "depth" of a script, not because game makers don't invest as much time into developing the characters and story, but because it would distract from or even outright disrupt or even destroy the experience. If you are playing an adventure game and simply CANNOT guess what to do next because you would have to have knowledge the character has but you cannot have because it has never been told during the story (Agatha Christie, anyone?), it's not a surprising twist, it's just plainly annoying.

If you are playing a beat 'em up, jump'n run or any game that relies more on twitch skill than thinking, the story is often pretty straightforward and "simple". Be honest, who didn't figure out the story of Mortal Kombat right from the start? But would you want a more complex story? Would you enjoy it if you beef up your character, spend hours training him and improving his stats only to find out that he's actually the bad guy and that he will be taken from your control, replaced by a new character and you have to compete against the character you pumped up? Frustrating. Not interesting.

Take a shooter. Call of Duty for example. They now have some sort of story, you follow the "life" of a soldier during his missions. But what kind of story is it? We go from battle to battle and fight. End of story. What do we learn about the soldier we control? Nothing, basically. Is there a family? Kids? A love affair? Why did he join the forces? We don't know. And frankly, we don't care. We want to play this soldier and guide his actions, we want to aim his gun and shoot the enemy. And those cutscenes that deal with his life off battle can be skipped, I hope!

How about RTS? Command and Comquer actually has some kind of story built around Cain. Maybe even enough to make a movie out of it. Now. After, how many? Ten? Games. Yes, we could by now have enough "meat" to actually puzzle together about an hour of story. Add a few filler FX and we can make a movie. And that's one franchize, with nearly a dozen games. Usually the story is also pretty straightforward and, and here's the problem why this doesn't lend itself well to movies, tailored to the missions the player would have to play. The focus of a RTS story has to be the game the player should play. Not driving that story forwards. And that requires that he'll first play a few introduction maps where he gets to learn the interface and the units, then maps where more and more units are introduced (and the matching story why that unit becomes available to him now), he has to combat the various other factions that exist so he gets a taste for all of them (as adversaries, and possibly allies) and so on. The progress of the game dictates the story. Not the other way around. Doing something like that in a movie would end in a desaster. People would, rightfully, wonder why alliances switch faster than you can adjust to your new ally.

You have two very different kinds of entertainment here, with very different requirements to make them "fun". Just because both are visual and because both rely heavily on computer generated FX doesn't mean they somehow have to be compatible.

The Original Mortal Kombat Movie (5, Funny)

mogness (1697042) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507286)

Hey I dunno why everyone's hating, the original Mortal Kombat movie was awesome.

Re:The Original Mortal Kombat Movie (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507312)

Damn straight, it was a great parody of the whole "fighting movie" genre!

Re:The Original Mortal Kombat Movie (3, Funny)

RivenAleem (1590553) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507588)

When I saw the original Mortal Kombat movie I was young enough to think it pretty cool. Now pardon me while I get off your lawn.

Re:The Original Mortal Kombat Movie (1)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507666)

When *I* saw it worked at a movie theatre...and we watched it with just the staff, a couple of beers each and the volume cranked to 11.

We're talking a sound system that was massively overspecced because one of the owners was a huge fun of sexy audio gear. That movie was awesome :P

Box Office failure != Bad Movie (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32507288)

Box Office failure != Bad Movie. Doom wasn't much of a movie compared to the best, but it was OK compared to the output of Hollywood et al. Mortal Kombat was an OK beat-em-up Movie and compare it to a Steven Segal movie, then it's not so bad.

They aren't *great* movies and the game link has made people invest much more money into the movie than the idea deserved, but that makes them less profitable rather than bad. It's just that the investors expected a block buster and got an OK movie. Compared to expectations, a flop.

Spending Money on the Wrong Things (4, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507290)

"It often comes down to money, as movie studios frequently choose to make films based on the franchises that sell the best, not those with the most cinematic potential," said Corey May, co-founder of Sekretagent Productions.

Yeah this, I think, is the heart of the issue. What's more is that they pick the most popular games and shell out the most money for licensing and royalties those franchises. Then you pile on that they rarely spend money on good actors (although some do and that's a sink for money). And that these these are video games so the required special effects are almost always through the roof costing more money. And it seems like when they're done spending on any of those things they'll stick Uwe Boll as director and phone in the rest of it. I mean, I would almost say that they think something stupid like "Man, if we could only license rights to make World of Warcraft into a movie, then we'd have a base viewership of twelve million world wide already!" Then it turns out that Blizzard knows they could milk that for tons of money and there goes all your funding. And after all is said and done it seems like the director has no freedom to deviate from anything. Why is that Mortal Kombat eight minute pitch bad? Because it's absolutely unrealistic. What is the motive to hold the tournament? Doesn't matter. Why are all these people fighting each other? Doesn't matter. We probably don't have time to develop any sort of meaningful relationship with the characters and as such every single character in Mortal Kombat will forever be laughable to a viewer. Mortal Kombat was known for being a great two player fighting game with just round after round. The thing that made it interesting was the moves and counter moves and inventiveness of special moves that players got a kick out of exploring. To take that away (inherent to movies) and to try to focus on the plot does not work. The plot's really kind of insane.

This, of course, is some weird Hollywood money magic that perpetuates the problem--because the movies are still seen as successes in the eyes of producers. But there is hope that someone could get this right. For example, Shadow of the Colossus [] was optioned for a movie ... but of course they gave it to run of the mill action director Keven Misher and written by run of the mill action movie writer Justin Marks. Why? For what possible reason? You need to give a game like this to Darren Aronofsky or -- if you must go with an action film -- at least Quentin Tarantino. What's more you have to give them freedom to adapt the game into a movie. Not rely on what the game already has. I think that these games have other great things to offer like the artwork, feel and atmosphere but a stupid action director strips all that away down to stupid action.

Re:Spending Money on the Wrong Things (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507796)

Doing SotC would be DIFFICULT. For one, barely any dialogue. The main character says pretty much NOTHING, and the only other dialogue you get is at the end of the game.

It would be pure art direction and many hardcore battle scenes. Not many would go for that, honestly.

Video games are the competition (3, Interesting)

Pav (4298) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507296)

Even though hollywood has been losing the popularity war for years they still consider themselves a "higher" artform and don't take videogames at all seriously. I guess it's similar to how theatre regards hollywood, or classical music regards popular music. I would imagine this will change over time as the baby boomers retire and people who have real experience with video games take over.

Why are most movies awful in general? (3, Insightful)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507314)

Because selling crap is easy while real artistic creation is hard and demanding and does not guarantee quick money.

I liked some of them (5, Interesting)

iSzabo (1392353) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507324)

I liked Max Payne, and for the most part Hitman. I found Resident Evil hard to follow, and a little shallow, but it wasn't all bad. Silent Hill was good for a horror movie.

Re:I liked some of them (1)

jimmypw (895344) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507678)

I think Silent Hill was the best adaptation of game to movie so far. It kept the enssence of the game, that's what counts.

Re:I liked some of them (1)

RivenAleem (1590553) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507690)

Don't forget Advent Children. Perhaps the problem is with Hollywood, and not the games.

What was good about Advent Children is that you knew the characters, the setting, but the story was newish. Oh and it had Sephiroth.

That is why I liked Advent Children. You knew Cloud, Tifa, Aeris etc. You knew their histories and motivations because you had spent 100's of hours with them and watched a great story unfold in the game. You knew that Cloud is never really going to get over the death of Aeris, and you know why he hated Sephiroth so much. They didn’t have to waste minutes in the movie explaining this to you.

In the list of games you mentioned, the main characters have no personality. They never have moments in the game where they show much emotion. The characters will never win an oscar. So when you are used to a heartless, emotionless playing piece that has special abilities which you use to beat down baddies or solve puzzles, it becomes hard/unbelievable that the character can take part in some soul searching or meaningful relationships etc.

The same thing should happen in the World of Warcraft movie. They don’t need to tell us any back story, who The Lich King was etc. If they include things that any one of the 11 million subscribers should know already, then the movie is not going to deliver what we really want, which is a mix of big battles, and good character interaction.

Movies/Games very different experience expectation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32507340)

One plays a game, one views a movie: We want different experiences and we expect different experiences: active vs. passive

Oh and the plural of medium is MEDIA NOT mediums!

Happy hunting

To beat a dead horse (1, Redundant)

Exitar (809068) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507342)

Two words:

Uwe Boll

Re:To beat a dead horse (2, Insightful)

deniable (76198) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507370)

Why not, Uwe does.

The same reason... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32507362)

...that videos games based on movies are equally awful. Because you're trying to take something that was designed for one format, and jam it into another incompatible format -- interactive versus noninteractive, immersive versus nonimmersive, etc. I learned my lesson years ago. I simply don't waste the time trying out a video game based on a movie, and nor do I waste the time watching a movie based on a video game. Even if free, I'd turn them down. They're nothing more than attempts to cash in with minimal effort, and they always disappoint.

Bad source material? Well... (2, Insightful)

Uncle Tractor (1736514) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507404)

I was going to make a snarky comment about how most games have really lame stories, but then I remembered that that also goes for most movies.

Eating cake is fun (4, Interesting)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507476)

Watching somebody eat cake. Not so much.

But what about porn movies then? Ah, exactly. If you are one of the few slashdotters to have a partner, film yourself. And I mean with the camera just on a tripod filming your regular style. Not exactly movie magic is it? Every single celeb that does a playboy shoot remarks on how much work is involved in setting up a shot. There is a reason for this, reality is not all that attractive.

Playing a game is one thing, watching somebody else play a game is another, trying to turn the tension/emotion from active playing into a passive experience. Impossible.

Take Doom. It seems simple enough, lets forget about the required process of raping the story (and the doom makers must have been pedophiles for raping such an underdeveloped story) but what is Doom? It is running around in a FIRST person view and shooting baddies. You could make a movie out of that. But why? We already seen that, it is the game. So the movie has to add things. Story... but story requires people in movies (well with bad writers anyway) and Doom is about being alone.

In the end the movie had all kinds of stuff added on to it that make it into "Not Doom". The more you make it into a standard movie, the more you get away from the game.

Books have the same problem. How do you do Hobbits? It is very easy for some pratt writer to come up with short people but does he ever think about how hard it is to cast for them? Noooo, not those fancy smancy writers. Story/setting elements that work in one medium can't always be transferred to another. The solo, silent experience of Doom doesn't translate into a "10 little indians movie".

Super Mario is even worse. The entire game is surreal with not a shred of real world realism. How the hell do you translate any of the game elements? Actually the movie made a good attempt but the references ended up closer to in-jokes then part of a coherent world.

Uwe Boll is perhaps the cleanest attempt, he takes the title of the game, some of the most basic elements and then tries to cash in on the connection. And it barely works.

The gamer is always going to be disappointed because it is not the game, the casual fan doesn't see the point and the non-gamer doesn't get the references.

Who is left as your audience? The sucker. Now there is one born every minute but they tend to be short of cash because everyone else is tapping them as well.

Length (1)

grimdawg (954902) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507484)

The fundamental difference here that I think a lot of people miss is length.

Just as movies differ from books in length, games do. A game story's got to be sustained over 5-100 hours. It's a longer format, and that can be good or bad. The pacing's also totally different: things we do in games are often the things a movie will skip over (travel in particular).

If a film's story comes directly from a game's, there will be cutting for time reasons. If instead it's just "based in the universe" it might fall into the trap of trying to explain too much. Then if it's too scant on detail it might upset some fans.

Because compasion and expierence is not the same (1)

Pecisk (688001) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507492)

Movies invoke compasion or anger, they invoke emotions. Games can do the same, but their main aim is to provide expierence, interactivity. So it takes to be both excelent gamer and excelent scripthead to hit the nail. For example, it is quite clear to me that movie in Half-Life universe would rock - but it would have to be very different from the game. And that's the problem - writing something unique yet comming from same universe is huge risk, and requires true talent. Unfortunately, so far we have seen Uwe Boll likes who takes a risk.

Re:Because compasion and expierence is not the sam (1)

Psaakyrn (838406) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507632)

Then again, if you write based on the world instead of the game itself, are you really writing based on the game? Likewise, there are good Star Wars movies and good Star wars games (and granted, bad examples of both too), but in the end, most of them aren't about each other.

I think the biggest issue is pacing: most games are paced slower than movies and reuse set-pieces (and for good reason: so that material can be reused, both to "train" the player, and to provide sequential challenges). This however doesn't translate well into the non-interactive medium, with the exception of pure action sequences and/or quicktime events.

And for notes: games which I think would translate well into movies:

Mirror's Edge: The starting sequence is similar to the Matrix (original), and the plot essence is also somewhat similar.
Portal: Mainly because of the mood evoked, but interestingly, the movie would likely be placed into a survival-horror genre.
Heavy Rain: For obvious reasons: it is the evolution of the Interactive Movie genre of videogames, though some trickery may need to be involved to not duplicate the game and stand as a creative original. (possibly by showing a different point of view given in the game)

Greed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32507512)

Cause most video games turned into movies are primarily motivated by greed rather than someone having a story to tell.

It's the same reason I think alot of hollywood movies are crap, particularly sequels and best selling novel conversions.

I'm a huge game head, a fanstasy/sci fi freak since childhood, but give me an interesting premise, a good story/script, interesting characters and plot development and im fine without 1 explosion, car chase or token hot chick

Not only do they fail to succeed... (0, Redundant)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507516)

Not only do the movies fail to succeed at the box office! They succeed at failing there too!

Let's be honest.. (1)

phanboy_iv (1006659) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507518)

...the fact that most games are heavily influenced by movies has something to do with it. Movies based on games based on movies simply leave very little to work with besides tired cliches and hackneyed genre conventions. Imitating the imitation leads to crap, see Max Payne, Resident Evil, Prince of Persia, etc etc.

Also it must be noted that most gamers are somewhat delusional about their favorite hobby. No, your favorite game/genre will not make a good movie, not because it "can't be translated to the screen" but because it's on the sub-comic book level in terms of themes, motivations, and honest character depth. You don't ask for quality in there areas, you don't get quality in these areas. Hollywood film interpretations are just the mirror reflecting back.

Bad Writers (2, Insightful)

Prien715 (251944) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507546)

There's a wonderful creative team behind most games. How many of them are taken seriously in film at all?

If we look at good book-to-movie movies, it's clear that the artist -- whether Stephen King (Shawshank Redemption), Truman Capote (Breakfast at Tiffany's), or even the G.B. Shaw's My Fair Lady (shot for shot based on the writer's adaption Pygmalion) has input and if not, the screenwriter is intimately familiar with the material.

With games, the writer/director/etc are just trying to make a buck -- has anyone heard of an independent video game movie -- and the original expression is lost. It feels like taking the Declaration of Indpendence, and using Babelfish to translate to Japanese and back.

To be sure, it's a much harder transition, but it could be done. If only, you had the original creative team -- or at least someone who's logged 60+ hours in the game -- doing it.

Maybe because the source material sucks. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32507572)

Maybe it's because most videogames are mindless violence extravaganzas with very little plot to them. Hm. Maybe.

The article points out an obvious flaw (2, Insightful)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507610)

They're adapting the wrong games. They're adapting the best sellers, which of course sells on name.

I can only think of a few game franchises I would actually like to see as movies:

The Gabriel Knight series.
The Tex Murphy Series - maybe
The Broken Sword series

These games of course have a common element, they're basically movies to begin with. The Oddworld series was designed to be a video game and movie series to begin with, nobody has actually taken the plunge to make the movies. I think they could work out, but I'm not sure. I still think the Alice game could have made an awesome movie with the right director at the helm, however I fear the crap fest that was the recent Disney Alice in Wonderland ruined any chance of American McGee's movie getting an interest boost on name recognition.

Re:The article points out an obvious flaw (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507820)

The Dig should be number one for George Lucas to try out.

Re:The article points out an obvious flaw (1)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507832)

Considering it was made by Lucas Arts, yeah, they should give one a shot.

Partly their own reputation, partly the source (1)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507626)

I think there are two main factors at work here.

I think the biggest problem for movie adaptations of video-games in the mainstream is that such movies are basically marked from the start as "video game movies". Like it or not, video games remain something of a culturally divisive issue. Those who play them (who are a growing segment of the population, but still nothing like as large as "those who watch movies" or "those who watch sports") are usually prepared to accept that they can have decent stories and characters and that, in a few rare cases they can become art (Shadow of the Colossus, Portal, Eternal Sonata, I'm looking at you). To those who don't play them, they remain "kids' stuff".

I suspect that what this means is that when you attach a "video game adaptation" tag to a movie, you instantly guarantee that a large proportion of the population isn't even going to give it a chance. The people behind the movie feel relieved of the need to actually try to produce something worthy, and go for what they see as the safe option of putting out something pretty-but-braindead. If you look at the games which receive mainstream movie adaptations, they're all action titles, which themselves borrow themes and styles from Hollywood action films.

Sorry, I think I'm not being particularly clear here. But I think what I'm trying to say is that even if some Hollywood studio decided to pick up the kind of game that really doesn't fit the classic video-game stereotype; let's say Heavy Rain, which is inspired by crime thrillers rather than action fare - they would still end up doing it as a big-guns-no-brains action adaptation. After all, once fans of crime thrillers found out it was based on a video game, the assumptions would kick in and they'd lose interest. The studio, knowing full well that this would happen, would pitch the movie towards what they see as the classic video game demographic and turn it into an action movie.

However, I think this is only half of the problem. To see the other half, it's best to look away from Hollywood and towards the other main producers of video-game adaptations (albeit for TV rather than cinemas); anime studios. There are different social factors at work here; with the exception of a small number of franchises, almost all non-kids anime is pitched at nerds (look at the Japanese TV schedules if you don't believe me; prime-time anime is close to non-existent). With many of the games that are adapted also pitched at nerds (in the Japanese market, it tends to be RPGs that get adaptations), there's no clear mis-match between the market for the source material and the market for the adaptation.

And yet... leaving aside visual-novel adaptations like Higurashi for the moment (where the source material doesn't really count as a game to begin with), anime adaptations of games tend to such at least as hard as, if not harder than, Hollywood movie adaptations. Time after time, studios take games which should be dead-cert hits as anime adaptations (given how anime-like the games often are) and produce something awful. Take Disgaea; quirky tactical role-playing game with strong characters, a wickedly subsersive sense of humour and a deliberately anime-like structure (right down to next-episode previews every couple of missions). The anime adaptation is a boring, badly thought out mess, which bears little enough resemblance to the game to annoy the hell out of game fans, but requires enough knowledge of the characters and universe that it's going to put off people who come to it fresh. Or take Persona: Trinity Soul, which appeared between the (wildly successful) 3rd and 4th installments of the game series. The third game had all of the ingredients needed for a decent adaptation, but instead we got something incomprehensible, which again was off-putting to both game-fans and any fresh audience who might have given the anime a go. Valkyria Chronicles I'll be slightly kinder to; they turn an awesome game into a fair-to-middling anime; but they do lose a lot of the game's charm in the process, as well as twist the plot around to create a number of fairly glaring holes.

So why, without the demographic issues we see in Hollywood adaptations, do anime adaptations of games still suck? And is the same factor at play in Hollywood adaptation as well? I think this is to do with questions of pacing and player-involvement. Games tend to intersperse "plot sequences" with longer sequences (well, except in Metal Gear Solid 4, where they're shorter sequences) of gameplay, with the player involving in combat, or jumping from platform to platform, or whatever. If you cut these out; the story ceases to work. In game, the player has put effort in to getting from one story sequence to the next, and time has lapsed within the story. In a God of War game, the player has fought with Kratos to reach the next "major" victim. The player has slaughtered the waves of trash. When Kratos is tired, frustrated and impatient, the player feels that with him. In a screen adaptation where combat is non-interactive and usually abbreviated, that's lost. Valkyria Chronicles is a case in point here; the game has 18 or so battles, with storyline events either side of each of them; even with a 26 episode adaptation, there's no way to get all of that onto the screen. Combat scenes have to be cut or bowdlerised, and the plot (which hinged around those battles) suffers as a result. Keeping the battles in wouldn't have worked either; it would have been too monotonous to work as non-interactive entertainment.

So yes, even aside from the demographic issues, I personally feel that there's a fundamental difficulty in adapting almost all video games for the screen, either as a movie or TV series.

Monkey Island (1)

giorgist (1208992) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507646)

The only game with a chance to make a brilliant movie is ...

Monkey Island

Re:Monkey Island (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32507694)

They already did, it was called Pirates Of The Caribbean.

Judging by the trailer... (1)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507686)

Judging by the trailer [] I think the particular movie should be great.

The focus is different (5, Insightful)

NoZart (961808) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507714)

Games traditionally have only simple characters, so the player can "fill" the games narrative easily with his own persona. This way, the 4th wall is broken more easily and the player gets the feeling of experiencing the story. Movies are about characterization and the story is just a vessel for the characters to act out their motives. The rare games that actually have characterization actually as a built in game play mechanism provide better material for the move adaption, as there are not so many blanks to fill in.... Also it depends on the movie viewer perspective: as a fan of the game, you look at different qualities as the normal movie watcher. Silent Hill, while being a terrible flick from a movie standpoint, is a very good adaption that the gamers of the series can relate to. Tombraider was good pop-corn cinema with some nasty mistakes but really failed to convey what the game was really about...

Awful? (1)

jsse (254124) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507750)

You may say I'm a ill-taste reviewer, but I do think there are good videogame movies:

Biohazard (at least the first one is great)
Silent Hill (how I wish there's a 3D version...)
Prince of Persia (well it deviated far far away from original video game, but still, the story is complete on its own)

Don't just look at the lousy ones. ^^

I think the above says it all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32507764)

Just watch that 8 minute mortal kombat thing. I mean its absolutely horrible. Now take that and stretch it out with what should be 50-60 minutes of fighting (the only good parts) but instead due to budget it will only have 15-20 minutes of fighting at best, that leaves another hour of absolute retarded crap that was never intended to be a 5 minute 'intro' let alone a movie. Now also add in they are trying to make the characters 'real' you know the ones that were never supposed to be real in the first place. Granted all the recent mortal kombat games have all sucked as well. (When they tried to add plots or whatever rather than make good gameplay).

Hey good idea lets mix the worst parts togethar!!!

Some are great actually. (1)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507818)

I think some games have been pretty good once made into movies. Prins of persia was something i really liked and enjoyed. Postal the movie is also a gem and really something that made me change my perception of UWe Boll. Somehow he did succeed in capturing the athmosphere and general feeling of the game. The feeling is very important since the story in games is just for setting the mood. Mostly the story is just slapped on afterwards and not really what makes the game good.

That said, most games that hit the screen turns into crap. The biggest problem i see is the established movie industry that takes any script and molds it into a specific pattern no matter what. Their fear of failure prevents them from success. Making a movie out of a game demands going out on a limb if you want to capture the feel and gameplay onto the screen, using totally new and untested angles of moviemaking.

Not sure I buy that. (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507824)

It's very true that games and movies are different mediums, and tell stories very differently.

But I think the bigger portion is that the stories in video games seem more heavily Hollywoodized and made generic and just poorly done in comparison to movies based on, say, books. Look at the Super Mario Bros. movie. Can you even REALLY say that that is based on the games? Most video games movies suffer because they're nothing like the stories in the games...! We see great movies based on books and comic books, and books are furthest from movies of them all in story telling, since a lot of details are left up to the reader to fill in, certain details things can be ignored or selectively provided by the author, and books also can reveal what a character is thinking more easily than other media.

Personally, I think it's because video games, as an art form, have been treated with only derisiveness and skepticism (see Ebert's substance-lacking dismissal of them) and thus quality writers or directors shy away from basing movies on games. Most games that are turned into movies are corrupted monstrosities of what the game's story actually was.

Re:Not sure I buy that. (1)

NoZart (961808) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507948)

The problem with the older game-movies is probably that the games had no story to begin with. Super Mario Bros the game had no story, except the repeated failure of the protagonist to locate the girl of his desire in the correct castle. You just cant fill 90 minutes with "Sorry, the princess is in another castle" But you can make the princess to be something else and make a TV series named Lost out of it ;)

Games adapted from movies are far worse (3, Insightful)

Paradigma11 (645246) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507870)

Compared to how bad games adapted from movies are they are all Oscar/Cannes material.

Characterisation (1)

Fross (83754) | more than 4 years ago | (#32507904)

I think it's mostly to do with the emphasis on characters between movies and games. In movies, the main tension is usually between two or more actors, whether romantic, action or whatever. In games, it's mostly the protagonist (who is mute and often faceless) against the environment. If characters do feature, they are mostly accessories rather than antagonists.

A great example is the Doom game/movie - for the most part of the game, it is simply the main guy exploring, fighting, and cool things and monsters going on. If you were to make a movie of just that, it could be pretty good, however there would be little to no dialogue, it's essentially the story of one guy exploring the base and fighting things. However, Hollywood does not know how to make a movie like that.

So, a sub-plot with characters is shoe-horned into the environment. This is generally done by people who haven't played the game, or more specifically, they don't understand what games and gaming is like. Of course this is a pig's breakfast, just as a movie made by games developers would be (Final Fantasy comes to mind - looks like a great game, absolutely terrible acting and one-dimensional characterisation)

Things are converging, however - the more recent game movies are better than the old ones (Mario & Luigi? Streetfighter?), and games are become more movie-like with stronger characters and interaction. However, ultimately they are different mediums, and just as translating a book into a movie (or vice versa) takes experience in both fields, moving between games and movies is a non-trivial task and the work should be adapted to fit the medium. A good example is LotR - the books were amended to fit a screenplay/what works in a movie better, and the movies were probably better for it. Not 100% faithful, but they made what was (imho at least) the best possible movie version of that story.

Also, Uwe Boll can die in a fire.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?