Monday, August 16, 2010

Freeman's Mind

A recurring pattern of video game/movie crossovers, I believe we can generally agree, is that they tend to be of rather poor quality.

Movie writers struggle how to shove video game plots into their traditional 'movies must have X, Y and Z to be successful' templates..

Video game producers end taking overused game mechanics, dropping in movie related assets, and making a game with no real innovation and unusually limited content.

End result, cross overs almost always fail... to a significant degree this is probably because movie people are making movies and game developers are making games.. neither ever seem to know enough about the other medium to make the transition.

On an amateur level though this might be changing.... via machinima....

Take Freeman's Mind by Accursed Farms. Video game based (Half-Life 1)... in fact, the whole series could almost be a person simply playing the game.. no additional mechanics, no additional graphics. It is currently on episode 29 (with each episode being between 5 and 10 minutes long), so all put together it is movie length.... and importantly, it is entertaining. With nothing more then the video game there is sufficient monologue and plot to be interesting. Granted, there is no love interest.. no comedic sidekick,.... none of the elements screenwriters seem to think a movie 'needs'.

Rooster Teeth's 'Red vs Blue' is another example. It has gone on for 7 seasons now and has a massive following. It is more complex then Freeman's mind, requiring an actual plotline separate from the video game, but it is still a video game based series that translated well and people actually enjoy.

I wonder what would happen if these machinima outfits actually had a real budget and professional voice actors (or even actors+sets+etc). Even a small budget....