- Magoozelle wrote:
- I second The Count of Monte Cristo! But the unabridged version is 1200-1400 pages, depending on which publishing house you prefer. So it might be most difficult to cram all of the action! The drama! The scheming and dialog! Into a video game.
Best of luck to you in whatever you choose!
But that's the funny thing about making those games, they end up shorter than you might think, yet I don't miss anything out (unlike certain developers I could mention
) It's been a real surprise to me. But a pleasant one, as my goal is to concentrate the essence of a book without missing anything.
What I do is this: I go through the book line by line looking for where a major character makes a decision. Every decision becomes a puzzle, and every aftermath becomes a cut scene. And that decides the length and content of the game. The surprising thing is that a major book can contain far fewer decisions than you might think: they often have whole chapters that are simply setting the scene, but don't add to the drama. A Tale of Two Cities, for example, is about 250 pages, but only contains about 20 decisions (hence, 20 puzzles).
Les Miserables was about 1000 pages long and contained about 125 decisions (hence, 125 puzzles - note that most puzzles are simply a matter of combining two characters, but I try to make sure that some of the puzzles are a little more creative - e.g. Genesis of the Gods includes a musical puzzle and two activities based on movement).
I think this approach has a lot of potential:all the best drama in a book comes from the hero having to make decisions. So my games are all about the decisions.
Incidentally, this was something I learned the hard way. After the success of Les Miserables I thought I'd try a more difficult story, Dante's Inferno, a book that essentially contains zero drama (Dante basically walks in a straight line and is never in any danger). I tried to make it seem as exciting as I could, but I always want to be faithful to the text, and as a result my Dante's Inferno is the least exciting of my games. Simply because the original poem is not exciting, it's a theological and historical poem. Note that EA Games faced the same problem and simply changed the story completely. But I won't do that.
I learned my lesson, so I made sure that the third story was more exciting: Genesis of The Gods involves battles between gods and Titans, where the fate of the world hangs in the balance. It's a much more exciting story. But even there I had to heavily interpret the original text, which originally didn't have any real decisions. The idea of stories with heroes who make decisions didn't really appear until the novel was invented in the 1600s. Before that things happened TO the hero, but the hero doesn't really change anything. Which makes it difficult to make authentic games based on those stories: either you change the story, or heavily re-interpret it, or make it boring.
That's really why I started this thread: I have resolved only to do proper novels for the foreseeable future. And that's why I'm particularly looking for stories that are already packed with drama and don't need to be reinterpreted in any way.