Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A House Falls On Hamlet?

Using Shakespeare as the foundation for your game is not new.  Some work, some don't.

But it’s always a good idea, from where I sit.  And eventually somebody’s going to hit upon the formula that makes it work.  I think the trick, like “10 Things I Hate About You” and “Lion King”, is to make it map to Shakespeare without coming right out and saying it.  If you tell people “This is Shakespeare, you’ll like it” you won’t get as good a reaction as if you say “Did you like it?  Cool, because you know, it was based on Shakespeare.”

With that in mind we have “Gamelet”:

Inspired by Hamlet, the new game is — in the words of its solo developer himself — a "twisted" adaptation of Shakespeare's classic play. Players control a "man from the future", who arrives in Hamlet's time just as the Danish hero is about to seek revenge for the death of his parents and rescue his beloved Ophelia from her captors. Unfortunately, you crash land right on top of Hamlet, and must now assume his place in order to prevent the "history" of the world from radically changing.

Sounds like a cross between Hamlet 2 and Wizard of Oz.  Back when I was in school, dreaming of writing games for a living, Hamlet was my holy grail.  Specifically, I wanted to build an engine so rich in AI that all of the NPC (non player characters) would roam around and behave *like* their Shakespearean counterparts, without ever actually being told to.

We shall see how it goes.  By my “map it without telling them it’s Shakespeare” rule, it won’t work.  Fingers crossed that I’m wrong!



No comments: