In this humor column reprinted from the December 2009 edition of Game Developer magazine, Matthew Wasteland reminds us of some of the (shall we say) creative baggage triple-A games have yet to leave behind.
Hey all -- it's been a while since we last did one of these, and I just wanted to give you all the bird's-eye view of where things are on the project as a whole and highlight some of the exciting things we have going on.
I think it's fair to say our game adaptation of Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary
is really going to knock some socks off and open some wallets this winter!
We've been fleshing out (so to speak) some of the newer areas: Rouen now has roaming bands of Beast Leeches, which is much more exciting than the farmers in the original, and Yonville has completed its transformation into an undead-infested ghost town. Perfect -- for a bloodbath!
Also, our big name Hollywood writer has been starting work on the cinematic script, and all I can say is wow! He's a true talent -- I think I've mentioned this before, but his screenplay, "Sewer Man: Man from the Sewer," made it to the quarterfinals of the First Annual West Covina Scriptwriting Contest a few years back. He's also got a pretty well-known blog. I was discussing our concept with him and he really got into the idea of re-imagining Emma as a flawed heroine with a dark past -- someone who will stop at nothing to get revenge. This is where we really differentiate our game from so many others.
On the art front, the concept guys have been turning out some amazing stuff. I don't know if all of you have had the chance to see the new digital painting of Charles Bovary -- just look for the thirty-foot tall beast dripping with slime and made out of the corpses of farm animals. Holy moley, is it sweet! Also be sure to check out the twelve-headed hydra thing (I think its name is Leon) and the disgustingly detailed tentacles on Rodolphe. We also got in brand-new models for the chaingun, the minigun, and the automatic grenade launcher from our outsourcing partners-- they're really shiny!
And be sure to stop by the cinematics department for a sneak peek at the opening movie, too. This is being rendered for us by a fantastic, genuine Hollywood special effects company. I don't want to spoil too much, but let's just say these guys are real pros: they even do that radial blur effect when the monsters roar at the camera, to make it that much more powerful-feeling! Also that wicked awesome speed up/slow down thing when the action gets intense. You can never get enough of that!
That reminds me, our composer has just come back from Europe where he recorded the Philharmonic Boys Choir of Prague -- I've only heard an early version, but it sounds incredible, really epic. It was just like that music in Star Wars: Episode One: The Phantom Menace
. You know, the piece that goes "da-da-dadada, da-da-dadada" over and over again? Very sweet, and I can't wait to hear it once it's finished and he's laid the power guitar riffs on top.
Casting continues apace as well. We've been spending a lot of time looking for just the right porn star to be Emma Bovary. We don't want just any porn star, of course -- so we've been asking them all if they play video games. So far they've all said yes, so I think the next step will be to ask them what their favorite games are. I certainly wouldn't want a porn star who only plays Bejeweled
to be in our game and I think you all agree.
I've been working closely with marketing to make sure they really get the concept behind the game so they can sell our work. They really keyed off the no-holds-barred, edgy tack we've been taking with the material, and have been working on tactics designed to emphasize the dark, gritty world of nineteenth century France and the visceral feel of Madame Bovary's deadly arsenal.
They're putting the finishing touches on a new campaign tentatively titled "Cheat on Your Spouse to Win," where submitting proof of adultery nets you the chance to win a swank Madame Bovary t-shirt, and another centering around racking up life-crushing amounts of debt.
Tying in with that, we've also been working an ultra-rare limited "Entitlement Edition" of the game. The MSRP isn't decided yet but we're aiming for something reasonable that gamers can afford -- we're thinking in the realm of $469.99 -- which will come in a hand-finished PVC box shaped like a carriage. It'll include an art book, a making-of DVD and some very real-looking "arsenic pills" in a fancy bottle so that our most hardcore fans can "commit suicide!"
Keep On Rockin'
Well, that about sums it up. Our game is seriously poised to turn some heads and rack up the sales when it hits store shelves. Let's take a moment to pat ourselves on the back for the great work we've done so far -- and join me in thanking our parent company for having the courage and vision to take some risk on a brand-new IP!
Illustration by Juan Ramirez.