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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Discussions About Orson Scott Card » Ender Video Game Poll (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Ender Video Game Poll
A Rat Named Dog
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So, if you heard there was an Ender's Game video game coming out next week, what one thing would you desperately hope would be in the game? What experience from the book would you imagine and want to enact firsthand? If you had to pick just one iconic thing?

[disclaimer: There is NOT an Ender's Game video game coming out any time soon. I've just been kicking this around in my own head. I know what I would want, but perhaps I'm totally alone ...]

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mr_porteiro_head
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I want *the* game. I don't recall what it was named. The fairy-land game that Ender kept playing, and ended up being a large part of Jane's initial personality.

But don't do it too well. We wouldn't want Jane/Skynet to take over quite yet. [Big Grin]

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Da_Goat
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Kind of obvious, but I'd like the battleroom.
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Kama
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Yup. The Giant.
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Hobbes
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Battleroom I think would be a must for the video game.

I think my special feature wouldn't be so much a specific game or task or what-not, but I would want to pick my charecter... and have the opportunity to pick Bean. [Big Grin]

Hobbes [Smile]

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littlelf
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Well, since Lazar Tag already exists, I would have to go with the Giant's Drink, although I wouldn't want wolves running after me with the faces of children. I get that in the classroom every day.
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TomDavidson
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I have no interest whatsoever in the Battleroom -- as we ALREADY have Quake mods for lazer tag and paralysis, and this would just be Quake with gravity turned way down.

I'm not particularly interested in the Giant's Drink, either, as I don't think the technology exists to make that responsive enough (or exploratory enough) to be truly revelatory.

I wouldn't mind an adventure game set on the station, or -- and here's my big request:

A strategy game, vaguely Homeworld-esque, replicating Ender's space combats (and the sim itself, of course.) I would LOVE to see the Little Doctor and actual physics incorporated into a RTS.

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Slash the Berzerker
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I second Tom's post.

Battle room would just be zero G deathmatch.

Giants drink wouldn't make a lick of sense to anyone who hadn't read the book.

But the 3D RTS would appeal to a mass audience.

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cRaZy ToM
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the battle scene between the formics and the fleet.
having ender and eban tell u what to do in the process

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mr_porteiro_head
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You could have a strategy where you are trying to manipulate battle school to make Ender the best commander ever. You have to push him, but not too far so that you kill him or break him. You could make it really sadistic and sick.

I can't think of anything else.

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mr_porteiro_head
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As I think of it more, I think that any EG game would be a big dissapointment.

And thinking of a quake-type battle-room; that would be *really* boring waiting for the match to end so you could get thawed (or de-thawed, as my wife likes to say [Big Grin] )

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Hobbes
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There is an inherint problem basing a video game on a book that was about a series of very impressive, futuristic video games...

Hobbes [Smile]

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celia60
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quote:
Giants drink wouldn't make a lick of sense to anyone who hadn't read the book.
Like all the stuff in Myst makes sense? In fact, that's the game that most reminded me of The Game in EG. But not enough. And it's not like the entire game was the giant's drink. That was just one of the many little bizaare puzzles. I'm going to agree with Porter's first post; that's what I'd most like to see.

Of course, I'm puzzle game people and most definitly not RTS people. [Smile]

PS: if I were to find out about such a game only a week before it came out, I would have to thwack a lot of people. *thwacks Dog for good measure*

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A Rat Named Dog
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It looks like the action gamers want the Battleroom and the strategy gamers want the Simulator. Not a surprise, those were the two I wanted, too.

The Fantasy Game would be a BIG deal to pull off right. I wouldn't want anyone to try it unless I really knew they knew what they were doing [Smile] Also, a modern game would need to make some serious changes to the way the Fantasy Game worked. Severe death penalties and repetition have become very unpopular now that people play games to relax in the comfort of their own homes ...

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Boothby171
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Well, since everyone's already picked my faves (Battle Room and Simulator), I'll use my vote for...crawling around in the Battle School

...At your feet is a small pit breathing traces of white mist. An east passage ends here except for a small crack leading on. Rough stone steps lead down the pit...

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Megachirops
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plugh
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MEC
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I think I would like either an RTS or an online flight game where one person was the commander and the others were pilots. And maybe a MMORPG of battleschool.
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Farmgirl
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video games have to make sense?? since when?

I would also vote for the Giant's Drink if it were coming out. Everytime I read the book, I try so hard to picture that game in my head over and over.

Farmgirl

edit: However, being over 40, I'm not exactly your target audience/buyer for any such game

[ April 23, 2004, 03:30 PM: Message edited by: Farmgirl ]

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Papa Moose
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Icky -- xyzzy.
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Bokonon
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Bad Moose. Bad.

If there was one game, and assuming it could be produced well, it'd be the Fantasy Game (Giant's Drink, etc.).

But I'm an introspective weirdo like that.

Honestly, the other two options, Battleroom/Bugger Battles, have been done similarly before, and I just don't see what an EG take on them would add, IMO.

-Bok

[ April 23, 2004, 05:16 PM: Message edited by: Bokonon ]

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I wield the H@MM35
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I would think a multi player, but battle school isn't big enough. I hope they don't ruin it like the harry potter games, but they need something like a battle school Animal crossing, with all the randomizations, like army, launch group, etc. It would be in a normal bs kids life, but with somany plot randimazations, it would have to be on a consol. If they could make something like that, then
[The Wave]

[Party] [ROFL]

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alath
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I third TomDavidson's post but I would also really like to see the mind game done.
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The Wiggin
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OK What I think would be cool would be to have a game where you go through life as one of several characters (to create as much replay value as possible with out killing the budget on character creation) such as having Ender start at a young age dealing with Peter and bullies like Stilson. And/Or you could do bean escaping the clean room and living on the streets of Rotterdam. And add several other main characters like coming up with a life for Alai or doing something with Val and Peter. Then as a final you could have a user made character starting from one of several locations and going through the world in life that are made from many randomizations. So the Created character is as different as each user and the main character fallow the book as closely as possible. Depending on how you play you get picked to be part of different armies and positions (with limitations for the main characters) and as a mini-game you can play the battle room to help your army and get a better position in an army.

Then as you move on to the higher schools you move onto the simulator (which is the largest part of the game since it would be the easiest part of the book to make a game) where as Ender you can command and chose from several objective as well as command a small force on youíre own. And other players could control a small force trying to complete certain objectives. And to make the simulator part more interesting as Ender youíre squad leaders have stats/abilities making certain ones better for certain jobs and if your not careful about seeing them in rotations they get fatigued and screw up more and more. As a squad leader you can have some kind of problem where if you don't do certain activities between battles you get fatigued and your squad has more trouble understanding you. And if you did an MMO game you could meet people and create teams that play against each other for ranking on the server (sort of like Starcraft where thereís one player story mode or multi player beat each other to a pulp mode).

Then as a bonus for finishing certain charters or goals (so you would get stuff either after finish one char or 10% of the possible objectives depending on how it was designed) you could unlock stuff like playing The Fantasy Game/Mind Game or one of the games in the game room or different ending like if you finish with one character you get to see the world blow up, with two you see the trial of Graff, with three your reunited with Val and with 100% and/or all characters (Which ever) you get to see Ender rescue the caconed Hive Queen and get to hear Ender read the Hive Queen as it scrolls the screen.

Well any way this is just one idea Iíve had and Iíve started rambling. If thing don't make to much since up above sorry but as I started writing more and needed to flush out idea I started moving stuff around.

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Hazen
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A zero-g FPS would be amazing, it would be a pathbreaking game. Imagine sending someone spinning off into space, unable to change direction. It would have a lot of possibilities. On the other hand, to be done properly, it couldn't follow the book at all (Obviously the book wasn't designed with a video game in mind). It would need all sorts of different guns and items, and a larger variety of terrain and obstacle types. Otherwise, it wouldn't have enough variety to keep it interesting. One option might be to say that, after Ender left, Battleschool completely revamped everything. Give the players the option of playing something exactly like in EG, or of playing the "advanced version" with larger, more complex play areas, etc. You might even have open areas, where if the player goes off in the wrong direction they have no way of getting back. Obviously this would contradict the books, but it would be a lot more fun.

The space sim would make a good game as it is in the book. It would be a Homeworld clone, but I don't think people would mind too much- Especially if you got the team behind Homeworld to design it. In any case, an EG version would be unique enough to hold its own. Let the player go on either the Human or Bugger side. On the human side, give the player various lieutenants that are flawed in various ways (IE, if you keep them too busy too long they crack under pressure) but are capable of doing some of the work for the player. On the bugger side, the player would have to do everything, but it would be done with faultless precision. Give the Humans the little doctor, but give the Buggers more advanced ships. I'm sure that you can think of other things. The book gave little enough detail so that the game designer could go all out thinking of cool stuff.

The giant's drink game would work out well if you got the right guy (preferably a mildly deranged genius) to design it. A "life of character x" game might work, but it would be very difficult to pull off.

By the way, Ender's Game was listed as the number one licence that needed a game. So the market is out there.

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A Rat Named Dog
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Wiggin, if you think Grand Theft Auto gets in trouble, imagine what the developers of an Ender's Game video game would face if they tried to recreate the Stilson scene ...
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St. Yogi
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I would personally prefer a game like the one Wiggin proposed. Ender's Game was such a great book, it needs a great game to do it justice. It has to be original, it has to be fun and it has to be as harsh as the book.

It would be great if your dad could write the backgrounds and the Battle School career of each of the characters in Ender's jeesh. The game would be an excellent opportunity to carry the story further.

Imagine choosing one of the lesser known characters of Ender's jeesh, let's say Vlad or something and then just follow him through his Battle School career finally ending up in the final battle against the Buggers. And then after that choosing another character and see the whole thing from their POV, essentially making it a completely different game. If you play as Bean you won't be a toon leader in Dragon Army, but if you play as Crazy Tom you are. If you play as Ender then again it's a completely different game.

I imagine that you have to finish the game with at least three people before getting to play as Ender or Bean though.

If your dad wrote it then imagine the possibilities. Every time you play it with a different character the game would be as different as Ender's Shadow is from Ender's Game.

I imagine that all of this is kind of too much to ask from a game but it would be cool. Kind of taking games to the next level.

I agree with Wiggin that replayability is essential here. I'm also intrigued with the idea of maybe creating your own character and going through a totally randomized career in the Battle School, fighting your way to the top of the standings. But that would have to be before Ender came to the school or something.

And as I said earlier it has to be as harsh as the book. The Stilson scene should stay. But of course from a marketing perspective that couldn't work. I guess the target audience would be too young to see the child prostitutes of Rotterdam or whatever else your father could cook up in regards to the different character backgrounds.

The thought of an Ender's Game game really fires me up because it could contain a lot of different games within the game itself. The fantasy game, the battleroom, the simulator and the Battle School itself.

So I guess that in my eyes(a gamer's eyes) they should wait with making the Ender's Game game for the same reason they've waited so long to start making the movie. Lack of technology. I don't think a game which does the book justice can be made with today's technology.

But of course if it doesn't get made now, then it probably won't happen. Ever.

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A Rat Named Dog
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What if there were multiple games, each attacking a different aspect of the license?
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St. Yogi
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Yeah, that might be an idea.

Simulator:
A homeworldesque game(without an up and down orientation) for the simulator. But unlike Homeworld there would be no resource management and no building new ships, only a specific amount of ships to use in each battle. I imagine that in a singleplayer campaign you should be able to pause the game and look at the battle from all sides and perspectives(just like in Homeworld). This of course wouldn't work in a multiplayer game.

Battle Room:
For the battleroom game I think that it should be different based on whether or not you're a commander, a toon leader or just a soldier. Kind of if you're a commander then you'll have to kind of manage your army(Championship Manager style) as well as train them in a way of your choosing and still be part of the battle. If you're a toon leader then you have to command a small group, take orders from the commander as well as have duties as a soldier. And if you're a soldier then you have to follow the orders of your toon leader as well as the commander. Now the actual battleroom game would have to be first person (Quake style, I guess) with very comprehensive controls as well as the possibility of giving commands(maybe verbally through a microphone).

Of course you'd have to cater to the multiplayer masses as well, but I find it hard to believe that you'll find a enough people to play a real battle as well as stick around for long if they're frozen. And I doubt that people would follow the commands of various toonleaders and whatnot unless there was some kind of penalty system i you don't follow orders. Maybe you can decrease the army size as well.

Fantasy Game: Very hard to pull off. I can't even begin to imagine what it would be like.

In my original post I just kind of thought about the storytelling possibilities. I think games should focus as much on story as gameplay.

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Rohan
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I always saw strategy as a major point of the book. Ender not only has to find new strategies to beat the othe armies in the Battleroom, he has strategies for dealing with people, creating bonds, staying alive against Bonzo, etc. If the Battleroom weren't a FPS, but instead something that gave you command control of strategy and placement, it wouldn't be boring. Of course, every game I've ever played that was billed that way wasn't flexible enough to accommodate my variations and ideas. My expectations have been corrupted by books like, well, EG. Anyway, if the whole game were like that, where you have to choose on your own what to do, what's important, etc., maybe that would capture better the feeling of being Ender.
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TomDavidson
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Rule of thumb: adventure games based on licensed properties suck.

In all of recorded history, there has been one exception -- Infocom's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy -- and ONLY because it was written by the best Infocom people and Douglas Adams, himself, and because it managed to follow the story from multiple viewppoints while deviating from it strongly enough that people didn't feel like they were merely reproducing the novel.

Unfortunately, I think most EG fans are exactly the kind of geeks who'd want to "reproduce" the novel -- which defeats the whole point of an adventure game. What, really, would an adventure game give the player to come up with on his own?

This is a question that a very talented game designer can answer satisfactorily -- but how many very talented game designers are still out there? I'd rather not see an EG adventure game at all than see one that's merely hackneyed.

The same thing goes for the Giant's Drink game.

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Beren One Hand
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I like the mr_porteiro_head's suggestion regarding a Battle School management type of game. It can be a cross between Sims and Roller Coaster Tycoon. There are lots of sociological possibilities.

If that doesn't work, I want to see a Mortal Kombat sequence between Ender and Peter, where Ender rips out Peter's spine and does a little jig on the trail of blood.

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fallow
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I'd add an intra-game puzzle involving Ender, Peter, and Valentine (?) playing some sort of game (as kids, at home) prior to the onset of Ender's story.

fallow

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fallow
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I'd preface the movie-version the same way.

fallow

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Xaposert
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I have difficulty imagining an Ender's Game video game ever coming out good.

How about if we take space invaders, add the Little Doctor, and rename it Ender's Game?

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tonguetied&tvvisted
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That would be so cool.
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fallow
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Xap,

Why do you have difficulty imagining it could turn out good?

There's a lot of material. Action and puzzle-play.

fallow

[ April 27, 2004, 12:19 AM: Message edited by: fallow ]

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mr_porteiro_head
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I also don't think an EG game could be anything but a dissapointment.
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Altáriël of Dorthonion
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Oh yeah, the giant, I always wondered what it would be like to play that game...my own little private fantasy in which I get to kill a giant by digging into his eye...
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A Rat Named Dog
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Luckily for you, Tom, they don't make any kind of adventure games any more, much less the kind based on movies. These days, it's children's action-platformers that everybody leaps to by default. I guarantee you that Ender's Game will get at least one of those [Smile]

I also think that an Ender's Game game will automatically disappoint people, but only because people will build up a lot of unrealistic expectations for it.

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TomDavidson
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I can't think of a single platform game for EG that makes any sense to me. Of course, that's partly because tooling around the Battle School strikes me as remarkably boring.
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LockeTreaty
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I've been thinking about how to make a Battle Room video game, and in my opinion the best method would be to make it a Gamecube game. Now before I get shouted out of the forum because I show support for Nintendo, I think that the Gamecube has an advantage over other systems in one important regard. Especially if the Gamecube does eventually go online.

The idea struck me that you could make use of the Gamecube's ability to use Gameboy advances as a way to see current stats of the soldiers in your army, and also you could delegate tasks to your toon leaders without ever having to pause the game to simply change objectives. With the four control slots of the Gamecube, this would allow for two players to play head on head both with a controller to control your own character and a gameboy to view your army and give overall commands. The system worked great for Final Fantasy Chronicles, although the game was horrendiously short. On the "adventure" mode you could play through as Ender, getting the perspective of common soldier, toon leader, and commander. I wouldn't include Ender's first battles where he never fired a shot for obvious reasons, but I believe that everything else should work out just fine.

Those are my two cents. But I wonder how it would look to create a simulator game for today's audience that according to the book is just supposed to be dots of light that represent ships traveling through space. I don't think any game that was that true to the book would go mainstream; therefore, not creating sales.

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Xaposert
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quote:
Why do you have difficulty imagining it could turn out good?

There's a lot of material. Action and puzzle-play.

Running around space stations and zero-g fighting has been done more than enough. So has spaceship fighting. The mind games are only interesting in that they tell us stuff about the characters in the book. If you try to imagine the giants drink as a video game, I think it's clear that it would get old real quick. And most of all, almost all movie license games are more out to make money than be good games. I don't think the game designers will be given the time and budget to make a really great game.

But space invaders with Little Doctors - that could work!

But if they absolutely must make some sort of 3-D action game... I'd go with the battleroom, and try to think up some way to make it neat, and of course, multi-player. Ender's Game could aim for a Goldeneye I guess - and by that I mean a movie liscense game of an already established type that ends up being made so well that it is a smash success. It's a possibility, but unlikely.

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fallow
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Xap,

I dunno. Lots of things have been done before. That doesn't mean it can't be retooled, reinvented, etc. I don't imagine a game based on the battleschool settings (as written) would have to translate directly to a game setting. Crawling through airshafts/ducts is an old standby, but it works, doesn't it?

fallow

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A Rat Named Dog
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quote:
I can't think of a single platform game for EG that makes any sense to me. Of course, that's partly because tooling around the Battle School strikes me as remarkably boring.
[sigh] Welcome to my world. An entire branch of my company is devoted to solving this exact problem for every single kid-oriented movie that comes out. "How can we make a platformer out of this?"

This isn't because of some lack on our part. In truth, most kids' movies, by nature, suggest no good or unique gameplay mechanics, and their associated games have minimal budgets. So sticking to the tried-and-true is often the ONLY way to go.

LockeTreaty, the main drawback of the GameCube is the lack of online play. A multiplayer game works much better, and can be much larger in scope, if you get everyone on a different screen.

Personally, I think that Game Boy connectivity is a cute perk for loyal Nintendo users, and if you're making a game with Nintendo already, there's no reason NOT to include it. But isn't a good enough reason to pick one console over another, especially if the Nintendo console happens to be the weakest on the market.

A Simulator game would probably look more like Homeworld. Points of light from afar, kickarse ships up close.

Xap ... Space Invaders with little doctors? Sounds like a Flash game [Smile] Think big, man!

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Scott R
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The way to make the battleroom work:

Team building.

You have a set amount of team members, each with their own strengths, etc. As the game progresses you can train or trade members of your army to fit your battle style.

The problem (for programmers) would be making the characters 'real.' The team members would HAVE to have memories, real dislikes and likes-- so if you brushed someone off when they were a launchy, when they became a soldier, they definitely wouldn't be excited to be under your command.

BUT. . . I'm skeptical. If I were to buy a EG video game, it'd almost be purely because I'm a fan.

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LockeTreaty
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While it's true that the Gamecube doesn't currently utilize online gaming, its not true that it isn't in development. Ways to make the Gamecube go online are currently in devlopment by third party developers.
I'm also under the impression that a game based on EG would take multiple years to make. With that assumption in hand it makes me think that the next generation of Gamecube will be in use by its completion, and since Nintendo has been trying to combinr there platform gaming with their portable gaming sytems sense the SNES, it leads me to believe they will continue and improve there dual, handheld and console, system.
If you were look at a different system to support the game you would quickly find that the X-box would be inferior to the PS2, because the PS2 has more of a following but it competes for the same audience. And the PC while it has its diehard fans, lacks the interest of many casual gamers. But the main reason that the Game should land on the Nintendo system is because it plays for the young gamers, and it gets almost all of them. And as it has been seen, EG has been most taken in by younger readers. The game would find its audience on the Gamecube. Plus Nintendo has the most experience with 3D graphics taken from rotating camera angles of any console producer.

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GaalD
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I think instead of playing as Ender you should make your own character and make the game an RPG so you can try to get your own army or become a toon leader and just try to make your way in battle school and possibly fight in the bugger war if you're good enough. I like that way because it tests everyone to see who would do good in battle school. Alss, make it internet enabled so you can fight your army against people from around the world.
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Xaposert
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quote:
A multiplayer game works much better, and can be much larger in scope, if you get everyone on a different screen.
I'd have to disagree with that - the works better part. Games in which users all have different screens end up being far less social, and as a result often far less fun than split-screen multiplayer games.

quote:
Xap ... Space Invaders with little doctors? Sounds like a Flash game Think big, man!
Yes... I suppose I forgot games have to be big and flashy these days. So, instead, just take my space inavders idea, make it 3-D with 360 camera angle rotation for complete view of the battlefield, add all sorts of confusing graphics that disrupt gameplay, insert some sort of cheesy storyline with long, slow-loading theatrical sequences during which the user doesn't do anything, and hire P Diddy to write background music. [Big Grin]
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Lupus
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The battle room would be important, is it is a huge chunk of the book, but it would be very hard to do. Perhaps make it RPG like where you gain skills as you play. I think Enders game would be a tough book to turn into a video game. I think the Alvin maker series would be easier to do, simply because his world is not restricted to one space station as Ender's is.

Also, most video games have you killing tons of people...until he wiped out the buggers, Ender only killed two people. It would be and interesting game if done right, but it would be very difficult to do.

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D a r i u s
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If I had the game I wouldnt want to be Ender, Bean or anybody else. I would want to play as just one of the genius kids up there for training. I'd want to be able to make my own decisions while having the story progress like in the book, except having the ability to become my own army commander or something like that. Basically I'd like to see ender and bean in the game and also follow the story as much as possible but not playing from Ender or Beans perspective.
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