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Author Topic: Ender's (video) Game
Member # 8297

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While scanning the net, I found this interesting article about an upcoming Ender's Game video game. Has a few thoughts from OSC himself in there. Thought people might find it interesting.

OSC's Thoughts

[This message has been edited by Bycin (edited December 24, 2008).]

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Member # 4849

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I can see, by some of the responses, that prejudices can transcend common sense. People that loved the books don't like him because they disagree with his political views. That's ignorant. If I didn't read books or watch movies based on the political views of the man/woman who writes them, I wouldn't enjoy anything. Everyone has some view I disagree with (and by that, I have a view that eveyrone will disagree with ).

[This message has been edited by InarticulateBabbler (edited December 24, 2008).]

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Member # 2913

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and what view would that be?

id definitely play an ender video game. just to tear it apart at were it got it wrong.

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Patrick James
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IB, not everybody has a view that somebody else disagrees with, and for saying so you are a stupid head.(Is that what you were looking for? Glad I could help, big guy. IB, 2012!)

OSC has already tried video games. I'm afraid with moderate success. Advent Rising

And why is everybody so crazy about Orson Scott Card here? Really!

(Oh and don't worry about more IB, 2012! adverts, KDW. We are taking a relaxed look at the campaign this time around. We will use subliminal messages and reverse psychology. If it works like we have it planned nobody will even know who IB is. The trouble is getting them to vote for him after that. Still working on that part.)

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Member # 2913

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this is a website for Orson Scott Card, so I am assuming that anyone here would at least have a grudging respect for him at succeeding where we all failed. (for now)

IB in 2012!

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Robert Nowall
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Well, I like a lot of what Card has written---but not the Ender saga. Go figure.

I'm unaware of the precise nature of Card's political views, and, having pronounced political views of my own, my opinion of Card might go up or down if I did learn of them.

I'll pass on the video game version---not a big part of my life, though I've sampled a fewm, mostly ones associated with something else I liked---which lets out this.

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Member # 3619

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I can see a Battle School online game as well as a Battle Room game, various Formic War games, even the Mind Game (or Fantasy Game) that Ender plays relentlessly on his computer.

As a software developer for a small online games company, I feel I have a little perspective on the industry and I can safely say that ... Card has never been a software developer.

I admire his ambition and his keen interest in and awareness of the game industry, and love for his own book series, characters, and surrounding world, however...

1. An MMO of Battleschool (Massive Multiplayer Online Game) would require a lot of capital to throw down hoping for any degree of quality, but this market is already saturated with any number of MMOs, most of which are not successful, and this particular environment--although unique, would be a tough sell, especially for a book series with a limited--albeit devoted, fan base. The target market is unlikely to go for this based on the models I have studied. Though, like anything in business, we could all be wrong. The trick here is getting the idea sold to a developer and there's not much chance of that because all key indicators point to a bust.

2. The Battleroom, this, I believe, could make a great FPS game. Especially if you treat it like a Tom Clancy game by allowing the player to customize his team before game, and decide on strategies, formations, etc, and then enter the actual gameplay from a First Person Combat mode (FPS). It even has multi-player possibilities for friends to LAN games where they each customize their team and "fight it out" in the Battleroom, which should be customizeable as well. But most "players" on a team would have to be intelligent "Bots" out of necessity. And the actual gameplay inside the battleroom would have to be quick-paced in the style of Unreal Tournament. Merging the strategy with the pacing would be a tough endeavor but doable. I think this one could make a profit. Though it might have to wait for less bleak economic times.

3. The Formic War games will all fail because no one is at all interested in the formic war, except for Card. Few people know what it is and, as a whole, it's fairly simple. Terran (human) starships at war with Bug-like aliens in a series of campaigns (probably Real Time Strategy), sounds like Star Craft but has very very little chance at breaking into a saturated market with several examples of far more versatile and interesting games. To have even a chance, this would require developers to take huge creative license and, ultimately, making a whole different game based on almost none of the books. Chances of success in the current market are almost zero.

4. The Mind Game is completely impossible to engineer. Not only would it be an expensive enterprise it cannot be programmed and is inherently an impossible request for even the most advanced gaming firm to achieve. Appeal of the Mind Games is hinged on the degree of freedom the player has to do "whatever he wants" in the game and have the game engine be able to respond to it, in other words the game has to have a "possibility of actions tree" that is even larger than that of chess which even the most advanced computer in the world cannot solv--and the tree of possible configuration orders is thought to outnumber the theoretical set of atoms in the galaxy. In other words, it can't be done. Not unless you severely limit what the player can do, but then you're left with a game that has absolutely no story or character elements and only a few mildly amusing tasks a player can choose from. Some die-hard fans will buy it but the market will reject it. No developer would take on this project.

I once read somewhere that he'd also suggested the idea of a Hive Queen game where (presumably RTS) the player controls a hive queen and Bugger hive and develops armies for strategic combat. No one cares about the hive queen enough to play a game that would resemble a Starship Troopers-like take on the Zerg. The market he's imagined just doesn't exist. If it did, we'd all be rich instead of living off scraps.

[This message has been edited by Zero (edited January 15, 2009).]

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Member # 3619

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So, in my view, what he ought to do is, instead of hitting developers with a shotgon of aimless ideas, he ought to focus on his strongest (the battleschool idea) and flesh it out so a publisher/developer can really catch a glimpse of its potential. Because it does have potential. He's right about that one.
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