it started way back in the mid-70
was the direct ancestor to the multitude of resource management games we
of The Movies is a far cry from the relatively simplistic world of
Hammurabi. You, as the studio head, are
responsible for the hiring and firing of not only the talent, but of the
hundreds of workers that it takes to run a first-class movie studio. You will be hiring the janitors that keep
your studio lot looking spiffy and clean, thereby attracting more potential
employees, as well as hiring the builders that create the sets, buildings, and
facilities that are required to create the next big box office hit. You will also being hiring actors as leads,
extras, or even directors. You will have
to hire script writers and film crews.
All of these people expect to be paid, so you
script is complete and you have your talent ready, you move your script to
Casting. Here you will assign the lead
and supporting actors, and the director.
The assignments of the film crew and extras are typically done for you
as those roles are for the most part completely fungible. This balance between requiring the player to
decide things that are significant to the game play versus having to render a
decision on banal minutiae is maintained nicely throughout the entire
game. Once you
film is complete, you can watch it. It
As the chief strategist, you should also be paying attention to events outside of the studio. To assist you with that, there is a timeline moving across the top of your screen. You can keep an eye out for historic and epic events on the horizon that my affect your decision making when it comes to what types of movies to make to satisfy contemporary interests and demands. You will have to decide whether an impending war will drive moviegoers towards the emotional release of a good comedy or the tear-jerking romance. Your decisions will have a profound effect on your studios success.
watching your movie, you release it by taking it to your production office, and
sit back as the money rolls in. Well,
not really. You have been hiring more
talent, writing more scripts, and casting more films while the first one was
going through the various stages of preparation. In effect, you are now acting in the capacity
of an assembly line foreman. The amount
of things you need to worry about increases as you get more and more films into
the pipeline. Fortunately, you
If what I have described thus far is all The Movies did, it would be well worth the purchase price. The amazing strength of The Movies is how well it takes the best aspects of the "development planning" SimCity genre and combines it with the "personal relationship" TheSims genre, while also providing a fascinating look inside the world of an equally fascinating industry. The Movies takes the next step, though. It goes well beyond providing an entertaining and educational resource management game. As you progress in the game, your studio becomes successful enough to build a custom scriptwriting faculty. And when you build it, you will unlock the ability to write your own scripts. And this is very, very cool.
custom scriptwriter is a collection of tools that you use to create your
movie. You select the genre and how
complex you want the script template to be, or you can choose freeform if you
I can see
how some players would see the custom scriptwriting as the best part of the
game, and I can also empathize with those that are more intrigued with the business
aspects and would just as soon leave the scriptwriting to the
scriptwriters. Fortunately, the
designers seemed to realize that different players might want to concentrate on
different modalities. You are free to
take either approach, or even a combination of the two. Creating your own movies will take a lot more
time, but if you
The Movies is a solid, well designed, and eminently playable game. The depth and intricacy of the aspects of the movie making industry offered to the player will ensure that this one stays on your hard drive for a long, long time. And hey, you might even learn a few things about operating a major business as you play.
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review.
I've been fascinated with video games and computers for as long as I can remember. It was always a treat to get dragged to the mall with my parents because I'd get to play for a few minutes on the Atari 2600. I partially blame Asteroids, the crack cocaine of arcade games, for my low GPA in college which eventually led me to temporarily ditch academics and join the USAF to "see the world." The rest of the blame goes to my passion for all things aviation, and the opportunity to work on work on the truly awesome SR-71 Blackbird sealed the deal.
My first computer was a TRS-80 Model 1 that I bought in 1977 when they first came out. At that time you had to order them through a Radio Shack store - Tandy didn't think they'd sell enough to justify stocking them in the retail stores. My favorite game then was the SubLogic Flight Simulator, which was the great Grandaddy of the Microsoft flight sims.
While I was in the military, I bought a Commodore 64. From there I moved on up through the PC line, always buying just enough machine to support the latest version of the flight sims. I never really paid much attention to consoles until the Dreamcast came out. I now have an Xbox for my console games, and a 1ghz Celeron with a GeForce4 for graphics. Being married and having a very expensive toy (my airplane) means I don't get to spend a lot of money on the lastest/greatest PC and console hardware.
My interests these days are primarily auto racing and flying sims on the PC. I'm too old and slow to do well at the FPS twitchers or fighting games, but I do enjoy online Rainbow 6 or the like now and then, although I had to give up Americas Army due to my complete inability to discern friend from foe. I have the Xbox mostly to play games with my daughter and for the sports games.