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Question of the Week: Fully Booked

by: Randy -
More On: News Roundup
Due to the wildly differing conventions that books and video games abide by, the jump from one to the other doesn't rake in many awards for its authors and developers.  Halo novels, Warcraft novels, and even Sonic the Hedgehog novels have all spawned from their in-game popularity.  Or, the inverse, The Witcher, The Watchmen, and Conan the Barbarian have gotten (or are getting) the interactive-entertainment treatment from book and graphic novel form.  Hell, even the unlikely Dante's Inferno is getting a God of War makeover from EA.

What's one book that you want turned into a video game?

Elliot Bonnie:  I would love to see someone make a game out of Cormac McCarthy's The Road. A barren post apocalyptic world where survival would be the biggest component. Fallout 3 offers a similar setting, but The Road could bring different dangers to the in game world. Instead of a combat focus, the game could introduce survival factors such as weather, terrain, and the constant threat of starvation. The game could get inspiration from Shadow of the Colossus as well. It would be tough to make a game out of The Road, but it could be pretty interesting.
(Now playing:  Left 4 Dead, Grand Theft Auto IV, and hopefully tons of Killzone 2)

Sean Colleli:  I'd love to see someone make a game out of Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash.  So much of today's net culture, from the popularizing of the term avatar to the (regrettably disappointing) Second Life owe their existence to this groundbreaking cyberpunk novel.  Snow Crash has a pretty dense plot that involves meme theory and ancient Babylonian culture, but at the heart of the story is one man's battle against a virulent cult.  The main character's name is literally Hiro Protagonist, and throughout the novel he does basass things in the real world and the virtual metaverse.  A game that focuses on his arc in the novel, and maybe some of his prior exploits, would be amazing, especially if the book's rich, mind-bending plot was used as the backdrop.
(Now playing:  Deadly Creatures, and host to a dead Xbox 360)

Charles Husemann:  I know it's in development but I'm still waiting the video game adaption of Ender's Game or at least based in the universe.  You don't even have to follow the canon of the story but just create a turn based strategy game based on the battle between the humans and the aliens.  Of course the units will get worse as you progress which would be a bit of a switch (read the book to figure out why).
(Now playing:  Dawn of War II, Team Fortress 2, Freespace 2)

Randy Kalista:  Elliot gets the Plagiarizing Others' Ideas Award for this week since he (yes, unknowingly, of course) robbed my idea of using The Road's Pulitzer Prize-winning material for making a game.  So I'll really go out in left field by offering Dave Eggers' You Shall Know Our Velocity!  The two since-childhood buds, Will and Hand, set off on an obscure-country globetrotting expedition--remeniscent of Carmen Sandiego almanac-driven games--to give away $32,000 in cash to people they arbitrarily deem the most deserving.  The player would be wracked with heartwrenching stories of Lost Odyssey caliber, witnessing people in dire straits (or perceived notions thereof), taking photographs of the land and its inhabitants for...I don't know, a memoirist scrapbook?, and then being wedged into tough, binary Mass Effect-like conundrums regarding where the money lands.  Will and Hand can navigate the largely non-violent world like an unarmed Salvation Army of Two.  Finding out why, exactly, they're giving away $32,000 could be a subject told in piecemeal flashbacks.  As the credits roll, I would come to the full realization that I'm not a game developer for a reason.
(Now playing:  Ancient Frog (iPhone), GTA IV: The Lost and Damned)

Dan KeenerI'm going to step away from the single book approach and focus on a well known author of franchise novels, albeit one of his newest and smallest.  With today's video game climate, developers and publishers are always looking for the next cash-machine.  No one has done this better than UBISoft and Red Storm Entertainment with all of the games in the Tom Clancy universe.  Having said that, I think the next great literary franchise that could be turned into a game franchise belongs to Clive Cussler.  He has several well-known characters such as Dirk Pitt and Kurt Austin at his disposal, but I think the best group may be the series called the Oregon Files.  It is centered around a high-tech U.S. Sponsored group that utilizes a ship called the "Oregon" as its base of operations.  Everything you could want in game is in the stories, including guns, super-advanced technology, protagonists and incursions into foreign,hostile governments.  If you are a fan of Clancy or Cussler and haven't read the series yet, then I encourage you to do so.  (Now playing:  Rock Band 2, Disney Sing It! and a new 1080p projector from Mitsubishi)

Nathan Murray:  My Favorite Star Wars universe novel is I, Jedi written by New York Time's bestselling author Michael A Stackpole. One of the reasons I love the book is the character Corran Horn because I love being along for the ride of his inner journeys and outward adventures also I, Jedi was the first book written in the Star Wars universe from a first person perspective and the visual descriptions of places like Yavin and the insides of a TIE fighter  through those eyes really give a fresh and new take on what it is like to be a character in that universe. With plenty of action and an excellent and entertaining story line this could be the Star Wars game that Force Unleashed should have been. But don't take my word for it, read it! Or just be a lazy bum and read this:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I,_Jedi.
(Now playing:  Rock Band 2, Call of Duty 4 (I can't quit you), Fable 2, and Combat Arms (same screen name as gamer tag: frophey))

Sean Nack
:  I've been giving this, really, an undue amount of thought, and I'm having a hard time, mostly because I'm a classics or non-fiction kind of guy, but I finally came up with what just might be a good idea: a WWII flight-sim MMO based on my favorite book about air-power strategies in WII, Winged Victory by Geoffery Perrell. You would have literally whole campaigns take place in real-time, and you would participate in the campaign based on which squadron and position you were assigned, fighter or bomber pilot, bombardier, or gunner, and it would showcase both the attackers and the defenders, the Nazi players' options being fighter-defense or flak gunner (obviously, the defense would be fighter heavy). All the missions would be based on real historical accounts, so if the 8th Bomber Wing flew a night mission on April 15th at 1800z (games would be organized around "zulu" time, or more commonly known as Greenwich Mean Time, in order to not deal with various local times around the world), and you were assigned to that unit in the MMO, guess what you'd be doing on April 15th. If a player couldn't make it, than a bot could take over, but then you'd be penalized in some way. Here's the best part; if the allies fail a mission, history starts to change. Now the Nazi pilots are flying bomber missions, and Americans are defending more, see what i'm saying? You'd be fighting a whole air war. And then let's say you've played through a campaign, say North Africa; the two sides switch, and see who wins. I'm not an MMO person, but I love me some flight-sims, and I would be all up in this game.
(Now playing:  FEAR 2)