Puzzles from “The Neil”

27 07 2013

No secret to friends and family here but maybe you lot might not know, I’m a big Neil Gaiman fan. First autographed book I ever owned? The Graveyard Book. (Fantastic read by the way, go buy it.) First author I ever pushed on the Vixen? Gaiman. First graphic novels I ever owned? Sandman series. By Gaiman.

I hope I’ve made my point.

So why are we talking about Neil Gaiman today? Well as it turns out he is branching into another creative medium. You can read his books, graphic novels and even listen to him sing on an album with his wife. And pretty soon, you can play his game.

I learned by way of James over at After Dark Gaming  blog  that Mr. Gaiman will be working with an American developer, The Odd Gentlemen, to produce a puzzle game of truly Gaimian proportions. Tee hee.

This is a big deal for two reasons. First is obvious, this game should be great. Second, it is just plain exciting to see authors branching into other story telling mediums. One of my biggest praises to the gaming industry is the scope of storytelling that they have taken on in the past several decades.

When I was a kid, I played the pants off of my parent’s Atari 2600. At the time that thing was seriously impressive. Games like pong, asteroids, and the more complex India Jones game kept me lock in entertainment bliss for hours.

Fast forward to Duck Hunt, Super Mario, and a rather fantastic Godzilla game that featured some of the greatest monster fights I’ve ever seen. Then it was Donkey Kong Country, Star fox 64. Jump a little more to Spyro the Dragon, the Tekken franchise.

Now what do we see? It sure isn’t a little paddle moving up and down the screen knocking a little white ball back and forth.

The Call of Duty franchise, one of the most cinematic gaming experiences I’ve ever had. The Halo series, an intense space opera that pits you against aliens in a fight for the survival of mankind.

Games today are becoming more visually stimulating, more technologically demanding. They force you to think on your feet, in some instances develop a better sense of critical thinking. And perhaps best of all, immersive storytelling. Games today feature teams of writers creating a huge amount of story content.

The Halo franchise continues to produce expanded universe content in the form of novels which provide insight into what happens before, during, and after the story arcs of the video games. And these are novels coming from authors with serious credits. Hugos, Nebulaes.

It is a joy to see Mr. Gaiman challenging himself to explore another storytelling medium, allowing the opportunity to spin us a story that might not have been able to be told in any other form.




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