Tribeca Talks: From Film to Game


Tonight I went to an interesting panel discussion about writing stories for video games and film. The conversation focused on the possibility of bringing some of the strengths of video game writing, such as interactivity and choice, into film and television writing. Along with their other projects, the panel members are working on interactive projects with the company Interlude. Ken Levine is working on a new interactive Twilight Zone, and Sam Barlow is working on an interactive project based on the WarGames film (Will Gluck didn’t give specific details about his project).


From left to right: Filmmaker Will Gluck, video game director Sam Barlow (Her Story and Silent Hill games), cofounder of Irrational Games Ken Levine (BioShock), and moderator Jason Tanz (Wired) at Tribeca’s Film to Game panel.

Before working with Interlude, Will Gluck discussed looking at doing interactive projects at a number of places such as Amazon or Netflix. However, he said they weren’t sure about the technology involved in interactive projects.

Interactivity is key to video game writing, and player choices and branching narrative are also commonly used. However, these techniques have not been used often in television or film. One of the panel members mentioned the movie Clue as one film that did use it. He also said that oftentimes when it is done in movies or television, it is not done well. The panel members hope to change that with their new projects. I look forward to seeing how their projects turn out!

2 thoughts on “Tribeca Talks: From Film to Game

  1. I was trying to think of an interactive movie but couldn’t come up with one, and then you mentioned “Clue.” A fun movie with the inimitable Tim Curry. It will be interesting to see if films or television can successfully employ interactive techniques. More difficult than with games, it seems to me.


  2. There are now virtual dress store “try it on” programs. So you can see what you will look like in the dress etc. If “Movies” were more like video games in the back end that kind of tech could be used to make the viewer the star of the show. Gimmicky but could happen.

    Now some sections of games are really movies triggered by getting to a point in the game play. Movies could evolve into mostly stored clips and make some actions by the viewer impact the outcome of the show. Brave new world.


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