How does the film industry influence game development?
One of the benefits of the online format of gaming is that themes for the games can be taken from anywhere. Increasingly, films are being chosen to create additional content to tie-in, much in the same way that console games were released with major franchise film releases. But how do film influences affect the games themselves?
Tone and gameplay
The atmosphere and mood of the film will influence the tone and gameplay. If the film is a thriller, the game will follow this with a darker tone and more suspense throughout the plot. If it’s a lighthearted film, the game will lean towards humor more and make the peril milder.
For example, games based on horror films are more likely to encapsulate the terror felt when watching the film. Rather than waiting for the scare to happen to others, you are actively avoiding it yourself because you as the player may be vulnerable or unable to protect yourself. This adds a new layer to the genre and creates a heightened experience based on the tone of the film’s genre.
Visuals and audio
The visuals and audio make the game and help create connections to the film. They form the basis of what makes the game an extension of the film world and not just a standalone game with a loosely related theme.
But the game shouldn’t be seen as a direct story based on the film – these rarely occur. Instead, the game should be viewed as an extension that takes the theme of the film and adapts it to a new medium to tell a different story. For example, the Jumanji slot game on Genesis Casino took the visuals made famous by the game within the film and amended them.
So, the slot game doesn’t focus on the plot of the film Jumanji but takes on the essence of the world of Jumanji. This is because, in film, as well as games, a lot of its language is communicated through its visuals. The design of the character’s outfits, the framing of the shots, or even the general palette is intended to communicate something to players. This is why when a slot adapts a film’s visuals it’s able to communicate its tone so effectively, reminding you of the franchise that you’re playing.
Audience interest is also a key aspect of merging a film and game together. One of the most important reasons for doing a game based on a film is that the audience will already be there. Eager to gobble up as much as they can of some franchises, gamers will engage with the game – even those who might not have had much interest in gaming before.
This can work the other way. As Vulture shows, the games Hitman and Lara Croft show, games can spawn films. The audience is shared across both platforms and the success of both feed into one another to create an expansive franchise. Sometimes, the audience excitement from a game based on a film could see the film experience a revival. Or, in some cases the games themselves act as unofficial sequels to the film, adding new layers to the story, as Games Radar explains happened with Back to the Future and Ghostbusters.
Whether based around catching imaginary monsters, chasing wizards around town, or engaging with the latest superhero, games have used popular franchises to present to audiences an additional layer to the universe of the film. While films benefit games by giving them content, games do the same for films by keeping them relevant and perhaps even turning new audiences to the franchise.