Interview: curtain opens on The Movies
10th Dec 2003 | 14:47
Wadda ya mean, what's The Movies? Where have you been for the last six months? Ah, that rock-sized indentation on your forehead speaks more than words. So, just to recap for the sake of those who have been giving large stones some loving, The Movies is Lionhead Studios' Hollywood movie sim game that allows players to manage their own film studio, create their own killer flicks and engage with the stroppy stars of Tinseltown and the like.
Putting himself forward for interrogation and subsequently revealing more about this refreshing title following a few discreet prods is Adrian Moore, project head on The Movies.
Lights, camera, and... action!
Some people find it very difficult to understand what The Movies is all about. Can you help them by telling the vision of the game and talk a bit about its features?
Moore: The game is very simple, an original idea by Peter Molyneux - you get to run your own Hollywood movie studio. The game can really be divided into three main areas - designing your movie studio, forging the careers of movie stars, and making movies.
It is possible to focus on any of those areas that most appeal to you, and spend less time on the others. The game plays through from the birth of cinema to the present day and a little way into the future, with all the technology and historical advances that occur along that timeline.
The really, really cool thing about the movie-making part is that the movies themselves can be watched once they are made! We're finding it's incredibly fun making movies - something no other game has allowed you to do. Throw some actors into some costumes, put them on sets, pick some scenes for them to act out and watch them go.
The end results can be fascinating and hilarious - it is possible once the movie is made to add your own voice and text and music, really personalising each movie you make. The movies can then be uploaded to a website for all to see!
How customisable will talent (actors, directors, screenwriters, etc.) be in this game? Can gamers have portraits, bios and more for their stars and crew?
Moore: The actors and directors are very customisable - they can be put in different outfits, be given plastic surgery, and have makeup applied. As their careers progress their biographies change, reflecting their movie triumphs and failures.
They form relationships, and each have their own history of behaviour in terms of getting caught in the press being drunk, picking fights, or hitting on the opposite sex.
Can you tell us something more about the missions and scenarios in the game - that is of course if there are any? How will this work and what can we expect?
Moore: Different characters approach you, offering you challenges, such as a mobster asking you to cast his (talentless) wife in a movie. If you accept, he may repay you with having a word with the taxman and getting you off paying tax for a year, in return for suffering the terrible acting abilities of his girl. If you don't accept his offer, he won't be happy and may never approach you again."
How will you support the mod community for this game?
Moore: The game has been designed to be mod-able from the very start, and we are thinking of releasing the actual tools we used to create scenes shortly after the release of the game. We want people to be creating their own content and sharing it.
Will there be significant differences between the console and PC versions?
Moore: The number one difference is the interface. Beyond that, the games are basically the same. Both versions allow quick play - jump in, make a quick movie, jump out again - or a more absorbing experience, getting really involved in the details of your movies, the design of your studio lot, and the appearances, welfare and career of your movie stars.
Is there anything more we should know about The Movies?
Moore: You would not believe how fun this game is. There is no other game that allows you to create your own movies and run your own movie studio - and I'm not just saying that because I'm on the team. I lie awake at night with excitement sometimes thinking about the next movie I'm going to make.