The book was better.
With the recent news that one of my favorite writers, Neil Gaiman, author of Neverwhere and American Gods, is collaborating with The Odd Gentlemen to create his first video game it struck me as the perfect time to compile a list of others who should do the same. Being an avid reader myself, here are a few authors whom I think should be making their own video games.
Yes, yes, Neal Stephenson did recently run a successful video game Kickstarter campaign, I know. However, Clang, will be a motion controlled, technical, sword fighting game with little to no actual story.
Stephenson is a nerd’s nerd who has a deep understanding of technology and builds worlds that make it hard to comprehend how they came out of a person’s brain. Hell, he even wrote a book (Reamde) about an MMO that encouraged gold farming. The fantastic future worlds he created in Snow Crash and The Diamond Age, combined with the technical precision of something like Cryptonomicon, lead me to believe that this man simply has to write some video games. This isn’t even to mention that he is friends with Valve’s Gabe Newell in real life (who absolutely, positively, confirms Half Life 3 in this video).
I could go on all day, and all night, about Stephen King but if you read his books you know he is the master when it comes to character building and creating atmosphere. His style would make him perfect for a survival horror or adventure game. I’ll leave you with one idea, that immediately came to me when I thought of King: Telltale Games Presents Stephen King’s IT. You’re welcome.
Stirling’s The Change (sometimes called Emberverse) series (go buy Dies The Fire, you’ll thank me), a post-apocalyptic epic that morphs into a pseudo-fantasy series somewhere along the way would make a fantastic open world RPG or even an MMO. Stirling is a master world builder and a game based on this series could easily rival something like Skyrim in scope, and likely trump it in depth.
Gibson is the father of cyberpunk and his book, Neuromancer, will blow you away with its eerie predictions of future tech considering it was published in 1984. A game set in a dystopian future, along the lines of Watch Dogs or Remember Me, written by Gibson would surely take us to depths we haven’t yet been in a video game.
Abercrombie has set a new standard for fantasy books with his The First Law series, and introduced us to some of the best characters in the genre in The Blade Itself. I’m picturing him teamed up with CD Projekt Red to head up something in the style of The Witcher, but filled with his characters.
If Gibson is the father of Cyberpunk, Williams is the heir to his throne. His Otherland series is a stirring examination of the future of the internet and his fantasy novels aren’t half bad either. Now, before you get in my face about it, I know that an Otherland MMO has been in the works for a few years but developer, RealU, folded in late 2012 so the fate of the game is way up in the air. Time for Tad jump in and right the ship or, better yet, get started on an original game.
George R.R. Martin
Game of Thrones is a media juggernaut succeeding as a book series and more recently as a TV Series on HBO. There has been a Game of Thrones video game, but it was… sub-par, we’ll say. I really think Martin should be writing his own, original, games especially considering we know he’s a gamer. That is, if he isn’t too busy killing Starks.
Surely I’ve left out your favorite author, so why not let me know who I’ve missed in the comments.