Saturday, 31 May 2008

Movies that aren't

It's generally considered that The Karate Kid part 3 was a failure for two somewhat-related reasons. One, the actor was getting too old to play the part of Daniel as written. And two, it had negative character development - rather than learn and grow from his experiences in part 2, Daniel had regressed and become more whiny, rebellious, and and immature.

What if the movie instead had featured a Daniel who had graduated from college, married, and had a small baby? A young man struggling to deal with the challenges of adulthood - bills, work, things that can't be solved with fists? And yet, using the strength, discipline, and flexibility he had gained from his training to find ways to cope with these challenges. Since there would have to be some karate in the movie for the franchise, perhaps he might also be founding a dojo and trying to teach others as Miyagi-sensei taught him?

You may wonder what this has to do with gaming...

In old D&D as you became higher level, you were supposed to found a stronghold and gain followers - to become something more than just a wandering adventurer. I don't think most people bothered, mostly because it's hard to have a fun group adventure if everybody's busy running their own fiefs. But in a computer game, a story focused on just one hero can work.

Can we have a compelling experience for a hero with a family (that isn't in refrigerators)? Fighting to defend your home? Working to craft a legacy?

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