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  • Writer's pictureCraig Norris

Level Up: Exploring the World of Video Game Adaptations

Episode 55 - With host Craig Norris, and co-host Taylor Lidstone.

First Broadcast on Edge Radio, Friday 24 November 2023.


We explore the world of video game adaptations and examine both successful and unsuccessful examples in the industry. We'll analyse a fascinating paper titled 'From Multimodal Storytelling to Polymorphic Fictions: Beyond Multimedia and Narratology' by Christy Dena. We'll apply this to two video game adaptations: the latest Walking Dead game and Scarface: The World is Yours. We'll discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these games and how they have contributed to arguments around storytelling in the gaming industry.

But wait, there's more! We'll look at the latest news, including a story claiming that Aardman Animation, the creator of Wallace & Gromit, is almost out of clay. And if that's not enough to pique your interest, we'll also take a look at how players of Spider-Man 2 are ridiculing MJ's 'Trash' podcast setup. So sit back, relax, and get ready for an action-packed episode filled with analysis, insights, and exciting news from the world of video games and animation!


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Transcript

This is an AI-generated transcript of the audio and it may contain errors. We may update or correct this transcript in the future. Please contact us if you have any questions about the information in this transcript. The audio is the official record of this episode.


CRAIG NORRIS

Alright, welcome to media. Another ship broadcasting out of Edge Radio Studios here in Nepal, Luna Hobart TAS. We're streaming, of course, on edgeradio.org dot AU as well as YouTube and Twitch for this programme. And you can find us by just searching media and mothership. Feel free to message us on the chat. Via 04. 88811706. Even or you can send this message on the chat at YouTube or Twitch. As always on media mothership, we explore how media can shape our understanding of the world around us. Bizarre curiosities and things that it does so sit back. Enjoy as we dive into today's topic. Which is looking at. Video game adaptations adaptations. Transmedia storytelling. That have gone well and bad at the moment there's there's two really interesting stories circulating about that. So keep listening to media mothership here on Edge Radio 99.3 FM. Welcome back. To media mothership short break. So as I mentioned, two really interesting stories circulating at the moment around video game adaptations. The first one is what I mentioned in the last week's show, which is how dead by daylight. The horror video game has really effectively created these original characters that you fight against as well as these property characters. So Michael Myers from the Halloween movies, Freddy Krueger from Nightmare on Elm Street. And so forth. So I want to look a little bit at that as well as the harsh critical kind of reaction to. The Walking Dead series, which has received a huge amount of complaints as really failing to effectively do that movie justice so Kotaku recently featured an article talking about. Now the new walking Walking Dead. Sorry, the new Walking Dead game doesn't look very good and. Probably not going to win any game of the year awards, the article goes on to say so this is my Zach Zuisen who talks about. The video game that's based on the popular TV show and comic book series The Walking Dead, they've released a console version for it. Now The Walking Dead has had a couple of spin offs in video games, Telltale Games Walking Dead series has received a lot of positive critical reaction. Say that it really effectively takes those ideas, and in terms of. Adaptation or adapting network for other mediums? What the Telltale Games version of Walking Dead did really well was that it's what's referred to as well. Extending that story into another platform. What Henry Jenkins and others would say is transmedia. That is, it's going from its mothership media which. And this point was a comic book that then was adapted. So that's, you know, in terms of models that we're looking at 2 dominant models we're looking at here, one is adaptation, where you're just adapting the work. Into a new medium. So in that sense, you're for walking The Walking Dead series. It began life as a comic book, and then it was adapted into a TV show that was quite successful. And then there was a. A video game by Telltale Games welcome Lord Taylor. Your game by Telltale Games, which was transmedia because what it did is it took the story from The Walking. Ned and then did these what ifs, you know? So what if you looked at a different survivor at the same time, maybe you played The Walking Dead Telltale Games. Sorry, I'll tell you Mike on you know.

Speaker 4

Your opinion does.

CRAIG NORRIS

Matter wasn't silencing it by turning your mic off.

TAYLOR LIDSTONE

These are like the story driven ones.

CRAIG NORRIS

That's right. Yeah. Yeah. More kind of classic RPG story wheel pops up. You got a couple of choices and yeah.

TAYLOR LIDSTONE

Ah, no, no, no, no. But I have played a Walking Dead game in. VR. Ohh really right.

CRAIG NORRIS

Yeah. OK. So what we're doing in today's show? Is we're looking at two stories. That are looking at. Adaption. Adapting work which I prefer to yeah. Would you use the word adaptation? This is an interesting adaptation, yes.

TAYLOR LIDSTONE

OK.

CRAIG NORRIS

Yeah, some reason I was getting confused or and adapting an adaptation. Thinking, oh, you know I. Am I talk about the same thing I am? Yeah, that's why so used to having someone else on the show. So the VR game, is it an adaption? So does it just retell the story like the video game, the comic book?

Speaker 4

Or the TV show.

CRAIG NORRIS

Or is it transmedia which fills in some new content? Sorry.

TAYLOR LIDSTONE

I'm fairly sure it's it's a transmedia one. I haven't watched all The Walking Dead, but I think it's yeah, it's a a different story completely. It was so scary. I got so freaked out during it that I returned it.

CRAIG NORRIS

Ohh right, so you got it from like the Steam store and you can return it if you've only played X number of minutes.

TAYLOR LIDSTONE

No, the what's it called? The meta store.

CRAIG NORRIS

Ohh really they have a similar refund policy that. Wow. OK that's really interesting because one of the things there's another key term if I bring up my lecture notes, today's lecture, turning it into a. Picture one of the interesting things about yes, one of the interesting other terms I wanted to mention was. Uh, I think I've written it down. Poly Polysemic storytelling, the idea that then there's two different concepts within. The the story, one of which is kind of intertextual yeah, so inter compositional, transmedia and intra compositional transmedia controlled examples. We're looking at so.

TAYLOR LIDSTONE

Alright, OK. Yeah.

CRAIG NORRIS

Oh yeah. Yeah. So because what we're looking at here is alright, so. Polymorphic fiction I just got 3 keywords out. I'm not gonna barely define them. Dana 2010 uses this term polymorphic fiction to talk about where a when you adapt to work or turn something into transmedia and you're mainly paying attention to what that platform does really well. So that you can lean into that platform to create the story, right? So yeah, you know you you want to tell a story, but you don't have any budget. So you created as a comic book because you know you can do a science fiction alien invasion thing with 0. Legit because you can draw really long. See there you're leaning into the properties of a comic book which serves that really well, which is that you don't need to make models, you don't need to do CG. You don't spend all this money. You can. Just write as a comic book. Then maybe that becomes very successful. And then with that money, you can then lean into another platform like, you know, an animation again. Right or in? This case what I'm interested in in terms of leveraging the strengths of the platform is VR, right? So we have a Horror Story Walking Dead, which is basically a zombie outbreak. Occurs and you're with a group of survivors. And you know, it's the classic zombies, the the, the mainly shufflers, slow moving zombies, right. But what's really interesting is, yes, setting it in VR. And taking advantage of this, which is what was it about trends leading The Walking Dead series into VR that works so well for you, I mean in terms of like it was so scary, you returned it that you couldn't play.

TAYLOR LIDSTONE

It, which is counter. Yeah. Yeah. Which is kind of productive to what they want. Really. Yeah. It's just the fact of that so well. Via is one of the most immersive sort of medias that you can have, because there's things all around you and when you're attention is One Direction, there's still stuff going on. Behind you.

CRAIG NORRIS

So is it the sound that was getting to you? What was really getting to you within that VR space? Was it? That's perfect. That sound effect is the they're the kind of walkers. Yeah, sound effect. I wonder if I can. Anyway, you did it. So I didn't. Even need to bring. Up a YouTube robot, right? So you know the soundscape and again via. And nurses you. So you've got the headset. On and within that, you're kind of seeing visuals as you will from your periphery, and then it was that sound that was. Escalating the heart.

TAYLOR LIDSTONE

Rate, but it's also this thing of as well which I found with a lot of sort of role playing video games and that is when things come at you. I think for a lot of people, if if it's like realistic enough, it might trigger, you know, fight or flight responses in people to have something that's like large coming at you and things like that, like even when I'm playing Skyrim VR and there's a wolf that's running at you, it's still.

Speaker 4

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

TAYLOR LIDSTONE

He still says, oh God. Oh, and then just swing at it.

CRAIG NORRIS

And look, you know that that's it's it's. Yeah, this reminds me of those stories of the first silent films that were. Shown in kind. Of Expos, where people allegedly the the one of those, those films that were they, would show in these expositions or Expos would be a train coming towards the camera which people reacted to as physically running away from in terms of thinking, Oh my God, it's a real train or something. So similar, yeah.

TAYLOR LIDSTONE

Yeah, yeah.

CRAIG NORRIS

I mean it it.

TAYLOR LIDSTONE

And then, of course, the the goodies played on that and they had a a film clip of a car coming towards the.

CRAIG NORRIS

Camera train in a.

TAYLOR LIDSTONE

Day and then it doesn't burst through the screen.

CRAIG NORRIS

Alright, So what I wanna play for. You now. So this is there's. A new Walking Dead game that's come. And it's getting trashed on like there's an article in Kotaku talking about how it's really failing.

TAYLOR LIDSTONE

Right.

CRAIG NORRIS

Mainly because it's it's an adaptation, right? So it's taking the first season from what I can understand and assume we're gonna have a look at is it's have you seen The Walking Dead TV?

TAYLOR LIDSTONE

Show I have. Well at least the 1st.

CRAIG NORRIS

Season. Yeah. So it's the the big scene. I think it's in the first season where you have Shane. And Rick's facing off against each other where and again smaller, but it's been a long time. Rick kills Shane, right in this scene because. Shane, from what I remember, what he wants to take over the group. Yeah. And basically he's competing with Rick and his.

Speaker 6

Break, break, break.

CRAIG NORRIS

You know, all this drawing behind the scenes where?

TAYLOR LIDSTONE

He took his wife and things, et cetera.

CRAIG NORRIS

So it's really dramatic, great storytelling. Now that scene happens in the video game, but the thing about the video game is that they do it. As a boss fight. Right. So what happens is there's a cut scene. I'll play a bit of the cut scene where the two voice actors kind of. Read some of that dialogue from the TV show and then then. Basically it's a boss fight with like GTA, right? You've got guns and you're a shotgun and you're you're shooting each other constantly. Right. You've got a lot. You got a big health metre and you've got freezers you can just. We're going to listen to that. I mean you you weren't unfortunately see the visuals, but you know you can tell me if it makes sense with all the only so.

Speaker

OK, sure.

CRAIG NORRIS

There we go. And you can decide if you've seen The Walking Dead, if this makes sense to you, what is? It's what you're hearing making you. Think Oh yeah. Yeah, this is taking your eyes for a video game and seems to be translating this into a really effective experience. All right, so here we go.

Speaker 6

So this is where you plan to do it.

Speaker 7

As good a place as any. It ain't gonna be easy, but Lori will get over you. They've done it before.

Speaker 6

They're just going to have to. You're going to kill me in cold blood. Take my place so you can screw my wife. Have my children. March call you Daddy. So too.

Speaker 7

I'm a better father than you, Rick. I'm better for Lori than you, man. Cause I'm a better man than you, Rick. Cause I'd fight for. Raise your gun. I won't.

Speaker 6

You're going to have to shoot an unarmed man. Now listen to me. Shane, there is still a way back from this. Nothing has happened here. We're going to lay down. Our guns.

Speaker 1

We're going to walk back to the.

Speaker 6

Farm together back to Lory. Put this all behind us.

Speaker 7

This only ends one way. Only one of us is going back to that farm.

CRAIG NORRIS

All right, that's the cut scene. So now we're going to play the actual GTA help boss fight. You do? How did that go, though? Do you? Do you think that kind of? I mean, it's a pretty. Long cut scene. Was it was it work? Did it work? So far you think you OK?

TAYLOR LIDSTONE

Well, yeah. At the moment I want to lay down my.

CRAIG NORRIS

That's building up blank. It was. Gun lay down. Lay down my gun, and we're gonna go back to the farm. Yeah. So it seems you know, it's good. It's basically a straight adaptation. Yeah. This is where it kind of goes weird for people. And we'll try to see how. The power of audio. Because basically it takes a really dramatic scene in the TV show where I can't even how does he shoot him? Like it he just.

TAYLOR LIDSTONE

How does that like?

CRAIG NORRIS

It's really dramatic and it's really a lot of pathos because Rick's killing his best friend and police force and yeah, anyway, it doesn't play out as a shooting spree as the game. Anyway, let's listen to it. All right, so you got to decide here if Rick should lead or Shane should lead. You're playing as Shane, so you've selected Shane should lead.

Speaker 6

Sorry brother.

CRAIG NORRIS

All right, so a bit more recut, see.

Speaker 4

Here we haven't yet got.

CRAIG NORRIS

Into the the fire we've just seen some cutscene.

Speaker 7

We were doing just fine without you. Then you come back and just destroy everything.

CRAIG NORRIS

All right, here we go. Here's the game.

Speaker 4

That's that music.

CRAIG NORRIS

Basically, imagine GTA, so it's third person view. You're picking up ammo around these emails. You have a shotgun and you're shooting continually, just teaching.

Speaker 7

You're out of your mind changed.

Speaker 4

There was three shots to Rick's head was fine.

CRAIG NORRIS

So as you can see, Rick's, I mean Rick's pretty strong, there's a health near Ricks at half health now you've.

Speaker 7

For it moves.

Speaker 4

Picked up a crowbar.

CRAIG NORRIS

Rick pushes you back. You got your crowbar.

Speaker 4

Taken two shots. Three shots. Wow. Four shots.

Speaker 7

Rick. But then.

Speaker 4

Music. Just keeping you going. You're adrenaline going.

Speaker 7

Don't let it get you.

Speaker 4

Stay sharp shoulders, so there's good dialogue. This for a long time.

CRAIG NORRIS

Doesn't have to be this way so.

Speaker 7

You think you can take our family, our family?

Speaker 4

That was four more.

Speaker 7

These are all heating. They're weak crack. Not really.

Speaker 4

Yeah, he's pretty strong.

Speaker 7

Don't make me sushi. Say.

CRAIG NORRIS

Rick said like 10% health time.

Speaker 4

Ohh, you got him. So now you've got him after.

Speaker 7

Sorry, Rick. It has to be this way.

CRAIG NORRIS

And you go to bus fight level. Who now bricks back full health. OK, so now to do it now. Rick's got full health again and you've only got crowbars now, so it's all Nelly.

Speaker 6

Ohh right. If you're gonna win, reach to do it.

CRAIG NORRIS

And then there's these.

Speaker 7

Are you?

CRAIG NORRIS

The zombies that are trying. To attack you.

Speaker 7

Look at this.

CRAIG NORRIS

Look at yourself for what you've become.

Speaker 6

So it's, it's not you've always been.

Speaker 8

Got it.

Speaker 7

I'm not done just yet, this is this is what a man does, right?

Speaker 4

It's interesting audio escape. Hmm.

Speaker 7

Get off of. Me cause it's.

CRAIG NORRIS

A fight that you're doing like GTA level fight. But you've got this audio, yeah. No. OK. Then we're going into boss fight three. Right.

Speaker 7

This is this is no not me.

CRAIG NORRIS

Another cut scene and you kill Rick. All right, so.

Speaker 4

There we go.

CRAIG NORRIS

There we go. How did that stand up in audio? Two, did you think kind of thing? This got some of that Walking Dead scene quite right. And some of it not quite right.

TAYLOR LIDSTONE

No, it didn't get it right because a big part about The Walking Dead wall, especially season one, was how good the music and soundscape was. And there was only one sort of good aspect that I thought of in, in that and that was. During the first cut scene and it had the what's it called the strings going? That's one of my favourite sort of sound effects is creepy strings. And then when the actual music started, it didn't fit. What I assume to be happening on screen?

CRAIG NORRIS

No. Yeah, it was like it was, like kind of typical shooter, boss game kind of adrenaline.

Speaker 6

Your suspense music.

Speaker 8

On a loop.

CRAIG NORRIS

Forever. And you just kind of keep and you think, why is my heartbeat going? So so, so much and it's. Cause of that damn loop? Yeah. Yeah. Ohh. So yeah, yeah, it it's pretty cliched. And yeah again given. The huge fan base that the first season, certainly in the second season. Has for Walking Dead it many people are kind of complaining that.

Speaker 4

What? What's going on? Why are we getting this?

CRAIG NORRIS

Game. Why is it so bad? How is it unable to translate the source material so well? Because for a long time, yeah, video games would constantly be criticised for not being not not being good at adaptations at all. Of the source material. You know, I guess the classics. So I write down a list of some of the classic kind of games that are considered to be bad, right? They're the the big one being in 1982, the ET extraterrestrial game which came out and, you know, so the story goes, led to the collapse of the.

TAYLOR LIDSTONE

OK.

CRAIG NORRIS

American and Western console gaming market for 10 years, until Japan came with Nintendo. And and anything was bad, right? I mean it's. It's from 1982. I mean, many people point to the problem with ET. Was that occurred with? A short development cycle, right? So they needed to rush it through for the Christmas market. It wasn't really effectively play tested. It wasn't a a good game in terms of the challenges ET would fall in this hole and it would take you forever to. Get out of the hole. And so it was this kind of shovel wear. Vibe where it. Was just pushed out. But because of course ET there was a Spielberg movie and there was a lot of promotion behind it. Yeah, many retailers over invested in stock and when it bombed and when people returned it after Christmas or were a word of mouth kind of really trashed it. Retailers were left with all these unsold copies and they had so many unsold copies. But it wasn't just ET. The same thing was happening across so many different games. Publishers at this point where they were just pushing out, overpriced. Undercooked underdeveloped products and yeah, it led to an over saturated market that was charging way too much and it fell over. And that's one of my favourite documentaries, which was the ET archival dig in like the Arizona desert, which you read this where there was this. Yeah, the legend, the urban legend. True legend that yeah.

TAYLOR LIDSTONE

You can dig down in a dump far enough until. You reach ET.

CRAIG NORRIS

Yeah, cause retailers, well, they've, they've. All been returned to a. Hari and so Atari was sitting on this mountain of or returned it. He games and wanted, and they allegedly dumped them all in this one big landfill. And and I think it's Arizona or Texas or somewhere. And so maybe 10 years ago they went back in there and they did this archival thing. There's YouTube and this little documentary about what's. Great about it is. They're digging through the land tip and they're talking about getting closer because, like, they got a Barbie head, like, oh, this is like, 85. And it's Barbie. We're getting closer. And it's just like, as they talk about dinosaur remains. Alright, we're hitting the Jurassic strata now. And they they did. Yeah, they did find some, some, some cartridges of ET so. But again, it's yeah considered one of these classic bombs of of video games, but I want to change tack and and play a little bit from actually. What I want to do? Is is play a little clip from what I consider one of my favourite. Video adaptations, which is the Scarface video game PlayStation 2. 12 years ago. And and I like it because. Have you watched Scarface, the Al Pacino movie, right? It ends. Unproblematically as as the end, right? The main character, Tony Montana dies. He's killed and basically it's it's a it's a cautionary tale, right. It's it's Tony Montana plays this rags to riches story as he goes up the Miami. Crime scene and yeah, he's a violent. Horrible guy, basic. And he's killed at the end in this apex of cocaine, and he's has that classic line. Say hello to my little friend as he shoots his like grenade launch machine gun. So yeah, it's a classic game, but a classic movie. But considered to be unproblematically cautionary as to how power corrupts. Video game, however, rewrites it and says, you know, we're we're doing the video game from just before 20 Montana dies. But.

TAYLOR LIDSTONE

You doesn't actually die.

CRAIG NORRIS

You survive, you. Kill everyone and you go on in your drug kingpin. So there's an interview. Here with the director, I want to play a little bit of it as he talks about the challenges of making adaptation games and why he thinks Scarface works and I'd be interested to hear your views as to whether or not you think his theory on how his works. It's interesting because this game, this, this company has also done. Another PlayStation two game which is considered to be a great remake called the Thing based on John Carpenter's the. Thing which has this kind of traitor mechanic in it. This kind of suspense trader mechanic, which works quite well. Here we go. This is the interview. IGN 12 years ago on the the game Scarface.

Speaker 8

We've done a a lot of movie based games and prior to doing Scarface, the world is yours. You know, we did the thing in chronicles, Riddick escape from Butcher Bay and I think every time you're starting out with a movie based game, you know, you sort of start out with one arm tied behind your back because there's just a perception that movie based games suck and you know, look, I mean, the reason why I like working on movie based games and.

Speaker 5

You shouldn't say. It's bad for your skin. No. I run a counsellor to my job.

Speaker 8

That's pretty much all we've done in the last.

Speaker 5

OK.

Speaker 8

Six years is because you know it's a challenge to us that we view, you know, adapting games from other mediums as a challenge and a fun challenge. And we're really lucky to work with Universal who, you know, whether it was a thing or whether.

Speaker 5

But you've got to go. You know, you should work for me in Miami, have a much nicer place than this.

Speaker

You should say.

CRAIG NORRIS

There's gunfire in the background. It's not that he's doing the interview. You know, walk scene. It's just that. For wonderful reasons, Iggins decided to play video clips from the game in the background and not mute the volume so so frustratingly, it gets in the way of actually hearing what he says. Well, we'll push on, but yes, you'll you'll hear a lot of gunfire and explosions. That's simply, you know, and again, Scarface, if you've not played it. Basically it's a. It's a Grand Theft Auto clone, so think of San Andreas level graphics and basically saying. You you're you're you're. Stealing cars. You're killing people and you got a health metre and so forth. Third person. Anyway, going back to the game designer for Scarface.

Speaker 8

Or Scarface will always allow us to take risks and chances to create better games. Yeah, I mean, I think one of the important things for us when doing Scarface as an open world game is that not only do we have all the locations, you know, if there's a. Location from the. Film it's in the game, whether it be you know, the mansion. Or, you know, the Coconut Grove Outdoor bar area or the Babylon Club or the Sun Ray Motel or Sosis mansion. And that list goes on and on and on. Not only do you get to go and see those places, but you understand the relationship, the distance between one another and so.

CRAIG NORRIS

It's quite an interesting point because I know people. Talked about one of The Simpsons games, the hit and run game, something like that. They said it's the only video game or it's the only text which actually mapped out the location of all the spots in The Simpsons universe. That was one of the first times that you had the map of where everything was in the.

TAYLOR LIDSTONE

Oh yeah.

CRAIG NORRIS

Absence by this game, so it's interesting. He's making the point of talking about how important locations are getting to locations going to those being able to search around them. And it is quite fun. You know, there's there's trying to remember some games I've played where where you. Just go to. Get to go into that location. Where where the the movie was set and your character.

Speaker 8

By seeding all of those location based stuff and then adding all of these characters that are also from the film or referenced from the film, we're allowed to create a new, different extension of that Scarface universe.

CRAIG NORRIS

So the extension. So what we've got? Is the locations. The locations, key characters, but it's set immediately after the movie, so you get to extend that story and the the trick is whether or not they're doing it effectively, right? So as opposed to, I guess The Walking Dead 1. Yeah, all they did like and, and I guess talking about how video games can be a great medium in The Walking Dead example that failed because it turned that scene into a boss fight, which was unrealistic and repetitive. And the music scoring was unoriginal. So it it used video game. Important video game qualities you know, the boss fight is a classic. You know, a two person, Fighter, Street Fighter kind of mechanic. And and you know so many video games have that, boss. Fight moment but. It it turned a scene which isn't really a boss fight. To begin with. Yeah, it is a boss fight. On one level. I mean, you literally have. Someone trying to be the boss of that community, Shane, and then Rick has to kill her. But Rick isn't really killing another boss. It's it's a act of pathos and tragedy and sadness. And yeah, in the in the game, it doesn't quite work that because you're you're you're using 20 shotgun shells. Killing this OP. Anyway, let's listen to what they say about Scarface.

Speaker 8

You know, Tony says. All I have in this world are my balls. In my word. I don't break them for now. And so we took that idea of, you know, intestinal fortitude and. The more you know. Strategic you are in terms of how you shoot and use combat. The more balls you get when your balls metre is full, you're allowed to go into blind rage. And what?

CRAIG NORRIS

So OK, so uses a quote from the family says all I've got in the world is my balls and my honour, I think is. And so the game designers then say, OK, so we we focused in on the idea of intestinal fortitude, EG balls, and you get points in the game. So as you kill people, you have this metre on your, on the display, called your balls metre, which you get increasing. Amounts of and as you raise that bulls percentage. So you you've just killed someone that's plus 66 balls. Pops up on. Screen and so your your balls gives up 66 and once you get it to the Max you can then go into blind rage mode which kind of replicates in the movie. Yeah, there are scenes where Tony gets completely cooked out of his head and just starts. Can we people take some shots but is impervious to those shots? Because of the drugs. Here they translate that. Movie narrative into a video game kind of skill metre or resource metre that then you can use well, it's kind of cute, I think. OK, let's keep listening to how he talks about the balls metre.

Speaker 8

The more balls you get when your balls metre is full, you're allowed to go into blind rage. And what we do in blind rage is it's it was it. It came from that idea of Tony's on the top of the the balcony at the last scene, he's all coked up. He's ******* ****** ***. He's shooting everybody that blind rage. Of just cheer and like, he's unstoppable, he's getting hit by bullets and nothing. Stops him and we wanted to put that into the game as a major gameplay element, not just as a little niche thing, but as a major component. So when the player finally builds his balls up, goes in the blind rage, several things happen. One we jump into first person. That's a drastic change for most open world games. In addition to that, we make the player completely invulnerable. We give him unlimited ammunition with whatever gun he's holding at the time, and then we allow the player to shoot people and gain health for each person they kill. I think one of the things that when you're looking at this big open world, it's got.

CRAIG NORRIS

UM. I like the effort they're making, you know, points for effort in terms of the most memorable part of that movie, for many people is that that sin that he describes there, the sin in the balcony where he is facing instrumental odds and he's just ordered this huge amount of cocaine and then he bursts out of his kind of headquarter. And and and start shooting people. So they've taken that idea. They've turned it into a mechanic of, you know, as you kill people. You get your. Balls metre up you. You triggered this kind of state of mind that Tony's in at the end where you've you've got unlimited ammo, unlimited health. I think first person view. And you get health points. Ohh no, you're not unlimited health, you get health points back from killing people. You know, I there's something distasteful about it, you know, and I think more than distasteful. There's something which is. Directly contradictory of the source text, which is that it's a cautionary tale where we're not actually wanting to set he's he's not even anti anti hero he's he's a villain. Yeah right. Tony soprano. Sorry, Scarface. Tony. Scarface is. Is A is a villain? Yeah, right. He's a deeply, deeply flawed person. Whose hubris and greed and paranoia are his downfall at the end.

TAYLOR LIDSTONE

Which is funny, because if you place it against the blacklist where you've got the main character of that, who is a villain. Also portrayed as the good guy, even though like there's no cautionary tale, even though everything that he does is incredibly violent, incredibly horrible, and facilitates drugs, and all of this stuff and killings and stuff like that. And yet there's no cautionary tale there.

CRAIG NORRIS

Except I think it can be difficult for people to unpack what a what a main character is when they're not a good person or not even a main character a A well, I guess you've got your kind of Walter White character who.

TAYLOR LIDSTONE

But Walter White, I haven't. I haven't seen it. But from what I've what I've read about it, he always has good intentions. Or or there's some sort of intention behind that. Yeah.

CRAIG NORRIS

Initially, initially his his initial reason for becoming a again, a drug Lord is because he is, he's made poor choices. I would say in life and has found. Himself in a dead end job as a teacher and, you know, poorly remunerated and struggling to take care of his family. And he has a cancer diagnosis, which it seems to be terminal and about to expire his life. And so then he decides he needs money quickly for his family to survive. So, you know. Yeah, good. Good cause for the wrong reasons kind of thing or whatever it is. You know it. So. Yeah. But then then he quickly descends into a evil. Kind of character. Where he he's given opportunities of redemption or given opportunities to make the right choice. And doesn't and that's.

TAYLOR LIDSTONE

Right. OK. Yeah.

CRAIG NORRIS

Death and disaster to occur and becomes villainous, so not even an anti hero, which I think is the. There's an article 2-3 weeks back about how some fans of the boys superhero series again comic book series made into a prime TV show which lampoons and parodies and satires satirises the superhero narrative where you've got a Superman. Character completely obeyed superhero character, who basically is a right wing. Immature, you know, overly hubristic person, right? Who who has no self control and you're not meant to like them. There's nothing heroic about them, but they're trappings, the way the way. The satire of it is, is that they're presented through the media as as Captain America. Yeah, but people are missing that satire and and seeing him claiming that this character is an anti hero. They're saying no no he's he's a he's an anti hero, right? Just wanting to still shroud him as a heroic character. But say you're no, no no no. The anti hero of. This is is is doing things that that are challenging the normal order. And yes, while while their means are wrong, their ends are justified right, their means are bad. Like to punish a character for instance, has his means of violence, right, they'll they'll be involved. The death of people. But the the idea whether they justify the ends right, they're the bad people that he's. Killing. So they're trying.

TAYLOR LIDSTONE

Yeah, yeah.

CRAIG NORRIS

To say the same thing, but no, no, no. The the the Homeland account. His ends? Not heroic. He's not trying to do anything good. He's purely serving his own ego. He is an, you know, unproblematic, you know, fascist type character. And they're not. They're mystifying. What the antihero is so similar here. I mean Tony from Scarface is not an anti hero because he's. The ends that he's doing are not at all in any way positive, right? Building up a drug empire, becoming rich and successful. Those might be desirable ends.

TAYLOR LIDSTONE

But when it comes to pro being a protagonist, yeah, he's still the protagonist. But he's still.

Speaker

Oh yeah, yeah.

CRAIG NORRIS

Yeah, because the antagonists here are the. Other crime bosses and crime bosses? Crime. Buses as well as the antagonist being the police force, right? They are stopping our main character, the protagonist Tony and Scarface getting what he wants, which is to be. A drug Lord. Yeah. I mean and again, you know your your main character. Doesn't need to. Be a positive character and this, it's Scarface, is a great example of that. The main character. Is is not a hero. He's a villain. He's a very, very memorable villain. He's not an anti hero though. There's nothing at all heroic about him. So. This awkward we're talking about the video game version of it, which then further takes the logic of that yeah, further and says, you know, well, no, you're playing as Tony Soprano.

TAYLOR LIDSTONE

It's really intense.

CRAIG NORRIS

Tony scarfing.

Speaker 6

It's the same genre.

TAYLOR LIDSTONE

That's Tony Montana.

CRAIG NORRIS

Tony Montana. That's it. And and you're killing people, but you're getting kind of these rewards. Again, you know, I I take it back to that point I said last week about the taxi driving kid that was playing GTR that there's there's GTR, GTA, there's the game.

TAYLOR LIDSTONE

Mechanics Grand Theft Auto.

CRAIG NORRIS

Grand Theft what's an R thing? That you can steal. Grand Theft recorder. Anyway, you know the the the point about the taxi mission is that the kid was playing it violently killing or, you know, injuring pedestrians. But he was doing it in a way to Min Max finishing the mission. So in this game you can fall in love with the mechanics. Right. The balls me to the first person shoot of you. Vicariously, I suppose, enjoy the wishful ferment fantasy of the death and destruction that you're unleashing.

TAYLOR LIDSTONE

Saying a lot about Ukraine.

CRAIG NORRIS

Yeah, yeah, I'm thinking about 455. Yeah, maybe. Maybe I should leave myself in the hole 5. Minutes the hour.

TAYLOR LIDSTONE

OK, sure. Yeah, yeah.

CRAIG NORRIS

Well, I haven't yet got around, so this will be part one of my analysis of video game adaptions. Next week we'll be looking at the thing I wanted to look at 2 weeks ago and today, which was the dead by Daylight Series and their approach.

TAYLOR LIDSTONE

Yeah, yeah.

CRAIG NORRIS

OK, so homework for next week's show will be reading Henry Jenkins, 2011 transmedia theory. Right. So you can you can read his book Spreadable Media. It's really good.

Speaker

Come on.

CRAIG NORRIS

I'll put show nights with the reading list on. The YouTube page. Two other quick stories. OK, before I bump into K pop unlimited first one is admin animations is running out of its. Iconic clay. Clay. Clay.

TAYLOR LIDSTONE

Yeah. You. You. Yeah. You sent me the show notes, and yeah, this is horrific news.

CRAIG NORRIS

Yeah. So what's happened is that there's a very, very specific special type of clay that admin animations use admin animations famous for Wallace and grommet of course, as well as many, many other films. From admin animations.

TAYLOR LIDSTONE

Pirates band of Misfits, that's one. Of the best.

CRAIG NORRIS

Shaun the Sheep, did they do that? Yeah, they did, Shaun. The sheep, Shaun the. Yeah, OK. And they have this particular clay that they've been using called new Plast and it's from only one manufacturer in Torquay, Torquay. Torquay, which is a town outside the County of Devon. In England. And it's closing down right. And they've said there's not being able to find anyone to to buy and admin animation talk about how this class is really. Really special because of. Its plasticity and it's very easy to mow, mould and maintain shape, but they've brought up tonnes of it, but they're saying once it's gone it's gone and admin animations will be unable to. Create the same types of practises and creating models. What do you reckon?

Speaker 5

It's it's horrific these yeah.

CRAIG NORRIS

Why didn't they buy the company?

TAYLOR LIDSTONE

Give us the point. Hey, the.

CRAIG NORRIS

Comments are putting this out there, like the guy was trying to find someone to buy the clay company. This one and only one in England and they couldn't find anyone to buy it. So they're closing down. Animation seems bought a tonne of their clay, but because in the article it talks about how they one idea might be, they'll they'll go into manufacture of clay themselves.

TAYLOR LIDSTONE

Yeah, it's interesting. Does anybody else use neoplastic?

CRAIG NORRIS

Yeah, because there are. There are other claymation creators.

TAYLOR LIDSTONE

Just for climate. Is there no other use for it?

CRAIG NORRIS

Schools is it in their clay class? Imagine, I mean, whereas you encounter Clay is Clay, teaching is a teaching tool for primary, that's.

TAYLOR LIDSTONE

Clutching at straws.

Speaker

Do you think?

TAYLOR LIDSTONE

Yeah. Well, then, or they might just use play though, like. Everybody. Yeah. Well, see.

CRAIG NORRIS

That would be the competitor, right? And obviously I'm an animations would have opinions on why play DoH does not work.

TAYLOR LIDSTONE

Well, Plato is goes like gritty, there's.

CRAIG NORRIS

You can get the other. There's the other type of clay, you know that. And a white clay you can get that. Isn't Plato it's higher quality.

TAYLOR LIDSTONE

Yeah, yeah.

CRAIG NORRIS

I think it's from Italy or something. So I didn't use it. Yeah. So I'm an animation, so if you're a fan of animation animations.

TAYLOR LIDSTONE

Which I am.

CRAIG NORRIS

Keep your eye on this cause. Yeah, it might. Impact their ability to create future. Product last story is Spiderman 2 plays a roasting MJ's trash podcast setup.

TAYLOR LIDSTONE

That that was just like a group of words which I couldn't understand. What? What does that mean?

CRAIG NORRIS

A non story. It's a bit of a non story. Yeah. I don't know. With one minute left to the show. I don't think I can do it. So I'm gonna leave it as a cliffhanger. Thanks for listening to Edge Radio. Well, no, no, just my show. Keep listening to Edge radio. This has been media mothership for another week with Doctor Craig joined by Lord Taylor. Hello, Lord. Kayla, we didn't do an intro, so we're doing an out.

Speaker 4

Hello. Hello.

CRAIG NORRIS

Any, any, any last words, you've learned what's happening in Capon?

TAYLOR LIDSTONE

My compute monitor destroyed itself, so I've got nowhere to access to my my computer, so I've just got songs that I've played over the past 12 weeks and I've got a selection.

CRAIG NORRIS

Wow. So it's the the hits? Yeah. OK, great. So coming up next is. K Pop unlimited. With Lord Taylor, no, DJ TJ and DJ CJ. And keep listening next week on meeting mothership, we'll be looking at dead by Daylight and page 57 of Henry Jenkins 2011 book.

TAYLOR LIDSTONE

What an interesting thing that I'd want to put in in your show next week as well is to do with. The prevalence of AI generated imagery across music videos pop music videos.

CRAIG NORRIS

No. OK. Yeah, I. Will do my homework good.






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