THE PCG Q&A
Find previous editions of the PC Gamer Q&A here. Here are some highlights:
Reigns: Game of Thrones, a crossover between Tinder-like ruling sim Reigns and HBO's series about sad people wearing furs, might be the best GoT game made yet. That isn't a huge compliment, as the Telltale series was nothing special, but we quite like Reigns, so it's probably worth a go for Ice and Fire fans.
Comparisons aside, the crossover was a good match (hah), and an interesting one. Often, licensed games are designed to the specifications of the source material—in a game about Spider-man, you have to sling webs, right? But now and then things happen the other way around, and a film or TV show is worked into an established game design idea. Telltale does this, and Jurassic World Evolution is another example. So this weekend we're wondering: Which game would you cross with your favorite TV show or film? Drop your answer in the comments and read ours below.
Samuel Roberts: The Simpsons or Futurama x South Park: The Stick of Truth
Someone did once cross my favourite game and favourite film—it was called Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds, and I'm sure a lot of you have picked it up in a sale for almost no money. It's a reskin of Age of Empires 2, essentially, and doesn't feel like much more than an elaborate mod. I thought I'd love this game more than anything, but instead it coincided with prequel trilogy fatigue and an overall slump in my enthusiasm for Star Wars. I was about 14, and into more rad things, like Papa Roach, American Pie 2, and Malcolm in the Middle.
But if I was to pick another crossover, I'd ask why no one has done a Simpsons game as either a point-and-click adventure (Virtual Springfield isn't quite the same thing) or an RPG similar to the South Park games. Without wanting to get mired in dissing the show's declining quality, I still think exploring Springfield in an RPG would be a lot of fun. And if not that, then Futurama's diverse set of sci-fi worlds would make a great RPG setting as well.
Both of these would've been been a good idea about ten or twenty years ago.
Jody Macgregor: Six Feet Under x tycoon games
I don't think TV gets any better than the first two seasons of Six Feet Under. There's already a narrative game that channels it a little called A Mortician's Tale, but what I really want is a full-on management sim about running a funeral home while competing with the shady Kroehner International chain who are out to bankrupt you. You'd have to deal with coffin wholesalers, a talented restorative artist asking for a raise, grieving family members, and fights breaking out in the middle of an open-casket viewing. Maybe there would be room to talk to dead people as you're prepping their bodies while 90% certain they're manifestations of your own subconscious, or try to keep the family together after the loss of your father, or deal with Rachel Griffiths' creepy brother—but even if that stuff got lost in the transition from a TV drama to Funeral Director Tycoon I still think it'd be a cool game.
Andy Kelly: 80 Days x Mad Max
Few games capture the feeling of an exciting voyage into the unknown as 80 Days. Now imagine going on the same kind of adventure, but as a wanderer in the wastelands of Mad Max. 80 Days already has some survival elements: just replace Fogg's constant need for a trimmed moustache and a starched shirt with scavenging for water and supplies to fuel the journey. Instead of cities you stop at shanty towns, bandit camps, and the ruins of the old world. You meet weirdos, make friends, and, naturally, plenty of enemies. And it all takes place via that globe interface and Inkle's beautifully expressive interactive fiction engine. All the Mad Max films are really about travel, of reaching a distant land, and maybe finding a better world, and I'd love to see that translated into an 80 Days-style adventure.
Joe Donnelly: The Sopranos x Football Manager
At its heart, Football Manager is a game of numbers. It's a game about stats and performances—from your players to your coaches, your scouts to your physios. Success is hinged on how well these roles work together, which, if The Sopranos has taught me anything, is also how the mob works.
Imagine swapping managers for bosses, assistants for consiglieres, club captains for caporegimes, players for soldiers and reserves for associates. Instead of scouts you have spies, instead of dressing room bust-ups you have dissenting rats, instead of winning the derby you have successfully offing a rival family's don. Promoting youth players to the first team is like becoming a Made Man. The transfer market becomes money laundering. Winning the league secures your empire. José Mourinho sleeps with the fishes. Gangsters: Organized Crime might be the best example of this idea, but a modern version would be ace.
Philippa Warr: Midsomer Murders x World of Warcraft
Look, I've been pushing Massively Midsomer for years now. Midsomer Murders is one of those Very British murder mystery shows where people play cricket and church bellringers get bumped off and no book club is safe. It's a world of curtain-twitching and parochial snark. The current DCI Barnaby is the cousin of the previous DCI Barnaby who lived on Jersey in the eighties and solved crimes under the name Jim Bergerac (all of this is canon I assure you). Massively Midsomer would feature the entire county of Midsomer with every location from Elverton-cum-Latterley to Badger's Drift offering up a juicy investigation. Character creation would let you pick which of OG Barnaby's distant relatives you wanted to embody, then you'd head out into the villages to start building your reputation. Earn enough Barnaby Bucks by solving murders and you could even purchase a Gavin Troy sidekick. Just don't let him say anything to anyone or your social awkwardness stat will skyrocket.
Wes Fenlon: Veronica Mars x Life is Strange
It looks like Veronica Mars may be coming back by way of Hulu, and I can't think of a better fit for a Telltale/Life is Strange style adventure game, focused on solving high school or college mysteries as a sassy Veronica. I mean, all the ingredients you need are right there: you know the supporting cast would all eagerly come back for voice work, the show was great at balancing compelling one-off weekly mysteries with season-long arcs, and the humor was all in the dialogue. Get that tone write, come up with a few cracking mysteries and an overarching plot thread, and you've got a great detective caper slash teen life drama on your hands. Come on, it would be perfect.