The announcement that Telltale Games is actually making a “Game of Thrones” was arguably the most exciting news to come out of the Spike VGXs. Telltale already made an impact on the world of television with its excellently executed “The Walking Dead” series, and the hope is that the video game publisher can deliver the same sort of quality content set in the world of Westeros.
There are few details known about the “Game of Thrones” series, but one key detail is the fact that it’s going to be tied into the HBO TV series. HBO’s logo was all over the teaser trailer and the show’s theme song was used in the announcement. With that in mind, here’s a wish list of ways this attempt at a “Game of Thrones” video game the best tie-in possible for the TV series.
Don’t have the show’s characters be the game’s main characters. That’s just a recipe for disaster. What “The Walking Dead: The Game” did so well and what the “GoT” game could really take advantage of is to put new main characters as the focus, but then have the familiar ones from the TV series make ancillary appearances throughout the game. It will create a richer experience and also help the game stand on its own.
Make use of the show’s cast. With that being said, take advantage of the HBO connection whenever possible. If Daenerys Targaryen pops up in “Game of Thrones: The Game,” then have Emilia Clarke do the voice acting. The same goes for Peter Dinklage and even someone who’s no longer in the show like Sean Bean. Make this all feel like one big universe.
Have each chapter of the game focus on different characters and places. If a style of storytelling isn’t broken, then don’t fix it. George R.R. Martin‘s massive series of books is divided into chapters told from different characters’ perspectives, and that would be a great style for Telltale to emulate. “The Walking Dead: The Game” was released in different chapters; the same thing could happen with “Game of Thrones,” except each iteration of the game would focus on different areas of the world and different characters. It will be even more fun later on to see how the different characters you’ve already played intersect with the one you’re currently on, and encourage people to replay the game to see what they might have originally missed.
Delve into “Game of Thrones'” rich mythology. There’s only so much time to spend on a TV show looking into the world beyond what is being shown on the screen, so it’s understandable that the HBO show only really tells “Game of Thrones'” present story. But there’s an epic history behind “Game of Thrones” that is incredibly significant and rarely touched upon in the HBO series. This video game could be a great way to allow players to learn more about the world and act as a complement to both the book series and the TV show.
Focus on making a quality game instead of making a quality tie-in. Instead of making a game that constantly nods at the HBO series, make a game that is worthy of playing unto itself. Telltale managed to strike that balance with flying colors with “The Walking Dead” and that’s part of what made that game so well-received. Focus on the elements that makes the “Game of Thrones” series great like subverting character archetypes and audience expectations and use that as a model to make a great video game. Players and “Game of Thrones” fans alike deserve the best Telltale has to offer.
The Telltale “Game of Thrones” video game will come out in 2014.