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Video Game Adaptation In the Works For A Song of Fire and Ice 183

On Wednesday, French game development studio Cyanide announced that they will be working with George R. R. Martin to bring his popular fantasy series, A Song of Fire and Ice, to the realm of video games. The press release implies that there will be more than one game, and the games will come out for PCs and "next-gen consoles." Apparently an HBO television series is in the works as well, in addition to board and card games related to the books.
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Video Game Adaptation In the Works For A Song of Fire and Ice

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  • Oh god (Score:3, Insightful)

    by malkir ( 1031750 ) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @05:56AM (#27948975)
    The only reason they picked this story was for the detailed sex scenes, the books *are* pretty awesome though.
  • I would prefer... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Choozy ( 1260872 ) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @06:03AM (#27949007)

    ... if George R.R. Martin would just finish writing the damn series!!!

  • by Swizec ( 978239 ) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @06:06AM (#27949015) Homepage

    ... if George R.R. Martin would just finish writing the damn series!!!

    and artists would prefer if fans stopped thinking of them as their bitches.

    But that's not very likely is it?

  • *sigh* (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sibko ( 1036168 ) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @06:08AM (#27949023)
    I sure don't have high hopes for this one. At least the tv-series has a small chance of getting the characters and drama right. [Assuming the networks don't decide to remove the incest and childkilling, and so on.] But I highly doubt videogame developers are going to focus on anything but violence, violence, violence with this. Doing anything else is going to require some thought, effort, and risk-taking as the primary draw of ASOIAF has much more to do with character interactions and political intrigue than straight up and up killing things.

    It'll probably end up similar to the three hack n' slash Lord of the Rings games on the Xbox - Gameplay might be fun, but you could remove the setting entirely and not make a difference. Personally, I think the best style for this game would be something more akin to King of Dragon Pass. []
  • by VShael ( 62735 ) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @06:57AM (#27949241) Journal

    "How do you think us Wheel of Time fans feel?"

    After book 6 or 7, I didn't think there was any fans left.

  • by jurgenaut ( 910416 ) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @07:19AM (#27949325)
    I would prefer it if he decided to start the main story.
    So far, all the books written have served only to introduce us to the setting, with a vague hint of "winter is coming". We cannot actually say whether the winter is the main plot line or not.
    It's like a soap opera. There's nothing happening, except characters acting and reacting. No one is accelerating the main plot (because we dont know which plot that is).
    Tolkien said very early on, "here's a ring, the story will concern its destruction". David Eddings - evil god does bad things, here's a story about his demise.
    And when we read those books, we form expectations about what is going to happen, and we start to trust the author when that happens. That's an important connection between author and reader.
    Song of ice and fire, well, anything can happen. Hell, the bad guy in book X is the good guy in book X+2. I respect Martin because he can pull it off.
    I do, however, not trust him to take sufficient care of the characters I enjoy the most - he's proven he has no qualms about killing them off (or leaving them out entirely from a book), then resurrecting them and making them evil. And then the 3 year cliffhangers...
  • by jefu ( 53450 ) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @08:38AM (#27949745) Homepage Journal

    I think Martin's fans (and I'm one) have been fairly patient overall. It is a huge (and wonderful) work and certainly requires a lot of time to make it as good as it is. It's not like he came to my house and signed a contract with me to finish at any particular time. On the other hand, starting a series like this does seem to make a kind of promise to the readers that it will (at least eventually) be finished.

    Where people lose patience is when it seems that lots of other things (calendars, figurines, tv series, games....) are taking up more of Martin's time than the books, and when those fans care about the books and not about the tchotchkes they (the fans, not the tchotchkes) - however selfishly and unrealistically - feel slighted and cranky.

  • Re:Is it good? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dyslexicon ( 639846 ) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @08:42AM (#27949777)

    How it's going to finish is really straight-forward.

    When the seven kingdoms have sufficiently weakened themselves via in-fighting, the Others will overwhelm the wall. Danerys lands on the shores of the seven kingdoms with her dragons. Jon Snow, who is clearly the prince-who-was-promised, joins forces with her to fight off the Others fulfilling the title of the series.

  • Re:Is it good? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Selanit ( 192811 ) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @08:56AM (#27949905)

    Allow me to dissent.

    "A Game of Thrones" suffers from an excess of underdeveloped characters. I counted 10-12 major characters, plus dozens of supporting cast. Daenerys, the exiled dragon princess, seemed interesting, as did Arya, the waterdancer-in-training. However, I finished the book without really caring about any of them.

    In some ways, the whole book felt like nothing more than background for plot lines that won't be developed until well into the second or third novels. For example, the very first chapter introduces the the undead ghouls who are evidently gathering to invade from the North, but they're barely mentioned for the rest of the book's 800 pages, appearing only briefly in the Jon Snow arc. Likewise, the extended story of Daenerys' marriage into the Dothraki tribes seems like wind-up for an invasion from the south by the dispossessed heir, evidently for one of the later books. Though the Daenerys plot struck me as the most interesting part of the book, it really had little or nothing to do with the main plot. With so very many characters to track, there was little time to develop a rapport with any of them.

    The landscape and cultures are, for the most part, stock. One glance at the map in the front will have any mildly educated person thinking "Oh, they're England and Scotland divided by Hadrian's Wall." The Dothraki are clearly based on the Mongols, only slightly more hedonistic; whereas the culture of the Seven Kingdoms is stock High Middle Ages.

    In short, the material was handled poorly, with little imagination, and at much greater length than it needed. The book could have benefited greatly from the tender attentions of a stern editor.

    I went on to read two or three more books in the series (checked out from the library) and finally gave up in disgust when he put an explanatory note at the end of a volume saying that he'd wound up splitting the book in two because there were so very many characters to follow. I take that as a sign of poor discipline. If the book has grown too far beyond its bounds, the correct response is to murder your darlings [].

    I was disappointed. Some of his other work I've enjoyed very much, particularly "Tuf Voyaging" and (to a lesser extent) "Windhaven", and I'm a major fantasy fan, so I was expecting it to be enjoyable, and it wasn't. Bummer.

  • The books suck (Score:5, Insightful)

    by halivar ( 535827 ) <bfelger@gm a i l . c om> on Thursday May 14, 2009 @10:07AM (#27950581)

    The story is so formulaic. Here's the formula:

    1) Create a likable character.
    2) Create a hideous character.
    3) Have Character #2 rape Character #1.
    4) Have multiple other people rape Character #1.
    5) Kill Character #1 in an ignoble fashion.
    6) Choose a new Character #1. Repeat steps 3-5.

    "Murphy's Law of George R.R. Martin":
    If you like a character, that character will be maimed, raped, and/or killed in the next book. There are no exceptions.

  • Nobody's Bitch. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SoupIsGood Food ( 1179 ) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @11:18AM (#27951491)

    I would like it if writers stopped thinking of their customers as their bitch. If he does not understand the impatience and irritation of his paying customers in not delivering product according to a promised schedule, he's not going to have the franchise grow very much farther than it already has. A professional writer is an artist, true... but more importantly, a professional writer is a paid professional. It's a major disservice to the craft of writing to string your readers along the way he has.

    It's one thing to say, "Hey, guys... I lost my mojo on this. I may come back to it in a few years or I may not." Hey, whatever, crap like that happens. Stick to single-volume novels, and your readers will give you another chance.

    It's another thing to sneer at your readers and insult them for questioning your grandiose "art." That's not only rude, it's dishonest.

    It's not the reader's fault you managed to paint yourself into a corner with your sub-plots. It's not the reader's fault you can't break the story down into novel-length chapters... it's your failing as an =artist=.

    Entitlement? Demanding your readers adore you and your works uncritically after having failed them so spectacularly is probably one of the grossest examples of "sense of entitlement" I've come across.

  • by sapphire wyvern ( 1153271 ) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @11:45AM (#27951843)

    Yes. You paid for those books. That means that George R R Martin worked for you.

    He has no obligation to continue doing so, however.

  • You are incorrect. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jasko ( 684642 ) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @12:27PM (#27952459)

    There is no formula in ASoIaF. That's what frustrates people so much about the series - it defies expectation.

    There's no script immunity for viewpoint characters. And, without being spoilerish, there are no villains that are simply villainous. Nobody in Westeros wakes up and says, "I think I'll go be awful today!"

    There is rape, but not like you've described it. I'm trying to think of a likeable character that gets raped - the only multiple rape I can remember is that of a character nobody likes much to begin with, and that's done by an angry mob, not a particular character.

    Either you haven't read these books, or your reading comprehension is poor at best.

    As far as the delays between books, yes I find those frustrating as well. But like they say about games: A late book is only late until it ships. A bad book is bad forever. We like games that are released when they're done - books are better when writers are able to infuse them with life instead of simply cranking them out, too. We're talking about art here, people.

  • by zrelativity ( 963547 ) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @01:31PM (#27953259)
    Honestly, Gaiman's talking crap... "George R.R. Martin is not your bitch."... Well I'm not saying he is. But take that attitude too often with your reader, and you might find you're writing for your self alone. GRRM or Gaiman is not writing just because they like writing. It makes them a very good living.

    Artists or Engineers or any other professional, if you make a commitment to your client or customer, you need to work bloody hard to keep to it. If I as a engineer, make commitments to my customer, and don't deliver or deliver late, I don't expect my customer to support me either when an alternative is present.

  • by Nitar ( 261628 ) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @04:03PM (#27955859)

    Well, I read Gaiman's article, and if that's the approach an author wants to take, then so be it.

    At the end, Gaiman states, "...the simple and unanswerable truth: George R. R. Martin is not working for you."

    If Martin is not working for the reader, who IS he working for? Who pays his salary, and more to the point, who pays his royalties? In the end, it IS the reader. Without us spending our money on his books, there is no publishing deal and no royalties.

    If I go with Gaiman's line of reasoning, then my response is this. Fine, go ahead, write your stories. I'll only purchase them when you finish the entire series, and not a second before that. What motivation could I possibly have to read half of a series and not get to the ending? It just tells me that Gaiman and Martin take their readers for granted.

    If more readers decide to take this approach, then here's a clue BOOK ONE WILL NEVER SELL! It's not hard to figure this out. If book one does not sell, the publisher is not going publish book two.

    Therefore, while it is debatable that Martin does not work for us, the reader is buying the book(s) in an unfinished series in good faith that the series WILL in fact be finished. One could go further and expect some communication should there be an inordinate delay.

    At least I know where Martin (and Gaiman) stand here. I will not purchase any more of the Song of Ice and Fire books until the series is complete. It just sounds to me like Martin got enough money, and he doesn't feel like finishing it. If that's not the case, here's a clue, let your readers know!

I am more bored than you could ever possibly be. Go back to work.