If you ever read a blog post, tweet or listen to an interview and think, ‘That’s really interesting, but I have no idea how to make that into a game,’ then this post is for you. We’ve put together a list of tips from an expert on how to make a game out of the classic Marvel Comics story of ‘The Fantastic Four.’ So sit back and get inspired!
As the name would suggest, ‘The Fantastic Four’ is composed of four characters who possess superhuman abilities. The team was first introduced to readers in 1961 as the results of an atomic accident that gave them their powers. Since then, the team has been featured in its own comic book series as well as the ‘X-Men’ and ‘A-Men’ spin-off titles. For a quick refresher, here are the names of the main characters:
- Johnny Storm
- Benjamin Grimm
- Richard (Robby) Riordan
- Uma Thurman
Since the beginning, the series has always been about a group of superheroes coming together to fight crime. But you can take that story in a whole other direction by making it about a group of ordinary people who band together to fight crime. One of the best examples of this is Telltale Games’ brilliant adaptation of ‘The Fantastic Four.’
Focus On The Characters
When it comes to video games, you can’t have a story without characters, and you can’t have characters without a story. So it’s important to start by focusing on the characters and what makes them tick. With ‘The Fantastic Four,’ that means giving each of the characters their own unique personality quirks and motivations. The best video games bring their characters to life and make you feel like you are watching a living, breathing movie instead of just a series of still frames on a screen.
Make sure to flesh out all the characters’ backstories. Does Ben Grimm come from a family of monsters? Does Johnny Storm want to be a superhero, or is he just doing it to prove to the world he’s not a wimp? What makes Uma Thurman’s character different from the other three? Find the answers to these questions, and you’ll be well on your way to creating a memorable gaming experience.
It’s important to have theme music that sets the mood of the game. This music should match the tone of the game and fit with the story you’re telling. The best games will use music that’s tied into the action of the game, providing that song with a climax that brings everything together. For instance, the iconic Stan Rogers song ‘Try To Remember’ is a perfect fit for the opening scene of the ‘Ironman’ game. You might want to consider using a different song for the ending credits to give the game a different vibe. But for the most part, you should use music that builds as the game progresses to create tension and excitement.
Create A Learning Curve
Just because you have a certain number of buttons you need to push at a certain time to move the story along doesn’t mean that it’s easy to game. If anything, creating a learning curve means that the more you play, the more you’ll learn and the better you’ll become at controlling the characters. The more you practice, the more you’ll realize the subtle nuances of each character’s movement that can be used to your advantage. For example, sometimes it’s better to rush into a tackle and use your momentum to topple an enemy rather than rely on purely your strength. Or sometimes it’s better to pull back and let your enemy make the first move. Learning to control the four heroes individually and collectively as a team is something that takes time and effort. Don’t expect to be perfect right away. Instead, focus on having fun and developing your skills slowly.
Reinvent The Game Genre
Since ‘The Fantastic Four’ is such a well-known story, it presents an opportunity to reinvent the game genre. Do you want to see a game where the goal is to help the downtrodden of the world stand up against evil? Or do you want to see a game where you play as the bad guys and dish out as much damage as possible? It’s up to you! In the end, it’s all about having fun and creating an immersive game experience.
Think about what made your favorite game series stand out. Perhaps it was the way in which the developers brought the characters to life with interesting backstories and quirks. Or maybe it was the way they used sound to create an immersive environment. Whatever it may be, find a way to incorporate those elements into your game to make it stand out.
As much as possible, you should stay true to the original story while reimagining it and bringing something new to the table. If possible, take inspiration from other works of fiction and spin off in a new direction. If you can add something new to the story that hadn’t been done before, even better!
Keep It Relatable
One of the main reasons why people love ‘The Fantastic Four’ so much is because they can relate to it. The comic book series is filled with drama, action and adventure, all of which are themes that most people can relate to. Even if you reinvent the story and characters, as long as you keep the themes similar, people will understand what you’re trying to get across. If possible, take inspiration from other sources to tell an original story, but don’t be afraid to draw on your familiarity with other stories to make something new and unique.
For instance, ‘The Fantastic Four’ is filled with comedy. While many people find it dramatic, there are others who see it as a silly adventure tale. Regardless of how you see it, it’s a comic book that everyone can enjoy. Even people who haven’t read the original story can get a kick out of the comedy in the Fantastic Four. With that in mind, it’s important to keep the comedy in check. Making your game too dry can kill any funny moments. Instead, find ways to bring character and subtle humor into your game. For example, if you’re doing an RPG, have the characters make jokes and try to be humorous.
Humor is important in any kind of fiction. It can help build bridges with readers and make them more engaged with your work. So don’t be afraid to put a humorous spin on things. Just make sure that it feels organic to the story you’re telling.
Make It Tell a Story
A common mistake that beginning game developers make is trying to cram in as much gameplay as they can. This is usually done to make the game seem more ‘commercial-worthy’ and to avoid the accusation of ‘casuality.’ However, gameplay should never, ever be sacrificed for the sake of narrative. That defeats the point of playing a game at all. The reason why people love video games so much is because they can have unique stories told through gameplay. It’s also why many great games avoid using any kind of dialogue. Instead, they use sound effects, music and gameplay to bring their stories to life. Sometimes it’s better to let the gameplay do the talking.
If you can incorporate these things into your game, you will find that it becomes so much more than the sum of its parts. It will tell a story through its gameplay and hold the attention of the player thanks to its unique narrative, characters and world-building. Creating something where all these elements come together to form a single cohesive experience is not an easy task, but it’s something that can be incredibly rewarding once you get there. So don’t be afraid to put in the work to make your game the best it can possibly be.