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Old September 28th, 2003, 05:32 AM   #1
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Default Interesting bit on the BSG Game

An interview from Games Spot: With a body of work that spans a number of genres and publishers, Grant Morrison should be familiar to comic fans in the US and abroad. Most recently, he has been known for breathing new life into respected franchises such as DC's Justice League of America and Marvel's X-Men. His résumé will now include the scripting of a video game, with his contribution to Vivendi Universal's upcoming multiplatform game Battlestar Galactica. The game, based on the mythology of the cult sci-fi series, follows the adventures of young Commander Adama as he battles the evil Cylon forces. We touched bases with the prolific author to find out what to expect from his first outing in the video game medium.

GameSpot: How did you become involved with the project?

Grant Morrison: Tom de Santo called me and asked if I'd be interested in taking part, which I was.

GS: How familiar were you with Battlestar Galactica?

GM: I'd watched the show when I was younger, and although I wasn't a devout fan, I loved the designs and the slightly mythical, religious undertones of the concept. I always felt it should have been more epic, more obviously miraculous, like The Ten Commandments in space.

GS: How did you approach the game's story?

GM: I saw the backbone as an Exodus story. It started for me with an image of the Battlestars in space--a huge armada of giant space arks carrying the remnants of their shattered culture and a precious cargo of survivors toward the legendary planet Earth. I imagined the ships broken and repaired countless times on their long voyage, and the colonial survivors weary and gaunt from decades of running war with the Cylon machines constantly on their tail. There seemed to be endless dramatic possibilities in the big biblical sweep of the Galactica concept, so I went with warrior-monks, high-tech cloisters, and the doom-laden struggle of man against pitiless machine.

GS: Did you feel any pressure dealing with a cult-hit franchise?

GM: Not at all, fortunately. I've made a career out of updating franchises like The Doom Patrol, X-Men, and JLA, so this was business as usual for me. The game takes place before the show and features a whole new cast of characters, although there are some familiar faces and machines. I've tried to make sure everything fits into series continuity and the story sheds some new light on some old mysteries.

GS: How much freedom did you have?

GM: By the time I was brought in, the game engines were already in place, so some of my wilder ideas for environments and machines had to stay on the drawing board. The Burning Brain--an alien computer that was part tree, part giant brain and ran on sugar--didn't make the final cut, and neither did the full-size counterfeit replica of Earth built by the Cylons as a cunning and expensive lure. I was able to throw in a few ideas for the gameplay, but most of my work went into the back story and the dialogue.

GS: Were you influenced by the television series?

GM: Oh, yes. Obviously my intention was to preserve the special atmosphere of the show while moving some of the concepts forward or examining them in a new way.

GS: Was it challenging to create a story for a game?

GM: It was the first time I'd scripted for a video game, so it was very much a learning experience. I really enjoyed it, and I've done some more games work since. Now that so many of the technological problems of computer gaming have been solved, the next big frontier is narrative, which is where someone like me can come in and have fun. It's really exciting to see the technology develop to the point where we can now talk about plot, drama, characterization, emotion, and consequence in games. As a writer and creator of imaginary worlds, this is the field I'm fascinated by, and I plan to spend a lot more time writing for games.

GS: What can you tell us about the story?

GM: It takes us through a defining time in the life of young Adama, who will grow to become the commander of the Battlestar Galactica. This is Adama not as a great wise warrior and leader, but as a teenage boy undergoing a terrifying baptism of fire when the Cylon hordes launch their bloodiest and most desperate campaign against the exodus yet.

Players should get ready for an absorbing, gritty, and grueling ordeal as Adama learns firsthand about life, death, and the mysteries of the cosmos. Unlike the original Galactica, this version's quite dark and gothic. An intense atmosphere of apocalypse hovers over the whole thing, and when characters die horribly, as some of them do, it means something. The weight of a whole culture, the last hopes of a whole civilization, get dumped on the player's shoulders in this one, and I'm sure some may find themselves cracking under the responsibility.
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Old September 28th, 2003, 11:27 AM   #2
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Sounds like this guy gets it and sounds like the mini-series has had little influence on the game....I can get past William Husker Adama if the game stay true to Battlestar Galactica.
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Old September 28th, 2003, 02:09 PM   #3
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Morrison definitely "gets it." The problem is all his work was done a full year before Ron Moore's wet dream. All of the alterations to make the game more like the mini were done by mid-level executives trying to be writers. It goes beyond just dubbing the name "Husker" in there, they changed several bits of the actual story including the ending if I've heard correctly. The game will still be much more like the original Galactica than the awful mini-series, but it has been castrated. I suppose it depends on what you want most out of it. If you mostly just want a gaming experience of flying a viper awfully close to the original show, the game will still be great. But if you're more interested in story, like I am, the changes are too much.
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Old September 28th, 2003, 02:45 PM   #4
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Has there been any reason given for the delay of two months in the game's release date?

Could they really be considering removing the mini references (as I posted in a fit of wishful thinking a couple of days ago)?

Has anybody heard anything?

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Old September 28th, 2003, 03:00 PM   #5
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Dawg, the games division is being sued at the moment, maybe that's affecting the release.

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Old September 28th, 2003, 03:41 PM   #6
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Could very well be, Peter, but I prefer my wishful thinking...



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Old September 28th, 2003, 09:03 PM   #7
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I have to agree, it seems that Morrison definitely had a good feel for TOS and had taken the game in a direction that was nicely updated, but true to the themes, characters, and elements of TOS. I hate the fact that execs stepped in and interjected a lot of material from the new mini. Unfortunately, because story matters so much to me, the changes have really ruled out purchasing the game for me. I hate it, because I was honestly hoping that having the game would make up for the release of the "reimagining".
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Old September 29th, 2003, 09:38 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dawg
Has there been any reason given for the delay of two months in the game's release date?

Could they really be considering removing the mini references (as I posted in a fit of wishful thinking a couple of days ago)?

Has anybody heard anything?

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I was in Circuit City. They have a November release date for the game.
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Old September 29th, 2003, 09:42 AM   #9
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http://www.gamespot.com/ps2/sim/batt...tica/news.html
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