Ten Science Fiction And Fantasy Books That Deserve The Video Game Treatment

Ten Science Fiction And Fantasy Books That Deserve The Video Game Treatment

We’ve touched on popular science fiction and fantasy novels that need to have video games made out of them in the past, but commenter TheGizmofromPizmo‘s list of 10 contains some rather intriguing ideas, hence today’s Speak Up on Kotaku.

Ten books/series from my collection that I think should be made into video games in no particular order:

1) The Integral Trees by Larry Niven. 3D and almost weightless environment.

2) The Uplift series by David Brin. C’mon bioware… you know you want to.

3) The Forever War by Joe Haldeman. What do you think? First person shooter? Tactics? RTS?

4) The Eight Worlds series, specifically Steel Beach. You like choosing your sex and body shape in a game? Well then this would be the game for you! Gotta love a book where the invasion and expulsion of humans from the planet earth is secondary to the plot.

5) Discworld series by Terry Pratchett. ‘nuf said really. (Editor’s Note: Several games already exist)

6) Honor Harrington series by David Weber. Intrigue and politics wrapped around a Space battle simulator.

7) Blood Ties by Tanya Huff. Awesome series of books by a Canadian author. You fight Aztec gods, zombies, anti-werewolf bigots, demon lords. What’s not to love?

8) The Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov. LA Noir with robots.

9) Watership Down by Richard Adams. Think Civilization V but with rabbits. Let me say that again. Civilization V. With rabbits. (Editor’s other note: Yes.)

10) Foundation series by Mercedes Lackey. Kind of a mediocre series of books that I somehow got addicted to, I just skip all the boring exposition, but it would make a decent open world RPG. You’ve got psychic horse like avatars, mind powers, and later on magic.

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    • We’ve already had a few games based in Midkemia. Betrayal at Krondor being the big one. Oh and a team were working on the MMO but it’s been a little slow getting started.

      • still my fave RPG to date. Even though I believe ?John Cutter? penned all the in game text (there was an awful lot) and Feist only overseered the plot – it was brilliant

  • Night Watch, – Ludyanenko’s Russion fantasy would make a great MMO. Especially with the full world view, the 2 sides and the descent into the twilight.

    • We could use one of those done right. The last one I played was awful. Fun for a while but then dragged later

    • Truly a great book… but there was very little combat in it.
      It was more a tale of his life in the mobile infantry.

  • A fully fledged Discworld game with a broad range of characters would be fantastic. And bring back Eric Idle as Rincewind!
    There’s potential for an awesome fantasy RPG here.

  • I’d like to see a real rpg in the same vein as old school turn based rpg’s (Shining force/FFT) based off the magician series.

    Or a story driven rpg based on the revelation space series (specifically Chasm City/Absolution Gap)

    • Yeah a story based rpg set in the revelation space universe would be awesome… Although Chasm City as an open world sandbox game would be pretty special… Imagine exploring the city ala GTA, but with the vertical aspect too…

    • ARGH. Now I want to read it again – oh and there’s a movie ont he way too.

      I hate articles like this – I’m going to be forced to take a hiatus from gaming just to re-read it all again.

      • Read years ago & recently listened to the audio book, was an interesting perspective change – looking forward to the movie!

  • Several people have already pointed out (quite rightly) Enders Game, so my second choice is the Wheel of Time. Do it Skyrim-style, or JRPG-style, it’d be brilliant. Hell, it could work well with FFXIII’s railroading system given that the plot is so dynamic and the cast is so varied.

  • Enders Game yessss…

    Integral Trees is a really interesting one. I’m a Larry Niven fan, and I didn’t know it existed for a long time.

    Essentially there’s a large “atmosphere” around a small star or somesuch, and every “floats” in low gravity around it, including giiiiiiant hockey stick shaped trees and human colonist descendants.

  • Regarding #6, a game was in the works, it kinda died though and afaik was never completed … http://www.rulethehonorverse.com/
    A Honorverse game would fit very well with the Freelancer engine (upgraded to modern standards) though, IMO … http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freelancer_(video_game)

    Safehold (the other large Weber series) would very much work as a Total War style game.

    Out of the Dark (single story Weber novel) would suit an FPS-RPG like Mass Effect or Dragon Age.

    Anne McCaffery’s Dragonriders of Pern would suit either a single player RPG or an MMO (as you have different factions).

  • Honor Harrington would be ok but I think The Lost Fleet would be amazing. FYI you all NEED to read this series.

  • Oh Wait, WAAAAIT.

    Where the hell is the Pliocene saga? Future inventor randomly creates a one way time portal back to the pliocene (giant land mammals) era, and outcasts and misfits can choose to emigrate there. A band of varied people go through to find Plio-Europe controlled by two almost elven/drawvish psychic alien races. Lots of mind powers, low tech warefare and other things going on.

  • x2 Wheel of Time. There are some old school WOT games, but nothing particularly worthy of the name. It’d be a massive project, but there’s limitless potential for awesome.

  • Meh, I can’t get excited about adaptations – they are so rarely good. I’d rather not have my favourite franchises butchered…

  • Aaaaaand for those who haven’t read those books; perhaps a brief synopsis and reasons why they would make good games?

    • I only clicked on the article due to the Watership Down pic and wondered how’d the writer fit that in.
      I was disappointed that making a Civilisation game with Rabbits is all that they could come up with for such a brilliant and dark book.

      • It really is pretty amazing.

        I think it would work well as a really moody and atmospheric point-and-click adventure. Something like BladeRunner or I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream.

  • There’s got to be a game or two to be squeezed out of The Dark Tower series by Stephen King, surely?

  • Would love to see something done with David Gemmels work with the Drenai.
    Also Iain M Banks and the Culture.

    Super happy they are making a Mistborn game.

    • The Ian Banks one would be brilliant. If you somehow convinced him to head a team of writers and keep dominant creative input it’d be incredible. Making a game out of one of his books would be confusing at best though; it’d have to be part of the universe within the timeline of the Culture, but wholly unrelated to his other books.

  • Definitely Brent Weeks’ Night Angel Trilogy … never heard of them? Go read them! If ever a series needed a good VG adaption it’d be this one.

    • Totally agree, love that series. Actually picked it up because the cover reminded me of Assassins Creed, and the book turned out to be brilliant

    • I agree, although they might have to be watered down a bit for the target audience (teens).

  • Ranger’s Apprentice, by John Flanagan: While the world is pretty stock standard, if the writers captured the humour and brilliant characterization of the series, it would make a great PG rated game. M if you wanted to be a bit truer to the books.

    The Mercy Thompson series, by Patricia Briggs: This would make a great open world RPG, with plenty of conflict – both political and racial – with the fae now being more or less at war with America, the werewolves are going to be under a lot of pressure from both sides, and if the vampires are forced to reveal themselves, well, let’s just say that humans will have no choice but to see the darker sides of the supernatural community.

    The Aeons’ Gate trilogy, by Sam Sykes: Okay, imagine a world where adventurers are actually the worst of the worse. They’re considered to be scum, willing to do literally anything for money, whether it be rape the female heir to a fortune or fight in someone’s private war. Now, add in the fact that the world’s equivalent to elves have poor hygine, are warlike in nature and started a genocidal war against humanity that they’re losing. Did I mention the foul, eldrich abominations, tattooed pirates that speak with an upper class British accent and the race of reptilian Amazons?

    Long story short, if you want an RPG that would shake up the standard cliches, The Aeons’ Gate would do that quite easily.

  • why has no-one mentioned the Altered Carbon universe? re-sleeving = respawning and a combat sleeve of choice. a digitised conciousness suits the game environment perfectly.

    • ….and I only just actually read your comment. YES. That would be perfect. Such an awesome book.

    • Absolutely.

      Market Forces – another of Richard Morgan’s books (think Mad Max meets Wall Street) – would make a phenomenal setting for a video game.

  • Assassins series by Robin Hobb.
    Drizzt saga by R A Salvatore
    Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson which has been announced but still think that could be an awesome game!
    The Road by Cormac McCarthy

  • I’m sure no-one’s heard of this one, but it wasn’t a bad book when I read it.
    The Book of Lost Things, about a kid whose sister gets hit by a bomb in some war and he discovers it opened a rift to a world like the Grimm fairy tales, but not exactly the same, typical stuff there. But it would make a great action/adventure game, running and hiding from the Big Bad Wolf, fighting to save your sister etc. Sort of like a Zelda game but with fewer tools and more environmental interaction.

    That being said, last I heard it was actually in development to be a pseudo movie book thing where you can interact with the characters and follow any character you wanted and the story would progress with or without you.

  • What about the Belgariad or anything by David Eddings would probably be better in a movie like LOTR but the series is still great

    • I kinda think that the racism wouldn’t be so well received. That and all the genetic stupidity etc.

  • Immanuel Velikovskys trilogy “Worlds in Collision”, “Ages in Chaos” and “Earth in Upheaval”.
    I win. You all loose. Nothing else comes close. Next thread please.

  • Nobody’s going to mention the world of Bas Lag from several of China Mievilles books?

    Or is this one of those places that hate on him like I discovered Penny Arcade and its forums to be.

  • It’d be great to see a Game from the Immortals quartet by Jennifer Fallon.

    Even better than that would be one within the universe of the Three Worlds series, specifically through the Well of Echoes quartet.

  • There was a Watership Down-esq pen and paper RPG called Bunnies and Burrows that was pretty good…and as for book adaptations Terry Dowling’s Rynosseros stories would be a great start, and just about anything by Tim Powers would make for something REALLY different. And if you’re still looking for more ideas I highly recommend plundering Matthew Rossi’s excellent cryptohistorical essay collection Things that Never Were which has more good ideas per page than just about anything written in the last 1000 years…

  • “The Keys to the Kingdom” series could have a wonderful puzzle/adventure game made from them. “Mistborn” too, an action/adventure game, but that seems to actually be happening… and a little obscure, but “Protector of the Small” by Tamora Pierce would make a wonderful adventure game too.

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