The Cave

Programming : to stage/ video games links

This post is about the links between Entertainment and Video Games.

It’s easy, isn’t it, to say: I’m going to create links between the two universes.
Afterwards, you have to imagine them.

I’ve already mentioned the links that bring the world of performing arts into the world of games. I don’t know if I’ve said here that I’ve managed to interest Ubisoft’s heads in this perspective. But it’s a fact. I can say that – I’m quite proud of it, actually.
But it only goes on one way.

I think it’s possible and desirable to create links in the other direction.

So I’ve chosen to explain this by taking the example of The Cave.

For some of us, the cave is the bear’s cave.
For others, it’s Plato’s famous cave.
For still others, it’s the symbolic one we’ve been stuck in for the last few months.

And for others, including me, it’s an amazing video game.

I have nothing to say about bears, Plato is explained by people more cultured than me, and I have lived enough in a cave the last few months : I don’t want to talk about it yet.

No, it’s the game I’m interested in.
The Cave is an independent game.
A priori, Altair has nothing to do with this type of game, which are in 2D.

It’s not a brand new game – it’s from 2013, developed by Double Fine Productions. The player forms a team of three characters from the seven available. Each character has special abilities – it’s all about forming a real team. As the player moves from one character to the next, he will solve a series of puzzles to move on to the next room.

Already, the idea of forcing us to choose several characters based on their abilities – and not on their names and/or appearance (although that’s of course what I did for my first game), is interesting. It leads us to think about the idea of the collective.

The Cave : Characters

Most of all… what made me fall in love with this game is its humor.
A quite appalling humor. The beautiful princess is … a monster (to speak politely), her father is more like a psychopath in slippers than a king worthy of the name etc…

All this by taking up the very old theatrical concept of the “Choir” – here the very voice of the Cavern itself, which intervenes to comment.

As Altair, it is not the game I am aiming at – the game does not need Altair.

But, and here’s the idea of the connection: Altair will have every advantage to propose to stage The Cave.

It won’t necessarily be very difficult : the sets are set up (yes yes yes, it’s absolutely obvious – sorry) – given their configuration they lend themselves particularly well to the stage (and not to the cinema, which is on 3D).

The characters are very typical & already written.
You have to adapt the plot to the scene – knowing that some of the dialogue is already written and that the essential idea is already there.
Knowing also that this game has creators, who are not just anyone: Tim Schafer, especially on the writing side, and Ron Gilbert.

Altair would commission the adaptation of the video game into a theatre play for a teen/young adult audience. As such, Altair would be the show producer.
This is one of the ways I mentioned earlier to make Altair a profitable business .

And here you have not only an excellent play for young audiences, but also a way to bring together creators from both worlds.
If we want Altair to really work, we have to come up with ideas for these people to meet and work together.

In fact, as long as nothing exists yet, as long as these professionals do not know each other, we can only take little pieces of each other and make them communicate.
As soon as I put together a working relationship – for small projects at the beginning – a director like Thomas Jolly (who is a man of theatre AND who loves video games); and the creators of The Cave for example – then I know that these men will create something new together, which will be perfect for both worlds.

And then Altair, the production company, will really take its place. And by the way, money.

If I want Altair to bridge that divide – real/virtual, I have to start with the creators.

It’s part of my obsession : to release the brakes. How do you want to invent something good, new, exciting, while staying in our little boxes?

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