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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Would the three of you please kick my ass?"
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July 17 2012

Cliff Bleszinski's "What If" take on a Firefly game. Kotaku follows up on a comment Joss made at the NerdHQ panel about meeting Cliff Bleszinski, probably best known for the Unreal series as well as Gears of War.

I reckon you would need a big name like him to get it going. I'd love to see an MMO happen, there's been too many false starts.
I'm glad this happening is pretty much impossible because I'm sure I would not like the end result.

The need for gameplay to exist at all in this case is a burden and with the track record of Epic Games, I just wouldn't trust them to make a good game that is not a shooter. Firefly has some moments that fit into that but only some and those are just the tiny action parts that spice up the wonderful world of the characters.

I love Firefly like a mad man (sadly without a blue box) and I love video games but I'm glad they're staying separate for now.
While I'm not a fan of shooters, I've been a fan of Cliff for designing Jazz Jackrabbit back in the day, one of my favorite classic videogame series. Him being a fan of Joss too is one of those moments (omg, two people I admire are also fans of each other!) I'd love a Firefly videogame, but I would hope it wouldn't be too shooter centric. I'd prefer more of an interstellar smuggling/trading game with rpg elements (more in line with a Freelancer - which I've only played the demo for but enjoyed).
In all honesty, if the story is good (ie, Joss is 100% in charge of it), then I wouldn't care what kind of game it was at all. 1st/3rd person shooter, rpg, action/adventure, platformer, 2d side scroller, turn-based strategy, text adventure. I don't care, just give me SOMETHING!!!
napoleon27, I'd love a text adventure set in the 'verse.
Just as Firefly was a genre-bending show, a Firefly videogame should combine multiple genres as well. The story would need to be overseen on some level by Joss, and hopefully written by him and/or some of the series writers. The gameplay could combine all of the genres mentioned above. I don't think it would work as a straightforward shooter, but there could be shooter segments (when you get into a skirmish with alliance on a planet). There could be an economy and trading (including legit and smuggling). You could gain reputation with various factions (alliance, independents, various smaller smuggling rings and criminal orgs, like Niska). You could have space sim when you're dodging alliance patrols, or other shady characters. Throw in rpg elements as you enhance your skills to take on tougher missions. Hell, throw in a dating sim where you try to woo that cute girl engineer. ;-) Just make sure that the game is not conventional, and plays like a Firefly game, rather than some other game in a Firefly skin.
@AnotherFireflyfan the sad reality, though, is that making such a game that incorporates all these mechanics and has a certain level of quality would require a budget that would give us almost two (!) Serenity-level movies--unless it were made with 2D graphics (which is cool but lack the cinematic flair most of us probably would want from a Firefly game to retain the storytelling-style from the show/BDM).

Personally, I'd love Joss to be involved in a video game but I don't think it should be an adaptation of his previous work. The Buffy game (Chaos Bleeds) kinda worked because Buffy as a show relied heavily on action and vamp-fighting. His other properties? I think that wouldn't fit so well.

I just sat outside and let my mind wander a bit and came to the conclusion that for me, the ideal Joss-game would be something conceived to be a video game from the very start. Something that doesn't have combat as its key mechanic, like an Adventure game with Roleplaying influences. I'd be all for branching storylines that were crafted as such by Joss himself.

If it absolutely had to be Firefly game, though, it would have to be some sort of peripheral story that didn't let players control our Big Damn Heroes.

Some not-so-serious left-field Firefly-game ideas for funzies:

"They Wouldn't Lie Down"
You play as a Reaver and have to attack colonies to get new "parts" for your ship and "clothing." *yuk*

"Mudder's Manager"
An economic simulation based on Jaynestown that has players manage resource production like with the mudders.

"Fancy Gentleman with a Very Fine Hat"
A stealth/heist game that has players break into trains, steal guns from rich people for Badger.

"Whore N Peace with a Heart of Gold"
A dating sim/eco-sim crossover with some assassination gameplay mixed in. A Companion's struggle to survive in the 'verse while she also takes out dirtbags that oppress kinfolk.

edit: Oh and of course a real time strategy game that ends with the Battle of Serenity Valley ... which you can never win. It would be called "We're So Very Pretty"

[ edited by D-e-f- on 2012-07-17 17:45 ]
@D-e-f- : I agree, it shouldn't have us controlling the crew of Serenity (although the characters could make cameo appearances on certain missions, since they're part of that verse). You should buy (and upgrade) your own ship, and hire your own crew, and determine your own allegiance (alliance, independent) and so on. I want to live in the verse, not play as the characters from Firefly. Plus this allows the story of Mal+crew to be told in another format, and gets around dodgy canon issues.
I definitely don't want an MMO. The world is expansive, but something like Mass Effect does that far better than say, The Old Republic. I love an MMO, but I think they are at a stage where real genuine innovation is needed to keep the genre alive. Everything needs to be changed up, and I don't want proper money going into such a shakey genre right now.

Really, what we all want is third-person Skyrim set in the 'verse.
If you mean first person Skyrim, Jaymii, I'm in.
Like I said, I'd rather see that money go into another movie or two.
I am still hankering for an open world, Angel Investigations game set early on that has you patrolling the streets of LA helping the helpless and whatnot! Enjoyed the first Buffy game for what it was but the 2nd Chaos Bleeds didn't really "wow" me tbh... Firefly has the potential to be great. A nice mix of Mass Effect style would be the most obvious however with actual space play.

How about a Dollhouse game? could be diverse from mission to mission (and Eliza has a good track record with games, I would imagine she would return to voice). It could be released in episode format on xbox live? Dam I wish I was Tony Stark rich and could finance these! If we all just clubbed together and put a cool 2 mil in each we could get one of these made...
D-e-f-, game companies are not movie companies, so it's not a choice between one or the other.

Red Dead Redemption was one of the best games I've ever played (scrap that: the best) - I cried my way through parts of it - so my hope is Rockstar ultimately get the license.
gossi, I know but for some reason I have a hard time thinking that a developer would pour $100 million (rough budget for Rockstar's AAA-titles) into a Firefly game when movie studios won't even throw another $30 mill in the pot for a movie that has its fanbase continually growing and guaranteed longevity in dvd/br sales.

Oh and thanks Jamzro for pointing out there was another Buffy game before Chaos Bleeds! For some reason I either forgot it existed or never knew it did! Gotta hunt that down since apparently it had the cast involved again (sans SMG, of course).
D-e-f-, games are huge business. The Call of Duty franchise makes billions each year. Skyrim picked up something like $400m etc.
Personally, I'd rather see Epic do a new Firefly (with heavy Joss input) than another Gears or Unreal.
I still say that the issue of Firefly not having enough action for there to be a faithful action game made could be fixed by making a co-op shooter about Mal and Zoe's exploits throughout the war. Besides being a Firefly setting where the constant shooting and huge bodycounts of the TPS genre would make perfect sense, it would give Joss the chance to dig into the history of Mal and Zoe's friendship. I would also want it set up with a framing device of Mal and Zoe telling these war stories to the crew, so the war levels would be 'flashbacks' interspersed with 'present-day' sections where Mal and Zoe would take a break from the stories, and you would be able to walk around Serenity as Mal or Zoe, talking to the crew around the ship. Still can't decide whether those ship sections would be pre- or post-Serenity though. When I think of that concept as a game I get legit chills.

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