Novels are frequently translated into movies and TV series, often with mixed reviews. It is understandable to use those forms of media to expand the world and brand of the author, but I would like to see video games as a media utilized more often. The Witcher series has had success as a book series that has expanded into video games quite well (shipping over 50 million units as of April 2021) and has come full circle as a Netflix series. Stephen King has several works that could work as a video game. Imagine a walking simulator in the vein of Misery, a survival horror game being chased by Pennywise from IT, or a time traveling adventure to stop the assassination of JFK in the likes of 11/22/63. These would work well, but I would like to see the story of Roland, the Gunslinger, in The Dark Tower series. The Dark Tower series has characters, settings, lore, and a sense of weirdness that would translate best into a video game or franchise than any other novel I have read.
The Dark Tower series takes place over seven main novels that interact between fictional worlds and our world. There are realistic locations and variants to the world we know that set familiar oddities. Fantastic beasts like Shardik, a 70’ cybernetic bear, and Billy-Bumblers, word mimicking cross between a dog and raccoon, populate the world of Mid-World. Mid-World is the main world of the protagonist, Roland, and it acts as a bridge world between ours and many other realities. The realities touch on many other works by King including Salem’s Lot, The Stand, and many more.
The characters in these worlds include protagonists such as Roland, the Gunslinger. The main character who has been trained at a very young age to be a mercenary hero. Roland is on a journey chasing after The Man in Black, a sorcerer of dark magic, across the worlds that are explored. Both Roland and The Man in Black gain allies along the way that enhance the dynamic of their battle.
But how would this translate into a video game? I believe a linear adventure set in wide open areas, think of how The Last of Us Part II plays. The story would progress as certain story beats are triggered and played out. In between those main plot points would be optional world building quests that would flesh out the expansive interconnected worlds. The quests would flesh out the stories of the side characters that Roland encounters and then join him. DLC could also be added to explore the fourth story in the series, Wizard and Glass, which is mostly comprised of an origin story of Roland during his first quest.
What novel would you like to see translated into a video game? What type of gameplay and genre would best be used to bring the characters and world to life? Let us know by joining the Boss Rush Network Discord or in the comments below.
Sources: The Witcher Sales