Tag: giant hula monster

The Giant Hula Monster #4- Son of The Astro-Games

Let’s look at a few movies that popped into my mind. First was The Blob. Ryan and I have been talking a lot lately about cooperative games. It’s the town versus The Blob. The Blob is set up perfectly for a co-op. Ryan had the same thought. It would seemingly be a excellent example for a game. But the rights are not in public domain so a direct use of The Blob is probably not going to happen. It’s easy to change the specifics and still keep the spirit. This is a valid idea and I may go that route. Other movies in the goo category are The Quatermass Experiment, X-The Unknown, Caltiki – the Immortal Monster, The Monolith Monsters, The Green Slime (which would be a good one),  and The Creeping Terror (a very good candidate).

All of these movies feature the unstoppable mass creature overtaking a town or city. This is prime territory of a co-op game where the players are the various townspeople working together to stop the threat. Characters could include your typical police officer(s), teenagers no one believes, the school teacher, the doctor, a visiting scientist of some sort, and some creature fodder.

We need to look at the psychology of these movies. The terror of facing something that you have little chance of stopping is paramount. That tension or threat has to be felt. How to do that? Chris Kirkman and I talked a bit about this on The Go Forth And Game Podcast a while back. You can listen to that here. Fighting a nigh unstoppable creature screams kaiju also but there are quite a few kaiju fighting games out there so I’ll not go in that direction.

Designing a cooperative game is a daunting adventure. I would like to make one at some point and will but I think, for now, I’ll hold off.

So that gets back to finding a movie to turn into a game. Hmmmmm.

The Vampire Bat – One of my new top 25 monster movies. I discovered this through Monster Kid Radio.

Cave of The Living Dead – Another MKR discovery.

Dead Men Walk – A Bela Lugosi film that could be interesting as a game.

The Trollenberg Terror – Giant eye creatures attacking a science station in the Alps. That screams castle defense game. Maybe.

Mystery of the Wax Museum/House of Wax – I love House of Wax. Vincent Price gives a amazing performance. I had not seen Mystery (the older film) but once again thanks to MKR I checked it out. It is very, very good and the color work is pretty cool. Lionel Atwill again.

The Land Unknown – lost world + dinosaurs. One of my favorite themes. Could be a race to escape game.

Robot Monster (!) – The Classic. I would love to build something with this theme. But nothing comes to mind at the moment.

It Came From Outer Space – One player is the creatures and one player is the townspeople; possible and it has a twist ending that would be neat to convey.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers – All start out as human but as draw cards (or something) players are changed. At some point the game ends and the side with the most players wins? is This a really interesting idea but could be very hobbled by randomness of the draws. A draft may work where you pass your cards to a neighbor. So the ‘infected’ would be trying to ‘infect’ their neighbors. Everyone would know eventually who is who. The game would have to be timed. And there would need to be some way for the uninfected to fight against infection. A discard of some sort. I should follow up on this.

There are a few of the movies that I thought of off the top of my head. We will delve deeper in the next installment of The Giant Hula Monster.

The Giant Hula Monster #2 – Romancing the Astro-Games

Last time I talked about science fiction as a game theme and listed some examples. There are A LOT of them. It is a oft use theme. Why? Because it sells, the IP space is open if you do something original (i.e. you can make more games in that universe), and most of the time these games look cool. All this got me thinking. As a game designer, why aren’t I designing a science fiction themed game? Well I was. It was called The Survivor and it was loosely based on Robinson Crusoe on Mars, a movie from 1964 starring Paul Mantee. He and Adam West are astronauts who crash on Mars. Mantee has to find food, water, and shelter until a rescue vessel can arrive. It’s a fun movie, very 1960’s feeling. I started on it several years ago. It started out as with mechanics using a standard deck of cards, charts, movement on a small board. It was complex and not fun. So I set it aside and went to the next design. Then I see Jason Glover’s Desolate and realized that this was the game I was trying to make. By the way this is an excellent solo game that you can hear more about right here – Flying Solo  . And you can buy your own copy here – Desolate on The Game Crafter 

The itch to make a science fiction themed game was revived when I discovered Monster Kid Radio podcast. Derek Koch’s wonderful show covers the movies that I LOVE – 1930’s through early 1960’s monster movies. This includes your classics like Dracula, The Mummy, and Creature From The Black Lagoon. He and his guests also talk about not as well known movies like Dan Curtis’ Dracula, Santo movies, Nosferatu, and The Beach Girls And The Monster.   It reawakened my monster kid and I’m very glad of it. Here’s a link to MKR. I give it my highest recommendation.

Anyway, Ryan and I got to talking and actually watching some of them ‘together’. He asked me that very question – why don’t I make a science fiction themed game based on one of these movies? That was a very excellent question and got my brain working. It would be great to do a Logan’s Run or This Island Earth. But licensing issues would surely arise. It would be best to find a movie without that particular roadblock. Therefore to the public domain I went. And that is where I will harvest my theme. There are numerous movies there to pick from. Movies such as Robot Monster, Killers From Space, Attack of The Giant Leeches, and any number of Flash Gordon or other serials. Surely I can dig a treasure from such fertile ground. So readers, that is one of my design goals for 2019. I am going to design, or at least start, a game based on some public domain science fiction (possibly horror) movie. I have a couple of ideas and invite you to tag along on this journey with me.

Next Time: A few movies I’m considering