When you think about it most games, books, movies, etc are inspired by
previous works created by someone else. It is very rare to encounter a
really unique or original idea for a book, movie, game, whatever.
Let's take an author like Stephen King who is widely regarded as one of
the greatest authors of horror and suspense of our time. Yet many of his
works are inspired by something he has read, watched, etc. According to
Stephen King himself Salem's Lot was inspired by Bram Stoker's Dracula
and the horror comics he read as a kid. His short story Home Delivery
was in large part inspired by George Romero's Night of the Living Dead.
The Dark Half is not exactly an original idea either. The idea that
someone can be split into two individual people, one good one evil, is
hardly new. Regardless how or why he got the inspiration he still can
spin a good story out of it.
In 1984 George Lucas released Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. This
movie inspired a developer to create a game called Montezuma's Revenge
which was later released by Parker Brothers. The developer admitted the
inspiration for the game and his lead character Panama Joe were based on
Temple of Doom. Years later Edos Interactive would release a famous
series of games called Tomb Raider which were also inspired by Indiana
Jones. Only this time instead of a male leading character they came up
with a woman named Lara Croft. Regardless of the characters involved in
these games they were both inspired by Indiana Jones. As it happens
George Lucas got the idea for Indiana Jones from an old movie, actually
a weekly adventure serial, he had watched as a kid. I'm sure the
original writer who wrote that weekly adventure serial had no idea the
extent of how many spin offs and millions of dollars that would come of
his original idea. Yet the fact remains the Tomb Raider books, games,
and movies are like a great grand child of some weekly adventure serial
I can't even tell you the name of off the top of my head.
So to get back to the point when we talk about originality there is
rarely such a thing. Most of the time it is inspiration, ideas, and some
creativity based on someone else's work who has long been forgotten in
the sands of time. Even though we might not know the name of the person
who dreamed up the first vampire we do know that Bram Stoker is the man
who created Dracula which has been converted to books, movies, toys,
games, cartoons, you name it. In turn other people like Stephen King
have been inspired by Dracula to go off and tell his own dark tail of
vampires and doomed little towns in Southern Maine. Nintendo made
Dracula the boss for their Castlevania series. On and on we could go.
Johnny Tai wrote:
That'd be a tall order I'd think, since in one way or another most
games are inspired by several earlier ones- for example, call it what
you would, tekken, soul edge, king of fighters, whatever...they all
took the original idea from Street Fighter.
So you can change the sounds, the themes, the name, but to come up
with something totally new as far as idea goes...very hard.
"No one ever kicked ass by saying I can't."
Johnny ST Tai
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