Improbability: Hothead’s Hitchhiker’s Guide

By John Walker on May 25th, 2011 at 10:47 am.

Panic?

Hothead Games – they behind Deathspank and Penny Arcade Adventures – have announced a Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy project. And that’s just about it. Their very brief press release explains that the game is to be published by Megadodo Publications, which is a form of joke. Other than that, it doesn’t even explain that it’s a game – merely a “new edition” of The Guide. Videogamer are reporting that it will be on digital platforms, but none has been named. Although Hothead tends to release across the board, so it seems likely it’ll come our way.

What a license to take on. Will they be as ambitious as Adams was himself when he had a go? (You can read Victoria Regan’s Gaming Made Me all about it.) Will it be an adventure, action, fourth-person turn-based platformer? What do you reckon?

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48 Comments »

  1. Gnoupi says:

    This will all end in tears.

  2. Bantu says:

    My money is on epic earth based MMORPG. The objective? Survive 2 million years. Races available: hairdresser, phone sanitizer, management consultant, et al.

    • DdCno1 says:

      Your awesome commentary just shows how timeless and great the source material still is. I’m curious about what the devs come up with for this game, but I don’t expect anything fantastic from this studio.

      Please excuse me, as I’ll now finally try to get out of the house in the textadventure.

      P.S.
      I think I’ll never be able to give my aunt her huge green copy of “The more than complete Hitchhiker’s Guide” back. I’m borrowing this book for a few years now, read it countless times and always hid it between some towels when she came for a visit…

    • Hematite says:

      There’s a frood who really knows where his towel is.

  3. Okami says:

    It’s going to be a narrative driven, cover based third, person shooter based on Unreal 3 technology.

  4. Guiscard says:

    Ron Gilbert is no longer at Hothead, alas. He would have been good for this.

  5. Ralud says:

    High Alert!
    If this even manages to nibble at the work of the late Douglas Adams I’ll be happy.

  6. Spacewalk says:

    I’m crossing my fingers on it being an LCG.

  7. CMaster says:

    Got to say that nothing based on the Guide since Adams’s death has been much good.

    • jon_hill987 says:

      Agreed.

      I read “And another thing”. It isn’t quite the same.

    • CMaster says:

      I just re-read “And another thing” recently. I was struck by the same “oh god it’s awful, like really really bad” as I was the first time. I’d just forgotten the strength of my reaction. The movie, even with Adams involved wasn’t up to much, and the new radio series of just reading out the (weaker) later books falls kinda flat too.

    • G says:

      The original two radio series were amazing, everything since then has been varying shades of crap (Yes, I’m including the original books)

    • CMaster says:

      I enjoyed the books, although they definitely got worse (although I like Mostly Harmless in that it doesn’t try to be like the others and is stronger for it). Most of the best jokes were from the radio series mind. The TV series was just the radio series with some cheap sets.

    • MikoSquiz says:

      Fool! The books were clearly far superior to the radio series. The narration consistently gets all the best lines and funniest bits.

    • Xercies says:

      I didn’t mind And Another Thing but it was definitely a bit weak. The books are really good as well, except the 4th one, i thought that was a bit to…well it didn’t feel like Hitch Hikers To me. The 5th one was alight, a bit bleak. The TV series is awesome just because it basically is the radio series, and they did it pretty well.

    • Ogun says:

      The movie mystified me, it had a lot of the jokes but none of the punchlines. If someone has to produce another Hitchhikers property then I hope it is just the same old jokes again, in their entirety.

      One thing that’s potentially damaged the Hitchhikers IP is the arrival of the internet. They might be largely human-written and earthbound but sites like Wikipedia are the Hitchhikers Guide – it takes a little of the glamour away from that amazing device. The only parallel I can think of that Adams didn’t make is that people would intentionally limit themselves to entries by a few editors/authors.

    • Pani says:

      I haven’t listened to the fabled radio series but I have watched the old TV series, read the books (or some of them) and watched the movie and my favourite of them all was actually the movie*. I thought it was very well done. A few moments were laugh out loud but mostly it was very cute.

      *please don’t shun me from the pages of RPS for being blasphemous

  8. mrwonko says:

    Whatever it’s going to be, I guess Towel Day‘s the best day to announce it.

  9. JackShandy says:

    “Gosh, do you know what would be better than making something funny? Remaking something that used to be funny, over and over again!

    “Brilliant idea, Jenkins! Early lunch, lads, we’ve earned it.”

  10. Pobblepop says:

    I think you ought to know I’m feeling very depressed.

  11. samsharp99 says:

    The Starship Titanic was a great game :D

  12. Diziet Sma says:

    Could this possibly be tangentially related to the BBC abandoning h2g2 and thus be a proper Hitchikers Guide for the iPad? :P

  13. itsallcrap says:

    Digital platforms, you say? Oh man, those are the best kind.

    • adonf says:

      I think he means it runs on a digital computer. Not on an analog computer, and not a board game either.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      He obviously means digital watches.

  14. BurningPet says:

    i want space tycoon a-la trasnport tycoon where you can destroy plaents to build an intergalactic highway.

  15. mbp says:

    Can anyone tell me whether the original infocom HHGTTG text adventure was really a good game or am I just remembering it with rose coloured glasses. I remember being completely enthralled by it back in the day and I spend hours and hours playing it. In hindsight though I seem to recall it was brutally unfair. I am not even sure whether or not I finished the game although I did get pretty far. I do remember managing to collect all the different kinds of fluff and I vaguely remember something improbable involving a whale.

    • adonf says:

      You need to read the part of the article that says there’s a gaming made me post about it.

      And then the GMM article itself.

  16. Acosta says:

    FPS please.

  17. MrHairyLives says:

    Sit back and relax with a Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster cos you’re a froody guy, you know.

    Happy Towel Day!

  18. DainIronfoot says:

    What’s Simon Jones up to at the mo?

    Also: Radio series is best, but TV show and books are good too.

    I wiped the movie from my mind.

    • JohnS says:

      Couldn’t agree more. Seriously, the radio series, especially the newer ones, are superb. The director, Dirk Maggs, is a genius.

  19. Tams80 says:

    Dangerous ground; very dangerous ground. That said Hitchhikers fans don’t tend to be too rabid.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      I think Adams fans are less rabid and more easily annoyed. I’m one of those folks who doesn’t really understand why people generally seemed to dislike the movie, though. I hope Hothead is brave enough to take some risks with the property instead of regurgitating the same jokes which, while admittedly fantastic, I’ve now experienced via radio, novel, interactive fiction, and television show. On the other hand, the best changes that were in the film (i.e. the point of view gun) were things that Douglas himself designed, and obviously he’s not in any shape to be offering creative insight at the present time.

  20. dangermouse76 says:

    The hitch hikers guide is the iphone…just a shame Douglas never lived to see it.

  21. passingstranger says:

    I imagine the reaction to this by fans is skepticism more than anything. Not in that we think they want to throw out a game just to make money, but that this is such a phenomenally ambitious undertaking that doing it correctly would be incredibly hard.

    Kind of like the last movie. It clearly adored the source material and wanted to stay as faithful as possible. But still, considering the amount of humor and detail packed in every page of Adams’ work, it wasn’t able to convey the feeling as well as the written words could. But still, it probably turned some people onto the books that hadn’t read them before, and that’s great.