RPS Asks: What Book Should Be A Game?

I’m reading KW Jeter’s Infernal Devices at the moment, and it’s got me longing for a new alt-history RPG overflowing with Steampunk detail, monstrous conspiracy, disturbing automata, weird lechery, and nightmare clockwork contraptions. It won’t happen, of course, because life is unfair, but sometimes we have to look at 19th-century-styled etching and say: This, people, should be brought to life.

So come on folks. Book-to-Game suggestions, and go wild and unrealistic. We probably do need a Fear & Loathing simulator…


  1. Heliosicle says:

    Mortal Engines, cities eating each other.

    • Berzee says:

      Woot! Thanks for reminding me of the name of this series :) I have been wanting to tell my wife about it but all I could say was “umm, something with london eating things”

    • sinister agent says:

      You swine. That’s exactly the first thought I had, too. Great books, and just imagine that open world – acres of wasteland to fly over, with huge, roving settlements to land on and explore. You could do anything with it, but an open-world RPG set there, handled properly, would make me happy for many time units.

      Or a roving city-management thing, with you choosing a type (scavenger, minor predator, ultra predator, maybe ambhibious, etc) and playing as mayor, directing its course, sending out scouts and diggers, playing politics between the guilds, trading with shifty aviators, managing resources and crew… so much potential.

    • westyfield says:

      Yep. A different book called Infernal Devices (the third in the Mortal Engines series).
      Traction Cities eating each other, airships floating around from port to port, stalkers, er, stalking – the whole series is perfect for an open-world RPG.

    • Tei says:

      Woot… there has to be a lot of novels about cities on rails… like The Inverted World

    • Skusey says:

      I was about to say this, I’ve no idea how it would work, but hopefully somebody clever can make it happen.

    • RedNick says:

      Was going to say Mortal Engines too.
      @tei, they’re not on tracks in ME.
      EDIT: and apparently Peter Jackson will be directing a film of it…

    • sinister agent says:

      I read that too, about the film, and hoped for the best… then I read that it will be shot in 3D, so will likely be gimmicky crap with dreadful cinematography. Bah.

    • Gonefornow says:

      I read first three of those books a way back and I remember, faintly, thinking about how cool a game based on a moving steampunkish city would be.
      So. Yes! Somebody make it happen!

    • westyfield says:

      You should definitely read the fourth, A Darkling Plain. It’s as good as the first, whereas the middle two were not as great. It’s also the only book ever to make me cry, which gives it the John Walker Seal of Literary Excellence.

    • Conor says:

      I agree, A Darkling Plain was pretty magnificent, and the end in particular was brilliantly and touchingly done. I can neither confirm nor deny whether or not I shed a manly tear.

    • Tams80 says:

      That was my first thought too! Probably due to the article picture and the use of the ‘steampunk’.

      Cities eating each other, airships, wasteland etc. So much goodness!

    • Davie says:

      Exactly this. It appears that was the Infernal Devices everyone else thought of. Cripes, that would be an awesome game.

    • c-Row says:

      Read some reviews on Amazon and they sound interesting. How much of a children’s book is it? Will my inner child be able to enjoy them?

    • Davie says:

      @ C-Row: It’s a children’s book in the manner that Lord of the Flies is a children’s book, i.e. not really at all, but gets filed in the Young Adult Fiction at the library.

      It is excellent, though, beyond all doubt. Extremely imaginative. Brilliantly written. Read all of them.

    • deacon says:

      Not sure too many other people have read this but I would ejaculate for a game based on Perdido Street Station in China Mieville’s City New Crobozun. The author was a professor of world mythologies and the character designs reflect that. It would be a massive already premapped out and amazing grungy steampunk city complete with unique characters/species, endless varieties of bad guys mob bosses using the concept of “remades” introduced in the book (people who are intentionally deformed or deformed as a punishment for crimes with everything up to sword arms) if anyone else has read perdido street station or any other china mieville novels set in New Crobozun I think they would agree

  2. TheTourist314 says:

    I suppose it probably goes without saying, but it’d be interesting to see strongly story-driven Ender’s Game experience.

    • imirk says:

      or just the battle room, a bit like frozen synapse or GSB, but with the added league management issues.

    • Squashyware says:

      I was thinking Enders Game, frozen synapse with 3 dimensions! Ouch!

    • macwarrior says:

      This already exists, in gameplay if not in story, as Shattered Horizon — a team-based zero-g six-DOF shooter in a debris field.

      If someone modded it to add the aesthetic of a Portal test chamber you’d have the battle room to a T, I think.

    • Lordjake says:

      I came here to say Ender’s game and I’m happy someone beat me to it.
      It would be absolutely amazing if done correctly.

    • innociv says:

      I was thinking of Ender’s Game as well.

    • drivebyhobo says:

      Ender’s Game : The Game ?

  3. OJSlaughter says:

    James Clavell’s Asian Saga!!!!

    They are good books, specifically Taipan should be made into a game :)

  4. jezcentral says:

    Neal Asher’s Polity books and China Mieville’s New Crobuzon books..

    • Orija says:

      God, yes to China Mieville’s works. Even The City and the City would make a nice LA Noire-esque game.

    • Easydog says:

      I would love to see a Bas-lag set game :) I would love to see something set in China Mievilles worlds.

    • Ghost of Grey Cap says:

      Bas-Lag would be mindblowing. Mieville’s politics might be difficult to market in a AAA game though :(

    • Zephro says:

      Bas-lag would be a good setting but I doubt any of the actual stories would fit.

      Also i went to one of the talks at the British Library exhibition on Sci-Fi books, China Mieville has a VERY low opinion of video games.

    • I_have_no_nose_but_I_must_sneeze says:

      Agreed, as I said in previous comment, Bas-Lag would seem to make a great setting for an RPG.

    • Jake says:

      The City and The City would also make for a very confusing Sim City type game.

    • Tom4J says:

      You could make an amazing 2 Player Cop-op Game based off City and the City where the two players need to work together to achieve thier goal but within the restrictions of the borders and rules enforced. would really drive home the message of the book too. Maybe something like Ibb and Obb.

      Tom j

  5. Orija says:

    Perdido Street Station, The Kraken both are by China Mieville

    A Song of Ice and Fire action rpg (DwD wasn’t as good as I wished it to be, btw)

    That graphic novel about orcs who use dried penises as currency

  6. DainIronfoot says:

    I think I’ll get the inevitable Culture suggestion out of the way :P Never mind that I can’t really see many formats that universe could work in (Adventure game? Heh)

    Patrick O’Brien – or at least a game that captures the essence of that period and that life as well as he does.

    Space Captain Smith would work very well..

    • Kelron says:

      The Culture and the wider galaxy could work for a grand strategy game, given that there’s supposed to be numerous other civilisations on a similar level of technology. It would be a tough job to do it justice and make more than a standard 4x game with a Culture theme, though. It would have to be much more about inter-species relations and intrigue than traditional build-fight-conquer mechanics.

    • Zephro says:

      The culture would be good if it was a giant sandbox full of different species/cultures. Then you just do espionage to prod/push them in different directions of development. Rather than a 4X game.

      It would be like being Special Circumstances.

    • a cynic writes... says:

      If we’re looking at the Culture let’s just have Azad from Player of Games.

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      I’ve toyed (a lot) with the concept of making a computer version of the game of Azad from the Player of Games. Unfortunately Iain Banks is one of my few favourite Scottish authors I’ve yet to track down in person so I haven’t been able to hassle him with regards to the expanded concept of the game (the book is devious in the way it gives you enough snippets to get the atmosphere of the game but keeps back a lot of the actual mechanics).

      If any of you have read Surface Detail, it does the opposite of this (video games infiltrate books).

    • DainIronfoot says:

      In Player of games, all the scenes describing Azad had me sceaming ”they’re playing Sid Meiers Civilisation!!!” I later read that you played Civ, was the resemblance intentional?

      No; hadn’t even heard of the game at the time, though I later became an addict and am in remission (from Civ 3 – can’t be doing with the later, less abstract versions). I was stunned when I heard it had once been a board game. I invented something similar (thought vastly inferior) myself when I was a kid, called Super Risk (guess where that found its inspiration).

    • Bureaucromancer says:

      Something that captures the essence of O’Brien does sound awesome, although I wonder if it would really end up being all that different from a more serious take on Pirates!

      As far as that era goes though, how about an RPG interpretation of Cornwell’s Sharpe series? Maybe in a format reminiscent of Mount and Blade?

    • Daiv says:

      A strategy game in which the AI is roughly four million times as intelligent as you?

    • DainIronfoot says:

      Something that captures the essence of O’Brien does sound awesome, although I wonder if it would really end up being all that different from a more serious take on Pirates!”

      I’d say, take the sailing from the POTC/Sea Dogs RPGs, with their manual cannon aiming from the deck, pretty good sailing physics, storms and other cool stuff (If I was making it, I’d like to get really realistic with the sailing mechanics, but that’d probably be a no-no), Mount and Blade style boarding combat, with stuff like offhand pistols, dodges and things, something of a Sims style crew management system where you have to manage your officers and crews.. deal with bad officers and things like that. Sandboxy gameplay where you can cruise about as you like, taking prizes, landing and burning forts, setting up cannons in odd places, occasional diplomatic missions..

      You get the idea. That’s my dream game by the way :P

      “As far as that era goes though, how about an RPG interpretation of Cornwell’s Sharpe series? Maybe in a format reminiscent of Mount and Blade?”

      This too. I was working on a mod for M&B that was pretty much this..

    • Tacroy says:

      The Culture could never make for a 4X game, they’re missing most of the Xs. They’re not really expanding in any significant sense, they’re not exploiting resources (except for other civilizations, politically and for their own good obvs), and they’re not very much into the whole “exterminate” idea. Exploring is about all that’s left, except the vast majority of the civilization is only interested in the sort of exploring that happens at the weekly Orbital Orgy.

      Though what would work would be something like Solar 2, except instead of a planet you’re a Mind and you have to upgrade yourself up from some puny whatever class ship to something better by doing favors for other Minds (sure we’ll set you up with a GSV, I’ll put in an order for you – the queue’s moving pretty quickly, so you should have yours in a couple of centuries. Oh you want it sooner? Well maybe we can work something out…)

      Of course, I’m sure that would end up being something like Transcendence except less linear, so there you go.

  7. herschel says:

    The Holy Bible. Well…

    • Berzee says:

      This is one of my life’s ambitions. Stick around for 50 years or so and we’ll see if I make it. :)
      Maybe someone else will spare me the trouble, but it had better not be in the standard cheesy-Christian Bible-trivia-after-each-level sort of style.

      The Book of Ruth is my sticking point. =)

    • jerkstoresup says:

      With a nice dose of satire similar to The Book of Mormon Musical, I’d play the shit out of a Bible game.

    • arienette says:

      Good luck getting some of that stuff past the censors.

    • somini says:

      Adults only.
      link to biblegateway.com

    • Chris D says:


      “The book of Ruth is my sticking point.”

      You mean you were able to get past Deuteronomy and Leviticus okay?

    • Berzee says:

      “Deuteronomy and Leviticus”
      Yep! Remember those are just laws that God gave to Moses and Moses gave to the Israelites…and at the time, the Israelites were doing exciting things like Desert Wandering and Preparing To Invade The Promised Land. So putting Deuteronomy and Leviticus in there is really just finding a way to weave those bits of law and culture into the backdrop of the events happening in Exodus.

      Similarly, Moses I believe wrote some Psalms. Psalms would best be included as songs being sung around the camp, sometimes important, sometimes just background flavor.

    • ArcaneSaint says:

      I could definitely see how the New Testament could be turned into an RPG.
      Or perhaps a Canabalt-style game based on the “Great Flood”-story arc?

    • InternetBatman says:

      Pretty sure most of the Psalms were King David, but they could be introductions to chapters in Kings which was practically made for a video game.

  8. Ghost of Grey Cap says:

    Jeff Vandermeer’s Finch. A hardboiled detective story set in a fictional pseudo 1920s city occupied by alien monstrocities composed of fungus.

    • JackShandy says:

      Really? I just finished City of Saints and Madmen, involving a secretive underground race of mushroom-dwellers, which once made everyone in the city disappear. Do all his books have weird fungus paranoia?

    • StickyNavels says:

      Part of the same trilogy. :)

    • Ghost of Grey Cap says:

      City of Saints and Madmen, Shriek: an Afterword, are indeed a sort of series (continuity is pretty loose). The other stuff by him I’ve read (a novel and some short stories) share a lot of the same themes. Jeff is simply fascinated by strange alien things underground.

    • Quizboy says:

      I was just coming in here to suggest Finch, or at least a game set in occupation-era Ambergris (or a roguelike where you play as a series of naive Ambergrisians For The Original Inhabitants Society members in Duncan Shriek’s days, trying to get further into the underground and dying horribly each time, but leaving notes for your similarly unprepared successor). But you already have. Bravo you!

      I’m going to add, then, a suggestion for Vandermeer’s The Situation. Quite how to design a game where you play as a low-grade office worker in a nightmarish, incomprehensible biotechnology corporation and battle the twin threats of your increasing workplace isolation and your best friend’s gradual transformation into a bear, I don’t know. That can be somebody else’s problem. I just know I’d buy it.

  9. Eraysor says:

    I would like to be the Gunslinger from Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. Please.

    • Sweedums says:

      mmmmm yes please.

      while we are on stephen king, The Shining? all sorts of creepy psychological stuff you could do with that.

    • FataMorganaPseudonym says:

      I would rather be a Gunslinger in a game based on the world of the Dark Tower series, rather than the Gunslinger in a straight rehash of the books in game form.

  10. Mr Fossy says:

    ‘Diaspora’ by Greg Egan. Cyber-beings with bizarre, personal avatars, occupying/creating/shaping bizarre, personal landscapes; factional politics between the different polises. Some sort of MMO exploration game, perhaps. Good stuff.

    • Kulantan says:

      The final levels would be a tad confusing all things considered.

    • Mr Fossy says:

      Where the characters start exploring 50-dimensional environments and stuff? No problem. Players could just put of a few pairs of 3D glasses.

      And take a bunch of hallucinogenic drugs.

  11. Dana says:

    Lies of Locke Lamora would make great point and click adventure game.

    • GeneralERA says:

      Those Lynch books are amazing, but I don’t think point and click adventure at all. (That may just be because I can’t stand point and click adventure games, but…)

      Dialogue driven RPG with gameplay focused on thievery and such with Locke Lamora and fighting with Jean. That would be epic.

    • Easydog says:

      You could make it a kind of Mirrors Edge set in Venice

  12. Dawngreeter says:

    Troubleshooting Oracle Performance!

    I crack myself up.

  13. jboy_2009 says:

    A rogue-like based on Carmac McCarthy’s The Road.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      If someone isn’t making a game based on The Road, I will eat hats.

    • Savage Henry says:

      I was thinking along the lines of a total conversion mod for Fallout or STALKER of The Road, but the bleakness. Sheesh!

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      Surely you meant to type “road-like”?

    • GenBanks says:

      Was the first thing I thought of too :)

    • Enzo says:

      Well, there already is a post-apocalyptic roguelike called Caves of Qud. It’s in the beta phase, but I heard a lot of good things about it. Except it’s more like Fallout and Mad Max than The Road.

    • JB says:

      The Road was my suggestion too, I’m glad I read the other comments first =)

    • Nallen says:

      I thought Stalker was based on The Road.

      But then I’ve only seen the film and played the games.

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      Stalker was based on the novel Roadside Picnic. That’s a spin-off of The Road, where the boy and his dad stop for lunch in a lay-by, before an anomaly turns their legs into concrete.
      Did I get that wrong?

    • TheLemon says:

      Stalker the game is based on Stalker the movie which is very loosely based on Roadside Picnic. The Road has absolutely no relation to any of that. Roadside Picnic came out in Seventies and The Road came out a couple years ago.

    • Kaira- says:

      I thought S.T.A.L.K.E.R. was based on the book and not the movie, seeing how the movie is quite… philosophic? Atmospheric? Quiet? Something like that.

    • DrGonzo says:

      The world and the story isn’t very much like the film at all. But the visuals are quite similar as is the atmoshpere. In fact a few of the shots from the film of burnt out cars and apcs etc have almost identical looking scenes in the first Stalker game, the tunnels also come to mind.

      It’s very, very loosely based on it. But it is based on it.

      I would imagine that The Road would have been influenced by Roadside Picnic at least somewhat.

  14. Cable says:

    Jane Eyre, or perhaps not a direct copy but a period drama in that sort of form with lots of choice and conversation and interesting people. I think that would be cool.

    • Kieron Gillen says:


      //loscampesinos off


    • YourMessageHere says:

      I’d like this. A Jane Austen-like game of manners and social climbing, with only minimal fighting elements – a dueling system, perhaps. A morality system that seperately charts manipulation and honesty. A Frocks And Conversation game, basically.

  15. LennyLeonardo says:

    I would like to play a proper investigaty adventure game (like LA Noire but without the shooty bits and car chases) based on a Raymond Chandler novel, possibly the Big Sleep. There are far too few Chandler adaptaions about these days.

    If not, an adventure game based on Slaughterhouse 5. Actually, yeah, that.

    • Inglourious Badger says:

      I was going to say Slaughterhouse 5 but then my brain melted trying to workout how that would work. Day of the Tentacle style adventure game is a good shout

  16. N'Al says:

    Mills & Boon

  17. Berzee says:

    * Howl’s Moving Castle (the book, not the excruciatingly depressing movie), Dark Lord of Derkholm, any of those classic Diana Wynne Jones books really
    * OH MAN, definitely Meghan Whalen Turner’s “Thief” series
    * The Man Who Was Thursday
    * The Whole Bible

    • Berzee says:

      “The Napoleon of Notting Hill” would be basically perfect for a game, by the way — it would translate directly into a game about fighting things, unlike most of these very fine but esoteric suggestions.

      I would summarize the book here but I don’t want to spoil it. Suffice it to say — it’s like medieval and/or early Ren-o-sonse combat through the streets of 1984 London…where most of the soldiers are greengrocers and politicians and the like.

  18. Rii says:

    Moby Dick.

    Believe it or not, this occurred to me before I recalled Penny Arcade’s take on the matter.

  19. ResonanceCascade says:

    At the Mountains of Madness. I only say this because it almost WAS a video game, before the Call of Cthulhu devs tanked.

  20. aircool says:

    Calvin & Hobbes.

  21. Ghost of Tom says:


  22. yhancik says:

    Brave New World, as a sim.

    • JackShandy says:

      What, you have to make sure everyone has sex constantly while administering Soma?

    • mouton says:

      A kind of utopia/dystopia simulator would be great – with a lot of varied options, be it police state or happy junkie sex thing. Alpha Centauri did picture it a bit, but it would be great if it was more of a sim without global war.

  23. bowl of snakes says:

    Help a Bear is Eating Me by Mykle Hansen

  24. Jockie says:

    JG Ballards High Rise, brutal 1st person survival horror/beat-em up in a luxury skyscraper gone mad as the human psyche fails to adapt to the pressures of hyper-modern life. Think you can already see influences of this book in some games, things like Brink, Bioshock etc, where utopias quickly fall to ruin and rebellion.

  25. Defiant Badger says:

    RedWall I’d say, considering all the things Matthias has to do before the final encounter with Cluny it would make a rather splendid action RPG.

    • DainIronfoot says:

      I think someone is working on a Mount and Blade mod. If it gets released it could be perfect.

  26. SeedGeorge says:

    Snow Crash, by Neil Stephenson.
    Do a film as well, oh please.

    • PanzerVaughn says:


      Cyberpunk swordfighting, with motorbike rides through Minecraftian digital scapes, and fastpaced highpowered adrenaline-and-techno-fueled pizza delivery side missions.

    • Quine says:


      With chunky retro sword-fighting and destructible boats and Reason.

    • ShadyGuy says:

      Aww, I just suggested this and thought I was being original. :P

    • Neurodancer says:

      After 25 years of gaming and a year reading RPS, I finally caved and created an account simply to +1 the suggestion of Snow Crash.

    • Pundabaya says:

      A Deus Ex-y guns and conversation game set a few years after the events of Snow Crash, following on with another conspiracy that Hiro Protagonist has to solve, while also tying up a few loose ends. And a more refined version of Reason. Reason is the closest anyone’s come to ‘enuff dakka’.. And a mission involving the Rat Things(on your side of course). This would be a perfect game.

  27. Derpington Hurrrrrrr says:

    China Miéville’s Bas-Lag series. As an RPG of course.

  28. Tretiak says:

    Sven Hassel novels!
    If he wrote them…

  29. Zephro says:

    Something set in the Sprawl, or something like Neuromancer. I doubt any of the actual stories would transfer well but basically the archetype of cyberpunk.

    Fingers crossed for Deus Ex I guess.

  30. tanith says:

    No books should be games.
    Books are books and games are games. Some people should stop being uncreative and if that’s not possible – well, maybe they have the wrong job.

    • Barts says:

      I see some copy-paste material here:

      No books should be movies.
      Books are books and movies are movies. Some people should stop being uncreative and if that’s not possible – well, maybe they have the wrong job.

    • Berzee says:

      No wars should be games.
      Wars are wars and games are games . Some people should stop being uncreative and if that’s not possible – well, maybe they have the wrong job.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      No donkeys should be monkeys.

      Quit messing with my head!

  31. Noctre says:

    The Odyssey.

    • sinister agent says:

      There was a game about that on the Spectrum, as I recall.

      I never got anywhere with it.

    • Harkkum says:

      Why not just go with Joyce’s take on the matter and spend 100 hours walking in Ireland whilst pondering what on earth is the purpose of all this until you figure out that indeed, your wife has been cheating on you all this time!

  32. JackShandy says:

    Tim Powers, On Stranger Tides. Sure, Monkey Island was Ok, but I’d like to see it done seriously, with explorating the carribean and ships and guns and voodoo and hidden treasure and things.

  33. Puttyngton says:

    The Very Hungry Caterpillar as a point & click adventure game!

  34. Batolemaeus says:

    Wolfgang Hohlbein games.
    Two to three games a year.
    All with the same plot with minor variations.

  35. Krixodus says:

    A point and click adventure game á la “Monkey Island” based on the “Spellsinger” Saga by Alan Dean Foster.

  36. Ginger Yellow says:

    Ubik would make a pretty awesome adventure game, and it has a Bioshock style twist which could work pretty well. Apparently it was made into a game, but as a squad based shooter/Syndicate style thing.

  37. Kelron says:

    I just read Alastair Reynold’s Terminal World, and while I don’t think the book was great it would still make a nice setup for an exploration/survival FPS.

    The world is divided into zones of differing technology levels, from zones that are stuck with 18th century level technology to areas with AIs and other futuristic tech. if you took advanced technology like a laser gun into a low tech zone it would stop functioning within hours and would not work again if you took it back to a high tech zone, short of melting it down and using the raw materials to remake it. Humans also need drugs or extensive genetic modification to survive outside of the zones they were born in and adapted to.

  38. Premium User Badge

    SeanybabeS says:

    I would say anything by Matthew Reilly, the Jack West Jr series would play out alot like Drakes Fortune i.e. Action-Adventure. Shane Schofield series would play closer to a Manshoot I expect, would still love to see it though.

  39. Loveschach says:

    The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus.

    Might make a good MMO, I think.

  40. Stupoider says:

    Perdido Street Station would make a great monster hunting game, especially trying to shoot behind yourself while looking at the mirrors on your screen. Steampunk/science fiction/horror/fantasy/weeeeird.

    • Quine says:

      I can see the Bioshock mob doing something like this.

    • Calabi says:

      I’d go for that, didnt like the plot, but the world and some of the ideas were interesting.

    • Createx says:

      I would definitely love this. It has to be an RPG, and the most interesting thing would be to play as a Remade, which would push it in the way of a stealth game it is set in New Crobuzon (which is the only choice, really).
      And no overthrowing the militia, that would just ruin it.
      Make a smaller, character-driven plot.

    • Stupoider says:

      Aye, I was thinking something like a Zeno Clash RPG in a sandbox (when I say sandbox I mean in the Mafia sense, you can go anywhere but primarily it should be the next mission/objective).

      I like the idea of primarily using your fists or whatever you can get your hands on with little focus on carrying ammo. So you might just grab a Rivebow you knocked out of someone’s hands, fire it, then chuck it aside to go after the next weapon you can get your hands on.

    • Createx says:

      Hmmm, not sure if a brawling sim fits into New Crobuzon. Especially if it is Open World. It would just seem wrong to run around beating people up and the Militia not doing anything. There is a reason why the resistance always fails and crime bosses have certain agreements with the Militia.

  41. Zogtee says:

    Clockwork Orange, innit?

    Primarily based on the book, though, with all the ideas about our future language intact, and only to a lesser extent the film. It would do well as an open world RPG with your gang buddies in your party, weapons, rival gangs, etc. Rockstar, are you listening?

    Some of Iain M. Banks less popular books, like “Against a dark background” (*so* much stuff to work with in that one) and “Feersum Endjinn” would be fantastic.

    Also, I think it’s borderline criminal that no one has even attempted to turn the the works of Michael Moorcock (Elric, Corum, Hawkmoon, etc) and Gene Wolfe (The Book of the New Sun) into RPG’s.

    “Blood and souls, Arioch! Drink deep, Stormbringer! Arggh!”

    Aah, the joys of being a fantasy geek… Seriously, though, it’s sad to see lightweight nonsense like Resident Evil get games and movies, when there is such a wealth of material out there to work with.

    • YourMessageHere says:

      Absofuckinglutely Against A Dark Background. This book is one of my all-time favourites, and probably the book I most want to be made into a film – but I’ll settle for a game instead. I want to play a game with neon-pink Solipsists in combat ACVs!

  42. chabuhi says:

    Tad Williams’ Otherland series maybe? I always thought that would be a fun open-world adventure/rpg – especially if you could give players the tools to construct their own piece of the universe. So, kinda like Snowcrash, too, I guess.

    Oh, wait – Second Life … never mind.

  43. Tatourmi says:

    I’d love to see Bernard Werbert take on football in the “tree of possibles” (Guess that is the right translation) be transcriped into a game.

    -Grapes of wrath: The struggling family simulator.
    -Asimov’s Robot psychogy secret cases: Death of the three laws.
    -Candide, as a not so lovely 2D platformer.
    -The Odissey: Episode one, Troy at war.
    -Moby Dick, the great hunt.

    And mandatory: The kamasutra. But I guess it has been done before.

  44. K. says:

    Dan Simmons: Hyperion Cantos
    Ken MacLeod: Star Fraction

    …because I want more philosophy, socialism and anarchy in my games.

    • Wang Tang says:

      A game based on Hyperion would actually make sense as a series of episodes. But I can’t see the genre this game should be. Adventure? No-Guns-and-Conversation?

  45. Spider Jerusalem says:

    I would love an RPG where one plays as Corwin of Amber.

    Let me manipulate shadow!

  46. LennyLeonardo says:

    Instead of a Fear and Loathing simulator, what about a Hunter S Thompson simulator?
    You’re dumped in the woods behind Jack Nicholson’s house with a submachinegun, a fresh elk’s heart and a navy issue foghorn and you have to terrorise his family before the drugs wear off.

  47. MiniTrue says:

    I’d kill for a game based on either “Crime and Punishment” or “The Idiot”, both by Dostoevsky. In the same vein, a game based on Kafka’s “The Trial” or “The Castle” would also be fascinating.

    As you can see, I like my dystopias. I would thus suggest a game based in the universe of “1984”, but you know and I know that the universe would be raped and some kind of trite “happy ending” would be glued on.

    • Spider Jerusalem says:

      I’d prefer a game based on “We,” “1984’s” much more compelling predecessor.

    • inertia says:

      An adaptation of War of the Worlds, of course! But actually set in the late-Victorian (or was it early-Georgian?) England of the book. Now that would be awesome. Maybe you could have a team of survivors and a team of tripods, and the tripods had to capture the survivors before they all got a terrible cold and suddenly died in a big ol’ deus ex machina. Like team tig, or something.

    • westyfield says:

      Fucking yes. We would make an excellent game. An entire city made of glass, with The Wall and the wilderness beyond. Not sure how the story could work but the environment would be amazing.
      Edit: @Inertia – I think WotW was late Victorian. And there was an RTS based on Jeff Wayne’s Musical War of the Worlds. Really.
      link to en.wikipedia.org

    • hereyoutry says:

      I’m pretty sure Suda51 announced he was making a game based on The Castle around 2009? Haven’t heard anything since though, which isn’t reaffirming…

    • Harkkum says:

      I fail to see what is dystopian on Dostojevsky? Not that I would oppose either book as a game I am not entirely sure what e.g. Crime and Punishment would have over all those other psychological [choose genre]s. I just don’t see good novels being necessarily good games. Although I love my Imre Kertesz and V.S. Naipaul as much as the next guy I am not entirely sure traumas of communism and holocaust or bushes and trees on the English countryside make a good game.

      If I’d had to choose something from the Russian/Soviet literature to be made into a game I’d definitely go for the Master and Margarita. A game where you can play as Satan and send your fellow players to that remote corner of the earth just for the sake of it would be extremely satisfying if not too fair a gaming experience. Or maybe Satan would be your antagonist whilst you try to navigate the streets of Moscow. One mistake and you’re in Siberia. Game Over.

      Also, if classics are to be referred to I’d love to see also Heart of Darkness as a game. It could be a River Raid re-make with a plot! Or an eugenics lab game where you have to collect all the different head shapes from those darn primitives in the jungle whilst maintaining your sanity in true rogue-like fashion.

  48. CMaster says:


    As an MMO.

    Not literally following the plot, but Arrakis with all its factions and monsters and the like would make a great action/stealth MMO.

  49. I_have_no_nose_but_I_must_sneeze says:

    American Psycho, developed by Nicolau Chaud. You play in first-person and your every action is followed by snippets of internal monologue. That would be hideous.

  50. GenBanks says:

    Tatyana Tolstaya – The Slynx… incredibly weird world would be cool in a game.

    Robinson Crusoe… I envision a realistic rendering of minecraft-style gameplay (harvesting wood or whatever, making stuff etc), focused on exploration and crafting on a detailed free form island.

    Venedikt Erofeev – Moscow to the end of the Line… hours of gameplay wandering around Soviet Moscow deliriously drunk