Other People's Stories

MSN/IGN's Game On blog editorializes on the difficulties adapting novels into games, highlighting The Witcher, S.T.A.L.K.E.R., King Arthur: The Role-Playing Wargame, and Dante's Inferno.
"The influence of the books cannot be overestimated. Geralt of Rivia was created almost 25 years ago, so there is a whole generation of players in Poland raised on Sapkowski's stories," he explains. "We read them at the high school and later over the years, as the next books of the saga were published. You can imagine the pressure we had while working on the game. People expected a lot, and some fans were really skeptical, as there already was a movie adaptation of the books and it was definitely not a hit."

As with EA and "Dante's Inferno," Ganszyniec's team faced the problem of integrating characters from well-known stories into something original. "We introduced some characters from the books, tried to use the same archetypes and motifs. We discussed a lot about how the characters were built in books and how to use the techniques in-game. All in all, it was a creative adaptation -- translating the world and feel of the narrative into a very different medium."