Could a Book Writer or Video Game Creator Version of Hollywood Visionary work?


Been thinking that it would be interesting to have something like Holywood Visionary which gave players a lot of creative options for being involved in the movie business back in the 50’s if there was something like that for book writing or video game creation.

The writer one could involve your character being somewhere trying to pump out your aspiring novel, maybe finding romance or cracking under deadlines along the way, and the gap between the fiction and the reality, but also getting to craft your story and the genre in a number of ways. Whilst the video game one could play with a particular time period from the 80’s onwards, maybe getting caught up in one of the console wars and having to choose a platform and whether to try and go indie or join a bigger publisher with your ideas, playing with the different technology of the time for video games. I think either concept could make for a great more open ended style COG game.


I just feel like it would take too long, especially a video game for any type of CS game. A book would be too linear, you can’t really do that with choices without it being really confusing. I just don’t think it would work, or that I would like it.

Edit: I don’t mean that it would be bad, I just prefer CS games over anything else. You can have so much more detail, which, if it was a video game, a lot of people might miss without hints or something. I just mean that I would not be a big fan at all.


Just because something takes too long doesn’t mean it’s necessarily bad, XoR took 8 years of development or something around that mark and it was a fairly decent experience

How would the development of a book be linear? It’s like saying I came up with an idea but it was totally not my creativity or imagination which was responsible for it. I’m pretty sure there will be plenty of options to customize the supposed product, whether it be book or video game, to our liking


It would be the same as choosing your genre or actors in Hollywood Visionary, the reader would get to pick the type of book, maybe the central plot threads, the protagonist and antagonist and so forth. Clearly such a game would be as much about the development and the effect on the writer and those around him/her, but it wouldn’t mean you’d have to have a very limited kind of book.


Honestly? I think the framing device would not lend itself as well to a game. Hollywood Visionary tapped into one of those time periods that helped define the American movie industry; the last decade of the Studio System. There is a certain romance associated with that time and the film of that era.

The problem with the one about authors is that it is too personal. Writing is basically a small team job with the writer as the main creative talent. That would work great as a narrative but as a game, there are only so many branches possible. The video games one is the opposite, due to the way games are made it becomes too impersonal, one single person rarely gets that much input on the process when you get to console level decisions.

If you want to do this, my recommendation is to take a step back and go one level above the creative team. For literature it could be set in the aftermath of the Great War as authors who have seen hell in the trenches come home to write their story. This is the time of HP Lovecraft, JRR Tolkien, Ernest Hemingway, Robert E Howard, F. Scott Fitzgerald and so many famous writers. Perhaps the MC has inherited a humble publishing house and new, quirky authors come offering their works. How much or how little the MC meddles with the authors and what sort of genres they pursue might very well determine the fate of the publishing house and shape the course of popular cultures.

For the video games side try a developer/publisher angle. What kind of games you make, what kind of deals you cut, how you interact with the fans and which systems you choose to support could all be interesting decision points.

Alternatively consider being the head of a record label during the golden years of music. Might be Motown, Rock, Disco, etc. How you develop your talent, how you promote your label, what sort of music you produce, what artistes you sign and whether scandalously you are sleeping with one of the talent, all of this lends itself to a blend of game and story.


I think both of these sound quite interesting! Also, I think there are plenty of demonstrations in the CoG and Hosted catalogues of how many, many disparate concepts and genres can be done really well in ChoiceScript with a little finesse—from pro wrestling to westerns. (:

Anyhow, I would definitely be very curious to read either, especially if they were well-researched!


A game one could work, if you kept it small and intimate. Do a group of friends working on an app who hit it big and form a small studio. Do you fire one of them to get better talent? Do you just crank out follow ups to your breakthrough or try to innovate? It is almost likes game about the rise of a band, except you switch out games for songs.


Slightly cribbing from this idea @derekmetaltron while still conforming to your own of this being author focused: this era is a great example of a list of authors who had interesting lives. But more importantly, it’s often well-documented concerning exactly how their lives impacted their writing, how it open or closed topics concerning what they wrote about or how they wrote about it. It also offers a great example of showing how not just life experiences, political climate, or societal issues at the time impact writers but also how said writers impact one another and the theme(s) of their era.

Setting your game in the era of the Lost Generation, however, may require a lot of research for you to capitalize on the idea. so I’m not necessarily advocating you set it during this time . It you liked the idea but were more interested in crafting a world of your own, though, you could still take ideas and examples from the Lost Generation, concerning the impact of external factors on the writing process. In this way, you could expand beyond what might otherwise seem like something that is too personal to capitalize on.

I, personally, love the idea and would be interested in the game, should you choose to write it.

Addendum: You may also want to check out Choice of Robots for a game that does an excellent job of allowing the reader to create something over the course of time that is affected by and affects the world around the main character. I feel like it may be able to serve as another example or inspiration (in addition to Hollywood Visionary) for you.


Sounds like Game Dev Tycoon, I’d be down. Kairosoft(app store company) also has many games that follow that theme, even a movie star game similar to Hollywood Visionary, only difference is that Kairosoft’s games does not have the heavy-story part aspect as does Game Dev Tycoon, most of it is event based.