|IMG Interview: Worldwide Biggies' Blaine Graboyes|
August 27, 2008 | Marcus Albers
Recently, Worldwide Biggies released a video game version of the classic movie and book, The Princess Bride, aptly titled The Princess Bride Game. Using casual game types, the players wind their way through the story of The Princess Bride. Recently, IMG Editor-in-Chief Marcus Albers had the chance to sit down with Worldwide Biggies' Media Architect, Blaine Graboyes and talk a little about what went into the new game.
Marcus: The Princess Bride is now considered by many to be a classic, not only on film, but also in print. What was the reasoning for coming out with a video game based on the works so many years after their release?
Blaine: Well, it certainly began with being fans of both the book and the movie. And clearly it is a property with a large and diverse fan base... real fans. But it was also due to reach a new generation with the 20th anniversary of the film in October 2007. In terms of the game, it provided a great story with very compelling characters. We built the game around our evaluation of the characters and story based on what felt the most engaging and impactful.
Marcus: The movie and book have acquired almost a cult-following in the years since their release. Did you have this following in mind when developing the game?
Blaine: We definitely had the fans in mind from the beginning and continue to offer them exclusive content and a dedicated community at fans.princessbridegame.com which is The Ultimate Fan Site for fans of the story. This was also a motivation in securing the original voice actors, since fans really want to hear the iconic lines from their favorite actors.
Marcus: What was it like working with Mandy Patinkin, Wallace Shawn and Robin Wright Penn? Did you contact the rest of the cast about reprising their roles in the game?
Blaine: It was great having some of the original cast return for the game and our production team is all huge fans, so personally for everyone it was exhilarating. Hearing lines like “Inconceivable” and “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya…” and “Farm boy” really energized the development and animation teams to go above and beyond on imbuing the characters in the game. In terms of the entire cast, we would have loved to include more of the cast but a variety of factors from game design to production timelines led to working with Mandy, Wallace and Robin.
Marcus: Were Rob Reiner or William Goldman involved with the project?
Blaine: Worldwide Biggies worked directly with ACTIII Licensing on the development of the property and thru their team we coordinate reviews and approvals with all parties. Mr. Reiner or Mr. Goldman were not specifically involved in the project though the collective opinion from the original creators was that the game truly captured the heart of the story.
Marcus: Was the use of casual game-types a demographics decision, or did you feel the story material mandated it?
Blaine: It was both a demographics decision and also a creative, game design choice. In terms of demographics, the casual game space is exploding and reaches a very wide mass market. Also, the casual game approach gave us more room to explore the characters and story. Specifically the method of having 5 different play modes or game engines was a key factor in how we created a narrative experience for the player.
Marcus: Do you see this game as being a vehicle for introducing a new generation to The Princess Bride?
Blaine: Yes! This is one of the key ideas we had in mind while producing the game. Casual games seemed like a great space too, since parents could enjoy the game for themselves but also share the game with their children. In our playtesting, kids, tweens and teens loved the game so we knew we were on track in making something the whole family would love. That is the essence of The Princess Bride, that everyone can enjoy the story and characters on different levels – from kids to adults and all around the world.
Marcus: Will you be returning to the universe of The Princess Bride for future projects?
Blaine: It would be inconceivable to imagine this is the end of The Princess Bride!
Thanks to Blaine for taking the time to talk with us a little about the game. Make sure to check out the gallery for some "behind the scenes" shots of the artists hard at work on the game.
Worldwide Biggies has also made available to IMG readers a special coupon that will give a 30% discount towards the purchase of the game. Just click on the "I have a discount coupon for this product" link after clicking to buy the game, and enter the following coupon code: PBG-IMG-030
Make sure to do so soon, since the offer expires on September 15th.