Doctor Who Computer Games – a new format?

So, there are four Doctor Who games releasing this summer. This is interesting partly just because new Who games are cool – maybe these will do the license justice. The last one, Destiny of the Doctors, was appalling and even the best Who game yet – The Mines of Terror – was clearly supposed to involve K9 and the Daleks, but had to change them for licensing reasons. And it’s a little disappointing for me personally, because I’ve wanted to work on a Doctor Who game for over a decade. But at least someone’s doing it…

But I’m more interested because of the format. These are free episodic downloads for PC and Mac, developed in parallel with the TV series, and written by TV writers. One of the producers has described them as four extra episodes of season 5. So creatively, there is a possibility of something quite special. I would be nervous about the involvement of writers with no experience in the interactive form, but under the guidance of Charles Cecil of Revolution, I’m pretty confident they’ll create something that works.

My only worry is that it does look a little low-budget – in the screenshots posted so far, the lighting looks poor and character models are both waxy and wooden. They’re apparently aiming for “stylised” look, but haven’t really introduced a style to make up for the simplification. I hope the finished product is a little more polished than the work in progress screenshots.

Nevertheless, I’m excited about the possibilities of this format, and I hope it’s very successful. If you want more detail, Develop magazine have a very detailed article here.

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