Hollywood Visionary

by Aaron A. Reed profile


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A movie-making simulation set during the McCarthy era, June 24, 2016
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 2 hours

This game was nominated for an XYZZY for best game, and for best NPCs.

This is one of the larger Choice of Games, with quite an epic storyline. You conceive of a movie using a large amount of customization (how many leads? what genre? what subgenre? What other subgenera? Highbrow or lowbrow? Who directs? Who writes? Who stars?). The number of possibilities here really unlocks the game's potential as a wish-fulfillment device.

But making your movie comes with its own challenges. Getting a studio running, winning financial support, dealing with deadlines and spotty talent. I spent a large amount of money to get Frank Capra to direct my ensemble western.

Overarching everything is the shadow of repressive anti-communism hunters. You have to choose how you interact with Hollywood black listers, and what to say in communism hearings.

All of this makes the games general goal (making a great movie) very difficult; I found it more rewarding to focus on personal goals.

Finally, this game includes some parts quite unlike the standard choice of games format; for instance, there is a large puzzly section that has a well-developed location and object model as you search for a dog. This part feels a lot more like a parser game or like a twine game with strong world model (like Hallowmoor).

Overall, I believe this game deserves the XYZZY nomination, and stands among the best games of 2015.