Turning Doctor Who Into an Action Game a "Tough Challenge"

Tom Goldman

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Aug 17, 2009
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Turning Doctor Who Into an Action Game a "Tough Challenge"



Putting Doctor Who in an action game on the Nintendo Wii wasn't an easy task for Asylum Entertainment.

Doctor Who is coming to the Wii [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/103019-Doctor-Who-Warps-Onto-Nintendo-Consoles] in his own action-adventure game later this month (in the UK and Australia), but it wasn't easy for him to get there. When asked about the challenge of translating the typically non-combative Doctor into something Wii gamers would find exciting, developer Asylum Entertainment called it "tough."

It might be easier to fire a bazooka at a Dalek or Cyberman, but that just isn't the Doctor's way. Instead, he outwits opponents or uses the technology found in his sonic screwdriver [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/103270-Doctor-Whos-Sonic-Screwdriver-Tranformed-Into-Wii-Remote].

On the topic of making the Wii's Doctor Who: Return to Earth exciting, Asylum's Glen Parry said: "This was indeed a tough challenge at first when designing the Wii game being that it is a 3D action adventure." Asylum has thankfully decided not to change the Doctor to add excitement, but to take advantage of his strengths instead.

While players might not be firing weaponry at enemies, they'll be trying to get through the game by altering the environment with sonic blasts and through other methods. Parry continued: "However it was obvious that the sonic screwdriver is a wonderfully versatile tool, which suits the Wii Remote perfectly, and has the ability to fire sonic blasts which the Doctor can use to manipulate platforms, environmental hazards, fix circuitry, distract adversaries and more."

The constraints put on Asylum apparently forced the studio to be more creative with Return to Earth's gameplay. "It also allowed us to emphasise gameplay aspects containing stealth, the environment and the use of distraction devices," Parry added. He says that Return to Earth's levels have multiple paths and to an extent allow players to complete them in various ways.

As my colleague Andy Chalk points out, creating a Doctor Who action game is somewhat like creating a Freecell driving game: It doesn't initially make perfect sense. We'll see if Asylum has pulled off something special when Doctor Who hits the Wii in certain regions later this month.

Source: CVG [http://www.officialnintendomagazine.co.uk/article.php?id=20582]

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GrinningManiac

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Interesting.

I wonder how they'll pull it off?

It won't be that deep a game, though. It'll be awesome for the lil' cousins, however
 

UnravThreads

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I think you'll find it's "The Doctor", not "Doctor Who".

Doctor Who is the name of the show (And often arises as a recurring joke), whereas The Doctor is the name of the main protagonist.
 

vrbtny

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Darn. I read the Title of the piece, and was expecting a story about how the BBC planned to reboot Doctor Who into a Action TV series -- With the Doctor Recast as A Chuck Norris-esque character.

Darn. That would have been awesome.
 

spectrenihlus

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I dunno... it could be a gameplay breaker if for every enemy the doctor has to give every random mook the chance to turn away from fighting the doctor.
 

Tomtitan

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Hmm... much respect for not going down the easy 'have Doctor punch Daleks' route, but is what they've done actually... y'know... fun?

Still, gratz for trying at any rate.
 

DarkPanda XIII

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Kinda hard to play with somebody with no major weapon, unless they're playing it as if he has to run first and then build things that entrap or kill the guys.

So would be fun to kill Cybermen as a Dalek, though <3
 

Acidwell

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This needs to be an old-school adventure with every possible option included because otherwise it is wrong.
The doctor is not limited in any way. Every option should be allowed.
 

Tom Goldman

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Aug 17, 2009
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coldalarm said:
I think you'll find it's "The Doctor", not "Doctor Who".

Doctor Who is the name of the show (And often arises as a recurring joke), whereas The Doctor is the name of the main protagonist.
hm true
 

Calico93

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Hmmm this could be interesting
Unsure about how theyd do the gameplay, but the content, story and visuals could be mindblowing.
 

TimeLord

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The Doctor doesn't kill things. He doesn't harm, maim or tickle thinks to hurt them. Turning that into a game that isn't puzzle based it a failure to start with.

And it's only on the Wii so it will be full of stupid gimmick Wiimote waves
 

Quaxar

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At the end of the month already? Oh, I'm so gonna... read reviews and wait if it's good before getting it.
Yeah, you didn't expect that from a guy with a Donna avatar, did you?
 

Proverbial Jon

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I only hope us poor non-Wii owners will get a chance to play this on XBLA or the PSN, I'll even settle for a PS2 port.

I can see they're aiming this at the casual/family market, and hell it sure isn't going to be Gears of War, but as a long time fan of Doctor Who, I want this!

...although not enough to buy a stupid Wii.
 

Formica Archonis

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Tom Goldman said:
It might be easier to fire a bazooka at a Dalek or Cyberman, but that just isn't the Doctor's way.
Two words: Dalek Attack.

Of course, in The Mines of Terror it was kinda fun to blow up miners with explosives, steal eggs from a mother monster and throw them into spike pits.... You couldn't win the game doing that sort of thing but Colin Baker wasn't the warmest and fuzziest Doctor anyway.

vrbtny said:
Darn. I read the Title of the piece, and was expecting a story about how the BBC planned to reboot Doctor Who into a Action TV series -- With the Doctor Recast as A Chuck Norris-esque character.
And a rapping TARDIS console with lips? (Thank you for that, Completely Useless Encyclopedia.)
 

TastyCarcass

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TimeLord said:
The Doctor doesn't kill things. He doesn't harm, maim or tickle thinks to hurt them. Turning that into a game that isn't puzzle based it a failure to start with.
He seems to make an exception to Daleks, Weeping Angels and baby spiders.
No wait... he massacres them.
 

TimeLord

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Dead_Lee said:
TimeLord said:
The Doctor doesn't kill things. He doesn't harm, maim or tickle thinks to hurt them. Turning that into a game that isn't puzzle based it a failure to start with.
He seems to make an exception to Daleks, Weeping Angels and baby spiders.
No wait... he massacres them.
They all had it coming.
 

Knight Templar

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TimeLord said:
The Doctor doesn't kill things. He doesn't harm, maim or tickle thinks to hurt them. Turning that into a game that isn't puzzle based it a failure to start with.
He doesn't kill things himself, but things do die "by his hand" so to speak. He doesn't shoot a gun but death still finds those who push him.
If I recall he's committed genocide, granted it was a race of six or so plant monsters that would eat the earth...
Anyway the current Doctor seems to really hate Daleks, he might even not give warning before defending himself.
 

Endocrom

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Hey Asylum, think the Harvey Birdman game but not in court and less referances to street fighter.
 

Trogdor1138

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I'm far less enthused after reading this. Why would your first thought be to make an action-adventure Doctor Who game? I've always imagined a Doctor Who game being stricly adventure and smart puzzles to figure out, possibly even similar to the older PC games like the Lucasarts point and clicks etc.

No seriously, why wouldn't they do that? Because they're lazy and want it done quickly.

Maybe someday there'll be a true Doctor game that's more to what I imagine :(