submitted 5 months ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]
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[-] [email protected] 178 points 5 months ago

And the director of the show never read the books or played the game

[-] [email protected] 71 points 5 months ago

That's a bit different, as in magnitudes more stupid (if true)

[-] [email protected] 46 points 5 months ago* (last edited 5 months ago)

Why would they, they are writing their own shitty stories and then wrapping the Witcher IP over them.

[-] [email protected] 32 points 5 months ago

what's funny, if i remember correctly, was that when the show was first announced, i'm pretty sure the author was brought in as an "advisor" of a sort and they were talking about how the show was going to be more accurate to the books than the games.

we all know how that panned out

[-] [email protected] 29 points 5 months ago

I remember that. I also remember Cavill saying he was on board for 7 seasons if they kept true to the book story. It's clear he acted as a warning to the community as well since he did actually love the books.

[-] [email protected] 22 points 5 months ago

or played the game

I would argue it's actually a detriment to experience anything other than the source material when adapting a work. Especially with books, different people are going to have wildly different interpretations of the world. The character that exists in your mind is going to be different from somebody else who read the same book. But once it is adapted to a visual medium, you lose a bit of that magic. Which sucks, because all of those previous interpretations are still valid! More valid even, than anything that was put to screen, because they were yours.

I think the argument for accuracy is kind of bullshit anyway (not that you said this, but others have). Is The Shining (the film) worse for the changes it made to the original text? Stephen King might think so; he would also be wrong. You don't want something accurate, you want something that's good. You want somebody with passion and artistic vision to create something new and uniquely amazing. The recent Last Of Us show, to my knowledge, tread pretty closely to the source material. "Aha!" you might say. But what is also true, is that the best episode of that first season was also the probably the biggest deviation from the source material. I probably don't even need to say which one if you've seen the show.

Anyway, companies should hire people who are both passionate about the source material, and want to make something cool and new in that world - not robots who are just going to recreate the original work beat for beat. If I wanted that, why wouldn't I myself just, you know, read the book?

[-] [email protected] 19 points 5 months ago* (last edited 5 months ago)

I think a large part of people's issues with the recent trend of adapting/recreating existing media is how the director changed the intent or "soul" of the work.

A story is more than its plot points. It's how The Lion King and Hamlet have the same story bones, but have wildly different morals and audiences. So when a work is adapted for a different medium, stripping it down to its plot points kinda kills the soul of the work. The Avatar animated series and the movie (that doesn't exist) share a lot of plot points, but the movie is clearly soulless because they didn't understand what made the show great, and just retold the story with a slight spin.

The Last of Us worked so well because they understood why it was good, and only made changes "in the spirit" of the original work. They didn't try to put a spin on the story, they just adapted it for the new medium.

That's why understanding the work is so important when you are adapting it to a different medium. If you just transplant the plot points without understanding what makes it good, it's going to be soulless. If you try to just use the characters and setting to tell a different story, it's also going to be soulless because those characters aren't made to tell that story. Make your own characters and tell your own story if you don't want to stick to the spirit of the original work.

[-] [email protected] 4 points 5 months ago

The last of us had people involved with creating the source material, I look at the expanse TV series as a good example solid adaptation, ty and Daniel (the book authors) were producers and writers for the show so it kept its spirit Imo. Stuff changed for tv, characters were merged etc but it worked.

[-] [email protected] 2 points 5 months ago

If you try to just use the characters and setting to tell a different story, it’s also going to be soulless because those characters aren’t made to tell that story. Make your own characters and tell your own story if you don’t want to stick to the spirit of the original work.

I don't exactly agree with this. If the creator has a vision, I say let them try. They should be able to stretch and change and rework things however they want. Of course, the farther they stray, the more it begs the question "Why?" but I don't think it's impossible if they have ideas.

[-] [email protected] 4 points 5 months ago

I started writing an "here's why I disagree" reply, but I slowly realized that I kinda agree. Sword Art Online was a pretty bad anime, but SAO Abridged used the same characters and plot points to tell a different type of story and was absolutely terrific

I think the main problem I have is with the scale. If you're remaking something, and you're expecting more people to see the new thing than saw the original, then you should stay faithful to the original (not shot for shot remake, but keep things as close as reasonable) I think I feel this way because if I were an author, I'd be crushed if more people saw the bastardized version of my life's work than saw my original.

There is also the issue with a large majority of recent remakes being quick cash grabs. These do nothing but tarnish the original work by driving away people who may have eventually seen the original.

[-] [email protected] 1 points 5 months ago* (last edited 5 months ago)

Anyway, companies should hire people who are both passionate about the source material, and want to make something cool and new in that world - not robots who are just going to recreate the original work beat for beat. If I wanted that, why wouldn't I myself just, you know, read the book?

While I agree in general, different mediums have different strengths and weaknesses, and different appeals. For example, a book is great at telling intricate stories, but will generally fall flat when trying to create an exciting spectacle. Even if the story is very similar, these different strengths (esspecially, but not exclusively when the material is tweaked to account for it). The Lord of the Rings movies come to mind as a good example of that. The books create a cohesive world with intrecate details everywhere whereas the movies, feature so many stunning scenes that you just can't do justice with words alone at the cost of many of these details. You can cover the same story without major core changes while providing a very different and still worth-while experience.

[-] [email protected] 4 points 5 months ago* (last edited 5 months ago)

One creates the lore.
One enacts the lore.

[-] [email protected] 134 points 5 months ago

He’s just salty about taking the lump sum of cash instead of royalties when selling the rights for the games.

[-] [email protected] 5 points 5 months ago

Would have, could have are thiefs of joy. He should enjoy the money and the success of his IP.

[-] [email protected] 85 points 5 months ago

Everything I've read about the author does not paint him in a positive light. He seems crochety

[-] [email protected] 38 points 5 months ago

From what I understand CDPR purchased the licensing for the Witcher IP a long time ago. At the time the Witcher was not popular outside of Poland so they didn’t have to pay very much. Since then they made the series really popular and the English translation brought it to a much wider market. So he felt like he wasn’t fairly compensated for his IP.

I think they’ve reached new agreements since then but it wasn’t easy for either party to reach agreement.

[-] [email protected] 58 points 5 months ago

He was given the option of either a lump sum or a percentage of game sales. He thought video games were a passing fad and took the lump sum. Then he got pissed because the games were super successful.

[-] [email protected] 31 points 5 months ago

they've probably earned him more than a couple of dollars, too, just from people wanting to read the source material.

and I doubt there would have been a Netflix series without the games.

[-] [email protected] 27 points 5 months ago

Exactly, which is why I don’t understand disliking the games and being salty over a poor financial choice. Especially after CDPR gave him extra money after the success of the series

[-] [email protected] 13 points 5 months ago

Yes, he is definitely salty about not taking the royalties and being made to look a fool because he chose poorly. I think he is also extremely salty that the thing he thought would amount to much is 1000x more successful than his own creation. His books are more successful now thanks to the games, but that's just pouring salt in the wound for him.

[-] [email protected] 7 points 5 months ago

In like 2005 haha when it was obvious video games were certainly not just a passing fad.

[-] [email protected] 19 points 5 months ago

Him being crochety about video games is why he didn't negotiate for royalties. And after realizing his mistake... He's still crochety about video games :/

[-] [email protected] 6 points 5 months ago

He has been "the author" in polish fiction for decades and he didn't handle it well. I met him about 20 years ago and he's already been a douche back then.

[-] [email protected] 29 points 5 months ago

Isn't this the guy who was a dick about copyright to his work concerning derivatives? I remember someone saying that either for the games or for the movie they had to fight to retain licenses because he was acting up about it.

[-] [email protected] 41 points 5 months ago

Yeah, if I remember correctly. He sold the rights straight up to the developers of the game, no royalties or percentage or anything because of his anti-game bias, then when the game was successful and that decision bit him in the ass, he tried to change the deal and get more money out of them. As I understand it he lost and still receives no revenue from the games.

Even then they're still benefitting him tremendously because while he was popular in Poland, it's the games that have really made his work popular overall, and people are buying his books and all because of it.

[-] [email protected] 12 points 5 months ago

Yeah he made money off the game when I bought every single Witcher book

[-] [email protected] 11 points 5 months ago
[-] [email protected] 13 points 5 months ago

Ah, I recalled he didn't win, I suppose I should've assumed it was settled, that's usually how that goes down.

Personally I think he should've lost and had to pay CDPR's legal costs, the whole thing was absurd. He admits he made a stupid mistake but wants money out of them anyways despite having been an arrogant shithead to start with.

[-] [email protected] 1 points 4 months ago* (last edited 4 months ago)

I mean he had a very weak case iirc but it's very unsatisfying to hear he still got a settlement. Makes sense tho, lawsuits are not worth it 95% of the time.

[-] [email protected] 14 points 5 months ago* (last edited 5 months ago)

Off the top of my head, he sold the game rights for a lump sum. Basically, he didn’t believe the games would be popular, so he didn’t believe royalties would ever pay out. So he demanded a large up-front payment instead of the standard “small payment plus royalties” deal that authors would go for.

Then when the games ended up being super popular, he came back and tried to demand post-dated royalties. When the company (obviously) refused, he got crotchety and started shit-talking the games to anyone who would listen.

Honestly, the games have been a huge benefit to him. Tons of fans ended up buying the books because of the games. But he’s salty that he demanded a bad deal, because he didn’t want to risk losing if the games flopped.

[-] [email protected] 1 points 5 months ago

It's a bit complex. IIRC He sold the rights of making games to a tiny indie company and then CDProjekt bought the company and made the much elaborate Witcher 1.

[-] [email protected] 11 points 5 months ago* (last edited 5 months ago)

It makes some sense that the story writter of a story-heavy game would never play the game as a game, for fun, same as a book author not reading his or her own books for the pleasure of it.

Or to put things another way, they've already "consumed" the story in the game before ever playing the game.

As it so happens I'm making my own game, which is not story heavy, so I hope I'll actually be able to enjoy it myself, but I can see how at the end of making a game you've just seen too much of it in too much detail from too many angles to actually be able to enjoy it yourself as just a game unless, maybe, a lot of it is somewhat unpredictable even for the author (i.e. stuff with lots of procedural generation or where what happens comes from the complex interaction of various game mechanics and user choices, which is what I'm aiming for in my own game)

[-] [email protected] 9 points 5 months ago

This isn't about the writer of the games, is about the writer of the original book series that the games act as sequels. The guy hasn't played the games because he hates them in a way, in the sense that more people know about the world of the Witcher thanks to that "fad" (quote) than to his own prose.

this post was submitted on 23 Nov 2023
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