Directors Cut

Directors cuts are slightly controversial, I am aware of this as I embark on the IOS version of Lords of Midnight. Although not a Directors Cut per sae, the involvement of Mike makes it sit somewhere between remake and directors cut.

There are many films that have received the Directors Cut treatment, some successfully, some not so. You have to ask, why the need to revisit the film. The integrity of the new release is brought into question; if the Director did not like the version put out at the original release, then why did they allow it be released? If they had no control over that aspect, then why now, other than for additional profit, are the studio allowing the film to be changed. That said, at least most Directors can retain some integrity, as they usually don’t have the rights for the Final Cut Privilege especially early in their career.

In books, we have the Authors Revised Edition. Again I wonder how an author can not release a book that is true to their original vision. I do however know that sometimes, again especially in the early stages of an authors career, the author does not have as much control as they would like, and indeed the editor may assert more of their vision.

I use Katharine Kerr’s Darkspell as a case in point. Her editor insisted at the time that parts of the story be changed so much, that it materially altered the overall intended message of the book. Kit was all to eager to put it right as soon as she had chance.
With Stephen King’s first book in the Dark Tower series ‘The Gunslinger’ it also makes sense that he would want to revisit the book and put right issues as the series expanded.

This brings me finally to music – why would a musician release a Directors Cut album that covers songs from not one previously released albums, but two? I understand doing some form of Uncut version where songs are stripped back to just the singer and some acoustic instruments, or even dramatically different versions that are almost covers in their own tight, but to release new tinkered versions of songs that you had full artistic control over at the time?

So, I bought Kate Bush’s Directors Cut with much trepidation – and I have to say, it’s awful.
She has taken a group of songs from two albums, placed them together out of context on a single album, reworked them in some mysterious way, for no obvious reason, and ultimately destroyed them.

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3 Replies to “Directors Cut”

  1. Unless you plan on using the original art, making the game take 5 minutes to load (and a further 5 minutes to restart if you die) and magically turn us 30 years younger then you can’t avoid creating a different version of the game that we all love.

    I agree about the directors cuts for movies, but in those cases not only was the movie updated, but the original ceased to be available. But updating a movie is one thing, changing the story is another- that is the real problem with directors cuts.

    Having said that, bad adaptions/remakes of classics are not bad because the creators don’t care about the subject matter, they are bad because they love the subject matter too much and refuse to cut or change what isn’t working. The new Star Trek movie is a good example- they created a successful film that created a new audience without completely alienating the old fans- and did so by cherrypicking what they kept and what they should discard from the cannon.

    LOM has to be remade for today’s gamers, not us old fogeys who were happy to deal with attribute clash and rubber keyboards. You are also remaking the game on a platform that basically has much higher graphic resolution, effectively unlimited colors, capable of accurately replaying sampled speech and music and far, far more memory. To be honest, did any of us even dream such a portable technological marvel as an iPhone or Android cellphone would exist in our lifetime?

    I’m not saying change what the game IS, but the experience can be much more engaging if you are not tied to the original art and interface. Improve how you control multiple characters (have the ability to move together for instance), add automapping (no-one is going to carry around some graph paper) with some fog-of-war element to it, add more varied text to the daily reports so it reads more like a book… and so on.

    We still have the original LOM playable on emulators for that ‘real’ experience if we need it. The new iOS LOM has to stand on it’s own 2 feet as a new and unique game- especially here in the US where the original is unknown.

    Strip off the rose-tinted glasses and look at the game with modern eyes.

  2. I think the problem is with the term “modern eyes”. It’s easy to see why Midnight fails under modern expectations. To do it true justice would include a huge team and money to bring something that would fulfil the expectations of the hard core RPG game. However I think the real challenge is to look at everything a little differently and try and get everyone to meet on another plain.

    If we take the graphics for example. I have always been a fan of getting more and more realistic, but now I feel that stylised is the best approach. The game would be excepted more if it was straight hand drawn terrain rather than super slick rendered photo realistic ones. ( Albeit hand drawn squiggly pen graphics seem to have been done to death recently! )

  3. The classic LOM game is the game AND the graphics. The problem with realistic art is that once you create an impressive environment, people will expect to ‘do’ things in it, and to see things happen in realtime upon it… which is not really what the game is all about.

    The original game felt large not just because of what was included, but by creating a blank enough canvas for you to fill in your own details into. The graphics in the original was the game interface- something even more important to consider when you’re recreating the game for a touch screen device.

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