Neill Blomkamp – director of District 9, Elysium, and Chappie – has joined the gaming industry.
Gunzilla, established in 2020, features talent from studios like Crytek, EA, and Ubisoft.
Blomkamp recently spoke to IGN about his new position. Whilst he has experience with narrative pieces beforehand, he is in no way an expert in this field;
“The difference [from directing a film] is not acting like a single point that guides the creative team. It’s making sure that you’re integrated into the team in a real way.
I can come in with a very definitive point of view, but it has to work on two levels. It has to be accepted by the greater team as the right creative direction to go in. And it also has to be…something that can integrate into the architecture of gameplay in a way that’s beneficial to the game”.
Blomkamp’s other works won’t directly impact Gunzilla’s first title. However, his previous experiences will help him and his new team in world-making at the least;
“…the primary thing … will be player agency and the ability for players to just interact with it in a shooter environment in a way that hopefully is a really, really cool game to them. [In other words], …narrative takes a back seat.
But if you think of something like Elysium, the amount of forethought to build the world, you may be spending 95% of the time thinking through the worldbuilding in order to get to the five per cent. [That five per cent then] is the movie that you watch.
And I think that you could apply the same sort of mentality where, depending on how much backstory and world creation you’re building, you’re going to end up with a more convincing, awesome world to drop the player into.
In terms of actual specific narrative, there are also other avenues that players can begin to learn more about things that we’re talking about”.
And, when it comes to the importance of video games in our culture today, Blomkamp has an apt outlook on them and their place in the world;
“The analogy that I use is; if you look at the second half of the 20th Century, it became a case where books were up on a shelf and people would sometimes read books. But the dominant thing was TV and film…
[Therefore] films and passive narrative formats will sort of be like books on a shelf. They’re always there, and people will always be absorbing them.
But the dominant thing when you come home from work and you do something will be some form of highly interactive [media].
[It will be] a place that you’re dropped into, a three-dimensional world where something is unfolding over time. And I just find that idea interesting.
And I think it’s going to be it’s going to be pretty incredible where, where it goes. So I just want to be a part of it”.
Aside from the above information on Blomkamp’s involvement and his views on the medium, we don’t know much else about Gunzilla’s upcoming game. It will be a “AAA shooter“, and presumably multiplayer. However, that’s the extent of our knowledge right now.
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