Meyes latest release, Posse of Gentlemen, debuted at sixteenth on the box office chart, its mixed reviews demonstrating the studios precarious position. If Meye can figure out the right mix of stars, director, and genre, its next film could be a break-out hit. Or the studio could just as easily continue its path toward mediocrity.
Films produced here generally tick all the right boxes, but rarely excel, proclaims The Hollywood Reporter. You sigh as you read the comment and then turn your attention to Meyes latest effort, a romance called Wheres Baby? that just went into release. It continues the tradition of mixed reviews, but your now-idle director and stars begin demanding more money from you, thanks to their rising fortunes on the top stars chart.
You acquiesce to their desires, eyeing the influence that their happiness will hopefully bring to future movies. After all, satisfied talent performs better on the set, and maybe Meye wont be shut out at the next awards ceremony. The prestige garnered by just one award will help Meye move up the studio chart and attract more high-profile stars and directors, whose talents could finally help produce that breakout hit.
The movie business is presented as a world of glamour and excess, inhabited by stereotypes and caricatures making it the perfect target for a video game, explains Lionhead Studios designer Andrzej Zamoyski. Although Hollywood may seem like a world detached from our everyday reality, a video game can put you at the center of this world and give you the power to play in it as you wish.
The Movies, which originated in the mind of Black & White creator Peter Molyneux, does just that, starting you at the dawn of cinema history and letting you guide your studio to the present day. Hire and fire directors and stars as you juggle your film projects, always searching for the elusive mix of talents that will produce a box office hit. Off-screen chemistry among your stars and directors also factors into a movies quality, as do their overall stress levels, so make sure you keep everyone happy and at peace with each other, or you may find yourself presiding over the kind of Hollywood train wreck youve read about.
As you move through the decades, fashions and technology progress with you, taking your studio from the early days of black-and-white silent films to the current age of slick color movies packed with special effects. Simple sets give way to more elaborate soundstages, while the stories themselves progress from simple tales to epics. You can even take a direct role in your movies, laying out stories with the Advanced Movie-Maker and using the Post-Production Facility to put the finishing touches on a project.
The Star Maker that comes with The Movies also lets you take control of your actors and actresses, customizing their names, attributes, and looks, down to the exact width of their noses and the precise shade of their skin tones. Import those stars into your studio and cast them in your films, knowing exactly how they will perform on your sets.
Distilling the Process
You decide where on the lot to place your sets, along with all of the production and post-production facilities, scriptwriting buildings, restaurants and bars, restrooms, casting and public relations offices, and more.
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In October, 2006, Feral Interactive won a BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) Award, the U.K. equivalent of the Oscars, in the best computer simulation game category for The Movies. Feral was also nominated for best soundtrack but did not win. The company was recognized for the many Mac-specific elements in The Movies, including integration with iTunes, iMovie, and GarageBand, allowing you to easily use your own music as your movie soundtracks. You can also employ any of the effects and samples from iMovie.
Dress up the lot with benches, flowers, trees, walkways, and other adornments, but dont forget that youll need maintenance staff to keep everything in tip-top shape and pick up the litter dropped by careless stars.
Youre also in charge of your studios finances, so keep an eye on your spending or you could find your capital dwindling, especially if your movies dont perform well. As you move into later decades, you can even decide how much to spend on the advertising and marketing budgets that accompany each movies release. Higher spending could result in greater box office results, but only if the films quality is worth the expense.
I think the tycoon side of the game is less a reflection of reality and more our interpretation of the Hollywood people are familiar with, Zamoyski notes. Making movies is an extremely complex process and in reality a logistical nightmare. Thankfully, we can distill that process for the player and leave them only the most challenging and fun bits to play with.
If youd prefer to focus more on movies and less on studio development, you can always try out sandbox mode, which allows you to start in any decade you want, with up to $100,000,000 in cash at the beginning, a ready-built lot with all the extras unlocked, instantly-constructed buildings that dont decay, stars who dont misbehave, and the option to make movies instantly, without going through the production steps.
A Breeding Ground For Future Talent
In standard mode, each five years of in-game time brings about another awards ceremony, during which your studio could earn awards for Highest Charting Star, Best Director, Best Acting Performance, Most Prolific Studio, and more. Prizes that come with those awards enhance the winning stars and directors future performances, keep the talent from forming food and alcohol addictions, brainwash the public into thinking every movie you produce is fresh regardless of its content, and more.
If you really want to show the world your mogul skills, upload your finished films to The Movies Online, where others can watch and review them. From watching some of the movies players have uploaded, says Zamoyski, Im certain some of them will be responsible for bringing us the blockbusters of the future.