Back to the Past with “The Movies” video game

I’ve got quite a treat for you today. Ooh boy, and its an embarrassing one to boot.

So about six years ago, just entering high school at around the age of 14-15, I played a lot more computer games than I do now. I was actually just starting to using my own desktop computer around that time, and would talk on MSN like a champ, and play RuneScape (well that was Grades 7-8), and most likely was playing a lot of Guild Wars: Factions with Anthony at the time, since it was a big game around that time that we played.

You control every aspect of your Hollywood Studio, right down to the very name. Hiring and firing actors was always a favorite of mine, and picking who will playing in which movies was a treat.

But one other game that I played, and loved to death at the time was a game called “The Movies”. Developed by Lionhead Studios, The Movies was a business-simulation game that ran similar to The Sims and SimCity games in which you ran your own Hollywood Movie Studio, and hired actors and crew to help build movies from the ground up, in a fashion very reminiscent of typical movie editing like in Final Cut Pro nowadays.

The game could start you in the 1920s, where you will have very limited access to the advanced technology for movie-making, but you can still work within those limits and make something really special. As the game progressed (and believe me, it progresses pretty quick), you can move forwards into the 2000s and beyond, acquired high-technology equipment, amazing set designs, and costumes that were out-of-this-world.

Of course, being in the early stages of high school, I was a very different kid than I am today. For one, I’m not a kid anymore, I like to think I’m a full-fledged adult. Secondly, my style of writing has made a vast improvement since I was in Grade 9, and I don’t resort to utilizing potty humor at every expense.

So wouldn’t you be surprised to learn that today I decided to go searching for my old Movies account, “archer173”, the same name I used for my old RuneScape character back in elementary school.

The online site that I used to upload any of my finished movies had closed down a few years ago, due to the decline in popularity of the game, I’d assume. The Movies had only released one expansion, which was the Stunts and Effects Expansion Pack, which was really cool at the time, but didn’t provide any more than a few stunt scenes, cool explosions, and a few extra sets and miscellaneous props.

So I type in “The Movies game archer173”, into Google, and the first link that pops up is a FileFront archive, where I see two of my old movies: Resident Evil Reanimation and Genres Episode 1: The Heist, sitting there available for download. I thought, what the hell, I missed the Movies, and I really wanted to see them after six years.

So of course I downloaded them, and watched them, and to my embarrassment, they’re terrible. I admit it, they’re really terrible. Terrible, terrible pieces of work. But at the time, I thought I had made movie gold, I thought I was pure genius. I’m sure my friends and my brother would’ve thought the same at the time, but now, it’s just a joke. The films are cursed with poor potty humor, too much sexual references (especially in Genres), plot-holes, scenes that make absolutely no sense, and the writing, oh my god the writing, is forever cursed with MSN-texting lingo. I couldn’t even spell “your” properly, because I was so fixed on how simply I wrote it on MSN, it shows up as “ur”.

It’s embarrassing, to say the least, but of course, I feel I should share my embarrassment with everyone, like a good adult, and site editor. So here it is, six years later, the two films in terrible quality. Wmv files suck.

In Grade 8, I wrote a five-part mini-series around my love for Resident Evil, and at the time, I couldn’t think of anyone better to include in the series but my friends and I, as well as cameos from classic RE characters like Chris Redfield, Jill Valentine and Rebecca Chambers. Well this video is Part 4 of the mini-series, in which my brother Carter has been kidnapped by Umbrella scientists and turned into a virus-flooded monster, turned against the remaining survivors and myself. So the video is a loose representation of an early short-story I wrote when I was 13, so its bound to have some writing irregularities.

Of course, I was fascinated with the five genres of possible filmmaking in The Movies, so I decided to give each genre a mascot, and bring them all together in a five-part miniseries called “Genres”. The series got better after each episode, but sadly, Episode 1 is the only one I’m cursed with remembering, and the only one I had put on my old account. So enjoy….at least as much as one can enjoy garbage.

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