Nora Roberts to release a downloadable game based on her work

In the last few years, electronic and computer gaming have become increasingly popular, opening up to previously untapped markets (like my grandmother), so it makes sense that the industry would eventually turn to books as a source of inspiration. Now, while some books provide perfect fodder for gaming activities, like solving the Masonic mysteries of The Lost Symbol, others might not, like, say, virtual butlering in The Remains of the Day. The romance genre, with its built-in encouragements of reader identification and beach daydream role-play, seems a perfect fit. That’s one of the reasons why I-play, a computer gaming company that has already worked to make the work of James Patterson and Agatha Christie interactive, has teamed up with Nora Roberts to fashion a downloadable casual-play game out of her 2009 novel Vision in White.

“I think it’s great that there are so many kinds of media to play with,” says Roberts. “And to have a story translated into a game like this, it’s tremendous fun for me. It’s my initial vision, but I enjoy seeing how, when you translate it into that other medium, how somebody else’s vision manages to affect it but keep the core of the story.” The game follows the plot of Vision (about four friends who operate a wedding-planning company), punctuating the story with hidden-object tasks and nuptial-themed mini-games. Roberts says she likes the idea of turning her books into games, and that she’d even be interested in adapting some of her other, non-romance work, including the …in Death series she writes under the pseudonym J.D. Robb.

The famously prolific author is a fan of casual computer games herself, using them to help keep her mind elastic as she writes her 5-10 novels a year. “Almost everyone I know who’s a writer plays some sort of game, just to keep the mind fresh or to work the one side of the brain for a while, while you let the story cook on the other side. Hopefully, you’ve got enough discipline not to spend all day at it because they’re pretty addicting.”

She hopes that people will realize that there is a huge female audience for gaming, and more material will be released with them in mind. “I think they’d be fools not to,” she says. “We like to play just as much as a guy does. Maybe different types of games, though I like things that blow up, too.”

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Comments (12 total) Add your comment
  • Buzz

    i’d say this was surprising …but i suppose not , since games make more $$ than movies if they are a hit ( or the industry as a whole does) …and NR is at the top of her game, so there was any ‘romancer’ up for exploiting this new media platform its her….will be interesting to see what she cooks up …and it it opensthe field for other book genres that one wouldn’t expect to have games spun off from…. NR has an audience, and now it will just get bigger…

  • Mary Ann

    She mentions she plays games to relax and that she likes to blow stuff up too. I find myself wondering which games she plays. lol

  • JML

    The game Nora designed for Eve to give to Roarke in one of her IN DEATH books would be full of awesome for the rest of us!

    • jmag

      Speaking of Eve and Roarke, does anybody know if they will produce a TV series or a movie based on the In Death series? I think it would translate well.

  • jmag

    I love NR and think shes some kind of savant with the amount of books she produces. I have read almost everything of hers; my favorite is the In Death series. I have to say when it comes to NR’s contemporary romance, I was somewhat disappointed with Vision in White. It was boring and the characters were dull.

  • Texas Gal

    JML – that was my first thought, too! I think that would be so much fun.

  • Natalie

    Heartwild Solitaire is a romance-themed game. Every time you finish a level, you get a piece of the story. Heartwild Solitaire Classic has several stories you unlock every time you win–and that one is free!

    I think the marriage of fiction and gaming is a no-brainer! :)

  • Kristi

    I really enjoy the In Death Series, and it’s basically the only thing I read! A game, tv series, etc. based on that series would be a win-win for everyone!

  • Mmm

    true. although i don’t think we’d ever be happy with the characters who play roarke and eve, dontcha think?

  • mai

    i agree. it would ruin a lot of ppl’s imagination/pictures of the characters. i don’t think anyone can be roarke… or eve.

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  • Gail

    Vision in White was so relaxing and fun even romantic. Waiting for the next pc game. Wondering what Mac does next..Does she marry this fantastic guy? Hurry !!!!!

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