News Categories
Archives

How a Doctor Who Game CAN Work

Guest contributor Charlie Murray investigates some possibilities for future games.

lego-the-day-of-the-doctor

Pic by Bricks2188

In the past Doctor Who video games have been a bit of a let down. For some strange reason the TV series just doesn’t really translate well in the gaming world. Most likely because of the Doctor’s pacifist nature, the witty comments, the running and the story which keeps the viewer engaged. In a game, you’re supposed to do things. So what exactly can you do in a Doctor Who game that keeps you engaged, but still feels like the franchise?

Well I think there’s two solutions to how a Doctor Who video game could become successful:

A) Get Telltale Games, known for creating fantastic franchise games such as The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us, and soon to be Game of Thrones.

or

B) You create a Lego universe of the franchise, made by the Lego masters that are TT Games.

An Interactive Story

walking-dead-game-choicesFirst let’s begin with Telltale. It’s been known that Telltale Games themselves actually want to make a Doctor Who game. This was first revealed back in 2009. Unfortunately, due to the failure that was The Eternity Clock, which received very mixed reviews and suffered from many bugs from day one, the BBC decided to put all its efforts down to mobile devices, and as you know we now have “Doctor Who: Legacy”. But surely most fans want something bigger?

Telltale’s latest games have solely been interactive ones, which leaves the player with split-second choices, and those choices have big consequences. This screams out with potential. In the show, you’ll always see the Doctor coming up with a solution, so perhaps what could happen in the game is that the player is given multiple scenarios on how to get out of a sticky spot, and depending on which they chose will depend on what happens in the long run, for example:

  • Choice A allows you to run down a corridor, however it may have Daleks all over it (you won’t know until you reach there).
  • Choice B might allow you to randomly teleport somewhere, but it literally could be anywhere for all you know, maybe into another trap.

This doesn’t just work in escape scenarios. Perhaps there could be a moment where you have to choose between two companions; both need saving, but you can only save one. The other, perhaps, will be taken away which means you have to save them. Of course what this could then do is that depending on which companion you chose, you are given two different ways to play. If you saved companion A, perhaps you have to go in sneaky to save the other one, where as if you go with companion B, you’ll dive straight into chaos. This could also expand on character development too; maybe you could learn more about your companion depending on which you went with.

Telltale also works in episodes to give their games that truly cinematic feel. Their recent games have been going with 5 episodes, so perhaps those could be their own story arc; something The Eternity Clock had planned to do originally but as a trilogy. Each episode can also have a cliffhanger and a next time trailer, much like the show. Whilst we might have to wait every 2 months, we’re Whovians, we survived longer breaks before.

The question still remains however: which Doctor? Which companions? Well, what I personally would love to see is more adventures of the Ninth Doctor; he had a pretty short run, so it would be awesome to see more of him, whether it be with Rose Tyler or an adventure set before he meets Rose. We could also see more of the Eighth Doctor, and although some have said that his audio and novel adventures would be classed as “his run”, I’m sure there could be more adventures to see; perhaps the video game could truly bring his companions to life by giving them an actual modelled face compared to the ones you either imagined by reading the books/comics or by listening to audio books. Finally, perhaps it could be set during the War Doctor’s era. When we saw the War Doctor after Eight regenerated into him, he looked like a young man. Then in the Name/Day of the Doctor, he was old. Perhaps the game could go into more detail on what he had to go through during the Time War years.

Block by Block

lego-doctor-who-GlenBricker-doctorsNow usually before a Lego game can be made, the toy line needs to be created first, and as you all know there isn’t an official line for Doctor Who yet. However, recent developments are looking positive on that front, so here’s hoping a game would follow. If they were to make this game, it might just show that Lego Doctor Who CAN WORK.

So let’s look back at previous Lego games. TT Games have made Lego games for the following major franchises:

  • Star Wars
  • Indiana Jones
  • Harry Potter
  • Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit
  • Marvel/DC

And that’s just to name a few compared to how many in total they have created. In the games, the player goes through a Lego-fied version of a particular film (Lego Marvel sort of made its own little story using Marvel characters). Perhaps the Lego game itself could either create levels based on past episodes, or possibly create their own. In terms of which episodes and which Doctors, why not all of them? Perhaps have a few levels set with the First Doctor and then the next set with the Second and so forth. Personally I’d much rather they create original levels because that seems to work so much better. Perhaps what they could do is each Doctor could have their own set levels which tells a story in itself, but ultimately each Doctor’s story builds up to a climatic multi-doctor finale.

Lego games are often known for its puzzles; “only Jedi’s can pull this down,” “only Hulk can break open this wall,” “only Batman can climb up here,” to name some examples. In these situations, perhaps you could have scenarios where only this particular Doctor can do “that”. Perhaps only characters with scarves (i.e. the Fourth Doctor) can pull this down, or only characters with claws (the Slitheen) can break open this lock. Speaking of the characters, there are A LOT in the Doctor Who universe. In terms of what you could unlock, you could have “this Doctor in this costume” and then “in this costume” and then do the same with the other Doctors. Players could also unlock the many companions that there are by either buying them or earning them.

Finally, Lego games are also widely known for their collectables; their mini kits, gold bricks, red bricks and the amount of studs you earn. When you fill the stud bar to 100% in a level, you could unlock the “True Timelord” rank. Perhaps you could find mini-kits which will ultimately build either a known gadget, or ships from the show. One final collectable could be different Screwdrivers; there are more than you think, with there being the multiple types: the Laser Screwdriver, the Sonic pen, River’s Screwdriver and perhaps they could throw in some original ones also. The hubs which the players could also explore can be different space stations, different TARDIS’ and perhaps even different planets.

It was unfortunate that The Eternity Clock failed to generate that spark; the Adventure Games were also a bit hit and miss, but if the BBC were to allow these two sets of games to be made, we could be looking at the two best Doctor Who games ever created.

Thanks for reading and leave your thoughts below.

Step back in time...

COMMENT GUIDELINES

Please be civil and keep article comments relevant and on topic. Flag and report any offensive/trolling behavior, or contact us with details.
Please do not post SPOILERS including anything from leaked episodes! Your account could be banned. For complete details on our comment policy please read.
79 comments
ralphplug
ralphplug

I'd love to see an old-fashioned, point 'n click adventure Doctor Who game.

ScottCaedus
ScottCaedus

Personally I've always loved the idea of a Doctor Who RPG. There would be multiple quests, spanning several planets and time zones, allowing players to shape their game based on the decisions they make. For example, if you complete a quest to dethrone a dictator, it will have consequences when you return to that planet in a later time zone. I would also make sure that not every quest was available on a single play through, so it would have great replay value. The release of DLC could further increase this. As for which Doctor it would feature, there are two ways I would go. Firstly, i would like to see a game featuring potentially all 12 Doctors. You would begin the game as William Hartnell, but if you die in the game you would then simply regenerate, until all your lives are lost. The second idea would be similar to this, but instead of the Doctor you would play as a new Time Lord, allowing you to create your own character from scratch for each regeneration.  Perhaps with a story involving a quest to find the Doctor. You'd still visit multiple planets and time zones, but in pursuit of the Doctor. Progression through the game would include gaining new upgrades for the sonic screwdriver and/or other gadgets.

SmallerOnTheOutside
SmallerOnTheOutside

I've always figured the hub of a potential LEGO Doctor Who would be the TARDIS, but like beyond the control room. Just like in the Clone Wars game, you unlock rooms as you get gold bricks, and so go deeper and deeper into the TARDIS, where awesome things lay.






And I feel like it'd be LEGO Doctor Who: Series 1-4 and LEGO Doctor Who: Series 5-7 with one bonus level for every pre-2005 Doctor and spin-off in both games. So it'd essentially be the TV storyline, with some stories taken out and of course all the plots LEGO-ified in a way only TT Games can do — amazingly.






















ladynerdrage
ladynerdrage

I could totally see a Doctor Who MMORPG, kind of in the style of Star Wars the Old Republic where you can choose what to say/do in your story line and group up with other players for quests, raids, etc.

NameOfDoctorHere
NameOfDoctorHere

Doctor Who games, trust me on this one, don't have to include The Doctor. A great idea could be from anywhere in time and space. An FPS on the last days of the Time War, an RPG about aliens coming together from different worlds to fight off a deadly threat or even a Puzzle/Detective game on UNIT case files. Just because it's Doctor Who, it does not need The Doctor...

ilyootha is in the Divergent Universe
ilyootha is in the Divergent Universe

What I'd love is some real-life Doctor Who Lego. A computer game might be a nice addition, but I'm not really bothered, to be honest. I'm pretty happy with Doctor Who Legacy anyway :)

Doctor Hoosier
Doctor Hoosier

A Telltale style game would work, the key would be to play from the companion's perspective. I'd imagine an alien invasion of earth and you are captured and forced to escape on your own and try to figure out whats going on. Meanwhile some shadowy figure is in the background that you keep almost crossing paths with. Finally at the end of chapter one you finally meet up and have to solve the problem together, hence becoming the Doctor's new companion for the rest of the series. Cue THE music. 


It'd be far better to play as the companion because we don't want the Doctor outmatched or outwitted, but the companion? Fine. And when split up there may be times when you have to fight. Opens up the possibilities for some of your decisions to be wrong, we don't expect the Doctor to be wrong often if at all. We also care about the Doctor by default, what better way to be invested in the companion than for it to be us? Even make the avatar completely customizable (as long as its an attractive young human female) :P 

WiblyWoblyTimyWimyMOFFAT
WiblyWoblyTimyWimyMOFFAT

Please lego doctor who would be great. But how I know the lego games, I think there will be to games; doctor who season 1-4 and seasons 5-8 (new who).



AztecsDaleksAndCavemen
AztecsDaleksAndCavemen

For ages I've been thinking that Telltale should do a Walking Dead style Doctor Who game. A Lego game would also be great.


However the game is done though I would ask that the classic and new series be represented equally.

pinkdalek
pinkdalek

Been wanting a lego Dr Who game for many years, as I think it is the only format which will make it happen and work.  Adventures were the Doctor has to rebuild his TARDIS to escape, thwart the Master/Daleks/Cybermen/Sontarans along the way.  Help from K-9 who he can use to get into the smaller nooks and crannies.  Different companions could be used for the "violent" areas. eg. Ace/Captain Jack/Brigadier to name a few.  I can visualise it in my head, LegoBatman/Indiana Jones/Star Wars all worked well.  Bring in humour to the game, e.g. building a Dalek and having to get inside to move around to complete a mission.  The best ever Dr Who game was the classic DALEK ATTACK which I had on the Amiga, this was a great Dr Who game.

MrThorfan64
MrThorfan64

The War Doctor's run could be done as a video game. Here is an idea. He goes to a place where Taranium was found, though history records it was destroyed just after this. The Daleks are trying to recreate the Time Destructor. The War Doctor destroys the place but in the process is caught by the Time Destructor and aged centuries.



sonic_fezdriver
sonic_fezdriver

I dont think telltale would work. Their games are far too brutal and depressing to ever fit doctor who. (at least their new games anyway. Sam and max style doctor who would work better though)

IlanGabay
IlanGabay

the idea of taletal doctor who series is good but, i dont think they need to include the doctor and his companions . a game about his daughter/UNIT/torchwood/time war could more succeed because they can show us anthor sides of the who universe that we never saw in the tv series


Jyric
Jyric

Personally I'd like to see a mod for XCOM: Enemy Unknown where you can play as UNIT, fighting various Doctor Who monsters. Unfortunately, it's not an easy game to mod at the moment, so it's not something that's likely to happen soon. I'd love to see a lego doctor who game, but I don't really want that to be the only thing, as lego games are all fairly alike and eventually get boring. In respect to telltale, I think they could make a good Doctor Who game but I fear it would be too close for the beeb to the adventure games, which were a flop due to their poor quality.

ClaraOswald
ClaraOswald

A Lego Doctor Who game would be a dream come true. My sister and I have been playing Lego Harry Potter, Lego Lord of the Rings and Lego Pirates of the Caribbean, and everytime we're playing we both agree that Lego Doctor Who would be absolutely amazing!

Deus_Ex_Machina
Deus_Ex_Machina

Play Kingdom Hearts. That's what a Doctor Who game should be.

The Last Son of Gallifrey
The Last Son of Gallifrey

If we are talking about lego games 5 years ago, I would probably agree, lego games have lost its charm on me lately. Telltale games do sound like the better option with point and click.

FisherCrane
FisherCrane

The Doctor could scan for objects to progress through levels, (like Jack Sparrow's compass in LEGO pirates of the Caribbean). Leave the fighting to the other characters.

Ivegotnewkidneys on the 23rd
Ivegotnewkidneys on the 23rd

Maybe they could just make new adventure games but for the xbox/ ps4/ wii u and have slightly more features on them 

Mr 11
Mr 11

LEGO Doctor Who Game = My life complete! :D

TheWhomobile
TheWhomobile

I always think a modern remake of Destiny of the Doctors would be good. With updated graphics and gameplay it has the potential to make a fantastic game, allowing the player to properly explore the TARDIS. It could be fantastic if they would retain the videos of Anthony Ainley as the Master too.

IHatePears
IHatePears

To be honest, it would be fun if there was a game with all of the doctors and instead of normal 'hearts' each time they get killed they regenerate.


craig33
craig33

I'd rather want to see Bethesda do a Dr Who game. They're the ones behind the massive open world games of The Elder Scrolls and Fallout series. Even explore the Tardis as well as use it as a fast travel device. Anyone who's played Skyrim would love a dr who game. Massive. Loads of locations. Hundreds of hours of game play.

Kranitoko
Kranitoko

Thanks for the awesome feedback guys. I'm Charlie Murray btw. Glad to see all your support =]

Creepy_Ghoul
Creepy_Ghoul

They should add voices to these games, though, if they make them. I think that would be more awesome. Imagine a Lego Fourth Doctor and then Tom Baker's voice coming out of him: "Hello, there. I'm The Doctor, well one of them."

Badwolf2
Badwolf2

they need a really good maker of games im not sure who but if you go for the best that might work

The Finn
The Finn

I'm not that interested in computer games, so I'm not bothered either way.

Oodkind
Oodkind

A time war game actually sounds really promising. The war-type games are popular, so that setting would work. Perhaps you could try to save people and planets. I think, however, by the time it is made it would most likely be a Twelve game.

dazfd96
dazfd96

Open World Doctor Who, where you are a parallel universe Doctor, design your Doctor, Tardis, Screwdriver etc, and travel to loads of open world places in time, solve problems, saving people etc



Or a game like, Star Wars Battlefront, but with the Doctors allies and enemies and no doctor.  




DaireConstantineOReilly
DaireConstantineOReilly

Making a Doctor Who Game is impossible., You can't shoot stuff or be Realy violent, time travel wouldn't work . Unfortunatly the Lego Route is the only way to go with something like Doctor Who. The other alternative is an Torchwood or UNIT FPS were u fight aliens from the doctor who classic and NuWho a UNIT Soldier set in the 70s and then the last part of the game could be set in the present with a alien conspricy lasting 30 years.

Other options could be

Torchwood the game (like True Crime:LA were u fight weevils and other who monsters on the side)

UNIT (COD style FPS set in the 70s and the 2000s.

Doctor Who Stealth game ( like MGS set on scary or something)

But a Doctor Who game will never work anyway because u need combat to reach a large audience.

Oncoming_Badger
Oncoming_Badger

I've already thought that concept through completely. Some random villain the Dreamlord for example has taken control of the Doctors mind so he is inside his own mind but has no recollection of his life and so he needs to reclaim his memories by going through various episodes in the form of Kingdom hearts style worlds and like fighting the heartless he fights memory bugs which are sort of infestation in his own mind so you can fight but not really kill anyone and that way you can completely interact with all the Doctors past too, companions and all.

Zemelci
Zemelci

@Creepy_Ghoul  They've tryed voice acting in LEGO games, look it up and I have to say, it didn't work anywhere near as well with the whole LEGO brand as no voice acting did. I have to say that Pirates of the Carribean did the voices the best, it just had grunts and then facial expressions and that is how a LEGO game should work.

Badwolf2
Badwolf2

@RhonDOH I think they should get the best or find some company that have poached from the best

Gustaff
Gustaff

I'm with u bro. I think I'll stick to series, anime and audio books. They always make me feel better, however I will confess final fantasy 13-3 was awesome and freaking hard as well. Other than that I don't play much anymore

pinkdalek
pinkdalek

@DaireConstantineOReilly you would use companions to battle with monsters such as Cpt Jack, Ace, K-9 or UNIT.  Lego games work well because the various characters in them do different things.  The Doctor would be used to solve problems or buid things with his sonic screwdriver.  Plus the Doctor himself has blown up a Dalek or Cyberman over the years....

parrot999
parrot999

Who says a game needs to be violent to be fun? I would like a (sort of) open Universe RPG.

Perhaps explaining the location limits (can't have an unlimited universe... Can use random generation algorythyms, but can only do so much with that before things get repetitive...) by having it be that the TARDIS is missing a component that has screwed up the mapping system, limiting him to a small range of space time coordinates... Heck, perhaps it could be stolen, with the Doctor's goal be to get it back from The Master or something...

Fact is, as long as you can make it engaging, there are just as many possibilities in games as in any other media... It doesn't all have to be killing and violent stuff... Plus, I could see Peter Capaldi pulling a Third Doctor and going all Martial Arts on some people who act irrationally or unreasonably...

Matthewfupp
Matthewfupp

@DaireConstantineOReilly  Well, I mean, like he said in the article, a Doctor Who game by Telltale could definitely work. Sure, both of their recent games have some combat in them, but even in Doctor Who, the Doctor has to fight sometimes. And, even then, the combat has never been a large role in Telltale's previous games and doesn't have to be for a Doctor Who-themed one. And, considering Telltale's big following at the moment, a Doctor Who game would reach a pretty large audience.

sonic_fezdriver
sonic_fezdriver

Yeah, a game more in the style of their back to the future game would be good, except, well, unlike the back to the future game, it would have to be good :)

Creepy_Ghoul
Creepy_Ghoul

@sonic_fezdriver I know. And I hope they use them too if they make a Lego Doctor Who game. After all, we certainly have Tom, Peter Davison, Colin, Sylvester, Paul, David, Matt & (probably) Peter Capaldi who want to do their own voices. I doubt if Chris would do it or not. As for the other Doctors, they can take:

William Russell or John Guilor for The First Doctor

Frazer Hines for The Second Doctor

Tim Treloar for The Third Doctor.