The Andromeda Strain was a book written by Michael Crichton in 1969, it was then made into a film in 1971. It tells the story of a group of scientists assembled in one of the coolest looking laboratory ever, to study a virus that has seemly killed an entire town. This virus was bought to Earth by a military satellite. I won’t spoil the story anymore because you should make the effort to read and/or see the movie.
Before I go on to describe and discuss the theme let me remind readers that I am not suggesting a game based on the movie or book, although that might be quite good in this case, just highlighting what I think would make interesting concepts, especially visual settings.
As mentioned in the first paragraph, this post is really about the visual aspects of the movie but I would like to talk about the general concept behind it. The top-secret lab has five levels, each “cleaner” than the one above. The colour of each level is “based on research conducted by the Navy regarding psychological association with those colours”. The idea of a virus infecting the general population is one that many writers and filmmakers have exploited, Resident Evil springs to mind, but here it is all about the Lab and its occupants.
To me it’s very clear that the type of environments used in games are a huge deciding factor on whether I enjoy the game. I loved Half-Life was because I would really love the opportunity to look around a real Black Mesa, Half-Life 2 on the other hand was a partial disappointment because as mentioned in my post Location, Location, Location I didn’t want to be in those locations.
In The Andromeda Strain the Lab is just so carefully crafted that it is hard not to appreciate the work that must have gone into its creation. Below you will find a number of images that display the concept to its fullest.
Remember, I’m not saying “Let’s make a game based on the movie”. I’m saying wouldn’t this style/concept be perfect for a game or mod? Regular readers will be aware I’m bored with the chunky shoulder pads and boots and huge rockets launchers of most recent Sci- Fi FPS games and am trying to inspire and motivate you in different conceptual directions. The images are taken from the first half because I don’t want to spoil the movie for you. Enjoy the images!!
Please note: Unlike some of the other Themes posts these images do not open into larger windows. What you see is what you get! I had a lot of trouble taking these images, in fact they were taken with my phone camera because I couldn’t take them directly from the screen.