A detail obsessed game designer must finish his latest virtual reality game or risk losing his job, but as his game becomes more realistic he starts to lose his grip on reality.
To expand upon what mikepedley85 said, high-end computer games have production budgets that rival action films. In a corporate environment, your developer would be working as part of a team of several dozens. If he is involved on the CGI end, he might be responsible for one figure or one scene. It is hard to see how that level of focus would make him lose his grip on reality.
It might be more believable if you make the MC a tester, not a developer. In-house testers play the games over and over, giving feedback to the developers. A detail obsessed tester might insist on skipping the automated tests and do all testing himself, thus leading to him losing his grip on reality.
Also, I think we need a hint as to where the journey is headed. What happens if he loses his grip on reality? The usual treatment is a short stay in a clinic for game addicts, but you will need a stronger story line to interest viewers.
I’ve really liked this idea since you first posted. I love the whole “video game vs reality” thing – Ready Player One is one of my favourite books – the film… not without its merits but it lost a little of the magic for me.
Anyway… back to the logline!
Is the point where he starts to lose his grip on reality the midpoint? I kinda wanna know how this changes him and his goal. What’s the second part of Act II? Maybe it could be tweaked simply by changing it to “struggles to keep a grip on reality”.
What happens in the final act? I know that a logline isn’t supposed to give away the ending but it can influence the feel of the logline. At the moment, I sense a downbeat ending for this. He gets absorbed into his world that he created and ultimately prefers that to the real world. Is that the case?
Detail obsessed – could be perfectionist?
Virtual reality – VR?
Part of me wonders if he’d be more interesting if he was actually working on his own, building a VR game to challenge the big companies that he can sell to live comfortably. His life is a desolate wasteland though, he has nothing. This makes the bright lights of the world he creates much more appealing and makes his slide into it more understandable.
Basically, I just want to know more but in a good way. I don’t feel like this logline lacks anything, but if I were a producer, I guess I’d want to have more of an idea to the tone of the film.
Hope this makes sense. Looking forward to seeing where this goes. Got a title? The name for his game perhaps?
Good input, good points by yqertz. If he’s working in a software shop, he’s one cog in a large wheel. He only has access to and control over one limb of the app elephant. These days VR games are so freakingly complex and code dense, no single person can grasp and manage it all.
Also, the code warriors I know seem to look at the GUI as just eye candy, there to validate that the code they are writing works For them, the fun and games, the dopamine spike, the immersive experience is in writing the code. That’s what they stare at for hours on end the code, not the GUI.
And general audiences are more sophisticated these days. The prime target audience for this film, computer geeks, are super sophisticated, jaded and skeptical about all films where software development is core to the way the plot plays out. Gone are the days when a movie can palm off a moment when a young kid looks at a GUI — a GUI! — and exclaims. “I know this. It’s Unix.” (Jurassic Park, 1993). Punchline: if you look closely at the hardware in that scene, “Unix” is running on Apple hardware!
However, as yqwertz suggested, the MC is a tester might work.