Stephen E. Dinehart IV was an attraction designer for Universal Orlando Resort and was creating attractions such as Super Nintendo World. He decided to create a board game “GiantLands”. However, the board game will only be a part of a bigger entertainment project that will hopefully become a full theme park one day. He has over 20 years of experience in the gaming and entertainment industry and GiantLands is being created with a particular goal in mind.
He wants to make it not just a theme park where you can walk around, look at and hear the world of the game, but a place where you can play the game physically; you can dress up as a character and immerse yourself in the fictional world. However, when transforming a board game, a movie, or a videogame into a real-world, immersive, themed environment, creates intellectual property issues.
Disney created the world similar to Avatar and Star Wars world, Universal – chose to keep more similarities to the Harry Potter movie world. Having seen the processes firsthand Dinehart decided to create the board game with the specific intention of the game becoming a theme park one day. While the films and other storytelling media translate into theme parks well even without interactive experiences, the theme parks based on games need to have an interactive element; they need to be the kind of places where people act, not just watch.
In the case of Disney, some theme parks not based on any pre-existing intellectual property were so successful that they were adapted to create films. Working on well-known projects like Mario and creating theme parks according to them can be fun but Disney experience proved that authentic worlds are long-lasting and original.
Board games adaptation to iGaming platforms?
In the last few years, iGaming platforms became very popular. During the lockdowns, people stayed at home and they needed platforms to play live games. Certain people play only board games as it comes with different types of pleasure. iGaming platforms started adapting popular games a few years ago. We saw the adaptations of popular comics and video games characters. Lara Croft and Superman became the most successful adaptation into the iGaming universe. Board games set another level of satisfaction.
If digital casino brands decide to focus more onboard games, it’s a guaranteed rise in players. Especially in lockdown, people found new board games to get fun, so it’s not something that they could forget. iGaming providers can adapt board games into different categories – slots, roulette, etc. Installing board game story-lines into the casino slot machines would be perfect for casino players. In general, slots are for people who are looking for fun and luck in a short period of time. The same could be said about board games, so it will be a match made in heaven.
People want immersive, interesting, fresh experiences that will help them leave their known worlds even for just a couple of hours. Walt Disney created Disneylands not just based on his previous works. GiantLands will be an even bigger stretch in that it is an entirely new model. It is created with the hope that the players/visitors will already come to the park with an idea of what the game is and maybe even with a particular character they would like to play as.
The players will be able to start at home and then arrive at the park and immerse themselves completely in the game world and stay there for days at a time. As technology gets more and more sophisticated and cheaper it is easier for the parks to create these experiences. In 2020, Universal announced the Super Nintendo World where people will be able to collect virtual coins and track their success. Dinehart has worked on this project. He also worked on Evermore park together with game designers James M. Ward and Ernest G. Gygax, Jr. Now they are collaborating on GiantLands.