Inspired by and based upon the DreamWorks Interactive game…
In 1989, accomplished novelist Michael Crichton published what has perhaps become his most famous novel: Jurassic Park. It was the story of a wealthy entrepreneur, John Hammond, and his dream to conquer life itself and change the way the earth looked at evolution. Through Crichton’s novel, readers saw a theme park with living, breathing dinosaurs re-created from preserved DNA. When a small group of people came to endorse the park, the animals escaped from confinement. In the end, only a few of the group made it out alive.
In Jurassic Park, Crichton combined the latest scientific advances of the time with previous and present theories on dinosaurs, the earth and the nature of evolution. The book became a phenomenon; millions of people bought the novel, and real-life scientists began to seriously examine the possibility of bringing dinosaurs back to life through preserved DNA from millions of years ago. The book proved so successful that it spawned a motion picture directed by acclaimed director Steven Spielberg. The film employed computer effects never seen before, and the movie grossed over 914 million worldwide, making it the highest grossing film of all time until being topped five years later by the feature film Titanic.
Jurassic Park became a franchise. Toys, spin-off books, video games and clothing lines came into being shortly after the movie’s success. Then, in 1995, Michael Crichton published a sequel to his original novel. He titled it The Lost World, paying homage to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s book published decades before. Again, the novel was a success, and another film was made in 1997. The film was also a success.
However, in 1996, during the shooting of the second film, a video game company known as DreamWorks Interactive set out to create a game to coincide with the release of the movie. DreamWorks Interactive wanted to create the most realistic and immersive game ever, and they certainly had the tools to accomplish the task. The game would feature a physics engine never before seen, amazingly realistic graphics, and advanced artificial intelligence. Game review magazines and critics were awed, and gamers of the time were anticipating the most incredible first-person-shooter game ever made: Jurassic Park: Trespasser.
However, as time passed, DreamWorks Interactive met more and more snags and delays in development. The artificial intelligence of the dinosaurs would cause the creatures to move awkwardly and eventually freeze altogether. The graphics engine was too advanced for its time, and would also cause the game to bug up. The physics engine was extremely buggy; dinosaurs would try to go inside a building and get irreversibly stuck in the doorway. And so the list of problems went on. In the end, DreamWorks Interactive had to cut many features from the game to make it playable, and even then the game had many missing and broken features. In the end, the game was released in 1998 to a highly optimistic audience. And customers were, to put it lightly, appalled.
Jurassic Park: Trespasser became a candidate for the worst video game ever made. The number of complaints from reviewers and customers were unbelievable, and the game sold only 50,000 copies worldwide. Unfortunately, the game’s shortcomings overshadowed the many revolutionary features it still contained. The physics engine was incredible, the depth and size of the levels were unimaginably large for the time, and the in-game puzzles were mind boggling. The game also featured the voice talents of actress Minnie Driver and actor Lord Richard Attenborough, the man who played John Hammond in the two Jurassic Park films.
The game’s story is that of a woman named Anne (voiced by Minnie Driver), who is tired of her usual, mundane life. In an attempt to get away from it all, she decides to take a vacation to Costa Rica. However, during her flight over the pacific, a storm blows up, and a freak accident in the cockpit causes her plane to crash on one of the offshore islands, Isla Sorna. She regains consciousness and finds herself alone, her pilot killed in the crash. With a fractured arm, Anne begins to explore the island. And what does she find but the dinosaurs which InGEN had created. Throughout her long journey, Anne remembers different parts from the memoir of John Hammond (voiced by Richard Attenborough), which he published after the operations of InGEN were revealed to the world. And through her remembrances, and near death encounters with the dinosaurs, she learns the secrets that InGEN and Hammond himself had kept from the rest of the world… and that her simple life back home is what she truly desires.
Through playing the game, I found myself completely immersed in it. The suspense was gripping, the setting was ominous, and the setting of John Hammond’s memoir intertwined with the story was incredible. The game made me feel like I was eight years old again, seeing the movie for the first time and being completely taken in by its wonder. Despite what most people said, Trespasser had the potential to be perhaps the greatest first-person game ever, and to me, its most intricate aspect was its mysterious and amazing story.
That is why I am writing this book; to give that story another chance to be known by others. However, I also have written this book to show my own ideas and twists to the story, and I hope that those who read this book will enjoy my own personal view of it.