Attention, history and fandom nerds in tabletop! White Wolf has greenlit a two-part World of Darkness Documentary! MMORPG.com shared the press release late last week. It’s going to be a two-part film, covering “the history and evolution of one of the most prolific and genre defining Role-Playing franchises in history”.
Does it sound a bit like they are tooting their own horn? Only if you’re not aware of just how important World of Darkness is for tabletop gaming history. The documentary will include interviews with the different people who put it all together, and have kept the faith. They also mentioned exclusive footage, but I don’t know what that’ll entail given the subject material.
“The tumultuous history of the World of Darkness, Vampire: The Masquerade, & White Wolf is something akin to a rock n’ roll soap opera mashed together with a Shakespearean tragedy. It’s more than just a story about a game or a company, but also the fans and how this thing helped shape and affect their lives. This is really their story and we believe that needs to be told,” said White Wolf CEO Tobias Sjögren.
“This is where the real story gets told: nothing is sacred, no one gets a pass, and all skeletons come out of the closet,” said Luckyday CEO Henrik Johansson.
Kevin Lee from Sweeden-based film agency Luckyday will be writing and producing the film. Award-winning director, actor and producer Giles Anderson is going to be directing it. He’s best known for his documentary 47 Cleveland.
Sjögren honestly isn’t kidding when he says that WoD’s history is “tumultuous.” Vampire: the Masquerade, the first book for the World of Darkness, was released in 1991. This was decades after the first release of Dungeons & Dragons in 1974. WoD went toe-to-toe with the franchise in spite of how established D&D was by then. Its storytelling systems met the huge demand for urban horror and gothic stories, so much so that it inspired its own fiction lines and a titular computer game for Vampire. Its dip in visibility can be attributed to several mishaps – the biggest being the ill-fated MMORPG project – and shifts within tabletop gaming itself. I’m a huge fan of World of Darkness everything, so I’d like to see what happened. There’s always been a lot of questions about it, but no real answers.
On another note, putting out a documentary is important for establishing a franchise’s legacy. Tabletop gaming is an important but often understated aspect of geek culture. D&D has books and features a plenty. It’s high time that WoD has some of its own. Sure, it’s probably only going to cover the Western end of the story, but that gives us all the more reason to see it.
The World of Darkness documentary does not have a release date yet. Here’s hoping that it’ll be out sooner than later!