On the cutting room floor

I came across this video today of Kurt Russell and John Carpenter commentating on the legendary 10 or so minute deleted prologue scene to Escape From New York. It’s well worth your time and their banter is really fun to listen to.

Carpenter makes a good point that this entire scene was dropped because it not only confused the audience but more importantly, it takes some of the mystery off of Snake Pliskin’s dark anti-hero aura. It humanizes him too much as well. Watch the clip and you will see why.

I have dropped design elements from my games in the past but mostly because they were too complex or too expensive to get right. So far I haven’t really dropped that many story elements from the Pilgrim’s Path series. The one big one wasn’t really dropped as much as it morphed from one thing into another. Originally I was going to have a major subplot ending with a Yueh-like betrayel (Dune) but I decided to remove that because I wanted some characters go in different directions.

I also realized that the conflict I had set up between The Council and The Hegemon was not really conducive to such types of espionage and backstabbing. The nodes of the Council are difficult to penetrate since all commerce, traffic and interaction gets cut off. The Council raids through some unprotected slip points and resonance points but mostly in treacherous places like The Shards. Maintaining an intelligence network and doing their infiltration and subversion works with targets that are unprepared or naive (Timathur and Privil’s Landing) but not against those who recognize the danger.

Anyway, the video is really interesting as is the commentary. 1981 Carpenter looking at 1997 New York is fascinating in its own right. The Atlanta subway station would still make a pretty good location for filming any police state totalitarian nightmare future.

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