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Showing content with the highest reputation on 05/20/22 in all areas

  1. Has anyone posted this wonderful new interview yet? I love the detailed answers Grossman is giving to the questions. One of my favorite Ron quotes: tbc I never want the series to end so forward thinking design that will leave room for more story and an expanded pool of new creators contributing is something I definitely appreciate. All together I found this interview to be of better quality than other recent efforts and worth the short read. Still no new images but one day we will get that I imagine
    6 points
  2. Then again, the only reason why the Grog machine didn't look more like a Coke machine is that Coca-Cola would have sued their butts off. I do absolutely agree that the humorous moments or "bits" often feel less forced. They often feel like an in joke. I mean, modelling a character after Lucas, naming a character after Spielberg's wife, playing the first four notes of the Raider's March, dropping the names Tim, Dave and Ron in the same sentence ... it's not as in your face maybe, but it is still there. I love that latest interview in that respect, but I also really love the dynamic suggested in the early adventure gamers interview. Ron Gilbert, he seems to be all impulse, creativity, he's got drive and energy, he's ready to try everything both new and old, he's taking all the risks, oscillating between the extremes, but he's of course also grumpy as ever – thin skinned, vulnerable to negative comments, and prone to self doubt. That's where Dave Grossman comes in. He's got the motivation, he's all zen, he brings the "yes we actually can", he balances things out, he's at the theoretical and conceptual level when Ron has long since turned to his wonderful but not infallible instinct. I think they're an incredible team of two very strong and very different characters , and I strongly believe they're going to give us great things.
    3 points
  3. This is pretty cool.
    3 points
  4. If I remember correctly, the German releases always had the sturdy, fully glued two-part boxes, wrapped in the artwork: Whereas the US releases had the folded boxes, with the folds on the upper and lower edges (this one is my custom box from pack.ly though, and they are printing directly on the cardboard and provide the boxes ready to fold): And then there's the wobbly one-part flap-top boxes, which got used even on German releases (Grim Fandango and a bunch of Star Wars games) :
    3 points
  5. Thimbleweed Park was great. It's been a long time since an adventure game world opened up like this, without overwhelming you. It ruthlessly plunged you into the unknown with that central LucasArtsian parachute: There's always a way out and you can not die. It wasn't a trip down nostalgia lane for me, because I started out with TSoMI (yes I did play Maniac Mansion on my C128 when I was eleven, but besides finding the key to the front door, there really was no getting through any puzzle). So I think I gave it credit on its own merit. Variety of puzzles, design of puzzles, the music was great, the lighting really set a mood, and the flashbacks to introduce more player characters were a great idea. It was the first game where *bleeps* were funny instead of plainly annoying. Ohhhh Tim is Rock'n'Roll, Tim is song and dance, Tim is anarchy and rebellion, Tim is chaos, he's unchecked emotion, he's overconfidence and cordiality. When Ron grumbles into his beard and Dave keeps all silent, Tim will boom like a kakapo on rimu overdose. He's the fresh mints that Guybrush keeps in his pockets until in Chapter 13 he needs to really freshen things up. He's making one vastly successful, brilliant game after another and still has to fire a whole lot of people pre-release, let alone sell his company to Microsoft. He's introducing tank controls into what could have been one of the greatest point and clicks ever, for the mere sake of innovation, and still seems to be proud of it 25 years later. I don't know where in the game exactly, but I'm sure I'll miss him one way or another. Some great reharmonization at the beginning there, plus the seamless transition to Captain Kate's theme – I love it!
    2 points
  6. My Thimbleweed Park confession is, before I started playing I flipped the switch in settings for fewer injokes. I have no regrets. (There we’re still plenty of injokes but it felt like a normal amount for the type of story it was telling; I have no idea what I might have “missed out on,” and don’t even want to know, because the experience felt plenty complete without whatever I disabled with that checkbox.)
    2 points
  7. Of course, the bit that's always in my head (while I agree with most of this) is how much will we miss the lack of Tim's voice. I mean Ron's said in the past he would give Dave certain characters, Tim others, and keep some for himself and generally knew how to portion that out based on the character. If Ron is all instinct and Dave is all positivity, then I wonder how Tim used to complete the set, and how much we will miss that. I think, just looking at Tim's worlds he created after Monkey Island, he is really good at evoking a vibe. If you think about the world of Full Throttle, and how it felt like this vaguely post apocalyptic, sort of futuristic but sort of old fashioned, but never completely defined world, and then the writing in Grim Fandango and how good the writing of that was at layering in detail without feeling the need to spell everything out. He's an excellent vibesmith, creating and maintaining an atmosphere in a game, usually one where there's a bit of lurking darkness as an undercurrent. I often wonder how much he had to do with how CREEPY LeChuck is in MI2, for example. There's something a little bit ...I don't know, metal? about his portrayal in that game. If Ron is the impulse and creativity, and Dave is a positive, intellectual force, maybe Tim is the grit that gives the thing texture and depth, and I hope they find a way of bridging that gap.
    2 points
  8. Hoo boy, this is becoming a lot more of an undertaking that I originally thought. It seems as though the way the original files were encoded, they retained the ability to play an intro section of the music, then the main bit, followed by looping to a specific timestamp instead of the beginning, That functionality is lost as soon as the files are converted to a format XACT is compatible with. For example, in-game you'd get the Rapp Scallion resurrection cue, followed by his theme, but when the track is over it loops back to the resurrection cue instead of just endlessly looping like it should, which is not ideal. Thankfully, I'm pretty good at editing, so I'm in the process of editing all the tracks in Audacity so they loop for longer, basically enough time that most people playing the game will never reach the part where the incorrect loop happens. This is all dependant on the location of the music, so for example Dread's map screen or any of the island maps don't loop as long as, say, the Voodoo Lady's or the various Woodtick rooms. I also have a working theory on why the little transition that plays between the swamp and the Voodoo Lady's doesn't play, which I believe lies in the MI2_MUSIC IMPLEMENTATION.csv file. I'll see if I'm right and report back with my findings. Of course, if anyobdy knows of a way to convert an APCM encoded .wav file to a PCM .wav file without losing the loop triggers in the process, I'd love to know about it cause it'd save me a lot of hassle
    2 points
  9. Good interview! Not many new radishurges, but I'm glad to hear them expressing remorse for that bloody monkey wrench puzzle.
    2 points
  10. Wow - I should have got this in two after that start! I guess my brain censored the answer. I beat #Mojole and all I got was this stupid t-shirt. 3/6 https://funzone.mixnmojo.com/Mojole/
    2 points
  11. And still managed to make it one of the greatest adventure games ever! Just dropped the point and click, amazing.
    1 point
  12. Well, I agree with some of that, but I don't know about that bit. Depends how you measure success, but arguably Psychonauts 2 is their first real commercial success and the rest just... did enough to keep them afloat, and had decent long term sales. One thing that I think was very striking about Double Fine is that in all their struggles, and all their never-quite-exploding in the way I would have loved, they basically managed to retain staff for WAY longer than most game companies, and only really had to consider redundancies on a couple of occasions, under extraordinary circumstances (and I think some of those people were subsequently re-hired). I think the selling to Microsoft feels like way less of an unpredictable move when you consider just how long they spent cruising under their own power, and how much of a struggle it must have been NOT to constantly be firing people and cutting back. Some people took some stories from Broken Age and wove it into a narrative of financial incompetence, but to me, the story of Double Fine is overwhelmingly one of extreme resiliance against all odds, and this Microsoft thing is just Tim coming to terms with the fact that if he keeps rolling the dice, he's going to hit snake eyes. I think Full Throttle, Grim Fandango, Psychonauts, some but not all of Broken Age, and Psychonauts 2 have made me realise I do really like Tim's voice as a writer, and while I can't untangle the first two games enough to understand exactly what might be absent without him, I hope they manage to absorb enough of that DNA from the first two games to make his presence felt indirectly.
    1 point
  13. As Serge says, its not the audio data that contains the loops its the soundbank (xsb file). You can also build soundbanks in XACT, you drag a track from the wavebank into it and build cues and loop points but that will be a hassle. Again as Serge says, you would expect the game to just use the loops from the xsb so I would guess its one of: ADPCM blocksize - this can affect looping as the blocksize affects block alignment. Try lowering Samples per block on the wavebank. Your wavebank has the SYNC_DISABLED and BANK+ENTRYNAMES flags set - the original doesn't. On the wavebank in xact turn off 'friendly names' and turn on 'sync in-game data'. I havent built it to try but these should remove those flags.
    1 point
  14. Without having looked much at the data (or your conversion) - or knowing much about how BG's template works, I'm pretty sure the .wav files are standard WAV (containing ADPCM data, which is just compressed) with no extra info - if memory serves, the loop points are defined in the .xsb file (which is a relatively complex format), not the xwb file. So if you're not replacing that one, I'd expect it to really just use the loops from the old music. The .csv file might be telling the iMUSE-wannabe engine where to jump (haven't looked at that either), but at least where to jump from is likely handled by events defined in the .xsb. But I could be completely wrong about that, since - again - I haven't actually looked much at it at all.
    1 point
  15. I really like Thimbleweed Park. It’s one of the few games I’ve played since Monkey 1 and 2 that have the same nebulous feeling of “something dark and unknowable lies beneath the surface,” that slowly seeps into the game the more I played, which I guess means that’s a Ron thing.
    1 point
  16. I'm also expecting nothing less than greatness from this game.
    1 point
  17. I used to work in packaging for DVDs. Designed plenty of DVD box sets back in the day. As cool as these are you can’t actually use them to get “exact dimensions”. Unfortunately you still need the printer’s cutter guide, which would be supplied as a separate plate. This is because there’ll be lots of bleed on those images, and without the cutter guide you won’t know where the bleed begins, or where the folds are. (The industry standard is at least 3mm — but there’s no harm in adding more.) Don’t get wrong. I’d still love to own them. They’re extremely interesting, and I bet you could make some very good guesses using them. Just not “exact measurements” in the way you might expect.
    1 point
  18. Yeah, I definitely don't think the Mel Brooks approach is bad, I just think there's a definite difference between what it does and Monkey Island does, and partly it's the density of it (I really think it's an exaggeration to say Monkey Island does it every 5 minutes, but it's not much of an exaggeration to say that about, say, Spaceballs) but it's also something about an the nature of the gags themselves. Like, Monkey Island will have Guybrush turn the the camera and say "I bet you're feeling something similar" or end with "Never pay more than 20 bucks for a computer game" and do a fake game over screen like a sierra game. It can have anachronisms like the grog machine. But all of these feel like moments, they're fleeting, they come and go and we move on. They're not really delivered as 'bits'. The closest they get to being a 'bit' is at the end of MI2 when they drag out the LeChuck/Darth Vader parallel joke to an extent which, in hindsight, feels a bit out of step with the rest of the series. But it still works on its own merits (I hadn't seen Star Wars when I first played MI2). In fact, That's another thing that marks a difference that even when it IS doing parody, MI is doing it pretty straight. Both MI2 and Spaceballs have a parody of the 'I am your father' thing - and I would argue one of them works pretty well even if you haven't seen Star Wars, and the other one doesn't. Mel Brooks may believe that his parody is always in service to the story, but I think even he would have to admit he walks that line HARD, and the parody work that MI dabbles in is much more subtle. I don't think classic MI would ever do a bit like in spaceballs where the bad guys look up a video of itself to try and figure out where the good guys are. I don't think it even does a whole lot of jokes like 'perri-air' or 'beam me up snotty'. And - an in-hindsight-bad monkey wrench puzzle aside, it doesn't really engage in jokes like 'jamming the radar' very much. Even stuff like the grog machine, the grog machine is just THERE and the font looks a bit like Coke, it's barely even played for laughs. When it returns in MI2, it's even a bit creepy. Until you get to EMI, when the whole thing becomes so referential, and self-referential that I feel like it stops doing little parody moments and instead does lots of 'bits' - the lua bar, Planet Threepwood, Starbuccaneers, all that jazz. Definitely don't talk about the Thimbleweed Park ending, because I haven't finished it yet.
    1 point
  19. Yep, it’s my biggest concern that Ron tries to out meta himself to the detriment of the story. It’s weird. I agree with the things that Ron says in interviews and on his blog about adventure games. The importance of story. The importance of the game world. Why adventure games suck, etc. but then I play Thimbleweed Park and I go… what happened to all that stuff you said? I believe it’s 1. Story above all else. 2. Love your characters. In the first version of TP, the main characters didn’t really have any personality. Dialogue for them was patched in later. Am afterthought. And then the story was completely jettisoned at the end. As I’ve said before: I hope he’s gotten that out of his system. But I think the presence of Grossman, who seems to really get it, too, might keep it more on track. Very interesting that neither of them said they replayed the sequels though.
    1 point
  20. My eyes focused on the logo and for a second i legit thought there was a new trailer I think maybe i need to stop waiting for news as the lack of news is killer. Thank god for psychonauts 2, great distraction. Sad Double Fine with be xbox exclusive after such a great game but happy the developer has stability.
    1 point
  21. Fair fight… belongs in another thread though. I beat #Mojole and all I got was this stupid t-shirt. 5/6 https://funzone.mixnmojo.com/Mojole/
    1 point
  22. There's a lot of moments I liked in that interview relating to the writing - i like the idea of them replaying those older games to try to get into the voice of those old characters, and I really like "We revisited some locations and characters, but you have to be careful that it’s more than just a trip down nostalgia lane." I was a little surprised by "Gilbert: I’ve always been a fan of parody. For me Monkey Island was about making fun of stuff." because it's always been important to me that Monkey Island ISN'T parody in the way that I understand it, and fails hardest (parts of EMI) when it is trying too much to be parody. It has parody moments, of course, especially when it wants to reference star wars or indy. But it's not like a Mel Brooks film or Airplane or something. The comedy isn't that broad, most of the time. It's more like a pastiche of a pirate story, done in a kind of unique comedic style.
    1 point
  23. Yes, it's true. I suppose a more basic thing for me is that I hope I find it funny. So far I've found Thimbleweed's humour a bit of a mixed bag, and that's the latest example I have to go on. It has a bit of a habit of running jokes into the ground, or making characters that have one defining characteristic and then playing it to death. But then there are some moments that I think have been quite amusing. I'm hoping that now some of that super referencey stuff is out of Ron's system, and with Dave there also with his hands in it we'll get a comic style that feels a bit more 'Monkey Island). I suspect the lack of Tim will be noticeable, I just don't know HOW noticeable.
    1 point
  24. ATMachine suggested it could have been for LeChuck to prevent Guybrush from coming back as a ghost after being sent to hell as planned for the MI3a plot. I found this take very fascinating because something really similar occurs in TMI and Ron stated that some things he had planned were unknowingly used later by other MI games.
    1 point
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