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Screenshots of Brian Moriarty's The Dig


ATMachine
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The screenshots in this thread aren't true screenshots per se, but they do showcase what the interface of The Dig by Brian Moriarty would've looked like. I created them based on reference material from screenshots of Sean Clark's version and magazines, especially LucasArts' Adventurer #7.

 

The situations shown here might not be entirely accurate, but these screenshots do give a feel for how this version would've looked and played.

 

Some of you may recall that I've posted somewhat similar screenshots before. Those were less accurate to the original game, I think, than these are.

 

An interesting fact is that the engine to be used wasn't SCUMM, but instead something new called StoryDroid.

 

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This screenshots shows the four astronauts in this version. The fourth's name is Toshi Olema, the Japanese physicist.

 

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The four astronauts on Cocytus. Notice that Maggie's name was Judith here, and that she was blonde. The dark-haired person is Toshi Olema.

 

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Low stands in a room unused in the final game. Notice the interface; there are icons for Examine, Pick up, Use, and Move. I do not believe there was a Talk icon.

 

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Low stands with Brink in the "crevice room" on Cocytus.

 

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Boston is a small speck on the overall map of the five spires.

 

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Bostin and Judith stand in a cave on Cocytus.

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Boston stands at a gap in the path.

 

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Low prepares to pick up the machine part in the rodent's cave.

 

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Low and Toshi stand outside the aforementioned cave.

 

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Boston attempts to use an inventory item on the spinning metal plate.

 

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Low and Toshi stand in the crypt of the Inventor.

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Here are some scans of the magazines which show the early versions.

 

This scan is a picture of the original version of the cover, with all four astronauts.

 

This scan is the inside of that Adventurer.

 

This scan is one of Adventurer #7, which has a lot of screenshots that were influential on the reconstruction screenshots above.

 

Here are the screenshots once posted by The Dig at Mixnmojo. They show an early build of Sean Clark's version, since there are three characters. I post these here for comparison to the ones above.

 

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There were several versions of The Dig in development over the years.

 

The first belonged to Noah Falstein (who worked later on Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis). Information on this version is almost nonexistent. It was, however, set on a jungle planet, very unlike the final Cocytus. In addition, the aliens had four arms, so you needed your fellow astronauts' help to operate machinery. Rumor also has it that there were certain RPG elements such as feeding Low which complicated development.

 

Brian Moriarty, designer of Loom, then began work on the project. Moriarty made a clean break with the "jungle planet" idea. In this version, there were four characters: Boston Low, Ludger Brink, Judith Robbins, and Toshi Olema. The game was to be made with the "StoryDroid" engine, not SCUMM. The game had an interface similar to that seen in Sam and Max Hit the Road.

 

The puzzles and story in this version were rather different. For example, one puzzle involved killing a horde of bats who were blocking a path. To do this, you had to kill the giant eel, cut out its eye (with blood spattering on the screen), place the lens of the eye on your flashlight, and shine it at the bats. The eye would filter the light in such a manner as to kill the bats.

 

Also, Brink's hand still had to be cut off, but here because he was trapped in a chamber where the tide was rising and he risked drowning.

 

After Brian Moriarty left LucasArts, the project continued in this form for a while under Hal Barwood and Steve Dauterman.

 

Soon, they left the project and Sean Clark came aboard. Clark changed Judith's name to Maggie and removed Toshi Olema. In addition, Clark tossed out the interface of Brian Moriarty's version in favor of a one-click interface. (Bill Tiller had constructed a new version of the interface similar to the Full Throttle one, but Sean Clark vetoed it, saying he hated that interface.) Much of the art was changed in this version to its final form.

 

That's basically it.

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Dave Grossman also was assigned to write his interpretation of The Dig at one point, but I think that was slightly more short lived than the other versions. I'm not sure where the Dave Grossman one lies in the chain of designers. Either directly before or two persons before Sean Clark I'd imagine...

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There's loads of interesting stuff on The Dig in some of my old PC Gamer magazines. The staff of the magazine were huge LucasArts fans, and basically followed production on The Dig from the word go. The most comprehensive feature is on dig.mixnmojo.com*, an interview with Sean Clark, Bill Tiller and then-president Randy Komisar. This deals more with the version that was released, but I'm sure that some of the other previews have some interesting facts. I'll dig them up when I go home.

 

Hohoho!

 

*I don't think the scan is online.

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Also, there was a brief period during Sean Clark's version where Clark had decided that he wanted the cutscenes to be in the FMV "real (bad) live actors" style, and they even filmed a test or two as with a LucasArts employee dressed as Maggie, but that got shot down after seeing the results in practice.

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Originally posted by ATMachine

(Bill Tiller had constructed a new version of the interface similar to the Full Throttle one, but Sean Clark vetoed it, saying he hated that interface.)

 

It's funny to read how Clark hated FT interface, and then ended up using it in never released FT2(i never actually saw it, but guys from Mojo and AG.com did)

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