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Monkey Island 2 Remake


SyntheticGerbil
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By the looks of this years E3 coverage, LucasArts are heading back to their lack luster Star Wars franchise games. MI promotion seems to be at bare minimum. It's a real shame. No doubt during the change of hands, some exec decided that this part of the company wasn't earning the $. Why take time to build up respect, and produce quality games, when you can get studios to pump out SW games by the dozen?

 

Lets hope IGN's footage of the game is OK as that starts in an hour or so and it lasts for at least 20 minutes according to schedule.

 

http://e3.ign.com/2010/live/index.html

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Only 7 minutes for "Brink"? Not that I care about it, but I guess it's an indication about how much time MI2 will get.

 

Edit: Yep, 7 minutes... ah well. At least my assumption of interactive lighting on Guybrush got confirmed, and it looks really cool!

Edited by Laserschwert
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At least they cleared up how the object highlighting works cause I know it links in with an achievement on the 360 version, all I need to do is not press the LB button on my controller but I know where all the objects are anyway from the many times I've played over the years on Amiga and PC.

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1UP has posted a gameplay video (available also at a bigger size) which details much the same gameplay as in the earlier IGN live demo (not online yet). The 1UP video is shot with a handheld cam, though, so the image isn't as good.

 

But you can clearly see many of the new features on display, including the new frames of animation (which extends to idle animations!). Craig Derrick says they tripled the number of frames in the walk cycle, from 8 to 24.

 

The developer commentary is on display, and looks nice IMO. The music is still too faint to hear properly, though.

 

A couple of arresting concept art images shown during the demo of the art gallery caught my eye--this one and this other one, which are two more unused background paintings by Peter Chan from the original game.

 

But I really ought to avoid spoiling the surprise for you people who want to remain ignorant until you actually play the damn game. So I'll discuss what the paintings look like below, within spoiler tags.

 

 

These two concept art images suggest that Woodtick was originally going to be programmed as a linked series of separate background screens, laid out much like Melee Town in Monkey Island 1. Also the International House of Mojo was seemingly inside the town of Woodtick proper, and not way the heck out in the swamp.

 

 

Anyways, a very interesting demo, and I'm more excited than ever now. July 7 is too far away, damn it! :D

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Here follows an analysis of all the MI2 concept art, old and new, that was shown in the 1UP video I linked to earlier. I've also linked to screen captures that I've made of the various concept images, so don't read further if you don't want to see them!

 

First off, apologies for the quality of some of the screen caps; 1UP used a handheld camera to record their video, which isn't ideal. Also the links I've created show up despite the spoiler tag. I've tried to make them as non-spoilery as possible, though.

 

 

I'll discuss the new stuff first. It seems that the new art included in the MI2:SE concept art gallery consists entirely of character designs, created by the LucasArts Singapore animation team.

 

New Art 1: several black-and-white concept drawings for a redesigned Elaine, much akin to (and including) the V1, V2, and V3 drawings of her that LucasArts posted earlier on Facebook.

 

New Art 2: A few color concepts for Largo LaGrande's new look.

 

New Art 3: Several black-and-white concept drawings for Largo's new hi-res appearance.

 

New Art 4: Several black-and-white concept drawings for Guybrush, modeled on the V1 design of him that LucasArts posted on Facebook.

 

New Art 5: A couple of black-and-white concept sketches for Guybrush, modeled on the V2 design of him that LucasArts posted on Facebook.

 

New Art 6: Black-and-white designs for Wally's facial animation.

 

New Art 7: Several black-and-white drawings of the Swamp Rot innkeeper. You know, the guy with the pegleg and the pet alligator.

 

New Art 8: Several black-and-white concepts for the Voodoo Lady.

 

New Art 9: A couple of concept sketches for LeChuck's new appearance.

 

Now on to the real meat of the gallery: several of the background paintings created for the original MI2.

 

Old Art 1: Peter Chan's painting of the Scabb Island landscape, as seen in the MI2 intro.

 

Old Art 2: The "Scab Island" map. This version of the island map is basically the same as what's preserved in the data files of the old MI2 rolling demo, and it includes some details that were later redrawn.

 

Note the original spelling of the island's name, as "Scab". This was indeed the initial spelling, as it recurs on the labels written for other paintings of the island's environments.

 

Old Art 3: A ship in Woodtick. When this background was created, it seems, Woodtick was envisioned as a linked series of separate backgrounds, with each background "room" containing its own ship. The different locations in the city would've been strung together much in the fashion of Melee Town's streets in MI1.

 

This early version of Woodtick would have allowed for a much simpler music design, e.g., a crossfade when Guybrush walks from one background to the next. I suppose that the final design of Woodtick was only made possible by the superior technology of iMuse.

 

Old Art 4: Wally's house. This is the background that made it into the game. An earlier, alternate version of the scene was previously exhibited in the book Rogue Leaders: The Story of LucasArts, and it's also been seen on Steve Purcell's blog.

 

Old Art 5: The Voodoo Lady's International House of Mojo. This background is also from the earlier incarnation of Woodtick. Here the Voodoo Lady's shop would have been within the city limits, as it was in MI1, and not way out in the swamp.

 

Old Art 6: The "Scab Island" cemetery. This is an early version of the painting, in which several tall crypts surmount the far hillside, instead of the graves that would later be placed there. This original version of the background art was shown off in a screenshot on the back cover of the MI2 box.

 

Old Art 7: Captain Dread's ship, docked off the far edge of Scabb Island. This is basically the art that was used in the game. It's very blurry here, but fortunately, LucasArts showed off a much cleaner version of the image several years ago.

 

Old Art 8: This is an alternate version of the Scabb Island mooring place for Dread's ship. Notice it has several lanterns illuminating the scene, making the whole composition feel much less eerie.

 

Old Art 9: LeChuck's office in the Fortress from Part III. Note the description written below: it's a bit hard to read, but apparently it says, "El Carlo's office." Who is El Carlo? An early name for Largo, perhaps?

 

Old Art 10: The base for an ultimately unused close-up of the Zombie Pirate LeChuck. The book Rogue Leaders also contains this closeup, plus a couple of the facial animations that would've been overlaid on top of the blank face shown here.

 

Old Art 11: A closeup of the desk in LeChuck's (or "El Carlo's") office. Possibly this was part of a cut puzzle, as it seems to be related to another close-up background, which showed the top of the desk as seen from above.

 

This is pure speculation on my part, but since everything is so big in LeChuck's Fortress, maybe a rejected puzzle involved climbing on top of the desk for some reason?

 

 

All in all, a very interesting set of images. I'm looking forward to seeing them in greater detail come July 7.

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God man, the IGN video is about a million times better.

 

I have to say it looks absolutely incredible in motion. I love all the minor animation details the scenes have, and the animation in general is just so beautifully smooth.

 

Damn, what an improvement. I think I even prefer the SE's revised Woodtick palette.

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"You used to have to point and then click, so we've improved on that"

 

Excuse me? lol!

 

I know it's optional but really now.

 

Interface is great though. That's EXACTLY the interface I dreamed up years ago to replace the verbs. Cool. The interface in the first SE was faaaar worse than the original, but this is fine.

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This is pure speculation on my part, but since everything is so big in LeChuck's Fortress, maybe a rejected puzzle involved climbing on top of the desk for some reason?

 

There's even another one of that big damn chair that's not included in your list ATM. More evidence that quite a bit was cut out towards the end of the game, especially in LeChuck's Fortress.

 

Argh, I'd really have loved for there to have been more puzzles there... (Was there even one (outside of the torture chamber)?! Doggy door? I think that was it...?)

 

Nice to see that they've not been afraid to make improvements this time around. Changes to puzzles, a more animated world, etc. I like it.

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ThunderPeel: Really? Where can I see it?

 

 

So far, I've seen only two unused close-ups of that chair/desk. One image, a top-down view, was shown in the most recent batch of screenshots, and another image, a side view, can be seen in the 1UP video. I linked to them both in my previous post.

 

I do know there were more rooms cut from LeChuck's Fortress than that, though--at least four, two of which I've not accounted for yet.

 

 

Also, I calculated that the 1UP video goes through the concept art gallery so quickly that at least one image is skipped over without us ever seeing it. Speculation ahoy!

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For those who are interested, GamersHell has an HD version of the MI2:SE E3 cinematic trailer (this time with the audio properly in sync, thank goodness) available for download.

 

Made by Blur Studio, Dom says. They need to do more work on MI, as what they've done here is absolutely stunning. As many people before me have noted.

 

Also, IGN has a rather closer-up view of one of the rejected Peter Chan MI2 backgrounds featured in the art gallery. I've mentioned this particular drawing before, but now you can see it zoomed in at greater detail.

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