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The Dig: Special Edition


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The Dig is one of the most underrated adventure games ever. Even Steven Spielberg worked on this game. There was a lot of content cut from the game due to budget and time constraints. The lost content could be restored to make an awesome special edition.

 

Along with HD artwork, remastered audio, and commentary.

 

Pictures of the deleted content.

http://home.comcast.net/~ervind/digbm1.html

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The Dig is one of the most underrated adventure games ever. Even Steven Spielberg worked on this game. There was a lot of content cut from the game due to budget and time constraints. The lost content could be restored to make an awesome special edition.

 

Along with HD artwork, remastered audio, and commentary.

 

Pictures of the deleted content.

http://home.comcast.net/~ervind/digbm1.html

I'm not sure how most of that would fit into the game, as they came from early versions that were very different than the final.

 

It would be great though if they expanded the final cutscene to include the exchange between Boston and the Cocytans that happened in the novel when Boston enters the eye. It explains how Boston was able to get out when the Cocytans never could. :)

 

It would also be great if they included the line from the novel that explained why Brink aged so much, or at the very least at least have him keep his gray hair when entering the ship at the end. I was quite confused by his changing hair when I first played the game. I thought that the ship cured his aging, but it was just a slip up due to using his regular sprite in that scene.

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I posit a theory that any of the adventure games LucasArts has released on Steam are ones they aren't planning some kind of special edition or update in the future.

 

If so, it's a shame, as I love The DIG and would really have liked a version with re-mastered, high quality audio and music, let alone art. Even after all these years, it remains a hallmark for audio production and mood setting, one's particular fondness for the puzzles and serious thematic tone aside. I suppose I'm trying to say they don't make a lot of games quite like The DIG anymore, and I miss them dearly.

 

As for Spielburg, he was apparently a big fan of LucasArts games back in the day, much more so than Lucas reportedly. He readily played the adventure games, gave feedback on them and would pester George about visiting the LucasArts people when he came to the ranch. I wouldn't be surprised if the Monkey Island movie got as far as it did because of Spielburg.

Edited by speon
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As for Spielburg, he was apparently a big fan of LucasArts games back in the day, much more so than Lucas reportedly. He readily played the adventure games, gave feedback on them and would pester George about visiting the LucasArts people when he came to the ranch. I wouldn't be surprised if the Monkey Island movie got as far as it did because of Spielburg.

 

That's in the Rogue Book. That's true and all, but I don't think the guy knows what's good for a game. I know according to the interviews I've read in both the Secret History and elsewhere, neither Brian Moriarty or Sean Clark (and maybe some other "ghosts of Dig's past) ever seemed happy with his input, to say the least. That is to say, besides the troubled history some of the people reveal with Spielburg's contributions, no one has ever really just straight out gushed about how wonderful it was to work with him on The Dig.

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I posit a theory that any of the adventure games LucasArts has released on Steam are ones they aren't planning some kind of special edition or update in the future.

 

I also agree with this assessment.

 

However if a SE was made I'd love to see a commentary track (with all 3 former project leads?) which also brings up alternate artwork - and possibly even alternate playable scenes from the early versions of the game.

 

Probably not worth LucasArts' effort though to get all that to happen.

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However if a SE was made I'd love to see a commentary track (with all 3 former project leads?) which also brings up alternate artwork - and possibly even alternate playable scenes from the early versions of the game.

 

That's a great idea. I'd love a Moriarty commentary if it's not too painful for him.

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On the contrary, I've always heard that it was LucasArts' best selling adventure game.

 

Yep. According to LucasArts it's the adventure game that sold the most units, though I doubt it was the most profitable considering the budget it must have had. I attribute its sales to 1) Steven Spielberg's name on the box, and 2) the fact that the mid-nineties were pretty much the height of LEC's adventure popularity. The company's other sales blockbuster in the adventure genre was Full Throttle, which came out the same year.

 

The Dig is one of the most underrated adventure games ever. Even Steven Spielberg worked on this game. There was a lot of content cut from the game due to budget and time constraints.

 

It's not so much that content was cut for time, it's that the whole game was restarted multiple times, and in at least one case completely from scratch.

 

Personally, I think the the areas that a game would most benefit from in a Special Edition, graphics and sound, hold up just fine with The Dig. The game's problems come from the writing and the puzzles, and you can't really fix that with an upgrade. What The Dig really needs is an obsessive feature length documentary about its still incredibly fascinating development hell, complete with the dirty scoops and tales of ego. We also need an art gallery of all the Falstein-era background work by Ken Macklin and company.

Edited by Udvarnoky
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What The Dig really needs is an obsessive feature length documentary about its still incredibly fascinating development hell, complete with the dirty scoops and tales of ego. We also need an art gallery of all the Falstein-era background work by Ken Macklin and company.

 

Such a documentary would be INCROYABLE!

I think that a SE would be a very good idea, the old art was amazing and I think that it would be perfectly suited for an upgrade. They could make it look amazing if they put a good team on it.

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That's in the Rogue Book. That's true and all, but I don't think the guy knows what's good for a game. I know according to the interviews I've read in both the Secret History and elsewhere, neither Brian Moriarty or Sean Clark (and maybe some other "ghosts of Dig's past) ever seemed happy with his input, to say the least. That is to say, besides the troubled history some of the people reveal with Spielburg's contributions, no one has ever really just straight out gushed about how wonderful it was to work with him on The Dig.

 

This is from PC Gamer August 1995:

The Spielberg Factor

 

Sean Clark (Project Leader): "What I've been told - I wasn't there at the time - was that Spielberg originally wanted to make The Dig as an Amazing Stories episode, but he realised it was a little bit too expensive to do as a television show. With all this deep space stuff, it gets expensive to build the sets. So he took it to the Lucas company and said: 'Would you like to make a game out of this? It's kind of cool, don't you think?' And that was it."

 

Randy Komisar (President, LucasArts): "Somebody who's as creative as Steven Spielberg can contribute in any entertainment medium. He clearly understands games. He plays games. The first copies of every single game that we make go out to a select few, and Spielberg's one of them. He even gets a copy before George Lucas. And the reason is he really gets excited about playing these games. He calls direct to product support and asks questions. He's a real gamer."

 

Sean Clark: "We're in communication with him. I show him stuff and he tells me what he thinks. We discuss things as we go. Towards the end of the project I expect I'll have to go up and see him quite a bit."

 

Randy Komisar: "We've shown it to him at crucial stages all along the process. He came up with the original concept, and he's still very interested in how the game's going to look, how it's going to play, how it's going to feel, and how his concept is executed within an interactive environment."

 

Bill Tiller (Lead Artist): "We're in communication a lot. I remember he said he wanted the planet to look like it was perpetually in sunset, and he wanted a lot of shooting stars. Spielberg's very big on shooting stars. We're going to have them going off randomly in the background. The whole thing's been like a curse and a blessing. He expects a lot. Every time I draw something I think, I hope he likes it, I hope it's good enough."

 

Not sure what to make of the quotes though :)

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What The Dig really needs is an obsessive feature length documentary about its still incredibly fascinating development hell, complete with the dirty scoops and tales of ego. We also need an art gallery of all the Falstein-era background work by Ken Macklin and company.

 

I would love this, but I doubt LucasArts would be for it as it shows weakness within the company, management problems, and Spielberg problems to boot. You could downplay all of that, I suppose, but it might be hard.

 

That said, it's funny how the Dig's interest level is elevated for me by wondering what the game could have been or seeing all the mysterious completely changed or cut content. I also feel kind of like I missed out on not seeing Brian Moriarty's vision of the game. I know in the Secret History articles, not too many people had kind words towards Moriarty and his version of The Dig, but I get the feeling maybe he would have put out a more cohesive experience if he were left to his own devices to complete the game.

 

All of this turmoil is one of the main reasons ATMachine's site is so interesting as well.

 

Not sure what to make of the quotes though :)

 

Haha, yeah I know, while none or completely gushing, I suppose that's when the marketing for the Spielberg name needed to be prominent. I was going to double check to see what some of the old LA employees wrote in some of the Secret History interviews but they are still 404ing. :(

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If there was gonna be a The Dig: Special Edition, there is only one thing that bothered me.

 

An alternate ending:

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Your companions should not be revived, it would be a much more satisfying ending, bringing everyone back to life, aspecially brink is just too cheezy for the style of the game.
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She just fell at the end of the game. and died. Pretty lame death.

 

Unless you

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use the life crystals on her, because then she kills herself, because she didn't want to end up greedy for the crystals like Brink
.
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Me too, and that's why I felt the ending ruined that a whole part because everything is undone.

That never bothered me, since that was the whole purpose of the Cocytan crystals.

 

Read the book, it's got a much more satisfying ending since everything is explained. :)

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  • 1 month later...
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She just fell at the end of the game. and died. Pretty lame death.

 

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No, she didn't. She only jumped off the cliff to her death if you revived her. First, she sacrificed herself to try this possibly futile attempt to give Boston a slim chance that may or may not send him home.
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