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The Monkey Island box set from Limited Run Games

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, elTee said:

Here's a really, really badly made attempt at reconstructing spiffy I did a few years ago.

spiffy240.jpg

 

Looks good to me! (I kept trying to LIKE your post, but the forum won't let me?)

 

Another problem seems to appear if you watch the video I posted (from the Ultimate Talkie Patch). Some of Spiffy's lines are quite long. I don't know if they ever really had him in the game with that in mind. For example, look at the font size from the screenshot and a line like this.

 

DFmUMIzXUAEzlWr-1.jpg

 

Screenshot 2020-08-18 at 22.20.56.png

 

Would it have fitted? Feels like it would have gone right over his little face?

 

Or  maybe it would have been fine?

Edited by ThunderPeel2001

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That big font again makes it look like digital concept art to me more than something that ever saw prime time, but who knows. I Still Want To Believe. It looks sort of like the copy protection/"Meanwhile" font, but isn't quite the same.

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Posted (edited)

Yeah, you're right. Best case scenario it's an early version of the larger font. The "f" and"w" are nearly identical, but the other letters are off:

 

Screenshot 2020-08-18 at 23.19.06.png

Screenshot 2020-08-18 at 23.21.43.png

Edited by ThunderPeel2001

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Detective work like the spiffy screen is what I'm here for. Quality content. 👌

There is no Spiffy on the german Atari ST box that I have, but I find more traces of "photoshops" (deluxepaints?) specifically made for print.

 

You'll notice a) different fonts used for the verb interface, b) that the inventory is identical in both screenshots, and C) an unused Guybrush pose (or at least I can't remember Guybrush having one arm at his hip anywhere in the game).

mi1box_german_poodles_web.png

mi1box_german_island_web.png

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Posted (edited)

Interesting indeed, those screens were totally adjusted for the print.

 

From the few german words I know, I can also notice that Guybrush is still keeping the sword on Monkey Island. No way.

 

Good catch Marius!

Edited by Rum Rogers
typo

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Marius, could you scan the other screenshots from that German box? I've been trying to find high-quality look at them for ages.

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23 hours ago, ATMachine said:

Marius, could you scan the other screenshots from that German box? I've been trying to find high-quality look at them for ages.

I don't have a scanner, but have connections to some who do. I'm glad there is a demand for that box, so I'll scan them eventually and post 'em here. :)

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Jake reminded me (in that roundabout, lady-doth-protest-too-much way of his) that the closeup of Spiffy is the only screenshot on the MI1 box that isn't a digital fake:

 

mi1usboxsm1.png

 

mi1usboxsm2.png

 

The other screenshots all have a fake high-res GUI that is clearly a photoshop job of some sort. In fact, it's a screamingly obvious one: the spacing is completely inconsistent, and the letters in the fake GUI don't even have the same design from word to word (check out the L's in "Pull" vs. "Walk to").

 

However, the UK White Label box shows these screenshots in their original form - including Spiffy, who is unchanged.

 

mi1whitelabelboxsm.png

 

mi1whitelabelboxsm1.png

 

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My guess is that the ones on the white label box were what was originally printed to slide by the artists (whether captured as screenshots or exported as mock-ups from dpaint), and the stuff pasted over the top was added by the designer of the MI1 box maybe for readability. Since those changes weren’t on the slides themselves they weren’t available for the white label reprint. That doesn’t make the Spiffy shot any more guaranteed to be an in game screenshot to my eyes (it could still be dpaint image that already had big readable text suitable for a box on it which made it a good contender from marketing to get printed to slide) but it’s cool to learn about how the other images were manipulated for the original box.

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Posted (edited)

I personally think the falsified GUI (which doesn't appear on other LucasArts boxes of the era) might be a hint to the Secret/"no man is an island" Guybrush gender-reveal thing. (Basically, that what's "below the belt" isn't as advertised.)

 

Also, the fake GUI bits were done on a PC of some sort - if you look at the box closely enough you can see they were done at apparently a 640x400 resolution.

 

mi1usboxzoom.png

Edited by ATMachine

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I think you’re right on about a PC being used to overlay the fake UI. My guess is that they were done on whatever PC (or Mac, either way a 640x480 or higher res, print design focused computer) was used to set the rest of the type on the box, digitally, and inserted over the image. I don’t know why my gut says that the screenshots were printed optically (eg to slide) and then placed on the separation plates by hand at the prepress shop but that’s what it looks like to me. They have a strange glow to them that looks too crisp for being photographed off a monitor, but aren’t so crisp that they look perfectly digital. So they could be from a slide scanner - in the early 90s it was still common for entertainment companies to archive and release their marketing assets on sides, as they could be easily mailed to magazines and TV networks in a way that could reproduce very high resolution while also being durable to mail undamaged. (It was also how our junior high yearbook was built a couple years after this - we laid out all the type and background elements in pagemaker but left boxes with X’s through them where the prepress crew at the printer would properly scan, screen, and place our photos. So maybe I’m just seeing that process here because it’s one I know 🤷‍♂️)

 

Happy to be wrong about any of this, btw. I think old print design is interesting, especially in this time when digital and analog pipelines were being mixed together out of necessity, and love trying to pick apart how people made things in this unique time. 

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Posted (edited)

Edit: Weird. All the copy I wrote with this image disappeared. This forum software man, I'm not having the best of luck with it :(

 

Another go: 

The "White Label" releases were budget re-releases by Virgin Interactive. They had a simple template that they'd drop everything into. They were obviously supplied the screenshots by whoever owned the rights in the UK (which explains why their Spiffy is uncovered).

 

Here's an example:

 

Screenshot 2020-08-20 at 20.53.30.png

 

I remember getting supplied slides when I worked in the film industry as a graphic designer from the early to mid 2000s. I believe we'd just put them in the scanner and use them digitally. (I seem to remember our scanner having a slot for them.)

Edited by ThunderPeel2001

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Same. I was too young to work with any of this stuff when any optical process was involved, but caught the very tail end of it. So there were little relics of optical prepress around but mostly we just scanned it in. At the newspapers I worked on in the early-mid 00s, the "this used to be done very differently" showed up for just the last step: the people who operated the printing press still would refuse to accept a PDF, and instead required that all pages be delivered as full size printouts that were run through a waxer and pasted up on a gridded sheet, that they'd stand on an easel in their studio and shoot a plate of. It was really fun to have that one little "relic of the past" to some degree, but I was also very excited when they finally moved off requiring pasteup and just took a PDF via FTP.

 

The mid 90s are probably my favorite era of tech for this reason - the mixed media stuff. Print design was a weird hybrid of digital and optical, and games were also in a huge transitionary period, moving from the pure pixel art of the 70s and 80s into something else, but not yet fully transitioned to high res or graphics card-driven imagery. So you get things like Monkey Island 2 up through Full Throttle, which are still honed at the pixel level in Deluxe Paint by people who are masters of the 320x200 canvas, but they're incorporating more and more techniques from anywhere they can find into their work. Starting with the hand painted backgrounds in MI2, up through the use of 3D combined with very traditional pencil-drawn full screen keyframe animation (which was converted into pixel art in dpaint when inked and colored!) sometimes used for sprites and sometimes used for FMV sequences and sometimes used for a hybrid of them. It's such a weird and cool era in both print and digital design.

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Posted (edited)

Yeah, that's before my time, but I worked with guys who would tell me stories of how they used to do things. Every poster was done by hand, back in the day. Real beautiful craftsman stuff. I was a young whippersnapper tethered to a Mac. Must have been weird for them! Crazy to think that someone would deliberately refuse a PDF, but I'd also love to see that classic hands-on approach in person. The closest I got was inspecting the printer separation plates!

 

And talk about how things have changed. I recently worked with a designer who swore it was fine to supply RGB files to a printer (company). I would have been shot for doing that! Letting some junior graphic designer at the print shop convert your document from RGB to CMYK, messing up your black levels... no way!

Edited by ThunderPeel2001

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I don't think it's that they refused a PDF on principle, but that they didn't have the tools to directly print a plate from a PDF, and they'd rather not do the printing and waxup themselves before they shot spreads with the camera, so they made us still do all that prep ourselves. It makes sense, was just weird in ~2002-3 to still be doing that.

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I love how I just discovered that the forums are back, and how there's already this hardcore deep dive discussion on the Spiffy mystery going on. 

 

Good job guys, please keep going. I love all of you.

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During the MixNMojo visit to LucasArts (and became a featured article), didn't the mojo crew snap a picture of some MI concept art that included the "pre-cannibal village lookout area"? I think that was the major first time that screen was made general knowledge.

 

I couldn't find that image on MixNMojo so I had to go with this poor quality image from the internet. Ignore the red arrow and someone incorrectly thinking the image was of another part of Monkey Island topography. (The image is from this other article from a few weeks ago where other people just happened upon this image for the first time, but apparently within a broadcast news segment. https://kotaku.com/1990-tv-news-report-is-for-the-monkey-island-fans-in-th-1844598533 )

 

I had thought about working on "finishing" up the location properly.

 

I also wonder as to the general point of such a location. I could see it as a preparation room before going to the cannibal village, as once you enter there you have to interact with them in some capacity. It might be a bit of a reprieve room, like when you need a reprieve from dealing with LeChuck hunting you down in the final acts of the games.

 

Screenshot_20200827-221213.png

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2 hours ago, Scummbuddy said:

During the MixNMojo visit to LucasArts (and became a featured article), didn't the mojo crew snap a picture of some MI concept art that included the "pre-cannibal village lookout area"? I think that was the major first time that screen was made general knowledge.

 

I couldn't find that image on MixNMojo so I had to go with this poor quality image from the internet. Ignore the red arrow and someone incorrectly thinking the image was of another part of Monkey Island topography. (The image is from this other article from a few weeks ago where other people just happened upon this image for the first time, but apparently within a broadcast news segment. https://kotaku.com/1990-tv-news-report-is-for-the-monkey-island-fans-in-th-1844598533 )

 

I had thought about working on "finishing" up the location properly.

 

I also wonder as to the general point of such a location. I could see it as a preparation room before going to the cannibal village, as once you enter there you have to interact with them in some capacity. It might be a bit of a reprieve room, like when you need a reprieve from dealing with LeChuck hunting you down in the final acts of the games.

 

Screenshot_20200827-221213.png

Right, and it might have been originally where Herman Toothrot showed up after you got the banana picker and were ready to trade it to him.

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