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Return to Monkey Island


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This is a general catch-all thread for discussing Return to Monkey Island including all promotional media and preview content released for the game before it comes out. If you want to go into the game cold and spoiler-free you should probably avoid this thread!

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15 minutes ago, Jake said:

The 69 reference in mists of time is 100% a Bill and Ted reference, because in that movie Ted meets himself in a time loop and asks what number he’s thinking of and they both answer with “69 dude!!!”

 

There aren’t many movie references that direct elsewhere in the games are there? Where guybrush will straight up quote a movie’s own joke. The one example that comes to mind is giving the Phatt Island librarian “1060 West Addison” as your address, which is the address they give to the cops in the Blues Brothers to throw them off the scent, later revealed to be the address of Wrigley Field. But even that one feels more understated. 

At the Lucre Island jail when Guybrush looks at the Iron Maiden he responds with “Iron Maiden! Excellent!” from Bill and Teds Excellent Adventure. 
 

I wish the World of MI website was still around, they had a comprehensive list of all the in-jokes and pop culture references for all the games. 

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3 hours ago, OzzieMonkey said:

I hope that whatever the interface is, it allows for some interesting puzzles and a good amount of experimentation/exploration. I feel like there needs to be a good balance between streamlining the gameplay and having a satisfying amount of options. We do know at least from Ron's musings on his blog that he's not a fan of just a single click to interact, or what he called the "poke" verb (meaning "poke" this and see what happens, wash, rinse, repeat); I think that's probably Tales' biggest weakness, even though I'd still argue it has plenty of memorable puzzles. 

 

(Note: Quoted post is stolen from the ReMI ramp-up thread)

 

I've been thinking this over and over, and there's good signs and bad signs. Ron's not likely to go from nine to one verb, that's for sure. But RonDave have also said they're "evolving" the genre. And whenever somebody said that about the adventure game genre in recent decades, it meant simplification (or action elements, but I don't expect that here).

 

And evolution, I mean, it's a completely arbitrary, non-discriminating process. Evolution is sticking on random things that accidentally happen to work in a given era, and shearing off what has become unpopular for the most absurd of reasons. 💀

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8 hours ago, OzzieMonkey said:

When you go to the Mysts O'Thyme and are faced with future Guybrush, one of the numbers he can say you're thinking of is 69. The line delivery sounds exactly like someone who finds that number funny for NSFW reasons. Maybe it's just my inner teenage boy hearing things, but it always sounded like the voice director knew what they were doing when they had Dom read that line.

 

Oh, I knew exactly what I was doing, and it didn't take a voice director to guide me 🙂
 

I mean, cheap, fun, dumb, goofy, sleazy, whatever. Take it up with whoever wrote the line. But as an actor, there's only one way to read that line responsibly.

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They've said, both before and in recent interviews, some stuff that can probably give us some clues.

 

Back in 2013, Ron's thinking was here:

 

Quote

I would lose the verbs. I love the verbs, I really do, and they would be hard to lose, but they are cruft. It's not as scary as it sounds. I haven't fully worked it out (not that I am working it out, but if I was working it out, which I'm not, I wouldn't have it fully worked out). I might change my mind, but probably not. Mmmmm... verbs.

 

I more or less agree with this with a few caveats, but that's by the by. More recently toward the start of ReMI, he's said:

 

Quote

Thinking about the ui. I hate the current status-quo.

 

It's unclear what he could mean here. What IS the current status quo. I don't really think there exists enough consistency in adventure UIs to have a status quo, so I'd be interested to know what Ron had in mind here.

 

In interviews, they've said:

 

Quote

"And very quickly, David and I came to the conclusion that we really wanted to build a game that was looking forward," he continued. "So that's kind of the impetus for the art we did, for the design, for the user interface. Everything we've done is building a game for the future, not necessarily the past."

 

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"I really looked at the interface again, going, 'Well, how could you change this interface?' And then when Dave came on... we really [asked], 'So what is it the players really want to do? How do they really want to interact with the game, and how can that serve them?'"

While the developers weren't ready to divulge details about how their new interface would work, Grossman hinted that "philosophically, the interface is designed to sort of focus more on empowering the player to do successful things and minimize the frustration. Like [instead of] just random, canned responses, [characters] have good responses for everything."

 

In my opinion if this were JUST what we saw in Dolores, or just similar to something that already exists, they would have simply said that. It's a fascinating quote because it sounds like whatever they've hit on, they believe that it's truly different to what's been attempted before.

 

This bit...

 

Quote

we really [asked], 'So what is it the players really want to do? How do they really want to interact with the game, and how can that serve them?'

 

Feels to me like it's hinting towards some sort of context sensitive elements of the intervace, moving away from just a standard list of verbs and moving more towards actions that serve particular puzzles in particular moments.

 

Quote

philosophically, the interface is designed to sort of focus more on empowering the player to do successful things and minimize the frustration. [instead of] just random, canned responses, [characters] have good responses for everything.

Suggests some sort of dialling down of the ability to do invalid actions which to some people might sound a bit scary, like it'll make the game feel too easy or something, but I wouldn't be TOO worried about that, because it's all about how you design the puzzles around the new interface.

 

Sometimes in Thimbleweed Park, for example, I felt like the puzzles were only 'hard' because the possibility space was so big and not because I actually had to be clever with my working out. But puzzles in Monkey Island like following the shopkeeper to the swordmaster were clever and satisfying even though the only thing you were doing is walking around. Or ones like retaining the grog to go to the jail were clever even though all you were doing was using one item with another. You don't need a ton of invalid possible actions with canned responses 'Mmm.... no' to make the puzzles feel good. You just have to .... design clever puzzles. It excites me that they might have spent more time in this game thinking about what would be fun things for the player to figure out.

 

I've been thinking along similar lines for an adventure game I'm in the early stages of designing with a friend, and it's really fun to try to think of puzzles that use the interaction style and feel of adventure games, but in puzzle situations I don't think I've seen before.

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15 minutes ago, KestrelPi said:

They've said, both before and in recent interviews, some stuff that can probably give us some clues.

There's also this quote from The Verge:

Quote

Gilbert: If you look at people who play games today, a lot of games are played on consoles. There’s a lot of excellent players — PlayStation players and Switch players and all this stuff. One of the things we really wanted to do is understand how these people would play a point-and-click adventure with a controller. Because it’s different. There’s a different mindset to it. There’s just a different way about how it engages your gameplay brain.

 

We spent a lot of time, far more than we did with Thimbleweed Park, really thinking about a controller and how the game can be thoroughly enjoyable playing with a controller as opposed to just with a mouse. Being able to do that but not distracting or detracting from what the mouse play is. Because we’ve seen a lot of games which are kind of controller-first games, and they wedge the mouse play in. We really tried to very evenly balance these two modes of play for people.

I honestly can't imagine a point and click interface that's just as good with a mouse and keyboard as it is with a controller. But if they pull it off that'll be really cool.

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2 hours ago, Jake said:

The 69 reference in mists of time is 100% a Bill and Ted reference, because in that movie Ted meets himself in a time loop and asks what number he’s thinking of and they both answer with “69 dude!!!”

 

There aren’t many movie references that direct elsewhere in the games are there? Where guybrush will straight up quote a movie’s own joke. The one example that comes to mind is giving the Phatt Island librarian “1060 West Addison” as your address, which is the address they give to the cops in the Blues Brothers to throw them off the scent, later revealed to be the address of Wrigley Field. But even that one feels more understated. 

 

It's such an odd moment for what is essentially a kids film... I'm pretty sure my innocent 14 year old brain saw it and thought, "They couldn't have meant THAT... could they?".

 

 

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I would lose the verbs. I love the verbs, I really do, and they would be hard to lose, but they are cruft.

 

They may be "cruft", but I really don't see how they're a less credible or less immersive artistic convention than, say, "drink this beverage to heal your flesh wounds instantly" or, heck, "the endangered animal you've just killed is carrying 248 gold pieces, a heart shaped dagger and two flaloolah flowers".

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31 minutes ago, Vainamoinen said:

 

 

They may be "cruft", but I really don't see how they're a less credible or less immersive artistic convention than, say, "drink this beverage to heal your flesh wounds instantly" or, heck, "the endangered animal you've just killed is carrying 248 gold pieces, a heart shaped dagger and two flaloolah flowers".

 

I'm not sure what weird conventions in other genres has to do with it, I guess? But I'll have a go - I think what Ron is getting at is that verbs don't actually have very much utility, or at least they are given way too much prominence for the amount of utility they have.

 

Those two examples you gave... sure, they're odd genre conventions, but it's useful in a game where your health is important to have a way to heal quickly because I don't think most people would enjoy an FPS where every time you got shot you had to take a trip to hospital. And in a game where scavenging items is important, on whatever corpse is nearby is as good a place as any (I would say how realistic the items you find might be varies from game to game, and that's about how much that game cares about realism vs utility). So the obvious question is... what do verbs bring to the party?

 

And the answer is... usually, very little. I've made this point before, but if you go through the walkthrough to DOTT, for example, and have a look at which puzzles actually wouldn't be as good if you took the verbs away, it's a small handful of situations across the whole game. I can't remember them all - one of them is pushing the speaker over in Green Tentacle's bedroom, another one is opening the clock. With very few exceptions, puzzles are solved by picking stuff up, using things with other things and talking to people.

 

"But those few situations where other verbs are useful still exist"

 

Sure, but they're so rare, and spread out that they might as well not. They could have been replaced with other, equally clever puzzles that didn't need extra verbs.

 

"But sometimes you get a funny response."

 

Yeah I guess, but 90% of the time you just get a canned response you've heard a million times.

 

"But the verbs add detail to the game and complexity that raises the difficulty of all puzzles. Removing them narrows the possibility space and therefore your thinking."

 

Maybe? But like I said, you don't need to fill the game with red herring verbs and canned responses to make a good puzzle, you just need to be a bit creative in how you frame the puzzles.

So where I tend to fall on this is:

1. The look verb is cool. Keep that, in some way.
2. The rest can probably be boiled down to one or two actions.
3. Inventory. Inventory is already like verbs, but better because you can gain them, lose them, combine them, spend part of them. Inventory does everything a verb does, and more, and can be ANYTHING, and in this context losing things like Push/Pull Open/Close, and seperate Talk To/Use/Pick Up commands seems trivial.

I believe that Ron meant something like this when saying verbs are cruft. And we already know this. Nobody said Grim Fandango's puzzles were too basic, or Escape's, and they basically did away with everything except for Look and Interact. And of the various complaints I hear about Curse, its 3-verb system isn't one of them. In fact, people liked it so much that now call it the Verb Coin system, even though Full Throttle used the same type of thing before it.

 

"

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5 minutes ago, KestrelPi said:

I'm not sure what weird conventions in other genres has to do with it, I guess?

 

I gladly applied the measuring tape here, but it's not mine. I found it rummaging through the pockets of countless "adventure games are dead" prophets.

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1 minute ago, Vainamoinen said:

Way too much bad news these days. Would really appreciate the ReMI marketing buzz to finally start spiking.

 

Ahhh well. At least we have Marius' LCR recap tomorrow. 🥰

How true. Won't go into it to keep this thread on topic and avoid the rabbit hole, but suffice it to say, the time is certainly right for more MI news to take my mind off certain developments. You better deliver, Nintendo 😂 

But yes, very much looking forward to Marius' video :D 

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Distracting Monkey fans from the lack of trailers with a little animation would make me really happy. I can't wait for you all to see it, I put a ton of love into it. It's decades of my Monkey Island passion compressed into 5+ minutes.

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Further Tales thoughts as I play though Chapter 3 and squeak into the beginning of chapter 4:

 

* I continue to be appreciative of the difficulty level, and the style of puzzling in the game. It's mostly straightforward, but they're all GOOD puzzles, they make sense, they're not irritating to carry out, and they're designed well and quite original and sometimes stretch your brain a bit. I thought Chapter 3 had some really nice little set pieces, from the marriage quiz at the start, to finding all the different faces, to the out of body experience, to the manatee phrasebook dating.

 

* While I like the puzzles themselves, I am struggling a little with the tone. I'm starting to think Tales overall strays a little too far over to the goofy side of things. The jokes in this episode are written well - it got more chuckles out of me than the last two, but when I'm trying to think about the vibes of this game against the others in the series, getting trapped in a huge manatee and discovering a sort of party brotherhood inside, then later hooking that manatee up on a date is skewing a little closer to EMI than MI1/2 or even CMI, tonally, IMO. I think I prefer my MI on the slightly less wacky, whimsical end of the scale.

 

* I appreciate the extra work done in this episode to differentiate the characters, even though they're clearly working off the same models. That said, similar to above point, I think the nerdy character and the dude are characterised a little more broadly than I like from my Monkey Island.

 

* At the time I remember loving Chapter 3 and thinking this is where the series gets on track. In hindsight, I think it actually starts picking up in Chapter 2, and Chapter 3 is the best written and executed yet, but not particularly Monkey Islandy to me.

 

* But of course, the presence of Murray helps. Always love a Murray appearance, and I think he's really well done here, moreso than I remember. The credits are a very nice touch. He's also really well animated. He's very recognisable, for what is essentially an ordinary human skull.

 

* Sure are a lot of weird fat jokes about the Voodoo Lady. Feels a bit cheap, and I don't remember this being particularly a thing in the first 3 games. Can't remember about EMI.

 

* I've only played through the lengthy intro to Tales 4, and I'm already excited to get back to a more grounded setting. When I think about the set up to this episode - Guybrush getting arrested and tried for various puzzle crimes he did earlier in the game -- I can absolutely imagine that as something that could have happened in MI2 or CMI, perhaps, and I think I'm going to enjoy this episode, especially because I remember only a couple of things about it.

 

* The switch to night is nice, and the opening moments are moody in a way I like.

 

* Good to hear that Stan voice, think it's going to work really well in ReMI

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39 minutes ago, KestrelPi said:

 

 

* I've only played through the lengthy intro to Tales 4, and I'm already excited to get back to a more grounded setting. When I think about the set up to this episode - Guybrush getting arrested and tried for various puzzle crimes he did earlier in the game -- I can absolutely imagine that as something that could have happened in MI2 or CMI, perhaps, and I think I'm going to enjoy this episode, especially because I remember only a couple of things about it.

 

This really makes me wonder what they're going to do with that courthouse in Return, given that Ron has been very clear about not wanting to retread any story beats from Curse-Tales. That judge is definitely not Grindstump, he's got a very different look, and obviously it's described as "a chilly new island" so we're not revisitng Flotsam at all (and I think we've covered everything we possible could from there within Tales itself). Out of all the screenshots released, I think that's the one that has me the most intrigued, because it seems to be an entirely new place, unlike the other screenshots that are very obviously evoking the nostalgia for the old games, being that they are from familiar locations. But yeah, if Guybrush isn't on trial, I wonder why he's there in the new game. So many questions, I'm constantly channelling my inner Marius and exclaiming "I wonder what happens!'  

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56 minutes ago, KestrelPi said:

* While I like the puzzles themselves, I am struggling a little with the tone. I'm starting to think Tales overall strays a little too far over to the goofy side of things. The jokes in this episode are written well - it got more chuckles out of me than the last two, but when I'm trying to think about the vibes of this game against the others in the series, getting trapped in a huge manatee and discovering a sort of party brotherhood inside, then later hooking that manatee up on a date is skewing a little closer to EMI than MI1/2 or even CMI, tonally, IMO. I think I prefer my MI on the slightly less wacky, whimsical end of the scale.


The story was always supposed to have a sea monster eat you in the third episode (mermaids and sea monsters were seemingly always part of the story because of the overall “edge of the map” theme), but I am responsible for it being a manatee. I said the words “giant manatee” in a story meeting basically as a joke, and then it got a ton of traction and I learned my lesson of never contributing an idea you yourself don’t like because you might be forced to live with it. I think it turned out well even though it’s on the goofy side, the writers came up with some of my favorite set pieces and writing within that constraint, and we took it upon ourselves to try and make the appearance of the manatee as scary as possible at the end of 2 start of 3, but there’s no changing it being a manatee. There’s lots of fun concept art of the sea monster in all sorts of forms, ranging from giant terrifying angler fish to lovable borderline-plush manatee, and we landed somewhere in the middle. 

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7 hours ago, Jake said:


The story was always supposed to have a sea monster eat you in the third episode (mermaids and sea monsters were seemingly always part of the story because of the overall “edge of the map” theme), but I am responsible for it being a manatee. I said the words “giant manatee” in a story meeting basically as a joke, and then it got a ton of traction and I learned my lesson of never contributing an idea you yourself don’t like because you might be forced to live with it. I think it turned out well even though it’s on the goofy side, the writers came up with some of my favorite set pieces and writing within that constraint, and we took it upon ourselves to try and make the appearance of the manatee as scary as possible at the end of 2 start of 3, but there’s no changing it being a manatee. There’s lots of fun concept art of the sea monster in all sorts of forms, ranging from giant terrifying angler fish to lovable borderline-plush manatee, and we landed somewhere in the middle. 

Oh I absolutely agree, like I said, in terms of the actual writing and design of the episode I think it's one of the funnier and better parts of the series, I just feel slightly conflicted about how wacky the writing gets in parts of the series.

If I have to critique the writing in one way, I always felt like the writing in MI was somewhat dry, especially for the first two and a little bit for CMI too. There's a lot of sarcasm, a lot of comedy generated around nobody caring what Guybrush is up to except Guybrush, and occasionally Elaine. And the writing is... understated, a bit? Like, even when it's doing something a little bit goofy, it's understated.

 

In MI2 Guybrush says 'Watch me flip this bone right into my pocket. They don't call me the bone master for nothing." then he tries it and it hits him on the head and there's no follow up. That's the end of the joke. I feel like newer games would feel the need to add Guybrush saying something like. "Yeah, well, the wind was off" or "Glad nobody was around to see that!" or something.

It reminds me a bit of something I was talking about with a friend the other week, where a writing problem I think newer Simpsons has vs earlier stuff is that it doesn't know where to stop a joke. They'll make a decent gag, then they'll follow it up one or two beats too far, and the follow ons have the effect of sort of milking the joke empty.

One of my hopes for ReMI is that it's written tight. I want a drier, less rambly Guybrush, and story elements that feel more grounded than goofy.

Bu I forgive you for the manatee thing ;)

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7 hours ago, Jake said:


The story was always supposed to have a sea monster eat you in the third episode (mermaids and sea monsters were seemingly always part of the story because of the overall “edge of the map” theme), but I am responsible for it being a manatee. I said the words “giant manatee” in a story meeting basically as a joke, and then it got a ton of traction and I learned my lesson of never contributing an idea you yourself don’t like because you might be forced to live with it. I think it turned out well even though it’s on the goofy side, the writers came up with some of my favorite set pieces and writing within that constraint, and we took it upon ourselves to try and make the appearance of the manatee as scary as possible at the end of 2 start of 3, but there’s no changing it being a manatee. There’s lots of fun concept art of the sea monster in all sorts of forms, ranging from giant terrifying angler fish to lovable borderline-plush manatee, and we landed somewhere in the middle. 

The manatee swallowing the ship was probably the best cliffhanger of Tales next to the one in Chapter 4. I remember thinking "this is what Guybrush gets for riding one on Jamabalaya Island" 😂 I get that it's maybe a bit goofy, but I actually like that. I've noticed that others have said that they prefer MI when it's more dry, but I also love it when the games committ to something truly dumb. It's why, despite the retcon, I kinda love the giant monkey robot in Escape. What's that? This isn't the unpopular opinion thread? Oops, my mistake, carry on then 😜

Edited by OzzieMonkey
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11 minutes ago, OzzieMonkey said:

The manatee swallowing the ship was probably the best cliffhanger of Tales next to the one in Chapter 4.

 

And 'swallowed by a whale' is a popular seafaring trope/yarn that hadn't yet been in a Monkey Island instalment, so I say fair game.

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54 minutes ago, KestrelPi said:

If I have to critique the writing in one way, I always felt like the writing in MI was somewhat dry, especially for the first two and a little bit for CMI too. There's a lot of sarcasm, a lot of comedy generated around nobody caring what Guybrush is up to except Guybrush, and occasionally Elaine. And the writing is... understated, a bit? Like, even when it's doing something a little bit goofy, it's understated.

 

In MI2 Guybrush says 'Watch me flip this bone right into my pocket. They don't call me the bone master for nothing." then he tries it and it hits him on the head and there's no follow up. That's the end of the joke. I feel like newer games would feel the need to add Guybrush saying something like. "Yeah, well, the wind was off" or "Glad nobody was around to see that!" or something.

 

The writing in SOMI, MI2 and (a little of) COMI was a bit "dry"? I think this needs to be moved to the unpopular opinions thread! :)For me, the writing in the first three games was the best bit about them...!

 

Unless you mean that there was lack of lines for certain moments, then I agree. (LeChuck's Fortress for example always felt a bit empty and unfinished to me -- but I felt that emptiness less in SOMI and not at all in CMI.)

 

I know what you mean about the "bone master" bit. It's a bit strange that there's no follow up line, but I also thought it was one of the weakest jokes in MI2. (Same with Guybrush's trousers falling down in the graveyard.) I really don't think adding any lines afterwards would have made it any funnier, but it would might have made it feel less weird.

 

My biggest concern for ReMI though is having less tight dialogue. Thimbleweed Park let its characters ramble on for no real benefit. What could have been said in one brief line is dragged out to five rambling ones. 

 

I'd rather have had tighter conversations between characters and more lines added to interactions (eg. LOOK AT characters/objects, USE interactions, etc). I think the Ben and Dan games show how rewarding it can be when there's a unique line waiting for every interaction. 

 

Also I believe Tim Schafer has talked about how SOMI and MI2 taught him to tighten up his dialogue because every line mattered to disk space. I think this is a skill he's continued into his other games, even when disk space was no longer an issue. His writing is always very tight, and all the better for it, IMO.

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1 minute ago, Vainamoinen said:

 

And 'swallowed by a whale' is a popular seafaring trope/yarn that hadn't yet been in a Monkey Island instalment, so I say fair game.

For clarity I should say I don't think that 'swallowed by a giant sea creature' was a very bad place to take a Piratey game. I just think as a synopsis:

 

'Swallowed by a giant manatee whose sense of direction has been thrown off by a trio of pirates who have given up efforts to escape so that they can party on ichor based booze. Join their brotherhood to gain access the the cochlea, and then set the manatee up on a date with the help a manatee language phrasebook' skews a bit more cartoon-logic than I want from Monkey Island.

 

I sorta wish the lost crew had been the Men of Low Moral Fiber (hey it's been a while since they've been in the game and it's good to ground the outlandish setting in something a bit familiar - I think Murray also had this role somewhat in Chapter 3). Maybe they spin him a yarn about how they signed up on his crew after their latest business venture failed, and they believe De Cava died. Maybe they've taken up residence on an important organ of the manatee which is causing the problem and the puzzles are around getting each of them to leave.

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17 minutes ago, ThunderPeel2001 said:

 

The writing in SOMI, MI2 and (a little of) COMI was a bit "dry"? I think this needs to be moved to the unpopular opinions thread! :)For me, the writing in the first three games was the best bit about them...!

 

 

Don't get me wrong - 'dry' isn't meant as an insult. It's a style of wit, where the writing style is a bit detached and little bit understated, it's not overly screwball and goofy. I'm saying I like that the bone master thing didn't have a follow on joke, it was just a quick visual gag then done, never referred to again. I like that the humour is a bit dry and understated, and that I think especially in EMI onwards sometimes there's a bit of a tendency to write the jokes a little bit broad.

 

Here's another example of MI2 being dry. When he gets arrested on Phatt:

 

'Aren't you Guybrush Threepwood?'

'You must have me confused with someone else. My name is 'Smith'.'

'Smith, eh? That's an unusual name.'

 

And that line is left there (they call back to it with Kate, too, I guess) You could miss the joke if you aren't paying attention, but I think in more recent MI games they'd have been tempted to make guybrush make a face, or say 'It is?' or something. Dry wit, to me, is just wit that trusts the audience a bit, doesn't need a big signpost with flashing lights saying 'here is a joke'

 

17 minutes ago, ThunderPeel2001 said:

My biggest concern for ReMI though is having less tight dialogue. Thimbleweed Park let its characters ramble on for no real benefit. What could have been said in one brief line is dragged out to five rambling ones. 

 

I think Tim Schafer has talked about how SOMI and MI2 taught him to tighten up his dialogue because every line mattered to disk space. I think this is a skill he's continued into his other games, even when disk space was no longer an issue. His writing is always very tight, and all the better for it, IMO.

 

As you know I didn't LOVE Thimbleweed, but I don't know that I found it overly rambly. That said I do agree that the person I mostly associate with tight dialogue is Tim Schafer. My go to example for this is early in Grim Fandango when Manny asks Eva what she did to get stuck in the DOD and she responds, "What I did back in the fat days is none of your business - you know the rules."

It's such a small line but it does SO MUCH WORK. Firstly, it introduces a little piece of slang 'the fat days' which gives us a little insight into how the dead view their living days a little irreverantly. There aren't really tormented souls, they're just people, settled into a new phase of existence. Then it introduces the concept of their being a kind of taboo around talking about the living days - it doesn't matter who you were back then. Thirdly it tells the audience - what happened to Manny and anyone else in the Land of the Living is not a relevant part of this story. Don't worry about it.

It's very typical of Tim to write something like that, just a very terse - no, this doesn't matter, and you shouldn't be asking about this - while another writer might have been tempted to serve up a whole land of the living backstory for all of its characters.

My hope is that with Ron and Dave having played through MI1, 2 and CMI, they will really pay attention to its 'voice' (while I have some quibbles over CMI's story, I do think that its comic 'voice' was fairly similar to the first two games.)

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