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7 hours ago, ThunderPeel2001 said:

I just think Schafer had a bigger influence on what we know and love as LucasArts than perhaps he’s given credit for?

 

I kind of feel Schafer has gotten more credit than anyone else in the company. DOTT and Grim both appear toward or at the top of most "best adventure game" lists; as do MI1 and 2. Most who know the name "Ron Gilbert" know who Tim is. Also, wasn't Full Throttle their best selling adventure, or was it second to (of all things) The Dig?

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3 minutes ago, Marius said:

What

 

(just surprised to learn that The Dig apprently sold extremely well?)


From Wikipedia:

 

According to LucasArts, The Dig's global sales reached 300,000 copies by early 1998, the highest sales of a LucasArts adventure title at the time of its release.

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1 hour ago, Scummbuddy said:

But I'm afraid if it was more of a Myst situation. Sold really well, not enjoyed or completed by those masses, maybe left a poor taste for adventure games for many? Just a thought 

This is a lot of weird assumptions about both The Dig and Myst!

 

Myst-like games and sequels to Myst sold like gangbusters for a long window after Myst. Many many many people who played it were captivated by it and recommended it to their friends and kept coming back to the game again and again. Myst created an entire and very successful sub-genre of games.*

 

The Dig is a weird game but it’s easy to imagine the combination of “a sci-fi mystery game… by Spielberg!” was a huge draw. (And honestly the game is kind of Myst-like! Lots of puzzles involving weird alien transport devices, subtly rearranging things to make patterns and wake old machinery, etc. All stuff traditional adventure games yawn wildly at, or have scorn for, but captivated the Myst players who like these games as slow meditative experiences to get lost in.)
 

I think you’re probably right to some degree, that The Dig is the game equivalent of a movie everyone is excited about the week before, excited about on the walk in… then at the end, walk out of the theater  and don’t even really discuss on the walk back to the car, and kind of forget they saw it. 
 

But what’s interesting to me here is, we don’t really know that: No one really tried making more games quite like The Dig, and no one really talked to these hundreds of thousands who bought it and asked what they thought.
 

The traditional gaming press - especially adventure gamers - seem to have a low opinion of the game, and don’t interrogate it other than point out how it’s lacking through the lens of traditional LucasArts games. Honestly the disdain for the dig among adventure gamers is kind of similar to that for Myst, but Myst was an undeniable blockbuster so press have had to (sometimes reluctantly) grapple with its success and interrogate it. Its success-but-not-an-undeniable-blockbuster status is another place where The Dig found itself kind of adrift out in the middle of nowhere, fading out of existence. 
 


* Point and click players often hate on Myst for being a totally different thing, but holding that against Myst is, and has always been, a mistake in my opinion. I don’t think Cyan ever set out to make a traditional graphic adventure game, but unfortunately there weren’t many genre boxes to put non-combat games into so it got lumped in. And then adventure game fans got really sore when Myst sold super well and was beloved by millions instead of their favorite (and in their minds, more deserving) games. Again, not Myst’s fault. 

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1 hour ago, BaronGrackle said:

Hey, I never badmouth Myst. Sorry, Flying Welshman. 😛

I don’t even really like Myst and I was sad to hear Curse bag on it. Felt unnecessarily sore, given Monkey Island is already the crown jewel of its own genre. 

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There's a lot of contradictory information about the sales of the LucasArts adventure games, but it does seem to be the case that Full Throttle and The Dig performed the best. Tim has said that Throttle sold a million units, while the LucasArts itself touted that "At launch, The Dig became LucasArts best-selling adventure game with 300,000 units sold worldwide." That's probably lifetime sales for one being compared against more immediate sales for the other, but the information is uncertain enough to be skeptical about.

 

My impression is that low six-figures seems to have been the trend for these types of games when they sold OK, so exceeding that was considered a relatively big hit. I believe that CMI, Grim and EMI all squeaked out a profit as well, but there was a brutal ceiling that none but perhaps Throttle was able to break. If The Dig sold even better than Throttle it was probably cancelled out by the sunk costs of its eighteen prior iterations.

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I think Full Throttle and The Dig were bigger sellers to general audiences because they were marketed as serious takes on long-established genres: Full Throttle looked like an action title, and The Dig was a mysterious sci-fi epic.

 

The Dig also had a really awesome, shiny box :)

 

I agree that there are a lot of similarities between Myst, and I wonder if that was a conscious attempt by LucasArts to try to emulate some of the vibe that Cyan had captured, or whether it was just a coincidence. It's interesting to compare the two games, since The Dig sold well by adventure game standards (300,000) but Myst sold twenty times more (6,300,000 by 2000 according to wikipedia).

 

I kind of feel like the sense of discovery that was so captivating in Myst (even if you never progressed in the story) just wasn't as pervasive in The Dig, partly because the interface was just a refined version of what Lucas and Sierra had already successfully established.

 

I do remember being very critical of Myst back in the day, because its success coincided with the end of the adventure game renaissance, and I think some of the conventional wisdom was that Sierra had beat LucasArts at their own game and killed off 'true' adventure games. In retrospect, it was probably more the fact that Lucas was reorienting towards making Star Wars, and computer games as a whole had pivoted hard towards 3D.

 

It's amazing today how much more diversity the kinds of games that get made, compared to the early 2000s. And to bring this discussion back to the topic at hand, I wonder what is the earliest point after Curse which a 2D Monkey Island game was a viable commercial prospect. Would it have been possible in 2009 in the style of something like Puzzle Agent?

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33 minutes ago, Aro-tron said:

I wonder what is the earliest point after Curse which a 2D Monkey Island game was a viable commercial prospect.

I just wrote a whole series paragraphs and then deleted them. Summary: 2D game Castlevania Symphony of the Night has a much higher regard than 3D game Castlevania 64. But I don't know how well they sold.

 

EDIT: I think it would have been possible by 2009, yeah. People were remembering 2D fondly by then, at least.

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13 hours ago, Vainamoinen said:


/lurking_mode_off
 

Ah! Another refugee from the ag forums. Welcome! 🥰

 

/lurking_mode_on

 

Nice seeing you here. :)

 

And thanks everyone for the warm welcome! ❤️

 

10 hours ago, JacquesSparkyTail said:

It’s going to be interesting to see how much his absence is felt in return. People can troll over the art style or lack of earl boen all they like but to me this is the only thing that’s a legitimate cause for concern. That being said though i’m not too worried. No matter what, this game feels like it’s going to be solid based on what we’ve seen. 

 

I have to agree with that. I’m actually a huge Schafer’s fan – he’s my favorite writer ever. This is only thing I’m a bit worried about. We’ll see for sure if MI is Ron and Dave’s game or was Ron, Tim, and Dave’s game all along.

Still, I’m happy that Dave Grossman is working on the game. I would have been much more worried if it was Ron Gilbert alone, even though I love his work – Thimbleweed Park was amazing, IMO.

I feel like Tim Schafer does great with emotional scenes, and I’ve been missing that a bit with RG’s games.

However, what I read and heard makes me feel like it will be great no matter what. I especially like the fact that Dominic Armato said, in a interview, that the story was poignant.

This is exciting.

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1 hour ago, Joe monsters said:

We’ll see for sure if MI is Ron and Dave’s game or was Ron, Tim, and Dave’s game all along.

MI1 was definitely Ron, Tim, and Dave’s game all along because they wrote and programmed it! MI2’s writing and programming team broadened out even wider than the three of them, expanding to include Tami Borowick and Bret Barrett, who both left with Gilbert to make kids games at Humongous after MI2 shipped. (Tami made Freddi Fish and Bret made Spy Fox. Grossman would later join them and work on Pajama Sam.) Really every Monkey Island has had a different set of people involved (not just the people involved but the time passed means everyone’s always changing, as are the relationships they have with each other) and this is no different in that regard. Another go with the full original trio of guys would have been really cool but this is still exciting and, imo, unprecedented. 

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Myst has had an interesting trajectory, and a fairly uncommon one I think. It was a very, very commercially successful game (it remains the 25th top selling game ever and was #1 for the majority of the 90s), but now has more of a reputation of a cult following. In other words, it tells a story of mass sales, but fairly niche appeal.

 

Jake is absolutely right in pointing out that the game had and still has a significant following, but I think it's also fair to say that its sales were massively inflated by its status as a killer app title for CD ROMs and so forth.

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Yeah, I think it is a one hit wonder, in that it really did grab a lot of people when it came out and gave them something fresh, beyond the novelty of “this shows off my CD-ROM,” but then they had their fill and moved on. It was the right game for its moment. 
 

(Riven is great, though!)

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5 minutes ago, TimeGentleman said:

 

Curse Of Monkey Island bags on Myst? I don't remember that!

The Flying Welshman mentions how tired he is of looking at mist all the time, and Guybrush says "I like mist! It's pretty!" To which the Welshman says "Well of course mist is *pretty.* But hoo boy, is it dull." 

 

Nothing about it was ever *confirmed* as a Myst dig that I know of, but that's how it's usually read.

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4 minutes ago, Lechuck said:

I always enjoyed the story of Myst more than the games themselves - I remember the novels were quite good.

Same! I remember really liking the first one at least. I think I read three but my memory of the later two is nonexistent. 
 

Which brings us to an important point: Where are the Monkey Island expanded universe novels?

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3 minutes ago, Jake said:

Same! I remember really liking the first one at least. I think I read three but my memory of the later two is nonexistent. 
 

Which brings us to an important point: Where are the Monkey Island expanded universe novels?


In the Phatt City library. That's how we know Scabb's history as a sort of leper colony!

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