Blast Processing and Infinite Monkeys

7 07 2009

I’m sketching up preliminary notes on a04, because I find myself facing a problem — Scout.

As discussed one blog post lower (still the appropriate thread for feedback specific to a03 for purposes of tuning up the draft) he’s actually an amazingly boring 1-3 note character. I hadn’t even realized. I wrote his reactions to things as I felt appropriate, without paying much attention to the superstructure. Obviously, his character arc is one of humanizing someone who’s withdrawn into himself, but he’s so withdrawn and so straightforward that he’s duller than dishwater and bringing him out is going to have to be handled carefully.

Fortunately, a04 is exactly the ticket. In my initial notes I drafted up in June, I had always given a04 a one-sentence summary: “A short chapter where the crew fights some sort of mirror-themed Fae enemy, and each endures a flashback to something horrible and character-defining in their past, finally revealing things they’ve been hinting at all along.” So, this is my shot at pushing Scout past the breaking point where he starts coming out of his shell. But now that I’m here, I’m expanding that idea.

Numerous flashbacks. Character internal dialogues. Actual defined backstory for Scout. (I was just going to show his death, but clearly more is needed.) Adding in twists which make sense according to what we’ve already seen in each character. Etc.

It’s exciting stuff, which is bad, because as noted I’m worried I’m blasting through this thing at a ridiculous pace. This ain’t NaNoWriMo. If I keep this up I damn well might be done with the series before the artist I’m contracting is done with the ‘official’ cast picture, which would suck. Sure, I have vague ideas for short stories and sequels in the universe, but c’mon, the core should not be zipping by like this!

So, other than sketching notes, tonight I’m focusing on Tales of Monkey Island.

Can’t recommend this enough. It’s got the spirit of the old games combined with the technology of today and the indie game industry digital release strategy I adore so. Dominic’s back as the voice of Guybrush, and he hits every note perfectly. The Telltale game engine’s been given a massive upgrade — no more sloppy shadow shaders like Sam & Max were using, this thing actually pushed my card to the brink and I had to turn the detail down a bit! So far I’m enjoying it FAR more than the Wallace & Grommit games.

If I had to complain I’d say I still don’t like navigating with WASD; what’s so bad about classic point and clicking? Are they trying to console-ize the thing? Dunno.

Recommended. Also, check out the Lucasarts classics releasing on Steam tomorrow… even if you have Scummvm, getting a modern-playable version of the ‘talkie’ Loom is sweet indeed. I also never bought The Dig, so I think I’ll take this chance to pick it up… and hopefully in the next wave we’ll get a modernized version of Grim Fandango.

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10 responses

8 07 2009
ranneko

I’m currently pondering whether I want to pick up The Dig, or if I want to hope that sales of the remastered Secret will eventually result in a remastered Dig.

8 07 2009
tudhalias

My only memories of “The Dig”
(click drag)
“I can’t use these two things together.”
(click drag)
“I can’t use these two things together.”
(click drag)
“I can’t use these two things together.”
(click drag)
“I can’t use these two things together.”
(click drag)
“I can’t use these two things together.”
(click drag)
“I can’t use these two things together.”
(click drag)
“I can’t use these two things together.”
(click drag)
“I can’t use these-”
Are you sure you want to quit?
OK
(eject CD)
(insert CD)
(click click clickclick)
STAR WARS
REBEL ASSAULT
“It is a period of civil war…”

8 07 2009
tudhalias

Re: My only memories of “The Dig”
This is not meant as a review, keep in mind that I was 12.
I am drooling over the prospect a04, but don’t rush on my account. I’ve waited 6 years for the newest 2f prose wonder, and I am perfectly willing to savor the experience.

8 07 2009
shachihoko

Holy crap, they’re re-releasing Loom?! O.O;;
And here I thought, if I’m giving up on Portal (the damn thing keeps crashing) I don’t have a reason to keep Steam installed.

8 07 2009
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

I doubt they’ll do a remastered Dig, especially not any time soon after releasing a normal Dig. It’d be double dipping and customers would be angry if they ended up buying it twice. That’s why Normal Monkey Island isn’t up for offer, either.
Of course, that could mean remastered Sam & Max, Day of the Tentacle, or (dare I suggest it?) Maniac Manision or Zak McKracken might be in the wings.

8 07 2009
cmdr_zoom

“The Dig” (spoiler)
But it has Robert Patrick being harried and snarky and occasionally breaking the fourth wall!
“The way things have been going, I can pretty much bet that whatever that little beast just stole, I’m gonna want it pretty badly in a minute or two.”
and my favorite line that he should have said:

“Brink, you’ve been acting funny ever since you came back from the dead. I can’t believe I just said that.”

8 07 2009
cmdr_zoom

I dearly hope that this release will not show (only imply) what happens when Bobbin’s hood is removed.

8 07 2009
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

They won’t — it’s just an emulated version of the original, tuned up to work on modern systems.
SOMI Special Edition is a bit different. That’s got redrawn artwork, but it’s the same animation frames and the same script and everything, just with redrawn art and new voiceover. (Makes you notice how choppy the original animations were, too. Same problem Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo HD has.)

8 07 2009
kowh

Are they trying to console-ize the thing?

In a word? Yes.
This is the one Telltale’s been touting as the first to be fun to play on a console gamepad. Unfortunately this means it’s _less_ fun to play on the PC.
Consolitus is a terrible thing for a PC game to catch. It almost never goes into remission.

10 07 2009
lirazel

You know, I was thinking on this in an exercise-induced semi-coma (yeah, random thoughts float by all the time in that state), and it occurred to me that Scout is rather like Mr. Spock. You just want him standing around looking serious and dropping in a random ironic comment? No problem. You want angst? We can help you there, too. You want yummy, yummy emotions that must be struggled with and resisted and yet which somehow show through, causing every female heart in the audience to throb? HERE you go.
In short, a heaping dose of exotic Otherness. Wheeee!

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