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Old 07-08-2010, 08:03 AM   #1
ThunderPeel2001
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MI2: SE - Minor Annoyances

I LOVE Monkey Island 2, Special Edition. It REALLY rocks my world. It's like playing MI2 all over again for the first time. Just wonderful, fantastic, and amazing. But! If I had the LucasArts dev team to myself for two weeks, there's a few minor things I'd like to tweak...

I'd reduce the heavy clunking of the Inn owner's walk (when he's chasing after ol' Pegbiter)
I'd blur the fishes outside the Bloody Lip's windows, so they look more underwater
I'd make the Voodoo Lady's face a little less... beautified.
I'd reduce the effect on the voices when the barkeep is talking to Bernard about the vichysoise.
I'd change the flames in the VL's tent from red to green.
I'd change Largo's voice so he didn't sound so much like a bozo
I'd remove the blocky pixels from Governor Phatt's bedpost

What would YOU do if you had the LucasArts dev team for two weeks?

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Old 07-08-2010, 08:09 AM   #2
Gabez
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Seems silly to say this, but I'd get Earl Boen to voice his lines with more phlegm. Seems odd that LeChuck spits so much when he speaks, but that his voice is completly clear.

It's like we're just hearing his voice in our heads... although maybe that's the point?

It's all part of... The Secret.

Stuff like the fish not being blurred (they're not really underwater) and the clunk of the Inn Owner's walk (his leg is metal rather than wooden, because he got that injury in 'Nam) is also significant.
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Old 07-08-2010, 09:07 AM   #3
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I love it too, but I wrote about the main things I'd change here:

http://surplusgamer.tumblr.com/post/...pecial-edition
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Old 07-08-2010, 10:27 AM   #4
Jenni
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I'd like to get rid of Guybrush's mother's singing during the Bone Song, as well as the timing. If you just decreased the pitch of the father's singing to a creepy low level, that would work.

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Old 07-08-2010, 10:58 AM   #5
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Seems silly to say this, but I'd get Earl Boen to voice his lines with more phlegm. Seems odd that LeChuck spits so much when he speaks, but that his voice is completly clear.
Oh man, I can only picture how gross that could be with Earl Boen in the recording studio. It would be a cool effect, but I imagine very gruesome to watch. Probably the mic couldn't be used for anyone else after that.

But I'll have stuff to add to this list after this weekend, I suppose.
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Old 07-08-2010, 12:04 PM   #6
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I think having too much spit in his lines would make listening to him annoying after a while...


"Booyah! Look out, LeChuck! Here comes Guybrush Threepwood's glowing sword of hot monkey vengeance!"
-Guybrush Threepwood, Tales of Monkey Island
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Old 07-08-2010, 12:23 PM   #7
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I guess it fits in with their efforts to make LeChuck more visually reminiscent of his CMI version. Don't forget the LeChuck at the beginning of CMI was the exact same zombified mess he is in MI2, so it makes sense to have a consistent voice. If anyone, blame the CMI team!


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Old 07-08-2010, 02:56 PM   #8
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Some of this is REAL nitpicking but if I had my way I would do something about the Guybrush's "Nice X"-comments. It does fit the spirit of the original game that they cut corners by just making him say "Nice!" but it would've been more fun if he had actually named the objects also. The sound quality of some of the "Nice!"-answers are pretty bad also for some reason...

I would also try to ensure better communication between the art team and the rest of the crew. It seems that the artists were mostly just shown pictures to recreate without context. This would explain the "metal rods/tree roots"-thing a while ago. A little bit of this still remained in the game. The keyhole in Wally's jail doesn't look like a keyhole and the juju bag doesn't say JU JU on it because the artist interpreted the text as just some markings. I think there was something else, but really it's not THAT big a deal.

I would give the developers a few more months to work on iMuse and just try to perfect it. I'm not sure if it's possible, but the SE is SO close but just not quite.

It's always a shame when something is missing from a special edition. Not even going to mention the intro here, it's been talked about enough, but a few smaller things could've been put back easily like Guybrush's face turning red when he's told to go change his clothes in the bushes.

Last but definitely not least, I'd somehow try to get rid of the loading screens in some scenes. It's quite annoying when the scene in the crypt is interrupted when getting a close up of the coffin. Almost feels like changing a diskette sometimes. Things like this can ruin more complex scenes like the diving scene and simple things like looking down a cliff.


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Old 07-08-2010, 03:17 PM   #9
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Yeah, I'd lose the loading screen, too. It's VERY jarring. I didn't realise they'd missed Guybrush blushing, too. That sucks.

Some of the lighting is bit wonky:
When Guybrush walks up to the (improved) Weenie Hut, his lighting changes dramatically when he looks at stuff.

Also: I'd redo the stove in the Bloody Lip's kitchen so it looked like, you know, a stove.

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Old 07-08-2010, 03:48 PM   #10
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I would also try to ensure better communication between the art team and the rest of the crew. It seems that the artists were mostly just shown pictures to recreate without context. This would explain the "metal rods/tree roots"-thing a while ago. A little bit of this still remained in the game. The keyhole in Wally's jail doesn't look like a keyhole and the juju bag doesn't say JU JU on it because the artist interpreted the text as just some markings. I think there was something else, but really it's not THAT big a deal.
That's what happens when people outsource to Asia on the cheap. Don't expect LucasArts to change that style. They are there to make profit, not make legitimate American jobs.

Something similar happened on the Gameloft Earthworm Jim HD remake as well, where someone whistle blew and let it know that all of the art staff was based out of China. Turns out they copy and pasted some Earthworm Jim fan art for some of the graphics as well as stole a fish animation from Finding Nemo. It's so obnoxious people have to keep cutting corners to make money, especially huge corporations like LucasArts and Gameloft/Ubisoft that can AFFORD to go the extra mile.
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Old 07-08-2010, 08:03 PM   #11
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Eep. I finally played the infamous bone sequence... quite a few things wrong.

I'd improve the timing on the singing and redraw the skeletons, too.
I'd make Guybrush's mum looks less like an ageing prostitute... and do something about that voice.
After Guybrush wakes up from his dream the screen is STILL red. It doesn't make any sense for that to be the case -- as he's not hallucinating any more.
I'd also re-add the camera panning down, when Guybrush looks down the cliff-face.

Great sequence though, and I still wonder what it all means: LeChuck destroy's Guybrush's spiritual essence -- so when will he get it back?!

Is it just me or is the iMuse during the Elaine scene a bit borked, too? I seem to remember the music really swelling up as they got closer, and then suddenly stopping when he says, "So, can I have the map?".

Still enjoying it though!

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Old 07-08-2010, 08:50 PM   #12
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They got the dance wrong. D:
They should be doing this:
View page
YouTube Video
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Old 07-09-2010, 02:25 AM   #13
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Still amazes me how everything those master animators did in the 30s and 40s has just been completely lost upon the new guys.

That's a pretty complicated dance to animate, I'm really not surprised those LA guys did it wrong.
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Old 07-09-2010, 05:23 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by SyntheticGerbil View Post
That's what happens when people outsource to Asia on the cheap. Don't expect LucasArts to change that style. They are there to make profit, not make legitimate American jobs.

Something similar happened on the Gameloft Earthworm Jim HD remake as well, where someone whistle blew and let it know that all of the art staff was based out of China. Turns out they copy and pasted some Earthworm Jim fan art for some of the graphics as well as stole a fish animation from Finding Nemo. It's so obnoxious people have to keep cutting corners to make money, especially huge corporations like LucasArts and Gameloft/Ubisoft that can AFFORD to go the extra mile.
To be fair I think it's less the outsourcing and more a lack of attention to detail on the part of the project leaders/designers. All they had to do is ask the art team to make an adjustment like they did for all the other minor details we were moaning about earlier, or get their one or two internal artists to sort it. At the end of the day whether it's internal or external artists, a lack of a note from the designers saying 'this should say Ju Ju' is going to lead to the same result.

As far as I'm aware LucasArts' Singapore studio is a proper studio of the company, used both for their games and their films. It may be offshore, but then many publishers' and developers' studios are dotted all over the world too and contribute to games in varying capacities. You act like it's some grotty design shack where the employees work for peanuts, whereas from what I understand LucasArts uses the team because they're good — kind of like how Rockstar uses Rockstar Leeds to develop the portable GTA games, not because they're cheap but because they're good at it. I'm not sure in this context 'outsourcing' is even a legitimate term.

Just mentioning it as I've noticed you've criticised the production model a number of times, and while I've got personal experience with how outsourcing design/art can cause logistical nightmares I honestly don't think it's the case here.


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Old 07-09-2010, 06:15 AM   #15
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Well some things can probably be fixed with some simple graphic mods, like we did with the first SE.


Anyhow, I'm most annoyed by the missing intro and removal of camera panning at places such as the cliff and underwater, really ruins dramatic views.
I also don't like how the end of the dream music turned out, it's so much less scary and dramatic, same with the crypt music. It just needs more creepyness and spunk.

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Old 07-09-2010, 06:49 AM   #16
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Oh yeah, I have one more annoyance. Well, one more that hasn't been mentioned by someone yet. This one's a bit different.

I'd really like to be able to listen to the commentary from the main menu also, or something like that. I've never really liked commentary tracks since they pull you out of the experience and cover up the sounds of the movie/game. It wouldn't be so bad if all the commentary was on places where the characters aren't talking.

I'd still love to listen to the commentary. I guess I should just dedicate my next playthrough to that or find a way to rip the sound files somehow. I guess someone's already looking into that?


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Old 07-09-2010, 11:12 AM   #17
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To be fair I think it's less the outsourcing and more a lack of attention to detail on the part of the project leaders/designers. All they had to do is ask the art team to make an adjustment like they did for all the other minor details we were moaning about earlier, or get their one or two internal artists to sort it. At the end of the day whether it's internal or external artists, a lack of a note from the designers saying 'this should say Ju Ju' is going to lead to the same result.

As far as I'm aware LucasArts' Singapore studio is a proper studio of the company, used both for their games and their films. It may be offshore, but then many publishers' and developers' studios are dotted all over the world too and contribute to games in varying capacities. You act like it's some grotty design shack where the employees work for peanuts, whereas from what I understand LucasArts uses the team because they're good — kind of like how Rockstar uses Rockstar Leeds to develop the portable GTA games, not because they're cheap but because they're good at it. I'm not sure in this context 'outsourcing' is even a legitimate term.

Just mentioning it as I've noticed you've criticised the production model a number of times, and while I've got personal experience with how outsourcing design/art can cause logistical nightmares I honestly don't think it's the case here.
First, the communication error is exactly what comes from outsourcing. When you have the art director in the US, telling the next down art director in Singapore to tell his art team to do something, this is what happens, language and cultural barriers aside.

Second, even if someone sets up a "proper" studio in an Asian country, they are still paying the people peanuts and they are still outsourcing for a reason. Don't be intentionally daft for the sake of argument. You do realize no one goes to "a shack" for outsourcing right? I never implied that and I'm insulted you are putting words in my mouth. Almost always an outsourced type agency will have an official link to the company using them. A "front" if you will. Ubisoft does it just the same. Ubisoft Shanghai is there to pick up the slack for the insignificant games like cellphones and handhelds for both Gameloft and Ubisoft for instance. On an extreme example, Nike doesn't just outsource their clothes to some sweatshop they found in China or Mexico's yellow pages, they set up an actual Nike facility. Midway regularly was sending stuff to Korea last I heard. Of course Singapore is an Asian country with a higher standard of living but it is not at the high ranking point of Japan, who also outsources to other Asian countries.

Also your suggestion of Rockstar Leeds is unapplicable. The income disparity between a UK and US company is way less prominent than one between a US and an Asian country. The cultural and language barriers are less so. Besides, Rockstar US doesn't have to pay anyone's healthcare in the UK. If it weren't for the healthcare system, no one would ever outsource anything to the UK from the US because it wouldn't make economical sense. I can assure you both outsourced vehicles make economic sense and I while I have never said the Lucasfilm Singapore workers are anywhere near being paying poor wages, I would bet they are making about 40-60% of what you would pay the average United States artist/animator for the same job (who in turn also makes on average less than certain European artists/animators).

This is fat cat stuff and hits harder than a silly game remake. It affects whole industries and among other things, the value of art and creativity itself. I don't want to hear your whiny justifications on how outsourcing is so great and easy to do. People don't just set up studios or companies in other nations just because they have good workers there. This isn't even a matter of these guys in Singapore being good or not (and I know you'll kneejerk disagree, but what has been displayed so far in these remakes, while varying from awful to above average, none of it is *that* good). Having everyone in house working on the same project always makes sense above all else. There's nothing to gain from outsourcing besides dollars.

Hell, you don't even have to go to another country to find good artists, if that's what you are suggesting in a last ditch argument. There are plenty that are great here in the United States that are also out of work or have a hard time finding it. Many who would understand the Monkey Island games even or grew up with them.

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Old 07-09-2010, 11:26 AM   #18
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First, the communication error is exactly what comes from outsourcing. When you have the art director in the US, telling the next down art director in Singapore to tell his art team to do something, this is what happens, language and cultural barriers aside.

Second, even if someone sets up a "proper" studio in an Asian country, they are still paying the people peanuts and they are still outsourcing for a reason. Don't be intentionally daft for the sake of argument. You do realize no one goes to "a shack" for outsourcing right? I never implied that and I'm insulted you are putting words in my mouth. Almost always an outsourced type agency will have an official link to the company using them. A "front" if you will. Ubisoft does it just the same. Ubisoft Shanghai is there to pick up the slack for the insignificant games like cellphones and handhelds for both Gameloft and Ubisoft for instance. On an extreme example, Nike doesn't just outsource their clothes to some sweatshop they found in China or Mexico's yellow pages, they set up an actual Nike facility. Midway regularly was sending stuff to Korea last I heard. Of course Singapore is an Asian country with a higher standard of living but it is not at the high ranking point of Japan, who also outsources to other Asian countries.

Also your suggestion of Rockstar Leeds is unapplicable. The income disparity between a UK and US company is way less prominent than one between a US and an Asian country. The cultural and language barriers are less so. Besides, Rockstar US doesn't have to pay anyone's healthcare in the UK. If it weren't for the healthcare system, no one would ever outsource anything to the UK from the US because it wouldn't make economical sense. I can assure you both outsourced vehicles make economic sense and I while I have never said the Lucasfilm Singapore workers are anywhere near being paying poor wages, I would bet they are making about 40-60% of what you would pay the average United States artist/animator for the same job (who in turn also makes on average less than certain European artists/animators).

This is fat cat stuff and hits harder than a silly game remake. It affects whole industries and among other things, the value of art and creativity itself. I don't want to hear your whiny justifications on how outsourcing is so great and easy to do. People don't just set up studios or companies in other nations just because they have good workers there. This isn't even a matter of these guys in Singapore being good or not (and I know you'll kneejerk disagree, but what has been displayed so far in these remakes, while varying from awful to above average, none of it is *that* good). Having everyone in house working on the same project always makes sense above all else. There's nothing to gain from outsourcing besides dollars.

Hell, you don't even have to go to another country to find good artists, if that's what you are suggesting in a last ditch argument. There are plenty that are great here in the United States that are also out of work or have a hard time finding it. Many who would understand the Monkey Island games even or grew up with them.
The point I was trying to make is that the director at LucasArts' US studio probably didn't tell the Singapore team to make those changes, or even spot the problem in the first place. Thus my assertion that the issues you described above were probably down to flawed oversight/design rather than outsourcing or language barriers being the problem (it may be worth pointing out Singapore is a primarily English-speaking country).

To repeat myself: I know outsourcing is problematic. I just don't think it caused too many problems in this case, and most of them would probably have been present even if the whole she-bang were done internally.


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Old 07-09-2010, 11:43 AM   #19
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Well that's both oversight on LucasArts and a problem with outsourcing to Lucasfilm Singapore still. Having heard stories since about Gameloft in France waiting for Gameloft in China to finish something or fix something, I realize with a deadline imposed and only so many times you can communicate with someone in another country to fix something and wait, you just can't completely ensure everything will turn out awesome. So let's say hypothetically Jeff Sangalli were on the ball at all times (as he wasn't in the first SE, I don't even know if he's the art director for the second) and had unlimited time to tell Lucasfilm Singapore to fix something and make sure he told them right on the phone, through e-mail, video chat, or whatever, he still loses the ability to just do what an art director is usually really good at: demonstrating or helping hands on. It's just not possible. So his back and forth time actually inflates.

I'm assuming this is what happened with something as simple as the original game layers being accidentally saved out in the backgrounds for the first SE. Maybe at that point, it just wasn't worth having it "sent back" and waiting for someone to get back to you with a fix and upload the files on a shared server or whatever again.

I just don't understand why you want to act like Lucasfilm Singapore is really anything more than a money saver type thing. Of course they always have had the option to do it all inhouse and maybe even hire some veterans (but even in the CMI days, Eaken said he had to take a pay cut from what he was making because LucasArts loves giving out those low wages) and I'm sure it would fix a lot of things and bring a more polished product, as well as having the benefit of possibly people in California who understand or are very aware of Monkey Island. So the game might shoot up to cost $20-25 instead of $10. I guess that's the cusp. I would glad pay that extra $15 for a better product, but I guess most others wouldn't in the US (since even us American citizens are cheap bastards when it comes to consuming, let alone owning a business).

Also I do realize most people in Singapore do speak English, as having a few published comic anthologies from Singapore natives that are all completely in English. That's why I said language and cultural barriers aside, because I'm not sure how they would affect any kind of interaction since I have never lived in Singapore, and to add to that, I just found that Lucasfilm Singapore has been in US and Canadian schools recruiting people just getting out, giving them a Visa, and getting staff pretty quickly because even if it's a large pay cut from the US Lucas branch, you still get to have the Lucas Dynasty on your resume. Hell, I would probably wouldn't apply there on a whim, but I would if I were desperate.
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Old 07-09-2010, 11:59 AM   #20
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I think you're taking what I'm saying a bit the wrong way. I'm not really trying to defend using the Singapore studio as the way to go (though it may be they have a truly crack team there that couldn't be matched locally) — I was just trying to highlight that I don't think it's as big a factor as you've been consistently making out. I think sloppiness at LucasArts itself is the real problem, and pretty much all the issues would be present even with a local art team.

I'm not really that bothered either way as I think what art issues there are in the MI2:SE are negligible. I just noticed you seem to care a lot about the whole outsourcing thing and figure I'd throw in my two cents (which nearly got my hand bitten off).


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Old 07-09-2010, 12:22 PM   #21
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(though it may be they have a truly crack team there that couldn't be matched locally)
No doubt this is a possibility, but I think it's highly improbable, again because they are hiring people out of school who'll work for cheap and because those that are really good probably want to go somewhere where they get paid more. I don't really have much to base it on except this review from an employee working there (the English is sort of weird, so I don't full understand):
http://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Emp...lm-RVW2438.htm

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I was just trying to highlight that I don't think it's as big a factor as you've been consistently making out. I think sloppiness at LucasArts itself is the real problem, and pretty much all the issues would be present even with a local art team.
Besides that I'm against unnecessary outsourcing, I don't really think it's somehow a problem of another country having worse artists, but just the general disconnect with the bosses overseas and the wage reflecting how much the artists should actually care about what they are making. If they brought everyone from Singapore to California in one office or hired people in the area, I feel like many of the problems would be fixed, just because these remakes are relatively simple projects. I'm almost certain a lot of the small graphical problems could be quickly fixed on an inhouse type production and alleviate wait times, but I guess that is where we differ.

I don't really have a frame of reference of current LucasArts management and art direction besides Lucidity, which may have been outsourced to Lucasfilm Singapore as well for some parts. I think LucasArts has hardly done anything inhouse since the cancellation of Full Throttle 2 and Freelance Police (which I think deserved cancellation as they were looking to end up even sloppier than EMI), but I think from interviews I've read or heard with the recent Lucas guys, they seem to be saying most of the staff is newer people. I do know Telltale slurped up a lot of the former employees, but I have no idea if any stayed or really if any of these people are a testament to the quality of the games and art.
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Old 07-09-2010, 12:57 PM   #22
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That's what happens when people outsource to Asia on the cheap. Don't expect LucasArts to change that style. They are there to make profit, not make legitimate American jobs.
The original LucasArts games are classics because they were made in a time before foreign outsourcing existed in the gaming industry. Each production is 100% American-made througout: The storyline, dialogue, artwork, effects, and overall production design seamlessly sustains its own immersive world. Moreover, I think it requires an American mentality to fully appreciate the humor aesthetic to a LucasArts production. You can't expect a Japanese game designer re-rendering a 20-year-old game at a computer thousands of miles away, to comprehend, or even care about the qualities that made those games the beloved cult classics that they are today. Now, I'll step down from the soap box and let the fray resume.


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Old 07-09-2010, 01:21 PM   #23
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I agree with you in many ways, Whipwarrior. Animation was already fully on it's way with outsourcing for inbetweens or sometimes full productions throughout the 80s, but game production didn't seem to become prone to outsourcing until the late 90s.

I think besides just everyone in the office being beneficial to efficient production, you help bring up the point of just a bunch of people in the same office sort of riffing off eachother to make these games we know and love. The artist may get an idea from a writer or designer or vice versa. The programmer might figure out something funny. They may go on lunch together and think of some hilarious stuff to put in the game or really get a kick out of something and have a laughing fit on an overnight.

That's why the cultural part of outsourcing makes it hard for the team overseas to understand what the leading team is all about sometimes. Not only are they not sharing in one big office that gets eachother, it's a disconnect from someone creating something from a completely different background without the close communication in between.

I guess the big problem is none of this is worth the price it costs. Maybe this is cynical of me, but I guess even if the United States were to magically get universal healthcare and alleviate the costs on the employer, people like LucasArts would probably still outsource.
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Old 07-09-2010, 02:14 PM   #24
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Sad but true. That's why I hope LA doesn't get it in their head to re-make DOTT, Sam & Max, or Fate of Atlantis. Messing with those core classics is a good way to make fanboys like us lose sleep.

Hear that LucasArts? Just leave well enough alone.


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Old 07-09-2010, 04:11 PM   #25
ThunderPeel2001
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Also I do realize most people in Singapore do speak English
Just as aside: Everyone in Singapore speaks English, it's their primary language. They learn Chinese in school.

I totally agree that outsourcing IS problematic though. As someone who has had first hand experience with it, the issues with dealing with people in another country (on another timezone) is annoying and, honestly, seems to add time to the length of the project. It's only done to cut corners, as you say.

Of course you also said that LucasArts was a "big" company would didn't need to do this: The sad fact of the matter is they're probably spending as much as they can doing these remakes. Apparently they made the MI2:SE in the same amount of time they made MI1:SE, which suggests that management wasn't totally convinced about their lucrativeness to invest any more in another product.

Plus, with only a limited number of these titles available for revamping, I bet it's not something they're taking too seriously as a long term proposition, or something they consider worth investing in.

I don't know, but I imagine that LucasArts simply has HAD to cut these corners by outsourcing to Singapore, in order to make these things economically viable. What they do next is another question.


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Old 07-09-2010, 04:30 PM   #26
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Just as aside: Everyone in Singapore speaks English, it's their primary language. They learn Chinese in school.
Ah, thanks. No idea here, just saw multiple languages listed on wikipedia.

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Of course you also said that LucasArts was a "big" company would didn't need to do this: The sad fact of the matter is they're probably spending as much as they can doing these remakes. Apparently they made the MI2:SE in the same amount of time they made MI1:SE, which suggests that management wasn't totally convinced about their lucrativeness to invest any more in another product.
See I guess I still don't understand this. This is how they seemed to operate before. George Lucas hands over their money and they try to make a profit. I look at the games myself as an artist and I think it can't be *that* much work, but I think the $10 price tag is also low for what they are offering as well, sort of forcing outsourcing the work. Other people doing small 2D games at this time, which is what Monkey Island 2 has basically become in the same class as now, seem to have no need to outsource or overrun their budget, but I guess there's probably more than a few artists in each of those small studios putting in overtime for the love of it.

I also think with the remakes if they were just made with full polish each time around and just were at their full potential, eventually each successive remake would result in more sales for the one before. I bet Monkey Island 2's remake is garnering more sales for the first one as well. I think a lot of the concentrating is probably on the sales for the first week though in upper management. I just think of it as a good investment for LucasArts, but then I guess the easiest way to print money is to put the words "Star Wars" on the front.

This is just as much problem with the US government and entertainment industry here as it is of Lucas management contributing to it, so I'll probably go off the rails talking about it, but I basically just get super annoyed when outsourcing is used excessively to complete "artistic" endeavors. Earlier on we thought the shoddiness of Monkey Island 1 SE was just from 3 guys rushing to get it done, and then later we find out there are actually 12 other guys in Singapore doing the brunt of the work and it sucks that that basically makes sense why it turned out the way it did.

Ah well, I filled the thread with ranting. Maybe I'll come back after this evening when I spend time with the remake to do some ranting about the actual game.

Last edited by SyntheticGerbil; 07-09-2010 at 04:38 PM.
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Old 07-09-2010, 04:41 PM   #27
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Yeah, I'm confused why they offered such a low price point, as well. I think they could have easily charged $15 for MI2, even if it was only for the first three months, and then dropped it to $10. Strange.

I feel your pain regarding the manufacturing of "artistic endeavours", but it's the way the world is moving, especially after the credit crunch. Ours in a bankrupt culture, indeed. At least there's been a massive growth in free tools to allow genuinely creative people create and share what they've made.

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Old 07-10-2010, 08:15 PM   #28
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I'm only somewhere lost in Part 2, but I'm not having too much in the way of minor annoyances so far (besides the obvious missing intro).

I like the presentation, I really like how true most of the backgrounds are so far to the original game. Really the Phatt Island Mansion seems to be somewhat of a fluke. The wonkier background also carries over to the Phatt close up, and it maybe looks like the backgrounds for those two scenes was done by one of the poorer artists of the first MI:SE. Some of the art gets iffy but overall I think with all of the great art around for the backgrounds, it lends itself for great atmosphere and I'm very pleased.

In terms of character art, I think it's all really well done, many characters are very close to the original depication. It's strange that only the main characters had to be given such a revamp. I don't really know how necessary it was, since they fit in less with the other character art, but oh well. The main characters were also the only ones given more inbetween frames from 3D models for certain animations, but it's not consistent. It also looks strange when a character with a large amount of inbetweens for their walk cycle moves around another character with original frame count for the walk cycle. No big deal, I'm sure many are pleased with the added frames anyway.

I'm not as annoyed with Largo's voice but maybe it's not how I pictured it. This time, the voice acting so far has been completely top notch for me.

I haven't even seen any of the disasterous technical problems so far that were present on the first SE. Characters aren't overlapping each other at all the wrong times. Graphics aren't missing or cut off in wrong places. The skip function has been fixed for the most part. iMuse isn't working as great as I imagined, with just general fade ins and outs, but I understand the incredible difficulty in implementing it.

Also, the added animations of fish, moths, and fireflies was a great idea. I love it.

My biggest annoyance is that you can't turn on the voice in the original game and keep the old music. I guess it doesn't matter since the music is messed up anyway and it's missing parts, so oh well.

I'm happy with my purchase and then some.
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Old 07-10-2010, 09:42 PM   #29
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My biggest annoyance is that you can't turn on the voice in the original game and keep the old music. I guess it doesn't matter since the music is messed up anyway and it's missing parts, so oh well.
You CAN turn the voice on in classic mode, you know. It's one of the new features (and it's worth it at one point in the game to hear a nifty Easter Egg of sorts).


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Old 07-10-2010, 09:46 PM   #30
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I know the voices can be turned on in classic mode, but actually looking at it again, it seems I can play classic mode with voices and the old music.

I guess what happened earlier is I must have been on one of those screens without music but still keeping the ambient noise. That happened in the original SE's classic mode as well.
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Old 07-11-2010, 12:06 AM   #31
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The f****** intro. I want it back. Seriously, what was the design mandate to omit it? It's like removing the title crawl in Star Wars; a Monkey Island game doesn't feel like a Monkey Island game without the theme tune.
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Old 07-11-2010, 12:10 AM   #32
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The voice was recorded, the music was recorded, the monkey graphics are there. All that needs to be done are the Guybrush sprites and perhaps the map-art.
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Old 07-11-2010, 04:49 AM   #33
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IMO I actually think that leaving Guybrush as his classic sprite and having him shoo off the updated monkeys is more in the spirit of the SE's. It would be very similar to what they did in MI1 with it opening with the VGA Melee Island shot the expanded to the new editions updated scene. Perhaps even go so far as to start with the original Monkey Island 2 splash screen and either fade or morph it to the new one.

Just my 2 cents on the intro recreation subject.

It would be neat it it was the other crazy idea iI had but this really makes more sense from a purist stand point (when compared to having GB morph into the golden guy and chase them of with force lightning that is )

The thing that bothers me about the current fan made intro is it leaves so much credit ungiven. The team that worked on this did an amazing job of paying tribute and it would be a shame for them to not be recognized for it


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Old 07-11-2010, 07:00 AM   #34
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The voice was recorded, the music was recorded, the monkey graphics are there. All that needs to be done are the Guybrush sprites and perhaps the map-art.
I don't think ALL the monkey sprites are there, btw. I don't recall seeing the ones where they do backflips (correct me if I'm wrong).

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Old 07-11-2010, 12:51 PM   #35
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Okay, finished!

Biggest problem for me was that they just messed up the Rapp Scallion animations. Sure they added frames of animation to smooth out some people, but did anyone notice they subtracted frames of animation for Rapp?

The original is much smoother and has way more inbetween frames. I don't know if they were too pressed for time or just not skilled enough, since animating things like Rapp takes real knowledge and skill of traditional animation and cannot be cheaped out by using a 3D model as a base to trace over or fill in all of the inbetweens. Oh well, I guess it's still somewhat there.

Also I noticed two places where they didn't get rid of the old pixels. One where Jojo is entranced and also when Guybrush jumps off Kate's ship, some of the frames of his splash are pixelated.

Last problem is that the music seems really subdued. It's much less ballsy on the new one and the cues are much less noticeable. I think SurplusGamer was saying some come in at the wrong time, but I think overall it lost a lot of the sinister atmosphere in some spots, sounding too playful most of the time.

But yeah, no other annoyances I think. I was absolutely sick of Guybrush saying "nice" by the end, but that's the fault of the original designers.
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Old 07-11-2010, 02:00 PM   #36
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Just reading up on Monkey Island at Wikipedia. Having never played any of the MI games before (my entire LucasArts gaming experience is from the LucasArts Archives Vol. 1 boxed set, purchased in 1994 after we got our first real PC, and Full Throttle, which I picked up in '95), which one would you recommend for a curious newbie? I'm thinking about picking one up to play around with when I feel like procrastinating on my other projects. Also, can I download them from Steam and plug the files into ScummVM?


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Old 07-11-2010, 02:17 PM   #37
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It makes most sense to start with the first one, whipwarrior. The second one is generally considered to be better, but that's saying a lot, because the first is a classic in its own right, and the most natural "hop on" point for a newbie.

If you buy any LucasArts adventure it should work fine without Scumm VM. If you're getting the first MI game, it'll be the Special Edition anyway (the non special edition isn't widely available).
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Old 07-11-2010, 02:44 PM   #38
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I don't think ALL the monkey sprites are there, btw. I don't recall seeing the ones where they do backflips (correct me if I'm wrong).
I just checked, they are all there.
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Old 07-11-2010, 05:02 PM   #39
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Thanks for the suggestion. Maybe I'm being luddite, but I'll probably buy a used copy of the original CD-ROM disc so that I can add it to my ScummVM library, along with FOA, DOTT, Sam & Max, and Full Throttle. I feel more comfortable having the physical disk for backup, rather than just a downloadable file of the game.


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Old 07-11-2010, 06:20 PM   #40
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I believe you can make "back-ups" onto disc of the games in your steam library, but there is also something to be said for owning the original version of SoMI/Mi2, especially since the special editions have left a few parts of the originals out!
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