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Non-EuclideanCat
Nov 9, 2009




The Dig
Released in 1995, The Dig is a LucasArts sci-fi point-and-click adventure designed by Sean Clark and jointly written by Orson Scott Card, Brian Moriarty, and Steven Spielberg. It has a much more somber tone than the usual LucasArts fare, and what humor it does have sometimes leans a little pitch-black. The graphics are pretty good but nothing to write home about, the soundwork is excellent, and it manages to avoid cat-hair-mustache puzzles in all but 2 instances.

This is a very nostalgic game for me. My mom used to play puzzle games like this and Myst back when I was very small and I would sit watch. I love this game to death, warts and all.

The LP
This is going to be a small, simple LP as I get back into the swing of things for more ambitious projects. I'll be shooting for weekly updates, though not on any specific day. Also, as this is a very story-heavy game, please tag all spoilers.

The Dig is super verbose, but as most of the dialogue is incidental, I feel like it'd ruin the flow of the videos to include it all. As such, every update will have two videos: one for the actual update, and an Extras video that'll have all the extra chatter.











Non-EuclideanCat fucked around with this message at 22:47 on Mar 18, 2015

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Zombiebeard
Jun 29, 2011

My God. How could anyone do this?


I missed out on all the Lucasarts Point and click games growing up, and really PnCs in general with the exception of Myst and the child scarring Pink Panther: Passport to Peril. I learned to love Sam and Max years later and have (slowly, but surely) stared to appreciate the genre more, so I'm looking forward to this LP.

mateo360
Mar 20, 2012

TOO MANY PEOPLE MERLOCK!
ONLY ONE DIJON!


Ah The Dig. One of my favorite LucasArts games of all time. So much so that I ended up finding a copy of the book written based on it.

Samovar
Jun 4, 2011

I'm not a hero...





Hang on, hang on. Attila has a 1:1 chance of hitting Earth in Borneo, but a 99% chance of hitting Earth according to NASA?

Edit: Oh man, I remember my big brother telling me when the shuttle flips away from Atilla that it wasn't rotating in the 'wrong' direction (because up until this point, I had only played/seen flight simulators) because there is no 'up' or 'down' in space. Blew my little 4/5-year-old mind.

Samovar fucked around with this message at 10:28 on Dec 29, 2014

Forgall
Oct 16, 2012

What're you lookin' at?


Ugh, didn't know OSC had something to do with it.

Kaboom Dragoon
May 7, 2010

The greatest of feasts



Who's that voicing the main character? I recognise the voice, but I can't place it. And is that Steve Blum in our party?

Aces High
Mar 26, 2010

Nah! A little chocolate will do





mateo360 posted:

Ah The Dig. One of my favorite LucasArts games of all time. So much so that I ended up finding a copy of the book written based on it.



We had that in the library in my jr. high school. That was about the time that I learned about "video game adaptation" novels.

Also yes Steve Blum is our German scientist and Boston is voiced by the T-1000 himself Robert Patrick my siblings and I never got very far in this game as compared to the other Lucasarts adventure games but we still had a lot of fun with it, and it probably led to me developing my enjoyment of geometry and finding out about my appttitude for spatial awareness. Likewise it was likely one of the influences for my sister becoming obsessed with all things space and space exploration related

Cassa
Jan 29, 2009


gently caress those turtle bone puzzles why must i keep making abominations against nature!! Why?! puzzles. But this game was amazing and I looooooooved the art and the whole relatively hard Sci-Fi thing going.

Dr. Buttass
Aug 12, 2013

AWFUL SOMETHING


Samovar posted:

Hang on, hang on. Attila has a 1:1 chance of hitting Earth in Borneo, but a 99% chance of hitting Earth according to NASA?

I think it's a cover-your-rear end thing. Like, the computer says "yes this is guaranteed to hit us," but NASA knows that for as likely as it is for Attila to come crashing down on us there's that slim possibility that, say, a magical green man in a bulbous helmet will come from the future and turn it into an equal volume of marshmallow fluff, horribly violating conservation of mass but also coincidentally saving us all when it all burns up on entry. So, they say 99% chance so that in the event that no one dies a horrible death, no one makes fun of them for being jumpy and paranoid.

Seyser Koze
Dec 15, 2013


Nap Ghost

Kaboom Dragoon posted:

Who's that voicing the main character? I recognise the voice, but I can't place it. And is that Steve Blum in our party?

I am bad at reading threads and prior posts.

Seyser Koze fucked around with this message at 23:26 on Dec 29, 2014

CatsPajamas
Jul 4, 2013

I hated the new Stupid Newbie avatar so much that I bought a new one for this user. Congrats, Lowtax.


Never seen or heard of this game before, but the first video was great and I'm very interested in seeing where it goes from here. Nice job with the first video Non-EuclideanCat! I appreciate the deliberate pacing of the plot, but you definitely made the right choice splitting the dialog between the main video and the extra one. Definitely glad you showed off the extra dialog too, because there were some good character moments there.

Looking forward to the next episode!

Outpost22
Oct 11, 2012


Don't forget to bring a shovel!

I loved this game as a kid, it's really the best point and click adventure game from LucasArts not involving pirates or talking animals.

Non-EuclideanCat
Nov 9, 2009


Cassa posted:

gently caress those turtle bone puzzles why must i keep making abominations against nature!! Why?! puzzles. But this game was amazing and I looooooooved the art and the whole relatively hard Sci-Fi thing going.

I'm probably going to upset you in a few videos' time.

Robodog
Oct 22, 2004

...how does that work?


Love The Dig! One of the first point and clicks I really got into, despite the really bad puzzles and the rest of it. Looking forward to now having to suffer through those again!

fixelbrumpf
May 26, 2001



Wow, I'd almost forgotten about this game, and I think so did a lot of people, it came out during a difficult time for the point'n'click adventure game genre when its popularity started declining pretty rapidly. It also seemed to have been stuck in some sort of development hell for quite some time.

Do you have some sort of filter going on in the video, by the way? Back when it came out, the game was largely panned for using chunky VGA pixels when most PC developers had moved on to 640x480 resolution already. Still, I thought the game looked kind of charming in its low-res glory.

Delta Green
Nov 2, 2012


Ah, the Dig. All I ever played of it was a demo included in the old X-Wing for Mac, back in the 90s.

The trailer following the gameplay segment used to make me quite scared, as it was pretty much announcing... well, something.

davidspackage
May 16, 2007



Nap Ghost

There's a very important plot aspect that is in the novel and is omitted from the game either by accident or to make it seem more exciting, and that's that Atilla isn't going to crash into Earth. It is on a collission course with Earth, but then weirdly enough slows down and enters a stable orbit. I think the reason they still try to destroy it is for fear that it will eventually drop out of orbit and still hit Earth. If it was going to crash into Earth the way the intro implies, you'd have an Armageddon-style scenario where it's insanely hard to try and land on a moving asteroid.

I love this game, it's the first one I got when we finally had a PC with a CD drive. The music is fantastic. The game has it's problems, and a lot of those can be blamed on its long as hell development cycle, but I think it's a classic.

I used to have a strategy guide with lots of unused backstory and alien design theory, really wish I hadn't sold that.

Mikl
Nov 8, 2009

Vote shit sandwich or the shit sandwich gets it!


I love The Dig. Love love love. The best way to describe it I think would be "hauntingly beautiful". Gonna enjoy this LP

Tiggum
Oct 23, 2007


davidspackage posted:

There's a very important plot aspect that is in the novel and is omitted from the game either by accident or to make it seem more exciting, and that's that Atilla isn't going to crash into Earth. It is on a collission course with Earth, but then weirdly enough slows down and enters a stable orbit. I think the reason they still try to destroy it is for fear that it will eventually drop out of orbit and still hit Earth.

They're not trying to destroy it though. They specifically say that that would be a bad idea. And it enters a stable orbit after they nuke it, because that's what they were trying to do.

Non-EuclideanCat
Nov 9, 2009


fixelbrumpf posted:

Do you have some sort of filter going on in the video, by the way? Back when it came out, the game was largely panned for using chunky VGA pixels when most PC developers had moved on to 640x480 resolution already. Still, I thought the game looked kind of charming in its low-res glory.

I do not. They might have done a graphical update when they released it on Steam.

Aces High
Mar 26, 2010

Nah! A little chocolate will do





Non-EuclideanCat posted:

I do not. They might have done a graphical update when they released it on Steam.

whoa whoa whoa, this game is on Steam!?!?! poo poo I guess it won't be going to GOG

mateo360
Mar 20, 2012

TOO MANY PEOPLE MERLOCK!
ONLY ONE DIJON!


Aces High posted:

whoa whoa whoa, this game is on Steam!?!?! poo poo I guess it won't be going to GOG

It's been on steam forever. I had someone buy it for me when it first went on sale since I was only a year out of High school and didn't have a job by that point.

http://store.steampowered.com/app/6040/

Non-EuclideanCat
Nov 9, 2009


Glad to hear everyone's enjoying this so far! Here's the next one.

Aces High
Mar 26, 2010

Nah! A little chocolate will do





This is just my opinion but do you think you can change the text speed? Right now it screws with the rhythm of the dialogue and makes the deliveries more stilted and awkward sounding.

Then again, I never played with subtitles on, is changing the text speed an option?

Nidoking
Jan 27, 2009

I fought the lava, and the lava won.


Aces High posted:

This is just my opinion but do you think you can change the text speed? Right now it screws with the rhythm of the dialogue and makes the deliveries more stilted and awkward sounding.

Then again, I never played with subtitles on, is changing the text speed an option?

I don't believe the text speed option, if there is one, ever has any effect in "text and voice" mode. The text is displayed as long as the voice lines run. The stilted delivery is sort of a symptom of the time and the way voice recording was done in those days - I think they just gave the actors a list of the lines, broken up exactly as they were in the game, and had them read down the list until they had a good take of each line. Things like having the complete script of a conversation (so they could read the lines with an appropriate inflection for the context) and recording dialogue per spoken line rather than displayed line were probably too expensive or something. I'd like to say more modern games have fixed these issues, but I guess it comes down to how much the people making the game care about quality.

Samovar
Jun 4, 2011

I'm not a hero...





It's striking how the... well, pre-rendered isn't the correct term, obviously... but how the cutscenes just don't look as good graphically as the actual game itself, even though they are more detailed. I wonder when cutscenes in games generally became superior graphically over the gameplay?

Mikl
Nov 8, 2009

Vote shit sandwich or the shit sandwich gets it!


No matter what Maggie says, I still think it's super dumb to split up in this situation. What if, for example, the ground suddenly gives way, and you find yourself hanging from a ledge with no one around to help you up? Or if a boulder shifts and traps you juuuuust out of reach of the communicator? What then, Maggie?

Montegoraon
Aug 22, 2013


One imagines LucasArts had quite a bit of experience with animating sprites by the time this game was made, even though the sprites themselves looked like poo poo. Digital animation was though.

Isn't there a button you can press to make characters walk faster? The space bar I think?

fixelbrumpf
May 26, 2001



Samovar posted:

It's striking how the... well, pre-rendered isn't the correct term, obviously... but how the cutscenes just don't look as good graphically as the actual game itself, even though they are more detailed. I wonder when cutscenes in games generally became superior graphically over the gameplay?

I think this might just be a byproduct of the troubled development process this game had. It's possible that the cutscenes were made earlier than the graphics of the rest of the game, or were on a tight budget.

As far as I know, even in games with pixel art, cutscenes have always served as a means to impress the player, as they gave graphics artists more opportunities to work in more impressive shading/animation/details in as they weren't playable. Of course, if you had artists who weren't very good, their weaknesses showed the most when they tried to come up with something detailed. As a pretty extreme example, take the CDI Zelda games which are infamous for their laughable cutscene art, but actually look fairly decent in-game. On the other hand, you have a ton of Japanese games from the era with vibrant cutscenes that wouldn't look out of place in a TV anime, but entirely mediocre in-game graphics. Then you have games like Ninja Gaiden, which looked decent in-game, and had some simple but pretty cutscene work before levels that was considered mind-blowing for the time.

In the end, it all comes down to skill and art direction. I'm pretty sure The Dig's cutscenes already looked not all that impressive back then. For some better cutscene work by Lucas Arts, check out Full Throttle which does a pretty great job at pulling off a consistent look between in-game and cutscene graphics.

Or do you mean the overall graininess of the cutscenes? Those most likely have to do with the 256 color limit of the graphics mode used by the original game as 256 colors are not quite enough for smooth hues in full motion video.

fixelbrumpf fucked around with this message at 19:54 on Jan 6, 2015

Tiggum
Oct 23, 2007


Mikl posted:

No matter what Maggie says, I still think it's super dumb to split up in this situation. What if, for example, the ground suddenly gives way, and you find yourself hanging from a ledge with no one around to help you up? Or if a boulder shifts and traps you juuuuust out of reach of the communicator? What then, Maggie?

Yeah, when she says "Why? Because we're safer together?" I wanted him to just say "YES! OBVIOUSLY!"

And is this some method of getting the NPCs killed off so they wouldn't have to keep including them in the plot? Brink became a huge arsehole for no reason, then shortly afterward he died. Maggie's just become a huge arsehole for no reason...

Aces High
Mar 26, 2010

Nah! A little chocolate will do





No Brink's actually a huge rear end in a top hat in general, he was just pretty reigned in when they were doing stuff in space because Boston's the astronaut with actual training and Brink and Maggie are scientists along for the ride. He could've acted like more of an rear end in a top hat in space but it wouldn't have gotten him anywhere since at that particular moment they were under a military command so acting out would be a bad idea.

Maggie is also fairly independently minded and that is made quite obvious in the opening press conference where they ask what it will be like taking orders from somebody else and she said that since it is a military operation she will follow Boston's orders. Now that it is no longer a "military operation" that means that Brink and Maggie can do whatever the gently caress they want and they don't have to follow Boston's orders and they have a point, he can't order them to stay together. Really I think Boston made the wrong move in trying to force her to follow his command when he has no real authority and given her personality that probably furthered her decision to go on her own way so that she could keep her independence.

That and video game conventions, even though Lucasarts proved with Sam and Max that having two characters together isn't a bad thing for these types of games

I dont know
Aug 9, 2003



Aces High posted:

That and video game conventions, even though Lucasarts proved with Sam and Max that having two characters together isn't a bad thing for these types of games

"I don't indiscriminately use people...except Maggie."


I loved this game as a kid along with all Lucas Arts adventures. I was surprised to find out later that it sold poorly and was considered a bit of a black sheep. Though in retrospect it shouldn't have been that surprising given how tonally different it is from the other Lucas Arts games.

Tiggum
Oct 23, 2007


Aces High posted:

Maggie is also fairly independently minded and that is made quite obvious in the opening press conference where they ask what it will be like taking orders from somebody else and she said that since it is a military operation she will follow Boston's orders. Now that it is no longer a "military operation" that means that Brink and Maggie can do whatever the gently caress they want and they don't have to follow Boston's orders and they have a point, he can't order them to stay together. Really I think Boston made the wrong move in trying to force her to follow his command when he has no real authority and given her personality that probably furthered her decision to go on her own way so that she could keep her independence.
So, why is it no longer a military operation? What happened between when they first arrived and now to change that? Because when they first arrive Maggie seems perfectly fine with Boston still being in charge.

Aces High
Mar 26, 2010

Nah! A little chocolate will do





Tiggum posted:

So, why is it no longer a military operation? What happened between when they first arrived and now to change that? Because when they first arrive Maggie seems perfectly fine with Boston still being in charge.

I think the easiest way to put it is that there is no military threat to either Maggie or Boston, they have to survive in a new environment and so far the only hostility that they have encountered was an environmental hazard. Maggie says herself Boston and her are more-or-less equals so there is no real reason for one to be "in charge" over the other. Since this bout of independence has come up from Brink digging himself to death maybe Maggie thinks that because Boston was still acting as the leader that it rose tension and caused Brink to act out, so she is taking it to an extreme and getting away from Boston so that that end result will not happen again.

I don't disagree that it is a pretty silly conclusion to come to but hey, people don't think clearly in these kinds of circumstances. Boston does have a reason to stay "in charge" in the same way that supervisors are "in charge", they are there to make sure that nobody gets hurt , step in if things get out of hand, and give the final say on executing a decision. As commander of the mission he has years of military experience working in stressful environments and he likely has a proven record of being a prudent leader, otherwise NASA would've sent someone else as the commander. But I can't say too much else without getting into spoiler territory

Anoia
Dec 31, 2003

"Sooner or later, every curse is a prayer."


mateo360 posted:

Ah The Dig. One of my favorite LucasArts games of all time. So much so that I ended up finding a copy of the book written based on it.



Oh, hey, me too. I have no idea where my copy is now, but I remember being unimpressed with how it elaborated on what happens in the game.

Kaboom Dragoon
May 7, 2010

The greatest of feasts



Y'know, for a game called 'The Dig', I somehow wasn't expecting there to be so much, well, digging.

Mikl
Nov 8, 2009

Vote shit sandwich or the shit sandwich gets it!


Kaboom Dragoon posted:

Y'know, for a game called 'The Dig', I somehow wasn't expecting there to be so much, well, digging.

Sometimes it's said, only halfway jokingly, that the shovel is the item that gets the most mileage in this game.

Neruz
Jul 23, 2012

A paragon of manliness

Mikl posted:

Sometimes it's said, only halfway jokingly, that the shovel is the item that gets the most mileage in this game.

I don't actually think that's a joke. I suspect that is in fact true assuming a 'straight' run through; there are probably more total uses for green rocks and you can repeat a lot of their uses if you want to but assuming you don't do that and keeping in mind that technically they're multiple items rather than a single item I think the shovel is the single item that is used the most times to do things.

Kangra
May 7, 2012



I didn't think I had played this, but the first dig site (the high-walled cliff face) and a few other scenes triggered a memory of it. I'm not sure I played through the whole thing, though.

I think it's a serious misstep to have Brink be an incompetent rear end. He could have been the one best at guessing what to do with the artifacts, possibly even working as a hint system for the early game. Then by taking him away the player would feel even more alone, and more like they have to do the work of exploration carefully and examine each object they find. It would also add a bit more weight to his death if the player actually wanted him to survive. Instead it just feels like the plot shedding dead weight.

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MA-Horus
Dec 3, 2006

I'm sorry, I can't hear you over the sound of how awesome I am.



Lucasarts made the best games. I grew up with Indiana Jones, Day of the Tentacle, Monkey Island. Never got this one though.

So far, really cool!

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