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Rocket Baby Dolls
Mar 3, 2006

Normally I don't make aesthetic criticisms in other peoples' homes, but that rug looks like a beaver exploded. If meat is murder, then that rug is at least a severe beating.



What is this?

Beneath A Steel Sky is a point-and-click game set in a dystopian future, it was released in 1994 and developed by Revolution Software who later went on to creating the Broken Sword series. The game was a collaboration between Charles Cecil (developer and co-founder of Revolution Software) and Dave Gibbons (comic book legend whose credentials are far too many to list).

We play as Robert Foster, the sole survivor of a helicopter crash in an area known as "The Gap" as a child. A group of aboriginals found and raised him as one of their own. Many years later, Union City decides to "rescue" Robert and bring him home. Beneath A Steel Sky was critically acclaimed upon release, received high reviews all-round and has left a long legacy behind it.

Where To Find it and news on the upcoming sequel

As of 2003, Beneath A Steel Sky was made available as freeware by Revolution Software. Their own website directs you to GOG for downloading, so I will too: https://www.gog.com/game/beneath_a_steel_sky The freeware release utilises ScummVM and it is the version that I will be playing for this LP.

Rumours of a sequel have been floating around for a couple of decades or so. Both Cecil and Gibbons have stated several times that they would be interested in collaborating again for a sequel. An official announcement was made last year that not only was a sequel confirmed, but development was also well underway. The latest statement from Revolution Software reveals that the game is now almost complete. More information, as well as screenshots and a dev diary, can be found on their website: https://revolution.co.uk/categories/beyond-a-steel-sky/

There is a Steam store page for the game, as of now there is now release date. The developers seem to be fairly active in the Steam discussion forum for the game and have been answering questions here and there: https://store.steampowered.com/app/...nd_a_Steel_Sky/

LP details

Attention: My ScummVM volume sliders were bugged and the volume was stuck at full blast for the first five videos. Thankfully, AbstractNapper was very helpful and found a solution that worked for the final three videos in this LP. Their solution can be found here: https://forums.somethingawful.com/n...ostid=505175063

This is going to be a VLP, I'll be doing commentary as I play. I aim to upload one video every Sunday. I'm going to aim for a midweek video if time allows with the extra editing.

I will upload a bonus video with some additional content. The dialogue tree is mostly linear but there are a few occasions where it branches. I will attempt to show off all the different ways that you can be killed in this game and I will also show the alternative ending to the game.

Let's Play: Beneath A Steel Sky










Bonus Videos:
Additional Dialogue
Death Sequences

Rocket Baby Dolls fucked around with this message at 21:19 on Jun 9, 2020

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Yapping Eevee
Nov 12, 2011

STAND TOGETHER.
FIGHT WITH HONOR.
RESTORE BALANCE.

Eevees play for free.


Soiled Meat

I think this is the first time you've LP'd something I've actually seen played before. (Yahtzee did a casual playthrough of it way back when.) It's an interesting game, though a sequel 26+ years after the fact is sure a decision to make.

Solumin
Jan 11, 2013


I'm laughing at the bit where he's like, "this is a routine inspection. Now, can you explain the fundamentals of society to me?"

This looks really neat, already looking forward to the next episode.

Black Robe
Sep 12, 2017

Generic Magic User



I have this in my GOG library (along with just about everything else that is or was free on there, because hey, who doesn't like free poo poo) but never got around to checking it out. Looks like I maybe should.

Rocket Baby Dolls
Mar 3, 2006

Normally I don't make aesthetic criticisms in other peoples' homes, but that rug looks like a beaver exploded. If meat is murder, then that rug is at least a severe beating.

Yapping Eevee posted:

I think this is the first time you've LP'd something I've actually seen played before. (Yahtzee did a casual playthrough of it way back when.) It's an interesting game, though a sequel 26+ years after the fact is sure a decision to make.

I'm not sure why it took so long as a sequel was always under serious consideration. I'll have to look into it more when I have some free time.

I believe that Wasteland holds the record for the longest time between releases, this may break that record.

Whybird
Aug 2, 2009

Phaiston have long avoided the tightly competetive defence sector, but the IRDA Act 2052 has given us the freedom we need to bring out something really special.

https://team-robostar.itch.io/robostar




Nap Ghost

Beneath a Steel Sky brings back some very dear memories. I'm looking forward to watching this LP and learning how appallingly badly it's aged!

Tiggum
Oct 23, 2007


It's weird how they decided to set the game in Australia but the voiced dialogue is distinctly not Australian and, outside of a couple of references in the intro, I don't think it has any impact or importance at all. Despite any flaws though, this game will always be one of my favourites for how cool the gimmick of switching Joey into new bodies is. That really feels like an underutilised concept in video games in general.

Old Grey Guy
Feb 12, 2014


Rocket Baby Dolls posted:

Attention: The GOG\ScummVM volume settings are bugged. Whether you turn the sliders down part or all the way, the moment that you enter a new area or if an event triggers, the volume settings resume to their default setting. I have searched for a solution or a work-around but I have found none, even editing the config files does nothing to alleviate this problem. The music will be loud in places and at times will almost overshadow speech.

Have you tried to set up the sound/volume in ScummVM instead of the game? It seems to respect the VM settings.

Rocket Baby Dolls
Mar 3, 2006

Normally I don't make aesthetic criticisms in other peoples' homes, but that rug looks like a beaver exploded. If meat is murder, then that rug is at least a severe beating.

Old Grey Guy posted:

Have you tried to set up the sound/volume in ScummVM instead of the game? It seems to respect the VM settings.

I've changed the in-game settings, the ScummVM settings and also the config files. I've even muted the music and it still comes back with a vengeance.

Old Grey Guy
Feb 12, 2014


Bugger. What about your system's audio mixer, or maybe a different version of ScummVM? (I'm on Linux these days, and for me, lowering the music volume in the ScummVM (v 2.0.0 / March 2018) options under the volume tab did the trick.)

Rocket Baby Dolls
Mar 3, 2006

Normally I don't make aesthetic criticisms in other peoples' homes, but that rug looks like a beaver exploded. If meat is murder, then that rug is at least a severe beating.

Old Grey Guy posted:

Bugger. What about your system's audio mixer, or maybe a different version of ScummVM? (I'm on Linux these days, and for me, lowering the music volume in the ScummVM (v 2.0.0 / March 2018) options under the volume tab did the trick.)

The GOG.com version comes with ScummVM attached. It seems to be the "2.0.0 (2017-12-17)" version. I currently have the "2.1.1 (2020-01-31)" version installed but I can't seem to link it directly to the GOG.com installation folder. I copied the files from the stand-alone ScummVM folder into the BASS ScummVM folder which forced that version to update. The original problem still remains.

I've just visited the ScummVM website and they have a download link for BASS here: https://www.scummvm.org/games/ This version does work with the current version of ScummVM and the volume settings do work. I will switch to this version for the LP.

Tiggum posted:

It's weird how they decided to set the game in Australia but the voiced dialogue is distinctly not Australian and, outside of a couple of references in the intro, I don't think it has any impact or importance at all. Despite any flaws though, this game will always be one of my favourites for how cool the gimmick of switching Joey into new bodies is. That really feels like an underutilised concept in video games in general.

Cecil and Gibbons went above and beyond with the story and characters. Being set in Australia makes sense for the storyline as the outback, or "The Gap", is a frequent plot point. But the cast is primarily British, which is understandable as Revolution Software is based in England, it just makes things a little more confusing.

Revolution Software has a pdf of the manual on their website. The manual contains more background information on the game World: https://revolution.co.uk/wp-content..._sky_manual.pdf

Hwurmp
May 20, 2005

I LIKE TO MAKE VAGUE THREATS TO PEOPLE ON THE INTERNET BECAUSE I AM TOUGH GUY. P.S. ASK ME ABOUT THE TIME A GIRL BEAT ME UP IN GRADE SCHOOL. HER NAME WAS SUZIE SHE DREW A BIG WEINER ON MY FOREHEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'll never eat KaBabbs again

Kangra
May 7, 2012



I always assumed that in-universe the apocalyptic war had left Britain largely uninhabitable, and there was something of a re-colonization of Australia as a result.

Also I continually confuse Revolution and Rebellion and keep thinking that these guys went on to make Aliens vs. Predator.

RabidWeasel
Aug 4, 2007

Cultures thrive on their myths and legends...and snuggles!


I loved this game when I was a kid and I still remember a lot of the jokes / dialogue. There were a ton of great point & clicks back then and this one is still quite memorable.

Flair
Apr 5, 2016


Rocket Baby Dolls posted:

Attention: The GOG\ScummVM volume settings are bugged. Whether you turn the sliders down part or all the way, the moment that you enter a new area or if an event triggers, the volume settings resume to their default setting. I have searched for a solution or a work-around but I have found none, even editing the config files does nothing to alleviate this problem. The music will be loud in places and at times will almost overshadow speech.

Have you tried contacting GOG support? GOG has pretty good tech support.

Rocket Baby Dolls
Mar 3, 2006

Normally I don't make aesthetic criticisms in other peoples' homes, but that rug looks like a beaver exploded. If meat is murder, then that rug is at least a severe beating.

Flair posted:

Have you tried contacting GOG support? GOG has pretty good tech support.

It doesn't seem to be a common problem, I've only seen one other person on the forum with an issue. It's nothing game breaking but I will probably shoot them a message when I have more free time.

Rocket Baby Dolls
Mar 3, 2006

Normally I don't make aesthetic criticisms in other peoples' homes, but that rug looks like a beaver exploded. If meat is murder, then that rug is at least a severe beating.

It looks like I spoke too soon as I only did a brief test before. After investigating further I'm having the same volume issues with the stand-alone ScummVM and their version of BASS.

I'm going to try the CD-Rom version with Windows 98 tomorrow

Thesaya
May 17, 2011

I am a Plant.


I was sure I'd played this before, but I think I had it confused with the Dig for some reason. Seeing that there are death scenarios, I would have avoided it as a kid, I was always more about LucasArts than Sierra. I have watched the intro, I am almost certain, might have quit the moment I had my first death. Now I am torn between watching this or playing it for myself...

Rocket Baby Dolls
Mar 3, 2006

Normally I don't make aesthetic criticisms in other peoples' homes, but that rug looks like a beaver exploded. If meat is murder, then that rug is at least a severe beating.

Thesaya posted:

I was sure I'd played this before, but I think I had it confused with the Dig for some reason. Seeing that there are death scenarios, I would have avoided it as a kid, I was always more about LucasArts than Sierra. I have watched the intro, I am almost certain, might have quit the moment I had my first death. Now I am torn between watching this or playing it for myself...

Black Robe posted:

I have this in my GOG library (along with just about everything else that is or was free on there, because hey, who doesn't like free poo poo) but never got around to checking it out. Looks like I maybe should.

I'd highly recommend playing this game, it's a game from my youth and I have a lot of fond memories of it. I always come back to it every now and again.

The characters, setting and humour are constant high points for me. This game does have it's moments of confusion, but it's mostly the usual adventure game logic. There is a couple of sequences where a guide will most likely will be needed, but there are many available with a quick search.

As for the deaths, there are only a handful. There's no outright spoilers here but to be on the safe side I'll keep this optional. I will try to point them out in the LP as I go. The first couple have some obvious red flags. I believe that you can trigger a later one that comes out of left-field, but only out of persistence, my memory might be playing tricks with me over this one. Later on, there's a really cheap one unless you're being overly cautious, there is an ominous tone to the situation but examining the danger zone kills you. There's a QTE shortly afterwards. I believe the last one is fairly obvious but there's also time to back out of the situation. If it helps, I can provide you with more specific details. Or you could stick to a guide which will tell you how to deal with each location successfully but without specific focus on death sequences.

I'm going to test out the CD-Rom version later, I have childcare all day today. Right now she has been distracted with Peppa Pig. Well, she was until now.

Rocket Baby Dolls
Mar 3, 2006

Normally I don't make aesthetic criticisms in other peoples' homes, but that rug looks like a beaver exploded. If meat is murder, then that rug is at least a severe beating.

For now, I will be continuing on with the current version that I started with. I have sent a report to the GOG.com technical team to let them know the issue that I'm having.

I played around with Windows 98 and was getting a lot of sound issues, I also forgot that Windows 98 doesn't support widescreen so I scrapped that idea pretty quickly. I did install ScummVM just to test it out and it played just fine, but I was still getting the same volume issues.

I'm happy continuing on with how I started. Vegas rendering times are an absolute beast, it'll just give me an excuse to get off my rear end and do some productive things away from the computer for a while.

Rocket Baby Dolls
Mar 3, 2006

Normally I don't make aesthetic criticisms in other peoples' homes, but that rug looks like a beaver exploded. If meat is murder, then that rug is at least a severe beating.



Yeah? In this episode, Robert explores the top of Eyrie tower and finds a way down to the next level. We're not done exploring the entire top level just yet but we've done all that we can do right now. I experienced a couple of major bugs that I have never encountered before, it breaks immersion a little but I've kept in glitches and crashes in previous LP's. There's a slight edit around the twenty-four-minute mark as I re-recorded the last part of this video, I spent far too much time faffing around originally. There are a few minor things that I missed out during this recording which I may explore further, I did miss out on a short conversation with one character which I will explore when I record additional footage. Yeah?

Death count list:

2. Being silly with the putty.

Edit: Hello to Sartorius from Space Station 13, thank you for the kind words.

RabidWeasel
Aug 4, 2007

Cultures thrive on their myths and legends...and snuggles!


You missed a (hilarious) death keep trying to use Reich's card in the Security door, there's extra dialogue too IIRC

Rocket Baby Dolls
Mar 3, 2006

Normally I don't make aesthetic criticisms in other peoples' homes, but that rug looks like a beaver exploded. If meat is murder, then that rug is at least a severe beating.

RabidWeasel posted:

You missed a (hilarious) death keep trying to use Reich's card in the Security door, there's extra dialogue too IIRC

I wasnt aware of this, thank you for telling me. I'll give this a try very shortly as I'm preparing to do some more recording.

Sjonkel
Jan 31, 2012


So happy to see an LP of this game, I asked for it a few months ago, so looking forward to following this! I got this game in a bundle when I bought a Soundblaster card for my PC i 1994, and it was the first cd-rom game I played. Remember being stuck on the button puzzle at the end of the second video as well. Also, the "Will you swap it for my clipboard?" has been a running gag with my brother to this day, and I'm glad it was pretty much exactly as I remembered it, including the dialect.

I don't remember the ending at all, or much of the plot, so almost feel like I'm watching it blind even if I remember certain things still.

Rocket Baby Dolls
Mar 3, 2006

Normally I don't make aesthetic criticisms in other peoples' homes, but that rug looks like a beaver exploded. If meat is murder, then that rug is at least a severe beating.



In this video, Robert and Joey explore the new level to the best of their ability at this point in time.

Now we're three episodes in I've only just noticed that I've been encoding the videos in the wrong resolution with Vegas. I reviewed everything during the editing process to make sure everything was fine. When I play it back on Youtube, I usually check that the video plays fine and then switch it to the background to make sure the audio is okay. As I was looking for a screenshot I noticed that the dialogue tree was slightly cut off. After further investigation, when it came to rendering the video in Vegas I had pressed a 5 instead of an 8 and kept it as default. It's resulted in four or five in-game pixels being cut-off on each side of the game screen. I apologise, I should have been vigilant, hopefully this hasn't spoilt the experience too much for anyone. I feel like a tit right now!

Rocket Baby Dolls fucked around with this message at 20:12 on May 21, 2020

Thesaya
May 17, 2011

I am a Plant.


Well, I at least, never noticed. I tend not to though, there has to be some severe graphical errors for me to realise something isn't right...

Solumin
Jan 11, 2013


To be fair, any of us could have mentioned it in the thread. I thought it looked odd but forgot to post about it.

Rocket Baby Dolls
Mar 3, 2006

Normally I don't make aesthetic criticisms in other peoples' homes, but that rug looks like a beaver exploded. If meat is murder, then that rug is at least a severe beating.

It was my responsibility to check beforehand. I'll fix it when I record the next episode, which will probably be tomorrow night for uploading on Sunday.

Rocket Baby Dolls
Mar 3, 2006

Normally I don't make aesthetic criticisms in other peoples' homes, but that rug looks like a beaver exploded. If meat is murder, then that rug is at least a severe beating.

Edit: Removed to avoid confusion.

In this video, Robert steals a dubiously titled videotape and exposes himself. We explore a few more areas, make some new friends and Robert manage to lose his testicles. Apart from a couple of minor conversations, we have done all that we can do on the first two levels.

Death count: 4. Exposing yourself.

Rocket Baby Dolls fucked around with this message at 21:04 on May 25, 2020

Sjonkel
Jan 31, 2012


There's some stutter in the first few minutes while talking to Anita, but the rest of the video is fine. It's really weird seeing this played after 25 years, I remember some things very clearly like Anchor and Burke, but most of it is completely blank and I feel like I'm watching it blind.

I really like this LP, I think you have the right amount of comments and explanations, but never interrupting the dialog. Looking forward to the rest of it!

Rocket Baby Dolls
Mar 3, 2006

Normally I don't make aesthetic criticisms in other peoples' homes, but that rug looks like a beaver exploded. If meat is murder, then that rug is at least a severe beating.

Sjonkel posted:

There's some stutter in the first few minutes while talking to Anita, but the rest of the video is fine. It's really weird seeing this played after 25 years, I remember some things very clearly like Anchor and Burke, but most of it is completely blank and I feel like I'm watching it blind.

I really like this LP, I think you have the right amount of comments and explanations, but never interrupting the dialog. Looking forward to the rest of it!

I've set this video as unlisted for the moment, I'll re-do this tonight and hopefully replace it tomorrow. Thank you for letting me know and thank you for your kind words.

Rocket Baby Dolls
Mar 3, 2006

Normally I don't make aesthetic criticisms in other peoples' homes, but that rug looks like a beaver exploded. If meat is murder, then that rug is at least a severe beating.

Due to some quality control issues I'm going to take a step back before continuing onwards. With work, childcare and other factors in life I've not had a lot of free time lately and I've pressured myself into trying two videos a week. Because of this, the LP is suffering.

As of now I'm going to restrict this LP to one video a week until life eases up a little. I will fix the aspect ratios of the first two videos and reupload them. I'll need to re-record the first scene of the third video and upload a replacement for the latest one. It will take a few days to correct things, normal service will resume next Sunday. I apologise for letting things slip this much.

RabidWeasel
Aug 4, 2007

Cultures thrive on their myths and legends...and snuggles!


I still enjoyed the last video in spite of the slight issues at the start

Also how the hell did I forget that "cool guy" being such an unrepentant rear end in a top hat for no reason?

Rocket Baby Dolls
Mar 3, 2006

Normally I don't make aesthetic criticisms in other peoples' homes, but that rug looks like a beaver exploded. If meat is murder, then that rug is at least a severe beating.

Thank you, everyone, for being kind and patient. This is the LP forum and not E/N so I'll keep real-life stuff off from here. My mind and motivation took a bit of a nosedive last week, I've been able to start picking myself up again which is the main thing.

I finished work early tonight and have re-recorded the first section of the fourth video. I'll encode it overnight and upload it tomorrow. I'm not one for staged commentary but I've tried to keep any comments in the same vein as in the original video, the comment about the locker is probably the only thing that is the same as before.

Throughout the next week, I'll be re-encoding and uploading the first three videos in their original resolution, no changes will be made to the gameplay or audio. There will be a new video up next Sunday, it is my weekend off next week so I will have time to record a video and make sure it's above board.

RabidWeasel posted:

I still enjoyed the last video in spite of the slight issues at the start

Also how the hell did I forget that "cool guy" being such an unrepentant rear end in a top hat for no reason?

He never seemed like anyone of importance so I never paid him any attention after the initial conversation before now. I'll speak to everyone again before we head into the next act. I've just remembered that there is a cutscene with the old man in the security lobby and I fear that I've left it too late to trigger.

Rocket Baby Dolls
Mar 3, 2006

Normally I don't make aesthetic criticisms in other peoples' homes, but that rug looks like a beaver exploded. If meat is murder, then that rug is at least a severe beating.



Episode four, re-done. The gameplay is exactly the same as the original video.

Samovar
Jun 4, 2011

I'm not a hero...



The aesthetics of this is so close to 2000AD, I feel almost reluctant to even mention it, just in case I overlooked this very fact being mentioned and then being pointed at and laughed at.

Rocket Baby Dolls
Mar 3, 2006

Normally I don't make aesthetic criticisms in other peoples' homes, but that rug looks like a beaver exploded. If meat is murder, then that rug is at least a severe beating.

Samovar posted:

The aesthetics of this is so close to 2000AD, I feel almost reluctant to even mention it, just in case I overlooked this very fact being mentioned and then being pointed at and laughed at.

The co-creator and artist used to be an artist for 2000AD, he also used to do a lot of work for DC and Marvel comics too.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dave_Gibbons

Thesaya
May 17, 2011

I am a Plant.


Maybe remove the vid with the stutters? I just watched that one before scrolling down and realising that you had a fixed version out.

Rocket Baby Dolls
Mar 3, 2006

Normally I don't make aesthetic criticisms in other peoples' homes, but that rug looks like a beaver exploded. If meat is murder, then that rug is at least a severe beating.

Thesaya posted:

Maybe remove the vid with the stutters? I just watched that one before scrolling down and realising that you had a fixed version out.

I will do when I get home, thank you for the reminder.

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ZeusCannon
Nov 5, 2009

BLAAAAAARGH PLEASE KILL ME BLAAAAAAAARGH

Grimey Drawer

Really enjoying this lp. Its very nice to see this game and all its snark again.

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