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Sidequest: “It's All Coming Back To Me”

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Hey there backers!

We're back again for a biggie-sized serving of Sidequest in this installment, "It's All Coming Back To Me". As part of his preparation ritual for the Double Fine Adventure game, we recorded Tim dusting off his classic adventure "Day of the Tentacle". Tim didn't have time to play through the whole game, but we're still bringing you 40 minutes worth of development insights and foggy memories from the days at Lucas Arts.

We still want to produce some more content like this with Tim looking back at his old games, so we'll be sure to let everyone know when another installment is in the pipeline. For now, sit back and enjoy!

[vimeo]43707102[/vimeo]

00:25 - Tim is humming the DOTT theme

00:37 - ScummVM keeping the classics alive

01:30 - The DOTT triangle box can go for $200+ on eBay.

01:53 - Read this wiki about dust for some real nightmare fuel. On the lighter side, a component of dust (aside from skin and bug poop) is burnt meteorite particles, which is very cool.

02:07 - Tears brought about by emotions have a different chemical make-up than those for lubrication; emotional tears contain more of the protein-based hormones prolactin, adrenocorticotropic hormone, and leucine enkephalin (a natural painkiller).

02:23 - This is our favorite possible explanation for the "Gold Guy" logo- The logo is possibly a reference to the ending of George Lucas' first film, THX 1138, in which the main character stands silhouetted with his arms raised during a sunset.

02:30 - On the master Chuck Jones

03:23

04:30 WKRP in Cincinnati

04:31 Kyle Balda has gone on to have quite an illustrious career.

05:34 Humongous

05:46

06:52 *this is just conjecture based on personal experience, it is by no way a scientifically proven fact.

09:28 On the subject of Dave Grossman

11:08 The DOTT display resolution was 320x200, 256 colors

11:42 Apply for your own EPA grant today

18:18 The Batman scene transition music

18:50 Lee's lighting in action

19:29 Sierra made more than just fantasy games, series such as Space Quest and Leisure Suit Larry also called the studio home. King's Quest was extremely popular though with around 12 entires in the series to date.

27:37

27:50 "Voices"

28:51

30:02 Dogs Playing Poker

32:29 Does anyone still use QVC?

34:41 Since there is a wiki entry for everything on earth

39:53 We'll continue with this theme in another installment down the road.

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Yay, it's here. Tim was cutting off his sentences a bit closer to the middle. :) I'm very interested in how the lighting engine worked then with SCUMM, considering there was only 256 colors and I believe they rationed close to 70 colors for all the inventory, character, and interface objects. I can't find anything about it. Not playing Maniac Mansion is ScummVM's fault. I played DOTT on CD recently and it worked perfectly. I think having a Machinarium style inventory would work well for DFA, along with BASS two-click interactions and when you're not over a hotspot you'll just walk, and I think right-mouse click would open the inventory. To get it to work on iPad double-tap could be right-mouse click and regular tap left-mouse click.

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This is really neat to watch! Like a commentary, except with facial expressions and such.

Often in adventure games now, there are two actions you can do to any object: look, and use. For example, left-click is look and right-click is use. (This is in response to Tim wondering if having just one button in order to interact with things is a good idea or not.)

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I think they should just release any and all content lol. I could honestly watch it for hours.

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That was awesome really like this kinda stuff :)

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Awesome! I just finished DOTT for the first time recently, really enjoyed it, and what a pleasure it is to hear Tim talk about it now.

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How many verbs should be in an adventure game really is a hard question to answer, because there's benefits to the traditional model as well as the newer context-sensitive model. The old verb model had the potential for verb-based puzzles and funny dialogue related to using the wrong verb on something, while the new context-sensitive model is more streamlined and removes the frustration from not being able to solve a puzzle only because you didn't use the correct verb on an object. Both have benefits and weaknesses and I suppose the correct choice depends on the difficulty you're going for and what sort of audience you're aiming at.

On the question of if the people that still love adventure games just love the genre because of nostalgia, It's surprising how much appeal adventure games can still have today, even to brand new players. My 11 year old nephew played some of Secret of Monkey Island last time he was visiting, and despite having been brought up on a Xbox 360 and being free to just quit the game and load up one of my action-oriented games on Steam if he wanted to, he really seemed to be enjoying himself with it and managed to solve some of the puzzles completely by himself without any of my help. I myself only played my first adventure game about 6 years ago (coincidentally, it was DotT) and the genre just clicked with me despite having never played an adventure game before that point.

The "To be continued" at the end makes me very happy. I can't wait to see more of these videos!

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I could listen to Tim talk for days. Its like its normal conversation a game design jargon but it has this enlightening feel to it. Def need to do more of these. Not just side quest but Tim playing his older games maybe even just finishing day of the tentacle, It would be the most legit letsplay ever done. Doesn't get more meta when someone who helped make the game does a walkthrough of it.

I just have one question. Who was it that called him on the phone because they had like a 5 second conversation.

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I'm only halfway through, but yes, PLEASE do dialogue trees. I know y'all would do them right.

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I'm going to recast my vote to have Tim chat with the backers when Greg is playing one of Tim's old games.

Oh, and about Max, we all know he's working on Jaws 19.

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Dialog trees are ok when done well (ie, the things you say matter to a decent extent and are interesting/funny to read). If you can just go down the line clicking each one there's no point to them.

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A question for Tim (or another LucasArts veteran)

415721 - The numbers for the technical support started with (415)-721-

The volume says 3302, but the numbers for technical support were different (3333 and 3482)

So who was at (415)-721-3302?

(now it reaches some place called Fusion or something)

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I also love heaps of additional dialogue in my adventure games it gives me something to do to slow the pace down between puzzles and increase replayability

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When it comes to verbs I think we should have them, but the way it should be done is object-->choose verb, instead of choosing verb first. More so, the verbs should at least have some logic to them according to the different objects you are interacting with. "Pull" shouldn't appear when I have chosen an object like a VCR, but could appear if the object was a rope or for humorous purpose if it was a finger.

When it comes to touchscreens I think that there should be some kind of visual cue so you'll recognize a thing as an interactable object when either choosing it or simply strafing over the screen with your finger if there's a lot of uninteractable objects.

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Dialogue trees live and die on strength of writing and how invested you are in the world. (Strong points of Double Fine)

It's true that they can feel like an obstacle if there's a bunch of uninteresting text talking about things I don't care about, but that just wouldn't be the case with a Double Fine game.

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When it comes to verbs I think we should have them, but the way it should be done is object-->choose verb, instead of choosing verb first. More so, the verbs should at least have some logic to them according to the different objects you are interacting with. "Pull" shouldn't appear when I have chosen an object like a VCR, but could appear if the object was a rope or for humorous purpose if it was a finger.

When it comes to touchscreens I think that there should be some kind of visual cue so you'll recognize a thing as an interactable object when either choosing it or simply strafing over the screen with your finger if there's a lot of uninteractable objects.

So a verb coin? Like the Monkey 2 Special Edition had a nice verb coin that only showed what you could do with an object. It bothered me because in the original game they had wrote extra stuff for verbs you couldn't use.

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I love this I could watch for hours! =) (and god damn DOTT is still such a pretty game, its been years since I saw it) I bet Ill watch this about 10 times.

I like what Tim is saying about a "visual language" that conveys what objects are interactive while stile maintaining interesting and detailed backgrounds.

I hope some kind of verbs/options make it into the game...one-click-fits-all is a bit too easy. I remember it took me a good while to realize that you could push the speaker over, but thats a good puzzle! (obscure film reference by the way =)). but imagine that one with just one-click! youd just click on everything until "oh, this happened now". itd be pointless.

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Great sidequest! It's funny to see how the professionals look at the same game and see totally different things.

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I always like watching Tim squirm when people ask him about other adventure games/studios... clearly trying to be as diplomatic as possible. ;)

I got a big kick out of that Spielberg story. Hadn't heard that one before.

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A lot of fun to watch, guys. Obviously it's clear by now that we'll watch as much of this stuff as you have to give - that 40 minutes went by like 20.

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Dialogue trees live and die on strength of writing and how invested you are in the world. (Strong points of Double Fine)

It's true that they can feel like an obstacle if there's a bunch of uninteresting text talking about things I don't care about, but that just wouldn't be the case with a Double Fine game.

I agree with this 100%.

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This was absolutely awesome material!!!

more stuff like this please!!!

And questions:

- Can Tim tell me how long it take to do that awesome game intro?

- If it´s possible can you guys show also SCUMM editor and tools at some point?

- And what other software and tools did you use when doing games at that time

Thanks Tim!!

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When it comes to verbs I think we should have them, but the way it should be done is object-->choose verb, instead of choosing verb first. More so, the verbs should at least have some logic to them according to the different objects you are interacting with. "Pull" shouldn't appear when I have chosen an object like a VCR, but could appear if the object was a rope or for humorous purpose if it was a finger.

When it comes to touchscreens I think that there should be some kind of visual cue so you'll recognize a thing as an interactable object when either choosing it or simply strafing over the screen with your finger if there's a lot of uninteractable objects.

So a verb coin? Like the Monkey 2 Special Edition had a nice verb coin that only showed what you could do with an object. It bothered me because in the original game they had wrote extra stuff for verbs you couldn't use.

Those (non-functional, but amusing verbs) should be included in the coin as well. The expanding verb coin sounds like a great compromise if they decide to go with verbs since it provides a few benefits: It allows the developers to use creativity with your interactions, it lowers frustration if the non-relevant(non-humerus) verbs are not shown, and it allows the developers to use less verbs for expedience reasons. This is all assuming that verbs are used.

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