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Juanique

Grim Fandango remaster - how much change from the original?

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What do you guys expect from the Grim Fandango remaster? should it be a frame by frame replica of the original game but with improved graphics, sounds, etc? (like the Monkey Island remakes) or do you guys expect maybe new scenes, puzzles, or other gameplay elements?

Personally, I don't want something that is exactly like the original one. For one simple reason: the original one already has good enough graphics and sound. Sure, they can be improved, but I still think that the Grim Fandango graphics are awesome, so making it a bit more awesome is not something that excites me.

I would like to see a bit of new content. For example, get to see more of the Day of the Dead festival on the street! I imagine finding the source of the music (the festival music is my favorite music in any videogame), a calaca music band or something. The Grim Fandango world is so rich that I would love to explore it more. How about showing more of the giant cats in rubacava? how nice it would be to watch a race.

The story in general I don't think should be touched, maybe a couple of new puzzles could be nice, from wikipedia:

"Even with the delay, the team had to drop several of the puzzles and characters from the game, including a climactic five-step puzzle against Hector LeMans at the conclusion of the game;"

I would love to see some of the original puzzles Tim had in his mind that didn't get into the game.

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Well, it's a remaster not a remake.... If you think in movie terms, then I would not expect huge improvements or new content...

Running on modern hardware, improved resolution, remastered audio, maybe adjusted controls... not nothing really beyond that.

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While the music and voice acting is perfect, if they don't improve the 3D, I'll be very unhappy. Grim Fandango was one of the first 3D games, and it really shows. I'd love to see everything about the game move towards reflecting Peter Chan's wonderful original concept artwork, or at least the level seen in the cutscenes.

Cutscene 3D (video):

attachment.jpg

In game 3D:

attachment.jpg

It'd be AMAZING to have a few puzzles that were cut for budget, but I don't know how realistic that is.

Personally I'd like to see a little more detail added to the backgrounds in places, too. They look overly computer-generated in places. I'd also like to see the tank control walk paths improved, so there's fewer moments of Manny hitting a wall and slowing rotating around, then hitting another wall, and rotating, etc. He should be guided towards exits automatically, so you don't have to have the exact right angle.

In terms of extras: Who doesn't want to see all of Pete Chan's amazing sketches? Maybe there could be a commentary with the team, too?

But other than that, I think I'd be very happy indeed!

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They're not going to add in any puzzles, I'm almost certain of that.

They'll make the game playable, improve the graphics (3d models and textures seem like a no-brainer) and update the control options, make stuff hi-res where they can but that's about it, I'd say. And add 'DVD' style extras, I'm sure.

I wouldn't set your expectations any higher than that - and I think actually that's a good thing. The real headline here is that the game will be properly playable once more without any hiccups, looking better than ever and I'll be able to recommend the game I remember playing to friends who didn't catch it first time around. That's all I ever really wanted from a rerelease.

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Yep, I'll be super-happy with some nice 3D improvements, some small updates to the controls, and a smattering of extras.

I wonder what achievements they could add? Hmm.

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I'm certain they'll at least access the original 3D sources of the backgrounds and rerender them to be in 1080p, probably more so you can scale it. I didn't really have much of an interest in the 3D (non prerendered) objects being improved... but now that I see that guys comment about how they could at least bring them to the level of the custscenes, he has a point. The cutscenes are an example of how you could improve all of Grims graphics, and not have it look weird or anything.

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I wonder what achievements they could add? Hmm.

If Tim's playthrough is any indication, catching the pigeon? :P

And maybe something related to the signpost, as that's probably the hardest puzzle of the game. Or at least that's where I was stuck the longest time on my first playthrough.

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I'm certain they'll at least access the original 3D sources of the backgrounds and rerender them to be in 1080p
If only it were that simple :(

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I'm certain they'll at least access the original 3D sources of the backgrounds and rerender them to be in 1080p
If only it were that simple :(

I think the chances of them still having all the necessary source data are extremely slim.

And it's been over 15 years and I imagine 3D rendering software and data formats have changed a lot since then, so even if they did have everything it would probably be a nightmare to set it up correctly again.

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I think the chances of them still having all the necessary source data are extremely slim.

I disagree, considering Lucasfilm's history (and by extension, LucasArts) of liking to archive everything.

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I think the chances of them still having all the necessary source data are extremely slim.

I disagree, considering Lucasfilm's history (and by extension, LucasArts) of liking to archive everything.

They don't have any of the original files from The Secret of Monkey Island. I don't think they were that good at all with LucasArts/LFG, unfortunately. I seriously doubt they have any of the original 3D files from the backgrounds.

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They don't have any of the original files from The Secret of Monkey Island.

Really? I don't recall that coming up during the production of the remake.

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They're not going to add in any puzzles, I'm almost certain of that.

They'll make the game playable, improve the graphics (3d models and textures seem like a no-brainer) and update the control options, make stuff hi-res where they can but that's about it, I'd say. And add 'DVD' style extras, I'm sure.

I wouldn't set your expectations any higher than that - and I think actually that's a good thing. The real headline here is that the game will be properly playable once more without any hiccups, looking better than ever and I'll be able to recommend the game I remember playing to friends who didn't catch it first time around. That's all I ever really wanted from a rerelease.

Man, if they did that (no more, no less), I would be so happy.

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Really? I don't recall that coming up during the production of the remake.

Where did you look? This is why Spiffy wasn't included... the original artwork has long since been lost, unfortunately.

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Really? I don't recall that coming up during the production of the remake.

Where did you look? This is why Spiffy wasn't included... the original artwork has long since been lost, unfortunately.

I'm not completely sure that was the case. Even if they did have the Spiffy artwork, it would have been the cartoony style for the EGA version rather than the realistic style for the VGA version (since Spiffy was cut before the EGA version was shipped, the realistic remake wouldn't have had any Spiffy concept art done for it), so it would have looked off if they inserted it into the included classic mode, even if they were able to do it.

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They're not going to add in any puzzles, I'm almost certain of that.

They'll make the game playable, improve the graphics (3d models and textures seem like a no-brainer) and update the control options, make stuff hi-res where they can but that's about it, I'd say. And add 'DVD' style extras, I'm sure.

I wouldn't set your expectations any higher than that - and I think actually that's a good thing. The real headline here is that the game will be properly playable once more without any hiccups, looking better than ever and I'll be able to recommend the game I remember playing to friends who didn't catch it first time around. That's all I ever really wanted from a rerelease.

Man, if they did that (no more, no less), I would be so happy.

Me too. I'd actually just be happy with improved graphics and controls, but I really hope they do include some DVD style extras too. A 2-Player Productions documentary on the production would be awesome, but that's probably hoping for too much.

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I would like to see a bit of new content. For example, get to see more of the Day of the Dead festival on the street! I imagine finding the source of the music (the festival music is my favorite music in any videogame), a calaca music band or something. The Grim Fandango world is so rich that I would love to explore it more. How about showing more of the giant cats in rubacava? how nice it would be to watch a race.

All this world to explore and still we wonder what's just around the corner, the places that we can't reach :). I share your enthusiasm Juanique in wanting to see more of Grim! And yes, also in particular of the festival. During my first playthrough I was for quite some time pretty obsessed with the "crates that are completely blocking the sidewalk. What if there were a fire!" Which led me to think (in the mindset of desperately wanting to join the festival and in not really grasping Manny's message) that I had to set the things ablaze myself to clear the path. Alas, I only found a fire-extinguisher. Sigh.

Olivia's door was intruiging in another way, since it was impossible to see whether it only led to a tiny room/office, or that it was a hallway to a larger room. It actually sounds kind of dull now I'm writing it down. Perhaps there was some logic in not being able to go there anyway :P. However, I know there's someone on this forum who feels the same way, he or she suggested it as an option for a world in Broken Age: 'Whatever's behind Olivia's door'. Made me laugh :).

The cat track left me less traumatised when I discovered you can see some cats 'racing' if you wait long enough for it on the balcony/overview next to the ticket offices. It was just for a couple of seconds and they were tiny (as you're standing far away), but they were there.

Anyway. Sweet memories (for the time being!) aside. It will be great to see Grim after it's makeover and polish! I don't think there will be any more game content nor do I really want it. Some things are better left to the imagination I think ;). But maybe some cool merchandise to go with it? I'm thinking: a special package with the soundtrack, or some art-stuff or posters.

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It's killing me not knowing what they're going to do... And still no contact from DF, either (and I have reached out).

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It's killing me not knowing what they're going to do... And still no contact from DF, either (and I have reached out).

Tim has talked about it a bit on Twitter earlier today. Seems like they're still figuring out exactly what they can and cannot do (Today, he was asked specifically about the music being re-recorded, and he responded by saying that they're still doing a lot of R&D to figure out how far they can take it).

Gotta also keep in mind that Grim HD is being traditionally published, so DF probably contractually has to keep quiet on much of the game's development unless Sony/Disney lets them talk about it.

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Tim has talked about it a bit on Twitter earlier today. Seems like they're still figuring out exactly what they can and cannot do (Today, he was asked specifically about the music being re-recorded, and he responded by saying that they're still doing a lot of R&D to figure out how far they can take it).

Gotta also keep in mind that Grim HD is being traditionally published, so DF probably contractually has to keep quiet on much of the game's development unless Sony/Disney lets them talk about it.

Yep, very true, but I have to say that the idea of re-recording the music sounds incredibly wasteful to me. It's not like it had a MIDI soundtrack, it's always had a full score, played by real musicians. The sound is already wonderful in Grim.

It'd be nice if the development team had reached out to us, but I guess they haven't felt the need to. (The user "Mogul" on the ResidualVM forums is one of the original GF programmers, too.) Although maybe they've reached out to the Point N' Click mod guy.

Aside from the 3D, I'd be extremely happy if they redid the cut-scenes in HD... keeping them as close to the original (aside from increasing the quality of Manny's model).

It'd be nice if they re-rendered the backgrounds, but again, just manually touching up what's already there would probably give the same results.

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I agree re-recording the score (or voice-overs for that matter) would be worse than pointless and I don't really understand where those requests are coming from. If they could just fix the audio at a higher quality instead of the 22kHz files that are in there now that would be it.

I suppose maybe there's something they could do with the sound effects or remix it or something to make everything blend a little better if it improved the atmosphere. On the other hand the fact that the original soundstage was so simple and sparse means I have so many of the of those effects burned into my head, from the scythe-unfolding sound to the squeaking balloons and even crumbing the bread.

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Yep, very true, but I have to say that the idea of re-recording the music sounds incredibly wasteful to me. It's not like it had a MIDI soundtrack, it's always had a full score, played by real musicians. The sound is already wonderful in Grim.

Actually it is a mix of live musicians and MIDI stuff. The jazz tracks still sound completely awesome (actually I just listened to it now) and should of course not be changed at all! Not in any way!! :) What sounds more dated in places are the orchestral parts which are indeed MIDI. Like THIS track for example...

A truly wonderful piece of music, yes, but just imagine how great this would sound with a real orchestra... :D

The real challenge would be the tracks that mixes instruments (that are already recorded and played, beautifully) with the orchestral MIDI stuff. Because (I am a composer myself, so trust me on this one), going back and trying to open old project files like that (if they can even be found) is a total nightmare, and in the Pro Tools world, 1998 is like REALLY ancient. Something is almost certain to not work, because of outdated hardware and/or software setups and various compatibility issues.

So I'm indeed curious of how they will approach the music... :)

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Interesting reading. Thanks for sharing that! I guess you're right, there is some MIDI in there, although it still sounds great.

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It'd be nice if the development team had reached out to us, but I guess they haven't felt the need to. (The user "Mogul" on the ResidualVM forums is one of the original GF programmers, too.) Although maybe they've reached out to the Point N' Click mod guy.

The Sony lawyers might not like this in case it opens them up to people demanding payment for their contributions down the road.

The devs can always just read through all the threads on your board..!

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The Sony lawyers might not like this in case it opens them up to people demanding payment for their contributions down the road.

The devs can always just read through all the threads on your board..!

Well, technically, anything we've created is classed as a "derivative work", which means they own it all already (and it's one of the reasons who you can't charge money for game mods). Still, you could be right, they might not want to get in touch incase it's a hornets nest of bad press -- even though everyone I've asked is more than happy to help DF for free.

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Yep, very true, but I have to say that the idea of re-recording the music sounds incredibly wasteful to me. It's not like it had a MIDI soundtrack, it's always had a full score, played by real musicians. The sound is already wonderful in Grim.

Actually it is a mix of live musicians and MIDI stuff. The jazz tracks still sound completely awesome (actually I just listened to it now) and should of course not be changed at all! Not in any way!! :) What sounds more dated in places are the orchestral parts which are indeed MIDI. Like THIS track for example...

A truly wonderful piece of music, yes, but just imagine how great this would sound with a real orchestra... :D

The real challenge would be the tracks that mixes instruments (that are already recorded and played, beautifully) with the orchestral MIDI stuff. Because (I am a composer myself, so trust me on this one), going back and trying to open old project files like that (if they can even be found) is a total nightmare, and in the Pro Tools world, 1998 is like REALLY ancient. Something is almost certain to not work, because of outdated hardware and/or software setups and various compatibility issues.

So I'm indeed curious of how they will approach the music... :)

I can confirm this. I spoke with McConnell on his Facebook page:

I was doing some research for the instruments and freelance musicians who performed on Curse Of Monkey Island (a lot of sounds were interesting and I wanted to use them on my songs), but I didn't find a way to contact Michael Land, so I contacted Peter on his facebook fanpage. He didn't work that much on CMI, but provided me with some nice insight, since musical production on CMI, GRIM and EFMI was approached the same exact way:

- Lots of live instruments (drums, bass, electric\acoustic guitars, A LOT of percussions, winds\brass) were recorded and mixed with synthetised stuff;

- Almost every MIDI operated synth\sample library (mostly orchestral samples - every orchestra you hear in CMI, GRIM and EFMI - , but also organ - like in CMI - harp, choir pads, and other minor stuff) was taken from the E-MU Emulator library (Proteus 1, 2 & 3 to be precise...). Other sounds were taken from a Roland Sound Canvas. As a matter of fact you can have most of that library for free converted into a VST called ProteusVX.

- Since those I mentioned were external sound modules, my guess is that they recorded those directly as live audio performances instead of recording raw MIDI signals, for portability reasons

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Interesting stuff. It would be nice to hear the MIDI parts of the songs re-recorded. I have a sinking feeling that they don't have the masters anymore, though.

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I have the answer!

Peter McConnell

Hi Andrea, Those tracks are somewhere with Disney now. And some friends of mine are looking at how they might be used. Access outside of the company will be difficult for a while, though. BTW didn't LEC release a live version of the CMI score?

This was about 3-4 months ago, when I asked him about CMI multitrack masters they used on Videogames Live 3 album.

I'm 99% sure they have GRIM if they have CMI.

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