Jump to content
Double Fine Action Forums
Sign in to follow this  
ThunderPeel

My request for Grim Fandango Remastered

Recommended Posts

I know I've mentioned this before in other threads, but this is my one request as a die-hard fan of the original game, and I really want to try and ensure the Dev team sees it. (Mark Cooke, Matt Hansen, Lee Petty, and of course, Tim Schafer!)

From what we can gather, the original game models have NOT been changed for the Remastered version. This is potentially a disappointment for a lot of us, but even if that's going to remain the case, there's one aspect of the game models that have ALWAYS looked incredibly rough, even in 1999: The hands!

I thought I'd take some images that really illustrate what I was talking about.

In the cutscenes the character's hands look like this:

http://i784.photobucket.com/albums/yy129/ThunderPeel2001/Manny-Hands2_zps11f97e10.jpg

But in the 1998 game engine, the best they could manage was this:

http://i784.photobucket.com/albums/yy129/ThunderPeel2001/Manny-Hands_zpsebc4bc5c.png

PLEASE, Double Fine, at least make it so at least the character's fingers look real for the Remastered edition! :(

Thanks! Love you guys!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just came back from watching an animation called 'Book of Life', it has a theme about the day of the dead. It was super fantastic. The textures of wooden dolls and the animated bones are very pleasing to the eye. My wish is for Grim Fandango to have a similar textures or something better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I just came back from watching an animation called 'Book of Life', it has a theme about the day of the dead. It was super fantastic. The textures of wooden dolls and the animated bones are very pleasing to the eye. My wish is for Grim Fandango to have a similar textures or something better.

Well, we've seen very early image leaks from the IndieCade stand. At the moment it appears that DF have gone down a very "purist" route, keeping the exact same models, but improving textures and lighting.

The image below left is from the IndieCade stand. It's a photo of a monitor, so there's lots of glare, and the colours are totally off, and it's really low res, but you can see it's the same model as the one on the right (taken from the original game), but with a nicer texture and lighting:

http://i784.photobucket.com/albums/yy129/ThunderPeel2001/grim-fandango-remastered-3_zps2f6ba191.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For those who may not have seen it, Tim has confirmed that the models will NOT be changing.

http://i784.photobucket.com/albums/yy129/ThunderPeel2001/tim-tweet_zpsedde5a82.png

So that means we'll still be seeing this sort of thing in the Remastered edition :(

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-NbjXqcqsR1w/TlWHyNBzgsI/AAAAAAAAAR8/ZSWIn3iShII/s1600/attachment.jpg

This fan is a little sad, but I guess we'll see how the lighting and textures improve things once we see some official screenshots/videos.

Still looking forward to playing Grim Fandango Remastered!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
For those who may not have seen it, Tim has confirmed that the models will NOT be changing.

http://i784.photobucket.com/albums/yy129/ThunderPeel2001/tim-tweet_zpsedde5a82.png

So that means we'll still be seeing this sort of thing in the Remastered edition :(

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-NbjXqcqsR1w/TlWHyNBzgsI/AAAAAAAAAR8/ZSWIn3iShII/s1600/attachment.jpg

This fan is a little sad, but I guess we'll see how the lighting and textures improve things once we see some official screenshots/videos.

Still looking forward to playing Grim Fandango Remastered!

Also, anti aliasing and ssao (though that may be too much budgetary strain) and simply rendering the model at a higher resoulution will all go a long way. People really underestimate what anti aliasing can do. I'm actually wondering if the backgrounds will be limited to the quite low 1080p (realistically, on todays PC's and especially tablets it's already low, and will be utterly pathetic in a few years time). Also if us 16:10 users will get any love (since they are pillarboxing anyway). I hope we aren't stuck with both letter and pillarboxing at once, since that looks truly terrible (even if it is just 'zooming' in by scaling the 16:9 version).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Also, anti aliasing and ssao (though that may be too much budgetary strain) and simply rendering the model at a higher resoulution will all go a long way. People really underestimate what anti aliasing can do. I'm actually wondering if the backgrounds will be limited to the quite low 1080p (realistically, on todays PC's and especially tablets it's already low, and will be utterly pathetic in a few years time). Also if us 16:10 users will get any love (since they are pillarboxing anyway). I hope we aren't stuck with both letter and pillarboxing at once, since that looks truly terrible (even if it is just 'zooming' in by scaling the 16:9 version).

You're right, AA does go a long way to making things look much nicer... but a cigar made out of two rectangles still looks pretty crappy, IMO.

http://i784.photobucket.com/albums/yy129/ThunderPeel2001/cigar-2_zps86d8d6a8.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd be interested to know whether the techies/artists at DF looked through all the work done on the Deluxe project to figure out how to upgrade the character models, and if so what additional issues there are which keep it at can of worms status. Hopefully there'll be some technical posts about this kind of stuff at some point in the future, along the lines of those we've been lucky enough to get about the Broken Age engine etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You, know, the can of worms Tim's referring to might not be only technical. There are publisher type pressures and constraints involved as well as expectations regarding what Grim is and isn't. I hope that some light is shed on the decisions to stick with the existing models is covered in the documentary - it seems like an interesting conundrum with a lot of potential benefits and pitfalls to navigate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As someone who was directly involved with modifying the models as part of Grim Fandango Deluxe, I don't *think* it's a technical can of worms. I wasn't the most technical or 3D guy on the team, but we managed to convert the models from their outdated format into something modern, modify them, and convert them back to that outdated format for use in the old game engine. I don't think it would be a problem for professionals with time and money, not to mention a brand new game engine they've built. In fact, I really can't see why it would be a technical issue at all, to be honest.

As such, I believe it's more likely to be an artistic, or possibly budgetary, issue. Tim might not like the idea of actually changing the look of the game too much. (Look at what happened with Guybrush's hair with the first Monkey Island Special Edition. Maybe he's afraid he'll upset us.) Or maybe he's thinking that modifying every single character in the game would require huge amount of time in conceptual thinking and artwork in order to do the job justice. I suppose it would be a shame to do a poor job with GF.

But bearing all the above in mind is why I suggested that, at the very least, they could make the fingers substantial, instead of 2D 'x's. There's literally no reason why that should take more than a few minutes per character, and it would look a LOT better.

I'd also love it if they just rounded a few of the harsher edges on the old models. They don't need to do what we did with Manny -- they don't need to do a complete redesign of the characters (since that appears out of the question anyway) -- but just some smoothing of the edges, like we managed to do with Glottis:

Before:

http://i784.photobucket.com/albums/yy129/ThunderPeel2001/manny-1_zps1c98d35a.jpg

After:

http://i784.photobucket.com/albums/yy129/ThunderPeel2001/manny-2_zpsda194d04.jpg

I did get in touch with DF Oliver on his blog to let someone at DF know that the folks at GF Deluxe would be only too happy to help in any way we could. He said he'd pass on the message to the right team, but as far as I know they only needed to get in touch with the guy who made the mouse mod. (Another reason to believe it's not a technical issue, I guess.)

Anyways, SOME adjustments to the models would be welcomed by this fan.

SIDE NOTE: DF seem to be getting it in the neck from fans lately, and I'm sensitive to sounding ungrateful or entitled... Because I'm actually super-psyched about Grim Fandango Remastered. So I just wanted to add that this thread comes from love for GF and DF and I'm sure I speak for everyone posting here when I say: We still love you guys!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I absolutely agree with everything said here - the game looks great even with the existing models, but the original hands always bothered me. It would be awesome if they could be made 3D.

That said, I'm not complaining by any means even if we get the same old 2D hands. I can't wait to play GF: Remastered, and I have no doubt Tim & Crew will do it justice!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps the remaster could offer some basic support for community model packs? Thus giving the most dedicated fans, like those behind Grim Fandango Deluxe, the opportunity to put together their personal ultimate version of the game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As such, I believe it's more likely to be an artistic, or possibly budgetary, issue. Tim might not like the idea of actually changing the look of the game too much. (Look at what happened with Guybrush's hair with the first Monkey Island Special Edition. Maybe he's afraid he'll upset us.) Or maybe he's thinking that modifying every single character in the game would require huge amount of time in conceptual thinking and artwork in order to do the job justice. I suppose it would be a shame to do a poor job with GF.

I think this might be part of it. A simple smooth is in actuality rarely just a simple smooth, it can change the character significantly. Mathematical interpolation is rarely what you want, and unlike the textures it's much less obvious how to extrapolate from the existing data on the models, which means each character will probably have to go through a number of iterations and evaluations, perhaps even a few round-trips back to the concepts.

And personally I don't think it's worth the effort unless you solve the biggest hurdle: the joints. You could have a polycount of a million and it would still look like crap with those separate, intersecting meshes, and I don't know if there's anything you can do about that in the existing rigging/skinning/animation system.

However I do agree that the fingers definitely look like they could be doable.

Although I'm really happy for Grim Fandango Remastered in any form and will pre-order as soon as it goes up on Steam, if there's one downside it's that this re-release means a from-the-ground-up remake of the game like the recent Abe's Oddysee is never going to happen. Not that I ever expected it or anything, but this kind of killed even the faintest bit of hope, and I can't help but wonder what would have happened with a Grim Fandango remake Kickstarter at the height of the Kickstarter craze (just imagining the possibilities for backer rewards has me salivating...)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to say, I disagree. You know I looked at the game again and I have to say your wrong about the hands. There isn't any actual difference in the models used in the game-engine or cut-scenes. Celso Flores always has higher poly hands, in-game too. I guess because they knew there were some close up shots for the cut scenes. Where Manny always has the lower poly hands. I know on the box-art Manny has higher resolution hands but never in the game.

I think you have already showed why it's opening a "huge can of worms" to mess with the game models. I mean where do you stop? You like higher poly hand, so do I. But you also liked adding more resolution to every model to make them look very rounded. Which I felt ruined the aesthetics of the models and accentuated the fact that the models are made up of multiple pieces. So who's right? I think the team has a solid plan: touch up the game but, don't try to change it. I wish you the best of luck with your mod but I think the guys at Double Fine are right not to change the models.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another problem is that if you smooth out the models too much, the in-game models start looking better than the cutscenes. Since the cutscenes won't be reshot from scratch (that's definitely out of the question for this remaster, as it's been stated that Double Fine is only going to be working from the source material), it would definitely be much wiser to make the in-game models match the quality of the cutscenes as much as possible in order to have a more consistent experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It seems very clear that they're championing the original game as a first class experience, and trying to focus on small passes that support the original game without deviating dramatically from it (lighting, re-recording the score, upresing textures, etc.).

I had half-written a post along the lines of what Jenni has said, but I think that it's not just the cutscenes, but also other elements within the game. It starts with new hand and face models for Manny, but it's got to be hard to know where to stop (do you re-do every single chracter's head? How much attention do you give elbow and wrist joints when the animations weren't designed for that kind of geometry? Do you do the fire effects on the beavers? Do you try to fix up Manny's shoulders and elbows? With all those other fixes, most characters' shoulder joints start to look a bit less polished, do you try to give those attention? etc.). It could be a slippery slope.

The silver lining is that Deluxe can continue and do/be something that enhances the remastered edition as well, and there's a bunch more perspective/insight into the original game's development that's being exposed that I'm sure is valuable for a project like that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have to say, I disagree. You know I looked at the game again and I have to say your wrong about the hands. There isn't any actual difference in the models used in the game-engine or cut-scenes.

I think it depends on the cut scene, and the characters in the cut scene. It's pretty inconsistent.

Another problem is that if you smooth out the models too much, the in-game models start looking better than the cutscenes. Since the cutscenes won't be reshot from scratch (that's definitely out of the question for this remaster, as it's been stated that Double Fine is only going to be working from the source material), it would definitely be much wiser to make the in-game models match the quality of the cutscenes as much as possible in order to have a more consistent experience.

In the original game, the models don't always match the cutscenes -- or at least they're a mish-mash of low poly and hi poly. By upping the quality of the textures and lighting for Remastered, they're going to look better than the cutscenes. Sometimes very noticeably so (there's plenty of closeups of Manny's blocky textured face, for example).

But I guess this is the "can of worms" Tim is referring to. If the models look TOO different from the cutscenes then it probably will be a jarring experience. That said, I never found it jarring using the Grim Fandango Deluxe model, and that's pretty different from the version seen in the cutscenes, and that's way less than what's being discussed here. I really think there's more leeway than people realise.

(Why not see for yourself by trying Grim Fandango Deluxe?)

Generally speaking, as PassPose has rightly pointed out, the cutscenes already feature hi-res/hi-polygon characters and low-res/low-polygon characters -- often in conversation with each other, sometimes even in the same shot! If they don't clash that badly when they're in the same scene together, I don't see why they'd clash when there's a jump to video(!).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If they definitely aren't going to improve the models, could I make another request to the developers: Could you use file formats that make it easier for us fans to tweak the models ourselves? Converting everything from the old formats to modern ones would just make everything easier all round, and reduce the need for us to develop our own conversion tools. You may have already done it to make current development easier, but I'm just asking that you don't then go and convert things into an very difficult format for the finished version :)

I know DF has opened their other games to modders, but I'm not asking for that sort of level of openness, just easier than the original GF :) Also, I'd also ask that you keep the original game's ability to accept new DATAxxx.LAB files (or your new equivalent). The old system made it really easy to drop finished changes back into the game and it'd be wonderful if you could keep this functionality.

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...