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Some thinking about a "Tales of Monkey Island Season 2", Mark Darin, and the "time"

posted by Voodoomaster on - last edited - Viewed by 416 users

This "Tales of Monkey Island" for me was an excellent work, and, as a beginning, I think was the best work that could be done. As a beginning.

In fact, if I want to thank the Telltale for giving us one of the best Monkey Island game ever (for me is an almost-full 9.5/10), I think that they can also do better in the next season. Because so many thinks were good, and so many thinks could have been better.

So, if I can give an advice to TellTale, now you make a big toast for the success all together :D, because you deserve it, but then, plan to eliminate the weaknessess of the game, and improve the strenghts...

For example, for me in the Episode 5, the design of the Crossroads, and of the LeChuck ship were the true example of how every thing in graphics should have been better, for example in episode one or three, with better light effects, more complex textures, and more complex 3d models. Because in Monkey Island, graphic and atmosphere are very, very important.

And, the general advice for the future, is to take more time to create thing BEFORE, so to avoid these "last minute run". Because, as showed in Episode 5, if you take more time to elaborate graphic and music, the result is absolutely awesome. And if you run too much, it's evident in the final result.

Talking about the gameplay, I think that Grossman and Stemmle did a wonderful work. Episode 1 was funny. Episode 3 was a masterpiece in gameplay. Absolutely various and pure fun. And Episode 4 was well-builded and hard.

But Mark Darin should have done something better, I think. I loved also Episode 2 and 5 because, i repeat, I generally LOVE the game. Expecially Episode 5 for me was a wonderful explosion of emotions. But I think that these 2 episode were a little worse in gameplay. Too much repetitive, simple, and with too many narrative forcings and "reverse puzzles"

For the one that don't know what's a reverse puzzle : in an adventure the goal is understanding what to do BEFORE, and how to do it AFTER. Reverse puzzle is when you almost randomly combine the objects you have, and only then you understand what's the goal of it. And should be avoided

So, at the end, i think that the next season should have FIVE EPISODES with :
The various gameplay of "Lair of Leviathan"
The challenging puzzles of "Trial and Execution of Guybrush Threepwood"
The well-written secondary characters of "Lair" and "Trial" (expecially of the first)
The characters-model variety of "Trial and Execution" and "Rise of the Pirate God" (expecially this last one)
The graphics, colors and music of "Rise of pirate the god" and "Siege of Spinner Cay" (expecially of the first)

And, obviously, Reginald Van Winslow :D

So in the future, take your time, and stop with the recycled short pirate-tall pirate models (the only short pirate model we want to see is WINSLOW :D ), with the MIDI music, and you will make the perfect game, and the ultimate Monkey Island.

I hope this can arrive to the Telltale team, and, all the thing I wrote were in my opinion, so I hope that all of you can write here your opinions about a next season, and strenght and weaknesses of this first game, too!!!

Allways thank you for the work!!!

27 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • Mark Darin is an excellent writer and designer. I'm guessing he just has a little trouble working with episodic, which is something experience will solve. (You can already see it happening in between 2 and 5.) Stemmle had that too, and it's clearing up for him.

    Maybe they need two guys, one to concentrate on writng and the other on design, the way Joe Pinney and Sean Vanaman do it? I'm not saying that Stemmle or Darin were underwhelming (I am a huge fan of both, and they both delivered), but there were some bits here and there that maybe needed a little time, or maybe needed a little polish, and having more people working on something might help. Leviathan is a good example of how to intertwine design and writing, on how make the puzzles an essential part of the story.

    Like I said, though: it's all been great. Tales has been the highlight of my year in gaming.

  • there were some bits here and there that maybe needed a little time, or maybe needed a little polish, and having more people working on something might help. Leviathan is a good example of how to intertwine design and writing, on how make the puzzles an essential part of the story.

    Absolutely agree with all of this.

    And also with the fact that Tales has been for me one of the best, and more emotionally-involving game of the last years. But in every way I can't lose the feeling that something better can be done, just with some little adjustement, and I have absolutely faith that they will be able to understand how to do this in the future...

  • I feel like I have to defend Mark Darin here a bit. I can see what you mean about the "reverse puzzle" thing for the final puzzle in episode five, but I think it works because it matched the emotions and tensions of the moment. Guybrush was supposed to be absolutely winging it, surviving best he could while the world was falling apart around him. Floundering a bit in that puzzle heightened the sense of confusion and tension.

  • I wasn't talking about the final puzzle. I think that a reverse puzzle was perfect for the tension of that last, wonderful moment in the game. I was thinking for example to the first part in the Crossroads with the "three trials". In all that part of the game was much easier trying, talking, picking up thing, and combining them so to see what could happen, than focus to the final scope of what Guybrush was doing. And was'nt so only for me...

    I don't say that was a bad work. As Kroms said, Darin improved himself as a writer also from Episode 2 to Episode 5. But I think that the Episode 3 and 4 remain the perfect "ideal" landmarks for a very good puzzle building in the future.

  • But I believe rather that Mark Darin, was able to give a beautiful face of Monkey Island. If you think about it, the surreal atmosphere of 5 would not exist. Monkey Island has always been very rational, explaining the supernatural with the voodoo. What now seems to be our enemy.

    Stemmle, I'd say that finally can take off the stain of Monkey 4, and take a medal.

    However, I like the puzzle in spinner cay,and many more. So I do not understand where is this ugliness of gameplay!

  • Albo!!! :D

    I love Spinner Cay however, the rythm, the adventure and the atmosphere of that episode were awesome. Simply it was'nt the best in puzzle building and in secondary characters writing, in my opinion. For that, Episode 3 and 4 were much much better...I'm only trying to focus on the best strenghts of the episodes to make some personal advice...I repeat that all "Tales of Monkey Island" was one of the best MI ever, but if they focus on its strenghts and weaknesses, the TellTale can make the BEST Monkey Island ever...

  • @Voodoomaster said: Albo!!! :D

    I love Spinner Cay however, the rythm, the adventure and the atmosphere of that episode were awesome. Simply it was'nt the best in puzzle building and in secondary characters writing, in my opinion.

    How can you say that about Anemone?! :eek: Not to mention Hardtack and McCormick!

  • Maybe for minor characters you're right.
    For the puzzle I like how they were built. For example egnima of having to merge the artifact was very nice.
    You have to consider that we are in another story, a substory, and I think this fits perfectly with the 12 rules of Gilbert.

  • How can you say that about Anemone?! Not to mention Hardtack and McCormick!

    Were all very nice, but for me not as brilliant as Bugeye, Santino, Moose, Judge Grindstump...

  • Well, I do think Darin did a spectacular job in writing The Siege of Spinner Cay. He has this lovely knack of being able to jump from heartwarmingly emotional to funny in one flick of the wrist. I sometimes wish he wrote more dramatic scenes - everyone's reaction to Guybrush losing his hand was a tad bit underwritten, I think, as user Zaarin once pointed out - but for the most part I get very excited when he's announed as a writer on a game. He's notably improved from Dangeresque 3, and then from Spinner Cay, and I can only see him getting better. I've loved all of his characters, from McGillicutty and Tetra to Galeb. You have to remember that he was the one who first wrote Morgan LeFlay and made Winslow so memorable as well.

    Stemmle too. He is a fantastic writer, one who can write brilliantly surreal comedy and then write a dramatic scene that takes something funny and makes it poignant ("UNHOLY THIS!"). His characters have been very good (though it took me until Chapter Four to warm up to Flotsam's residents). All I'm saying is that everyone still has a little to learn about weaving in design with their story. I only say this because of the disturbingly large amount of talent at Telltale. In many other cases I'd just say, "Yeah, good job. I loved it," and I do here, but they still have a little bit to learn, that's all.

    SurplusGamer once cited the beginning of Monkey 2 as a great example of this. The more you do, the more you learn about Largo LaGrande, and the more you find out about why he needs to go. There's elements of that throughout Tales (especially in 3 and 4), which is why I'm so interested in Telltale's future endeavors.

    Again: I love the games and I have enormous respect for the talent behind them. I idolize the Telltale staff, no exceptions. These games mean so much to me. But there's definitely room for improvement, just to match the talent's potential. Like, I dunno, promising all these areas you could go to in Spinner Cay, and then having one area, a replica of Flotsam's jungle, some barren islands as being the places you could actually go to.

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