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Troels Pleimert

Silly videos and nostalgia

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Oh, and I don't think anyone can blame you for being Space Quest'ed out, Chris. You've more than done your share. ;) In fact, it's hard to overstate just how much awesome you have brought to the series. You and the other hard workers of The Big Three are what's made it fun to be a fan again.

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...we'd probably want some confines so Roger doesn't save the universe every point along the way or keep visiting Monolith Burger.

You'll be amused to know knowledge of this has been eating away at me since having played the SQ2 remake that has just been released. When I came up with the original idea for SQ:OEOE, I reasoned Monolith Burger, in the timeline of the series between an sq1 prequel (which is what I was to make) and SQ3, would not be too overbearing; though now it'll seem more as though the idea had been inspired by my supposed playing of sq2 remake.

 

A similar though not quite as obvious example, is Agatron (the name of the planet which will be the test subject of the SG in my prequel, a name I derived as an 18-year-old by spelling Ortega backwards :oops: ) which I had always intended to be an ice planet (making perfect sense because it is at the far reaches of Earnon, further away from the star. Though, VSB features an ice planet already, beating me to the punch when it comes to depicting something new that hadn't been done in the original series of games, or, as in the case of Monolith Burger, expanding upon a shortly visited area which many of us anticipate other fans would have wanted to see more of.

 

I don't mean to sound competitive about it, but there does come a point when things become worn out, and it becomes more difficult to be original the more that time passes by and the more things that are already done. It's really quite natural that the Monolith Burger and ideas of an alternate climate planet such as an ice planet would be the subjects of fixation to some degree when any fan were to sit down and think of making an adventure. We always naturally try to take the next step derived from what has already been done, whether fully or partially, and to make our subject matter unique in comparison while still reminiscent.

 

When it comes to an issue such as this, I imagine it's best for the author (I in this context) to adapt and make changes inasmuch as it is possible without sacrificing the purity of the original idea. However, if it requires sacrificing the purity and fitness of the original idea, it's best off just riding it out and having a little faith in your instincts. I'm really not so much worried as I am slightly annoyed (by having seen this lapse of time create what may be as an artificial/coincidental sense of my having been short-cutting or uninspired in my ideas/methods); after all, my take of Monolith Burger is more than a brief store front such as is basically depicted in sq2vga (much respect to those folks for delivering a good fan game) or that depicted in sq3, or sq4. I'm going to be taking you DEEP into Monolith Burger. As for the ice planet, it will definitely not be a rip-off of VSB. It's screens and atmospheric feel were derived from my imagination plenty before I'd ever seen a screenshot of that game.

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I was speaking more to the point that shorter games within a single plot arc should try to avoid using all of the same plot points. Re-use of elements within SQ as a whole is inevitable - right now I can't think of a type of locale Roger hasn't visited, and some references to previous games are important to establish some semblance of a cohesive universe.

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Yeah, we've reached the limits of exploring one-note planets (desert, jungle, ice, lava, etc.) It doesn't mean we couldn't amp it up. SQ3 features a purple desert planet covered in lightning and giant snakes, after all. And SQ5 features a giant tree planet with poisonous air. Just pick an old idea and expand on it. Roger could visit a frozen jungle planet where the people are made of fire and travel by tornadoes.

 

I find shows like "Doctor Who" and "Futurama" are a very good example of how much farther you can take some of these ideas.

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I've always found it weird how other planets in science fiction shows are usually covered in roughly the same geology and seemingly populated by only one, usually uniformely dressed, race of sentient beings.

 

I don't get why we've come to expect Roger to be much of a planet-hopper, anyway. Josh keeps talking about how fans just want to see Roger bopping from planet to planet, and unfortunately he's right. But it was never a big element of the series to begin with. Confining Roger to a single planet for a good stretch was how the early games worked. I'd be glad to see a game where Roger was basically stuck on the same planet for most of the game; just visiting different continents and meeting different species of aliens.

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Ugh...I thought I replied to this thread the day before yesterday, but apparently I didn't.

 

Ironically, one of the things I was going to say then was that some of the reasons I didn't feel capable of making a SQ fangame (short or otherwise) was because I lacked any genuinely fresh ideas for a plot, settings or puzzles to pad out the game to a decent length (that and the fact that the area of sci-fi I'm most familiar with is short stories published prior to 1975. I'm not that familiar with anything in another medium and/or beyond that date).

 

I like the "group game" idea, though I'm not sure if I'd be up to participating. Some people on the AGS forums participated in a similar idea where the goal was to have a large number of artists, animators, musicians, programmers, etc. all working on a short game with each person not doing much more than an hour of work each. The average amount of work for each team member turned out to be much more than one hour and the game took a few months to complete, but it was still an interesting experiment to watch.

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(If we move much more forward with this idea it should probably be split into its own topic)

 

I think that if we design the overall plot first, then generate the rooms/characters/objects/etc for that, then individually work the design of the in-depth stuff around those assets (not creating a long cycle of work for animators and writers both) it should go faster. Especially if/since many character animations could be re-used.

 

And yes, more than an hour would be needed to create a game of any redeeming quality which ends up with a play-length of longer than half an hour, even with the assets ready to go.

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Well, far be it for me to poo-poo my own idea, but I wouldn't know how to find time to participate personally. I've got a minimum of three other game ideas brewing, one of which sorta has to be done by summer (and so far, not a line of code has been written yet).

 

Maybe it's an idea we should keep on the backburner until the planets align or something.

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Back on topic, live action footage for the third episode of my silly video series has been recorded. Now I just gotta capture some game footage and edit it all together. Luckily, I've already found a way to capture video from AGS games. Hee hee. ;)

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Now, there's a subject that needs clarification. The description of Sludge's relations in that "Space Quest Companion"-book is just cringeworthy. I had no idea Quirk is supposed to be Sludge Vohaul's nephew, or that Slash Vohaul is a clone of Sludge. In retrospect, I'm glad we just retconned the two Vohauls into blue-skinned brothers for VSB.

 

Screw Quirk and the Arcada scientist; fun sci-fi storytelling is all about expanding the universe. Not shrinking it. I keep using "Star Wars" as an example, but George Lucas made the same mistake with the prequels. When everything's connected, everyone keeps going to Tatooine (originally an outer rim dump; now it's the center of everything) and everyone knew each other all along, there's a lot less drama to the proceedings.

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Guys,

 

I don't believe the SQ Companions should be taken as canon as they contradict so strongly what the real authors of the series have said/would have to say in more than one instance.

 

Olzen,

 

Let me first tell you I am one of those avid fans who quickly downloaded VSB upon its release and have played through some of it already. Much kudos to you and your team; but I've got to admit if you chose to make both Vohaul's blue-skin toned, I don't find much credibility in that proposal, because Vohaul refers to the reason for his oddly appearance in SQ2 when he says "...being [his] own guinea pig has had its disadvantages," and Scott Murphy, when inquired about the matter of the two names, mentioned that Sludge is the evil twin. So, I must ask, "why should the good one of the two twins also have oddly appearance or blue-skin," and "why when the oddly appearance was a result of Sludge's experimentation on himself."

 

The fact that SQOEOE is a direct prequel to SQ1 and I have the datacart issue to contend with has already required me to ponder the matter much myself.

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Now, there's a subject that needs clarification. The description of Sludge's relations in that "Space Quest Companion"-book is just cringeworthy. I had no idea Quirk is supposed to be Sludge Vohaul's nephew, or that Slash Vohaul is a clone of Sludge. In retrospect, I'm glad we just retconned the two Vohauls into blue-skinned brothers for VSB.

I haven't actually read the SQ Companion, but considering my reaction to most of the material in it that I've found on the SQ Wiki (mentally shouting "Oh, come on!" at the monitor), I'm not sure if I ever will. Having every single humanoid villain in the series be related to or cloned from Sludge Vohaul is eyeroll-inducing. It's almost implying that every character is evil because they are related to Vohaul, and it cheapens Vohaul himself as well.

 

Roger himself is kind of cheapened as well in the SQC, which says that his father's side of the family is essentially an unbroken line of men (as well as one woman) all named Roger Wilco due to a tradition started by his distant ancestors.

 

(Oh yeah, and Roger's ancestors lived on 20th century Earth and were inspired to name their son Roger Wilco because of their love of the Space Quest series, which was created by the Two Guys from Andromeda that the Roger Wilco brought to 20th century Earth [because that black hole actually took him to the distant past], so now the Roger Wilco has to do what he did in the Space Quest games otherwise there will be a huge paradox and agh my brain)

 

 

I actually liked the decision to make Vohaul's entire family blue. It was cheesy, but in a good way. (Although I just had a thought...considering how Vohaul's skin changed to a regular flesh tone when Roger encountered him for the second time in SQ2 (both on the monitors in Roger's ship and in person) makes me wonder if there was some weird lighting in the room where Roger first encountered him that just made his skin appear blue in SQ2...hmm...)

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I also took Vohaul's blue skin to be part limited graphics palette and part bad result of his evil experimenting. Also, Vohaul's skin is actually pink in wide shots in SQ2. In SQ4 he's nothing more than a hologram. Probably monochrome. The blue could be coincidence. That's my view.

 

Nitpicking really, though, when it comes to fangames. It doesn't really matter because it's only fan fiction anyway. Which is great! Everyone has their own interpretations, as evidenced by the Companion itself.

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I actually liked the decision to make Vohaul's entire family blue. It was cheesy, but in a good way. (Although I just had a thought...considering how Vohaul's skin changed to a regular flesh tone when Roger encountered him for the second time in SQ2 (both on the monitors in Roger's ship and in person) makes me wonder if there was some weird lighting in the room where Roger first encountered him that just made his skin appear blue in SQ2...hmm...)

Yes, I always interpreted his blue skin in SQ2 as a result of the coloured lighting around him. Interestingly, he is blue in the SQ2 manual comic. And of course, in SQ4 there's no question he's blue; we see his face on the PocketPal monitor.

 

Now, I don't know who actually decided that Vohaul should be blue as a child in VSB, but here's something to consider that may give that some validity... if we assume that Vohaul's blue skin is the result of some gruesome self-experiment, why would he want his virtual self in SQ4 to look like that? Sure, he may have grown accustomed to that look, but still. Makes a lot more sense if he was blue to begin with.

 

Of course, and this is pure speculation, there's also the possibility that Vohaul's family weren't always blue-skinned to begin with. Vohaul's dad could have a reason for loathing the chemistry set. And that way, the blue skin is still a result of Sludge's experimentation :wink:

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(...) if we assume that Vohaul's blue skin is the result of some gruesome self-experiment, why would he want his virtual self in SQ4 to look like that?

Blue's a pretty color.

 

I'm not sure where we're all getting blue from, anyway. Yeah, his face is sort of blue in SQ2 (the comic was probably illustrated by someone who saw the SQ2 graphics and thought, "Hey, the dude's a smurf; better get that right"). My guess is, his skin isn't really blue; it's just decayed, frayed, varicose and more or less falling off in lumps. His veins are popping out of their weak confines, and what's pumping through them probably doesn't even resemble blood all that much anymore.

 

If you were to render that first dam-daa shot of Vohaul from SQ2 ("forgive me, I'm a kidder") in retina-display graphics, we would probably all be really, really disgusted. He's just supposed to look diseased.

 

The reason he's turned blue ever since SQ2 is probably because, as we're doing right now, people have looked at Crowe's original illustration and thought, "Okay. He's blue. But hey, the Simpsons are yellow, so who am I to argue. Fine, he's blue."

 

So, in that respect, having Young Vohaul be blue in VSB doesn't make any sense at all. But that whole sequence is all in the kid's mind, anyway, so fuck it. ;)

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Hey, don't forget SQ4 box cover, where Vohaul's skin is green.

Anyway, Sludge didn't mention his skin color while talking about disadvantages of being his own guinea pig actually. I suppose that he meant becoming mass of flesh and being connected to life-support system.

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That's true. As far as I remember, that line specifically says that he points at his life support apparatus.

 

So, in that respect, having Young Vohaul be blue in VSB doesn't make any sense at all. But that whole sequence is all in the kid's mind, anyway, so fuck it. :wink:

If you think of it like that, then his blue skin doesn't make a lot of sense, no. But like you're saying, it's just a mental projection. If he indentifies himself as someone with blue skin (and I guess he does, since he's blue in SQ4), that's probably also how he'd remember himself.

 

Oh, and while we're talking about VSB... did you know that we had planned the entire "Roger goes into Vohaul's mind and alters his personality"-sequence around 2003? Years before "Inception" (which is, of course, a kickass film) would pretty much go down the same route. Blew my mind when I realised it ;)

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Hey, don't forget SQ4 box cover, where Vohaul's skin is green.

I was actually waiting for someone to point that out. The gamebox is such a vital marketing tool, and I'd doubt the two guys wouldn't have had enough say over it before it was distributed.

 

I find the green of his skin on the box to convey the same perception regardless. When it comes to printing and publishing, a number of techniques are utilized to take greatest advantage of things like tones and color compliments, to draw the eye where it is desired or to make things appear more aesthetic. Arguing green versus blue is like arguing apples to apples, where blue or green to caucasian a whole other story.

 

For instance, I could point out that during the holographic image of Vohauls during SQ4's intro, Roger's hair is ORANGE. This is not detrimental to the conveyed idea, and is merely a visual technique such as I mentioned above. We perceive it as blonde because that is what we have come to expect.

 

I'll agree he didn't specifically mentioned his blue skin tone as a result of his experimentation, but I find that it is clearly implied. The blue skin would make sense going along with whatever oxygenation issues he's having relating to his cardiovascular system (heart pump, varicose veins, etc...)

 

I respectfully hold to my interpretation. I feel it is significantly substantiated. The sq2comic, also being included directly in the game box, speaks to its credibility regarding the skin color. It was not a third party piece in the same light as the RW comics.

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I always thought that Vohaul was blue in Space Quest 4 because, when he backed up his essence onto a floppy disk, he had not made provisions to create a rendering of himself in multiple fleshy colors and tones. After all, there's no guaranteeing that any computer he would be uploaded to would be capable of displaying images in 256, or even 16, colors. Given the limited space on a floppy disk, it would probably also take up unnecessary space, not leaving room for the virus itself. So he went with the safe bet of a monochromatic blue, since the color red would most likely bleed, and green isn't particularly intimidating.

 

...

 

What?

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In summary:

The author of the Space Quest Companion is bonkers and nothing in it has any effect on established SQ Canon, and

It doesn't really matter what color Vohaul is.

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