Let's Play - Monster Manor

Have you recently played a 3DO Multiplayer game? Want to write a review? Post it here!

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ewhac
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Post by ewhac » Fri Nov 16, 2012 6:05 am

Scarlettkitten wrote:@Ewhac Here's a pic of the 3DO software you loved so much :D
[horrifying image]
AAAGGHHHH!!!

Yup, that's it. How we ever got anything done on that tiny little screen, I'll never know.

Oh, wait, I didn't use that tiny little screen. I used an Amiga networked to the UNIX server... Hmm, looks like I have a topic to talk about in the next video :-).

Truth be told: Any artist who could get away with it (i.e. get someone else to buy a copy) used Photoshop and the 3DO export plugin written for it, rather than 3DO Animator. Debabelizer also saw a lot of use, as its image color converter (true-color to indexed) did a somewhat better job than Photoshop, and an infinitely better job than 3DO Animator.

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Post by Scarlettkitten » Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:49 pm

ewhac wrote: Oh, wait, I didn't use that tiny little screen. I used an Amiga networked to the UNIX server... Hmm, looks like I have a topic to talk about in the next video :-).
I'd have done the same 8)
My 3DO collection
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Post by JohnnyDude » Fri Nov 16, 2012 10:02 pm

ewhac wrote:
Scarlettkitten wrote:@Ewhac Here's a pic of the 3DO software you loved so much :D
[horrifying image]
AAAGGHHHH!!!

Yup, that's it. How we ever got anything done on that tiny little screen, I'll never know.

Oh, wait, I didn't use that tiny little screen. I used an Amiga networked to the UNIX server... Hmm, looks like I have a topic to talk about in the next video :-).

Truth be told: Any artist who could get away with it (i.e. get someone else to buy a copy) used Photoshop and the 3DO export plugin written for it, rather than 3DO Animator. Debabelizer also saw a lot of use, as its image color converter (true-color to indexed) did a somewhat better job than Photoshop, and an infinitely better job than 3DO Animator.
I'm actually very glad to hear verification the 3DO tools were a disappointment. I dove headfirst into the 3DO SDK to learn some of the inner workings. It was a nightmare even getting it up and running, first of all. I didn't like the basic development environment for sure. On top of that I found the various tools confusing, clunky, and ultimately unprofessional. I know it sounds arrogant, but I was really struggling to conceive how a "serious" developer could function efficiently. Somewhere the Burning Soldier or Monster Manor vids you both had joked about the mac-only requirement being a barrier to entry. That was the first verification from another human being I'd had on the suspicion and I'd assumed I'd never have the opportunity.

As additional disclaimer: I know 3DO did not have a huge budget for these things, and I found the amount they brought to the table impressive. That's a lot of development tools they cranked out.

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Re: Let's Play - Monster Manor

Post by a31chris » Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:43 pm

ewhac wrote:Let's Play - Monster Manor (3DO, 1993) - Levels 1-2

I guess this is the appropriate forum for these, so here's the first episode of our latest effort: Escape from Monster Manor. Since the game is too long to creatively edit down to even a gargantuan two hours, we're doing this one in episodic form as we work our way through the entire game. I'll post links in this thread to new episodes as they become available.

In addition to the fact that my co-host and I both used to work at 3DO, I also wrote (most of) Monster Manor in a blur back in 1993, and thus can hopefully lend a genuinely unique perspective on the game and its creation.

We hope you all enjoy it. Thanks for watching!
I have not gotten to that part in the video but what were your roles in making the game? Were you the artist? Writer? Programmer?

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Post by a31chris » Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:07 pm

ok I guess you were the main programmer. This is interesting.

Someone asked you guys if you would do a review on Killing Time which you guys did not work on yourselves. I posted a reply there I will repeat here:

If your crew were an original 3DO developer perhaps the insights you could provide on Killing Time could be how you would of improved the engine for it or done differently or maybe 'wow how did they do that!' comments. That would be very interesting IMO to see a former development team give technical thoughts on another dev teams work. I don't think anyone's every done that before.

And it doesn't matter if its been done before I think it would be interesting to see and hear anyways. :D

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Post by a31chris » Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:38 am

I'm slowly going through these monster manor vids. I love them! I'm on part 7. Or level 7. Fascinating about how they took the PSX version of NFS and dumbed it down to make it a different game. Does this also apply for the PC version? I can see now why the 3do version is considered a better game. That is really cool.

god I gotta gets all these games!

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Post by ewhac » Thu May 02, 2013 10:27 pm

Sorry to have kept y'all waiting...

Episode six is up!

Let's Play - Monster Manor (3DO, 1993) - Level 8

I did the sound differently this time, largely via the expedient of using a second microphone. Let us know what you think.

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Post by 3DO Experience » Fri May 03, 2013 2:48 am

YES!

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Post by BryWI » Fri May 03, 2013 8:24 pm

I have to watch this when I get the chance! I wondering about these the other day. :)

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Post by 3DOKid » Sat May 04, 2013 2:14 pm

Excellent. thanks.

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Post by a31chris » Sun May 05, 2013 11:04 pm

Crap I gotta yank the battery out of my 3do or it'll melt my motherboard? Put in a few one? How do I do this? I need to do this.

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Post by a31chris » Mon May 06, 2013 4:49 am

Great sound! I just noticed that when one of you guys the voice comes out of the right speaker and then when the other talks their voice comes out of the left speaker. Nice effect!

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Post by ewhac » Mon May 06, 2013 9:12 pm

a31chris wrote:Great sound! I just noticed that when one of you guys the voice comes out of the right speaker and then when the other talks their voice comes out of the left speaker. Nice effect!
Well, in fact, that's how it was always supposed to sound. Previously, I put one of these in between us, with me on the left and gammadev on the right. And while that worked okay, I decided after listening to our videos again that that picked up too much room echo. (Five months of off time can give you some perspective.)

So I got a second mic, and now we each have our own. But I still mix things in post such that I come out on the left and gammadev comes out on the right.

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Post by Martin III » Wed May 08, 2013 12:18 am

Great to see you're back at it! I'll post comments for this on YouTube as soon as I've gathered my thoughts.

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Post by 3DOKid » Wed May 08, 2013 9:00 pm

I have to say i love these videos. The insights and comments are fantastic. It's nice because a lot the internet has been (including myself) regurgitating that same old stuff for 20 years, taken from Magazines and other 3DO websites. The snippets of insider 'stuff' on 3DO makes this a must watch.

I've been a 3DO fan for years, and genuinely a joy to listen to them.

I also could not believe anyone liked Soccer Kid that much. It was okay and all, but... (really?)

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Post by ewhac » Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:28 pm

Episode 7 is up!

Let's Play - Monster Manor (3DO, 1993) - Level 9

I manage to complete the level without incident (and then forgot to save it), all while discussing Jobs and Wozniak, and video codecs. We even take a brief visit to Killing Time to have a look at its codec.

Hope you like it.

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Post by 3DO Experience » Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:48 pm

ewhac wrote:Hope you like it.
I know I will! Thank you again!

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Post by BryWI » Thu Jun 06, 2013 8:09 pm

As always, a great watch/listen. Thanks!

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Re: Let's Play - Monster Manor

Post by ewhac » Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:08 am

BTW, in case anyone wondered, this is my setup for recording these things.

The 3DO FZ10 (back-right) has audio splitters on it. One side goes into the big-screen TV with the composite signal; the other goes in to the Pinnacle Dazzle video capture device (the white thing on the floor) with the S-Video signal. The video is captured by the laptop using 'mencoder', which is then stored directly on the NAS (not pictured).

gammadev gets the mic on the left (the good one; and yes, it's just jammed into the cushions there), which feeds into the mic/field recorder in the middle, which is mine.

After we're done, I take all the various files and plunk them into Kdenlive, screw around for several hours, and hopefully something watchable comes out.
Attachments
recsession.JPG
Recording setup on 15 June 2013.
recsession.JPG (245.87 KiB) Viewed 6473 times

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Re: Let's Play - Monster Manor

Post by a31chris » Mon Jun 17, 2013 5:14 am

You guys live real close to each other?
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Re: Let's Play - Monster Manor

Post by goldenband » Fri Jun 28, 2013 10:26 pm

I finished watching these a few days ago. It's rare for me to make time for such a lengthy series*, but it's 100% worth it -- these videos are just jam-packed with inside information, funny anecdotes, cutting observations, technical knowledge...great stuff. I wish we had transcripts of them, can we hire a closed-captioner or something? :mrgreen:

A lot of the questions that came up in the other thread were, as Martin III predicted, answered by the later videos in the series. But I'd still love to know more about that canceled project (Planet Hopper?), and the alleged myth of the $700 price point for 3DO consoles (you mentioned at one point that it's bogus).

I'd also love to know whether what I've read about the 3DO OS is true, i.e. that there's absolutely no way to bypass it and bang directly on the hardware. Some writers have claimed that the 3DO can't be pushed as hard as it might be because of the OS. Have you seen the page with the guy who overclocked a 3DO, and allegedly got better framerates from certain games?

BTW if it'd be useful, I have my notes from Level 10 for your prep work/pre-playing. As I recall, the lower-right (4:00) entrance on the inner circle leads to the talisman, and the upper-right (12:30) entrance on the outer circle leads to the exit. Everything else is a red herring, though the pair of southeasterly exits on the outer circle have a stash of health/ammo that can be useful if you can manage the enemies.

Oh, and while it was good to hear some discussion of the vibrant Atari 2600 homebrew scene, I'm 99% sure the VCS Doom that was mentioned in an early video is a total fake -- no one's done anything remotely close that I know of.

Also, in your discussion of the 3DO Zone forum name (which was like nails on a chalkboard to one or both of you?), I think you've overlooked a far more obnoxious mangling of the console's name: "Three-doo." :twisted: My fiancée and I will call it that as a joke from time to time, and even made up a little song to the tune of the Stonecutters' theme from the Simpsons...

*(I do trim off some time by downloading the videos from Youtube and watching them in VLC at 1.25x speed or so, which works well -- the speech is usually just as intelligible, and if I miss something I just go back and slow it down.)

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Re: Let's Play - Monster Manor

Post by ewhac » Tue Sep 10, 2013 5:12 am

Episode 8 is up!

Let's Play - Monster Manor (3DO, 1993) - Level 10

We also sneak in some time with Starfighter (because I suck), and we give a brief shout out to this place :-).

We hope you enjoy it.

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Re: Let's Play - Monster Manor

Post by goldenband » Tue Sep 10, 2013 5:26 am

Awesome! :D Looking forward to checking it out sometime tomorrow.

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Re: Let's Play - Monster Manor

Post by a31chris » Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:42 am

The reason I don't like Cybermorphs sequel, Battlemorph on the Jaguar is because it should of been more like what Starfighter was on the 3do.

I gotta get this game but its so expensive.
What came after the Jaguar was the PS1 which for all it's greatness, ushered in corporate development and with it the bleached, repetitive, bland titles which for the most part we're still playing today. - David Wightman

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Re: Let's Play - Monster Manor

Post by Austin » Mon Sep 16, 2013 8:37 am

a31chris wrote:The reason I don't like Cybermorphs sequel, Battlemorph on the Jaguar is because it should of been more like what Starfighter was on the 3do.
I dunno.. I kind of liked it [a lot more than Cybermorph] because it was more of what Cybermorph probably should have been. Music in the background, more paths to take in each stage, underwater versions of the music tracks, more textures on the objects, etc., etc. It was a much deeper game overall, and thus as a result was a better game for it (although I have to admit, I do enjoy Cybermorph as it is, considering it was a freebie and all).

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Re: Let's Play - Monster Manor

Post by a31chris » Tue Sep 17, 2013 7:51 am

Austin wrote:
a31chris wrote:The reason I don't like Cybermorphs sequel, Battlemorph on the Jaguar is because it should of been more like what Starfighter was on the 3do.
I dunno.. I kind of liked it [a lot more than Cybermorph] because it was more of what Cybermorph probably should have been. Music in the background, more paths to take in each stage, underwater versions of the music tracks, more textures on the objects, etc., etc. It was a much deeper game overall, and thus as a result was a better game for it (although I have to admit, I do enjoy Cybermorph as it is, considering it was a freebie and all).
To me it just seemed to be an uninspired token improvement over Cybermorph. Water levels with creatures that were out of proportion. Graphically it was rather lazy and kinda goofy concept wise. The force fields and power lines were just phoned in. Along with the Battlemorphs ships 'shots'. (ping pong balls again) Crappy uninspired explosions, collisions etc.

Actually I need to rephrase that. I like Battlemorph by itself. Its ok I guess and is an improvement over CM. Compared to everything else out there ATD just really didn't seem to try. They seemed to stop caring after they did what could be considered adequate work for the game to be considered a sequel.

But we're getting OT. :)
What came after the Jaguar was the PS1 which for all it's greatness, ushered in corporate development and with it the bleached, repetitive, bland titles which for the most part we're still playing today. - David Wightman

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Re: Let's Play - Monster Manor

Post by 3DOKid » Wed Sep 18, 2013 5:12 pm

ewhac wrote:Episode 8 is up!

Let's Play - Monster Manor (3DO, 1993) - Level 10

We also sneak in some time with Starfighter (because I suck), and we give a brief shout out to this place :-).

We hope you enjoy it.
Another good video. You seem to be getting stuck mind. Keep in mind grand_barbare on here has finished it something like 20 times (or more). So, if you need any help... :wink:

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Re: Let's Play - Monster Manor

Post by a31chris » Fri Sep 20, 2013 9:01 am

This is the most awesome and informative series of video game videos I think I have ever watched. I really enjoy them.
What came after the Jaguar was the PS1 which for all it's greatness, ushered in corporate development and with it the bleached, repetitive, bland titles which for the most part we're still playing today. - David Wightman

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Re: Let's Play - Monster Manor

Post by 3DO Experience » Fri Sep 20, 2013 9:55 pm

Agreed.
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Re: Let's Play - Monster Manor

Post by 3DOKid » Thu Sep 26, 2013 8:44 pm

3DO Experience wrote:Agreed.

I agree too. I use jdownloader (should I mention this?) to download the mp3 from the youtube, and then listen to them in the car. It's awesome. Back in 1994 on rec.games.video.3do we would have paid for this insight. The worlds moved on but... it's awesome.

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