The hypothetical "Ron gets Maniac Mansion IP" thread

But would you be more interested in a full remake than in making new games with new concepts altogether?

Making new games is far more interesting.


I´m a 100% behind you on this one, and argued many times that I never got into the style and feel of DotT because it was so far removed from what the original was and what I liked about it most. I also never cared for the more linear gameplay.
And I´ve always found that I´m in the minority, even on this forum.

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For full remake, do you mean you want to keep the overall general graphic pixel style, verb interface, original characters name, and change some rooms, part of the original puzzles, add special case animations?
So to speak: it would be Maniac Mansion, but made from scratch, with the new developing tools and experience gained from TWP?

I like the style and the humor in DOTT. And I like MM too. But I consider both games as two different games only set in the same universe. For examples the Edisons in DOTT are completely different to the Edisons in MM - and I do not mean only the graphics, they are different characters. So I can comprehend that other (and especially Ron) doesn’t like (the art style) of DOTT.

(btw: Please Dave Grossman, make more adventure games! And Ron too of course. And David of course. And Gary of course.)

Starts with the name. Nowhere in MM they were ever refered to as the “Edisons”. That´s the kind of retroactive perception that Ron was refering to I think. Though someone pointed out the name first appeared in the 1990 TV series (which I´ve never seen, because I don´t think it was ever on in germany, and I don´t really care either).

I was used to being afraid of them. Even after befriending Ed I was never sure if I could really trust him. And then even Edna turned out to be completly harmless. They all felt like they were sedated or something.

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If it makes you feel any better, I’m a MM fan who’s never even played DotT. I thought even the NES edition of MM smelled kind of sanitized. Maybe I was already too attached to the C64 version, that any changes in style just seemed wrong.

Personally, I’d be more interested in seeing what new concepts you have in your imagination, rather than a re-make.

I linked to this page before:

And because I completly agree on all points let me just quote a few:

On Day Of The Tentacle:

In 1993, a loose “sequel” was released, named Day of the Tentacle. I put “sequel” between quotation marks because, although it’s an enjoyable game, it is only loosely based on Maniac Mansion:

  • It was not designed by the same people.
  • It is very different in terms of tone, gameplay, atmosphere and humour.
  • You only play with one set of characters, there is only one way to beat the game, and there is only one ending, making it a much more streamlined game.
    In fact, the only true similarity with Maniac Mansion is that some of the original characters are featured in it, namely Bernard, Dr.Fred’s family, and the two tentacles.

On the NES port:

A much talked about version was released for the Nes in 1990, this time internationally. Although I know it has its fans, I personally dislike it and do not recommend it, for several reasons:

  • The graphics have been entirely, and inferiorly, redesigned.
  • The backgrounds have been simplified and are often non-scrolling, when they originally were. In the original version, the rooms were purposely designed to force you to enter them and go through them in order to see everything. This created a sense of exploration and dread (since you didn’t know what was around the corner) that is sorely missing here, as most of the time you only have to enter the room and stand in the doorway to see all there is to see.
  • Music is featured all throughout the game, notably, but not only, through the “CD Player” in your inventory. While it may seem like a good idea, I don’t think it is. The original version artfully combined comedy and horror, but here the omnipresent uptempo music gives the whole game a “cartoonish” and light-hearted feel which is detrimental to the atmosphere. In the original version, the absence of music keeps you on your toes and highlights the sound effects: the ominous ticking of the grandfather clock, the sound of a door telling you someone has just entered the room, the scary alarm sound warning you the house is about to explode… In the Nes version, these sounds are drowned in the music and don’t have anywhere near the same impact.
  • Nintendo’s censorship is all over the place, making the game blander in order to make sure it could not potentially offend anyone. Douglas Crockford, the man in charge of the Nes port, wrote an article on this frustrating experience called “The Expurgation of Maniac Mansion”, which you can read on his website (warning: it contains many spoilers).
  • You must play the game using the Nes controller instead of a mouse, which is not as convenient.

On the TV Show:

A TV series very loosely based on the game ran for three seasons between 1990 and 1993. Apart from a few very superficial similarities, the game and the series have absolutely nothing in common.

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There’s one idea I can think of that might make a re-make/sequel worth it. That is the idea of supporting real-time multi-player games. I’ve never seen that before with a PnC adventure game… Imagine choosing a kid, then finding 2 other kids in a virtual lobby to start a game with. It seems like it would be very complex to program, but how cool would it be to have 3 people wandering the mansion at the same time?

Of course there would have to be some kind of walkie-talkie feature so players can cooperate.
:reyes: “I’ll stay outside and wait for Ed’s package, you two go explore the mansion.”


I´m really very hard to impress, and a lot more cynical than I´d like to these days but…that idea sounds nothing less than amazing!

Maybe even allow players to be Dr.Fred and play a kind of hide-and-seek game with other players. We can dream, right?

Or play the freshly released Friday the 13th game in the meantime. Because that sounds a bit like that.

Yes, but I am a nostalgist. Half the fun would be exploring old and familiar scenes in a new way.

Yeah, that is a very cool idea! But, it makes my “developer head” explode. :slight_smile:


Yep. I’ve had that idea of a “multi player adventure game” several years ago. And it is horrible to implement. :slight_smile: Just think of the case that one player is offline but has an important object …

(But I have an idea how this could work … maybe someday I’m going to write a prototype. :slight_smile:)

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There was a project like this under development a few years ago, but observing their recent videos I think that they decided to loose the PnC elements and focus more on other aspects.

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Maybe something like the package that appeared in later versions near the tombstones of the deceased characters?

Have a warning which says:

“Do you really want to quit? If you leave the lobby now, all your items will be transfered to the cupoard in the first floor and can be retrieved by your friends or you when you come back”

Cool. Didn’t know about that. (And I like the visuals of the protoype…)

Nope. That wouldn’t work. For example what happens when the first player rejoins the adventure? He has to pick up the stuff again.

An extreme simple solution would be to halt the game if one player exists the game. But then the other players can play the game only if the first player rejoins the game …

As I´ve said he´d probably have to pick up the stuff himself. But keeping the others from continuing altogether is probably the better and less annoying (depending on how you look at it) solution.

But there is other problems. If you look at the way Maniac Mansion is constructed you can still play with just one chracter for like 80% of the game and totally neglect the others.

There is really only a few situations that require direct cooperation:

-If a chracter is trapped in the dungeon he needs another one to get out if no one has the key, yet.
-One chracter has to push the demon so another one can go to the cellar, but that is only neccessary if you want the key or get to the fuse box. But that and getting to lab can both be skipped if you have the key, you can always get yourself caught and move freely from there if you have the rusty and the glowing key.

  • One situation requires three chracters but only if you have Bernard or Jeff. One phones Edna, another one enters her room and a third one looks into the telescope. But you can do all that with two characters it only will take much longer.

Then you´d have to decide which characters want to be trained to open the grate and the garage door.

And there is probably quite a bit I´ve forgotten, but I think it would be wise to first assess how many play time each character gets if you play on your own, if it would really make sense or if you play mostly as Dave and use the others only if you really need them. Maybe it saves some more longer walks if you co op more. I don´t know still an interesting idea.

That’s one solution… another one might be to allow offline players to be controlled by one of the active players (the same way you switch back in forth between kids in the real version). In the case of MM it would only be necessary for a few minutes; to either give an important item to another kid, or use their special skill to solve a puzzle.
The more I think about it, the more cans of worms you run into with actually implementing multi-player.
Something like a quick game of hide-and-seek might be more feasible. I’m thinking along the lines of “battle mode” in Mariokarts as a quick game, as opposed to doing the complete circuit (rescuing Sandy).

But this is all just hypothetical. Like I said, I can dream, can’t I? :slight_smile: