Anyone want to peer review my article on early LucasArts?

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Anyone want to peer review my article on early LucasArts?

Post by The_cranky_hermit »

There's a project I've been working on for a couple of months, that I called "Gaming Appreciation 101." The gist of it is it's a 50 chapter textbook on the history of video games, with the focus on games that are very high quality, important to the development of games, and relatively accessible to newcomers. Each chapter has one game that is required playing, but most of them (all of them so far) also discuss other games by the same developer, for background information.

One of the chapters is on early LucasArts, and I just finished writing it this week. It talks about five games - Maniac Mansion, Zak McKracken, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Loom, and The Secret of Monkey Island. The goal of discussing the first four games is to explain why they mattered to LucasArts' history. The goal of discussing The Secret of Monkey Island is to explain why it mattered to gaming's history.

Here's the page: ... key+Island

Mostly what I'm looking for is any important points for any of these games (especially the first four) that I failed to discuss. But I'm also interested in fact-checking, substance improvement (i.e. "this sentence is confusing the way you word it"), or even technical editing. Any feedback at all is welcome, really.

Thanks in advance.
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Post by Red_Breast »

No Monkey 2? I would think it's just as important because of it's soundtrack.
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Post by somaen »

NB! My way of reviewing stuff is by assuming it's A+, and then deduct points, so this will mostly be a list of things that could have been better. Just so you know that I ain't being derisive.

First of all, the choice of using Zak256 is odd, since it gives the impression that Indy was a move backwards in the graphics-section. (Might be worth noting as an image-text atleast) Also, using the filtered images (like for Loom) is rather non-representative.

Your grade-scale is a bit confusing, if 2/4 is "Very Good", then what is left for the rest of the upper and lower scale. In my mind 2/4 is rather average. Unless your scale starts of at 0 being something other than "Avoid". Although, I see the fact that you might want to have a scale of excellency with games like these, to sort them better among themselves (otherwise you'd be giving out a whole bunch of 4/4's)

Maniac Mansion was also not the first game LucasFilm Games made, Labyrinth might be worth a mention for instance (if memory serves me right, Douglas Adams was even involved in the brainstorming for that one).

The link to the FM-Towns LOOM could be a bit on the shady side.

An interesting sidenote on Indy3, Steven Spielberg loved the game, and did call in to the team to ask for hints to the puzzles. (If only I had a link to the source for that tidbit, I think it was on grumpygamer, Ron Gilbert's blog).

Other than that, a nice handling of the topic, I'll be sure to take a look at the rest whenever I get the time.
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Post by Pseudo_Intellectual »

You discuss "early" Lucasarts while you jump right into its teenaged years -- largely irrelevant as the earlier titles are to the SCUMM adventure games, they're still a logical progression in matters such as LA publishing its own games (see: Labyrinth for that last gasp) and even just the development of a general aesthetic (see: Habitat).

It might be further interesting to take a look at what was going on upstairs -- Lucasarts and Pixar were both interesting but expensive experiments from Lucas trying to figure out what to do next with too much success under your belt. (Turns out being too far ahead of your time can be expensive!)
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