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Thomas Boisse and his team have won the well-deserved 1st prize in our "Retro Game" contest with their Maniac Mansion Remake. Let's find out more about this project.


Q: Why did you decide to create a remake of Maniac Mansion?

A: First of all we are big Maniac Mansion fans. When it came out centuries ago it revolutionized the adventure genre forever. Unfortunately the nowadays kid generation hardly get in touch with such an old classic. The main idea was to develop an adventure framework with which we could create our own games. While the picture of the framework was already manifested in our minds, the idea for an own adventure wasn't born yet. We decided to build GAS under real conditions and so we chose our all-time favorite Maniac Mansion.


Q: Can you tell us a few words about GAS (Gamestudio Adventure System)? What does it do?

A: GAS was built to be something like a construction kit for adventures (maybe similar to SCUMM). The main features are:

- full multilanguage support (including the possibility to easily add speech packs)

- over 40 properties (i.e. "can be taken", "can be opened") can be configured for each useable object (entity)

- uses csv files as a kind of DB

- c++ pathfinding

- unlimited number of playable characters (MM needs 3)

- unlimited inventories

- 4 configurable camera modes (panning, scrolling ...)

- light scripts that can handle different states (i.e. main power on / off in MM3D)

- small FX collection (water shader, flames ...)

- own save / load routines      

- scheduler to start functions at certain time points

- garbage collection (similar to Java GC)

- Java style hashmap and vector container

- and many more.


Q: Do you plan to sell GAS in the future, so that other users can create their adventure games more easily?

A: Maybe. First of all we will do some clean up work on GAS when MM3D is finished. After that we will add new features (i.e. a more modern controlling system without using verbs) that we will need for our first own adventure.


Q: What was the most complicated part of the game?

A: - Finding enough time to build up GAS from scratch and for all the modeling and texturing stuff.

- Finding out everything that can be done in Maniac Mansion (we still find new things) and finding all the cut scene triggers.

- Debugging.


Q: Did you get significant advantages (in terms of gameplay) for using Gamestudio’s 3D engine? Please name some of them (if this is the case).

A: We think A7 is a great engine. It comes with a lot of nice features and is very stable. A great advantage is that it gets new features and improvements all the time. During the last 12 months we made a lot of suggestions for future features and all of them have been included (thanks JCL). All engine bugs we've found have been fixed very quickly.


Q: What were the most important things you’ve learned while you were developing MM3D?

A: - Low-poly modeling

- How to speed up the scripts

- "Can you fix it, Yes we can!"

- Maniac Mansion is more complex than you would ever think  :-)


Q: What do you plan to do with the game? Did you try to contact LucasArts?

A: MM3D should be available for free. It's a game from fans for fans and for those who haven't played Maniac Mansion at all. It's also a homage to LucasArts for decades of great adventures. We didn't try to contact LucasArts yet.


Q: I hear that you’ll start working at a new game in the very near future. Can you give us a few details about it?

A: There's isn't too much to tell yet. The only thing we know is that we will develop our first own adventure (not a remake) on top of GAS after we have finished MM3D.


Thank you a lot, Thomas!