The Dink Network

Making of Mystery Island (The)

November 28th, 2020
Score : 6.1 fair
Peasant Australia steam 
With the filename of Tut2.htm, The Making of Mystery Island is intended to be a sequel to the infamous tut1.txt that comes with the main game that instructs you how to use DinkEdit. Unfortunately in this case, Tut2.htm doesn't really perform this purpose.

The document starts by outlining RTSoft's development process. I imagine a lot of people probably start with a vague idea and then start making a map and then add script files as time goes along, but in this case, Seth and Pap decided to concoct the complete story including the arcade sequences while eating cookies and chips before even touching DinkEdit.

As the concept of a "Skeleton DMOD" didn't exist at this point, Seth explains how they used Milli Vanilli as their starting point, and changed many of the files around by removing global variables and the like so that it would work properly. Also of note is the explanation of how Milli Vanilli was apparently stripped down to the point where it was capable of working with the Dink Demo and how Mystery Island wouldn't be hindered by such limitations.

The file ends with explaining how the fairly useless new command sp_picfreeze was implemented for the purpose of moving the ship at the start of the game. After this, it abruptly stops. Checking the "date modified" field of various files, tut2.htm was last modified on the 24 of May 1998 while Mystery Island's MAP.DAT is dated to the 30th of June 1998 suggesting they got bored and gave up and just left it as is. Sadly, it means we miss out on many important details of how anything past the opening screen was actually implemented or how it ended up differing to what was intended.

Had this file been regularly updated by the RTSoft devs throughout the process, early Dmodders could have had a rather useful document that explained with great depth the various pitfalls and intricacies to pay attention to when making a Dmod. For non-devs it could have been an interesting look at what was ultimately cut from the final product due to constraints. Instead what we ended up with was a file that explains how to use dithering in Photoshop 6.
March 11th, 2004
Score : 6.5 fair
Peasant Female
This text file describes how a D-mod was made at least, how it all started since the text just stops halfway, or actually quite early in the development stage. The author states that it is a tutorial and intended for those who want to make a D-mod of their own, but if you do not know anything about scripting it is not useful to read this since it does not cover the real basics. It is interesting though to read how they started to make the D-mod.
August 24th, 2003
Score : 7.0 good
Peasant Male Australia
This was mildly interesting to read, especially if you like behind the scenes stuff. It covers the basic planning and start of the making of a DMOD when the engine was at ver 1.03 or 1.04. So some of it is ancedotal. But if you are expecting this file to be a complete instruction for how to make a DMOD, you are mistaken. It may help, but it is a summary without a lot of detail of why certain actions were taken.

I did like learning about the sp_picfreeze function, not sure if I will ever use that... but you never know.
February 12th, 2002
Score : 3.9 tolerable
I don't think this file was ever finished, it ends very early in the production stages. Still, its kind of enlightening to read how the process took place, up until the point where Seth stopped writing about it that is.

As far as really useful information, there isn't much here, I'm thinking that perhaps it belongs in the miscellaneous group rather than in development. However, I did find one little gem of information that I've never seen talked about before: sp_picfreeze , an undocumented command that allows you to move a sprite that is part of a sequence without cycling through the sequence itself. Seth used it for the ship in Mystery Island.

If you have a few minutes of free time and need something half-way interesting to occupy your brain waves, this MIGHT be worth reading.