The Dink Network

Making of Mystery Island (The)

November 28th, 2020
Score : 6.1 fair
Peasant They/Them Australia
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.