Discworld (video game)
DOS cover art.
|Developer(s)||Teeny Weeny Games
Perfect 10 Productions
|Distribution||3½ inch Floppy (15), CD (1)|
Discworld, also known as Discworld: The Trouble With Dragons during its development, is a point-and-click adventure game developed by Teeny Weeny Games and Perfect 10 Productions in mid-1995. It stars Rincewind the Wizard (voiced by Eric Idle) and is set on Terry Pratchett's Discworld. The game's plot is based roughly on the events in the book Guards! Guards!, but with Rincewind substituted for Sam Vimes. The game contains elements of Moving Pictures.
There are four other Discworld games: a direct sequel to Discworld, titled Discworld II: Missing Presumed...!? (Discworld II: Mortality Bytes! in North America), Discworld Noir (a stand alone story starring an original character), a text adventure called The Colour of Magic which strictly adheres to the events of the first Discworld novel and another game based on The Colour of Magic released on mobile phones titled Discworld: The Colour of Magic.
Discworld has been praised for its humour, voice-acting and graphics, though there have been criticisms concerning its gameplay and puzzles. Discworld has also been noted as being extremely challenging.
Discworld is a third-person point-and-click graphic adventure game. The PlayStation version is compatible with the PlayStation Mouse, as well as the normal PlayStation controls. However, the Saturn version is not compatible with the Saturn Mouse. Rincewind, the player character, moves through a scrolling background, with an overhead map that appears when leaving a city that allows you to go straight to a location. Items can either be examined or used, and can either be stored in Rincewind's pockets or in the Luggage. In order to progress in the game, Rincewind must collect items, talk to people and solve puzzles.
- Eric Idle - Rincewind
- Rob Brydon - various
- Jon Pertwee - various
- Kate Robbins - various
- Tony Robinson - various
Terry Pratchett has a non-speaking cameo appearance in the crowd scene (next to Dibbler) at the end of the game.
Ideas and themes
The game was titled Discworld: The Trouble With Dragons while it was in development.
There is a subtle easter egg in the game that is activated by double clicking on the sheep in Nanny Ogg's back yard. Many more secrets can be found throughout the game. In another easter egg, Rincewind states that he "want[s] to be the first person in a game to say fuck". A similar, albeit censored line is also hidden in the sequel.
After the release of Discworld 2 a second CD-ROM version of the game, codenamed as the Director's Cut, was developed. This new version was made using the Discworld II Windows engine and apart from that it also fixed several known bugs (that had not been fixed by the patch). Additionally it also included a missing "future-cut-scene" for the butterfly effect that never made it into the original game due to time constraints. However this version never saw daylight since the publisher assumed that large sums of money would be required to test it, even though that wasn't the case since the game logic (built using the Tinsel language) remained the same.
The game was reviewed in 1995 in Dragon #223 by David "Zeb" Cook in the final "Eye of the Monitor" column. Cook's summary of the game is as follows: "Give Discworld an "A" for content and an "F" for mechanics. Great tongue-in-cheek script. Delightful parody of heroic fantasy and computer adventure games. Faithful, even inspired translation of Pratchett's world and comic voice into a computer game. Great voice performances. Exceptional art and animation. Crappy testing, quality control, and tech support." Entertainment Weekly praised the voice-acting of Eric Idle, but criticised the PlayStation version of the game, saying that it was difficult to navigate without the PlayStation Mouse and that the text was too small. In their review of the PlayStation version, Electronic Gaming Monthly similarly commented that the PlayStation mouse is required for full enjoyment, but highly praised the voice acting, humor, and graphics, with all four of the reviewers scoring the game 8.5/10. IGN gave the game a 7.0 out of 10, calling it challenging and long, but criticising the long loading times. Adventure Classic Gaming called it "rewarding but challenging", and suggested skipping the floppy disk version of the game as the voice-acting (not available on the floppy disk version) was excellent and an integral part of the game's humour. Sega Saturn Magazine gave the Saturn version a 72%, citing overlong dialogues, poor graphics, and "largely non-existent" animation.
Computer and Video Games gave the game a 5.0 out of 10, complimenting the backdrops and saying that the voice-acting and plot give "a feature film feel to the whole affair". However, they criticised the gameplay, and said that Discworld was "an entertaining yarn, with a gameplay vehicle attached to it". Adventure Gamers praised the voice acting, graphics, humour and story, calling it "a wonderful game", but noted that "it stops short of being a classic simply due to its sheer difficulty and the unwieldy nature of the game". Adventure Gamers also called the music "serviceable at best, and fairly forgettable". In 2009 Eurogamer's Will Porter reviewed the game retrospectively, praising the game's cartoonish graphics and voice-acting, but criticising its puzzles and noting that "Discworld commits every point-and-click crime you'd care to mention".
Discworld was ranked at No. 4 on Adventure Classic Gaming's "Top 10 retro graphic adventure games of all time from PC to consoles" in 2006, and was listed on Altered Gamer's "The Top 5 Best PC Adventure Games" in 2011. In 2013 Retro Gamer cited Discworld as one of four examples demonstrating that British developers produced a disproportionately large number of overly hard video games.
- Will Porter (26 June 2009). "Retrospective: Discworld". Eurogamer. Retrieved 25 April 2011.
- David Tanguay (15 October 1997). "Discworld". Adventure Classic Gaming. Retrieved 24 April 2011.
- Rob Michaud (1 July 2005). "REVIEW: Discworld". Adventure Gamers. Retrieved 24 April 2011.
- "Discworld". Entertainment Weekly (310). 19 January 1996. Retrieved 25 April 2011.
- "Discworld Review". Computer and Video Games. 15 August 2001. Retrieved 24 April 2011.
- IGN Staff (21 November 1996). "Discworld". IGN. Retrieved 24 April 2011.
- "The Discworld Game Pages : 1.2 How many Discworld games are there?". The Discworld Game Faq - V3.00. au.lspace.org. 2000.
- "Adventure Gamers' Forum".
- "Dave Johnston, Lead Programmer Discworld I & II, about the Director's Cut of Discworld 1". 2005.
- "ScummVM forums thread".
- "Additional information on Discworld Version 2: The Directors Cut, see section 2.8".
- "Discworld". GameRankings. Retrieved 25 April 2011.
- "Discworld Review". Electronic Gaming Monthly (76) (EGM Media, LLC). November 1995. p. 48.
- Cook, David "Zeb" (November 1995). "Eye of the Monitor". Dragon (223): 63–66.
- Bright, Rob (June 1996). "Review: Discworld". Sega Saturn Magazine (8) (Emap International Limited). pp. 70–71.
- Darren Franich (5 April 2010). "'Perfect Dark' hits Xbox Live Arcade: What other classic games deserve a resurrection?". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 25 April 2011.
- Locke, Phil (December 2013). "Creating Chaos". Retro Gamer (122) (Imagine Publishing). p. 71.
- Discworld at MobyGames
- The Discworld Game Pages, LSpace
- ScummVM MIDI Music Enhancement Project, James Woodcock's Blog