Apr 03, 2023

All the dialogs in Return to Monkey Island were done in a format called yack. These were created for Thimbleweed Park and (very) loosely based on Ink.

During the Secret of Monkey Island and LeChucks Revenge, these were all hand-coded in SCUMM and a pain in the [REDACTED].

The goal is to free the writer from "programming" and focus just on the writing and logic of the scene.

In lines like GUYBRUSH(38260,"{fist_pump}Yes!") the GUYBRUSH is a macro to replaces the text with "@38260:GUYBRUSH". This removes the text from the compiled code and forces the engine to look it up in the translation file as well as directing the VO to play the correct audio. Everything is linked to the id 38260 including the actor's scripts.

{fist_pump} calls an animation on actor saying the line and (mocking) is direction for the actor and ignored by the engine.

The writer will write (for example):

guybrush: "Aye, Cobb."

And then towards the end of production a python script turns it into

guybrush: GUYBRUSH(38219,"Aye, Cobb.")

Adding the unique line ids.

Enjoy Cobb...