Friday, 2 December 2011

Calling all 3D modellers!

Thanks to the efforts of cplhenshaw we now have some tools that allow us to convert the original Grim Fandango .3DO objects to .OBJ files, which can then be opened in all major 3D modelling software.

This means that if you feel you've got the skills, you can now help the project by improving Manny's form in 3D...

OBJ versions of Manny and Glottis can be downloaded here:

Please read the following post regarding limitations of the Grim Fandango 3D format:

Remodel each piece of the model separately, i.e Don't fuse his arms onto his torso. For any piece you want to update place it over the top of the old one so that they are positioned correctly. 

It probably won't work first try, but as long as all the pieces you remodel remain separate you won't need to redo any modelling and it should just be fiddling around with the exporters and file formats until we get it right.

When you're done:

Please either send your finished OBJs to me at:

Or share them in the Residual thread here:


Thursday, 8 September 2011

Grim Fandango in Widescreen!

A user known as ultraneonoirantihero took it upon themselves to try and crack the problem of running Grim Fandango in a higher resolution... and in widescreen! Hacking Residual and adding additional artwork to the sides of the existing screens, they've done an amazing job. 

Watch the video for yourself!

Update: ultraneonoirantihero has explained how they put the video together in the Residual forums. It was actually all done in video editing software and PhotoShop (and not Residual), but it's still very impressive indeed! You may not immediately appreciate just how much work went into it, in fact. Take a look for yourself.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Adding detail to Grim Fandango's textures...

When I first opened up Manny's suit in Photoshop I was a little perplexed... where do you add the detail? 

Should we be able to see the fibres of his suit? Should there be more detail in the suit's pattern? Should it look photo-realistic? If not, how do you add detail to something so basic and cartoony? I didn't know where to begin, and it made me wonder: Just what does Grim Fandango look like in "high-resolution"?

The promotional material surrounding Grim Fandango actually used models from the game, and so wasn't any help.

I was trying to recall when if ever saw a detailed close-up of Peter Chan's creations, when I remembered the game's inventory screens:

Looking at these it was clear that if we could "zoom in" on the Grim Fandango world that it would look hand-drawn, not photo-realistic, and very deliberately so. (I guess this ties in with the idea that the characters are hand-made calacas, although I personally like to think that Manny and company are actually made of bone, not papier-mâché.)

The understanding of the look of the world of Grim Fandango led to the first texture test we did:

Transforms to..

There's probably still ways in which this could be improved, but I was quite pleased with how it looked in the game itself.

Think you can do better? Coming soon: A guide on how those with texturing skills can help the Grim Fandango Deluxe project!

Monday, 29 August 2011

Grim Fandango Deluxe featured in the MixNMojo podcast!

The fine people at asked me to join their podcast and explain a little more about what Grim Fandango Deluxe is all about. You can go here and listen:

While you're at it, why don't you subscribe to their podcast and get all the latest LucasArts, DoubleFine, TellTale and other game news each week?

Wednesday, 10 August 2011


Click to see fullsize.

Welcome to the Grim Fandango Deluxe project, an unofficial fan-made mod for Grim Fandango. This blog will document the project's progress. Here's a brief introduction...

Grim Fan-what-now?
Grim Fandango is arguably the greatest graphic adventure game ever released. It continues to be praised by critics and still appears in "Top PC Games of All Time" lists to this day. It was designed by the legendary Tim Schafer (of Monkey Island, Day of the Tentacle, Full Throttle, Brutal Legend and Psychonauts fame) and released by the equally legendary LucasArts Games. It's a film noir-inspired journey into the Mexican Land of the Dead, with all the humour and imagination you'd expect from Tim Schafer and LucasArts.

This Project's Aim
While Grim Fandango is a masterpiece, with many stunning attributes, its 3D character models (limited by the technology of its day) sometimes detract from an otherwise stunning presentation:

The Grim Fandango Deluxe project aims to try and improve the quality of these models, perhaps to the level of quality seen in some of the in-game videos:

Especially note the quality of the hands/objects.

This entire project is made possible thanks to the hard work and dedication of the people behind the ResidualVM project, an open-source interpreter that allows a user to run their copy of Grim Fandango on modern machines (and even non-PC platforms). If you're familiar with the ScummVM project, you may recognize it as a sister project for the 3D LucasArts adventure games.

You can download ResidualVM for free here:

But what will you change?
Every effort will be made to stay as true to the original spirit of the game as possible. Only changes that enhance what is already there will be considered. Specifically there appear to be three possible routes to enhance Grim Fandango's graphics:

  1. Increase the texture quality (a test of which can be seen in the Manny image at the top of this post)
  2. Adding polygons to the game models
  3. Upping the game resolution to 1280x960

Great! When will you be done?
Unfortunately even with Residual's help there are still technical problems that need to be overcome before we can even begin all of the above work.

These problems are:

1. Textures -- We have found a way to increase the texture quality (see the image at the top of this post), but we are still limited by the game's 8-bit palette. Ideally a 16-bit palette would be supported, allowing for better quality textures.

2. Polygons -- We just need some skilled 3D modellers to volunteer their time. See here for more information: Calling 3D Modellers

3. Resolution -- This particular chestnut still needs to be cracked.

If you want to help out with any of the above aims, you can either drop me email here:

Or you can join in the up-to-the-minute discussions about these problems at: (this is really the best place to jump in - don't feel shy!)

Please get in touch either way, if you feel you can offer something to the project!

DoubleFine Games - Tim Schafer's game company
LucasArts Games - Original publishers of Grim Fandango
Residual - Home of the software that allows modern machines to run Grim Fandango

Remember: This project is completely fan-made and unofficial. It has no affiliation with LucasArts or DoubleFine or any other official body.