This link leads to a page containing a summary of The Dig's development history.

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The cover of Adventurer #6 shows us the four-astronaut version of The Dig's box art. When Toshi Olema was later painted out, the artist left the tip of his foot in the picture as a rock.


The inside article gives a nice picture of Low and Robbins watching the eel be electrocuted.


Several nice screenshots, and some interesting info. However, I've heard that Hal Barwood was not the one who stepped in as a last-ditch effort to save Moriarty's work; rather, it was Dave Grossman. Why the LEC writer messed up is unknown, but this is the same magazine that referred to Tim Schafer as "Tim Delacruz" for an entire issue.

You can clearly see the early astronaut suit designs. Also, the bottom right picture on page 6 shows the Examine icon in use.

In addition, take a good look at the screenshot of the tomb. It contains a few details that can't be seen in the other pictures of it shown here, such as a ceiling lens.


This is the cover of the 2-cassette abridged audiobook of the Alan Dean Foster novelization of the game. Interestingly, it also has the four-astronaut cover, unlike the novel itself.


This article from the French gaming magazine Tilt, from July/August 1993, gives us a bit of insight into Brian Moriarty's The Dig.

Translation of the French in Tilt Magazine #93, p. 27:

"Due to be released on floppy disk in January 1994 and on CD-ROM in the second half of 1994, The Dig is one of the biggest projects currently in production at LucasArts. That's probably because it originates from Steven Spielberg himself! Originally conceived as a television drama, The Dig's story lent itself better to a computer game, according to Spielberg, who is working in collaboration with Brian Moriarty (Loom).

"You play the commander of a space expedition that finds itself on an unknown, incredibly dangerous planet, which contains the remains of an alien civilization. In terms of storyline, The Dig is quite solid. It's not about comedy; it's a human drama. Spielberg wanted the game to show human feelings, both the good and the bad, and to let the player grow attached to the characters (Commander Low and his crew). There are plenty of violent and horrible deaths, and the game is clearly meant for adults.

"The graphics are superb and perfectly use the PC's VGA 256-color mode. The animations are at the high level of those in Day of the Tentacle.

"Brian Moriarty adds that The Dig will introduce a new game engine, StoryDroid, specially designed for 386 PCs with hard drives and sound cards; whereas SCUMM, the regular engine, was originally designed for the C64 in the era of Maniac Mansion.

"For Spielberg as well as for LucasArts, working together seems to have been a good thing. The Dig has all the ingredients to become a major hit. And after that? Will there be another game co-written with Steven Spielberg? Remaining cautious, Brian Moriarty only replies 'We've talked.'"

In the inventory in the top right picture, you can see a Tourniquet as well as what appears to be a Life Crystal.

The original article calls the new game engine "Story Drawing" instead of the proper "StoryDroid." Since the two sound alike, this is probably an error resulting from a French journalist's limited English vocabulary.


Boston Low's sprite. He has lighter hair and a darker shirt than the final release's Low.


Ludger Brink's sprite. That's an interesting jumpsuit he's wearing.


Judith Robbins' sprite. Notice her long blonde hair.


Toshi Olema, the Japanese fourth character.


This is an actual screenshot from Brian Moriarty's version of The Dig.

Note the four icons: Examine, Pick up, Use, and Move. The cursor is the same one from Loom.

Low seems to have a pair of pliers in his inventory, as well as something that looks like a walkie-talkie.

There's a minor graphical error involving Low's leg being someplace it shouldn't. This picture may have been taken to document the bug for fixing later.


At the bottom of this image is a concept design for a somewhat different GUI, which apparently was rejected.


A palette used by the artists, regulating the colors used in inventory icons, as well as which hues to use for in-engine shading and color shifting.


This room contained deadly acid drops falling from the ceiling. Toshi Olema was to be killed here (see below).


Another version of the falling-acid-drops room.


This background shows the aliens' reality (called Spacetime Six in the final game).


One design for the asteroid core. There are three metal plates to insert instead of four.


A black-and-white concept of the first design for the asteroid core. The size of the plates is much bigger than in the full-color version.


A second design for the asteroid core. This one looks much more like the final one, with a dodecahedral shape.


A slightly modified version of the second core design, with fewer red and blue accents on the walls.


A closeup of one section of the asteroid core (the second version).


This shows the three square plates' sockets in the asteroid core (version two).

Their placement corresponds to the Pythagorean Theorem, a fundamental concept in geometry; an indication of how the aliens were meant to be testing the crew.


A shot of the asteroid. The shuttle would have been present on this screen as a 3D model.


A scanned piece of concept art, showing the four astronauts taking The Pig down to the asteroid surface.


The first screen of the lengthy asteroid tunnels. They form the shape of a dodecahedron.

Look at all those crystals.


More sections of the crystal-lined asteroid tunnels. Lots of pretty colors.


More crystalline asteroid tunnels.


More crystalline asteroid tunnels.


Some early designs for the characters' astronaut suits.


More designs for the characters' spacesuits.


Some baby birds perched on the rock face by the seashore.


The same beach as in the above picture, without the birds. Could that be a cave?


This is a sketch of a room which apparently was home to a large number of bats.

It still exists in the final game, and it's still bat-filled, but its only function is as eye-candy. However, in Moriarty's design there was probably a puzzle to be solved in it (perhaps the stun-the-bats-with-the-eel's-eye idea).


A seaside area. The water would have been added in later as an animation.

This room was later used to house the final game's "invisible island".


Another design for the seaside area.


An early version of the bone puzzle. This one more closely resembles the statue-repair puzzle from Fate of Atlantis.

The creature's skeleton looks more like a real animal than the final game's does. I think it's safe to say this isn't a turtle.


Frames of animation for Brink talking.


A frame of an animation of Brink digging with the shovel.


A closeup of Brink's left hand stuck in the crack. The reason it's his left hand is because he became left-handed after passing through the Klein bottle.

In the final game his left hand gets stuck as well, but there's no explanation as to why he didn't put his right hand in instead. Maybe in the final game he's naturally left-handed?


A slightly different version of the close-up on Brink's stuck hand.


Frames from an animation of Brink being revived from death.


In this picture, Low holds the shards of a crystal. He appears to be wearing his spacesuit gloves, so I'd guess the crystal is located somewhere in the asteroid.


This slightly blurred image shows the same crystal as above, but in Low's bare hands. He must have gotten the item on the asteroid and kept it on the alien planet.

This image was originally hosted on former LucasArts artist Bill Tiller's website; I only reproduce it here because his site is currently down.


A black-and-white bird's-eye-view picture of the central canyon on Cocytus. The wall designs are different from the ones in the final game.


That ramp on the right side of the picture was climbable in Moriarty's version. The characters make reference to it in the final release, but they don't climb it.

On the far right are a couple of sprites for what look like plants, but they don't seem to fit anywhere in the background.


The upper part of the ramp out of the canyon.


A black-and-white shot of the bottom of a cliff, without the water added.

From art I have seen posted at The Dig Museum, I believe this background would have shown Judith Robbins falling to her demise.


A black-and-white picture of a large cliff, which contains a doorway and a giant skeleton. The bones look sort of like the "bone puzzle creature" from this design.

In the final game this room has the cathedral spire light bridge, and there's no skeleton.


The scanned painting from which the background of the cliffside with the large skeleton and door was created.


Power courses through the wires near the doorway.


Concept of the door-opening animation for the doorway by the cliffside.


A black-and-white shot of Cocytus terrain. In the actual release the giant spider falls to its doom from this screen.


A rough sketch of Cocytus terrain. This is the same room as in the previous picture.


Two paintings by Bill Eaken scanned from the Strategy Guide. The first shows Brink hiding from Low, Robbins, and Olema, who are searching for him; the second shows three crewmembers digging by the seashore.


This dais in the central canyon is where the crew finds itself after landing on the alien planet. The plants were later altered to look more "plantlike".

Unlike the final game, there's no hidden underground entrance to the Nexus.

Also, the dais displays the Pythagorean 3-squares-around-a-right-triangle motif, like the asteroid core. Maybe Low had to collect 3 more square plates and insert them in the dais, similar to the final game's puzzle of unlocking the fifth Nexus door.


The scanned painting from which was created the background of the crevice where Brink gets stuck.


This is the room where Brink gets his hand cut off. There's water in it, which would have made the operation more urgent as the tide came in.


The exterior of the derelict vessel on the planet's surface. The little Lows are used to show the room's scale.


The interior of the wrecked ship.


The derelict ship, with several Low sprites used to determine scale.


This is the place to which the ramp up out of the canyon led. There's a path in the bottom right corner, going elsewhere.


The path out of the canyon, with little Low sprites used to show scaling.


A painting by Bill Eaken (scanned from the Strategy Guide), which depicts the pathway leading up from the central valley and off to the Nexus.


The original eel. It's smaller than the final version, and green instead of gray.


A painting by Bill Eaken that shows the watery cove where the eel appears. (Taken from the Strategy Guide.)


The eel is electrocuted, so that Low can cut its eye out.


More of the eel writhing in agony.


A forked passageway. This background was recolored and used in the final game's end sequence.


A slightly recolored version of the forked-passage screen.


Frames from the animation of the first "ghost" appearing in the wrecked ship.


A concept design for one of the frames of animation in the first ghost's appearance.


The alien graveyard in the canyon. The tiny Low in the background shows scaling - there's a large difference from the scale of this room in the released game.


This painting appears to be from Noah Falstein's The Dig! I think so because it was hanging in LucasArts' old offices, and Bill Eaken, the background artist for Moriarty's version, still owns all of his paintings. Also, it looks like the notably angular work of Ken Macklin, an artist for Falstein's design.

It appears very organic, so it's likely somewhere in the "city-beast" which Falstein discussed in an interview.


A pencil sketch of the five light bridges connecting above the central dais.


A painting of a lion-creature, by Bill Eaken (taken from an interview at LucasFans). This must have been a concept design for the aliens.


A scanned and dithered reproduction of the lion painting above.


Frames of animation for Low speaking. His shoulders here aren't quite a match to his full-body sprite.


The original map room. Images were projected from the bottom area into the upper chamber.


A black-and-white concept for the map room.

Unlike many of the other polyhedron-shaped rooms in The Dig, which are dodecahedral, this room is an icosahedron.


An overhead view of the glowing tunnel in the map room's bottom. Those vines might have interfered in the projection process, requiring their removal.


An early version of the view down in the map room, without the glowing effect on the walls fully completed.


A black-and-white sketch of the bottom of the museum spire. In the actual game this is the base of the tomb spire.


The doorway to the museum. The waves on the water below hadn't been added in yet. On the right is a piece of artwork which fits over the background, hiding the museum door. Perhaps Low had to "decloak" the door somehow to enter the museum?


An early design for the museum door. It's smaller than the final game's version.


The original museum. That console in the center required a crystal pyramid of some sort to be inserted, the image for which is seen to the right.


The console in the center of the museum room. To the right are the console and crystal pyramid which would be placed over this background.


The original Nexus. There are only four doors besides the one to the outside, and they aren't locked.

A picture of the tomb, with extra sprites on the right. When Low walked into the room, the skylight would be closed. However, when he pressed the trigger stone on the floor, the skylight would open. Once he got moonlight to shine down through the skylight, the sarcophagus would arise from the newly-revealed hole in the floor.

This picture doesn't show the three plates in the ceiling which opened downward when the stone wass pressed, nor the skylight's inner focusing lens, nor the sarcophagus itself. (All three can be seen in a screenshot in the Adventurer #7 article on the game.)

Plus, when the sarcophagus rose up, the plate covering its hole split into four pieces--shaped just like the final game's asteroid plates, as well as the logo of Toshi Olema's company. (Again, see Adventurer #7 at the top of the page.)


A concept design for the tomb, without the Egyptian-style drawings on the wall.


A passage in which light filters through a doorway. Nice effect.

The other, darker doorway led into the bats' cave.

This room was lengthened in the final game to have three doors instead of two; it was also flipped.


Low's PenUltimate. Notice it's made by Toshi Olema's corporation.

The three buttons marked are To Do, Communications, and Help. The fourth, which is unmarked, probably is the Camera function.

Notice the glow around his hand: this was removed for the final release's background. Also, the logo of the Olema Corporation would later be used for the asteroid-plates puzzle in Sean Clark's version!


Low's PenUltimate, as seen when he's wearing his spacesuit. Actually, the PenUltimate is basically an Apple Newton with a different name.


A 3D rendering of the PenUltimate, showing its inner workings.


A ghost shows up on the PenUltimate's camera. All of these pictures from the PenUltimate's screen apparently were to be projected somehow onto the background of Low holding it.


Low's PenUltimate displays a photograph of Cora Miles, as seen through the shuttle cockpit's window.


Low's PenUltimate displays a photograph of Ken Borden, as seen through the shuttle cockpit's window.

Borden doesn't seem to have a beard yet.


Low's PenUltimate displays a photograph of Toshi standing in front of the museum door.


Low's PenUltimate displays a photograph of Toshi Olema in his spacesuit.


The PenUltimate's dialing keypad. It looks a lot more complicated than the final game's!

In fact, I don't think Low was supposed to use it for communications at all; instead, he would've carried a small radio, visible in the screenshot above.


The PenUltimate's communications help display. Well, at least it has speed-dialing...


The PenUltimate displays a glorified advertisement for itself on the Help display.


More of the PenUltimate's self-advertising.


More of the PenUltimate's help display. Now that's interesting...what other Olema devices were inventory items?


Low's PenUltimate contains a diagram of the asteroid. It also shows where to plant the three nuclear charges.


Low's list of what to do on the mission. Hee hee.

The Crew Photos sound interesting...Sean Clark probably removed them to speed up this part of the game.


The Help text of the To Do menu hadn't yet been written when these images were made.


Sprites of The Pig rotating as it enters the asteroid tunnels.


The planetarium dome. Note the center console with only one control.

The door is smaller than in the released game.


Another image of the planetarium, with sprites on the right for the open door and the activated console.

When the console activated, it seems the central control shot a ray of light at the ceiling, initiating the astral display there.


Materials for a close-up animation of the center console; as Low grabs it, it lights up and the door to the outside seals shut.


Low grabs the control on the planetarium console. In doing so, he appears to be activating the door in the background.


A concept design of the planetarium central console.


An early version of the planetarium dome ceiling. It's gray instead of blue.


A galaxy appears in the planetarium display.


Low stares up into the planetarium ceiling.


The original version of the planetarium exterior.

It's worth noting that a lot of scenes with red skies, including this one, were altered to have blue skies in Sean Clark's The Dig.


The far side of the planetarium plateau.


Another shot of the planetarium exterior. In this one, the sky hadn't yet been painted in. On the right side is an image of the closed planetarium door.

The roughly circular sprite next to it would have been used to modify the appearance of the right-hand giant wheel-shaped artifact.


A rough color sketch of the plateau outside the planetarium dome.


A painting of the crewmembers hopping over stones to cross a river, by Bill Eaken (from an interview at LucasFans).


Frames of animation for when Judith speaks.


A sketch of Judith Robbins getting attacked by some nasty bats. That looks painful.


A strange animation of Robbins surrounded by a glow. I don't know exactly what this is from.


A rock ledge which spans the water below. The Tilt magazine shows that Brink's dead body lay here at one point in Moriarty's version.


This small cave would be used as the rodent's lair in the final game. That glow on the left is interesting: perhaps it was a blocked passageway?


This room has a strangely-shaped entrance and a shaft cut into the ceiling, to allow light (and possibly a few human-sized beings) in.

In the final game this room was seen in the end sequence.


This room has a nice view of the sky.

In the final release, this room was used in the ending too. It was also flipped upside-down and painted green to serve as part of the underwater cave.


This room, split into two parts in the final game, is where Boston Low must leap across a crevice, timing his jump with the waves of water. The water would have been added in later as an animation.

Here there is no bridge to the tram room, and the coloring is slightly different.


A sketch of the seaside gorge area, with the water added in.


A 3D rendering of the space shuttle. In the final game it's the shuttle Atlantis (a real shuttle). Here it's called the Arcadia (a fictional one).

A .avi movie with some footage of the shuttle closing its bay doors
It comes from a games convention held over 10 years ago. Clearly the shuttle is a 3D model here. Incidentally, the second part looks to be from a Star Wars game.


The shuttle's cockpit, seen from inside.


This early picture of the shuttle shows the four astronauts, as well as Ken and Cora in the cockpit.

There are markers for where The Pig would be, as well as the three explosives. Apparently they weren't kept inside The Pig, necessitating several trips back and forth between the shuttle and asteroid.

The third nuke's existence is likely why there are four quadrants on the asteroid - three for the explosives, and one for The Pig.

Notice the minimized GUI in the bottom left corner.


A slightly different background of the space shuttle. This one carried over into early builds of Sean Clark's version.


Two paintings by Bill Eaken scanned from the Strategy Guide. The first (the same as an earlier picture) shows the crewmembers taking The Pig down to the asteroid surface. The second is of the shuttle in space - that's a really stunning view.


A rough sketch of a room where Low would see an alien ghost. In the final game this is the tomb spire light-bridge area.


A 3D rendering of the five spires. The water is green, oddly.

This angle is an exact match of the overhead shot of the five spires in the released game.


Another shot of the 3D version of the spires. These might have been done to test which angle would be best for drawing the five-spire background.


Another 3D picture of the five spires.


A concept drawing of the five spires and central mountain, without any background to them.


The same drawing, but with the surrounding land drawn in. (The sea would be added in later.)


The finished wide shot of the five spires. This one looks pretty much like the final game's version.


A black-and-white picture of the tomb plateau. That crescent moon is huge!

That twisted tree is actually supposed to be a clue that the tomb lies here, but it's not even a "look-able" object in the final game.


A rough color sketch of the tomb plateau. In the final game the background is flipped.


Another black-and-white image of the tomb exterior, this one lacking the mysterious depression in the ground where the buried tomb entrance is hidden.


Concept sketch of the inner crescent moon's light shining onto the tomb plateau.


Toshi Olema melts to death as a result of being struck by acid drops.


The sprite of Toshi Olema's bloody corpse. Eew.

This is what happens if you walk through drops of extremely concentrated acid, kids.


Frame of animation of Toshi being revived from the dead.


This is the underwater cave. You can see the eel's body in the far right.

This might have been the place where the bone puzzle took place in Moriarty's version. Also, there appears to be a metal plate buried in the sand.


Another version of the underwater cave, without the metal plate. One of the artists put the eel's sprite in the bottom right-hand corner for some reason.


A painting scanned from the Strategy Guide, showing off the water, some spires, and a seagull-esque creature.


A lovely waterfall and a pathway.

The door is larger in the final game, the falls look different, and the whole background is flipped.

The original filename suggests that the falls could be diverted or otherwise blocked, as in Sean Clark's version.


The Eye, the portal into the alien dimension.

In the final game this room houses the fourth metal plate.


The room housing the dimensional portal, without said gateway activated.


A version of the portal room in which the spherical gateway had only just been added in; you can tell this because it overlaps the curved pathway leading to it.


A concept frame of animation for the portal into the aliens' reality.


Brink as he appears seen through the misty portal into the aliens' dimension.

Pictures from early builds of Sean Clark's The Dig

Click here for a series of images, created by me, showing how the interface worked in early designs.

For more neat The Dig stuff, be sure to visit the Dig Museum.

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