Remember the strange time towards the end of the run of Wallace & Gromit's Grand Adventures where Telltale started releasing Tales of Monkey Island before the former had even finished? According to an interview with Telltale's Ken Bruner over at Rock, Paper, Shotgun, that won't be such a strange situation anymore.
Telltale is planning on releasing multiple seasons at the same time, provided that the release of The Wolf Among Us goes smoothly. They want to make sure that this release doesn't have the save bugs and other major problems that The Walking Dead had. If the release goes according to plan, they plan to release another season concurrently at some point after The Wolf Among Us launch. This seems to be a result of the expansion Telltale just recently underwent. Exactly which games will be the first to recieve this treatment is unknown at this point. Could it be the end of The Wolf Among Us and The Walking Dead Season Two (similar to the aforementioned Tales situation)? Could it be a completely unannounced season? Or perhaps the bonus that's supposed to take place in The Walking Dead universe to ease the wait between seasons? It's anyone's guess at this point, but I think I speak for all of Mixnmojo in hoping that it is Sam & Max Season Four (since Tales of Monkey Island Season Two seems pretty unlikely after the Disney buyout of Lucasfilm).
There's some other interesting tidbits to be found in the second part of the interview, such as the talk of the Pilot Program. Apparently, it's still alive and well. And, pieces of the ideas appear in the games that have been released. It was previously thought to only be Telltale's spring board for testing new, quirky ideas as one episode releases to minimize risk (an idea that brought us the Puzzle Agent and Poker Night games). However, it's now been revealed that it is the name for their prototyping sessions, and that portions of these prototypes have wound up in released games. One of the most interesting things revealed is that The Walking Dead actually started out as Telltale's Pilot Program zombie prototype.
One of the factoids that is of the most importance to Mojo is the bit in the first part of the interview where Kevin Bruner talks more about how The Wolf Among Us is going to play, how different it is from The Walking Dead, and how many traditional adventure game elements are going to be in it (hint: not much, although there are going to be detective elements that are said to be as mentally challenging as traditional adventure puzzles).
Hi all, not much to report other than we are still working. Pedro on the music and me on the Kickstarter web page and AVS Y1 web page, and the rewards. Pedro last I heard was very close to being done. And I just got the art for the front page of the web site done. Here is a small sneak peak.
It's a good long read, but if you're determined to go into the game knowing nothing at all, it may be best to steer clear - it does go into some details of the early plot of the game. In fact, it reveals more than has even been available to backers so far, though nothing I would regard as a big spoiler. To me, reading it recalled poring over those old LucasArts previews in the 1990s, trying to glean as much information as possible because we were so excited about this new thing. I've got a good feeling about this one.
If you want to get a good feeling too, visit Hot Youn-- er, I mean go here.
About a week or so ago some saintly nobody unleashed his collection of rare, vintage videos of LEC press coverage by a Los Angeles morning news station onto Youtube. Dave Grossman looks about seven. Prepare to freak out.
Update by Mr Manager: Fast forward 36 seconds into the first video to witness a "never" before seen scene from The Secret of Monkey Island. We assume the view is of the cannibal village. When confronted about the scene being cut, Ronzo had this to say: "We cut stuff all the time due to flow reasons. It's not always space. I don't remember the exact reason it went away."
Music and sound FX are still inprogress for our animated video. Pedro says he will be done this week. So looks like April 24-ish will be the soonest we can start the Kick Starter Campaign. Working on rewards, budget and web page today. Custom puppets are out. sorry. The puppet makers said they couldn't do it. :(
Saying that he hopes to have the awards for the AVS: Year One Kickstarter "set" this week, Bill reveals via photograph what one of them will be: a physical box for the game.
Judging by his referencing the CMI box's dimensions, it looks like we're in for a classic big box as opposed to the modern miniature flavor, a resort which is, needless to say, making me all sensitive beneath the skirt.
A lot of nostalgic sentiments about LucasArts have pervaded the web over the past few days, and perhaps we'll be acknowledging a few more of them, but you've really gotta read this gigantic and loving tribute by Gamasutra, devoted as it is entirely to the graphic adventure games, which I'm sure all of us would agree are the correct subset of the studio's catalog to center a proper eulogy around. Amidst the ongoing swirl of online LEC remembrances, it is the best piece to emerge so far.
The article is largely composed of quotes from folks throughout the industry, who recall the LEC adventures with relatable adoration and assert the influence they continue to have. Peter McConnell is among the voices, and the whole thing concludes with reflections by David Fox.
Sad day today, but not surprising, you had to see that coming. I was employee #9 at Lucasfilm Games.
Look like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.
Aw. Sad, but not unexpected. LEC is survived by countless children and grandchildren in the industry. Good things were done.
Yes of course I'm heartbroken. I wanted the Phoenix. So many great people, even after us. Thinking of my family there with love.
Now does that give you pause? When you look at Monkey Island, which is a very interesting case where you’re working with a familiar IP in the realm of gaming. It’s not a comic book or a TV series, it’s a classic game. The news came out a few years ago that you had the license for King’s Quest. Do you re-think how you approach that or whether or not you do something like that when it sort of represents… a step away from the Telltale voice?
I think there’s an expectation that comes with the classic stuff that puts us in kind of a no-win position where we’re going to disappoint on some level if we don’t stay true to the roots there. Right now we’re in a place where we’re really pushing in a new direction. I think there’s a possibility to be back in that space and modernize some of the older franchises still, but right now our focus is certainly The Walking Dead and Fables: The Wolf Among Us. They’re taking up a lot of our mental bandwidth. What we do next is still something we’re working on, but I think we’re going to have some very cool, future-looking announcements. I think ‘modern’ is kind of the key word. Bringing stuff forward from the past, that’s not a huge focus for us right now.
It certainly seems like Telltale wants the expectation that they're here to revive old adventure IP to be disposed of. Arguably, with the all-but-officially-announced cancellation of their King's Quest take, Tales of Monkey Island was their only true example of that (Sam & Max was the rejuvenation of a franchise as a whole, not specifically a PC graphic adventure) so Dan's comments don't signal the abandonment of roots some will surely insist they do.
In fact The Walking Dead was very much the culmination of an evolution you can cleary see from Out from Boneville on. Sure, it perfected a balance such that it resonated with players more so than any previous release, but anyone intimately familiar with the company's whole catalog would identify it as the latest phase of what has been a fairly natural evolution. Considering that evolution has almost always been in the direction of improvement, it's hard for me not to get stoked about the company's next projects regardless of my familiarity with the property.
I will say this though, the company's grand success is making the fact that Puzzle Agent remains their only entry in the non-licensing experiment more and more difficult to justify.
Telltale's game based on Bill Willingham's Fables comic now has a title. It's called The Wolf Among Us, and it's set to come out on Xbox 360, PC, Mac and PlayStation 3 this summer. As previously reported, players take on the role of Fables' Big Bad Wolf, Bigby Wolf. However, more has been revealed (including some of the "Fables" you'll meet in the game). Bigby will try to keep fairy tale characters including Mr. Toad and the Three Little Pigs undetected in our world.
According to IGN, more news on The Wolf Among Us will be revealed in the coming weeks.
The community's glory days bore a horn o'plenty of great LEC fan sites, on that we can all agree, but I think my favorite was The LucasArts Museum. You know, the one that endeavored to collect, index and photograph the boxes, manuals, game media, inserts, and all manner of increasingly frivolous and obscure paraphernalia associated with every release version of the LEC adventure games?
As an obsessive myself, that site was my jam, but whenever I'd visit the forums I felt way out of my league. It was both enjoyable and immensely intimidating to peruse threads and see people distinguish between versions based on LFL file datestamps, argue over which pressing a floppy disk label denoted, discover some hitherto unknown budget release of Full Throttle available only from the back of a magazine, and ask for a ballpark on how much the copy of Zak McKracken they stumbled onto at a garage sale was worth on eBay.
We have a new podcast up, titled 'The Mixnmojo Campfire'. It's with the same team as the cook-chase, but the format is a bit longer and more relaxed. In this edition, we talk about Indie adventure games -- specifically Daedalic Entertainment and Wadjet Eye, as well as related sub-topics: tone, voice acting, gameplay, etc.
The eBay item featured in our regular feature 'I found it on eBay' can be observed here.
Listen below, and, as ever, please get in touch with messages / interventions by commenting on this news post, or e-mailing us at podcast [at] mixnmojo.com
Download here or subscribe on iTunes. The episode was edited and produced by Zaarin.
Telltale producers Kevin Bruner (also co-founder) and Kevin Boyle had a little chat with God Is A Geek to discuss what's going on at their adorable little company.
The two offer their theories as to why The Walking Dead was the project that cranked awareness for the near decade-old studio up to eleven, prove to be immune to attempts to have plans for the second season teased out, and of course mention Fables (real title pending), which is now the company's project of focus.
We’ve been working on it for a while, we haven’t talked much about it because The Walking Dead has been the big game for us. But we’ll be definitely talking more about that over the next couple of weeks. It’s looking amazing. It looks like an ink graphic novel come to life. So it’s got a very distinct look and it takes some of the things that made The Walking Dead special, and kind of evolves them further.
And you know, it’s not zombies, it’s Bigby Wolf in Fabletown in New York, so a whole different set of circumstances, but a lot of similar feeling of what you got from playing The Walking Dead, you’ll see in the Fables game.
So, be ready for that.
I mean, if the Kickstarter for A Vampyre Story: Year One wasn't fairly close to launching like, totally for real this time, why else would Bill be offering this little clip of animation for the pitch video? Just to hurt you?
In his narration, Bill states that "hopefully in a week we can give it to Pedro to do the sound and music," so this thing is clearly in the birth canal. You clowns better not have blown all your disposable income on Ragnar Tornquist. >:
Apparently part of a series analyzing "gonzo guns" in video games (so, all of them), Gamaustra has a brief piece up examining the legendary Land Shark Gun from Planet Moon's should-have-been blockbuster Armed & Dangerous.
Never played Armed & Dangerous? Dude, it's $4.99 on Steam.
I revive myself from my Mardi Gras-induced stupor to alert you to a piece on Mobiledia about Lucy Bradshaw, a key figure in LucasArts product development back when they developed products worth rallying attention behind.
Bradshaw, whose name might be familiar to you from the opening credits of games like Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge and Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, graduated from her "training ground" at LEC in the 90s to become an executive for Maxis/EA. It is the later part of her career that the article largely concerns, but I think she would agree that it was her days being rotoscoped in a wetsuit for The Dig animation tests that truly legitimized the games business as a vocation.
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