For our UK readers only, here's Charlie Brooker's How Video Games Changed the World on Youtube. There's supposedly a Monkey Island section approx 35:27 minutes in with Ronzo "Ron" Gilbert and Tim Schafer.
Thanks to reader Artisa for telling us about it! Since I'm not in the UK I can't watch it so don't blame me if the link is wrong!
After getting released on Android in Australia and New Zealand earlier this month, iOS gets a similar treatment, as Tiny Death Star was released exclusively on iTunes in Australia on the 15th of October.
This Star Wars themed Tiny Tower game will be released worldwide on Android and iOS soon.
Have you ever found yourself wondering, "Say, what if someone re-interpreted Stanley Kubrick's The Shining as a machinima primarily assembled using art assets from the NES version of Maniac Mansion?"
Well, the winsomely disturbed artisans of the "CineFix" Youtube channel are here to put this issue to bed, though good luck getting any decent shut-eye yourself after a viewing of what they've wrought.
Tiny Death Star, the Star Wars themed Tiny Tower game (complete with the series' signature 8-bit graphical style), is available now on Google Play for Android phones and tablets. It was developed by Disney Mobile (as was expected with casual Star Wars games after the Disney merger) and Tiny Tower developer Nimblebit.
Interestingly, LucasArts is listed as the publisher, so it would appear that the remodeled LucasArts has retained it's function as a publisher as well as a licensor.
The Empire needs your help! In collaboration with LucasArts and Tiny Tower creators NimbleBit, Disney Mobile introduces Star Wars™: Tiny Death Star™, a new game for mobile devices. Live life on the dark side and join Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader on a mission to attract Galactic bitizens, run intergalactic businesses, and build an all-new Death Star. Construct unique Star Wars themed locations to attract iconic characters and species to your space station in this 8-bit style game. Star Wars: Tiny Death Star will soon be available worldwide.
8-bit style cute Star Warsey fun. Sure, why not...
It always kind of amazed me that the game studio that wrote the book on crass movie tie-ins saw unfit to take advantage of Indy's long awaited return to the silver screen in 2008 with an opportunistic video game adaptation.
It kinda makes sense when you consider that Staff of Kings was already committed to (well, until it wasn't) by the time Crystal Skull got greenlit, and at the time the company didn't seem particularly capable of devoting itself to more than one or two internal projects - indeed, the rumor was that "choosing" The Force Unleashed to rally resources behind is what starved out the original Staff of Kings SKUs.
Still, it would seem impossible that a Crystal Skull tie-in was never conceived, and a comment left by a former developer on Kotaku's "How LucasArts Fell Apart" article confirms it:
I worked at an outsourcing company for a LucasArts game on the DS. It was Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings. Originally it was based off the Crystal Skull movie. Through 6 months on the game, it was clear there was a weird managerial tone going on. Almost any company wants feedback and people to present some creativity in dealing with issues and finding any problems with the games they make. Not them. there was to be ZERO DEVEIATION. Even if we were able to see a bug in the game, IGNORE IT. We were reprimanded when we did. The team became dejected quickly. They tried to submit the game and it failed (obviously). It was at this point the DS game went back into development and was no longer based on the movie and ended up being Staff of Kings because it was too late after the movie came out to be related.
Just another in an apparently long run of cancelled projects that LucasArts went through in its final years. Jason Schreier at Kotaku has written an extensive feature covering How LucasArts Fell Apart, covering what went on at the sinking ship.
It's well worth a read!
The advanced real-time motion-capture capabilities pioneered for Star Wars 1313 enables the "production company to film an actor and then immediately capture and funnel those actions into a computer-generated character. The result is an instantaneous, photo-realistic computer-generated film that cuts down on production time".
See the technology in action in the video below:
This sequel actually is based on the Star Wars prequels, changing the titular birds into Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda, Anakin Skywalker, Mace Windu, and Jar Jar Binks. This time you can also turn to the dark side in the pork side mode and play as a Tie Fighter pilot, Zam Wesell, and Emporer Palpatine. The Hasbro Telepod toys can also be scanned in to unlock characters, but they're not required to play.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Disney Interactive has pulled back production in other areas in order to pour its resources into Disney Infinity, Disney's version of Activision's Skylanders (the game where you purchase toys that are then detected by the game, making the character available for play).
Disney is putting so much into this project that Disney Interactive stopped production on the Iron Man game they had in development and passed on the opportunity to make any Star Wars games. Strangely, Angry Birds Star Wars II will feature the debut of Hasbro's Telepods, which seem to be a direct competitor of both Skylanders and Disney Infinity. However, since the Telepods have a simple QR scan rather than saving the data in the toy like Skylanders, Disney must feel there is room for both products.At the very least, at least this means the LucasArts licensing house still has a use, since it previously seemed kind of redundant after the announcement of the exclusive licensing deal with EA. Now we'll just have to wait to see if they realize that they have other intellectual property besides Star Wars that they can license out.
In October, a revamped version of the original Angry Birds Star Wars will be coming out on pretty much every current console, from the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii U, to the handheld 3DS and PSP Vita, and even the original Wii. These versions will feature cooperative and competitive multiplayer modes and 20 new levels.On top of that, this September, Rovio will be releasing Angry Birds Star Wars II, which will feature new levels and new characters with powers inspired by the Star Wars prequel films. And yes, there will be toys released that tie-in to Angry Birds Star Wars II as well. This is Disney we're talking about after all.
Well I've got one for ya: The SCUMM Bar has been updated. What a world we live in.
Following a quiet and thankful revert to their old design back in February, they have now made some sizable content updates. This mainly includes a much more corpulent Tales section, a more comprehensive collection of known info about the cancelled animated film, and a revamped MP3 section that now covers Tales.
I don't mind telling you, I needed those MP3s. Go visit The SCUMM Bar! Your children may be the age you are now before its next update, after all.
Gamasutra recently got in touch with Aric Wilmunder and he regaled them with stories of SCUMM over e-mail. They compiled it all into one long feature which you can read over here.
Earlier this month, Paypal's TechXploration hosted a panel called The Story of LucasArts moderated by Douglas Crockford. The developers in attendance were Noah Falstein, Randy Farmer, David Fox, Ron Gilbert, Chip Morningstar, Aric Wilmunder, and Gary Winnick. For those of you who couldn't make it, Paypal made the entire thing available on Youtube in eight parts:
Thanks to reader salty-horse for the heads-up!
Night Dive Studios, the company that managed to untie the legal mess surrounding System Shock 2 to negotiate the digital re-release of that game, is apparently negotiating to digitally re-release more games that are currently unavailable.
In this case, it seems they are trying to free the LucasArts adventure games from the Disney Vault, since they posted a teaser on their Facebook page that they are "Heading to Corley Motors!" (complete with a shot of Ben Throttle on his Corley motorcycle). After posting shout-outs to more LucasArts adventure games, such as Sam & Max Hit the Road on their twitter page, they were asked by twitter user BJ Wanlund to clarify the meaning of their LucasArts teases. Night Dive Studios responded by saying "We're hoping for it as much as everyone else, that's all we can say at the moment!"So it seems like more classic LucasArts adventure games might come out on digital distribution sites some day after all. Or, they might not. We'll just have to wait and see how this situation develops.
Head over to the website and you can play demos of Maniac Mansion, Loom, The Secret of Monkey Island, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, Day of the Tentacle, and Sam & Max Hit the Road directly in your browser!
"In 2004, the original Star Wars Battlefront came onto the scene and took gamers – and Star Wars fans – by surprise. It was an ambitious action shooter that gave players the opportunity to step into the shoes of their favorite Star Wars characters, pilot quintessential Star Wars vehicles, and relive classic Star Wars battles.
Fast forward nearly 10 years and gamers still have many of those same Star Wars gaming fantasies – but now they wish to experience those larger-than-life battles in magnificent high definition, with all of the amazing special effects, vehicle physics and gameplay intensity that the next-generation has to offer.
Star Wars Battlefront, developed by DICE on Frostbite 3, will surprise and delight fans yet again with a new experience inside this beloved universe made with our signature DICE craftsmanship and commitment to excellence."
So there we go, new Battlefront is coming. Let's hope for more Star Wars story-driven games too, along the lines of Dark Forces / Jedi Knight or the X-Wing series.
Adventure Gamers has published a new interview with Bill as his A Vampyre Story: Year One Kickstarter hobbles past $32k. It's a satisfyingly massive article covering, if I'm not mistaken, every single moment of Bill's life, including the explanation for why over twelve months separated his initial tweet about the Kickstarter and its launch last weekend. There's some art in there, too.
Go read it. Then check out the latest updates for the Kickstarter to discover that there are some new tiers available at $20 and $40. A $20 dollar pledge gets you a free copy of A Vampyre Story and its splendid soundtrack. You'd be a fool to not be all over that. And you can tell you I said so.
Joystiq have reviewed the iPad version here, if you want to know what's been updated to make it work on a touchscreen.
Perhaps this bodes well for further LucasArts classics that Aspyr ported to Mac previously, such as Jedi Outcast, making their way to the iPad in due course.
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