We had this ugly habit for awhile of flogging tenuously relevant Kickstarters here on the front page in a desperate attempt to defraud you into believing we had actual news to report on lean days. Well, here's a slow news day and two peripherally relevant Kickstarters to spare a thought.
The first campaign is for Bad Dreams: Volume 1, a physical compilation of a web comic that was released earlier this year. "An illustrated fantasy adventure," this bound volume would cover the first five issues. Oh, and the artist is none other than Gary Winnick, LucasArts employee from ye olden days, and Ron Gilbert's co-pilot on Maniac Mansion.
The second Kickstarter is headed by up two latter-day LucasArts designers who were toiling away on Star Wars: 1313 and Star Wars: First Assault up to the studio's quite timely closure. Relating that it was nearly impossible to pitch an original title to LEC management in their combined sixteen years at the company (shocker), they were inspired to make Super Roman Conquest, a sidescroller with strategy elements. For Caesar!
Thanks to former staffer Chris Capel aka The Tingler for the heads up on the second one. I guess Gabez deactivated his authorization badge.
Have you heard of The Synthetic Orchestra? I haven't either, or at least I hadn't until today, when our very own Thrik came rushing in, professing his love for it, and crying tears of joy over their rendition of the LeChuck theme.
And you know what? It's good, good enough for us to pretend like it's news worthy during this slow news month! Enjoy:
Today is, as we all know, Talk Like a Pirate Day -- yarrrr and stuff -- and what better way to celebrate than to download Scurvy Scallywags. For free! And... I got nothing. You probably already own it, but if not, d'arghload. (I really have nothing :~.)
There are many fine adventure developers not represented in the options, but that's what our comments are for :)
PS: We'll bring you the results of the last poll presently ;
It's good to know that Manny, despite being dead, lives on.
An entrepreneurial young lady has put together a grog machine iPhone cover. I'm not entirely sure what kind of signal you'd be sending walking around with one of these, but either way... They exist and you can buy them.
Go look and/or buy before Disney finds out it owns Monkey Island.
But, it should be interesting to see what comes from this though, at the very least.
Ex-LucasArts employee Doug Smith shared a game and the story behind it on reddit.
He's been working nights and weekends on a game for his three year old daughter who likes trains and bugs, and decided to put it up on iTunes for $1.99 USD. Called ChuggaBugga, it's a game for children about a train full of bugs hauling four boxcars. Kids can poke the various interactive elements, and watch the bugs have fun on the items found on the various box cars.Doug said he's encouraged by the support he's gotten from the game so far, and it has been a silver lining to his LucasArts troubles.
Here's some small bits of Mojo related news for the month of March:
First of all, the first look at Telltale's upcoming series based the comic book series Fables will take place at the Fablescon in Rochester, MN this Saturday during a panel with Richard Iggo from Telltale and Fables creator Bill Willingham. The two will reveal "a few visuals from the game, and give away as few secrets as they can hold on to."
Secondly, do you remember the Indiegogo campaign for Dominique Pamplemousse in "It's All Over Once the Fat Lady Sings!", the black and white claymation detective adventure game presented as a musical with singing by Deidre Kiai (former programmer on Deathspank and even further back a former intern at Telltale Games)?No? Well, you'll get a chance to rectify that and buy a copy for yourself on Windows, Mac, or iPad on April 1st. If you were one of the lucky who backed the Indiegogo campaign at a tier high enough to come with a copy of the game, you are even more lucky, as you are able to get it now. Check your e-mail, since you should have already received a link to get the game.
I've played it, and I can attest that it's well worth the money. Play the demo and see if the musical style fits your tastes. If it does, don't hesitate to buy it once it's available, since the story and detective style dialog-based puzzles are excellent.
There's another interview with Dan Connors that talks about Telltale's upcoming Fables game, this time at Game Informer. In it, the protaganist is revealed to be Bigby, Fables' big bad wolf. There's also a hint as to how the choice based gameplay that was featured in The Walking Dead might work in Telltale's Fables game:
"Fables is coming along really well. We’ve gone back in and really tried to take a lot of what we learned from The Walking Dead and get that integrated into the story with Bigby and the characters that he meets. We want to make it a real interesting battle for Bigby between: Should he give in to the wolf side, or should he try to get along and keep everybody safe? There’s a lot of work in trying to make that work."
Also, Polygon posted an article with an image from the PlayStation Meeting 2013 showing all the third party companies that are committed to making games for the upcoming PlayStation 4. They mentioned Double Fine by name, but intrepid viewers can also spot the LucasArts and Telltale Games logos among those companies listed.
Will the season five finale of The Clone Wars animated television series tie into Star Wars 1313? The HD Room thinks so, and they provide some compelling side-by-sides screenshots of the finale trailer and the 1313 trailer. If nothing else, it certainly does look like the underworld Coruscant from the game.
PC World has an article on "How Adventure Games Came Back from the Dead". It features interviews with Dan Connors (the co-founder and CEO of Telltale Games), Jane Jensen (of Gabriel Knight fame) and Dave Gilbert (of Blackwell fame).
There's no news on Telltale's King's Quest, but there is news for King's Quest fans. Under the Half Dome is a kickstarter project for an album made up of orchestrated versions of Sierra songs by Ken Allen. If you don't know, Ken Allen was the composer of the music from the VGA remake of King's Quest and King's Quest V (as well as many other Sierra games), and he may or may not work on the music for Telltale's King's Quest (no composer has been announced yet, like everything else about the game). The kickstarter has many interesting tiers to choose from, so much so that it was part of Forbes' 10 Most Clever Kickstarter Rewards list (for their $500 USD and $1,000 USD tier). The base price of the album is $15 USD (for the digital version), and if they hit the $20,000 USD mark, all kickstarter backers will have their first names included in a song inspired by the "Nations of the World" song from Animaniacs.
Firstly, Did you miss the first public Double Fine Amnesia fortnight? If so, you still have a chance to redeem yourself for your misdeeds. Head to Double Fine's Amnesia Fortnight page where you can still buy the games in digital form for $10 USD. If that's not enough for you, for an extra $20 USD, you can now pre-order a collector's package that comes with a DVD with all five Amnesia Fortnight prototypes (plus the bonus prototypes Brazen, Happy Song, and Costume Quest), the 15-track Amnesia Fortnight 2012 Soundtrack, and a Blu-Ray disc of 2-Player Productions' Amnesia Fortnight documentary footage. If that's still not enough for you, for an extra $15 on top of that, you can have the package include a collector's edition cover featuring art of one of the five 2012 protoypes signed by the project leader for that prototype. If you're still not satisfied with these awesome options, feel free to pay $70 USD for a collector's package featuring covers with art from all six prototypes, all signed by each project leader.
Secondly, Telltale's finally openly talking about their upcoming announced projects, but it's not Fables or King's Quest. Instead, they're talking about The Walking Dead Season Two (which should surprise no one). In an interview with Polygon, Telltale CEO Dan Connors talks about the next season's pre-production story meetings. It seems the next season will feature at least some of the same characters as season one, since according to Mr. Connors:
"We're talking through different scenarios, though I don't think we've talked through one where we just start with a new set of characters."
Another interesting bit from that interview is that Telltale is open to the possibility of having the game characters meet the television show characters. It will be interesting to see if they can work that out, since it seems the television show and comic book are handled by two separate corporate entities (judging by the Terminal Reality developed shooter based on the television show that's coming out next month, and the fact that Telltale's game got no publicity from AMC, the network that produces the show).
Lastly, do you remember the Wallace & Gromit's Musical Marvels show at the BBC Proms last year? The one that Mojo covered because it was Ben Whitehead's (of Telltale's Wallace & Gromit's Grand Adventures) first official credited appearance as Wallace in plasticine form? Well, the good news is that if you missed it last year, you still have a chance to see it live since it's proved popular enough to now become a full touring show. It just premiered yesterday at The Plenary in Melbourne, Australia, and will be touring elsewhere later this year (with the short A Matter of Loaf and Death screened at each performance as a bonus). You can view a list of the full touring locations at the Wallace & Gromit's Musical Marvels website.
Today Gamaustra has published an article by psychologist and semi-regular contributor Jamie Madigan, who explores the neuroscience of how Telltale's eight hundred time Game of the Year winner The Walking Dead emotionally manipulated us.
Just what sort of malignant intent was the moonstruck Jake Rodkin embedding into the design document with crooked-grinned glee? Read to find out.
In his spare time, Telltale Games' programmer and designer (and former Mojo staffer), Andrew "telarium" Langley, apparently likes to creep people out. This tendency is no better shown than by the video embedded below of real life animatronics programmed to sing the "Ted E. Bear's Mafia Free Playland and Casino" song from Sam & Max Season One: Episode 3: The Mole, the Mob, and the Meatball.
It's actually a pretty clever feat, accomplished by replacing the innards of Wowee's Chimpanzee Alive and Elvis Alive animatronics with a custom programmed controller.
There's another Ron Gilbert interview at Eurogamer, where Ron explains why his upcoming adventure game, The Cave, has no inventory.
Telltale is raking up the awards for The Walking Dead, including 5 awards from Spike TV's Video Game Awards: "Game of the Year", "Best Adapted Video Game", "Best Downloadable Game", "Best Performance By a Human Female" (for Melissa Hutchinson's Clementine), and "Studio of the Year". Telltale was also awarded "Best Downloadable Game" and "Best Character Design" for Lee Everett at the Inside Gaming Awards.
ResidualVM is making progress on its supported games. Escape from Monkey Island is now playable to Lucre Island (and is still a work in progress, and not officially supported), and ResidualVM's only supported non-LucasArts game, Myst 3, is now completable with glitches and missing features (as of the December 9 daily builds). The ResidualVM team can still also use your help in testing Grim Fandango (which is fully completable and fully supported). They request that any bugs that you encounter be submitted to the issue tracker and that you post on their forums when you complete the game.The UK's Channel 4 commissioned an online adventure game inspired by LucasArts classics for their animated sitcom, Full English. The game contains five chapters (which are individually selectable at any time) and features Day of The Tentacle inspired multiple playable characters with inventory sharing. It also includes references to a certain Lucasfilm license.
No, not the game -- you didn't seriously believe that to be the case, did you? -- but the comic anthology. It is now available digitally from Comixology, which means you can read classic Sam & Max comics (alongside the infamous Jake Rodkin extras) on your iOS or Android device.
For only $15 you'd be a complete tight-ass not to buy this, so run and get it!
Francis "Randy" Sluganski, whom most of you know as the former owner and editor of Just Adventure, has died after a decade long battle with cancer. Mojo and Randy have not always seen eye to eye, but his enthusiasm for the adventure game genre and his efforts to promote it can't be faulted. Our thoughts are with his family and friends in these difficult times.
As Lucas is already the chairman of Edutopia, which is part of the George Lucas Educational Foundation, it's possible the money may go into that.
"For 41 years, the majority of my time and money has been put into the company," Lucas said in a statement Wednesday. "As I start a new chapter in my life, it is gratifying that I have the opportunity to devote more time and resources to philanthropy."
Mike's past games are woefully skimmed over in the interview, but there's a lot of information on his new development studio, including that the company's first release is an iOS app called “Dolphin Paradise: Wild Friends”, and why the company has chosen a free-to-play system for their games.
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