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.
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March Mojo Morsels

20 Mar, 2013, 05:09 | Posted by: Jennifer | Comments: 1

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.

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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.

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Yet More Mojo Tidbits

13 Feb, 2013, 19:44 | Posted by: Jennifer | Be the first to comment!
Not keen to just sit on our laurels with one post this week of tidbits not quite juicy enough to warrant their own stand-alone post, here comes another slew of Mojo related tidbits:

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.

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2013 Mojo Tidbits

10 Feb, 2013, 09:05 | Posted by: Jennifer | Comments: 3
Here's three Mojo tidbits for the new year:

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.

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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.

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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.

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The Return of the Mojo Tidbits

13 Dec, 2012, 15:17 | Posted by: Jennifer | Comments: 4
PC Gamer conducted an interview with Ron Gilbert, where Ron stated that he wants to make a Monkey Island game and that he intends on talking to Disney at some point about getting the rights to Monkey Island so he can “really make the game I want to make.” However, he also stated that he wasn't optimistic that he'd ever retrieve the series he created, saying that Disney seems like a company which "hoards IP". And in a related interview with Metro about The Cave where they discuss Ron contacting Disney about making a Monkey Island game, Ron states that he wouldn't be willing to change the genre of Monkey Island for a new game stating that "Monkey Island has to be a point 'n' click adventure game".

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.

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Sam & Max surfs digitally

15 Nov, 2012, 18:55 | Posted by: MrManager | Comments: 4

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!

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An adventure game fan has died

08 Nov, 2012, 15:45 | Posted by: Zaarin | Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | Comments: 5

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.

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As George Lucas owns LucasFilm outright, and as the company has little debt, he will be pocketing the majority of Disney's $4 billion himself. And what does it plan to do with this insane sum of money? Put it towards charitable endeavors in education.

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."

Move over Bill Gates, there's a new kid on the block.
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Jeepers, Dave, think of your soul.
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Capsule Computers conducted an interview with Mike Levine, LucasArts veteran and co-designer of Insecticide. It reveals that he co-founded a new company with LucasArts veterans called HappyGiant (he previously co-founded Crackpot Entertainment to create Insecticide).

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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Reacting to the imminent end of Nintendo Power magazine's twenty-four year run (Lord, the memories), Christina Warren of Mashable tearfully selected her favorite ten covers. Making her cut is issue #16, which had a Maniac Mansion cover story teased by a bodacious clay art take on the mansion and the cast.

We've scans of all the pertinent content from that issue in our galleries, by the by. Check them out:

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ScummVM, the Sentimental Community Undertaking Maintaining Marvelous Visionary Masterpieces, is now at 1.5.0 with the release of "Picnic Basket".

Along with the 2D LucasArts adventure games, most 2D Humongous Entertainment games, and countless others, the new release supports another Humongous Entertainment game: Backyard Baseball 2003.

It also has new support for other games that don't fall under the Mojo banner: Blue Force, Dreamweb, Geisha, Soltys (including an English translation for the first time), and the children's games Gregory and the Hot Air Balloon, Magic Tales: Liam Finds a Story, Sleeping Cub's Test of Courage, and The Princess and the Crab.

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Back when GDC 2012 was going on, we reported that Brian Moriarty (creator of Loom) gave a lecture in which he related his experience creating and teaching a game design course at Worchester Polytechnic Institute. The research that went into putting the class together was considerable, and in his belief that game design is inseparable from programming, Moriarty created a streamlined game engine specifically for the course that the students would use to build their assignments: ultra small-scale games. The class provided as much discovery for the industry veteran as his pupils.

As is Moriarty's way, the presentation gets rather philosophical, and he spends some at the beginning looking to history to trace DNA that the "noble discipline" of games shares with literature, music and even religion.

Those of us unable to attend GDC who wanted to receive Moriarty's lecture beyond a journalist's write-up of it were plumb outta luck - until now, that is. The presentation is now up for viewing in its 55-minute entirety at the invaluable GDC Vault. For free.

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If you're not aware, Paul Trowe of Replay Games (the company who started the Leisure Suit Larry kickstarter) sent out a message to the press that he wanted to sue Wisecrack games for using Al Lowe's name and the Leisure Suit Larry name on their kickstarter. Al Lowe reponded to the message saying that he didn't intend to sue and that he gave his permission to use his name and wishes Wisecrack Games luck on Sam Suede.

However, some posters on the Adventure Gamers forums have dug up something rather concerning. According to this post by Adventure Gamers poster supaplex, a person called "gamespygeek" has been trolling the Sierra related kickstarters. There is a profile on Myspace also under the name gamespygeek that looks like Paul Trowe. Additionally, the name on the Myspace page "Jiminy Drambuie" is friends with Paul Trowe on Facebook, and both Paul Trowe and Jiminy Drambuie are listed as living in Austin, TX.

Also, an Adventure Gamers forum user by the name of Siddhi noted some similarites between Gamespygeek's trolls and Paul Trowe's own posts.

Gamespygeek wrote on SpaceVenture kickstarter:

I don’t know who the heck this guy Chris Pope is, but I believe in Scott & Mark and their ability to make a game after all these years. I originally dropped my pledge to $1.00 because of the technical screw ups but I don’t think that’s The Two Guys’s fault…I blame that on the Chris guy…he’s leading this effort.

Paul Trowe wrote:

Ask them why they didn’t join up with the folks at Replay Games to create Sierra 2.0 and instead chose some guy they’ve never heard of, Chris Pope, to run a company they don’t own.

All of this evidence does seem like Paul Trowe, or a friend of Paul Trowe, is trying to sabotage other Sierra related kickstarters. And if that is indeed the case, it's incredibly poor sportsmanship and reflects poorly upon Replay Games.

Update: The gamespygeek myspace page has been removed. I had anticipated that might happen, so I saved an image of the page, which can be viewed here.

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Sam Suede is on Kickstarter

04 Jun, 2012, 03:55 | Posted by: Jennifer | Comments: 3

Sam Suede in Undercover Exposure, a comedy adventure game by Wisecrack Games and coded by Wizarbox (Grey Matter and So Blonde), is now on Kickstarter. It has a game design that was created by Al Lowe (creator of Leisure Suit Larry) and Ken Wegrzyn of Wisecrack Games in 2006, and still remains in tact. Al Lowe is no longer involved in the project, and he stresses that his comedy writing is not present, but his game design is still present.

That said, Steve Ince (formerly of Revolution Software (he was director of the first three games in the Broken Sword series), and creator of Mr. Smoozles Goes Nutso and So Blonde) is involved, so the comedy factor should be handled very well. He also did the art design of the games he worked on, and was the art designer of Beneath a Steel Sky. So, the game is in capable hands.

Like the other adventure projects on Kickstarter, there are multiple tiers to choose from, each with their own goodies, including a physical copy of the game at $125, along with the game bible and an art book. So, if you like comedy adventure games, choose a pledge tier at the Sam Suede kickstarter

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Sure, you already own Psychonauts, but here's a chance to buy it again, as part of the Humble Indie Bundle. Why would you want to do that? Well, it's the whole charity thing, but more importantly, the other games in the bundle are pretty much stone cold classics. Limbo, Sword & Sworcery EP, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, and (for a $7.34 donation at the time of writing) Bastion? Oh! Em! Gee! to that! Plus you get all the soundtracks thrown in too, all for an amount of your choice!

The games are available on Mac, Linux, and PC, and there are few excuses not to do this. Run and donate!

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Since we've been posting about the SpaceVenture Kickstarter, I thought I'd update with news that a playable prototype demo has been released which already contains a lot of the humor that the Space Quest series is known for. The Guys from Andromeda (the creators of SpaceVenture, and the creators of the Space Quest series) plan to release a new prototype demo each time a $100,000US goal is met. It's currently just above $270,000US (54% funded) with less than two weeks left to go.

Also, The Space Quest Collection is today's daily deal on Steam. For 9 more hours, you can pick up all 6 Space Quest games for only $5US.

The Space Quest games play just like SpaceVenture, so if you enjoy those games, pick a pledge tier and support SpaceVenture.

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