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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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!
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.
It's rare for an indie bundle to include an adventure game, so the Bundle in a Box: Adventure Bundle is a very rare thing, as this indie bundle includes nothing but adventure games.
Like the other indie bundles out there, this is a pay-what-you-want bundle to support developers and charity. For a minimum of less than $2US, you will receive the LucasArts-inspired adventures Ben There Dan That: Special Edition and its sequel Time Gentlemen, Please from Size Five Games. You will also get the adventure set in a neo-noir dystopian future, Gemini Rue, from Wadjet Eye Games, and the text adventure (interactive fiction) 1893: A World's Fair Mystery from Illuminated Lantern. You will also get the never before released The Sea Will Claim Everything by Jonas Kyratzes.
If you pay more than the average of less than $6US, you will also get the first game from Wadjet Eye Games, The Shivah, and the heavy-metal influenced zombie adventure from Walk Thru Walls Studios, The Metal Dead.
The game has had a long development cycle, starting out on Adventure Game Studio, then switching to a custom engine called Gobby. But now, the wait is over, as The Journey Down has been released for PC, Mac, and Linux in downloadable form at Adventure Shop, Desura, and a whole lot of other places.
The full list of things it includes is not just games, but comics and music as well. It includes a bunch of stuff like Madballs in...Babo: Invasion and DLCs, Beat Hazard and DLCs, Plain Sight, Sol Survivor. If you pay $5 or more you get more things, such as Killing Floor. Once 75,000 bundles are sold, Scratches: Director's Cut will be available, and another bonus will be shown to be available at a certain amount of bundles sold after that.
The games also include Steam keys, so what are you waiting for, pay what you want on the Be Mine 2 Bundle now!
Jonathan Ackley ensures my future children get lost at Disney World (UPDATE: Ahern shares culpability!)06 Apr, 2012, 09:35 | Posted by: Jason | Source: Orlando Sentinel | Comments: 2
So we're about a two months late on this one, a Mixnmojo phenomenon known as "par for the course," but we've really got to report it.
You might recall that Jonathan Ackley, the co-project lead of The Curse of Monkey Island who isn't Larry Ahern, has been a Disney Imagineer for most of his post-LEC years, and in that capacity has worked on all kinds of neat stuff.
His latest project is "Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom" - an attraction that's sort of a treasure hunt mixed with a role playing card game that was launched at the Magic Kingdom in February. Armed with a map and spell cards, guests partake in a narrative in which classic Disney villians are scattered throughout the park in order to retrieve crystal shards at the behest of Hades. Guests solve quests by tracking down and activating Magic Portals and doing battle with the villains using their spell cards, which are divided into nine different spell classes.
A better explanation of the whole thing, complete with Ackley quotes, can be found here. Sounds like something I could get into. Yes, I'm trying to invite myself to your next Disney trip.
Update: Well whaddya know! Some diligent stalking of Larry Ahern's Linkedin, a daily Mojo rote, has led to the revelation that he in fact worked on "Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom" with his old cohort. Now we just need those guys to resurrect Vanishing Act.
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