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).
There's quite a few screenshots showing the game's excellent comic book inspired style in action, as well as some more information about how the game is going to play. It's definitely worth a read (if you haven't read it already).
Telltale has just launched their latest poker game worldwide, but only on Xbox Live. Steam will follow on April 26th and PlayStation Network users in North America will be able to join in on the fun on the 30th. Release dates for European PSN and iOS have yet to be announced, but you can shorten the wait by 1 minute and 35 seconds by watching the launch trailer:
Telltale has made available another Poker Night 2 video. This one focuses on the various things you can unlock, from changing the look of The Inventory to various items for games like Borderlands 2 and Team Fortress 2.
The issue also reveals more of the "Fables" that we'll be encountering in the game. There's the ones we already know: Bigby Wolf (the big bad wolf), who's the sheriff of Fabletown, and the person we'll be controlling, Mr. Toad (who is a carjacking thief, and who is able to keep himself and his family in human form to keep from getting sent to the farm), one of the three little pigs (named Colin, the one who built his house out of straw, is a professional mooch who lives on the farm with his cousins, but sneaks into the city since he's bored with farm life). There's also Ichabod Crane (deputy mayor of Fabletown for nearly 115 years), Snow White (the assistant to the deputy mayor of Fabletown) Beauty and the Beast (she's dependent on him (but is still said to have genuine care and concern for him), and he works two and a half jobs in order to keep up their lavish lifestyle now that they don't have servants), and Buffin (a talking, winged monkey from the land of Oz who is Fabletown's librarian, and prone to mischief).
There's some more information on how Telltale has evolved the gameplay from The Walking Dead as well. The action has improved. It will still be motivated by the game's narrative, and it will still be presented in a cinematic style, but players will have more control over the action (which in this game involve bigby throwing punches). And since Bigby is a Fable, the action will be more over the top than The Walking Dead since Bigby can take more punches than Lee ever could (and the amount of damage you take is shown in your appearance, and is noticed by the other characters in the game). There will still be quick time events (involving Bigby making a decision in the middle of a fight to decide the game's outcome). However, it seems the QTE's this time will be just the decision making ones and not the button pressing ones.
The relationship building in The Walking Dead will also be expanded in The Wolf Among Us, as it's said to contain a lot more of that, and there will be a powerful emotional connection to the characters like Telltale did with The Walking Dead.
As Telltale has said before, you'll be able to choose what decisions to make like The Walking Dead. The Wolf Among Us will also have the opportunity to choose when to go to different locations, making the events unfold in different ways. Two events will happen at the same time, and the other event will still unfold regardless of whether you've experienced it first-hand or not, giving the game an extra element of realism (and replay value).
According to the Steam page, the game will be released on the 23rd of April. The game is also going to be coming out for XBLA on Xbox 360 and PSN on PlayStation 3, but no release dates for those platforms have yet been announced.
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.
Something along those lines, at least.
Shacknews brings word Activision now wants to reboot King's Quest all by themselves.
"I talked to the guys at Activision and they were like, 'No, we're pulling it because we're going to do it ourselves,'" Trowe said.
We can only hope it'll be as good as Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude. Thanks to reader Tom Sweeney for the news.Update by Jason: Telltale confirms, making it official.
Telltale's Poker Night 2 Site is live. There's also more info on it beyond what we already know. Most importantly, this time Texas Hold'em won't be the only variation of poker available to play. Omaha will be available as well. Also, it appears the key theme was related to the "Bounty Unlocks" feature in the game, in which you can not only unlock items for Team Fortress 2, but this time, for Borderlands 2 and Xbox 360 avatars and PS3 premium themes. Also, check out the background on the video that runs on the site. You'll see some side characters from the various franchises hanging out around the bar.
The official trailer is up at Telltale's YouTube channel (as linked below) and through IGN videos.
It is scheduled to release sometime this month, so we won't have to wait long until GLaDOS deals us in to play poker with Sam, Brock Samson, Ash Williams, and Claptrap.
Update 3/29: For those still interested, the last two keychains on the Key Party website were Claptrap's eye and a companion cube for GLaDOS. Now we'll just have to wait until Monday to see how much information on Poker Night 2 Telltale plans to release, and if the Key Party theme actually ties into the game somehow.
Update 3/27 #2: It turns out it is indeed Poker Night 2. The box art and screenshots have been found on the xbox.com website. So, it seems the game will be available for at least PC/Mac and Xbox 360. The characters are Sam, Brock, and Ash (as already revealed), as well as Claptrap from Borderlands 2 (rather than Handsome Jack as previously assumed). GlaDOS from Portal seems to be taking the place of Reginald Van Winslow as the host.
Update 3/27: The Key Party site now has a keychain with the Necronomicon for Ash.
Update 3/26: The website hasn't been updated yet but the key was revealed on Adult Swim, and retweeted by Telltale. As expected, it's Brock from Venture Bros. (the keychain of his big knife, which will also be a Team Fortress 2 unlock). It will be interesting to see what keychains they use for Evil Dead's Ash, Borderland's Handsome Jack, and Portal's Chell, Wheatley, or GlaDOS (that one's harder to pinpoint, since the boots can belong to any of them).
Update 3/25: The first key is up, and it's a key to a DeSoto. So, that means it's Sam's. So it looks like The Key Party is indeed the Poker Night sequel (which the background for the key text pretty much gave away anyway as it matches Poker Night's user interface). Although whether it's another card game or an entirely new genre altogether is still up in the air.Original post 3/22: Telltale has unveiled a website called The Key Party. The website claims that the answer as to what The Key Party is will be revealed on April 1st.
However, we'll most likely get some clues before hand, since if you mouse over the key, you'll see that the "guests will start to arrive March 25th, 2013".So what is it? Poker Night 2? Fables? King's Quest? Theodore Dudebrough's Excellent Adventure? Your guess is as good as ours.
The Wolf Among Us press release is now out with a bit more info about the upcoming series:
Set prior to the events seen in the first issue of the FABLES comic book series, The Wolf Among Us puts players in the role of Bigby Wolf, a man once more infamously known as The Big Bad Wolf. Now the sheriff of a hidden community in New York City, exiled from the land of fairy tales, Bigby is tasked by the bureaucrat Snow White to keep order within a society of mythical creatures and characters trying to remain undetected in the world of the mundane. From a chain-smoking member of 'The Three Little Pigs,' to a car-stealing Mr. Toad itching for his next wild ride, The Wolf Among Us examines the lives of beings straight from the pages of myth and lore, now trying to survive on the meanest and most run-down streets of New York City.
Perhaps. Have a look!
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 Fables convention in Rochester, MN is over now, and people who visited the Saturday panel got a first look at Telltale's Fables game.
The rest of us will get a look at the game when Telltale has their official reveal on Wednesday. But, until then The LA Times has an article about the Fables convention that has some information about the game:
“Fables” fans also got to see their favorite winged monkey librarian take flight Saturday during Telltale Games’ preview of the upcoming video game set in the comic’s world. The title won’t be announced until Wednesday, but Telltale’s Richard Iggo said gamers would play as Bigby Wolf, that there would be new characters and that the story is set before Issue 1 of the series. He said players will feel the “narrative clock ticking” in the game, and that outcomes are not determined only by choices, but also by the timing of those choices.
“We’ve always strived to see the players of our games … as the last collaborator in the creation of the story,” he said.
Willingham said the game is canon, and there are ideas Telltale originated that he wants to “steal” for future “Fables” issues.
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.
Remember that interview that said that Telltale is working with Warner Bros. to release Poker Night at the Inventory in 2013? It seems like there might be something to it after all.
There are some items released in the latest Team Fortress 2 update that contain the PN2 prefix. Softpedia and a smattering of fans think they are related to a Poker Night 2, since they contain the PN2 prefix. The items are Sam's hat from Sam & Max, Handsome Jack's mask from Borderlands 2, Ash's crown from Evil Dead, Chell's boots from Portal, and Brock Samson's knife from Venture Bros.
But that's not the only piece that fits into the Poker Night 2 puzzle. "Poker Night 2 Early Access Comp" has been added to the Steam Database. Additionally, a Steam Group for the game's id is available, but not yet active.
So it does seem like we'll be getting a sequel to Telltale Texas Hold'em's spiritual sequel soon.
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.
(Granted, that might not have been a verbatim quote.)
But! Gary Whitta, writer of episode four? three? an episode of The Walking Dead did say more content will appear before season two is released. What does that mean? An expansion pack? Facebook game? Who knows?! But it's clear Telltale isn't quite ready to let go of this success story quite yet.
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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