AVS2 status update, Mona models

31 Dec, 2008, 18:53 | Posted by: Jason | Comments: 0
We could have told you this news on December 17th, when The Pumpkin Post first reported it, but, you know, it was December 17th. We figured you were probably really, really busy that day. And then one thing led to another. And then Gabez forgot Festivus again, etc.

Anyway, the Post was able to score an exclusive look at the new Mona model Autumn Moon will be using for A Vampyre Story 2. Quoth the Post:
Mona has been updated and smoothed over to work better for the animators, and her polygon count has gone up a bit. Bill also mentions that AVS 2 is 38.5 % done, and that it should be out in the fourth quarter of 2009!
So what are you waiting for? Check out those voluptuous polygons!
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That should make the inclusion of some in Ron Gilbert's latest blog entry a pleasing notion for you, then.
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Merry Mojomas!

25 Dec, 2008, 12:19 | Posted by: The Tingler | Comments: 10




Update by Kroms: A little something from Graham Annable.
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We at the International House of Pancakes Mojo wish you a very Merry Christmas!

First let us rise for our National Anthem, then we finish by taking a good hard look at our traditional festive image:

Merry Xmas Everyone!

Update by Kroms: Woo! I've been waiting to talk about these: Steve Purcell has been posting some awesome Christmas paintings he did over the years! They are:
Marley (Sam and Max)
Father Christmas (Sam and Max)
Cratchet and Son (Sam and Max)
Picnic (Ernie and Suda)
Sleigh Ride (Ernie and Suda)

And finally there's two new pages a day of The Visitor, another comic featuring Ernie and Suda. From what I can tell, it's also sadly the last.

Update by Jason: And let's not forget Autumn Moon's card!
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Competition Reminder

23 Dec, 2008, 13:28 | Posted by: Gabez | Comments: 15
There are only five days left until our competition to win the excellent Rogue Leaders: The Story of LucasArts book is finished: so get your fake histories of LucasArts games to this address pronto, along with your name and e-mail, in order to be in with a chance to win that baby! And even if you don't win, we'll be publishing the best stories as part of our annual new years booze up feature.

Speaking of Rogue Leaders, ATMachine has already focused his eye of fire onto one aspect of the book, to wit, Monkey Island 2 originally had animated close-ups planned, a la SOMI and LOOM. Join in the discussion here.

Edit: The contest will close at midnight tonight (GMT) -- so just a few more hours to get those entries in!

Edit 2: The results are in, and a winnar has been chosen! See it here, along with a handful of very honourable mentions.

Thanks a lot to everyone who entered -- the standard was very high indeed -- to Chronicle Books for providing a copy of Rogue Leaders to give away, and for Spaff for kindly agreeing to judge the contest with me!
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Just to let you know, Larry Ahern (Curse of Monkey Island, Insecticide, friend of Mojo and someone you should know by now) has joined the humming throng of the masses and started an internet blog.

There's a few pieces of artwork up including a rather snazzy comic right now, and more is promised, including possibly some old portfolio pieces.
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Wallace & Gromit's Grand Preview

22 Dec, 2008, 15:07 | Posted by: jp-30 | Source: Eurogamer | Comments: 1
Thanks to a tipoff from AlfredJ in the forums, you should be clicking through to Eurogamer's lovely preview of Telltale's first Wallace & Gromit adventure.
While Aardman gets final say on the script, Telltale's attacked the material with typical enthusiasm, producing a story that encompasses "some new entrepreneurial ideas from Wallace, unintended consequences, Gromit saving the day, Wallace saving the day (no, really!), dastardly villains, colourful locals, romance, kidnapping, chase scenes, camaraderie, and Wensleydale", says Grossman. We're also promised all manner of new and loony contraptions.
Go, go, go!
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The Psychopedia strikes again!

22 Dec, 2008, 15:06 | Posted by: Jason | Comments: 1
Over at the Psychopedia (contribute to its girth of knowledge today!) you can find a few Psychonauts-related videos you may have never known about. Mostly, I'm talking about these three promos that Double Fine put together around the time of the game's release (I so remember those!) as well as four short videos Double Fine submitted to "MTV Sharts" (I so don't remember those!), whatever that is.

The Psychopedia!
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Fund Autumn Moon's next series!

21 Dec, 2008, 21:17 | Posted by: Jason | Comments: 1
About a week ago, Bill Tiller made a post on his personal blog featuring the image of some robot character, saying:
This here is a robot assassin that will be in Autumn Moons first episodic adventure game serial, IF we ever get any investors for it (big 'if'). It is a retro sci fi killer inspired by the movie Forbidden Planet. If you are an invetsor email me please!
Autumn Moon's succumbed to the allure of episodic gaming as well, eh? I'm not sure if the game series he's alluding to is this mysterious second IP that Autumn Moon is said to be working on, but I'm guessing not since Bill Tiller has mentioned there already being a publisher involved with it. But whatever this serial is, I think you can spot Bill a few million to make it a reality. I'm sure some of you must have some money burning a hole in your pocket if the success of The SCUMM Bar's donation sham is any indication.

That's not all the neato stuff one can learn from the Tiller blog, either. His most recent post was of some Mona concept art for AVS3, which will apparently take place during the day and see our vampire heroine wearing a hat. There's also some old concept art featuring Mona in similar garb. In fact, you might be interested in looking at the AVS concept art gallery, as it's clear that in the three or so years some of these seemingly innocuous images have been around, they've actually secretly been revealing details on the sequels to AVS in addition to the first installment.

And before you go, there's one more thing in the category of Things That The Internet Informed Everyone Of Before Mojo Could Be Bothered To Post About - this Gametrailers.com video which lists the Top 10 beards in all of video gamery. Five guesses as to which feared pirate captain occupies the top spot.
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Free Radical design who had a game in development for LucasArts have shut up shop, partially due to the deal with LucasArts falling through.

The game rumoured to be in development was Star Wars Battlefront 3. More details are available at most gaming sites, such as gamesindustry.biz.

Tingler Update: It is now rumoured that Alien Vs Predator developer & 2000AD owner Rebellion is making the game instead. As Jason reminded me, they also made the well-received PSP Battlefront game, so this is very possible.
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L∅st in translati∅n

16 Dec, 2008, 09:04 | Posted by: Igor Hardy | Comments: 8

Hwy!

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I'm afraid I can't do that, Dave

15 Dec, 2008, 20:29 | Posted by: Jason | Comments: 9
The good old boys who hail from TheRaider.net continue to provide the world with undeserved excellence, most lately in the form of a brand new Hal Barwood interview. All the topics that you could possibly fathom (except for maybe "What the hell was Big Sky Trooper all about?") are covered here in the interview that you are going to be reading. Now.
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The season finale of the Strong Bad games, 8-Bit Is Enough, has finally been released.

So, clicky!

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Feast your eyes and read this short interview, conducted more professionally than the LA Times.

Now there's only thing left to ask: where's that Spike TV gameplay footage?


Update: It's here, care of GameSpot.
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Brutal Legend SpikeTV recap

14 Dec, 2008, 22:52 | Posted by: Jason | Comments: 10
The SpikeTV 2008 Video Game Awards have concluded, and if you were neither watching it on your American TV nor taking advantage of the live stream on your PC. you might be wondering about the Brutal Legend presence during the broadcast. As advertised, an exclusive gameplay trailer for the game was showcased by Jack Black and "the ark of the convenant of video game wizardry" Tim Schafer. Following an amusing introduction which featured Rob Halford of Judas Priest and a slightly unsuccessful human sacrifice of Schafer, the trailer premiered.

Well, obviously, it was awesome, and if it can't be viewed by seeking through the video of the awards on the streaming page (a fact I can't verify because I fibbed a bit and the show still has a few minutes to go), you'll surely be able to view and download high resolution versions from the game's official splash page soon.
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The LA Times sat down with Tim Schafer and Jack Black for a brief interview about Brütal Legend. It can't be proven that reading it won't prevent a tragedy.
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Fellow human beings who run Adventure Gamers have published an interview with Mike and Matt Chapman, who as you'd damn well better know are the minds behind Homestar Runner. In their lengthy chat with AG, the Brothers talk the site's history and of course go into how Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People came about and what they think of it. Things that you will enjoy are disclosed, so read it!

In other, marginally less relevant, HR news is the fact that the site has launched Dangeresque, a "roomisidoc" flash adventure game based on Strong Bad's film making endeavors. If their excellent Peasant's Quest from a few years back was the Chapmans' answer to old school Sierra games, Dangeresque seems to be a celebration of Sierra, LucasArts, and those hip "escape from the room" point 'n clickers that we've all wasted many an hour on while on the internet. Anyway, it's definitely worth checking out!
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Tim Schafer on your TV

13 Dec, 2008, 20:57 | Posted by: Kroms | Source: Double Fine Action News | Comments: 0
As if this week wasn't awesome enough, Tim Schafer is now part of the truly bizarre cast of presenters at this year's Spike TV VGAs (where Brutal Legend is going to be shown, Sunday). He joins the likes of Peter Moore, Mike Tyson and Kiefer Sutherland in the single most effing surreal/important moment in the history of television tomorrow, on your screen*.

* Only if you live in North America or the Internet.
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Competion: Win a Book!

12 Dec, 2008, 18:32 | Posted by: Gabez | Comments: 4
...and not just any old book -- Rogue Leaders: The Story of LucasArts is packed full of glossy, never seen before concept art, shocking behind-the-scenes development stories, and is probably the coolest thing you'll ever have on your coffee table. Check out our glowing review here if you haven't already done so.

What do you have to do to win a free copy of this fabulous book? Simple! E-mail me with your version of a history for a LucasArts game.

Rogue Leaders is full of stories about how the games were made, and most of those stories are true; but for your submissions, you don't have to bother with things like truth or facts. For instance:

"Monkey Island was originally thought up when Tim Schafer came into my office acting like a monkey," recalled Ron Gilbert musingly. 'Unfortunately, we later found out that his behaviour was caused by a brain hemorrhage, and he had to have an operation to have part of his brain removed. Later on, the evil monkey part of his brain made its way into Tim's Siamese fetus twin, and that later led onto the famouse Double Fine baby logo."

...right, that was a crazy example, but you get the idea. There's no limit on the length or subject matter, or number of submissions, and they can be as serious or weird as you like. But please include your name and e-mail address at the bottom of each entry as Mojo Mail sometimes eclipses these out.

The closing date is 23rd December (Christmas Eve Eve). Have fun!

Also, thanks a lot to Chronicle Books for giving us a copy to give away!

Edit: in case you weren't sure, anyone in the world is allowed to enter this competition (we draw the line at Martians) -- and we'll ship the book over to you.
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Or EA Partners as it is, but that's splitting hairs. Looks like Schafer's latest creation will be released next fall and we can all breathe easily again.

Now go feel silly.

Update by Kroms: Sweet smell of success! Eurogamer celebrates by interviewing Mr. Schafer about the game, although not much is revealed. But yet, what you feel by the end...is love.

Update by Jason: Rather than push the EA news down, I'll just post this here - Mojo reader MarioColbert has noticed that the Psychonauts banner on the Double Fine products page that has caused so much speculation in the past now leads to an official Psychonauts wiki. This "Psychopedia," while in its infancy, is truly awesome, amazing, and incredibly detailed, and I have to recommend checking it out this very moment. Take, for example, the fact that they have the complete hour long Icons special that G4 aired around the time the game came out which looks at the history of Schafer and details Double Fine's final week of development on the game. Additionally, the Double Fine store is now offering a new shirt.
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Dear journal

12 Dec, 2008, 15:38 | Posted by: Jason | Comments: 1
Awhile back The Pumpkin Post noticed the existence of www.vonkiefer.com, an official online version of Baroness Von Kiefer’s journal, a text alluded to in A Vampyre Story in the Castle Warg library. The site will apparently be updated regularly, as some more material has recently been added (click on the top right of the screen to turn the page).

This is a really cool backstory supplement to the game, and feels akin to the kind of extras you used to find when opening an adventure game fifteen years ago. It reminds me a lot in particular of Henry Sr.'s Grail Diary that game packaged with Last Crusade. Do keep an eye on it!
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This is hardly newsworthy, but when it comes to LEC's upcoming, development-troubled Indiana Jones game we take what we can get. In this case it's merely another acknowledgment of Staff of Kings' existence by LEC in talking to the good folks at PSU:
With no word on the title's development since 2006, gamers have forgotten about the game or figured it was indefinitely shelved. However, speaking with PSU.com, LucasArts confirms the title is still in the works with new details soon on the way.

"LucasArts remains absolutely committed to the Indiana Jones franchise," said the LucasArts representative. "While we are aware that fans have been eagerly awaiting additional information on the upcoming game, they can rest assured that details are forthcoming."
New details "forthcoming," huh?
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Rogue Leaders author tells all

10 Dec, 2008, 15:11 | Posted by: Jason | Comments: 6
As pointed out on the forums by Darth Moeller, GameCyte has published an epic interview with Rob Smith, who put together the very-soon-to-be-released Rogue Leaders LEC artbook we've been swooning over for months.

As someone whose job has recently been to immerse himself in LEC history, and as a longtime gamer who's been enjoying their games since the late 80s, Smith has a lot of educated and balanced insight to share about the company, including his take on its current state and eras that have preceded it. Read it, or at least check out the art scattered throughout. Let's hope this sucker starts showing up at bookstores I go to.
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A Vampyre Patch

09 Dec, 2008, 19:54 | Posted by: Jason | Comments: 1
Crimson Cow has already released the first patch for A Vampyre Story that corrects a number of bugs, including some big ones that players encountered in the stadium and perfume puzzles. You should probably go download it.
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Strong Bad 105 on December 15th

09 Dec, 2008, 19:29 | Posted by: Jason | Comments: 0
It's just been confirmed that episode 105 (the finale) of Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People will be released on December 15th. That's right - this coming Monday you'll be able to play "8-Bit Is Enough" on WiiWare or PC.
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LEGO Indiana Jones available for Mac!

09 Dec, 2008, 18:55 | Posted by: Jason | Comments: 0
It turns out that the Mac can now be used to run one other worthwhile application besides Final Cut Pro - LEGO Indiana Jones! The port, the work of Feral Interactive, is now shipping. There's even a press release and everything!
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LucasArts Secret History IX

09 Dec, 2008, 02:37 | Posted by: Gabez | Comments: 26
Me! Max. Me! Max Max Max (Me me me!)

You're such an adorable urchin, Max.


...But more on that story later.

For now, feast your balls (your eye-balls, that is) on our latest look-back extravaganza, featuring art from the talented Paco Vink and Junaid, interviews from Stemmle, Clark, and Purcell, and of course (possibly) the funniest game LucasArts ever made!

"I hope there was nobody on that bus."

"No-one we know at least."
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Vote for Brütal Legend, get laid tonight

08 Dec, 2008, 22:53 | Posted by: Kroms | Source: Double Fine | Comments: 1
Man, I always knew the secret to getting laid didn't involve being good-looking, funny or super-awesome, or else I'd have been laid years and years ago (back when it was illegal for me to get laid, even!). Turns out that all you gotta do is go vote for Brütal Legend as your most anticipated game of the year. Also, also? That anticipation would mean that Brütal Legend gets a bigger audience. Imagine that. Tim Schafer's words falling upon the ears of the mass gaming public.

It's just, woah. A smart gaming public! And it's all by you! All you gotta do is submit a message saying, "Man, I always thought Brütal Legend was awesome, but I always had it backwards! Awesome is Brütal Legend. I. Am. Pumped," or something like that.

Oh, yeah, by the way: the Double Fine threat level just got updated. It is now an International Ochre, which means "News This Week". I dunno, but Mr. Schafer did throw the word "publisher" in there. That's twice the sex. With Tim Schafer.
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Strong Bad Finale stuff!

08 Dec, 2008, 21:38 | Posted by: Jason | Comments: 0
The Strong Bad season finale, 8-Bit Is Enough, is almost upon us, and Telltale has thrown together their usual minipage complete with a plot summary, screenshots, and the trailer available within 104.

So go check it all out, and get excited for the grand finale to the series so excellent, we almost considered reviewing it at one point.
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Fan gets fed up, makes Vampyre icons

07 Dec, 2008, 22:52 | Posted by: Jason | Comments: 2
Got this in my inbox a few days ago:
I don't know if you are interested in posting this but I took the time to do some new desktop icons for AVS which are suitable for the Windows Vista icon type but also compatible with XP. I put them on this website for others to download. I must admit i was a bit disappointed with the "lousy" one the included in the game when you think of the quality of Mr. Tillers artwork. The link is:

http://maalflasken.dk/avsicon/index.htm
Well, what are you waiting for? Me to put this superfluous link?
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The AVS easter egg that never was

04 Dec, 2008, 17:48 | Posted by: Jason | Comments: 10
Bill Tiller has revealed to The Pumpkin Post that he was originally planning to include an easter egg in A Vampyre Story which was cut due to time constraints - an 8-bit version of the game, complete with v1 SCUMM interface! A visibly emotional ATMachine has declined to comment.

Incidentally, you may want to peruse The Pumpkin Post's news updates from the past few weeks for some other fine Autumn Moon related news we neglected to point out to you as we were too busy gawking in disgust at the shenanigans going on over at The SCUMM Bar - which has, by the way, been updated in response to some donations that were as misguided as they were generous.
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Yesterday was the alleged shipping date of Dreamcatcher's release of A Vampyre Story meaning the game may be on, or on its way to, North American shelves now. I haven't had a chance to go look in stores myself, and online retailers seem inconclusive, with Amazon saying the game will ship in "3 to 5 weeks" and Gamespot claiming a December 2nd release.

I dunno, maybe it's not out yet after all. I'm quite confused. It is out in Germany though, that we can confirm. What about elsewhere in Europe? Anyone in the UK seen it at retail? Anyone? Err.

Yeah, sorry, I wish I could give an update on the AVS retail situation, but it seems like your avenues for getting the game are still limited at the moment. This is why Ron Gilbert invented digital distribution. So if you have the patience of a Me, remember that you can still buy and download the game straight from GamersGate. (They have a period of exclusivity, after which other digital outlets will offer it as well.) You can also import the game (available in Regular and Special Edition flavors) from Germany. If you're patiently waiting for a physical copy in your own country, take comfort in the fact that it can't be much longer, and that Crimson Cow seems to be trying to launch in all non-German territories at around the same time.

Update: The game seems to be out in the UK, as Ascaron's release is shipping from Play.com.

Update 2: All North American retailers seem to be shipping the game, so it is safe to say that A Vampyre Story is now out in Canada and the good ol' US of A. It's also available in several additional digital distribution channels, not the least of which is The Adventure Shop!
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Even though we have no new announcements regarding the publisher status of Brütal Legend, it seems that Double Fine is still hard at work on the game's development, much like they were on Psychonauts during the six months between Microsoft's abandonment and signing on with Majesco. (Since Schafer claims to have invested his life savings in the company during that period, one wonders how the employees are getting paid.)

At least, I don't know how else to explain CNN's report that Jack Black will be hosting the Spike TV Video Game Awards, which will feature a demonstration of Brütal Legend with Tim Schafer. All of this goes down, by the way, on December 14th.

Read the whole story at BRUTAL! and hope that this rather epic advertisement (did Black pull some strings?) gets the attention of some publishers.

Update: It seems that BRUTAL! may have been off in stating that Schafer himself will be presenting the game at the awards show. But enjoy this USA Today report of the event, where Jack Black states that Psychonauts "is my favorite video game in the world."
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Flint Paper in Old Concept Art

02 Dec, 2008, 20:51 | Posted by: Kroms | Comments: 15
Steve "Starchie Spudnoggen" Purcell has posted a piece of concept art he did of Flint Paper for Sam and Max: Freelance Police. The game's cancellation, as you know, was the last nail in the coffin of LucasArts, but was also the spark that gave creation to Telltale Games, a company synonymous with "awesome".

I urge you to check-out the rest of Mr. Purcell's fantastic gallery, including his wonderful Toybox storyline, starring Ernie and Suda - a duo similar but also very different to Sam and Max.
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I'm a happy owner of Telltale's superb DVD release of Sam & Max: Season 2, what with its Steve Purcell artwork, extras, and spiffy packaging. However, while Season 1 got itself a boxed retail release at the hands of The Adventure Company within six months of the season finale (plus the recent Wii release), Season 2 has yet to receive such a treatment, and I think everyone shares my desire to see more Sam & Max on a store shelf.

Well, today a Telltale forumer noticed a seemingly fishy announcement by Official Nintendo Magazine that Sam & Max: Season 2 will be hitting retail both on PC and Wii in 2009, with Atari as the publisher. Jake confirmed the somewhat surprising news, promising a formal Telltale announcement in the future.

So, that's awesome, and thankfully seems to carry the implication that Sam & Max hasn't been sinking like a rock in the retail market.

Update: As promised, Telltale has addressed the situation on their blog, complete with work-in-progress cover art. woot.
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The Social Event of the Year

02 Dec, 2008, 03:09 | Posted by: Gabez | Comments: 4
What are you doing this Thursday? Working? Teaching a child to read? Feeding the sick and needy? Cancel it all! Chronicle Books are having their Rogue Leaders Launch Party, and you are invited!

Just RSVP them up, and make sure you can get to San Francisco by 6pm on Thursday. The part of the website that caught my eye was "come early for light refreshments," which in my language means "arrive at 5 to 6 and get a free supper."
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