Not content with releasing potentially their last ever game in Lego Star Wars III, LucasArts thought it would be a good idea to stop people buying other games too.

Basically THQ had the Star Wars licence to produce Star Wars games for iPhone and iPad, including the cool Falcon Gunner which turns the iPhone's camera into the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon. By tomorrow, Friday 1st April, the licence would expire and LucasArts would stop this and three other Star Wars games from being sold on Apple's store. This would mean that LucasArts would release one game and take away four, equalling minus three games being released. That's impressive even for LucasArts.

Fortunately however, sanity has prevailed and the games are safe on the App Store. However, this quote from Kotaku needs to be restated:

Calls yesterday and today to LucasArts, the Star Wars company's video game division have not been returned.

That's phoned, not emailed. I think it's safe to say that no one works at LucasArts anymore.
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Telltale Games News

Jurassic Park - meet the dinosaurs

30 Mar, 2011, 12:11 | Posted by: Tingler | Source: GameTrailers | Comments: 1
Telltale have released a new video for Jurassic Park, which shows off the dinosaurs. There's some developer commentary, a load of new gameplay and a sneak peek at the new freaky-looking nocturnal dinosaur being introduced.

UPDATE: Now you've seen that first video, here's the second.
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Ron Gilbert News

Moonkey Island

30 Mar, 2011, 06:43 | Posted by: Kroms | Source: Man Made Movies | Comments: 6
This is a little late, but anyways: if you're a fan of Monkey Island and the 2009 movie Moon, you might want to check this out.

See the update on the same page for Ron Gilbert's response, and click here for the subsequent "Woohoo!" from Moon director Duncan Jones, and here for Ron Gilbert's response to that.

Anyone here seen Moon? What do you think of it?
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Get Tannen, last month's Back to the Future episode, finally sees release on the North American PlayStation Network today with a European release following soon. "Soon" is also the release date for the iPad port. It'll be the first time Telltale doesn't screw over iPad owners by releasing only the first episode of a series.


Been thinking of streaming videos through that new-fangled Netflix thing? Telltale is now offering the latest season of Sam & Max for free to any new Netflix subscribers. Just follow this link.


Last, Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People was added to the March 23 update of the European PSN, following last year's December release on the North American PSN.

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"Citizen Brown" is now available for download! Season subscribers should check their inboxes.
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Do you keep up with David Fox on Twitter? It's too late to apologize now - you already missed his reveal that he and his wife Annie (yes, the namesake of the heroine in Zak McKracken), who constitute Electric Eggplant, have submitted their first "story app" in a series for the iPad! I guess it's going around!

This release, currently in the Apple approval process, is called Middle School Confidential Book 1: Be Confident Who You Are, and is an interactive adaptation of the first graphic novel in a series scribed by Annie Fox and illustrated by one Matt Kindt. This appears to be less of a game than a spruced up reader for an existent graphic novel, but I point it out because, well, David Fox!
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Adventure News

Maniac Mansion Postmortem

27 Mar, 2011, 10:07 | Posted by: Jason | Source: GDC Vault | Be the first to comment!
As you know, Ron Gilbert gave a postmortem about Maniac Mansion at GDC, and it, along with a bunch of postmortems for other classic games, has been archived online at the GDC Vault. Ron's talk is pretty much exactly the same as the one he gave in Germany prior to GDC, which has also been posted online, but at the very least the Q&A is different, so why not hear about Maniac Mansion's fascinating development again?

Those other postmortems are an embarrassment of riches, too.
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Double Fine News

Internet entrenched in TRENCH

26 Mar, 2011, 09:12 | Posted by: Jason | Comments: 1
Check out the newly launched official website for Double Fine's Trenched, then go listen to Double Fine's third podcast where the game is discussed by people who are making or have at least probably seen it.

TRENCHED!
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Star Wars News

LucasArts ships LEGO Star Wars III!

26 Mar, 2011, 09:06 | Posted by: Jason | Comments: 4
No doubt because we were all that excited, we flat-out forgot to trumpet the fact that LucasArts released LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars this week for these platforms. Of course, the notable thing here is that this game is a Nintendo 3DS launch title, probably. You might think that with the stress of watching Traveller's Tales make this game over, LEC could surely find the time to upload Day of the Tentacle to Steam, or announce a new Indiana Jones game or something. That's just where you're confused.
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Film and TV News

On Stranger Tides trailer 2

23 Mar, 2011, 22:23 | Posted by: Jason | Source: Youtube | Comments: 5
Ian McShane is a bad man.

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The latest Behind The Scenes video for Back To The Future is now available at GameTrailers, which brings the news that Marty's girlfriend Jennifer Parker will be back in Episode 3: Citizen Brown - and will be played once again by Claudia Wells. That's Claudia "Back To The Future Part 1" Wells, not Elizabeth "Part II and III" Shue.

I know Mojo is usually a bit more sophisticated than other sites, we don't usually degrade ourselves by posting sexist comments, but I gotta say... Claudia clearly isn't a teenager anymore. Her voice is much deeper.
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Telltale Games News

BTTF Ep 3 out next week: well, duh

22 Mar, 2011, 12:22 | Posted by: Tingler | Source: Big Download | Comments: 2
In perhaps the world's most obvious news, Back To The Future Episode 3: Citizen Brown will release before the end of March. As it was scheduled for March, I hope you can forgive me for scoffing a little when places like Big Download report this fact as if it was some shocking scoop.

Anyway, it's coming out, so don't forget about it!
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...in a good way!

In response to some ¬¬ themed feedback about the small helping of concept art found on the Collector's Disc for Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse, or maybe just because he's cool, Jake has made a big gallery of concept art for the season available, and you are sure to be contented by its abundance.
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Community News

Sam & Max Radio Series

20 Mar, 2011, 06:23 | Posted by: Gabez | Be the first to comment!
Nightlight Productions, creator of professional sounding Monkey Island, Star Wars and Grim Fandango-inspired radio plays, have released the first part of a hilarious new series based on Sam & Max.

In this episode Sam & Max get a new case, and Max eats a table leg.

The series has apparently gained "the blessing of Steve Purcell," which presumably means he has chanted Latin hymns and sprinkled holy water over the web-site.

Discuss this in the forums.
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Film and TV News

New On Stranger Tides movie poster

16 Mar, 2011, 22:18 | Posted by: Jason | Source: CHUD | Comments: 6
It's no Steve Purcell or Ryan Jones cover, but the new one-sheet for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides can be seen over at CHUD where it is enjoyably over-analyzed.
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As picked up on by talesofmi.net, the German retail release of Tales of Monkey Island (which, as you'll recall, is optionally offered in a big ol' deluxe version of comparable size to the old school boxes) has apparently sold very well in the country where copies of Zak McKracken are worshiped like monoliths and Ron Gilbert comes to you.

Lace Mamba, which we've already reported will be doing TMI's retail release in the UK on April 8th (as they did around the same time last year for Ghost Pirates of Vooju Island), believes that the performance in Germany bodes well for their own launch:

“We think this is a very good indicator for success in the UK,” Lace Mamba Global’s head of marketing Claas Wolter told MCV.

“There is huge demand for a boxed release of Tales of Monkey Island, as proven by the amount of pre-orders and positive feedback. Monkey Island is one of the top adventure game brands in the world.”


You'll recall that the UK version's packaging will boast unique covert art. While the German release bears the Steve Purcell painting that Telltale pre-order customers got in the form of an insert for their Collector's DVD, the UK box uses an unused Purcell design fully painted by Telltale concept artist Ryan Jones. It's rather cool-looking, though the reaction to this multitude of cool covers must surely be bittersweet for the Monkey Island completest with a mortgage to pay off.
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Double Fine News

Bombing the Trenches

16 Mar, 2011, 13:25 | Posted by: Zaarin | Source: Giant Bomb | Comments: 2

Giant Bomb's latest Bombcast (imaginative name, eh?) contains a short segment where they visit Double Fine to look at the company's upcoming game Trenched, including details of the gameplay and the setting.

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Telltale Games have now opened their insider forums for anyone who pre-orders Jurassic Park: The Game which has a tentative release date of...sometimes next month. The blog post also gives us the first glimpse of the DVD cover.

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The full text of Brian Moriarty's lecture at GDC 2011 is now available for your reading pleasure.

Which is all well and good, but where's the apology for not making Loom 2?
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Still unsure whether or not you should buy Telltale Games' Nelson Tethers: Puzzle Agent or CSI: Fatal Conspiracy? Why not check out SurplusGamer's review of Puzzle Agent or Jason's review of Fatal Conspiracy. Fresh from Mojo's archives!

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Telltale Games News

Grossman talks games and iOS

14 Mar, 2011, 16:12 | Posted by: MrManager | Comments: 1
The always engrossing Dave Grossman recently chatted with Adventure Gamers, mostly about the King's Quest reboot as well as Hector: Badge of Carnage. Producer of the latter, Dave Felton, also lent a few words to the interview:

Straandlooper were looking for ways to continue their series and get it onto some other platforms, while we were interested in exploring some aspects of working on projects with external studios. Our goals fit together nicely, and we liked each other, so we’re making it happen.



Telltale, of course, has had a bang-up success releasing episode one games for iOS devices. Episode 2+... Not so much, so I suppose we'll see.
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Bill Tiller has posted a new "in-progress rough sketch" for A Vampyre Story: Year One. It is of a Castle Warg location, and you will presumably be walking through and picking up objects in it while experiencing a sensation that I like to refer to as, "the happy."

And let me just toss this one in here to conserve on the Mojo energy bill: Stacking got stroked in a Gamasutra article dealing with game difficulty.
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Developer News

Mojo discovers last week

07 Mar, 2011, 19:12 | Posted by: Jason | Comments: 1
So GDC has come and gone, and with the dust having settled, there are two panels from the conference to point out to you that we did not report on at the time.

The first is Video Games as Art: An Apology for Roger Ebert. This was a lecture delivered by none other than Brian Moriarty (of Loom and, in an alternate universe, The Dig fame), the subject of which you could probably guess. By all accounts the talk was worth hearing, but unfortunately there are nothing but a few quotes reprinted online. Keep an eye out for the content of the speech to appear on Moriarty's official site someday.

Then there was a panel by Clint Hocking, LEC's big profile hire from last year and the studio's current Creative Director, whose creativity we hope to see imbued in an LEC game should the day come that they choose to make games again - but let's not get greedy. He gave a presentation about meaning in games, and this is the best write-up I found on it.

Ron Gilbert apparently also spoke about Maniac Mansion, but from what I know it was a repeat at most of the talk he gave in Germany (which, need I remind you, is fully streamable online!).
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David Fox of the olden LucasArts days wrote in to tell us that the Smithsoniam Museum is looking to select 80 games for its upcoming The Art of Video Games exhibit. You can vote for your favorites from the pool of candidates, which have been organized into five "Eras," and then by system and four genres.

What David rightly wanted us to be aware of was the fact that amongst the nominations you will find the following seminal works and Mojo darlings: Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders (Era 2 - Commodore 64 - Adventure Genre), Grim Fandango (Era 4 - DOS/Windows - Adventure Genre), and Psychonauts (Era 5 - Microsoft Xbox - Action Genre).

So make your voice heard, and do your part to ensure that these classics may bask in the eternal prestige they deserve. "It belongs in a museum!"

Update: As Kroms (not to mention Ron Gilbert) notes, Monkey Island 1 will be playable at the exhibit, having leapfrogged the entire voting process due to its inherent worthiness.
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Miscellaneous news

If Behind Mojo still existed

06 Mar, 2011, 10:39 | Posted by: Jason | Source: Zaarin on IRC | Comments: 3
I'd probably use it as a platform for pointing out that at least one Google search that led someone to Mojo was "can roger Ebert eat".

Kind of regrettable. And just a sample of the kind of action you can get in on by visiting the old IRC channel (that's #monkey-island at irc.gamesurge.net) every now and again.
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Has Mardi Gras come three days early or something? Bill Tiller spent his afternoon sharing scans from the game design documents to The Curse of Monkey Island and Full Throttle via twitter, giving you all kinds of rare stuff to look at. It's like finding the baby in the king cake!

For the most part, the design doc glimpses include some cool early sketches, like a flaming LeChuck concept by Steve Purcell and some rough background drawings. Aside from the pictures, it's also just interesting on an obsessive fandom level to get a sneak at some of the verbiage from the actual design docs. Oh, and did I mention that the Full Throttle batch includes two deleted scenes, complete with dialog text? One involves a lost puzzle where Ben must evade Maureen's Uncle Pete at the mink farm, and the other is an extended sequence at the Smash-a-Torium. Do not wait for ATM to compile these on his web site - check it all out now!

Bill also verifies what you probably already assumed: that A Vampyre Story: Year One is a project the Autumn Moon team is working on for free. Whether this is something they're doing in the hopes of eventually landing a publisher (a la AVS1) or if they're planning on self-publishing (not unthinkable, given that it's headed for the iPad in chunks), it would explain the slow development, lack of publicity and the implication that the developers are taking other gigs in order to eat.
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The guys behind the music of Monkey Island 2: Special Edition, Jesse Harlin and Wilbert Roget, II, discuss composing, arranging, the perils of iMUSE, and being suave in this exclusive interview over here.

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Jason's review for Back to the Future's second episode, Get Tannen!, is now available for your perusal over here. As you can see, we've also included our review of the first episode by Tingler.

In related news, Marty Mulrooney, the guy who interviewed Dominic Armato for Alternative Magazine Online, has been publishing a series of interviews with AJ LoCascio, who is the voice of Marty McFly in Back to the Future: The Game. So far, three parts are available and you can read them here, here, and here.
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Double Fine News

Double Fine's new game announced

03 Mar, 2011, 05:21 | Posted by: Kroms | Source: Eurogamer | Comments: 11
Symbols of all that is original and unique in the world of video games, Double Fine, have decided that symbolism is probably rubbish; and, with that in mind, are making Trenched, an XBLA-exclusive that is all about the brave, brave soldiers who everyday fight aliens from outer space. I think I saw that in a game somewhere.

In the spirit of this development (get it?), I'll borrow this next part from Eurogamer:

This is a game about really quite horrid aliens killing humans. But those humans have muscles of their own - metal muscles; they stomp around in giant customisable mechanised robot suits, blasting the blue-tinted baddies with cannons the size of cars.



The link also contains screenshots and some sort of trailer. Anyways, I am probably/hopefully being too harsh on the usually-creative Double Fine. We shall see.
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In what is to my knowledge the most Mojo-relevant session to take place at this year's GDC thus far, folks from Bioware discuss The Old Republic's localization process which, like everything else relating to this game, is enormous, expensive, and also costs a lot. Don't take my word for it, though - reading Gamasutra's write-up reveals that the effort being mounted is so considerable, it could very well take more than an Excel spreadsheet to accomplish:

"Excel sheets don't work for us very well because they're so big, so we have to build very robust processes," Mitchell said. "The more specific you are about your process, the better the tools you're going to get out of it. You're going to build a better GUI and better cinematics design tools if you're specific about what you need for localization up front."

It's a sad state of affairs when the best thing we can do to keep LEC on the front page is make asshole-ish remarks about articles covering the most mundane aspects of game that the company doesn't even appear to have anything to do with anymore. I don't know what we'd do without all those exciting games LEC itself has in the pipel- oh, wait.

Better news: Tim Schafer is currently exploiting a well-deserved invite to host the GDC for the second year in a row. There's probably already some good footage on the net somewhere, and maybe we can be bothered to find it for you once the show's finished.

*Figure may have been confused with the population of Chicago
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Details on A Vampyre Story: Year One remain hard to put one's hands to, but Bill Tiller has made another twitter update with evidence that its production falls firmly in the category of non-fiction: this image of a yet to be skinned character model. Looks like some kind of carnivorous plant. Will there be a Maniac Mansion in-joke? Will a nasty if obscure dead-end result if Mona pours developer fluid on it? Is Alan Turing's halting problem really unsolvable? The answer will no doubt arrive whenever the episodic, iPad-bound prequel to A Vampyre Story does.

And if you find out when that is, let us know.
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