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Telltale Games News

Telltale shuts down

21 Sep, 2018, 20:06 | Posted by: Remi | Source: elTee | Comments: 22

The good news is The Walking Dead’s last season will be completed; the bad news is that will be the end of it. Reliable sources have told Mojo Telltale is closing down, and that all other projects will remain unfinished. We will return with more.

Update: Apparently a team of 25 have been retained to finish up the now ironically named The Walking Dead, while the rest of the staff was laid off without severance. Classy, Telltale. What will happen with the company is uncertain. Shut 100% down? Be a clearing house for outsourced development in name only? Only yesterday, they announced they would publish Stranded Deep on October 9th, so who knows what’s going on there . . .

Update #2: Telltale has made it official, and thus Mojo has outlived LEC and TTG. Somebody keep an eye on Double Fine.

Update #3: The rumor train has it that Netflix canceled their deal with TTG, thus ending development of Stranger Things and whatever Minecraft: Story Mode would have looked like on the platform. Apparently that dried up TTG’s funds. #rumormonger

Double Fine News

Grim and Broken Age Switched; Poker Night 2 gone the way of Kevin Bruner; Tim on video

14 Sep, 2018, 14:51 | Posted by: Remi | Comments: 5

First, Grim Fandango and Broken Age are out on the Switch, so go grab them if you can’t get enough Tim and/or beauty in your life. The latter (and I assume the former) is available for $14.99.

Poker Night 2, meanwhile, is not available anymore. In an unusually un-cheerful message, Telltale states: "Poker Night 2 has been withdrawn from sale on digital platforms due to the expiration of our digital distribution agreement. We currently do not have any plans to renew this agreement." You can still download the game if you already own it.

(I have no clue which license expired, but I like to pretend it’s Sam & Max.)

Finally, for more Tim, check out (in the sage words of AlfredJ, our exclusive source) "this Reddit biography video thing." I haven’t watched it, but apparently there is a shot of Curse of Monkey Island forty-four seconds in, so consider that official word of Double Fine’s next re-master. Watch.

Update! OK, so Grim isn't technically out yet, but it will be. Someday.

Double Fine News

Polygon covers the Double Fine summer camp so we don’t have to

07 Sep, 2018, 18:02 | Posted by: Remi | Source: Polygon | Comments: 2

So here’s a story that literally opens with the name "James Spafford," our benevolent founder who embarrassingly forgets to mention Mojo in it. We aren’t bitter, though, and will gladly link to Polygon’s write-up on the Double Fine summer camp, where the $10,000-Psychonauts 2-backers, company employees, and Double Fine forum moderators rubbed shoulders for three days. We can only assume our invitation got lost in the mail, although one of our infrequent collaborators did attend as a member of the latter group.

(Wait, am I coming across as bitter?)

Every Double Fine and Psychonauts fan should run over and read the story right now, because why the hell not?

Autumn Moon Entertainment News

Bill Tiller surrenders his dream, thanks to Zaarin

29 Aug, 2018, 03:43 | Posted by: Jason | Source: Arcade Attack | Comments: 5

A glass-is-half-full personality is going to zero in on the positive elements of this new interview with Bill Tiller courtesy of the rakish charmers at Arcade Attack. After all, it offers delightful career anecdotes from one of the industry's best artists, including his time back at LucasArts (and the attendant travails under Randy Breen).

Unfortunately, it also offers this:

Do you think you will ever work on a new Vampyre Story game?

No, I have given up. I can’t raise enough money to do it and I don’t own the computer game rights, though I own all other rights. But I will do A Vampyre Story graphic novel next year. I am bummed we never got to do the sequel, so I’ll tell the whole story of Mona and Froderick through that medium instead.

[...]


What projects and games are you currently working on?

I was just working on a side scrolling game based on an idea I came up with called Miskantoic Mary, but I couldn’t devote enough time to it, so we cancelled it. I’ll make that into a kids book I think. Now I am looking for a full-time job and freelance work. I think I am done making my own games. They just didn’t make enough money and were very stressful to make. I’m off to do kids books, comic books and to work full time at a reliable game company.

Despite the headline, I don't honestly blame this turn of events entirely on Zaarin's failure to relaunch the Mojo forums by now after a clear mandate to do so, but let's face it: his dereliction of those duties probably did nothing to help.

One silver lining in all this grief is that we intend to celebrate A Vampyre Story's tenth anniversary in some way before the year is through, so look forward to that.

LucasArts News

Make today an Outlaws soundtrack Tuesday

28 Aug, 2018, 22:18 | Posted by: Remi | Comments: 3

Or, indeed, Wednesday if that’s when you’re reading this. Or any day, but I digress . . . We love ourselves some Outlaws music here at the old Mojo, enough so we want to share it with you:

That’s right, MP3s and FLAC -- we treat you so fine! Now go listen, and agree that Outlaws is an underrated classic, be it soundtrack or game.

Telltale Games News

What do you mean things are slow? We got Walking Dead news, damnit!

20 Aug, 2018, 17:25 | Posted by: Remi | Comments: 1

Actually, yes, there have been some quiet weeks here in the Mojoverse, so why don't we give you a quick update about what you really care about: The Walking Dead: The Final Season Until There's a New One. Specifically, the release dates for the remaining episodes:

  • "Suffer the Children" - September 25
  • "Broken Toys" - November 6
  • "Take Us Back" - December 18

Look forward to (a) Mojo review(s) should anyone actually play the game(s).

Telltale Games News

"'The Walking Dead: The Final Season' Playable Demo Now Available on PS4 and Xbox One, Episode One Launches August 14," says Telltale

02 Aug, 2018, 14:33 | Posted by: Remi | Comments: 6

Yes, you can stop the self-cutting for the next fifteen minutes -- Telltale will do it for you with their new Xbox One and PS4 demo. In what surely will be a rollicking laugh riot . . .

Emotional, Gut-Wrenching Story - See Clementine's journey through to the end. As she builds a new life, you will have to grapple with new types of choices and live with the consequences as AJ looks on, learning from your every move.

. . . you will see the conclusion of the Clementine story on August 14th.

House of Mojo News

Insecticide: What the Hell Happened There?

24 Jul, 2018, 17:09 | Posted by: Jason | Comments: 4

The 10th anniversary of the lovely but underappreciated - not to mention unfinished - Insecticide is upon us, and if anybody is gonna do something about it, shouldn't it be us?

Hey, I agree with you. That's why I decided to reach out to the game's creators, Mike Levine and Larry Ahern, and the result of said harrassment is a new feature to celebrate the beleaguered game's milestone.

Really, it's just a new Q&A with Mike and Larry. But because I knocked together a little introductory page and shamed Remi into donating a header image, it is an officially sanctioned feature, damn you.

Adventure News

Steam leak reveals popularity of adventure games (Updated)

14 Jul, 2018, 14:48 | Posted by: ThunderPeel2001 | Source: Ars Technica | Comments: 17
Updated: Added Thimbleweek Park figures and some comments from Ron Gilbert.

A recent leak in Valve's Steam API has allowed clever people to extract the number of players of particular games, for the first time ever. In an article published on technology site Ars Technica, precise player estimates for 13,000 titles have been shared. Of note are titles published by DoubleFine, TellTale and, of course, LucasArts.

Note: The list shows the number of people who have played a particular game since achievements were added to it (so older games that had achievements added later will have higher scores than shown). And crucially, the list does not show the number of owners (which will be higher than the players).

In the publishers that Mojo readers are interested in, there are some predictable results and some surprises.

From most popular to least, the list is topped with TellTale's most popular license, beating even the most popular Star Wars title:
The Walking Dead - 2,846,244 players
STAR WARS Knights of the Old Republic II - The Sith Lords - 1,529,038

But hot on their heels are the two biggest Double Fine games:
Brutal Legend - 1,235,714
Psychonauts - 1,207,186

After that Campo Santo (well done!) and TellTale make an appearance:
Firewatch - 959,053
Poker Night at the Inventory - 952,378
Poker Night 2 - 671,540

Given the popularity of the Poker Night games, it does make you wonder why TellTale stick to licenses, especially when we drop down and find the bulk of the adventure titles:
Game of Thrones - A Telltale Games Series - 598,965 players
Grim Fandango Remastered - 516,584
Broken Age - 419,666
Minecraft: Story Mode - A Telltale Games Series - 346,763
Costume Quest - 341,308
Monkey Island 2 Special Edition: LeChuck's Revenge - 288,297
Batman - The Telltale Series - 272,720
Game of Thrones - 272,599
The Cave - 271,663
Day of the Tentacle Remastered - 265,169
Stacking - 248,039
The Walking Dead: Michonne - A Telltale Miniseries - 197,450
MASSIVE CHALICE - 161,770
Gemini Rue - 130,615
Iron Brigade - 109,286

And then, for some comparison, several indie adventure titles, including Ron Gilbert's Thimbleweed Park, and a big shock at how far down DoubleFine's last adventure game remaster is:
Thimbleweed Park - 98,491
Batman: The Enemy Within - The Telltale Series - 80,154
The Blackwell Legacy - 79,474
Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series - 69,783
Full Throttle Remastered - 61,757 players
Costume Quest 2 - 57,457
Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards: Reloaded - 56,138
Blackwell Unbound (Blackwell 2) - 52,347
Blackwell Convergence (Blackwell 3) - 49,385
Blackwell Deception (Blackwell 4) - 46,844
Headlander - 44,476
The Shivah - 38,128
Blackwell Epiphany (Blackwell 5) - 20,146

Also surprising is how a sequel to DoubleFine's most popular Amnesia Fortnight title, Costume Quest, performed so poorly when compared to the original. This explains why there were no similar attempts at sequels.

Finally, perhaps unsurprisingly, is the VR only title:
Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin - 2,155 players

Are adventure games dead? You decide.

UPDATE

Thimbleweed Park figures have been added (I searched for them before, I swear!), and Ron Gilbert offers the following interpretation:

"Remember these numbers are terribly skewed for games that have been on sale (sometimes in deep discount). Also games that were part of Humble Bundles where the play quickly booted it but never played it. Don’t read too much into these numbers. TWP has been massively successful on Switch and I have no doubt that is cannibalize Steam to some extent. By next month we will have sold more on Switch than Steam and Switch shows little signs of letting up."

And also:

"...games that are on sale for $1.99 are going to have horrible skewed numbers from games that are $19 and rarely go on sale. When a game gets past a point, it’s bargain binned and if you only look at units, you not getting the whole story. I’ve bought several $1.99 games, booted them once and never again. I don’t think this is a “valid” sale when comparing to other games (it’s even worse for games that have been in a Humble bundle). As a dev, you’re moving a lot of units at $1.99 but making very little money. If the game is 5 years old, that’s OK. Just don’t compare units from that 5 year old game to a 2 year old game that’s rarely been on sale. It’s not a realistic or even useful picture."
Telltale Games News

Wake the kids! The Humble Store has a "Build Your Own Telltale Games Bundle!"

10 Jul, 2018, 18:04 | Posted by: Remi | Be the first to comment!

Hold on to your hats, folks: The Humble Store has a Build Your Own Telltale Games Bundle! Here you can mix five of Telltale’s signature games and receive a 80% rebate, and . . . I can’t even bring myself to write anything snarky about it, so buy it if you want.

(Yes, things have been suspiciously slow the last weeks, so whatever, had to post something.)

Telltale Games News

Telltale Tool taken out back, shot, replaced with the newer, prettier Unity

25 Jun, 2018, 17:38 | Posted by: Remi | Source: VG247 | Comments: 9

Ridding itself of any proof Kevin Bruner ever existed, Telltale is switching from the venerable Telltale Tool to the en vogue Unity. Hey, it’s only business. Apparently The Walking Dead: The Final Season will be the final game to use Telltale’s eponymous engine, while Stranger Things and The Wolf Among Us: Season 2 will be developed in Unity.

Pour one out for Telltale Tool, which the company has used since Telltale Texas Hold'em.

Adventure News

It's GSoC Season For ScummVM and ResidualVM

23 Jun, 2018, 21:55 | Posted by: Jennifer | Comments: 1
ScummVM and its sister project, ResidualVM are participating in the Google Summer of Code once again.

This year, the students are working on the following games:

ScummVM:
  • Pink Panther: Passport to Peril and Pink Panther: Hokus Pokus Pink. Student: Andrii Prykhodko
  • The Immortal. Student: Joseph-Eugene Winzer
  • Star Trek: 25th Anniversary and Star Trek: Judgment Rites. Student: Matthew Stewart
  • ResdiualVM:
  • The Longest Journey (currently completable with missing features). Student: Liu Zhaosong
  • While we're on the subject of ScummVM and ResidualVM, both projects have had updates lately:

    ResidualVM 0.31 has been released. This is a bugfix release that fixes a few bugs in Myst III, in preparation for Cyan's upcoming digital release of Myst III that will use ResidualVM to play the game.

    ScummVM's addition of Xeen, the first RPG engine added after ScummVM changed their guidelines to allow RPG games alongside the adventure games, is now completable in the daily builds. There are five RPGs that are currently completable: Might and Magic IV, Might and Magic V, World of Xeen, World of Xeen 2 (CD Talkie), and Swords of Xeen. If you want to play these games in the daily builds, make sure that you place xeen.css in the same folder as your game files.


    Community News

    Get down with Monkey Island 2’s speaker music; trip on its EGA mode

    22 Jun, 2018, 20:42 | Posted by: Remi | Comments: 6

    It’s Friday, and seeing you’re reading this instead of doing anything worthwhile, what better time to jump on the nostalgia train? A few years back, our very own elTee made this little video, featuring LeChuck’s Revenge in EGA and internal speaker mode.

    Largo’s theme is particularly trippy . . .

    elTee is in the middle of writing up a larger article on his adventures with the floppy version of Monkey Island 2, so stay tuned!

    House of Mojo News

    Escape from Monkey Island available on GOG; you're welcome

    19 Jun, 2018, 14:35 | Posted by: Remi | Source: Multiple Twitter followers | Comments: 16

    When Mojo speaks, the gaming glitterati listens.

    After our hard-hitting podcast, GOG picked up the phone, and made possible what a few years ago would seem baffling: Every LEC adventure game is now available for purchase. That's right, Escape from Monkey Island is on GOG.

    The only downside is that it's PC only. That makes sense, though, as Residual's comparability with it is still not ready for prime-time. At any rate, if you're a Windows user, run and buy, and see if you agree with our aforementioned Escape from Monkey Island podcast.

    (And you can, of course, buy it for other platforms, and bang your head against Residual.)

    Telltale Games News

    Kevin Bruner remembered that, sues Telltale

    15 Jun, 2018, 14:43 | Posted by: Remi | Source: The Verge | Comments: 7

    Well, this just keeps getting uglier . . .

    Kevin Bruner, the former TTG CEO is suing the company he once helped found. The suit apparently revolves around “seeking recovery of financial damages” and are also “meritless” and “an apparent means of extracting revenge on a company already under financial strain.” The latter two come from Telltale.

    There are some more details in The Verge’s article, none particularly interesting unless you’re into this kind of stuff, but one can’t help but wonder how bad this “financial strain” is, what with the recently announced layoffs.

    Mojo’s legal correspondent will, of course, be on the ground for the coming trial.

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