Thimbleweed Park is now available to purchase for iOS devices, so you can now be a clown in a gritty town while moving around.Oh, and one of Ron Gilbert's other iOS games, co-created by Clayton Kauzlaric, is now optimised for iOS 11 and is permanently free! I'm talking, of course, about the sadly oft-neglected match-3 RPG puzzle game with a long name, Scurvy Scallywags in the Voyage to Discover the Ultimate Sea Shanty. It's fun and it's now free, so grab it on iTunes now.
Main content and articles
Was I too hard on Firewatch? Does the world we live in make me think differently about things? What's up with that hateful dude on YouTube?
So here's one I didn't see coming, probably because I wasn't looking: Dan Connors is following in co-founder Kevin Bruner's footsteps, right out the door from his current CEO seat. Bruner resigned a few months ago, with Connors stepping in to temporarily (as I just learned) fill the position. He will now stay on as an "advisor", much like when he stepped down the last time, in 2015.
The new president and CEO is Pete Hawley, the former GM and a senior VP at Zynga.
What does it all mean? Who knows, but with Zynga's reputation -- their Wikipedia page reads like a crime blotter -- my head isn't exactly spinning with excitement.
Update: I assumed you would know we were talking about Telltale here, but as Twitter is ABLAZE pointing out the omission… well, now you know!
That's right, as I type this you have 1 day, 23 hours, 30 minutes, and 22 seconds to grab your free copy of Psychonauts from GOG Steam! So I had a few sips from the flask this morning; sue me. Because, can you really ever have too many copies? Of course you can't.
Tim is the subject of a new article on Medium in which he speaks about the oft-documented strain - and, perhaps, the needlessness - of crunch mode, a period at the end (or sometimes throughout) of a game development cycle when teams work around the clock to meet looming deadlines.
Speaking about his experiences at both LucasArts and Double Fine, Tim's thoughts on the subject are sobering and even personal, such as when he relates how the passionate and relentless climate at LucasArts during his early days at the studio brought consequences at home:
Schafer saw the crunch periods become more demanding as time went on, and it wasn’t long before he experienced the heavy price of that kind of working culture. His first marriage, he said, collapsed after just a year.
“You don’t realize until it has happened that you’re doing all this damage to your personal life by staying at work all the time,” he said. “You can mentally put the rest of the world on hold, but the rest of the world can’t necessarily be put on hold by you. I was so gung-ho about it. If you think someone will wait for you and tolerate you not being around… people move on.”
Even then, with a relationship falling apart around him, the work came first. The rewards were just big enough, and the aura of George Lucas radiant enough, that it felt impossible to leave. Schafer only met Lucas three times in the 10 years he worked for him, but says his presence was felt in the craftsmanship and artistry of the house and its grounds. The attention to detail exuded an air of quality that reminded everyone that things needed to be done right.
When this latest (and hopefully soon to be obsolete) version of Mojo debuted in 2010 (I think), I was pretty cheesed off by the dinky font size. Seriously, what other site has fonts that obnoxiously small? Dumb ones, that's what.
And so I whined. I bellyached. And it fell on deaf ears, of course, but that was OK. I was playing a long game. I knew that, over time, the cumulative effect of my whining would be corrosive to Remi's whisper-thin will. And so I persisted, mostly in passive-aggressive ways, to register my righteous complaint in his direction. The day would eventually come, I reasoned, when Remi would be prevailed upon to bump up the font size.
Right on schedule, over seven years later, we've achieved this milestone, and now the sacred text of Mojo can be read without an electron microscope.
You're welcome, fans.
First, Thimbleweed Park now has official release dates for three new platforms: iOS on September 19; Switch on September 21; Android on October 3. When pressed, Mr. Gilbert admitted to it not being Apple TV compatible, but we will assume it and an Amiga versions will at least be released "later". (You can also pre-order a boxed copy if you didn't get one during the first run.)
If you are a fan of the Puzzle Agent games -- and if you're not, what the hell's the matter with you? -- you now have the chance to Kickstart Hidden People figurine, designed by Graham Annable and sculpted by Paul Lopes. For $50 you can have one of them, so run and buy!
Finally, I'm not sure if we've posted this video before, but J0j0 provided us with a link to a Michael Land and Clint Bajakian video interview. Set aside an hour to learn the dirt on their time at LEC.
That's right. 20. Twenty. That is either awesome or depressing depending on your point of view; quite probably both. And what better way to celebrate/mourn than to kick it off with The Most Liked Game Ever Poll?
This is a bit different than your typical favorite game survey. Here you get a curated list of games we cover, and you have three options for each one: like, dislike, or indifferent/haven't played. The goal is to find what games most of our three readers like. And dislike, because we're all about being as surly as we are expected to be.
NB! No history will be written. But vote anyway.
Sean Vanaman -- a.k.a. one of the non-Mojo people behind Campo Santo -- made the announcement on Twitter yesterday, as a result of YouTube star PewLePepe's repeated use of racial slurs while playing video games on his channel. You know. Like one apparently does...
The gist of the filing is that Pew has to remove any and all Firewatch content from the channel (apparently the largest one on the site). Gamergate's finest has not surprisingly come crawling out of the woodwork, each and every one of them a self-proclaimed law expert, screaming "fair use" without having a lick of an idea of what that actually is.
If you're in need of raising your blood pressure we recommend reading the subsequent shitstorm, but really, don't do that.
Our sincerest kudos to Campo Santo for refusing to be associated in any way with this sad little boy.
I actually started reading this Eurogamer interview with Telltale's Job Stauffer when it was published. "Started" being the operative word -- how many "laughs" can you take in an article after all?
@fantasticleak16 is clearly a smarter person than I, as (s)he dug up some interesting information toward the end. Asked about doing another Monkey Island or Sam & Max, Stauffer gave a firm no, an explanation...
It is a proud part of Telltale's legacy, but not really part of Telltale's future.
... before he killed your puppy.
Dumping Monkey Island is not really much of a surprise -- I have no clue what DisneyArts's intentions are with the property -- but I'm surprised Sam & Max is off the table. The property pretty much launched Telltale (with all respect to Texas Hold'em and Bone).
The question now, I suppose, is if anybody else is circling around the Sam & Max property.
You may recall Mojo reporting back in December 2016 on a new game engine for X-Wing being created by modder Azrapse. Well, the mod has now entered a Pre-Alpha testing state. If this news isn't exciting enough, check out the comments on the associated Kotaku article, where you'll see one Laserschwert say;
Jul 31, 2017, 11:58pm
I'm part of the XWVM team, and regarding TIE Fighter: We know it's the better game. And that's exactly the reason why we are tackling X-Wing first, because it's in much more need of an update. Plus it's the less complex game of the two, with simpler mission structure, fewer different ships and smaller in scope altogether. It's just less work to update (which is still a LOT of work), so it makes sense to get all of that down first. As much as TIE Fighter is build upon the foundation of X-Wing, a theoretical TFVM would and should be built upon XWVM.
I mean, give us a break, we can‘t update when there‘s nothing to update about. But, for your pleasure:
If you haven‘t played the first season of The Walking Dead, then what the hell is wrong with you? Don‘t worry, though, Humble Bundle is here for you, and you can get the whole effin' season for Mac and Window right now!
And, if you want to play the first game in Batman: The Tellta… siiiigh for free on iOS, you now can. It‘s worth it as far as a free game goes I guess, but compared to the second season, it really is dour. Run to the App Store for some depressing fun.
Sidenote: Do anyone other than me update this site? Jason?!
Thimbleweed Park, much like Mojo, is the gift that keeps on giving. Play minigames, find tokens, and give Ronzo and Winnick a most gracious thank you for giving us what has to be the first adventure game to receive these types of add-ons.
Oh, and the game is available for the PS4, too. Owning the game on only one platform is gauche; have some class and get at least one other copy.
Speaking of games on other platforms, the new Batman game and Guardians of the Galaxy will be released for Switch. When? I didn't see any dates, so we'll go with "soon".
OK, that was a small dollop, but then, what did you really expect?
We're only two-ish years late on this one, but that doesn't mean we're not presenting you with what could be News For You:
Back in 2015 Game Informer ran an article called "Fall Of The Empire: How Inner Turmoil Brought Down LucasArts", chronicling the dark days of Jim Ward, the last glimmering hope with Darrell Rodriguez, to Paul Meegan bringing the axe in allowing the last two co-CEOs (neither of whom I can remember ever having heard the names of) to deliver the final cut.
A whole lot of steaming gore can be found within the article, including details on the cancelled Indy game, George Lucas's penchant for coming up with horrible character names, and who could forget about Fracture? There are preciously few mentions of the games we might be more interested in, but don't be a whiner; be grateful for what you get.
(I still think 1313 sounded fun, despite the ridiculous LucasArts's first ADULT game marketing pitch. (To this day it sounds more like a Star Wars porn simulator.))
Thanks to our very own Jason for bringing this article to our attention, and even further thanks for him graciously allowing me to post it! ¬
Yeah, I had expected to turn the snark factor to 11 here, but… The first episode of The Enemy Within is actually good. Very good. I like it. Don’t read this, though; go read the review instead. Then question everything in your life, just like I’m doing right now.
Tales from the Borderlands ranks well in my top five TTG games list, and this oral history of it is… Well, it‘s great, and probably something we should be doing, but whatever. Read it over at Campo “Jake used to work here” Santo‘s Quarterly Review, and learn how the game never was a commercial hit, and how Mike Stemmle was involved with an early version of it. And more!
(There are also a few snippets about The Wolf Among Us which are interesting.)
We‘ll review it if TTG graces us with a review code; always a gamble.
This looks incredibly dour, and only really inspires me to fire up the Arkham trilogy again. Maybe even the tetralogy. But who knows, with some luck, some heart and humor will make their way into the game.
Batman: The Enemy Within will touch down on August 8th.
Continuing today's accidental theme of Sam's voice actors, Gameranx has an interview with Bill Farmer. Farmer is of course best known as the voice of Goofy for Disney, but Sam & Max gets a mention as well:
Gameranx: You voiced Sam in Sam & Max Hit the Road, whose voice sounds like a more toned-down version of Goofy. Phonetically, how did you make them different?
Bill Farmer: Well Steve Purcell had brilliant dialogue for the game, and I wanted to bring something deadpan but still comedic to the role. So it was a bit of Johnny Carson and more Humphrey Bogart.
You never know why you don’t get something. They just don’t call. Maybe they forgot I was in the first one, maybe they found somebody they liked better, who knows. That’s part of the business. Like with Sam & Max, they did a cartoon show which was not union. I’m a union actor. They took that to Canada to cast which is why I didn’t do that. And so maybe they got on that non-union bandwagon, and you never know with all the politics. A lot of it’s politics, too. So you just stay grateful for the ones you get, and say, hey I’m available if you need me!
Visit Gamerax to listen to the audio recording of the full interview.
Harvey Atkin, who voiced Sam in the Sam & Max animated series, passed away on July 18th. Atkin was the second of three voice actors who have so far taken on the role of Purcell's character, though he is more widely known for his roles on TV shows such as Cagney and Lacey and Law and Order, as well as the Ivan Reitman comedy Meatballs, which he co-starred in opposite Bill Murray.Thanks to "Threepwood4life" for bringing this to our attention in the comments.