Have you ever wanted to see Tim present eight inspirations for Grim Fandango? Of course you have, and if you use Twitter, you probably actually have already done so, but in case you haven’t… Here ya go:
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I guess we were too busy justifying the unjustifiable to acknowledge Dave Grossman's annual Halloween tradition in a timely fashion.
But let's acknowledge it now - Dave has give the reliable Pumpkin House of Horrors its 2018 update, which includes two - count 'em, two - pumpkins on the receiving end of inventively unaccountable cruelty. In these capricious times, when seemingly robust studios capsize at a moment's notice, it is comforting that there are still some things you can hang your hat on.
The most colorful expression of the white-out outrage that was ignited by the cancellation of Sam & Max 2 undoubtedly came from The Wibble Wobble Hat Stand (W.W.H.S.), which found its true calling as an “LEC Hate Site” in March 2004. Refusing to stop at merely collecting the various works of “hate art” righteously spewed forth by the greater Mojo community, deceased virtuoso Gabez went the extra mile and produced a few games of grandiose hostility under the W.W.H.S. banner. Despite their uncommon artistic virtue, these Adventure Factory classics have been sadly lost to time.
Or have they? Don’t ask me how, but we’ve managed to locate copies and get them uploaded, an act of nobility that we figure is at least as big a deal as Netflix finishing Orson Welles’s last movie. There are no guarantees that these will work on your machine, but then, wasn’t that the case from day one? So download these zip files and try the executables out for yourself. They’re probably not just viruses:
(NB! The games currently only work on Windows (or Wine). We expect ScummVM will add support any day now. - Remi)
I might have missed . . . something, seeing I can’t find an announcement from Double Fine . . . but Costume Quest, quite possibly the most charming games in the Mojo-verse, is being turned into an animated series for Amazon. There’s even a trailer:
Yeah, I don’t really know -- it looks nice enough, but I can’t help but feel some of the charm was lost in translation. Either way, the show is scheduled for 2019 release.
OK, I was a bit quick on the trigger last time, but Grim is officially out on Switch now, unless Double Fine is lying to all of us. Don’t have a Switch? No worries -- iam8bit has your back, with a boxed PS4 20th Anniversary Edition for $30, and also a soundtrack on vinyl for $40. Go shell out.
There are also "more announcements coming real soon!" so we’re pretty sure Grim 2 will be announced in the next few hours.
Look, I'm as shocked as you are. In the 15+ years I've known elTee, aka LucasTones, I have never known him to be a con. But now? That Monkey Island EGA to VGA image? Fake news! And I'm clearly not to blame, as Tones admits in his introduction…
I can only apologise. I wasn't trying to trick anyone, it was just a bit of fun. Then after a bit of joking around on Slack, one thing led to another, and suddenly the damn image ended up on the front page of Mojo. I guess that’s what happens when you promise Remi you’ll deliver an article, but instead go to the pub, and then four years elapse.
OK, so maybe I'm partly at fault. Even close to fully. However! It wasn't really a fake screenshot, was it? It was from a genuine, playable moment in The Secret of Monkey Island, with the EGA graphics ported VGA style. So how did it happen? And how can you do it yourself?
Remember that thread on LucasForums fifteen years or so ago about the canceled VGA version of Secret of Monkey Island? Of course you do, because all of you who are here now were there then.
If you don't recall: There was an early effort to create a fairly straight VGA port of the in-development EGA version. Presumably LEC decided to attempt something a bit more extravagant, and we do, of course, all know the final VGA version which today might be considered the de facto MI1. (Although that, really, should be the Amiga version. ¬)
The earlier version was in a playable state, with some (but far from all) of the graphics converted to 256 colors. See below for a screenshot, which, to me, reminds me of the VGA version of Loom.
The good news: This version of the game works with ScummVM, and we will have the resource files available hopefully within the next week. (Which means you can play the game if you already possess MI1.) Our deep throat is putting a couple of compatibility fixes into place as we speak, so stay tuned for more soon.
For now -- this is what could have been:
Look, I don't know what this whole Discord thing really is -- we use it for podcast recording (two more have been recorded -- start bugging Zaarin to finish editing them) -- but apparently they've built a store. Because we need another one? Either way, Psychonauts and Brütal Legend are available for free with "Nitro" (I don't even know), so go grab them if that's your thing. Discord, that is. Double Fine obviously already is.
NEW WEB SITE FOR POSTING OF LUCASARTS INSPIRED GAME MODS LAUNCHED BY LFNETWORK.COM FAN SITE
Officially Sanctioned Site, http://www.lucasfiles.com, Offers Fans Location to Create and Post Modifications of LucasArts Titles
SAN RAFAEL, Calif. -- December 11, 2002 -- Fans who create game modifications (mods) based upon characters and elements in titles by LucasArts Entertainment Company LLC can now post their works on the Internet at LucasFiles, which can be found at http://www.lucasfiles.com. The new site, created by Lucas Fan Network (LFN), http://www.lfnetwork.com, an independent collection of web sites dedicated to LucasArts and its games, is an exclusive and sanctioned online location offering a variety of mods inspired by LucasArts titles. The LucasFiles database also hosts unique fan produced content, levels, and an array of other media.
"LucasArts is grateful to the Lucas Fan Network, whose enthusiastic and very dedicated members have created a distinctive online destination for fans of our games to showcase and share their creations with others," says Simon Jeffery, president of LucasArts. "The fan community is incredibly important to LucasArts and this site will provide them with a variety of ways to continue to celebrate their passion for the company and its games."
Flash forward a decade and a half, and while it is lovely to see that the LucasFilm letterhead stationery is still getting some usage, those halcyon days of Lucas sanctioned fan activities are nothing but a distant memory.
Fresh off agreeing to help finish season four of The Walking Dead, Skybound talks some smack* about Telltale. Of interest:
“We are doing our best to take care of the people,” he said. “Our intent is to work with the original team but there are a lot of moving parts. I don’t want to get into the specifics around the deal itself, but I will say this: We are doing everything we can to do right by the people making the game. There’s not a huge upside for the corporate entity of Telltale Games.
Translated: They’re doing what TTG should have done during a difficult time of layoffs. More to be found over at Variety
* Smack might not be talked.
Limited Run Games announced on Twitter that a physical Broken Age release will be available for pre-order on the 12th of October, and will only be available for two weeks. The Limited Run Switch release of Broken Age joins its PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita brethren, as the latter had physical versions released by Limited Run Games back in 2017.Switch cartridge production takes a while and once the cartridges are finished, they need to be shipped from Japan to the United States, where Limited Run Games will pack the cartridge in a standard Switch case. The cool thing about these Limited Run Switch releases is that each game comes with a complete byte-sized manual, which is a really rare thing nowadays.
Because of the long production time, it's likely that the Limited Run physical release of Broken Age for Switch won't ship until January.
Telltale previously stated that they were looking towards multiple partners to hire the staff of The Walking Dead Season Four so that they could finish the season properly. So, it looks like there's a (tiny) bit of good news for at least some the staff members that were let go from Telltale without warning last month.
If you want to read more dirt on Telltale’s abrupt closure, look no further than this article from The Verge. There isn’t a whole lot of new information in there, but it serves as a good summation of the time leading up to the closure.
Worth noting is the confirmation of what a lot of us suspected: The Walking Dead-fatigue is indeed a thing, and good as season four could have been -- or will be, as TTG, the classy joint it is, is shopping around for another company to finish up the remaining episodes -- the games just weren’t selling. Couple that with two investors that weren’t as ready to put money up as the company thought they were, and here we are.
Don’t take my word for it, though -- go read.
Late night host Conan O'Brien maintains a pretty active online presence, and one of the things his digital wing sometimes does is post video game live streams to the Conan Youtube channel. These streams are hosted by the Conan team's resident gamer Aaron Bleyaert.
Well, it looks like the latest one of these deals was for Grim Fandango. The stream just ended, but it is available on Youtube for posterity. I kinda skimmed through it, and it looks like Aaron liked the game, without getting very far. Check it out below:
Now he is going back to his roots. Before he became a designer at Telltale, he designed two free adventure games: Nick Bounty: A Case of the Crabs and Nick Bounty: The Goat In The Grey Fedora. He is now creating a third game in the series, that you can help fund now by going to the Nick Bounty and the Dame with the Blue Chewed Shoe Kickstarter page
Or, as it is, totally Infernal Machine. That's right, ATM informs us the 1999 classic -- if you're into this kind of stuff -- is available for purchase over at GOG. (Windows only, natch.) Grab it if you so desire.
- Telltale's older games, up to The Walking Dead Season One, have had their DRM removed at the Telltale website prior to their closing, so they no longer have to go through Telltale server authentication to play.
- If you purchased the game from the Telltale Store, the newer titles, from 2013 to 2018 (excepting 400 Days as that's considered part of The Walking Dead Season One) - The Wolf Among Us to The Walking Dead: The Final Season episode 2 - need to authenticate with Telltale's servers before playing. The server is still active, although it's unknown how long that will continue to be the case.
- Telltale server authentication is not required if the game was purchased from other outlets such as Steam, GOG.com, or Humble Bundle, or if you own the retail discs. These will of course still have some DRM depending on the outlet (such as Steam's server authentication).
- Telltale's season pass discs included one or more episodes, with the rest needing to be downloaded. The season pass disc is your authentication. However, it's unknown how long the Telltale website will remain online, so it's recommended to download the remaining episodes as soon as possible.
- All of the Telltale developed games (and Hector: Badge of Carnage) can be re-downloaded from the Telltale website at the moment if you had already purchased them (except for Poker Night 2 since they never sold that at their store). This includes titles removed from sale at digital outlets, such as Wallace & Gromit's Grand Adventures and Law & Order Legacies.
- Prior to their closing, I worked with the web team to get the old games available again by supplying my retail cover art for the missing games, unfortunately, they said they couldn't put up the old third-party games they used to sell (Kings Quest collection, Monkey Island special editions, etc.) because they couldn't remove the DRM. Unfortunately, if you purchased a third-party game at the Telltale Store (other than Hector: Badge of Carnage), they can no longer be redownloaded.
- Telltale's games will remain downloadable at other digital outlets such as Steam, GOG.com, etc., even if the games are removed from sale at some point.
- The older games (Telltale Texas Hold'em, Sam & Max: Season One and Two, etc.) crash when running in Windows 10. These games can be played by removing the 'prefs.prop' file, although you may be restricted to playing in a window. Sadly, this applies to games purchased at any outlet, including the retail discs.
- If you have a certificate error, this workaround might help (thanks to Jones Jr. for the solution). Update: I was informed by Telltale alum TheSeg that these are Symantec Legacy certificates. These are not allowed in the latest Chrome betas. Using the stable branches of browsers should work, but of course, this will only work as long as the stable branch isn't caught up with the beta branch.
Friendly reminder: Given the studio's uncertain future, you may want to re-download your past Telltale orders while their servers still hum. Simply head over to https://telltale.com/account/games, log in to your old account, and archive your collection.
The word on the street is that Telltale had recently updated their older titles to be DRM-free. I'm hearing that this is true for all their games from Telltale Texas Hold'em through The Walking Dead: Season 1. While I can't personally vouch for whether this is true in the case of every one of those titles, it certainly has been true for all the oldies I've tried so far. (By the way, turns out Sam & Max: Season 1 is still pretty great.)
Obviously, this only applies if you purchased your games directly through Telltale rather than some other outlet. (And if that outlet was GameTap, you're probably too embarrassed to admit it.) So if you're not one of those poor dopes, get those installers now and worry about when you're going to use them later.
Since Telltale ate its gun last Friday, social media has seen a lot of heartfelt reminiscing from the quasi-late studio’s ex-employees and collaborators, among them Jake, Bay Area Sound, and voice actress Melissa Hutchison. Today, via Facebook, Steve Purcell has added his voice to the eulogy with the following statement:
I honestly don’t know what to make of the circumstances surrounding the massive Telltale Games layoffs. I’d just like to offer a sincere thanks to all the creative people who contributed to the smart development, marketing and distribution of the Sam & Max series of games, shorts, store items and the Telltale edition of the comics that were all carefully crafted over several years. I always felt that Sam & Max were in caring hands during their ongoing run at Telltale and I’m proud of the products that went out into the world bearing their name. Thank you.
It’s hard to disagree with his view -- Telltale did right by Sam & Max. And while it would have been nice to have seen more games starring them since 2010 (cripes, has it been that long?), there’s no denying that under Telltale’s stewardship, we got a ton of great Sam & Max content following ten years of nada. That resurgence came not just in the form of the games, but in the Surfin’ the Highway and animated series re-releases, killer schwag and other assorted paraphernalia. Man, remember the old Telltale Store? The one that used to: sell stuff?
Speaking of which: Steve, if you're reading this, any chance of re-issuing that old Desoto T-shirt? My 2006 incarnation and I do not have shirt sizes in common.
Couldn't happen to a more deserving company.
Polygon brings word that -- shock, awe, and surprise -- former TTG employees aren't exactly happy about how layoffs went down at the company, and are ready to fight back.
Vernie Roberts has filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of former TTG employees, which boils down to the company being legally required to notify its staff of mass-layoffs sixty days in advance. As opposed to sixty minutes, which I can only assume was TTG's understanding. Should the plaintiffs win, they are entitled to full backpay.
I think we can all agree they at least already have won in The Court of Mojo, which really is what counts for their souls, albeit not their wallets.
For more details, check out Polygon's article.
This all while CEO Pete Hawley re-assures us all that Telltale is not shutting down. We are all waiting with baited breath for his version of The Wolf Among Us, Part 2.