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I mean, come on! Gameplay! McConnell! Goats! You got this sent to your email, and then you ignored it, didn't you?! Make up for it all by watching it, all now! Exclamation mark!
When was the last time we actually reviewed the second episode of a Telltale game? Years ago. Years! But here we are, and we check out the second episode of Batman: The Enemy Within, "The Pact".
In case you missed it at the bottom of Remi's news post three weeks back, here's an hour long (almost) interview with composers Michael Land and Clint Bajakian about their days at LucasArts. It also gives us a chance to test out our new embed code for Vimeo. Mojo: Truly on the cutting edge of technology.
Jake had not seen this video before, and nor had I — a PAX Australia keynote from Ron Gilbert where he, among a lot of other interesting tidbits, talks about how the ending of MI2 was conceived. Sure, it doesn’t reveal the secret (and so Mojo lives on; I mean if that piece of information ever gets out there, we can probably just pack up), but it gives you insight into how and why these things are written, and why it’s OK to be pissed off about endings.
If you’re a heathen who hated the Twin Peaks season three ending, you should watch this. The big reveal can be found at 35:32, but you should watch the whole thing.
The whole list will be published in a later article, and yes, we will do a poll with proper scoring, too. Your whining was heard. ;
If the next game after their alleged Star Wars: Commander and Star Wars: Rivals appeals... Star Wars: Aenemia maybe (!?), get in there and apply for a position!
Oh, we might give Telltale some goodnatured ribbing now and again, but really, we consider them a BFF.
However! As far as non-linear gaming where choices have consequences, we feel there are those who take that concept to a whole different level. During a particularly tense seminar, the Mojo Editorial Board™ voted that two games should be presented as what we consider proof of said statement: Life Is Strange and Until Dawn.
So here they are, and now you should run and read our take on them, as well as what differentiates them from Telltale.
Mark the calendar: Presumably in celebration of the recent Thimbleweed Park release, the Nintendo Switch subreddit will feature an ask me anything session with Messrs. Ron Gilbert and David Fox. That's tomorrow, September 26th, 11am ET, 8am PST, 3pm GMT, which I'm pretty sure are the only three time zones of any importance.
This is the perfect opportunity to ask Ron what the secret of Monkey Island is, because, let's be honest, the only reason we don't know is that nobody bothered to ask.
Remember 2003? I don't either, but apparently, over at the ol' SCUMM Bar I wrote an article on the Monkey Island 2 demo during that August. I also remember we made huge claims about moving our content over here in 2006, and yada yada yada: Here you go: Hacking the Monkey Island 2 Demo is now on Mojo!
How can you find undiscovered dialogue and music? We‘ll tell you how, and you do not even have to do it yourself; just read all about it! Yes, we wasted time writing this so go read it!
Got a Switch? Don't be a butt; be a completionist and grab Thimbleweed Park from their eShop. It's available today.
Speaking of, you can vote for the game in the Golden Joystick awards -- best indie game, no less. You probably should go and do so, because really, if you're reading this, it's not like you have that much going on today.
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.
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.