Adventure Gamers decided to have a lengthy confab with their personal graphic designer Bill Tiller as well as his Duke Grabowski cohort Gene Mocsy. They mostly talk Duke - which Bill reiterates is planned for five episodes that he figures will come out at six-month intervals - but other topics spring up, like the future of A Vampyre Story, which isn't quite as defined as I had hoped:
Ingmar: Speaking of legal stuff… I know people ask you about this a lot, but of course we can’t do an interview with you without discussing the potential future of A Vampyre Story.
Bill: I think Crimson Cow has a new management. They’re probably not interested in doing it, but I don’t think they’re against selling it, so I guess if I came up with the right money I suppose I can get the rights back. I’m concentrating on Duke Grabowski right now, but once Duke’s over I’m totally open to talking to Crimson Cow. But I’ve also been discussing the idea of animated shorts with our animator Romero. I love these characters, you know, and I don’t want them to die off just because of the distribution rights.
It’s a pretty long and epic story, so it could easily be turned into an episodic game with around eight episodes before the whole story arc wraps up. So, yeah, I’d love to do it, but if worst comes to worst I have the rights to do animated shorts, books, or comic books. When the time comes I’ll definitely explore the options.
There's a whole lot more in the full article, so why don't you go give it a read? Gosh, it's not like we're competitors.
Using the official A Vampyre Story Facebook page, Bill has posed a cryptic question. See it at the bottom of this post, because that's apparently the only place images will work. Good gravy, this site.
A Vampyre 2: A Bat's Tale entered production immediately after the original game back in 2008, but months later the plug was pulled by its publisher Crimson Cow Games. Because they still had the rights, Bill was unable to try to shop the project around or go the crowdfunding route, leaving the sequel in indefinite limbo.
So why is Bill gauging fan interest now? Have the rights lapsed back to him, or is he trying to gather evidence to show Crimson Cow that there's an audience that justifies revving the machine back up? Is Crimson Cow even in business anymore?
Whatever's going on, send an email to Bill at the email address below, and let him know that you need A Vampyre Story 2 more than you need potable water.
(Click to enlarge)
Some news requires no comment, other than: w00t.
Here's Tim humbly suggesting that you pre-order from GOG:
One last cool thing: apparently Tim had the original demo of the game (a PC Magazine exclusive) remastered as well because it featured unique dialog not heard in the shipped game, and Tim wanted all of Roy Conrad's lines preserved in high quality. Pretty rad.
Ron and his hat sit down with Google to discuss a thirty year career. Pull up a chair and be grateful to spend fifty minutes with Ronzo:
As with Day of the Tentacle Remastered and Grim Fandango Remastered, Double Fine had to go through the LucasArts archives to resurrect Full Throttle, and Tim talked about that effort with GamesIndustry.biz:
Schafer called it a sort of "digital archaeology." For Full Throttle, the art was completely repainted, often with input from original artists like Larry Ahern and Peter Chen. 3D elements like the game's motorcycles had to be remodeled from scratch because the originals weren't archived. Roy Conrad, the original voice actor for the game's protagonist Ben, died over a decade ago, so they had to track down the uncompressed DAT tapes of his original voiceover sessions in order to remaster them in stereo.
"We're in a unique position where we remember where the bodies are buried," he said. "'I think that sound guy took home a box of tapes once, and I know so-and-so has that thing in their attic.' And at Skywalker Ranch there's an archive that has a lot of cool stuff there, and we got access to those. We got to dig through these flat files, finding these great pieces of art and putting them in the concept art browser for the first time to let you see all this stuff when you play the game. It's more like a fun treasure hunt."
One might expect that the hassles of remastering projects like these would cause Double Fine to re-think the way it preserves its current titles for the future.
"I feel like we had all this trouble finding all these archives," Schafer said, "and it was like, 'Why didn't we archive this stuff better?' And then I was like, 'Are we archiving our new stuff better?' We had to really look at it, and well, you know... In some ways it's easy to make those same mistakes again, to just not really think about what's going to happen 20 years from now. 'Yeah, that stuff's all on that one artist's hard drive, but we don't have time to do all that...' So you really have to push yourself to create good archives, and to put away a machine that can do the actual build of the game. And that's something I hope all developers do, or they'll be kicking themselves later."
It's a comfort to know that Roy Conrad's line readings will liberated from that Turkish prison that is MONSTER.SOU.
You may recall that time a year ago when we reported that an indomitable band of Germans were seeking to get official approval for their HD remake of Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis.
Those of you who hate surprises, I should warn you: this isn't going to be one.
We have been asked politely by a new promoted Lucasfilm Head of business development person to stop developing and distributing Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis Special Edition demo.
We will remove the downloading buttons from our website this Sunday (5th March 2017)
We have been told that Lucasfilm don't want to share the Indy license with anyone right one, so we came up with other solution and we will see if that is going to work for them.
We will keep in touch with Lucasfilm people and continuously trying to obtain a deal for a full project development!
Lucasfilm has seen what we have done, we proved our skills, show them a great effort and strong responsibility, they have received all required documents and now it's up to them if they will change their minds and start supporting Independent developers.
Whatever the response will be, We are extremely proud of what we have done, it has been a great fun, we will love this project forever and we thank you all who participated or support us during this "long-term, free-time" development.
Fans community is strong, full of talented people and nobody is going to stop us from doing what we love, because we are doing it right! This is not the end of this project and this is not the end of any fans projects...big companies need to understand that: "All things come to him who waits." #lucasfilm #lucasarts #adventuregames #disney
There's a lot of goodness coming out this year, from just about every company that this site covers. So go to the poll on the right and let us know which one has you excited the most.
There have been big changes afoot over at AdventureGamers.com. Changes in management, and now, changes in logo. Few would contest the greatness of the longstanding original logo, designed by Bill Tiller himself. Thankfully, the powers-that-be at AG are not among those despicable few, and they were thus smart enough to reach back out to Bill when they decided a logo revamp was in order. Behold:
Sure, the Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade graphic adventure has been available from Steam since forever, but I know you kids love things that are DRM-free, so consider yourselves accommodated. And just like the Steam version, you get the unabridged Grail Diary in all its .pdf glory.
There was a time when GOG was releasing LEC games more regularly, then that all stopped, and if you think that wasn't the consequence of a sinister, labyrinthine conspiracy, get a clue. But does the unceremonious appearance of Last Crusade signal that the seal has been broken again? We still need Monkey Island 3 and 4 up there, bare minimum.
Festivus is over lads, so back to work. Earlier this week, Gamecrate asked Bill Tiller a few questions about his career. Among other things the interview gives us an idea of when Duke Grabowski Episode 2 will drop.
So, when is the second episode of Duke Grabowski: Mighty Swashbuckler due out?
We're planning on five episodes. The plan is to have the second episode come out in the Spring. I've already written it, and we're doing pre-production on it now, and have some sketches done, as well as some of the puzzles.
Check out the full interview here.
Bill has published a holiday update on the Duke Grabowski Kickstarter page, unveiling the title ("Debonair Corsair") and the status of Episode 2. Hey, I'm just glad it's still happening.
There's more, like a peek at one of the backgrounds and a status on the remaining backer rewards, but why listen to my descriptions of what you can live yourself.
If I know you, you're going to want to give this a watch.
The screenshots compare classic mode to the remastered version. Head on over to IGN to see them.
You probably remember watching Brian Moriarty's superb Loom post-mortem which debuted at GDC 2015. If you haven't seen it, you're encouraged to do so. At the end, Moriarty threw out the names of a few studios (including Double Fine and Telltale) he considered ideal collaborators for a Loom sequel, essentially extending an invitation to them to get him on the horn.
Moriarty has given his talk a few more times since, including at an expo in Argentina this past March. At the end of that talk, he mentioned that some discussions took place with some of those studios. When pressed for details, he offered this. Watch it before proceeding.
I'm dubious of the claim that Double Fine had specifically optioned Loom along with the Tim Schafer relevant IPs, and more so of the idea that Double Fine ever actually committed resources toward a Loom project before learning that this supposed option had expired. And if Brian's got the facts right, and Disney's claiming someone else has an exclusive on Loom, who the hell could it possibly be? Of the precious few studios likely to be interested in the property, I can't think of one that would wish to shut Moriarty out. Sounds to me like someone's getting the runaround here, or maybe there's just some miscommunication.
Moriarty also gets probed a little bit about The Dig, but the Q&A - the online version, anyway - gets suspiciously interrupted just before he can detail how his version would have ended. Can't wait to hear ATM's take on this and how it might fit in with your post-war commie conspiracy.
Update: Mild correction. It seems the Argentina talk actually happened in late 2015, rather than this year.
Why can't you people make content like this?
ATMachine has reappeared in order to publish his career best - a deeply researched, legacy-defining thesis that Guybrush Threepwood is in fact a woman in men's clothes.
It was almost a year ago that Full Throttle Remastered was announced, and since then we've known we could look forward to a developer commentary just as Day of the Tentacle had.
Well apparently that commentary was recorded this past week. Check out the photo Double Fine posted on Facebook:
Hopefully media from the game is soon to follow.
This release brings support for six new games: Myst, Myst: Masterpiece Edition, U.F.O.s (also known as Gnap), and Sierra's Hi-Res adventure games #0: Mission Asteroid, #1: Mystery House, and #2: The Wizard and the Princess.There's also been a lot of bugfixes for Sierra's SCI games, the addition of Hercules rendering and font for the AGI games, an enhanced Sherlock games experience, and the addition of AmiUpdate on the Amiga port.
I debated mentioning this, but no mortal could resist. You all remember Bad Brain Entertainment, the German-based adventure studio that sprang from nowhere in 2004? It produced zero games but riled up a lot of adventure fans, first by claiming it would finance A Vampyre Story (it couldn't), and then by intimating that it would purchase and finish Sam & Max 2 (it couldn't).
Jason Some said the whole debacle was just a sleazy tactic for an opportunistic start-up to get publicity in the absence of a track record, while others assert the infant studio meant well and simply got carried away by enthusiasm. One thing's for sure, the young brain behind Bad Brain, Wolfgang Kierdorf, became an instant celebrity in the Mojo culture (though to be fair, news was slow at the time), and I think most of us have a special place in our hearts for Bad Brain even today.
But wait! You might recall that Bad Brain's suspiciously large slate of planned games included more than AVS and Sam & Max. Another was The Whispered Word, which ultimately escaped Kierdorf and wound up safely published by another studio in 2009. Then there was The Orgastic 4, an R-rated spin on The A-Team with animals. It was roundly mocked at the time.
Well who's laughing now? Bad Brain and The Orgastic 4 are back, and Adventure Gamers has a preview. Sure, the team is quick to concede that "funding for the game isn't resolved yet," but quit getting hung up on details. Here's to ten more years of Kierdorf, whom in all seriousness we wish nothing but success.
Avast! Two years ago it was but a humble Kickstarter pitch, and today it is a real life computer game. See, not all video game Kickstarters are scams just because ours will be! (There's nothing in the pipeline, but with Remi around it's a foregone conclusion.)
Backers received their Steam keys yesterday, but the rest of you can get it now for a measly $6.99. There is no reason to wait for my review, which is nevertheless coming shortly. Now go forth and help ensure the subsequent episodes get finished.
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