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.
In other not bad, but not great news is that Duke Grabowski: Debonair Corsair is on hold until we sell a certain number of units. Alliance wants the first episode to prove it is a success before funding the follow up. And you can help with that if you so chose because Alliance has discounted Duke to $2 and the sales are picking up. If you all told all your family, friends and acquaintances about the game that could really help. Mean time Venture Moon and Alliance will continue to promote the game as much as we can.
But have no fear that I won't be doing any more game because I am in negotiations to make another non-Duke game while we wait for Duke numbers to reach our goal. I can't go to much into it because nothing is official, but I can say it is an idea that is very close to my heart.
That's not very hopeful news on Duke - if the first episode's sales is making the publisher wary of funding the second, what are we to conclude about the likelihood of episodes 3-5?
On the other hand, we apparently have a secret project in the works. The obvious question: is this A Vampyre Story 2 or a new IP altogether? Only time will tell, and in the meantime you might want to throw a measly two bucks at Duke Grabowski
and contribute to those sales numbers
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.
08 Jan, 2017, 01:08 | Posted by: Jennifer
We're now a week into 2017, which means it's the perfect time for a new poll. We couldn't just put one up on the first day of the new year. That's just not The Mojo Way™.
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.
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.
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.
The preview is positive, although I must politely disagree with HardcoreGamer's memory of The Curse of Monkey Island as a "3D game." They also note that we still don't know for sure how many episodes Duke Grabowski will consist of:
The game is poised to be episodic, with the potential for three to five episodes. Why is there a range of chapters? Well, the team obviously would love to bring Duke’s tale to completion, but they simply do not know for certain how much interest there will be in the game post-launch. Right now Duke Grabowski, Mighty Swashbuckler Episode 1 is prepping for launch this fall, and Episode 2 should follow shortly thereafter. Beyond that, though, Duke’s fate is in the hands of players. If a fanbase appears around the series then we’ll be sure to see how many more episodes appear down the line.
That and more is revealed as part of the latest update on the game's progress from Bill. Sound like they're wrapping up on the first episode.
I have confused feelings about this, since I was rather hoping Pedro would be invited back to do the new music, in keeping with tradition. But who the hell can complain about Jared doing the soundtrack to anything? Sounds like some of Pedro's music from Ghost Pirates - which Duke Grabowski is technically a spinoff of - will be reprised to complement Jared's original work.
We already knew that Duke Grabowski had landed a publisher, but there's something comforting about getting the actual corporate screed to back it up. Today comes that very press release your heart so coveted:
In furtherance of its strategy, Alliance has partnered with two indie studios, PixelMetal and Venture Moon Industries, to publish two original games for PC and digital consoles. PixelMetal's Sombrero is a spaghetti western multiplayer shootout game scheduled for release on PC this summer. Players grab treasure and have shootouts, and can play specialized modes such as "Capture the Flag" and an Indiana Jones-like mode called "Banditos." Venture Moon Industries' game Duke Grabowski, Mighty Swashbuckler is a point-and-click comic adventure game about the biggest, roughest pirate in the Azurbbean and his struggle to become a noble swashbuckler. Alliance expects the first episode of Duke Grabowski to be released on Steam and Xbox One in November 2016.
Bill Tiller, President and Creative Director of Venture Moon, said "The deep game industry experience at Alliance ensures our collaboration is going to result in Venture Moon making the best game possible. In addition, they bring the PR, marketing and distribution expertise that will get the game in front of the largest possible global audience. This may sound hyperbolic, but they really are a dream come true for a small developer like us."
Note the launch platforms, as well as a release date of November for the first episode. Congrats once again to the team! Now give Pedro a call.
As Jennifer reported this week, Duke Grabowski is no longer a bite-sized vanity project that the Autumn Moon guys (under the label "Venture Moon") will work on nights and weekends, but a full-length episodic adventure game with a publisher and everything. And episode one is out this summer!
To celebrate, we felt it would be useful to collect the media that the team has been trickling out over the last eighteen months. That's right, we've beaten the odds and updated the galleries. It hearkens back to the days when Mojo, if you can imagine, served as a resource for the games it covers.
The game that backers will be getting will now be episode one out of five. Backers will get the game exactly as described in the Kickstarter, but the good news is that Duke's adventures will be larger than planned. The other good news is that the backing by a publisher means that the Duke Grabowski team can now work on the game full time. The first episode, the one that backers of the Kickstarter will be getting, is now planned to be finished in July.
27 Mar, 2015, 08:23 | Posted by: Jennifer
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IF Games has announced that their adventure game, The Perils of Man, which has a design by Bill Tiller and Gene Mocsy of Autumn Moon, and is also co-written by Mr. Mocsy, will be released on April 28, 2015 for Windows, Mac, and iOS. Episode 1 of the game was previously only available on iOS, and for those who have already purchased the iOS version of Episode 1, the app will be updated to the full version at no extra charge once it's released. They also released an announcement trailer for the game, which has been embedded below. You can see the trailer here if the embedding doesn't work for you.
Perils of Man will be released for iOS (people who already own Perils of Man Episode 1 on iOS will get the second episode as an update to the game app at no additional charge), and IF Games also have announced their intention to release the game on Steam for PC and Mac in the same estimated Spring 2015 timeframe.
My assigned part it, anyway. In a show of support for Jennifer, I strove to ensure that whatever she could possibly come up with would be considerably less humiliating by comparison.
As you were promised, here is my incident-free re-enactment of the wedding scene from The Secret of Monkey Island as a reward for the support you damned well should have shown to Venture Moon's Duke Grabowski.
Note: We provided subtitles this time out in case the combination of my Cajun accent and the home movie audio fidelity prove to be too much of a barrier.
You may have seen this Kotaku article if you were keeping tabs on us on Twitter during our downtime, but why admit to reading Twitter when I'm handing you this convenient out?
The article goes into the sometimes extreme measures that the Double Fine team had to take in trying to track down old Grim Fandango assets for their upcoming remastering.
“I got another name and another name and eventually walked out of Lucas with a tub of tapes that were in this format I’d never even heard of before,” said Schafer. “But we found out that one of our old co-workers collected obscure drives, and we were able rebuild a lot of it. We were able to get a lot of the frames of the original cut-scenes un-compressed and a lot of the Pro Tools sessions of the music.”
Read the full article for more kah-rayzee stories about Grim's excavation.
Update by Jennifer: The campaign is also now accepting Paypal donations for the digital tiers (you'll find the Paypal links at the bottom of the main page). So, if you wait for that option before backing a crowdfunding campaign, and if you want to play a campaign with an awesome art design by Bill Tiller and a game design by Dave Grossman, Bill Tiller, and Gene Mocsy, then you can now be a backer as well.
Oh, and my rendition of the pirate song is on its way. Since I actually made that promise myself, I'll try to get it done soonish. :)
There's a first time for everything.
Duke Grabowski up and got itself funded by the skin of its teeth, and there was much rejoicing. Don't forget that although the minimum amount has been reached, you can still pledge money to the project so that it can hit some of its stretch goals. One of them is "new swashbuckling music," which I'm taking to mean that Pedro Macedo Camacho will compose new stuff as opposed to his Ghost Pirates tracks being recycled.
As for me, I apparently owe you guys some sort of re-creation of the wedding scene from Monkey Island 1? At least, that's what Remi seems to have effeminately (and unilaterally) obligated me to, and I'm nothing if not a man of Remi's word. So while I'm not putting a clock on it, stay tuned for a deranged grotesquerie of some sort.