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)
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.
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.
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.
Read the press release, if that's your thing, but the point is Bill's newest game is finally upon us. I'm also noticing that some new screenshots have popped up in a few places, so do check those out.
I'll have a review of the first episode in as few as seventeen months, guaranteed.
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.
Remember also to check out the Duke Grabowski Youtube Chanel for a collection of behind-the-scenes videos.
It's just our way of saying, "We don't think enough of you to trust that you can just Google this stuff."
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.
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.
The update also includes information about slots being opened up for the higher tiers. So, if you've been holding back because you wanted to back at one of the sold out higher tiers, you're in luck, as more slots have been added to these tiers. Go ahead and grab them quick if you're interested (there's some neat goodies in there, like getting to voice a character named after you for $300, or if you have some money to burn, having Bill fly to your house and paint a mural on your wall for $10,000).
Of course, the most important incentive is that if this is funded, you'll get to watch Jason reenact the Melee Island wedding scene, and watch me perform the Curse of Monkey Island pirate song. So, go ahead and back. You know you want to.
The game is excellent, but if you'd prefer to try before you buy, chapter one (the first third of episode 1) is available on iTunes for free.Update: If you don't have an iOS device, you'll have to wait a bit longer. According to The Perils of Man Frequently Asked Questions page, they are currently developing the game for Android devices as well as PC, Mac, and Linux.
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