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Last we reported, Bill Tiller was putting together a demo for A Vampyre Story 2: A Bat’s Tale to pitch out to publishers in the hopes of restarting production. In a quick update, Bill says, “Still working on the AVS2 publisher demo, but it is rapidly winding up and looks fantastic! My team has done a tremendous job.” So, know that. While waiting, he encourages you to pre-order that pop-up board game he worked on, Shivers.

’Course, nobody was exactly expecting that A Vampyre Story 2 was imminent. On the other hand, Skunkape’s much-anticipated remaster of Sam & Max: The Devil’s Playhouse had openly targeted a 2023 release, and December has traditionally been the release window for these. Yes, I’d say it’s high time that Jake guy explains himself. And so he has, in that globally recognized confessional that the guilty are always free to avail themselves of, the Mojo forums:

Season 3 has been a significantly more rude game to remaster, technically. It did things with the Telltale Tool that are basically unsupported in modern versions that use a more modern rendering pipeline. We have conscripted three ex-Telltale engine/graphics programmers to help bend the modern engine to our will, but it has taken a lot of annoying and uncertain experimentation.

So it’s coming, you just gotta wait a little longer. You can handle it. Heck, you probably won’t even be sobered up from all those no-holds-barred Grim Fandango 25th anniversary bacchanals (they’ve been sweeping the nation) by the time it hits the streets. I’m here to tell ya, the one my grandma hosted did not spare the hookah water in those coffin shooters.

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Bill Tiller must be making headway on that A Vampyre Story 2 demo he mentioned at the beginning of the year. Over on his Instagram page, he shared some background art from the long-stalled game and the following caption.

Here is a little taste of A Vampyre Story 2 : A Bat's Tale. Its a view of the new town Mona explores, Gothford Falls. Also the trailer for A Vampyre Story is now up on the ZOOM Platform YouTube channel if you haven't seen it yet. You will notice on the little snippet of the map that Mona's boat is washed up on the beach on the northwest coast of France. Something must have happened on the voyage! But don't worry, the crew was all bad!

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What publisher could afford not to pick this up? Bad Brain, thy redemption arc is nigh.

Source: Bill Tiller's Instagram

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As we reported earlier in the summer, Bill Tiller teamed up with the publisher Zoom-Platform to get A Vampyre Story in fighting shape for newer machines during a self-imposed hiatus from digital storefronts. The title has relaunched on Steam at a discounted price and armed with various updates, which you can find laid out here.

The occasion was seen as grounds to relaunch the long-kaput Autumn Moon web site, complete with a refreshed logo:

Could this signal a new lease on life for the label? Who knows, but in the meantime you gonna want that TruCoat them emotes, whatever those might be.

Source: Autumn Moon

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Although A Vampyre Story had been available from Valve’s service for many years, it didn’t play nice on a lot of machines, leading to a spate of negative reviews that complained of such design and narrative shortcomings as, “This game doesn’t work.” Last year, Bill took the game down so he could haul it to the garage.

With the help of ZOOM Platform, where the game recently re-emerged on an exclusive basis, it appears that it was given the under-the-hood retooling it needed for its support by modern PCs to be more widespread. So endowed, A Vampyre Story is now making its return to other storefronts. In any case it’s back on Steam, where its user ratings will hopefully be based on the content of the game itself going forward.

Source: Steam

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How does four hours with Bill sound to you, other than that it’s about fifteen fewer than you’d like? Daniel Albu is here with his latest developer interview, and with it the remainder of your day is sorted out. And yes, A Vampyre Story 2 gets a status report.

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Source: A Conversation with...

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It’s always good to hear from Bill, so it was probably an easy decision by The Retro Hour Podcast to host him for an hour long chat.

Bill shares some pretty good war stories from The Dig, his surreal experience of getting personal approval from George Lucas to shoot live action footage for Star Wars: Rebel Assault, and of course his experiences on The Curse of Monkey Island. The conversation doesn’t get a chance to cover the Autumn Moon games in depth (might I suggest a follow-up?), but the designer/artist does confirm that he regained the rights to A Vampyre Story 2 several years back, and drops the bombshell that he is actively at work on a demo for the long-halted game to pitch out to publishers. In addition, he promises that the original game will return to Steam in a matter of months, retooled so that it will actually run on your computer.

You can listen for yourself here. The interview begins around the 40 minute mark.

Source: The Retro Hour Podcast

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Bill Tiller has decided to acknowledge the aforementioned availability of A Vampyre Story on Zoom-Platform with some cool art. Hey, whatever pretext he needs. Check it out:

Source: AVS Facebook Page

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As of late last month, it was noticed that A Vampyre Story had been abruptly de-listed from seemingly all of the digital storefronts it was hosted on, including GOG and Steam. Eventually, the mystery was solved:

So what is the effective consequence of this? Seemingly, not much. While I’m unfamiliar with ZOOM (even though it’s apparently been around since 2014), it seems to sell its games as DRM-free downloads, so the exclusivity to that platform thankfully doesn’t do much to limit the accessibility of A Vampyre Story. Plus, the purchase comes with a bunch of cool extras, although I honestly don’t remember if that was also the case with GOG/Steam.

But is there anything to be read into the fact that ZOOM wanted to be the game’s sole vendor in the first place, which might have cost as much as fifteen dollars? Does its love for Mona extend to coming up with the end money for the sequel? I’d better slow down; there’s probably nothing to see here.

But Mojo’s on it anyway.

Source: Zoom Platform

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Did you know that Bill Tiller irregularly offers updates on A Vampyre Story’s future, but you just never hear about it because he hides them on Facebook?

It’s true! On the A Vampyre Story Facebook page – the only web presence for the property that appears to still be standing - Bill will make the occasional post and engage with fans in the comments. Here’s a reference to AVS 2 from last summer which, okay, isn’t that recent, but still a lot more recent than the last reference to the series’ future that I was familiar with, and I’m on active lookout for them:

Those with a long memory will recall that Bill used his favorite platform to announce that he regained the rights back in 2019, so the fact that he’s still keeping the dream alive as recently as nine months ago is, well, better than nothing.

And I don’t care if it’s not season appropriate -- I’m also taking this moment to share the Autumn Moon Halloween 2020 card Bill posted on Facebook that I never knew existed because it was posted on Facebook, god dammit.

Help us help you, Bill. Listen, I can blackmail Remi into paying the hosting for amegames.com, if that’s the issue. Don’t worry, he can afford it after selling all those non-fungible tokens for The SCUMM Bar. I know: the guy's shameless.

Source: Facebook

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In the aforementioned Wireframe Magazine spread on Monkey Island for the series’ 30th anniversary (buy it here, or click here for a preview), a fairly remarkable tidbit is casually mentioned. In a section on CMI, a screenshot of The Barbery Coast is featured alongside a revamped, HD version of the location with the following text:

Bill Tiller has recently been repainting some of the game's backgrounds in the hope of convincing Disney to release a new HD version of The Curse of Monkey Island for fans to explore.

This glimpse of the hi-def version is definitely appealing and unsurprisingly reminiscent of Tiller’s more recent adventure game work, although I question whether the spirit of Larry Ahern’s art direction really survives the choice to lose those pencil outlines. Like them or not, they are an elemental component of CMI’s look.

But whatever! The point here is that Bill Tiller has been redoing CMI backgrounds, and that’s headline news. I don’t know how successful he will be at getting Disney’s attention, but maybe the fans can help see this project through somehow. Godspeed, in any case.

I should also mention that there is another magazine spread on Monkey Island this month, published by Retro Gamer in their October issue. You’ll want to buy that too, surely.

Source: Wireframe Magazine

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While renowned illustrator and one-time Autumn Moon CEO Bill Tiller continues his slow, NDA-shrouded efforts to get A Vampyre Story 2 financed, his drawing hand hasn't just been sitting around idle. He's been recruited as the artist of a crowdfunded board game.

It's called The Shivers, which describes itself as a "mystery pop-up Role-Playing Game for 2-5 players, exploring a spooky mansion filled with hidden secrets!" With 28 hours to go at the time of this writing, the Kickstarter has raised $490,000. Its goal: $40,000. Well, good for them, but when I think about how Bill's AVS prequel Kickstarter seven years back couldn't come close to its $200,000 goal, well, the contrast is saddening.

Check out the project for The Shivers to get a sense of its Tilleresque beauty, and do excuse me while I come up with some-assed board game concept. Apparently that's where the money is.

Source: Kickstarter

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The tenth anniversary of A Vampyre Story came and went this past fall with little incident. As you may know, Bill Tiller's planned gothic saga has been in limbo due to frustrating rights issues - while Bill owns the IP itself, the distribution rights to the original game and its long-stalled sequel have been tied up with German-based publisher Crimson Cow Games.

But judging by the update Bill posted to the AVS Facebook page today, the Denver boot is finally off Mona de Lafitte:

Hi all. Good news, I have all the rights to A Vampyre Story back! Over this summer I will be trying to figure out the best strategy for moving forward so I can get the sequels and prequels funded. If you have any suggestions or funding ideas contact me at billtiller@gmail.com

It's unclear if the rights have simply reverted to Bill or if a blood sacrifice was involved to make this happen. We look forward to covering the quest to get AVS2 funded and back on track. In the meantime, it's always a good day when an IP and its creator are reunited. Congratulations, Bill!

Our thanks to reader Threepwood4life for bringing this to our attention and in the process bravely outing himself as a person who reads Facebook.

Source: AVS Facebook page

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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.

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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.

Source: Arcade Attack

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For the past few years, Bill's communication with his fans has mostly come in the form of updates to the Duke Grabowski Kickstarter page, and yesterday's post had something provocative in it:

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

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Source: Kickstarter

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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.

Source: Adventure Gamers

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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)

Source: Facebook

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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.

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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.

Source: Gamecrate

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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.

Source: Kickstarter

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Finished Duke Grabowski and looking for more? Steam is selling Ghost Pirates of Vooju Island at 90% off right now. The deal lasts for another 42 hours. Don't be ridiculous.

Source: Steam

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