The 10th anniversary of the lovely but underappreciated - not to mention unfinished - Insecticide is upon us, and if anybody is gonna do something about it, shouldn't it be us?
Hey, I agree with you. That's why I decided to reach out to the game's creators, Mike Levine and Larry Ahern, and the result of said harrassment is a new feature to celebrate the beleaguered game's milestone.
Really, it's just a new Q&A with Mike and Larry. But because I knocked together a little introductory page and shamed Remi into donating a header image, it is an officially sanctioned feature, damn you.
Mike Levine, co-creator of Insecticide with Larry Ahern, wants your opinion on the possibility of a new Insecticide game:
Hey, Larry Ahern and I have been tossing the idea around of a new Insecticide game, this time losing the action and making it more of a pure adventure game.
Curious how many people would be into this? Should we join the trend and do a Kickstarter?? Or can everyone just mail us bags of cash so we don't have to give KS 1/3 of the money?!
Anyway, we really want to bring Chrys and Roachy back to life ... their's was kind of cut short, and they have a lot of bugs left to squash!!
Would people like to see this happen? If so let us know!
At this point the story of Insecticide has surely been burnished to a shine on your brain by yours truly and you'd pay good money not to hear me repeat it, but since relevant news on the game tends to be separated by many months I will quickly recap: Insecticide was the action/adventure hybrid that LEC vets Larry Ahern and Mike Levine developed back in 2007-2008 under the label Crackpot Entertainment. There were two versions: one for the Nintendo DS and a two-part PC release. The second part of the PC version was cancelled.
While the two versions are the same in terms of story and level design, the DS version is obviously scaled down severely, and as a consequence of space constraints on the cartridge none of the in-game dialog is voiced and some of the FMV cutscenes were reduced to still images with accompanying subtitles. Ahern and Levine have been claiming for years that they would try to at least get the cutscenes (which, by the way, feature some stellar work by LEC/Telltale animator Peter Tsaykel) from Part 2 of the PC release up on Youtube. Finally, that day has arrived.
To commemorate the occasion, a lengthy interview with Larry Ahern has been published by Adventure Classic Gaming. Ahern mostly relates, frankly and humorously, the ambitious plans and difficult development of Insecticide, but you also get some anecdotes about the productions he was involved with at LucasArts in the bargain. These include previously unknown information on Vanishing Act and Full Throttle: Payback (except it was never actually called that). Did I mention the flurry of unreleased concept art? Oo De Lally!
As old science fiction movies inform, it will be the bugs who survive the apocalypse. Further proof of their resilience comes today in the form of word I've received that Crackpot Entertainment (aka LucasArts vets Mike Levine and Larry Ahern) have not abandoned Insecticide, and are "trying to make it into a comic or movie."
Insecticide has been a beleaguered property indeed. The brainchild of Mike and Larry (with help from fellow warhorses like Dave Grossman and Justin Chin in fleshing out the universe), the game's bifercated PC release was, thanks to an untimely publisher buyout, aborted halfway. This left the Nintendo DS version - with its heavily scaled down visuals, text-only mission dialog, and condensed and missing cutcenes - as the only way players could experience the complete story. There was some talk about Crackpot hoping to put the cutscenes in Part 2 on Youtube so that PC gamers could at least get the whole narrative (however imperfectly), but they have yet to materialize.
Although met with mixed to negative reviews from the mainstream press, even the harshest critics of Insecticide as a game praised its rich world and memorable characters, with the suggestion that it would make a good animated series being registered more than once. Mike and Larry were clearly thinking along similar lines, as even when the game was still in the headlines, there was talk of adapting their creation to other mediums; it is known that a series bible was put together and shopped to various networks. It's nice to know that they're still not yet content to leave Chris Liszt and Roachy Caruthers to the exterminator - I'm told that another interactive Insecticide venture is also being considered, with the idea of making a "pure" graphic adventure series not being ruled out. Facebook is among the landscapes being looked at.
Mike Levine was unable to give further details about this effort's prospects, unfortunately. But I share this news in the hope of generating some positive energy to surround the project with, and on the off-chance that Mojo's readership includes an influential publisher or studio executive who is anxious to add a high caliber entry to their line-up. Also, we haven't seen that Crackpot logo on the front page in awhile.
Check out the game's trailer below if you're in the market for a low-investment refresher on Insecticide, and keep the hope alive: