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A post today on game developer Dynamighty's facebook page confirmed the studio, who had a well received release in Counterspy, has closed down. And as a double blow, one of the founding members passed away.

It may come as no surprise, but Dynamighty ceased operations sometime back in 2017.

An all too common story of small game studios but regretfully, after the release of CounterSpy, we were unable to secure a follow up project. We made a small mobile game, Fingers of Fury, as our team members slowly dispersed to other opportunities...

The end was painful. We didn’t want to say goodbye, which is why we were remiss in posting here. But it’s been a couple of years and recent events brought us back together and reminded us of how amazing this journey was and how thankful we were that we got to make this game CounterSpy. That we got to work together as an amazing team, making lifetime friends, and that millions of people like you reading this, played our game. We thank you all.

It is with sadness then, that I reveal the second part of this post, which is the event that brought us Dynamightys back together.

Back in 2014, 2 ex LucasArts folk met with a guy who decided to team up with them and invest his time, passion and energy into starting a company. That man was Mark Erman.

Mark passed away last week after a long battle with cancer. In life, Mark was one of the kindest, most warm hearted people you could know. He was a key part of The Dynamighty team throughout its own too short life. He ran the studio so we could make the game.


Condolences to Mark's family, friends and colleagues. You can read the full post here

If Counterspy passed you by, here's a taste of what you've missed.
Direct Link
Comments: 6 / Source: Facebook

Some sad news is making the rounds today, reporting the death of programmer Stephen Ash, a veteran of LucasArts, Double Fine, Ion Storm Dallas, Factor 5 and his most permanent home, id Software.

Ash's career at LucasArts included work on Grim Fandango, and like a number of developers on the Grim team, he was one of the earliest employees of Double Fine, where he developed the physics system for Psychonauts. Tim acknowledged his contribution and passing in the following tweet:

Saying goodbye to Stephen Ash, a brilliant programmer and kind, soft-spoken person. Everybody wanted Steve on their project. We were lucky to get him on Psychonauts in the early, unheated warehouse days of Double Fine, to help get our first engine off the ground. Thanks, Steve!

The most colorful expression of the white-out outrage that was ignited by the cancellation of Sam & Max 2 undoubtedly came from The Wibble Wobble Hat Stand (W.W.H.S.), which found its true calling as an “LEC Hate Site” in March 2004. Refusing to stop at merely collecting the various works of “hate art” righteously spewed forth by the greater Mojo community, deceased virtuoso Gabez went the extra mile and produced a few games of grandiose hostility under the W.W.H.S. banner. Despite their uncommon artistic virtue, these Adventure Factory classics have been sadly lost to time.

Or have they? Don’t ask me how, but we’ve managed to locate copies and get them uploaded, an act of nobility that we figure is at least as big a deal as Netflix finishing Orson Welles’s last movie. There are no guarantees that these will work on your machine, but then, wasn’t that the case from day one? So download these zip files and try the executables out for yourself. They’re probably not just viruses:

(NB! The games currently only work on Windows (or Wine). We expect ScummVM will add support any day now. - Remi)

ScummVM and its sister project, ResidualVM are participating in the Google Summer of Code once again.

This year, the students are working on the following games:

ScummVM:
  • Pink Panther: Passport to Peril and Pink Panther: Hokus Pokus Pink. Student: Andrii Prykhodko
  • The Immortal. Student: Joseph-Eugene Winzer
  • Star Trek: 25th Anniversary and Star Trek: Judgment Rites. Student: Matthew Stewart
  • ResdiualVM:
  • The Longest Journey (currently completable with missing features). Student: Liu Zhaosong
  • While we're on the subject of ScummVM and ResidualVM, both projects have had updates lately:

    ResidualVM 0.31 has been released. This is a bugfix release that fixes a few bugs in Myst III, in preparation for Cyan's upcoming digital release of Myst III that will use ResidualVM to play the game.

    ScummVM's addition of Xeen, the first RPG engine added after ScummVM changed their guidelines to allow RPG games alongside the adventure games, is now completable in the daily builds. There are five RPGs that are currently completable: Might and Magic IV, Might and Magic V, World of Xeen, World of Xeen 2 (CD Talkie), and Swords of Xeen. If you want to play these games in the daily builds, make sure that you place xeen.css in the same folder as your game files.


    After a savage bidding war (Mojo offered a Planet Threepwood coupon and a bloody molar), Valve ultimately won out and has officially acquired Firewatch developer Campo Santo, it's been announced. The vaunted, twelve-person studio will relocate to Bellevue, Washington where they will continue to make In the Valley of Gods and swat away attempts by their new neighbor Remi to gain access for exclusives.

    Though we don't know what to make of this news, we congratulate these hardworking virtuosi (and Jake) for selling out securing a future with what look to be ideal partners. We anticipate it will be a future glittered with many golden trophies. Or it will turn out like Humongous. Either way!

    Here's your first non Remi posted news in over a month!

    You may recall Mojo reporting back in December 2016 on a new game engine for X-Wing being created by modder Azrapse. Well, the mod has now entered a Pre-Alpha testing state. If this news isn't exciting enough, check out the comments on the associated Kotaku article, where you'll see one Laserschwert say;

    Laserschwert
    Jul 31, 2017, 11:58pm
    I'm part of the XWVM team, and regarding TIE Fighter: We know it's the better game. And that's exactly the reason why we are tackling X-Wing first, because it's in much more need of an update. Plus it's the less complex game of the two, with simpler mission structure, fewer different ships and smaller in scope altogether. It's just less work to update (which is still a LOT of work), so it makes sense to get all of that down first. As much as TIE Fighter is build upon the foundation of X-Wing, a theoretical TFVM would and should be built upon XWVM.

    I mean, I assume it's the same Laserschwert? If not, this really was a crappy way to break Remi's run.

    That's right, he'll answer any question. Provided that you asked it yesterday, because that's when Noah's AMA happened. Lots of good stuff in there, though.

    Comments: 3 / Source: Reddit
    If you've ever wished to fire up the original LucasArts classic space combat simulator X-Wing and are dismayed at the DOS version's low-res graphics, or the XWING95's lack of iMuse soundtrack, then Azrapse might be a modder you'd like to keep your eye on.

    In a similar manner to the the way the XL Engine runs the original Dark Forces game files in an enhanced way, this XWVM mod uses a Unity based engine to interpret and run the original X-Wing game files.


    YouTube Link

    Azrapse says:

    XWVM is a mod to the original Star Wars: X-Wing game from Lucas Arts and Totally Games by Larry Holland and Edward Kilham. Our goal is to rebuild the game engine with newer technologies that allow it to run and make use of the latest hardware and improvements in gaming hardware. The mod will require the player to own and have installation of the original Star Wars: X-Wing game, or have the GOG or Steam versions of X-Wing Special Edition (either the 1993 floppy, the 1994 CD, and/or 1998 Windows edition). XWVM neither contains nor distributes any copyrighted material. All game resource files (missions, voiceovers, SFX, iMUSE automaton, etc) are loaded from the player's copy of the original game, or are original creations of our team, where the original resources are considered inadequate for today's standards.


    The mod creator has been discussing iMuse and ship models in the long running XWA Upgrade Project's forums. I wish Azrapse the best of luck with this project - may it one day see the light of day!

    Comments: 3 / Source: Mod DB
    ScummVM is the project that aims to re-create the engines used in adventure games (and, since this year's Google Summer of Code, role-playing games) so they can be played on systems ranging from Windows, Mac, and Linux to iOS, Android, and even consoles such as Dreamcast, PlayStation 2, and Wii.

    Right before a major release they do a public testing phase for new and improved games, which helps them iron out any remaining bugs. This testing cycle includes two new games: Myst (and Myst: Masterpiece Edition) and U.F.O.s (also known as Gnap). There also have been a lot of improvements in the SCI engine as of late, so they are also testing Conquests of the Longbow, Freddy Pharkas: Frontier Pharmacist, King's Quest V, King's Quest VI, Quest for Glory 1 VGA, Quest for Glory 3, Space Quest 1 VGA, and Space Quest 4. Other games that have seen recent improvements and are undergoing testing include Beneath a Steel Sky, the Commodore-64 version of Maniac Mansion, Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Rose Tattoo, and Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Serrated Scalpel.

    So, if you have any of those games, play them through in a daily build of ScummVM on your platform of choice, and report any bugs you find at the new and improved ScummVM bug tracker. Then tell the team about your experience, and any bugs you filed (or if you didn't spot any bugs at all) in this thread on the ScummVM forum.

    You've really got to admire this kind of stubbornness.

    A fan-made remake of Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis has been incubating for over two years now. I'm not clear on how far along the project is - indeed I've lost track of the Fate of Atlantis fan projects over the years - but the Facebook page has screenshots.

    Labors of love like this traditionally just get put out at the risk of cease-and-desist orders, such as 2004's Maniac Mansion Deluxe, which as far as I know faced no legal repudiation, although the risk of getting the kibosh rises steeply when fans start dabbling in the big IPs, specifically Star Wars and Indy.

    Whether for that reason or some other, the team has apparently sent a formal request to Disney to obtain a license for this remake. They even included some schwag! I find this admirable and crazy in roughly equal measure, but color me impressed.

    I have a hard time imagining these good folks will get a response, much less approval, but I'm also a curmudgeon-y bastard without a sliver of optimism. At any rate, this has gotta be unprecedented, no? Correct me below if I'm wrong or at least join me in being awed by this team's hard work and indomitable spirit that's reminiscent of Indy himself.

    Comments: 1 / Source: Facebook
    ScummVM, the project that allows multiple point and click adventure games to be played on modern (and some not so modern) architectures, has been updated to 1.8.0. New in this release is support for ten new games:
    • Amazon: Guardians of Eden
    • Beavis and Butthead in Virtual Stupidity
    • Broken Sword 2.5: The Return of the Templars
    • Labyrinth of Time
    • Rex Nebular and the Cosmic Gender Bender
    • Sfinx
    • The Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Rose Tattoo
    • The Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Serrated Scalpel
    • Zork: Grand Inquisitor
    • Zork Nemesis: The Forbidden Lands
    Additionally, there are new ports for GCW-Zero and Raspberry Pi. The graphics subsystem for the Sierra AGI engine has been overhauled, and the SCUMM engine has also received some love. The original Maniac Mansion walking code for the V0 and V1 version of the game has been implemented, Maniac Mansion can now be played from within Day of the Tentacle, and lip sync animation has been improved in later Humongous Entertainment games.

    There's a whole lot more new with this release, as it's been a long time coming, so head over to the ScummVM site and give it a spin.

    I finally got myself familiarized with ScummGen, the compiler that takes C-style code and compiles it into resources used by the actual SCUMM engine (used by LucasArts for all of their adventure games from Maniac Mansion to The Curse of Monkey Island, and by Humongous Entertainment in most of their games until 2003). I polished up the ScummGen test game, Indiana Jones and the Call of Thunder.

    The original team (Dominik Haslinger, Jens Doblies and Sebastien Ronsse) did the majority of the work. It was originally intended to be a much longer game, but it was cancelled. I finished up the ice cavern sequence so that it could be released as a completely playable game as I thought it would be a shame if no one got to play it. Their sourcecode was playable up to the point where you complete the mechanism in the cavern.

    Here are the changes and fixes that I made to that source code:
    • Replaced LucasArts logo with a ScummGen logo.
    • Made a few grammar corrections to the original script.
    • Created icons for inventory items that lacked them (all instances of the stones and the gas can).
    • Programmed an if/then statement regarding the gas can that was referenced but not implemented in the source.
    • Fixed the mechanism puzzle to require both objects, as before it was possible to complete it with only one object.
    • Added dialog to facilitate the change in the mechanism puzzle.
    • Fixed the lighting so that the cavern stays lit when you move to the cavern entrance and back.
    • Enabled the usage of the item used to exit the cavern, as referenced but not implemented in the source.
    • Changed description of the macguffin as it was originally used as a joke related to the game being unfinished (but kept it humourous to suit the tone of the original).
    • Added dialog necessary for the ending sequence.
    • Added end screen.
    You can download it at my itch.io page if you want to try it out. It includes the sourcecode. It doesn't include an executable though, as it needs ScummVM in order to run (and I figured I'd cut out the middle man and just let people run ScummVM on whatever system they wish to run it on). It's detected in ScummVM as Day of the Tentacle.
    The latest edition of the Campo Santo Quarterly Review (like The Paris Review, but considerably less New Yorkish) has some news: Firewatch, Campo Santo's first game, releases on PC, PS4, Mac, and Linux February 9th, 2016. And I'd be awesomely excited if I wasn't already awesomely excited. Check your emails for the big news.

    (Those of who you don't find the big news in their emails ought to subscribe to the Campo Santo Quarterly Review.)

    Firewatch is being developed by a rag-tag crew of the ex-Telltale Gamesies who turned your heart to putty in The Walking Dead: Season One, including ex-Mixnmojo Jake Rodkin. A first person adventure game, it concerns a fire lookout in the Wyoming wilderness at a time when things seem to be going rather...awry.

    How awry? Find-out this February!

    (And then tell those of us who can't afford a system good enough to play the thing.)

    Campo Santo proves that it's good for more than making absurdly promising games; it's also positioning itself as Mojo's replacement by recently siphoning Full Throttle reflections out of Tim Schafer. Those memories combined with perspectives from folks you might recognize make for an insightful retrospective on the game and its impact on Schafer's career thereafter.

    Acknowledgement is also made of Tim's good fortune to see both of the game's unsanctioned sequels die on the vine, quelled threats that nonetheless motivated his departure:

    One day, deep into production on Grim Fandango, Schafer noticed that the project leads on the third Monkey Island game were at work on a new project, and asked somebody what they were up to. “Someone said, ‘Oh, I think they’re working on a Full Throttle sequel. And I was like, ‘They’re wh-wh-what? Nobody told me about that!” I went and asked them, and they were like, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah, man!’ ‘And no one even asked me?” ‘Um, I don’t know… yeah…’

    “I was upset about that. I was horrified. I felt so personally attached to that game; those are my characters. The idea that someone else could make a sequel to it… I was so horrified that I didn’t own it.” It was one of the reasons Schafer would leave LucasArts after making Grim Fandango. “It was fair,” he acknowledges, “I mean, they did pay me for the time. I’m not saying they stole it from me.

    Stop putting your lips on that and go read the whole thing, but don't enjoy it so much that you forget that we too used to generate decent content about these games. :(
    I always try to do a news post of Mojo related tidbits after our downtime. This one's going to be a long one. At least, with the new server, it'll likely be the last.

    Christian Adam has found a solution to allow the people who have graphics hardware below the requirements of Grim Fandango Remastered to play the game in classic mode.

    Double Fine is making games in conjunction with Adult Swim Games, as well as Zoink Games.

    On the subject of Double Fine, Massive Chalice went out of early access and received it's full release, and Iron Brigade has had Game for Windows Live replaced with Steamworks, fixing matchmaking. The latter was possible thanks to the fact that Double Fine has regained the rights to Iron Brigade from Microsoft.

    At E3, it was revealed that ex-Mojoer and former Telltale developer extraordinaire, Jake Rodkin's company Campo Santo will have the console debut of their first game Firewatch on PS4. It is also going to be released on PC, Mac, and Linux. No release date has been set, but Campo Santo is aiming for release by the end of 2015.

    Telltale is making a three episode miniseries that will be DLC for The Walking Dead: Season Two called The Walking Dead: Michonne, set during the period of the comics when Michonne is absent from the group. They also finally showed a little bit of what their Minecraft: Story Mode will look like.

    Lucasfilm is working on a fully interactive 3D virtual Star Wars world, via their ILM experience lab.

    Humongous Entertainment games are starting to make their way to GOG.com. The Pajama Sam series made its way to the service earlier this month.

    The co-creator of Maniac Mansion and Thimbleweed Park, Gary Winnick, had his best selling comic, Bad Dreams, released in trade paperback format on the 17th of June.

    While we're on the subject of Thimbleweed Park, be sure to check out the Thimbleweed Park development blog, as lots of good inside information about the development process of that game is being posted regularly.
    The GOG and Steam releases of I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream included an enhanced version of the soundtrack.

    With the help of ScummVM developers, two fans by the names of SirAlastor and Alpheon, went through the game and found all the music cues, and Alpheon posted instructions tto change the music from the included soundtrack to tracks that ScummVM would read, so the music could be played within the game itself. He also posted a video showing the enhanced music in action, compared to the music from the original game, which you can view embedded below or here if the embedding doesn't work for you. The difference is quite striking.

    The still unique and haunting Loom was a welcome addition to yesterday's GOG.com LucasArts drop, but it poses a problem for purists: the version offered - the only version commercially available - is the VGA Talkie version.

    This is a fine version of the game and no doubt for some definitive. For others, the original version, with its incredibly inventive EGA graphics by Mark Ferrari, complete script (the voiced version was re-written for disc space restraints) and gorgeous character close-ups is at least as worthy of preservation.

    And the game's creator, Brian Moriarty, took to Twitter to count himself among them:

    So buy Loom, then play the version of it you want.

    Also, this is a good time to mention that the version of Zak McKracken that got released yesterday is the excellent FM-Towns version. No word yet from David Fox on whether he tacitly supports obtaining the older versions after purchase, but my nearest available authority, Remi, feels that "it's probably fine."

    The timing of this couldn't be better, seeing as his magum opus Zak McKracken is today available after what might literally be fifteen years out of circulation. Industry vet and adventure game icon David Fox was video interviewed for an hour and a half by "Sup Holmes?," which appears to be a weekly Youtube show by some Destructoid refugees that is by all accounts significantly better than its name.

    Though the Skype-like video is a little unsettling in effect, I encourage you to power through the creepiness in order to get to that warm nougat center of insight and great stories from Fox, who covers his history at Lucasfilm Games all the way up to his current projects, which include Thimbleweed Park. I guarantee you will be ninety minutes older after watching it.

    ResidualVM, the interpreter for playing Grim Fandango and Myst III on modern platforms, has been updated with a bug fix release. Version 0.2.1 fixes a crash when using subtitles in the Polish version of Myst III. In addition, a new port has been added. In addition to Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, and Amiga OS 4, ResidualVM is now available on SGI IRIX workstations.
    ScummVM has just announced support for two new games in their daily builds, Zork Nemesis and Zork: Grand Inquisitor. In order to support these games in the next stable release, they need people to help them out by playing through them and reporting any bugs they find to their bug tracker so the ScummVM team can squash them. They also need people to submit screenshots for the games.

    When you're done testing, don't forget to let the team know whether you could complete the game and post links to any bugs you submitted to their tracker in this post on the ScummVM forums.

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