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Information on the canceled EGA-to-VGA version of Secret of Monkey Island emerges

17 Oct, 2018, 19:43 | Posted by: Remi | Comments: 18

Remember that thread on LucasForums fifteen years or so ago about the canceled VGA version of Secret of Monkey Island? Of course you do, because all of you who are here now were there then.

If you don't recall: There was an early effort to create a fairly straight VGA port of the in-development EGA version. Presumably LEC decided to attempt something a bit more extravagant, and we do, of course, all know the final VGA version which today might be considered the de facto MI1. (Although that, really, should be the Amiga version. ¬)

The earlier version was in a playable state, with some (but far from all) of the graphics converted to 256 colors. See below for a screenshot, which, to me, reminds me of the VGA version of Loom.

The good news: This version of the game works with ScummVM, and we will have the resource files available hopefully within the next week. (Which means you can play the game if you already possess MI1.) Our deep throat is putting a couple of compatibility fixes into place as we speak, so stay tuned for more soon.

For now -- this is what could have been:

LucasFilm letterhead stationery still gets some use

14 Oct, 2018, 00:26 | Posted by: jp-30 | Comments: 3
It does not seem that long ago when LucasArts then-president Simon Jeffery was lending quotes to press releases and celebrating their games' fan modifications.

NEW WEB SITE FOR POSTING OF LUCASARTS INSPIRED GAME MODS LAUNCHED BY LFNETWORK.COM FAN SITE

Officially Sanctioned Site, http://www.lucasfiles.com, Offers Fans Location to Create and Post Modifications of LucasArts Titles

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. -- December 11, 2002 -- Fans who create game modifications (mods) based upon characters and elements in titles by LucasArts Entertainment Company LLC can now post their works on the Internet at LucasFiles, which can be found at http://www.lucasfiles.com. The new site, created by Lucas Fan Network (LFN), http://www.lfnetwork.com, an independent collection of web sites dedicated to LucasArts and its games, is an exclusive and sanctioned online location offering a variety of mods inspired by LucasArts titles. The LucasFiles database also hosts unique fan produced content, levels, and an array of other media.

"LucasArts is grateful to the Lucas Fan Network, whose enthusiastic and very dedicated members have created a distinctive online destination for fans of our games to showcase and share their creations with others," says Simon Jeffery, president of LucasArts. "The fan community is incredibly important to LucasArts and this site will provide them with a variety of ways to continue to celebrate their passion for the company and its games."


Flash forward a decade and a half, and while it is lovely to see that the LucasFilm letterhead stationery is still getting some usage, those halcyon days of Lucas sanctioned fan activities are nothing but a distant memory.

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Grim Fandango live-streamed by...Conan O'Brien?

03 Oct, 2018, 22:10 | Posted by: Jason | Be the first to comment!

Late night host Conan O'Brien maintains a pretty active online presence, and one of the things his digital wing sometimes does is post video game live streams to the Conan Youtube channel. These streams are hosted by the Conan team's resident gamer Aaron Bleyaert.

Well, it looks like the latest one of these deals was for Grim Fandango. The stream just ended, but it is available on Youtube for posterity. I kinda skimmed through it, and it looks like Aaron liked the game, without getting very far. Check it out below:

What does Dave Fox say?

22 Sep, 2018, 19:22 | Posted by: jp-30 | Source: Twitter | Comments: 3
Former LucasFilm Games developer David Fox is hosting a slew of Zak McKracken & LucasArts activities at the Cervignano Film Fest this weekend. There may even be is a livestream on at this very moment (Saturday 22 September 20:00 – 23:00 CEST or 11am-2pm PDT). The video of his LucasArts presentation from the day before will also be available soon.

Read more...

Bill Tiller surrenders his dream, thanks to Zaarin

29 Aug, 2018, 03:43 | Posted by: Jason | Source: Arcade Attack | Comments: 5

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.

Make today an Outlaws soundtrack Tuesday

28 Aug, 2018, 22:18 | Posted by: Remi | Comments: 3

Or, indeed, Wednesday if that’s when you’re reading this. Or any day, but I digress . . . We love ourselves some Outlaws music here at the old Mojo, enough so we want to share it with you:

That’s right, MP3s and FLAC -- we treat you so fine! Now go listen, and agree that Outlaws is an underrated classic, be it soundtrack or game.

It's GSoC Season For ScummVM and ResidualVM

23 Jun, 2018, 21:55 | Posted by: Jennifer | Comments: 1
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.


    Monkey Island Documentary Ahoy!

    21 May, 2018, 00:34 | Posted by: ThunderPeel2001 | Source: YouTube | Comments: 8
    Stuart Brown's YouTube channel, "Ahoy", has just released its latest episode, a 75 minute documentary(ish) on everyone's* favorite adventure game, The Secret of Monkey Island.

    I've only watched the first 30 mins, but I like what I've seen so far.



    Thanks to Threepwood4life to alerting us to this video's existence.

    * Yes, everyone in the whole world.

    Wanna see a 40 minute interview with Tim Schafer?

    22 Apr, 2018, 03:47 | Posted by: Jason | Comments: 6

    Of course you do. And you're in luck, because that's just what was recorded at something called "EGX Rezzed 2018." I assume that's the name of an expo, though it may also be the model of dirt bike my nephew got for Christmas. For those of us who happened to be washing our hair during Tim's panel, here's a handy Youtube embed of the whole interview:

    I haven't watched it myself yet, but reportedly Tim mentions the possibility of further LucasArts remasters, iterating once again that he'd insist on the original creators being involved. Hasn't Brian Moriarty been pretty upfront about wanting revisit Loom? Anyway, Tim evidently talks a bunch about Psychonauts as well, so it's sure to be a worthy listen all the way around.

    Ken Macklin discusses Maniac Mansion cover art, a year ago

    03 Apr, 2018, 00:21 | Posted by: Jason | Source: VGArc | Comments: 1

    Ken Macklin, the artist behind Maniac Mansion's iconic box art (and who was supposed to do the Thimbleweed Park box), was interviewed last year about the development of said art. It's brief but you'll be glad you read it. A year later.

    Now all that's left is for somebody to leak all of Macklin's background art for Noah Falstein's version of The Dig. Anybody got that lying around?

    Maniac Mansion now on Steam

    20 Dec, 2017, 02:17 | Posted by: Jason | Source: Steam | Comments: 3

    It happened without warning, and goodness knows it happened decades later than it should have, but the the original Maniac Mansion is now available on Steam. Sure, you already have it as a free bonus feature within Day of the Tentacle, but don't you want the pleasure of buying it individually, especially since the last time you could do so was like forty years ago?

    And anyway, it's less than five bucks. So do it. Do it now.

    The road to Hell is paved with well-intentioned remasters

    23 Nov, 2017, 15:05 | Posted by: Jason | Source: Rock Paper Shotgun | Comments: 18

    Rock Paper Shotgun published an interesting article yesterday about the artistic merit of remastered video games. Ron, Tim, and Brian Moriarty are all on hand to weigh in on the technical and even ethical pitfalls of "upgrading" a classic:

    “We had limitations back then” recalls Gilbert in an email interview, “and the artist worked magic to make the game work within those limitations. They often turned working within those limitations into an art all its own. When classic games get ‘hi-resed’, you lose all of that.”

    [...]

    “It’s true that you can often switch back to the original graphics,” he says, “but that is also true of colorizing black and white movies.

    “You can always watch the original, but that doesn’t make colorizing it any less of an artistic sin. Saying you can switch back to the original art feels like a cop-out.”

    Harsh! But Ron has a point. And as we've seen, the "original version" you can switch back to often isn't the perfect recreation it purports to be. After all, the only "classic" version of Monkey Island 2 that anyone can buy has vertical scrolling effects removed and some dialog altered. My grandkids will grow up without the "white slavers" line, so I hope you're proud of yourself, Craig Derrick!

    GOG.com Disney Publisher Sale

    06 Oct, 2017, 19:36 | Posted by: Jennifer | Comments: 1
    All of Disney's catalog is currently on sale at GOG.com. That includes tons of LucasArts games:
  • Afterlife
  • Armed and Dangerous
  • The Dig
  • Loom
  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
  • Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis
  • Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb
  • Monkey Island 1 SE
  • Monkey Island 2 SE
  • Outlaws + A Handful of Missions
  • Sam & Max Hit the Road
  • Star Wars: Battlefront II
  • Star Wars: Empire at War
  • Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
  • Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II
  • Star Wars: Dark Forces
  • Star Wars: Jedi Knight - Dark Forces II
  • Star Wars: Jedi Knight II - Jedi Outcast
  • Star Wars: Jedi Knight - Jedi Academy
  • Star Wars: Rogue Squadron 3D
  • Star Wars: Tie Fighter
  • Star Wars: X-Wing
  • Star Wars: X-Wing vs. Tie Fighter
  • Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance
  • Star Wars: Rebel Assault 1+2
  • Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire
  • Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds Saga
  • Star Wars: Rebellion
  • Star Wars: Star Fighter
  • Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders
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