The second big release today is the North American retail version of Ghost Pirates of Vooju Island, almost a year after its initial release in Germany. The hand-painted pirate adventure game by Bill Tiller and his well-treated minions got an English release in the UK early this year and has been available worldwide in various digital outlets for almost as long, but today it can finally be found boxed and on store shelves in the United States and Canada. It's retailing for only $19.99, too, so you should probably show us that you're smarter than you look and order it from a place like Gamestop or Amazon (where the price is currently slashed at a ridiculous $10.86).
On the subject of Autumn Moon, you're running out of hours to submit your winning entry for the Pumpkin Post site redesign contest. Hopefully you didn't blow this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity which, not taken, would surely haunt you throughout your adult life until it is violently and mercifully syncopated by the cold grip of Death.
Anyway. Happy Monday, all!
Update: Capn_Nacho reports that The City That Dares Not Sleep is now available to season subscribers. Rev those downloads!
From Geoff Keighley's Twitter feed:
New Telltale Games teaser on tomorrow night's GTTV.....some very special guest stars in this title.
Update: The teaser has aired, you can view it here.
It is some kind of crossover game, and the teaser features four silhouettes, looking like Max, a Team Fortress Heavy, Strong Bad and Tycho from Penny Arcade.
And they're all holding cards, as can be seen in this full resolution screencapture.
So, this title will be revealed in full at PAX next week.
There will be Back To The Future news at last, with Telltale bringing along "an actual DeLorean Time Machine" apparently. They'll be travelling back to March 2004 and try to set right what once went wrong presumably. Or am I thinking of Quantum Leap?
And yes, as you deduced from the story title there will be "a surprise game announcement" there too. Tales of Monkey Island Season Two? Puzzle Agent Part Two? Another Pilot Program game? Who knows?!
In other news, Mark Darin had an interview, mostly Puzzle Agent related, with Finnish game site KonsoliFIN. For those of us not Finnish, an English transcript has been posted over on the Adventure Gamers forums.
* Wait, scratch all that, I'm thinking of Gears of War.
EDIT: And there's a nice written preview up at IGN too.
Well, do you want a new Indiana Jones film?
GameSpot reports that Thongs of Virtue will be released on XBLA and PSN next month, September 21 and 22 respectively. Word has it the sequel, which was developed pretty much at the same time as the first game (remember it was supposed to be released episodically), will sport more of a sci-fi-like setting and have more varied quests. Add to that new multiplayer options and more varied weapons... Well, it actually looks like a true sequel.
Look for our belated DeathSpank review later today and start getting excited for more Ronzo fun!
This isn't the first time the ESRB or synonymous entities have given us our first details on a game, and it surely won't be the last. Read at your own risk.
Telltale deserve the business for doing brilliant work in a risky market. These new adventure games are smarter, wittier, better looking, and more fun than their ancestors ever were. The key to their recent success is that instead of whining about how gamers are just a bunch of shoot-happy stupids who are easily distracted by bling-mapping, Telltale sat down and re-thought the entire genre. They figured out what made the games fun and they ripped out and re-designed everything else.
In other Telltale news, they've employed Alan Johnson, formerly of 1Up, as their new Community Manager after Metallus' David E's recent resignation.
Let me explain: Xbox Live Arcade titles are handed 200 gamerpoints to give out; add-ons are awarded an extra 50 points. This brings the total to 250 points, suggesting that Deathspank: TOV will be an all-new game.
The achievements list things such as a pirate ship (Scurvyville?), evil nuns and two endings. At the time of writing, there seems to be no indication that Ron Gilbert is involved in the game.
What does "TOV" mean? The Orphaned Vendors? Who knows? Who will ever know? You, that's who. More (spoilerly) stuff here.
What do we think? It looks great! And even better for the fact that it isn't out on PC. No sarcasm! Keep it up, Double Fine - and all other developers. Muahahaha!
Watch it now.
“The story and original idea,” recalls Gilbert, “came from both Gary Winnick [the game’s celebrated artist] and I. We both liked strange humour and were big fans of campy horror movies.” Winnick concurs, narrowing the field to, “teenage horror movies where the kids always split up and go off into the dark recesses of a scary location on their own. I remember the first inspirational picture I drew – an exterior of a scary house with the sign ‘WARNING: TRESPASSERS WILL BE HORRIBLY MUTILATED’ out front as a joke – actually made it into the final game.”
And while you're here, you might enjoy this Monkey Island comic. Take a look at some of the background objects too...
Thanks to Ron Gilbert's twitter feed for both tipoffs.
Like Issue 98, which should hopefully be still in the shops, which has a big feature on The Curse of Monkey Island to rival even their great Fate of Atlantis article (anyone got a link for that?). Being out of the UK right now I can't read it, but I'm told it's very in-depth, with lots of photos and a huge interview with project leader and friend of Mojo Larry Ahern.
Go buy! And report back to us with your findings!
Here's a sketch done in the archaic medium of pencil for a Monkey Island 2 background. I honestly haven't played the game in so long I don't remember if I actually finished this one in markers or if Peter Chan finished it or if it was even used in the game.
The art obviously underwent some major changes before it made it to its final form, but that's Woodtick alright.
According to Kotaku's unnamed sources at the studio, new president Paul Meegan has cancelled the in-production Force Unleashed III, will let a lot of TFU2's staff go when that comes out this October, and has put another unnamed project (possibly fish-related) on hold.
These sources say "morale and productivity are at all-time lows" since Meegan took over...
Just to make him Meegan seem completely insane and contradictory, after this in-house scrubbing and axeing session, this quote is the most worrying:
We've also been told that another sweeping change made by Meegan is that the majority of "external" development of Lucasarts properties is coming to an end, with BioWare's Old Republic MMO to be the last game not developed internally at Lucasarts. That would presumably mean, for example, no more LEGO Star Wars or LEGO Indiana Jones titles after the upcoming LEGO: Clone Wars, as those have all been handled by Traveller's Tales.
Let's hope that these rumours prove untrue. After the departure of Darrell Rodriguez, many executives and Haden Blackman however, I wouldn't be surprised if there was truth in here.
The prizes are not yet set in stone, but the overall winner will win a grand prize that will include at least one of the following: an original piece of art from A Vampyre Story, an original piece of art from The Curse of Monkey Island, and an A Vampyre Story art book (in colour), signed by Bill Tiller.
I’m trying to make the grand prize as awesome as possible, so there may be more stuff. I’ll also try to arrange some cool things for the runners-up. An announcement on the exact prizes will follow later, but rest assured that you will win something awesome if you win.
The August 31st deadline is getting inexorably closer with each passing moment, so quit picking your nose and get your head in the game. If you need a refresher, the full list of rules can be found here.
While this is good news for fans of the characters, as Republic Commando is one of the best and most unique Star Wars games ever released I'm still annoyed there's no sequel incoming. Yet.
It's also a bit salt-in-the-wound that they appear in The Clone Wars, since the run of well-received Republic Commando novels by Karen Traviss (the most recent being Imperial Commando: 501st) was cancelled because the cartoon's last season totally contradicted the series' depiction of the planet Mandalore - even though George Lucas has whole paid departments to make sure this never happens.
Feel free to shout "NERD!" now.
Smith opened the panel to fan questions, with one audience member inquiring about the status of the fabled "Bone" film. "Warner Bros. bought the rights last year for a 'Bone' movie," he said. "They're developing it right now. There's not a lot to talk about. I haven't seen that much. Animal Logic isn't officially part of the thing but I've seen some character [designs] they've done of Fone and Phoney Bone. I've only seen a blip of animation, but I've seen models of Fone, Phoney and the Dragon and they're dynamite. Other than that, it's still early days. I'm sure Warner Bros. will be making announcements here next year. I'd count on it."
Check out the whole article if you want to read more on Jeff Smith's various projects and nothing about the Telltale games.
Partner with FBI agent Gene Huntby in 5 Connected Cases to take down the Queen of the Hive. For the first time ever, the storyline engages you from the first case to the last.
...a fully updated rendering engine allowing for more realistic lighting effects, and enhanced character acting and lip sync with the voices of the main actors from the show.
You can view the website here.
It will be interesting to see the upgrades to the Telltale engine in action, given the anticipation of the Back to the Future & Jurassic Park games.
Hmm? How is this related to LucasArts games you say? Article 121 of Mojo Law states that "All news stories must be related to LucasArts, former key employees or studios created by said key employees directly or indirectly via community efforts, fangames etc, with the exception of Back To The Future news because it's the greatest movie ever made and everyone should hear about anything to do with it as it's just so awesome."
Oh, and there's a Telltale game coming out based on it too. This year. October perhaps, wild guess?
“Darrell brings a wealth of knowledge and deep insight into games as well as the online and eCommerce space and will undoubtedly be a valuable addition to our Board”, stated Mike Rasmussen, president of Republic of Fun. “We share a passion for casual gaming and providing the masses with the ability to let their creative voice be heard, Darrell understands the space and his leadership will be a great resource in helping us achieve our vision”.
"For the 'Amnesia Fortnight' project we let people fill out a form where they got to rank which game they worked on and then we also let the leaders on each team rank who they wanted on their team. We had this amazing Excel spreadsheet that, somehow, using algebra, or possibly calculus, decided the intersection of those two ranks to put everyone on the team they most wanted to be on and also where they were most needed."
More great stuff, including the influences on Costume Quest, can be found in the full article, so go read it - the life you save may be your own.
All other versions of the game, which include Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo DS, Wii and PC, remain on track for a Fall release. The sales of the original game suggest that something on the order of 7 million folks consider that to be an event of some magnitude.
The second title will be "a third-person adventure game scheduled to be released in early 2011" (from the press release). Now, we all know what publishers call "adventure" we call "action adventure" so I wouldn't get my hopes up in that particularly regard... however, I am personally predicting that something Psychonauts-based will be part of one of these four games.
"We are delighted to work with the creative genius of Tim Schafer and the entire Double Fine studio," said Martin Good, Executive Vice President, THQ Kids, Family, Casual Games, and Global Online Services. "Delivering high-quality content across a variety of digital distribution platforms is an important growth initiative for us, and we are pleased to do so with two titles whose potential appeal could encompass both hardcore and casual players."
Here's a preview - if you will - of the preview:
Make no mistake, though, Costume Quest is very much a Double Fine, or Schafer-esque, game. Set on Halloween night across spookified suburbs, rundown carnival rides, and a local mall, the story follows a young boy searching for his little sister. Costume Quest feels familiar -- like a lost SNES role-playing adventure ported in high-definition 3D -- and laugh out loud funny -- like Double Fine's catalogue.
Spicy! Like pumpkins. Special thanks to the indispensable Pinchpenny for alerting us to this here news. Christmas has come early. Or it's Ramadan in this country I live in. Either way, I'm excited.
My highly-sought analysis is this: the Double Fine game is probably about deciding what costume to wear each morning before going to work, and probably satisfies every gamer's wish to be a clown; and the LucasArts "Bounty Hunter" game isn't about chocolate. Click here to re-read everything I just wrote.
Who knows what the mystery game will turn out to be, although I'm gonna go out on a limb here and guess that it isn't Handsome Halibut.
According to Lucasfilm, said laser "is designed to look like a lightsaber from Star Wars."
The latest news is that Lucasfilm have retracted the Cease and Desist, because, apparently, "the media and public has come to realize that Lucasfilm would never endorse or license a highly dangerous product such as your Arctic Pro Laser."
You can read the original cease and desist letter here (via). Thanks to Narrative for the news tip.
So put aside your coffee and croissant and help out in this worthy adventure genre cause! Here are the details:
* Mr Arem’s original letter.
* A growing petition of 5,000 signatures.
* A Facebook group and a Twitter page.
You can also discuss the issues in our forums.
The whole 365 shot collection can be seen here, and for easier browsing Wildammo have posted some of the best ones here.
This feature has totally been moved here.
Here are a bunch of demake mockups that I've made for swedish gaming mag Level over the last years. Many of these were made quick and dirty (relatively speaking) in order to make deadlines, so they're not all that pretty to look at. But I figured I should post them somewhere so they don't just gather dust on my hard drive. Any feedback is of course appreciated.
Head on over to the gallery to check out all the other 'demakes'.
The team describe it as “a fan project for fans and for those who have probably never played Maniac Mansion at all," as well as it being "a hommage to LucasArts for making this pearl."
Maniac Mansion was released by Lucasfilm Games in 1987, and is widely considered a pioneering classic in the adventure game genre.
How does squidkidd thank people? By using mere words? Certainly not: unicyle bagpiping is the only language he speaks -- and this time he speaks it with the Monkey Island theme and bonus trumpet!
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