... or something like that, with Middle Manager of Justice.
This will be a free-ish iOS game -- meaning you'll optionally pay for upgrades and what not through micro transactions -- revolving around you taking on the role as a manager of an office full of superheros and taking part in RPG-like turn based superhero battles. Really, just read Kotaku's preview. Much better than having to read my recap of the preview.
The whole thing looks like the type of Double Fine fun we expect from the company. Office manager for superheros? It's hard to see how that can fail, as long as it's not too dependent on the micro transactions.
Update! Hey, there a website! And a trailer!
Those waiting for The Walking Dead episode 3 on PC, Mac, Xbox 360 and PS3 shouldn't have to wait much longer. Telltale has handed off the episode to their release partners and are waiting to get word on when they will be releasing it on their respective services. Telltale posted a new episode 3 screenshot on their twitter with word that it's coming VERY soon (emphasis is theirs).
While the rest of gamers interested in Telltale's latest series wait for episode 3, iOS users will finally be able to play episode 2 of The Walking Dead later this week according to Telltale's blog.
Rounding out the Telltale related tidbits is Wallace & Gromit's Musical Marvels: Wallace & Gromit at the BBC Proms 2012 (Prom 20), which aired on BBC One yesterday and is available on iPlayer to those in the countries where iPlayer videos are available. What makes this Telltale related is that Wallace is played here by Ben Whitehead (who voiced Wallace in Wallace & Gromit's Grand Adventures), rather than Peter Sallis. This makes it Ben's first credited role as the voice of Wallace in plasticine form (although unofficial word is that he played Wallace uncredited in the short film for the National Trust for Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee, Wallace and Gromit in A Jubilee Bunt-a-thon, as well).
Update: It's been a long time coming, but The Walking Dead Episode 3: Long Road Ahead is out now on PlayStation 3 through the PSN today in North America. It will be out on PC, Mac, and XBLA tomorrow. The iOS version of episode 2 will be released tomorrow as well.Update 2: PC/Mac and XBLA versions of Episode 3 are out now. Episode 2 is out on iOS as well.
No word yet on the setting, but my guess is something set in 'The Old Republic', given there are some new LEGO sets based on Old Republic ships. And if we get some KOTOR characters and levels in an Old Republic videogame, there will many happy gamers.
Based off this philosophy, we get Star Wars: Detours, the most recent entry in the once-respectable Star Wars franchise, getting its own, new variation: Star Wars as comedy. Star Wars Detours riffs on the Star Wars guitar, resulting in an oh-so-hilarious trailer. Or, "Yo, dudes, the Empire is pretty chill," as the future this guy says.
I'm personally not joining until they put-out the dubsteb variaton on Star Wars, but you can feel free to watch that trailer a second time: click to confirm you'd like to hear the line, "Don't make me cut your arm off, sonny, old Ben-Ben needs grocery money" again.
The game has made quite a bit of progress since we last posted it. So much in fact, that Mr. Davidson has released a playable demo on the game's twitter page. If the demo is anything to go by, the game is shaping up to be a fine homage to the classic LucasArts adventures. The short three room demo already shows quite a few references to the Star Wars movies and to LucasArts' classic adventure games.
Knights of the Old Republic II is now available on Steam.
Reacting to the imminent end of Nintendo Power magazine's twenty-four year run (Lord, the memories), Christina Warren of Mashable tearfully selected her favorite ten covers. Making her cut is issue #16, which had a Maniac Mansion cover story teased by a bodacious clay art take on the mansion and the cast.
We've scans of all the pertinent content from that issue in our galleries, by the by. Check them out:
For what purpose is unclear, but speculation on what the domain portends ranges from an Ewok action playset to a social game.
Whatever it is, be excited.
If you live in the U.S., September will be a great month to be an Indy fan. To celebrate the series' release on Blu-ray next month, Indy is returning to the silver screen in two separate, limited engagement events.
The first: Raiders of the Lost Ark is coming to IMAX! Yes, you will be able to see the genre-defining classic on an impossibly large screen at participating theaters from 9/7-9/13. From what I'm told, the new print they've struck from the restoration looks incredible.
Second, select AMC theaters will be presenting a back-to-back, butt-punishing marathon of all four Indy movies on 9/15.
All of this, course, leads right into the Blu-ray release on 9/18. It's as though this was all scheduled with some sort of intent.
Well gosh, apparently we had nothing better to do today than restore even more old content. Got a fresh batch comin' out the micro as we speak:The Maniac Mansion TV Show: At a Glance
Bay Area Sound Interview
Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse Reviews
DeathSpank Parts 1 and 2 Reviews
Jesse Harlin Interview (that first one we did around MI1:SE)
Dang, at this rate we'll be a real web site someday.
Develop reports that the "3D digital paint tool" Mari has received a new update with version 1.5. The features include "improved overlapping UV support, games shaders, a Maya texture export feature, shadow support and DDS Cubemap support."
The relevance is that LucasArts is using the tool for Star Wars 1313.
“Integrating Mari at LucasArts for Star Wars 1313 helped us work a lot more efficiently and contributed to making the game visually stunning,” said LucasArts visual effects supervisor Kim Libreri.
While Habitat's first economic hiccup caused the in-game currency to be diluted by a factor of five, the team still took a valuable lesson about player negotiation from the experience - one that would come in handy for Habitat's biggest event, the Dungeons of Death.
Prefaced for weeks by adverts in Habitat's user-made newspaper, The Weekly Rant, the Dungeon was supposedly a colossal maze inhabited by the Grim Reaper himself. In reality the role of the Reaper fell to a series of staffers who took turns to patrol the maze with two unique items; one for healing themselves of damage, the other for instantly killing players.
After weeks of planning the Dungeon opened and became an immediate sensation; excited players would dash through, firing in useless terror whenever the Reaper appeared and trying to map a way to victory as they went. It worked perfectly...until someone managed to kill the Reaper and take his weapon from him. Twice.
Quite a fascinating article, all in all.
Giant Bomb has a first look at some of the minigames in Double Fine's sequel to Happy Action Theater, Happy Action TV, as part of their Quick Look EX series in a video that is 38:49 in length.
Double Fine's going even crazier with the sequel, adding voice recognition, putting costumes and objects on the images of the players, adding a picture editor that lets you add filters and borders, and the ability to post pictures from the game directly to Facebook, and more. The dubstep mode looks especially crazy and fun. There are 18 new minigames and the good news is that if you own the first Double Fine Happy Action Theater, the 18 minigames from the original will be playable right in the new game, making it especially convenient for children (and parties!).
Happy Action TV will be playable at Pax Prime, which is happening from August 31 to September 2 in Seattle (if you were lucky enough to get tickets months ago for the few days they were available).
I dredged for more of my old reviews today and returned with four more survivors. It's a high energy ode to nonchalantly-received casual franchise titles as we recall...CSI: 3 Dimensions of Murder
CSI: Hard Evidence
CSI: Deadly Intent
Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings
You can't even handle this.
Dominique Pamplemousse in "It's All Over Once the Fat Lady Sings!" is a unique musical (with singing!) detective adventure game using stop motion animation by Deidra Kiai, who worked on Deathspank and was formerly an intern at Telltale Games. It is currently on Indiegogo (a service akin to kickstarter) to fund it, and the goal amount is a paltry $9,500.
She has a demo of the game available in flash available on her website. It's likely to be the only stop motion musical adventure game released any time soon, so give it your support.
Much has been said about the benefits Double Fine has been enjoying since they began pursuing multiple types of investment sources for their projects. Their non-exclusionary approach has resulted in smaller games funded by traditional publisher relationships (The Amensia Fortnight titles, Happy Action Theater, The Cave), crowdsourcing ("Reds") and the good fortune of an angel investor like Dracogen, a "fan with money" whose support led to the studio being able to self-publish their Psychonauts upgrade and Amnesia Fortnight PC ports on Steam.
In fact, it may not be long before Double Fine, in a downright Telltaleean twist, will be selling games directly through its web site. We already knew that there's been a big shift underway in the company's business strategy since Brutal Legend came out, and according to this article published last week on Venturebeat, the studio isn't turning back.
“We’re making a switch from console work-for-hire and going to direct to consumer and free-to-play projects,” said Justin Bailey, the vice president of business development at Double Fine. “That process has taken place over the last 18 months.”[...]
“It is complicated to keep straight, but we have crowdfunding, self-publishing, the mobile studio, and some legacy business,” said Bailey. “We are now majority-funded by crowdfunding or outside investment. By next year, hopefully that transition will be complete,” with almost no traditional publishers or work-for-hire deals funding the games.
El33tonline came back from Gamescom 2012 with a lot of impressions of Star Wars 1313 after witnessing a live demo emceed by Craig Derrick. To these eager journalists, the producer of the Monkey Island special editions hilariously described the title as the first mature-themed game made by his near thirty year old studio of employ. How so? Because it's "about what it means to be a bounty hunter, it’s about surviving this dangerous world." (Aka your standard issue adolescent wish-fulfillment game.)
Perhaps even more encouragingly, LucasArts is proving that they have nothing to conceal when it comes to Star Wars 1313's framerate:
Our live demo of Star Wars 1313 was running on what appeared to be a PC of epic proportions, and I soon discovered why there was so much power necessary – visually, the game is quite simply jaw-dropping. Within the very first few split-seconds of the real-time demo beginning, the first question I had on my mind was ‘Is this a pre-rendered cut-scene?’
The developers have chosen to put a framerate counter in the corner of the screen for demonstration purposes to let those watching know it is indeed real-time, and the counter was (for the most part) locked at 33.22 frames (with a few tiny drops and increases here and there). In previous demos, the framerate counter wasn’t there, which lead to too many questions about the nature of the presentation, so they thought it was a good idea to clear up any misconceptions and put it back in.
Read the whole interview to learn about the content of the demo as well as check out some new screenshots. It was noted that the game remains in early development so no release window is being made public yet.
Finally, enjoy this brand new trailer from Gamescom. I'll be savoring it particularly because I'm beginning to have my doubts that Mom is going to let me buy a game this freaking mature!
@craigderrick please please plz return to making non-star wars games using your adventure games licences. The world misses games with story.
@WebSquirrel The Special Editions were always just the beginning so as long as I'm there you can count on me pushing for new adventure games
Keep pushing, Craig!
Remember a few years ago when LEC started putting just enough of its classic SNES games on Nintendo's Virtual Console service to trick us into loving again and actually believe that it signaled routine?
Boy, they sure got us good! But the tease did result in something other than heartbreak; our excitement at the time translated to my (even then) way belated reviews of Indiana Jones' Greatest Adventures, Zombies Ate My Neighbors, and Ghoul Patrol. Like the majority of Mojo's content it all got waxed by MojoX's scorched earth policy, but they're back now after some diligent shoveling and careful HTML-to-BBCode surgery, which should never be attempted without safety goggles. Enjoy:Indiana Jones' Greatest Adventures
Zombies Ate My Neighbors
Something this recovery effort puts into sharp relief for me is the woeful lack of reviews (not counting the ones awaiting re-publication) Mojo has of LucasArts' largely incredible back catalogue. You know, that bevy of non-adventure stuff that was really good? Any of you guys wanting to help us out there really ought to drop us a line.
A really good article appeared on 1up today. It is apparently a summary or reaction to David Fox's recent talk at Classic Gaming Expo and recollects the "bold experiment" of Lucasfilm Games back in its earliest days, days characterized by a ton of freedom for the developers, a non-Star Wars mandate, and even input from George Lucas that was slightly greater than zero percent. It's suggested that the studio's uniquely fertile situation (read: a small team of tech geniuses operating autonomously under basically no deadlines) is what resulted in its ambitious early successes and what paved the way for its peak years. You know, the ones that are miles behind us.
It's a preaching-to-the-choir kinda article, but it's nice to be pandered to on occasion and it's always lovely to see the studio's formative years get some appreciation. Also, there's a throwaway reference to Fox currently working on an "official Rube Goldberg game." I wonder what all that's about?
Update by Zaarin: Check out the Rube Golderg Game's Twitter account for the latest updates.
Double Fine has announced that Iron Brigade will finally be available for PC. The game is set to be released on Steam on August 13th and will include the DLC expansion Rise of the Martian Bear.
If you own an Xbox 360 and still haven't bought the game, know that it has been discounted to 800 MS points. The Iron Brigade t-shirt has also gone on sale over at the Double Fine Shop. For just $15.00 you can be as cool as sound designer Camden Stoddard pictured below.
The Double Fine presentation from GDC 2012 has made its way to the GDC Vault where you can now watch it...as if you were there.
Creative Panic: How Agility Turned Terror Into Triumph is an hour long talk about Double Fine's Amnesia Fortnight and the four games it birthed given by Tim and the respective project leads (except Tasha Harris, who was reclaimed by Pixar). I like Tim's recollection of the cancellation of Brutal Legend 2: "Well, that's interesting - we're gonna go out of business."
But, Telltale did announce that they will be filming an episode of their Playing Dead video series on the making of their The Walking Dead game live at Pax. Audience members will be able to ask questions direct to the game's project leaders, Jake Rodkin and Sean Vanaman, as well as story consultant Gary Whitta (writer of post-apocalypse movie The Book of Eli and the upcoming blockbuster After-Earth). For more information about what Playing Dead Live will cover, check out Telltale's blog post about it.While we're on the subject of zombies, I should mention the Humble Music Bundle, which includes the excellent Zombie related song Re: Your Brains by Jonathan Coulton (as well as 13 other songs by him), a rarity album by They Might Be Giants that includes the 200 sbemails song from Homestar Runner's Strong Bad Emails in which TMBG voiced The Poopsmith in a rare silence breaking moment. It also includes decidedly not Mojo related music (but still worth buying) by MC Frontalot, Christopher Tin, and Hitoshi Sakimoto (the best of the Valkyria Chronicles). If you spend more than the average you will also get 12 remixes of 4 OK Go songs (the average is currently just over $8.25 US).
The first published Sam & Max comic appeared on the stands just 25 years ago. Since then, the deranged little critters have clung to survival like a pair of mutant sewie rats, jumping aboard any form of media they could sink their nasty little claws into. But what lies in their future? What bits of folksy, gentle Sam & Maxish whimsy shall be revealed in the dawn of the next 25 years? And if you had a say, what would you want it to be?
Indie Royale's July Jubilee is still going (for one more day), even though it's August now. If you pay the minimum amount (currently just under $5.50 US), you will receive Puzzle Agent, Geneforge Saga, Oniken, Mutant Storm Reloaded, SWIFT☆STITCH, and Unepic. If you pay $8.00 or more, you will also receive the music CD, Chiptune, full of (shocker) chiptune music.
The presidency at LucasArts has a very short shelf life these days. LucasArts president Paul Meegan has stepped down from his position at LucasArts.
Mich Chau, President and Chief Operating Officer for Lucasfilm had the following to say:
Paul has been a valuable member of the Lucasfilm leadership team and we wish him the best in his future endeavors. We remain committed to our current projects and will be re-evaluating LucasArts’ leadership needs to ensure that we make the right decisions to keep the studio focused.
The decisions of every LucasArts president since Jim Ward has been to make massive layoffs and cancel projects upon their arrival. It remains to be seen if this vicious cycle continues, but history has shown us that it probably will.
Update: The Verge reports that there's two people filling in to co-lead the company, Kevin Parker as interim head of business operations and Gio Corsi as interim head of studio production.The idea of having two people run the company seems like a sensible one, keeping the business side and the creative side separate. It's unlikely that structure will continue when a permanent president is chosen, however.
As was announced earlier this year, LucasArts is following up its two years of absolute stasis with - I can't believe they're taking this gamble - a new Star Wars game, one that impressed so much at E3 that a number of people, including this guy, are completely sold on LucasArts as a developer. Jesus is a grudge-bearing asshole compared to the attitude of forgiveness fans of ubiquitous franchises catch when you open the spigot back up.
The full article on Digital Trends features many quotes from Star Wars 1313's creative director Dominic Robilliard, who discusses the ninety-seventh internal reorganization that led to the fructifying environment the development team enjoys today, until oppportunistic hindsight decides ten years from now that this was actually another big mess that we've now totally fixed for real this time.
Much is implied by the author about how the new guard has ostensibly turned the studio around and put it back on track or something, but I couldn't help but focus on this part:
Robilliard joined LucasArts a little more than four years ago, coming from Sony where he worked on the Getaway franchise and the “on hold” action game, Eight Days. Since he came on board, he’s worked on the Special Edition re-release of The Secret of Monkey Island and the puzzle-platformer Lucidity. He originally signed up with LucasArts to work on a game that was apparently canceled after the studio’s administration changed in 2010, so 1313 marks his first crack at Star Wars that we know of.
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