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2006: by Gabez & You

31 Dec, 2006, 19:39 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 27
Gabez has put together a multi-page extravaganza exploring his favorite memories from 2006, and also griping about the bits that piss him off. Actually he's mostly angry. You should read it.

Also included in 2006: a review are the results of the Mojo big end of year poll, which you all surely voted on before gabez deleted the threads. That's on page 3! Get going!
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Oi!

31 Dec, 2006, 03:13 | Posted by: Gabez | Comments: 5
Mind your language!

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No, this isn't game news, but it's a pretty big deal. I'm not sure how many of you have been keeping up with the crazy fifteen year development history of a fourth Indiana Jones movie, how production was almost going to happen like 5 billion times under five billion different screenplays before something insane always happened to throw a wrench into everything (like when George Lucas, the guy who gave us the sterling dialogue of Phantom Menace, rejected a screenplay by the Shawshank Redemption guy), etc.

But Indy finally seems to have gotten a script that the Big Three (Spielberg, Lucas, and Ford) can agree on and Lucasfilm has announced that filming will take place next year for a 2008 release. Lucas' thoughts on the project are excitingly immodest: "It's going to be fantastic. It's going to be the best one yet." Awesome!

There is of course the whole thing about whether the movie will be utter rubbish or not, but don't think about that right now, we've got a new Indiana Jones movie to look forward to. It's probably a huge relief for the marketing folks over at LucasArts, as the fact that the movie will actually come out will certainly benefit the new game, due out next summer. Get out your whip and fedora and get excited.

Update: ?? Sounds like we may hear something about it directly from the horse's mouth next week though, "hopefully."

Phew! Everything's cool. Go back to celebrating. And here's the Lucasfilm press release to allay any remaining doubts.
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The BIG end of year thing

29 Dec, 2006, 19:51 | Posted by: Gabez | Comments: 15
Don?t cry, little Mojo reader: now you can vote in a 2006 reader survey! There are currently four six eight nine ten questions, but more can be added if people post suggestions. Vote and enjoy; tell all your friends; voting closes on New Year's Day! Polls so far:El Poll Diablo says "It is your duty as a citizen to vote!" Polls are closed! Happy new year!

Bonus end of year nostalgic thing: JBRAA has uploaded 25 old Mojo features from olden times! Take a look here.
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Old features from the past

29 Dec, 2006, 08:37 | Posted by: DJG | Comments: 6
Seeing requests for these old articles I got the urge to finally bring back the ones I had, and quick, even if it meant presenting them in very crude, yet readable form. I have here for you over 25 features from the past. Some of them are:
  • Mojo Visits LucasArts and The Ranch
  • The International House of Mojo - E3 2001
  • Mixnmojo Visits Double Fine Productions
  • Cooking With Spaff
  • Mixnmojo at E3 2002
  • Return to Double Fine
  • Fun with Editors Day '02
  • Escape from Monkey Island Playstation 2 Release Party
  • Cooking With Spaff #2
  • Mixnmojo Presents: E3 2003
  • Embarrasing E3 photo gallery (2003)
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An Autumn Moon Christmas

24 Dec, 2006, 18:43 | Posted by: Jason | Comments: 4
Gabez may have neglected to hold the Airing of Grievances yesterday, but at least there are some people who aren't all too happy to club Tiny Tim in the kneecaps with a deficiency of holiday spirit: the folks working on A Vampyre Story. In the second Autumn Moon blog entry by lead writer Dave Harris, we're treated to a delightful holiday-themed poem as well as a splendid painting of some AVS carollers which is sure to bring you good cheer. Ho. (Ho. Ho.)
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Memory lane

24 Dec, 2006, 17:48 | Posted by: Gabez | Comments: 2
If you're stuck with nothing to do, then why not play Ron Gilbert's Christmas Challenge, the two year old classic from the team who brought you LEC Killer.

And speaking of that: whatever happened to the sequel? Well not much, apart from a bunch of concept art and this.

Happy holidays, y'all.
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Situation: Comedy now on Gametap!

21 Dec, 2006, 23:20 | Posted by: Jason | Comments: 0
Has been since yesterday, actually. Of course, those of you who are subscribed to Gametap probably don't need to be told this. If you're not in North America or aren't interested in Gametap, fear not, for January 5th is a mere two weeks away. And don't forget, if you bought Culture Shock from Telltale but lamely didn't grab the season set, you can do so now for a reduced price.

It's almost like Sam & Max games are being released!
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Merry festivus, kids!

21 Dec, 2006, 02:58 | Posted by: Gabez | Comments: 12
Garish decorations? A picture of Ron Gilbert and Tim Schafer that looks like it's been drawn by a drunken two year old on drugs? Gabez updating the news again? Why, it must be Christmas time!

Some of these decorations are courtsey of last year's Christmas competition. Special thanks to Ignacio Vecino, Elbio Castro and Goblin.

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First Situation: Comedy review

19 Dec, 2006, 20:46 | Posted by: Jason | Comments: 4
That I've managed to stumble upon, anyway. Softpedia has got some very positive things to say about the second episode. They also put up a ton of new screenshots that may give away a lot, but I'm just sayin'.
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Situation: A New Preview

15 Dec, 2006, 21:50 | Posted by: Jason | Comments: 0
1up's got a new preview for the second Sam & Max episode in the form of a short Q&A with Dave Grossman. A few new details are made known (which I'm assuming are safe since they come from Grossman), and included are what seems to be a new screenshot as well as some neato concept sketches. Ruin the game!
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Psychonauts now 360 compatible

15 Dec, 2006, 00:17 | Posted by: Jason | Comments: 5
Yahtzee!
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Win Situation: Comedy

14 Dec, 2006, 20:40 | Posted by: Jason | Comments: 1
Did you miss out on the episode 1 giveaway because you were too lazy and talentless to submit something? Don't make the same mistake twice! Telltale's giving away three copies of the second Sam & Max episode as part of their latest Holiday-themed contest. To enter simply head on over to the Comic Generator and, using their new Christmas panels, make something that doesn't suck. Could it be any easier? No.

Also, the third (and the final before the episode 2 premiere) machinima short is now on Gametap. Look for it on Telltale's site tommorow.
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And in Simon Jeffery news...

14 Dec, 2006, 20:02 | Posted by: jp-30 | Source: Virgin | Comments: 1
We haven't had decent Simon Jeffery news since, oh, probably since he resigned from LucasArts and started working at that model train company.

So, just to keep the good Mojo readers in the loop, Mr Jeffery (now boss of SEGA USA) popped up talking about Obsidian's (KOTOR2) new project, a game based on the Alien franchise;
SEGA America and SEGA Europe on Wednesday confirmed that Obsidian Entertainment will develop one of their recently announced 'Alien' titles, to be released in 2009.

Obsidian is well known for its work on 'Neverwinter Nights 2' for Atari and 'Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II - The Sith Lords' for LucasArts.

"With Obsidian Entertainment's development pedigree, they were our first choice to bring the Alien franchise to the RPG universe," said Simon Jeffery, President and COO, SEGA of America, Inc. "They are the only developer for us that could effectively combine the Alien mythology with compelling RPG gameplay to create the ultimate Alien experience."
Tomorrow, Mike Nelson update!
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Grossman discusses Tentacles and more.

14 Dec, 2006, 19:23 | Posted by: jp-30 | Source: Telltale Games | Comments: 0
Telltale have just posted the English version of an interview with Dave Grossman that first appeared in the Belgian gaming magazine PC Gameplay Benelux in November;
As I recall, the way it happened was that Tim Schafer and I were fresh off of Monkey Island 2 and ready to lead our own project... The [Maniac Mansion] license fit reasonably well with our collective sense of humor, and I think there was the feeling that having it nominally be a sequel would keep us from going too far off the deep end. So we worked on the design for a while and then presented it to the rest of the all-powerful project leader group, who recognized its merits. We were advised to cut five characters and three locations, which was a fairly standard thing to be told and we were ready for it. I think it took under a half hour to make the cuts to the design, and then we went ahead and built it.
Dave also riffs on Sierra, LucasArts in general and of course Telltale.
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Behind the Behind Mojo

13 Dec, 2006, 21:27 | Posted by: Metallus | Comments: 2
The secret is probably that news has been too good during the past few months to post anything back here. Maybe Gabez should make some sort of Bad Brain Graveside comic.
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So on and off during the past year, ever since Tim demanded the backwards compatibility of his company's rather Excellent Game Psychonauts with the Xbox 360, there've been various reports about its upcoming inclusion in one of Microsoft's semi-regular lists of updated games. An update on the situation from a few months ago seemed particularly promising.

Well, the latest report from Joystiq, which points out that Psychonauts appeared in a briefly viewable, and subsequently withdrawn, list of newly compatible games for the upcoming December update, still doesn't mark our victory yet, but it sure seems like we're very, very close to seeing Raz and his fellow campers jumping around on our 360's.

(Well, your 360's, as I still don't have one. But don't let that diminish the joy surrounding the probable certainty of Psychonauts' compatibility.)


Thanks to reader Sean Stilts for the heads up
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New Telltale CSI announced!

12 Dec, 2006, 20:04 | Posted by: Jason | Comments: 3
Since CSI 3 Dimensions of Murder was released this past Spring, the question I'm assuming was on everyone's mind was, "So is Telltale making the next one?" Well, this press release from Ubisoft announcing the next game, the Telltale-developed CSI: Hard Evidence, pretty much puts that issue to rest. Besides the little info the announcement offers including the promise of "an all-new garage lab for analyzing large evidence" and "longer play experiences," it seems that lead designer Greg Land is staying on for this installment, and the release date is Spring 2007. Check out this Telltale forum thread to feast your eyes on the first screenshots, and keep close watch on Telltale's site for their own announcement.

This is pretty awesome news because the last game was quite fun. Haven't played it yet? Why not buy it for less than twenty bucks?
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Bad Brain Hemorrhages

12 Dec, 2006, 00:11 | Posted by: jp-30 | Source: Adventure-Treff | Comments: 5
The one-time publisher of Autumn Moon's A Vampyre Story and one-time pursuer of the rights to Sam and Max: Freelance Police, Bad-Brain entertainment has closed up shop.

CEO Wolfgang Keirdorf has left a departing message on Adventure-Treff (in german);
(Translated excerpt): "People who think I haven't done my best to make this a success must ask themselves the following question: How many of you would've spent your entire capital and three years of your life on a dream?"
While there's no doubt Mr Kierdorf's intentions were all good, his methods and way he conducted himself publically did show room for improvement.

You'll be wanting to buy the last remaining Orgastic-4 cafepress merch before that disappears too.
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Ben Gorman brings word that a Scandinavian newspaper called Verden's Gang has thrown some love in Psychonauts and Sam & Max's direction.

First Psychonauts, which presumably was released throughout continental Europe this year, was named "best platformer", edging out games like the brilliant New Super Mario Bros. and LocoRoco.

Sam & Max: Culture Shock didn't win as such, but was named a runner up after Dreamfall in the adventure category. Little surprise there, seeing that Dreamfall is a Scandinavian game.

Congrats to both Double Fine and Telltale!
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From the "Most Excellent News" department comes this second Psychonauts soundtrack which features all the cut-scene music that was missing from the original CD. We're talking 18 tracks of unreleased music, some which probably was the best in the game. And that is definitely something you'll want to spend $14 on.

It's less than a buck per track!

Go shop.
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Second Sam & Max short on Gametap

07 Dec, 2006, 22:11 | Posted by: Jason | Comments: 3
Go watch it! If you have Gametap, of course. Expect it online in a few days. ...Well, bye!
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Next time, on... Sam & Max

06 Dec, 2006, 05:10 | Posted by: jp-30 | Source: Telltale Games | Comments: 3
What's in store next time on Sam & Max?

Glad you asked, all you need to do to find out is click through to Telltale's Sam & Max Situation: Comedy section here, then hit the Gameplay Videos link and fire up the first of the 2 clips. The second is also absolutely worth watching, of course, if you haven't done so already.

Tally Ho, Fools!
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What's Dave Grossman into right now?

05 Dec, 2006, 19:24 | Posted by: jp-30 | Source: Gamasutra | Comments: 1
If you want to know what floats Dave Grossman's boat right now you could rifle through his garbage, or alternately read this little Gamasutra Q&A session.
Sounds: I like a little of everything, but at the moment I seem to be particularly listening to lounge music and funk. I also really enjoy unusual covers of usual songs ? I made a collection of versions of Ring of Fire, for example, which I use to test people's patience. My current favorite band is Cocktail Angst, a dazzling lounge combo with Latin overtones and a sense of humor, who unfortunately stopped playing together last I heard.
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LucasArts classics getting UK reissue

04 Dec, 2006, 22:07 | Posted by: jp-30 | Source: Stain | Comments: 7
Over on the Adventure Gamers forums, Stain has posted that there is a new line of LucasArts reissues being sold under the Lucas Classic Line banner. These include many of the old adventures that have long been out of print, including The Dig, Full Throttle, Sam & Max Hit The Road, Day of the Tentacle, Grim Fandango, Monkey Islands 3 & 4.

No official word yet, but one would expect the games to ship with an XP compatible launcher.
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Smith and Telltale talk updated Bone

04 Dec, 2006, 19:26 | Posted by: Jason | Comments: 0
In the latest blog Heather writes about the "Director's Cut" releases of the first two Bone games. The reasons behind the additions in these new versions are explained, and included are some storyboards for the new opening sequence and a Q&A with Jeff Smith, so the entry makes for good reading.

Oh, and the first Sam & Max machinima short may or may not be appearing on Telltale's site today. People with extremely good ears or who are liars may notice that Max's voice is a bit different in the short and the previously released gameplay video from episode 2. This is because Max's actor has been replaced. I couldn't tell, personally, and Max Voice #5 seems solid.

Oh, and those Bone Director's cuts were officially announced, too.

Update: The machinima short is up for viewing on Gametap's site.
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The beginnings of the KOTOR franchise

01 Dec, 2006, 04:05 | Posted by: jp-30 | Source: Gamasutra | Comments: 5
Gamasutra has started transcribing archival podcasts for reasons best known only to them. In the latest to be converted to the written word, we have a 2004 GDC speech by Bioware's Casey Hudson "Creating a Monster RPG: The Light and the Dark Side of Development on Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic".
...and so I give you the KotOR work breakdown. It's basically showing that we spent 90 man-years developing KotOR. It's also kind of interesting to look at the way the breakdown was. We spent a lot of time on the art. We spent 28 man-years doing the art. So a huge amount of art-content went into KotOR, and a tremendous amount of programming too. And this was even given that we are leveraging the technology that we've developed previously. And even though the game was very story-based and is really about the story, we spent less time on the design part, 14 man-years versus 16 on the animation side. Because we had 76 cut-scenes, and hundreds and hundreds of character actions for the choreographed combat, and it was all hand-animated. So a huge amount of work went into that.
Many more interesting tidbits on the creation and development of the original KOTOR an the link above. Meatbags.
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First Sam & Max Machinima debuts on GameTap

01 Dec, 2006, 00:17 | Posted by: jp-30 | Source: Legolas813 | Comments: 0
Legolas813 on the Telltale forums has revealed that the first of the Sam & Max machinima shorts has gone up on GameTap. These small animations are used to keep up the interest between Sam & Max episode, and may include some plot advancement linking the episodes together.

Word is that the shorts will be released to the non-GameTappers on the Monday following the GameTap release.
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