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Among the better articles we failed to front page due to recent downtime and general neglect was this Tim interview by VentureBeat. It's an in-depth piece covering a range of topics from Tim's recent hosting of the Umloud event (an annual Rock Band jam-off for charity) to progress on "REDS." And since all of you are backers, you've got some pretty intimate insight on some of the challenges the game's team has been facing recently.
House of Mojo News

Hosted sites are back

24 Dec, 2012, 23:51 | Posted by: Zaarin | Comments: 5

Our hosted sites should start returning to the Internet after much hard work. If you've tried visited them recently, you may have to flush your browser cache.

Star Wars News

December Star Wars Tidbits

23 Dec, 2012, 22:15 | Posted by: clone2727 | Comments: 2

Mojo's back! It's a Festivus miracle!

Some Star Wars Battlefront Online concept art from Slant Six leaked this month. Because canceling Battlefront III wasn't enough, apparently.

News about cut scenes from Return of the Jedi also came out: Three female fighter pilots were dropped from the Battle of Endor.

In Episode VII news, both Samuel L. Jackson and Ewan McGregor said they would both like to come back to reprise their roles as Mace Windu and Obi-Wan Kenobi, respectively. More likely Ian McKellen would take over Obi-Wan just because he seems to play every old wise mentor character nowadays. There was also a leak supposedly revealing plot details about the movie, but this was later proven incorrect.

And for those still playing Star Wars: The Old Republic, there's good news! After a year of being online, EA has a new expansion pack for you to buy called "Rise of the Hutt Cartel". It almost feels reminiscent of Star Wars: Empire at War: Forces of Corruption with its whole "third party vying for control of the galaxy" scheme (except, this time, the Hutts). Those who order before January 7 will get to access it three days early and those who are subscribers will get 50% off the $19.99 price tag.

(Bonus: This is just cool.)

ResidualVM, the interpreter that allows users to play 3D adventure games on modern PCs, has reached a major milestone. After 9 years of development (the ]initial revision of Residual (the original name of ResidualVM) was released by former ScummVM and ResidualVM project leader James "Ender" Brown on August 15, 2003), the first stable release is here, with full support for Grim Fandango. The stable build, version 0.1.0, is available to download for Windows, MacOS, and Linux.
Double Fine's Five Amnesia Fortnight 2012 Games are now available to download from supporter's download pages at the Humble Bundle Amnesia Fortnight page.

A Soundtrack album for all five prototypes is also available at the same location for those that supported the Amnesia Fortnight Humble Bundle.

1UP's Retronauts have managed to steal Dave Grossman and Tim Schafer away from making games of the year and kickstarter-backed adventures to talk about their classic adventure game Day of the Tentacle which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. Listen to the resulting conversation in the latest Retronauts Live podcast and also, as their own site points out, check out our own awesome Secret History feature while you're at it!

Middle Manager of Justice, Double Fine's free-to-play iOS strategy RPG is now out for non-Canadians as well, as today mark's the game's worldwide release. US iOS owners can download the game for free from here, while UK users can get the game from here. People from other countries should check their respective iTunes stores, as the game should be out for you as well.
Miscellaneous news

The Return of the Mojo Tidbits

13 Dec, 2012, 20:17 | Posted by: Jennifer | Comments: 4
PC Gamer conducted an interview with Ron Gilbert, where Ron stated that he wants to make a Monkey Island game and that he intends on talking to Disney at some point about getting the rights to Monkey Island so he can “really make the game I want to make.” However, he also stated that he wasn't optimistic that he'd ever retrieve the series he created, saying that Disney seems like a company which "hoards IP". And in a related interview with Metro about The Cave where they discuss Ron contacting Disney about making a Monkey Island game, Ron states that he wouldn't be willing to change the genre of Monkey Island for a new game stating that "Monkey Island has to be a point 'n' click adventure game".

There's another Ron Gilbert interview at Eurogamer, where Ron explains why his upcoming adventure game, The Cave, has no inventory.

Telltale is raking up the awards for The Walking Dead, including 5 awards from Spike TV's Video Game Awards: "Game of the Year", "Best Adapted Video Game", "Best Downloadable Game", "Best Performance By a Human Female" (for Melissa Hutchinson's Clementine), and "Studio of the Year". Telltale was also awarded "Best Downloadable Game" and "Best Character Design" for Lee Everett at the Inside Gaming Awards.

ResidualVM is making progress on its supported games. Escape from Monkey Island is now playable to Lucre Island (and is still a work in progress, and not officially supported), and ResidualVM's only supported non-LucasArts game, Myst 3, is now completable with glitches and missing features (as of the December 9 daily builds). The ResidualVM team can still also use your help in testing Grim Fandango (which is fully completable and fully supported). They request that any bugs that you encounter be submitted to the issue tracker and that you post on their forums when you complete the game.

The UK's Channel 4 commissioned an online adventure game inspired by LucasArts classics for their animated sitcom, Full English. The game contains five chapters (which are individually selectable at any time) and features Day of The Tentacle inspired multiple playable characters with inventory sharing. It also includes references to a certain Lucasfilm license.

All five episodes of Telltale's The Walking Dead have been released at retail today on the Xbox and PlayStation 3, at places like Amazon and GameStop.

Best Buy also has a Windows retail version available.

Kinect Party, Double Fine's upcoming mini game compilation for Xbox Live Arcade using all of the Kinect's abilities (and the sequel to Double Fine Happy Action Theater, which was released earlier this year) will be released on the 18th of December.

Even better, Microsoft's Major Nelson announced on his blog that Kinect Party will be free for a two week period upon it's release from December 18-December 31. In 2013, it will be sold at its regular price of 800 Microsoft Points ($10 USD).
Edge Online has an article on Star Wars 1313 that talks about the technology, and some of the gameplay, of Star Wars: 1313. The most interesting part of the article is that every Lucas subsidiary seems to be involved in this project:

"And it’s here that a significant collaboration is happening, with visual effects house Industrial Light & Magic, Skywalker Sound, Lucas Animation and LucasArts all working together for the first time – now under Disney’s banner."

It seems LucasArts is really shooting for the stars with this one. It will certainly be interesting to see if it lives up to expectations (and if LucasArts allows it enough development time to do so).
Want the absolute latest on what Bill Tiller's been up to? Well, don't check his Twitter, the Autumn Moon web site, either of his blogs or Facebook - Bill knows that if you want maximum exposure, you want the Adventure Gamers forums. There he contributed to a thread rightfully exalting his well-known SCUMM Bar painting and went on to share some updates on the A Vampyre Story situation.

Cliff Notes: the Kickstarter video is 80% done, the campaign will launch "after New Year," and Bill is semi-hopeful that A Vampyre Story 2 could be his next project after Year One. He is also apparently full-on freelance again, having completed his stint as staff art director at MunkyFun.
We were aware that Star Wars: Battlefront III got well into development before it checked in to the Dew Drop Dead Inn, but in an interview with gamestm last week former Free Radical employee Steve Ellis decided to assign a provocative percent to the game's state of completion:

“We had a 99% finished game that just needed bug fixing for release,” Ellis told gamesTM. “It should have been our most successful game, but it was cancelled for financial reasons. I’m happy that people did at least get to see what we were working on and share the team’s enthusiasm for it.”

Considering that "99% finished" is a reckless claim for most of LucasArts' released products, it came as little surprise when a second source emerged to contest it. The source was a former LucasArts employee, and anonymously they dispatched a rebuttal to Ellis' comments to Gamespot for maximum exposure. This'd be the highlight:

"This 99 percent complete stuff is just bullsh*t," a former LucasArts employee who wished to remain nameless told GameSpot. "A generous estimate would be 75 percent of a mediocre game."

Such generosity could not go unobserved. Ellis sent Gamespot a lengthy response to the response (to be found in the same article) that reads, in part:

Objectively though, the game was 'content complete' and we were fixing bugs. At that stage in development, the way that completion is measured is by looking at the number of open bugs in the database. These are tracked and people spend a lot of time analyzing the fix rate and the rate of discovering new bugs and projecting a completion date when the game will be ready for release. At the time that the development on BFIII was stopped, the figures showed that we would close our 'must-fix' bugs with 3-4 weeks. So yes, maybe on reflection 99 percent was a little of an exaggeration. I probably should have said 97 percent or 98 percent.

Avail yourself of the whole drama, which if nothing else features fun candor from the sparring parties (the LEC source likens Free Radical to a Ponzi scheme) and sheds a little extra light on internal LucasArts circa 2008, which Ellis diplomatically describes as "a company with problems."
The San Francisco based charity Umloud is holding an eBay auction that gives the high bidder and four of their friends a chance to get a private preview of Kinect Party (the upcoming sequel to Double Fine Happy Action Theater) and to play the game with Tim Schafer himself! At the time of this writing there is less than an hour to go. But at a current bid of only $355 USD, this is a steal!

I'd totally bid myself if I had the money and lived on the correct side of the United States. If you are lucky enough to have those two important qualities that I lack, then bid now.

Middle Manager of Justice, Double Fine's free-to-play superhero management (and fighting) game for iOS, was released yesterday on the Candadian iTunes store.

The game was accidentally released in September, and project leader Kee Chi decided that release would become a beta and people who downloaded the early beta would be beta testers. The team has been tweaking the game since then, fixing bugs, and adding improvements to the game play. It's now ready for it's original plan, a small release in Canada, followed by a worldwide release soon after. There's no news on when the game will be available on the US, UK, and other iTunes stores, but it should be within the next few weeks.

New York's Museum of Modern Art's New Video Game Exhibition is beginning with 14 video games from the 1980's to the 2000's. However, they eventually intend to extend that collection with more games over the next few years, including Grim Fandango.

For the full game list, including the games planned for the future, check out the Museum of Modern Art's post about the exhibit.

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