It came, it went, and here we are: at the brink of 2014. Hell, some of you are already there.
And you voted. Oh, how you voted for your 2013 favorites. The winners, the losers, we have them all summed up. So don't read this, but instead go and read 2013: A Review. The results will shock you!
(They will not shock you.)
While the rest of us were distracted by the insidious influence of loved ones, reader Threepwood4life spent his Christmas noticing that former LEC animator/artist Anson Jew, already known for his LEC animation reel that includes a rare Indiana Jones and the Iron Phoenix clip, has put together a new compilation comprised exclusively of discarded material. It's basically What Mojo Exists To Report On: The Movie.
Check out his blog post for a rundown of all the clips included.
Well, that went quick, 2013. And with 2014 looming, there is only one sane thing we can do: post our annual polls!
Run over to the forum and vote for...
What the hell are you waiting for? Vote!
First, ex-Mojoer (and multiple Game of the Year award winner) Jake Rodkin's new studio Campo Santo has become just that much cooler with the addition of former Double Fine lead artist Jane Y. Ng to the team. Seriously, with the roster of talent they have at the studio already, their first game is sure to be awesome.
Secondly, you might remember the Kickstarted album by Sierra veteran composer Ken Allen of orchestrated versions of his video game songs. You might be wondering about the progress of the album. Mr. Allen reiterated last month in the comments section of that Kickstarter campaign that the project is currently on hold as he works on sound design and makes new compositions for SpaceVenture, the upcoming space comedy adventure game by The Two Guys From Andromeda (the creators of Space Quest). As music was always an important piece of what made Sierra's games popular, and Ken Allen was a big part of that, it's great to see the Two Guys and Ken Allen working together on a project again.
So here we are, another season of what many, possibly most, consider the best game of last year. Can The Walking Dead: Season Two live up to its predecessor? After playing “All That Remains” we can say... possibly? Maybe? Outlook is hazy?
Anyway! Read our review; maybe you agree with us, but you probably don't.
Telltale's PR Person Laura Perusco posted in the PlayStation blog that news about the PlayStation Vita release will be coming shortly after the holidays. There's no word on the release date for the Ouya version (although The Walking Dead: Season One is scheduled to be released on Ouya in Winter 2014, so it won't be releasing sooner than that).
Star Wars: Attack Squadrons isa free-to-play space combat game for PC, being developed by Area 52 Games, in conjunction with Disney Interactive and LucasArts. It allows players to customise and tune "popular Star Wars ships" like X-Wings and TIE fighters and will support dogfights of up to 16 players.
Signup for the Beta at the official website here.
So, lets hope this is a first, tentative step back into the Space Combat genre, and Larry Holland's number has been passed on to the Mouseketeers at Disney...
But I think I had more impact by hiring people into LucasArts than I did from my own work. Ron Gilbert, Lawrence Holland who did the X-Wing and Tie Fighter games, Brian Moriarty who did Loom – all of them are people that I either found or that came in to work on a project of mine. And once Ron came in, we hired Dave Grossman and Tim Schafer, who are now the creative director at Telltale Games and the head of Double Fine respectively.
So perhaps our biggest impact on the gaming community was being a nursery or proving ground for people who would go on to become much more significant contributors within the games industry.
Telltale just made a post on Twitter announcing the release dates for The Walking Dead: Season Two Episode 1: All That Remains.It will release later today for PC and Mac (through the Telltale Store and Steam) and for PlayStation 3 in North America. It will then release tomorrow worldwide for Xbox 360. The iOS version will be coming later this week. The European PlayStation 3 release date, as well as the release dates for the Vita and Ouya versions have not yet been set.
GamingLives has an interview with Mr. Mocsy which details that event, and gives many more details about his company's first game. One of the most interesting details in the interview is about the wide choice the player has in solving the puzzles, and the consequences some of those choices might have:
"Multiple solutions are something I always want when I play games – that and an overhead map. I made sure those were in my game. It was a bit of a hassle, but I scripted the original game myself, so it was just a matter of my time. When Daedalic bought the game and re-ported it to their engine, they created an enormous flowchart of all the possibilities – that was when I realised the headache I’d caused everyone! It’s all for the player. I want you to keep moving ahead and not waste time guessing what the designer intended."
"Certain quest-lines get even more exciting and tension-filled [depending on your earlier actions], I’ll put it that way. Don’t worry about making wrong choices – you’re escaping from Alcatraz, there’s no time to second-guess yourself. Just go."The game will be coming soon to PC. Daedalic had announced that it would be released this year, however, as no concrete release date has yet been set, it probably won't make that release window.
Surprising no one, the game's FAQ has recently been updated, indicating that the game has been delayed to early 2014. However, there's no word on whether they still plan on releasing the game in two episodes as originally planned.
As you know, last year he sabotaged fellow Kickstarter campaigns with false press releases and hurtful and deceitful comments (both under his own name and possibly under an assumed name).
Unfortunately, that behavior hasn't stopped, as he posted some hurtful words and unfounded claims at the SpaceVenture Kickstarter page in October. That behavior caused several Replay volunteers to criticize Paul's behavior publicly, leading Paul to fire them and ban them from the Replay forums. Worse, he insulted and publicly outed one volunteer as a transsexual woman (her name has been omitted from the twitter post to save her from any more emotional duress).Additionally, Kotaku has posted an article that details Paul Trowe's arrest in October 2012 for showing a sex video to an underage teenage girl.
Al Lowe has stated that his leaving the company had to do with these and other reasons. Replay Games still owns the rights to make Leisure Suit Larry games for now, but if they do decide to make more, it will be without Al Lowe or Josh Mandel.
We at Mojo wish Al and Josh (as well as the Replay volunteers and employees who were affected by this) the best of luck in the future.
The game follows a young elf who uses her computer hacking skills to cheat her way through an action-adventure game. Hack 'n' Slash will be released in the first half of 2014 for Windows, Mac, and Linux, both on Steam and in a DRM-free version
Hot on the heels of the Game of Thrones and Tales from the Borderlands announcements comes a few teaser trailers. Little is known about either game, and we still haven't gotten confirmation of Game of Thrones being a re-skinned version of the unreleased King's Quest. For now, videos:
Tim Schafer revealed last night at VGZ that Elijah Wood will voice the male protagonist Shay in Broken Age. Shay is the boy from the trailers who have lived his entire life on a space life where he's been taken care of by an AI.
Move over Broken Sword news! Variety is reporting that Disney has acquired Indiana Jones. You may have thought they already owned it with the LucasFilm buyout, but apparently not entirely.
The Walt Disney Studios and Paramount Pictures have reached a distribution and marketing agreement for the Indiana Jones franchise. Under the arrangement, Disney gains distribution and marketing rights to future films, in addition to retaining the ownership rights it secured when it acquired Lucasfilm. Paramount will continue to be responsible for distribution of the first four films in the franchise and will receive a financial participation on any future films that are produced and released.
Telltale Games has not only confirmed that is is making Game of Thrones episodes at VGX, but will also be creating new Borderlands episodes.
Not too much to report at this stage, but you can see confirmation of the news on Kotaku, where they report:
“You get to shoot stuff, but in a different way,” said Telltale’s Kevin Bruner at the show. “It’s gonna play like a Telltale game — you’re going to be engaging characters and developing relationships, but it’s very much in the borderlands world. It’s this great hybrid of everything that’s great about Borderlands and everything that’s great about Telltale.”
As IGN points out, it would be a perfect fit, as the Game of Thrones books tell the story from a perspective of a different character in each chapter, similar to how Telltale's 400 Days was handled.This is just a rumor though, and as such should be taken with a grain of salt. When IGN contacted Telltale Games for confirmation, Steve Allison, Telltale's senior vice president of marketing stated, “We get these sorts of rumors about what we could be working on next cropping up all the time. Officially we have no comment.”
JP Update: Confirmed by Telltale on facebook.
According to the game's Steam page, the release date is 17th of December for the first episode. Are they full of shit? Guess we'll find out in 1 week, 3 days, and 22 hours.
So let's address the elephant in the room here: Yes, Mojo is reviewing Broken Sword 5. No, Revolution is not part of the greater LEC-family of companies. Yes, this is part of an expansion of Mojo. No, we're not turning into a general adventure site.
What we are doing is broadening our focus just a tiny little bit. To put our mission-statement-of-sorts in the words of our idea smith, Thrik: “Mojo: Classic LucasArts adventure games, and games that are similar to them.” We'll be covering everything we've always covered, while adding a handful of other games that make sense within Mojo's spiritual scope. Broken Sword for example. Dyscourse, where Tim Schafer is a character. That kinds of stuff. Derivative adventure games that try to ape the success of LucasArts in the 1990s without understanding what they were actually about? We will not cover those.
So basically we're turning into Just Mixnmojo+-ish and we're feeling good about that. Hopefully you will too.
And what better way to kick this off than by reviewing Broken Sword 5? Remember: Mojo still loves you!
For our UK readers only, here's Charlie Brooker's How Video Games Changed the World on Youtube. There's supposedly a Monkey Island section approx 35:27 minutes in with Ronzo "Ron" Gilbert and Tim Schafer.
Thanks to reader Artisa for telling us about it! Since I'm not in the UK I can't watch it so don't blame me if the link is wrong!
Well, the first episode at least. While Double Fine has been fiddling away on Broken Age, Revolution has run a successful Kickstarter, developed the game they promised to make, and released it. The second, and final, episode will be out in a month or so.
Broken Sword 5 returns to the same aesthetic as the first two games in the series, looking more like a LucasArts adventure than whatever else we've been covering the past decade. Here's a screenshot:
And some plot info courtesy of the press release:
When a mysterious painting is stolen during an armed raid on a Paris gallery, George Stobbart and Nico Collard are thrown, seemingly by chance, into the investigation together. From Paris to London and beyond, the trail becomes a race against time as dark forces from Europe's turbulent past are woken from their slumber. Broken Sword characters old and new are encountered - but who can George and Nico trust? The journey they are on reveals a conspiracy as old as the written word, whose ancient heresies will cause innocent blood to spill once more...
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