Articles

To spite Temple-shading elitists like Remi and Thunderpeel, I decided to follow in the footsteps of Shiva by consecrating the 35th anniversary of the second – and, according to the sexual endowed, best – Indiana Jones installment with a three-page valentine as feverishly out-of-control as its endlessly rewatchable recipient.

Read my truth, then respond with yours in the comments.

Jason may threaten you readers with Star Wars content on Mojo, but only I have the balls to actually follow through with it. But I will concede we're talking the golden age of games from the Galaxy Far Far Away - the much loved and even more missed space combat simulators from Larry Holland, of course.

PC Gamer has a wonderfully in-depth interview with Larry, and his wife Robin (and other peripheral characters like Barbara Gleason) who discuss all sorts of interesting facts and stories about those early days at LucasFilm Games and LucasArts, then the formation of their own Totally Games.

(Larry) describes his first time playing the game as though a TIE Fighter were an artifact you might find out in the world, restore, and take flight in.
"This thing, this tin can," he says, "had a whole different feeling. So many of the other games had all these fighters, whether it was X-wings or P-47s, which could handle a lot of abuse. Here, it really felt like we captured the fear factor of being in something that could blow up with only a few shots. I liked that take on things—that emotion that was surrounding you at all times."


Mention is made of early Lucasfilm Games titles like HMS Pegasus, Strike Fleet, Battlehawks 1942, and the Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe series. There are early TIE-Fighter sketches and embedded videos, George Lucas anecdotes, and all sorts of greatness.

Comments: 2 / Source: PC Gamer
Hot on the heels of the new company with the old Telltale name announcing a new Wolf Among Us game, they have also announced (and released) a compiled and updated set of their old Batman titles, but with a noir remastered twist.

Step into the shadows and experience the twisted world of Telltale’s Batman in a way that brings the fractured persona of the Dark Knight and the City of Gotham to life in a sinister, new way. Enhanced with hand recolored game play and remastered textures, the Telltale Batman Shadows Edition brings all ten Telltale Batman episodes across two seasons into one, complete game while staying true to the spirit of the Dark Knight’s rich, visually compelling history.

Includes:
• Batman: The Telltale Series (Episodes 1-5)
• Batman: The Enemy Within (Episodes 1-5)
• Batman Shadows Mode


Shadows mode is a black-and-white-and-colour-splash re-texturing of the games, so far as I can tell. And it can be purchased as a DLC add-on if you already have the game(s).



As well as the current release on Steam, it's also out now for Xbox One, and coming soon for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and PC owners who prefer to buy from the Epic Games Store.
Comments: 1 / Source: Steam

Six months back it was reported that screenwriter Jonathan Kasdan and narrator Ron Howard got together to scheme about giving Willow a sequel in the form of a series on Disney+.  Now, Bleeding Cool reports that Kasdan has completed a pilot script for the potential project.  While that is far from a green light, it is material progress.  The existence of a script is more than you can say about, for example, Indiana Jones 5, which some have called the In the Valley of Gods of franchise film sequels.

Anywho, we at Mojo are pulling for this Willow show to become a thing, because when you consider what we have left to report on in 2020 aside from Psychonauts 2, things start to feel a little dour.  What are we supposed to do, start covering Star Wars?  I'll see the site become a Leisure Suit Larry hub first.

Although the fate of The Walking Dead: The Final Season was what seemed to worry the gaming press most when Telltale threw in the towel at the end of last year, it was the incubating follow-up to the critically acclaimed The Wolf Among Us that was perhaps the more lamentable (non-human) loss when the building came down.

Happily for fans of either series, both of those losses were ultimately recovered.  The Walking Dead got its finale earlier this year, and today yesterday Forbes reports that the-holding-company-now-going-by-Telltale is collaborating with AdHoc Studio (the current home of several ex-Telltale developers) to revive the other orphaned project.  Here, have an announcement trailer:

Now to revive that The Devil's Playhouse soundtrack album...

Comments: 4 / Source: Forbes

You might have seen this posted in the comments by the suspiciously named “custard,” but in case you haven’t, this Twitter thread by contracted In the Valley of Gods writer Duncan Fyfe is worth a read.

We do, of course, sympathize with Duncan -- we got woefully little left to write around these parts, although Jason is pushing hard for more Larry content. But hey, there’s always an opening for you at Mojo, Duncan. We pay in love and hugs.

Yep, they've done it. Valve has just announced that they've stopped work on In the Valley of Gods, saying "After careful evaluation of current market place realities and underlying economic considerations, we've decided that this was not the appropriate time to launch a first-person adventure."

Don't believe that its possible? Here's the official announcement from Polygon. Our best wishes go out to everyone on the In the Valley of Gods team, who are apprently all still going to be kept on at Valve.

To us, the decision seems completely absurd, and not just because "we love adventure games," or something. Surely In the Valley of Gods's production was plagued with troubles, but from the sounds of it so is every game project. Everything that came out about In the Valley of Gods seemed golden. The press was drooling over the game. It looked like they had a follow-up going on that, unlike some other recent follow-ups, was actually going ot get it right. But now, out of the blue, its gone. Which really really makes all of us wonder...

an editorial by the staff of Mixnmojo

Valve has made a gigantic mistake.

There, we've said it. Everyone else is already thinking it, and other people have probably already said it, but now we've said it too. The official Mixnmojo stance on In the Valley of Gods being cancelled is that Valve has seriously screwed up, just about as much as possible.

Production has stopped on the last original game --and the only game really-- anyone around here was genuinely interested in seeing. Cancelled. Why? From the sounds of it, the people in the Sales department spent the last three months winding themselves up about how impossible it would be for them to sell a quirky adventure game, eventually just snapped, and cancelled the title. Is that screwed up? Yes, that is screwed up.

Valve has made a lot of really bad moves in the last year. The Lab was allowed to ship. It tanked hard. Who really thought The Lab would be marketable, would sell well, would really catch the attention of gamers? Prospero , despite a constant stream of negative to lukewarm receptions from magazines and fans, was allowed to live on in production far longer than anyone really wanted.

Artifact, one of the few truly original gems Valve has dealt with in the last five or six years, was rushed out early by the suits, in hopes of grabbing some Christmas shoppers. This was decided despite Christmas being notorious for huge A-list titles like Lord of the Rings hogging the coverage and hype, and for mothers who know nothing about games being the ones doing the shopping. Not surprisingly, Artifact had a poor holiday season. Who knows what might have happened if they'd let Richard Garfield refine the game for a few months, and released Artifact it in the nearly empty February, after everyone had exhausted their Christmas games and was looking for something new?

Recently, they shipped Left 4 Dead: Survivors. For more on Left 4 Dead, see The Lab a few paragraphs up. And finally, today we receive word that In the Valley of Gods has been axed.

Notice a trend here? Correct. Not one of the recent Valve bungles mentioned above contained the two magic words, Half-Life. If you give the suits at Valve a Half-Life game, they can sell it. Why? Because they don't have to try! No cleverness is needed. That's not to say it doesn't take any work, but for the most part you just need to get the screenshots out, buy a few ads on Gamespot, and tell the press "yep, it's basically like EA's The Two Towers game, but this time you play as characters from -- wait for it -- Half-Life!" WHOP, you've made the cover of EGM. (Of course it helps, but isn't essential, if the Half-Life game you're selling is actually good, like Half-Life 2: Episode Two)

Valve has more or less proven that they can sell the hell out of anything that says Half-Life on the box (again, because that takes no creativity and instead a few magic words, some money, and maybe a wave or two of the nostalgia wand, or possibly the soccer mom wand depending if it's a classic or prequel title), but more importantly they've proven that if they are handed anything without the Half-Life name to sell the game for them, they will just have absolutely no idea what to do.

Games that should be cancelled, or seriously retooled, end up shipping and doing poorly, or lingering in production for months draining company resources. Games that need more time are rushed out the door. And finally, when a game falls into their lap that has the gaming press of the Western world salivating like mad, they flip out and cancel it.

And let's be honest here. Even though it sounds a little insane if you look at it from the wrong perspective ("a scenic sandstone valley near Mexican Hat in San Juan County, Southeastern Utah, United States, what's the appeal in that?!"), Valve has no adventure game, short of making up Half-Life adventure games, that will ever be as marketable as In the Valley of Gods. Not Monkey Island 6, not Day of the Tentacle 2. Even the Portal adventure game franchise has been muddled beyond recognition at this point. In the Valley of Gods pack personality, edginess, and firearms in unmentionable places like no other Valve game series -- actually like no other game series at all, and they do it in a way that basically anybody can laugh at. There are very few people with any size sense of humor who, after hearing them utter just a few sentences, aren't sold on the quality of the characters and the humor. And on top of that, unlike basically any other sequel Valve could consider, In the Valley of Gods has no back story, no possible way of alienating new players.

In the Valley of Gods is weird, granted, but is there anybody out there who genuinely thinks they're less accessible than Left 4 Dead: Survivors? Less intriguing on a store shelf than The Lab? Yes, in fact, there is. The Valve sales department.

I can see where they're coming from, in a way. If every game without a Half-Life logo that came through your door ended up tanking, getting cancelled, or somehow cause you a huge amount of grief, you might be inclined to just kill the next one in line and get it over with. In a way, their behavior like that is understandable. However, it becomes entirely unacceptable when you remember, that's not their job! Their job is to actually think about things, figure out what's been going wrong, and how to fix it. Their job is to actually try, not to just throw the switch, or pass the title along 'till its out the door, and then attempt to absolve themselves of blame.

Today's an extremely sad day for Valve, and we hope they all know it. If they can't even figure that out, they're in far worse trouble than we could have imagined.

When Valve swallowed up Campo Santo, Zaarin predicted Jake would jump on a Steam overhaul project. Turns out that was closer to correct than what we had expected.

In a statement accidentally sent to Polygon instead of us, Jake said:

To fans looking forward to In the Valley of Gods, it’s probably clear that the optimistic “2019” at the end of the announcement trailer isn’t going to be accurate. In the end, Valve Time makes fools of us all. But yes, developers from the former Campo Santo team have joined other projects at Valve, including Half-Life: Alyx. As you can imagine, our experience in the first-person adventure genre is pretty relevant. You hear a lot about how at Valve you can work on what you want. It turns out that’s true, and there’s a lot of work available. As we integrated ourselves into Valve it became clear there was a lot of valuable work to be done on Half-Life: Alyx. Some of us starting lending a hand, and have since become full-time on the project as it approaches launch. Similarly, some ex-Campos are working on Dota Underlords, some are on Steam, and so on. So to answer your question as of today, In the Valley of Gods development is on hold—but it certainly feels like a project people can and may return to. And when that happens, we’ll find an exciting way to let fans know.

And that's all we got.

Comments: 8 / Source: Not Jake
News Archive