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You remember Kevin Bruner, former CEO of Telltale Games? Well, he's back... in Dramatic Labs form.

The new games studio collective is "an independent collaboration of 20+ former Telltale writers, developers, designers, artists, and producers" according to their website. Their launch title taps into the beloved, and currently much expanding Star Trek franchise, and they even have a very Telltale-esque teaser trailer to show for their efforts. Behold Star Trek: Resurgence.

The standalone, non-episodic game is due next spring for PC, Playstation and Xbox. And, err, they're hiring!

The resurrected Telltale has leapt back to life after a quiet period, updating progress on The Wolf Among Us 2, revealing it is due early next year and will be a single, standalone, non-episodic adventure.

They also, surprisingly, announced a new game series based on the Amazon TV Show 'The Expanse', with an impressive game trailer. Click through to watch on youtube if you're too young to see it embedded below

Given it takes us at least a week to get around to reporting anything, you could swing by the official site at your leisure looking for the latest updates, should you prefer your news delivered in a timely manner.

Quantic Dream, the studio behind Heavy Rain has revealed it's working on a new action-adventure game "Star Wars: Eclipse" set in the 'high republic' era (800 years after KOTOR, and 200 years before the original Star Wars trilogy).

The marketing guff says: "Star Wars Eclipse is the first video game to be set in an uncharted region of the Outer Rim during The High Republic era, known as the golden age of the Jedi. The game will build upon Quantic Dream's expertise in delivering deeply branching narratives and will go beyond their already established acclaim. Player's choices will be at the heart of the experience, as every decision can have a dramatic impact on the course of the story."

So, high on cutscene narrative, dialogue trees, and quicktime events to progress the story, one presumes? The game is estimated to be 3-4 years away, so speculating on platforms seems a bit premature, though you can expect latest PC, Playstation and Xbox support. Some people are not happy with the studio and founder David Cage due to past allegations of sexist and anti LGBTQ+ behaviour.

It only makes sense.

The Iliad: Special thanks to Homer.
Guernica: Special thanks to Picasso.
Citizen Kane: Special thanks to O. Welles.
Monkey Island Anthology Package:

The long-awaited Monkey Island anthology boxed set from Limited Run Games began shipping this month, and fans who have been receiving the apparently gargantuan package have been sharing their reactions to finally having in their hands the irresponsible purchase they made twelve months ago. Some of those reactions have been enthusiastic, some have been heartbreaking, and almost all of them can be found in this forum thread.

Rather than try to recap that ongoing discussion which reveals many more details, I thought I’d at least front page what’s been learned about the actual game builds included. Limited Run’s original product listing mentioned (and in fact still does) that “archived versions” of the first two games would be included, with specifics to be determined.

Well, now that people have begun exploring the USB stick included with the package, we have a clearer idea of what that actually means. It seems that there are a few versions of Monkey 1 and Monkey 2 offered in the form of disk images and KryoFlux streams (for the uninitiated, see here), which is pretty exciting, as it represents the first time those games have been officially available with their original .exe files since the internet age.

So, what versions of the five Monkey Island games wound up on that flash drive in the end? The breakdown appears to be as follows:

  • MI1: Amiga version diskette images and flux streams; IBM EGA version diskette images and flux streams (5.25"), IBM VGA floppy version diskette images and flux streams (3.5"); special edition.
  • MI2: Amiga version diskette images and flux streams; IBM version diskette images and flux streams (3.5"); Macintosh version diskette images and flux streams; special edition.
  • CMI: The installer seems to be the same as the GOG version, which means the resource files are bundled with ScummVM, and the original .exe is not included.
  • EMI: The installer seems to be the same as the GOG version, which as far as I know translates to a faithful, as-is copy of version 1.1.
  • TMI: Includes the Earl Boen'd version of Episode 1, which is I believe the only variable that would have applied to this game. We were wrong, its the original non-Boen version.

Beyond obscure/translated versions of the games which probably would have been too much to ask for, the main absences appear to be the CD version of Monkey 1 (though that’s essentially included in the Special Edition as “classic mode”) and CMI’s original interpreter, the latter being a huge, and hugely addressable, bummer from a preservation perspective despite the fact that it’s notoriously helpless on modern Windows. Really pleased about EGA Monkey 1*, though, and if you’re gonna get one version of VGA Monkey 1, surely it’s just that it be the one with the stump joke.

Among the physical extras, the book was the biggest unknown and also sounds like the biggest highlight. At over 200 pages, it’s said to contain a lot of terrific content (including new interviews) especially for the first two games. It’s a shame to think of it as being exclusive to a mega-priced collector’s box that won’t be re-issued and is destined in many cases to sit shrink-wrapped in temperature-controlled cabinets, so here’s hoping Limited Run finds a way to make those pages available on their own some day for the enjoyment of fans who aren’t pulling in Jazz Age incomes.

Special thanks: Jan.

*Don't worry though, we can Glass Is Half Empty that one too: zaarin points out that it's lacking the Roland MT-32 upgrade disk.

It happened for Save the World last year, and the joined forces of Skunkape and Bay Area Sound weren’t about to drop the ball on the even more ambitious soundtrack for the second season. What I'm saying is the re-release is available now from Bandcamp and Steam for a ludicrous ten bucks. (The old release is still up as well, so don’t be getting confused.)

As you know well from playing the remaster fifty times already, it includes eight all-new music tracks, extending an already gigantic score. It looks like the album cover got some rethought lettering as well (old versus new), though the comparison mostly just serves as a reminder of how awesome Purcell’s artwork is. One wonders: Since The Devil’s Playhouse never received a proper album back in 2010 and Skunkape seem to possess the kind of taste that would make addressing that an imperative, might we see the trilogy completed at last? I guess we’ll find out in a year or so. For now, exercise the privilege of owning Jared Emerson-Johnson’s staggering opus for Beyond Time and Space.

Like all major movie franchises, Indiana Jones inevitably appeared in pinball form courtesy of manufacturer Williams in 1993.

But suppose your local bowling alley didn’t have this particular table in its arcade room, and you were left deprived of its trilogy-spanning 12 modes? That’s where Zen Studios comes in. Using their simulator Pinball FX3 which is available from all the usual storefronts and is apparently known for this sort of thing, they’ll be offering a digital recreation of Indiana Jones: The Pinball Adventure March 2022.

Nintendo Enthusiast has the full details.

Though Steve Purcell does it better, the spirit of the season propels me to note Lucasfilm’s apparent tradition of holiday greeting cards. This year’s effort falls during the company’s 50th anniversary celebration, as the “50” may clue you in on. There’s even some Not Star Wars tokenism in there in the form of Indy and Willow:

Regrettably, the bigotry against Bobbin Threadbare remains in full force.

Did you enjoy the writing in the Curse of Monkey Island? If so you might enjoy the debut novel by of the people responsible for that writing, Jonathan Ackley. It's called Off By One: Serious Games and is available to buy this very second.

The plot centers around the leak of a video games's source code and a mysterious government project that takes the protagonist into the heart of the post-Soviet underworld. The video game company in the novel is called "Coliseum Arts", which surely must be a wink to LucasArts. Right? (And if not, why not?)

So why not treat yourself? At $4 you can't go wrong supporting Ackley's latest endeavor!

Off By One: Serious Games on Amazon US and Amazon UK

Congressperson Nancy Mace has joined the pandemic of LucasArts fans congregating at the US government. Or so I can conclude from this headline from The Hill: "Mace writes to Fauci about 'Monkey Island'."

Comments: 1 / Source: The Hill

Granted, not as timely as last year, but timely enough: the Mojo review of Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space Remastered . That’s all I got. Read it, damn it!

When Mojo isn’t knocking it out of the park with first impressions, it can be found working its other famous charm: tediously embedding tweets:

This marks the third platform (I think) for Sam & Max: This Time It’s Virtual thus far. Since this port was originally set for early 2022, it would seem that they’re ahead of schedule, unlike Mojo’s review. But then, Beethoven didn’t rush his symphonies, either.

Since only those with a higher education in LucasArts adventure history read this site, you already know “SCUMMlette” as the term of affection for the junior programmers being trained in the SCUMM engine. There were two waves of these cadets between 1989-1990. In the first class you had your basic Tim Schafer, Dave Grossman, Jenny Sward, and Ron Baldwin, while the second batch consisted of Mike Stemmle, Tony Hsieh, Sean Clark, Tami Borowick, and Wallace Poulter. (Sources: Mike Stemmle)

Some of those names will be more familiar to you than others, but they all played integral roles in games you rank in importance above your own loved ones. In the case of Tami Borowick, those contributions are now far less shrouded thanks to an excellent new interview published by the highly scholarly and inescapably Italian Lucasdelirium.

As you’ll learn, Borowick’s primary LucasArts project was Monkey Island 2, after which she became one of the developers who followed Ron across the desert to Humongous Entertainment where she co-created the Freddi Fish series. The full interview is a real barn burner, with lots of great war stories from a most romanticized period at LucasArts, including how Borowick implemented the pants-falling gag in the Woodtick cemetery, and how Ron accidentally obliterated her laborious dialog tree for Rum Rogers. There’s even a photograph of an office whiteboard she shared with Dave and Tim in 1991. What more could you need?

You’ve gotten your Milk Duds and Diet Mr. PiBB and found your seat again, all just in time to catch the second half of Genesis Temple’s roadshow interview with Larry Ahern. Picking up where we last left off in August, the story continues with the post-CMI act of Ahern’s LucasArts career, a similarly frustrating stint at Microsoft, the noble casualty that was Insecticide, and an only recently ended stretch as a Disney Imagineer that sometimes reunited him with his old cohort Jonathan Ackley.

It’s an altogether great read, but I draw special attention to the fact that Ahern divulges new information about Vanishing Act and Attempt #1 at the Full Throttle sequel (which was never really called Full Throttle: Payback, a moniker which he indirectly chides Mojo for perpetuating), as well as some soon-to-be-stolen concept art for those games that I don’t believe have surfaced before. (Update: After review it turns out we did already have them. I should have known better; fortunes have been lost betting against Mojo.)

I guess it’s up to Dune: Part II to disappoint you, as the back half of the Larry Ahern interview delivers the goods.

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