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What are you missing on the forums?

29 Feb, 2004, 15:37 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 3
Since the little forum tracker in the sidebar seems to be broken, I thought it might be good to point you guys to a few interesting threads which have shown up in the last few days. Lets see....

Lost Maniac Mansion Demo Found
The original demo for Maniac Mansion, formerly believed to be lost, was recently unearthed by bgbennyboy, and can be found here! The demo, which is playable with the latest daily build of ScummVM, gives you a guided tour of the mansion, and is actually pretty entertaining.

Artwork for Brian Moriarty's The Dig
After some furious digging, ATMachine was sent, by a secret source, some artwork from Brian Moriarty's version of The Dig. For those who don't know, The Dig went through three or four designers including Noah Falstein (co-designer of Fate of Atlantis and others), Dave Grossman (co-designer of DOTT), and Brian Moriarty (the creator of Loom), ending with Sean Clark, all with varying versions of what the story, the world, and the artwork should look like. Its a pretty cool treat to see art from an old version like this, so go take a look.

Fan-made Classic Game DVD Cases
To alleviate boredom, and fill the hole LucasArts has left by more or less abandonning their classic titles, quite a few readers have started working on a set of high-res slip-in covers so you can make your own DVD-box series of LEC titles. They're still looking for concepts, so throw your design into the ring.

There's other stuff going on as well. The usual discussions about LucasArts collecting, ScummVM, and Mojo being broken are out in full force. You're totally missing out, man. Go check out the forums.
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New LEC/Pandemic Game: Mercenaries

27 Feb, 2004, 14:36 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 6
Pandemic and LucasArts have two games in development together! In addition to the already announced Star Wars Battlefront, Pandemic is working on a second non-Star Wars title for LEC, called Mercenaries, for XBox.

A different sounding title for LucasArts, Mercenaries is set in a near-future war-torn North Korea. Four groups, the North Koreans, the Chinese, the United Nations, and Russian crime syndicates are all vying for superiority in the battle, and you must chose who to fight for. However, in an interesting twist, since you're a mercenary (hence the title), you can apparently switch sides over the course of the war whenever you please.

More information coming soon, when LucasArts actually officially announces the game. Thanks to reader Trunks for pointing this out. For more info check out this page at 1up.com.

Update: As amishler pointed out in the comments, and LEC's Ronda Scott just confirmed, Mercenaries is the mystery game formerly known as "Free Agent."
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Double Fine Action Comics! #1

27 Feb, 2004, 00:44 | Posted by: DJG | Comments: 8
Double Fine brings us something a little different in its most recent update. What, you may ask? Well, it?s issue #1 of Double Fine Action Comics!, drawn by Art Director Scott Campbell. You may call it Pokey-esque. We call it delicious!
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Nerd Out, Lucas Style!

26 Feb, 2004, 03:20 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 2
Another from the forums: Attention collectors! JBRAA has pointed out that LucasArts, apparenty rolling in the stuff, has started selling a box of goodies called the "Premium Pack," consisting entirely of little LucasArts collectibles formerly only available as pre-order bonus gifts.

The P.P. (tee hee) contains a pewter Wrath dragon guy, a lightsaber letter opener, a "Graduate of Jedi Academy" license plate holder, Secret Weapons Over Normandy luggage tag holder, "Jedi Council" window decal, a "sassy" Armed & Dangerous corkscrew, and yes, even a Mongrel Man action figure from The Gladius. Come on, admit it. You kinda love it.
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Two New Factor 5 Titles?

26 Feb, 2004, 03:14 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 3
As pointed out by, erm, "monkeyboobs" on the forums, developer Factor 5 (mostly known as developers of the Rogue Squadron series) have registered trademarks for two new names: Battle Squadron, and Animal Wars. People are guessing that Battle Squadron might be Star Wars related - possibly refering to the rumored "Rebel X" compilation of Rogue Squadron games, or a Rogue sequel. Animal Wars, however, is a mystery. Animal Wars Unleashed? Animal Wars: Free Agent? All signs point to "no."
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New ScummVM Q&E Released

23 Feb, 2004, 20:23 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 5
Bgbennyboy's let me know that a new version of his ScummVM Quick & Easy is out, sporting some new features and squashing some bugs. For those who don't know, ScummVM Q&E is a handy utility for users of ScummVM designed to make it easier to set up and configure your classic LucasArts games.

The new version of ScummVM Q&E can, in addition to checking for new versions of ScummVM, check for new versions of itself, and can automatically update the game compatibility list, so you'll always stay somewhat up to date on how well your favorite games are supported. It does other stuff, too. Download it at Quick & Easy.
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LucasArts' Scot Brew on Gladius

23 Feb, 2004, 17:55 | Posted by: jp-30 | Comments: 5
The Globe and Mail has posted an interview with LucasArts senior technical art director Scot Brew, regarding the recently released console RPG Gladius.
It's a unique game in a lot of ways. It's branching off a little bit from the traditional role-playing game, throwing a little more tactics, throwing in a little more interaction. But it also allows people to build up their [gladiator] school and really customize their characters, and play through a great story line that has some amazing pictures and a lot of amazing art that went into it.
Also look for a heads up that the current (secret) game he's working on is "very neat." Read the whole interview at The Globe and Mail.
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Thanks to Adventure Gamers for providing a heads-up to a new interview with David Fox at Aventura y C?A, an early LucasFilm Games employee who worked on Maniac Mansion, Zak McKracken, etc.
I really wanted to do a game that dealt with a lot of "New Age" ideas. I actually spent time with David Spangler, a well-known author who dealt with spiritual awareness. We decided we wanted to put every concept we could think of into the game - every spiritual or psychic mystery currently being explored. But it wasn?t until a month or so later that we figured out how to tie it all together by making Zak a reporter for a sleazy tabloid. That added an edge to the game, and unified the comedy, setting the style for the entire game.

Also, I set out to make the game feel much broader than MM - after all, I had spent months stuck in that mansion programming the game. I wanted to see the world, and take the audience along with me :-)
Well, that's my first ever news post at Mixnmojo (that wasn't cut-and-pasted from a forum thread by someone else :-P ), so I hope I didn't screw up the markup & spelling and have to live forever in shame. So anyways, a big Mixnmojo welcome to me! Nice to start my career here with a story about Lucas Classic Adventures.
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Return of Monkey Island 5 Speculation

20 Feb, 2004, 13:47 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 50
PC Gamer UK is at it again. Arguably, they've been hit and miss with their LucasArts predictions, so you never know, but take this one with a big fat grain of salt: According to The Scumm Bar, the latest PC Gamer UK has started up Monkey Island 5 rumors yet again:
"LucasArts informers let the monkey out of the bag: there is, apparently, a fifth Monkey Island game in production. The adventure genre continues to cheat death."
Yikes. Or perhaps, Hooray? I'm sure you guys will feel one way or the other about it. There's also an obligatory blurry scan (and good scan) from the issue of PCG, if you need proof.
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Emperor's Tomb Post Mortem

20 Feb, 2004, 13:40 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 0
Up on Gamasutra is a tell-all postmortem/wrap-up article about the development process behind Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb, written by the games lead programmer. The article chronicles the ups and downs of the development, and really gives you a taste of what it might be like to work on a project that sounds well organized at the start but sort of descends into horrible madness.
Conversations became tense, there were some arguments, and after a while we began to subconsciously avoid one another. Unfortunately, this adversarial situation combined with the intense workload to cause a complete communication breakdown between the upper tiers of management. Although the project leads conversed on a daily basis, we rarely spoke to, or heard from, the owners.
Yikes. Take a look for a scary, educational behind the sceens peek.
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More Republic Commando Info Surfaces

18 Feb, 2004, 03:31 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 4
IGN has a lengthy preview of the upcoming Star Wars FPS Republic Commando, which LucasArts is developing in-house. The IGN preview talks more about Republic Commando's interface, weapons, and the much-talked-of squad of soldiers you command around in the single player game.
When you come to a locked door you can look at it and [in your visor] get the silhouette images of your team setting up for a breaching sequence with one guy on the door and the other two ready to lay down cover fire and throw grenades when it's breached. Or, while in the same situation, you can get the silhouette image of one of your troops hacking the door control panel. The whole command system basically shows you what your troops will do and where they'll do it before you issue the command so that you won't be confused by the orders you're giving. Simple things like telling your guys to hop in a turret and lay down some cover fire will still be accompanied by a green silhouette image showing you exactly what they're going to do if you issue the order.
This game actually sounds pretty interesting and not terrible (of course saying that on Mojo will surely jinx the game). I'm looking forward to seeing it at E3, or earlier if I can con someone at LucasArts into letting me sneak in sometime. Check out the whole preview for more info. Thanks Shack.
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Hal Barwood Lives, Helps Others

18 Feb, 2004, 00:21 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 7
If anyone was wondering what happened to Hal Barwood once he left LucasArts following RTX Red Rock's rather cold reception, now you know. Mr. Hal is now offering his services as a freelance game design consultant, helping with writing, design, and cinematic cutscene type things for any and all in need. Go check out his site, called Finite Arts, for more Barwood goodness.
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KOTOR: Game of the Year

18 Feb, 2004, 00:17 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 2
We clearly missed this, but the North American edition of PC Gamer has named Knights of the Old Republic the 2003 Game of the Year. Pretty cool, but we all sort of saw that coming, right? Congrats to BioWare and LucasArts for the recognition, and thanks to "theholyidiot" for the news tip!

One day I'll finally actually get to play KOTOR... one day...
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Republic Commando Details Revealed

13 Feb, 2004, 18:48 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 4
LucasArts today put out a press release and some new screenshots revealing a little more about the upcoming first person shooter, Star Wars Republic Commando. In the game, which is apparently dark, moody, and involves sneaking around in lots of atmospheric dank corridors (as shown in the excellent E3 teaser), you play as a clone trooper, with a small squad following you around which you can vaguely control:
Mission briefings set the tone in this dark first-person shooter, as players lead their squads on a variety of assignments such as hostage rescue, infiltration/data retrieval, elimination, assault, sabotage and reconnaissance operations. Your three-man team is controlled through an intuitive and accessible "smart squad" command system, based on squad markers and stances.
The game takes place on a lot of various ships, as well as the planet Geonosis (the red one with the insects in Episode 2), and Kashyyyk (home of Chewebacca and Wookiee Life Day). More info is available at the official site.
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Those IGN people recently got the chance to visit LucasArts and play a pre-alpha build of the upcoming multiplayer Star Wars game, Battlefront. The uber positive preview they wrote gives a lot of details and tells us what we might expect. Here's a quote:
We drove to LucasArts early Wednesday morning, sat in the LucasArts testers' pit, and played, in awe, the latest PlayStation 2 and Xbox versions of what looks to be one of the biggest games in 2004, Star Wars Battlefront.
Click here to check out the full article.
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"Just pretend I'm on my bike!"

12 Feb, 2004, 22:42 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 2
In the tradition of the unwarranted digging that was done to the Monkey Island 2 demo, the quick and easy bgbennyboy has done the same to the Full Throttle demo. If you ever wanted to know what bits of Full Throttle looked like while they were still in the midst of making it, now's your chance. Check that link for wacky placeholder hijinks including Ben trying to convince you that he's on his bike while he's actually just walking around alone, and very convincing descriptions of film transition effects not yet completed. Only funny.

In other obsessive fanboy tinkering news, the always reliable ATMachine has mocked up some fake screenshots that illustrate what The Dig might have looked like had it shipped in one of its two or three prior incarnations (The Dig had a notoriously long development process starting back around the days of the first Monkey Island, and went through two or three (or four?) game designers before the actual game shipped). Take a look.
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C&VG PC Zone Previews Battlefront

10 Feb, 2004, 21:23 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 3
Computer and Video Games has a quick first look article about Star Wars Battlefront, including some quotes from producer Jim Tso. It also has some interesting bits about Battlefront's "Galactic Conquest" gameplay mode, which is apparently one of the key points that separates Battlefront from Battlefield 1942:
If you manage to hold a territory for a certain period, your team will be awarded with one of a range of special attacks. These bonuses aren't simply gimmicks, either. If the Imperials control Tatooine for example, they can call upon Darth Vader for personal aid on the battlefield. And if you think the Dark Lord of the Sith isn't intimidating enough, control of Endor actually gives you access to the Death Star, which instantly vaporises an entire world.
Read the whole story at Computer and Video Games online.
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Stemmle Comments on Sam & Max's 3D

10 Feb, 2004, 15:48 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 5
Over at the Unofficial Sam & Max site, Mike Stemmle has written in to explain a little bit about the 3D in the upcoming Sam & Max Freelance Police:
For the record, Sam & Max Freelance Police uses an honest-to-George real-time 3D renderer. Its ?so-pretty-it-must-be-pre-rendered? look is achieved via a precarious balance of shaders, bump maps, lightmaps, and a little thing we like to call ?sweet, sweet lovin?.?
He says other things too, and some of its about naked midgets, so you should check it out at Sam & Max.net.
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Star Wars... on DVD!

10 Feb, 2004, 15:26 | Posted by: DJG | Comments: 7
At long last! According to DVDFile.com, we should see the original Star Wars trilogy on DVD no later than this September 21st. Of course, it's going to be the 1997 'special' edition, but it's better than nothing. Check out the article here!
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Secret Moons Over My Hammy

10 Feb, 2004, 14:55 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 1
The ever-friendly Marek pointed me to this short article on gamedevleague about how Secret Weapons Over Normandy confused some people with it's "am I a flight sim or an action game?" nature.
In other words, by taking the Secret Weapons line of hardcore flight sim and trying to extend it into an arcadey console market, LucasArts will sell a few more copies at first but pay for it later because nobody will know what Secret Weapons means anymore.
I thought that was kind of interesting.
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Wrath: Unleashed is... uh... Unleashed!

10 Feb, 2004, 14:05 | Posted by: DJG | Comments: 0
Today marks the day that Wrath: Unleashed arrives in stores for the Xbox and PlayStation2. You can now also read various reviews for the game over at Game Rankings, where the Xbox port currently has an average ratio of 69.0%...

... unleashed!
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I Wanna Be an Intern

10 Feb, 2004, 00:29 | Posted by: DJG | Comments: 8
It's that time of year again. Time for LucasArts to release its applications for the company's summer internship program. So if you think you got what it takes (sadly, I didn't), download the application here.

That's right! YOU could be getting coffee for Mike Stemmle or cleaning up the messes left by Dan Pettit. Just imagine...
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Whining Begets Sam & Max News

05 Feb, 2004, 20:55 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 17
Due to lovely reader feedback, I figured I should mention this here as well as the awesome website SamandMax.net (where it's already been posted for your viewing pleasure for a day now):

A couple actual in-game screenshots from Sam & Max Freelance Police showed up recently in an Australian game magazine called "Hyper." The screenshots show Sam & Max messing around in their office, playing with some weird techno gadget, and talking to a shady character out on the street. The screenshots also give a blurry preview of the game's user interface (which brings back Sam's hand as the cursor). Check it out some blurry scans of the screenshots at Unofficial Sam & Max.

So... what do people think so far?
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Republic Commando Screens... For You

05 Feb, 2004, 19:01 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 5
Worthplaying has a handful of new screenshots for the upcoming Star Wars Republic Commando, including even more shots of the Metroid Prime-inspired helmet cam. Republic Commando is a PC and XBox squad-based single player FPS set in the Star Wars Prequel universe, and uses the latest Unreal engine.
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Massive Psychonauts Content Explosion

03 Feb, 2004, 02:27 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 10
Thanks to Cabel for pointing out that there was a massive, fatty update to the Double Fine products page, featuring the long promised (both by 2002's self aware news page and Tim Schafer himself) beefy collection of Psychonauts screenshots! The usual list of press quotes about how the excellent game Psychonauts will destroy you have also changed.

In the words of reader Remixor, "I'm so glad I don't have to worry about this game. I don't at all feel like I'm setting myself up for a fall." The Double Fine action news page was also updated, of course, with bonus jokes for you to enjoy, mostly concerning the word "manky."

Update: Beefy screenshot collection to de-beefify come dawn! The action news page has been updated to let us know that the currently gigantic screenshots will be scaled down to far less awesome sizes sometime tomorrow. So, if you're looking for an awesome Psychonauts wallpaper, you'd better hurry and get it now (or just ask on our forums, where surely everyone and their mother has downloaded all screenshots ever for safekeeping).
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Posts on adventure game news sites have recently become oversaturated with obscure reference humor, pushing away all but the most hardcore reader. "This has gotten completely out of control,? said Marek Bronstring, webmaster of AdventureGamers.com, "Every time we tried to re-open, one of my writers would pull some piece of Kings Quest 2 dialogue from God knows where and I'd have no choice but to fire my whole staff and start over."

Another example: When asked about Rogue Leader?s paltry eight missions and no multiplayer, Mojo news reporter Andrew Langley cracked a smile and said "These LucasArts games keep getting shorter and shorter," referencing a line cut from Escape From Monkey Island.

"This stuff isn?t interesting at all," reader Devin Flannely told the Mojo, "I just want to find out when the new XBox game is coming out, I couldn?t care less about how DJG 'works like crazy' or how Sean Clark's latest efforts are 'Fractalus, at best.' Fucking indie shit."
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The rumors have been flying for months, but StarWars.com finally confirmed them with an update posted just minutes ago. The long awaited title of the final chapter in the Star Wars saga? ?Episode III: Swordfish.? Wow. In a media coup certain to raise the eyebrows of generations to come, it seems George Lucas has licensed the universe from the lackluster John Travolta film Swordfish (WB, 2001) to conclude his prequel trilogy.

?I wanted to give the fans everything they thought was lacking from Episodes I and II, with a twist of something new and fresh? said an aging Lucas. ?If that means Hugh Jackman as a young Han Solo, ?Gabriel-Shear-The-Hutt,? and Halle Berry?s breasts, then so be it!?

Production on Star Wars Episode III: Swordfish, currently filming by the oil wells outside Modesto, California, is expected to wrap in Spring 2004.
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To the amazement of all, LucasArts announced that production has begun on a fifth Monkey Island game! Titled (predictably) ?Return to Monkey Island," the game again follows the ?mischeivous" (sic) adventures of wannabe pirate Guybrush Threepwood. It?s coming out for XBox, PS2, and of course PC.

Update: It will surprise nobody that RMI was cancelled this afternoon, only eight hours after it was announced. LucasArts president Simon Jeffery was quoted as saying, ?We didn?t want to disappoint the fans again. So, Sean Clark is headed to each of your houses to personally kill you.?
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Armed & Dangerous Wrap-Up

02 Feb, 2004, 18:39 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 2
IGN Action Vault has a lengthy wrap-up interview with Planet Moon's Aaron Loeb and the venerable Dan Pettit taking a look back at the production of Armed & Dangerous, the interaction between LucasArts and Planet Moon, and other stuff.
The game came into being because we were interested in bringing the kind of fun and humor we brought to MDK and Giants to a new gameworld, and because LucasArts was interested in creating a new game that captured the great sense of fun found in their classics like Full Throttle, Sam and Max, and Maniac Mansion. So, the idea of making an action game with the same spirit as those fun, original titles appealed to all involved.
Read the whole story at IGN Action Vault.
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