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Interrogate Alan Dean Foster

28 Feb, 2005, 12:13 | Posted by: Remi | Comments: 1
If you are a fan of The Dig you probably know that a novel version penned by Alan Dean Foster was released some time around the same time as the game. Hosted site The Dig Museum is conducting an interview with the author, and needs you to submit questions. The deadline is apparently today has been extended to Thursday, so if you have anything to ask, you should probably jump at it now.
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Republic Commando reviewed by internet

26 Feb, 2005, 15:29 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 5
A couple of you might care, but Republic Commando, currently LucasArts' only internally-developed title, has been reviewed by Gamespot (8.7) and IGN (8.5). Both reviews are pretty favorable (citing weak multiplayer and a short singleplayer campaign as the big weaknesses), though the IGN reviewer seems to be a little unfair to the game. It seems he would have preferred that LucasArts made the game completely differently, and repeatedly marks Republic Commando down because it's not that other game he wanted in his head.
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LucasArts 1 : ElectronicArts 0

26 Feb, 2005, 05:59 | Posted by: jp-30 | Source: IGN | Comments: 6
A little bit of gossip courtesy of IGN regarding LucasArts' most recent non-Star Wars release Mercenaries
The game you know and love called Mercenaries was not always a LucasArts game. It was once something quite different... First, Mercenaries was at one time an EA game. And second, it was, at one time, going to be the next iteration in the publisher's long-running, but recently absent, Strike series.
For the rest of the inside info on the Pandemic publisher flip-flop check the IGN: Off the Record page.
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Be a "Jedi Hunter" and cheat

25 Feb, 2005, 12:45 | Posted by: Remi | Source: TheForce.net | Comments: 4
Enough of those angsty 'LucasArts sucks' updates, let's look at what the company is really about - Star Wars controllers. Eh? Turns out LucasArts has collaborated with Intec on eight new Xbox and PS2 controllers specially designed for their Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith title.
As an extension of the Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith game, players will encounter instances during the game's lightsaber battles where the sabers will become "locked" with their opponents blade. When this happens, those with an Intec controller can hit the dedicated lightsaber button and quickly gain the upper hand! Quite an edge against your buddy with the regular controller... Players can even program combination moves into one button.
I don't know, sounds like cheating to me. Anyway, read more about it over at TheForce.Net.
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And the beat goes on

24 Feb, 2005, 22:56 | Posted by: A Pirate! Yar! | Comments: 1
Bummed because LucasArts has nixed sequels? Don't be; there's plenty of good stuff on the horizon as the previous news post suggested. Psychonauts and two adventure games is the tip of the iceberg, but start thinking even further ahead. Like, what will Double Fine do next? How about Ron Gilbert? And what is this site all about?!

We don't know, but stay tuned for more.
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No sequels for you

24 Feb, 2005, 22:06 | Posted by: Remi | Comments: 39
Waiting for that Monkey Island sequel? How about another Maniac Mansion game? Well forget about it, at least if LucasArts president Jim Ward has anything to do with it. According to this forum post they "need to move beyond the IP that we have." <:MORENEWS:>

The news comes from the March issue of Game Informer Magazine:
Q: LucasArts used to be known for making really unique original properties like Day of the Tentacle, then fell back primarily on Star Wars products exclusively. Are original games going to be a focus for the company?

A: We have three main goals. One is to restimulate the Star Wars IP with high quality games. Secondly, we're going to reinvigorate the Indiana Jones IP, which has basically been stagnant for years. There's no reason that Indiana Jones can't be a James Bond and have a year-in, year-out great representation of that brand. And take advantage of the fact that, in the next couple of years, there will be a new Indiana Jones movie. The third leg of this is definetely new IP. There's a heritage built into the DNA of LucasArts, and that's creativity and innovation. We need to move beyond the IP that we have. We certainly lost that. We lost that as the console console marketplace came into being; it was very strong on the PC platform. Once the company missed the adaptation of the console platforms, we've been in catch-up mode ever since. But that's going to change.
So to sum up: more Star Wars, take Indiana Jones in the direction that ruined Star Wars in the first place, and - and note that this is third priority - more (generic) games like Mercenaries.

Make of this what you want. Thanks of pwrof3 for the news.
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Is there anybody left?

24 Feb, 2005, 17:12 | Posted by: Remi | Comments: 2
Do you remember seeing Tom Byron's name fly past in the credits of some of the classic LucasArts games? Well, it most likely won't happen again as the old LucasArts Director of Product Marketing has joined the Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine as Editor-in-Chief.

Byron was last credited in Star Wars: Galaxies from 2003, and probably hasn't done anything at LucasArts for a while. Makes one wonder if there's actually anybody left there though.
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Our very own David Eggers (by night known as Metallus) has put Telltale Texas Hold'em through its paces, and documented the experience in a pulitzer-worthy review (which he claims to have written in a complete stupor at 2 in the morning). What does he have to say about this pokery pre-Bone offering from Telltale Games? Find out!

And, as a bonus, if you hate what Dave has to say about the game, our own Remi Olsen, "the other staffer," has written a competing review! Who is best? Only you can decide.
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Over at Adventure Gamers, Marek has done a nice Q&A with Graham Annable, the Creative Director at Telltale, giving us an early textual glimpse at their upcoming point and click adventure series, Bone.
Bone offers a lot to Telltale and adventure games in general. The strong characters and storyline of the comic are very much in sync with the kinds of worlds and experiences that Telltale is interested in creating. The story is an epic tale, somewhat in the vein of Lord of the Rings but infused with a lot of humor and steeped in an artistic style reminiscent of Walt Kelly?s Pogo.

Yep, it will indeed be a graphic adventure game. The interface and engine will be of the point and click variety.
Read the rest of this great interview over at Adventure Gamers.
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Happy Presidents' Day

21 Feb, 2005, 20:50 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 2
If you live in the US odds are you either have today off, or are bitter that you don't, because today is Presidents' Day, a day in which we're supposed to honor presidents of the past, and possibly present, but maybe not so much the latter.

In celebration of this glorious national holiday, Gamespot has put together a quick video montage of presidential appearances in video games. As you might imagine, Day of the Tentacle makes an appearance. Hope everyone in the US is enjoying what's left of the holiday.
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The Bootcamp Bulletin, No. 1

21 Feb, 2005, 16:31 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 3
Those who signed up to Psychonauts.com may have already noticed an email from Majesco in their inboxes this morning, called "The Bootcamp Bulletin." Penned by Majesco and possibly Coach Oleander, the Bulletin is a Psychonauts themed newsletter which will be sent out periodically.

If you missed the first issue, we've archived it here, but for future ones I'm sure Majesco would prefer that you sign up on your own and get it in your inbox.

This issue of the Bulletin contains a screensaver, many press clippings, a link to the opening cutscene of the game, confirmation that the upcoming Psychonauts demo will be available for Xbox, PS2, and PC, and scariness. So check it out.
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It has been brought to my attention by Marek Bronstring, of the Adventure Gamers website, that Psychonauts.com has had its content significantly beefed up, now sporting twice as many subpages (you can now flip the site's brain over and view whatever's on the right side as well). Now on the site, in addition to the old stuff that was always there, you can view:
  • A page for pre-ordering the game.
  • Descriptions and photos of many of the main characters.
  • A page of Psychonauts Comics! drawn by Scott Campbell.
  • Links to Psychonauts fan pages across the Internet. All of which are hosted by us.
  • A games page filled with those Magic Eye stereogram things that make your head ache.
  • And finally, a pop-up window which Tim is using as spare brain storage for thoughts he doesn't want to bother with.
  • Also the game is rated T, for Teen.
<:MORENEWS:>Of course all the old stuff is there as well: Screenshots, a sign up page to view the trailer (which you can just get off of Razputin.net if you don't want to sign up), the facts about Psychonauts, a neglected news page, and a lot of press clippings about the game. So you should go take a look at what's new, and the stuff you missed before.
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Bone press release released

21 Feb, 2005, 13:37 | Posted by: Remi | Comments: 3
Telltale Games has sent out a press release which includes pretty much no new information what-so-ever, but hey... Here it is anyway. <:MORENEWS:>
Telltale Announces Bone PC Game Title

Game based on the popular comic book recently re-launched in full-color by Scholastic.

SAN RAFAEL, CA, February 21, 2005 ? Cartoon Books and Telltale, today announced that Jeff Smith's comic masterpiece Bone is coming to a computer near you. Long a popular independent comic, the award winning Bone was described by Publishers Weekly as ?Charming, character driven fantasy with an elegant design and masterful storytelling.? And now Telltale, a company that takes you to the worlds where characters like Bone play and invites you to play with them, will be creating new episodes for PC gaming.

"Detailed rich characters and incredibly immersive story telling are everything to us," said Telltale's CEO Dan Connors. "We are proud that Jeff Smith and Cartoon Books have decided that we are the best partners to bring Bone to life in a series of PC games. The Bone world has so much texture and depth and combines a unique blend of superb adventure, mystery and humor ? it is a great first license for Telltale."

"We are very impressed with the work the Telltale team has done in the past. We?re confident they can bring the fun and adventure of the Bone story to life. Bone has been a big hit with comic book lovers everywhere and reaching the PC market will allow even more people to boldly go where no Bone has gone before." commented Cartoon Books' publisher, Vijaya Iyer.

Bone is also the flagship title for Scholastic's new graphic novel imprint Graphix, which launched in February. "We are thrilled to launch our exciting new imprint with this adventurous, funny and unforgettable series" added Jean Feiwel, Scholastic's publisher and editor in chief, "Scholastic's unique distribution network of bookstores, school book clubs and book fairs will send Bone out to a vast, new multi-generational audience." Telltale Games will compliment this with their first Bone PC episode.

In the current climate of highly successful comic book franchises, Telltale, Scholastic and Cartoon Books expect to work closely together over the coming months to make 2005 Bone's most successful year.

More information about the game can be found at www.telltalegames.com.

This is the first in a series of announcements from Telltale; stay tuned.
We're assuming the game will be episodic, and from the look of the game's webpage, the first part will be based on "Out from Boneville". The book was recently re-colored and re-issued by Scholastic, and is really quite good. In fact, if you really want to get to know Bone you should possibly check out Bone: One Volume Edition, a 1,300 compilation containing all the adventures of the Bone cousins.
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Telltale Games, the group of independent ex-LucasArts gamemakers descended from the Sam & Max Freelance Police team, have announced their first adventure title - Bone, based on the popular comic book series.<:MORENEWS:>
Lost in the desert and dying of thirst, the Bone cousins are separated by an angry swarm of locusts. Now Fone Bone, armed only with a mysterious map and his well-loved copy of Moby Dick, searches a strange valley to try and find his lost relatives. Along the way he will come face to face with its unusual denizens and begin to be drawn into the greater intrigues that surround the valley.

Telltale Games brings you all the humor, charm and mystery of Jeff Smith's acclaimed comic book series Bone. Fans of the comic and adventure gamers alike will find a new home in the valley, as they explore familiar locations and interact with its residents in this character driven adventure.
The Telltale site offers a tiny bit more about Bone in the form of one heavily cropped screenshot, and some art from the comics. What exactly is Bone, the comic book? Well, here are a couple of helpful pages from the Bone website dedicated to a rough outline of the plot of the comics, and the characters involved!

Though I don't know much about the world of Bone, the characters, setting, and universe (episodic adventurous tales laced with comedy, clever scenarios etc) sound very fitting for Telltale. We wish them the best of luck, and will of course be following the developments of Bone closely.


Update: From the short description and image posted by Telltale it appears that the game will be based on the latest Bone comicbook called "Out from Boneville".
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Psychonauts Xbox demo on the way?

20 Feb, 2005, 16:44 | Posted by: Webmonkey | Comments: 2
According to a post over on the Razputin.net forums, an Xbox demo for Psychonauts may be in the works, presumably headed to an XBox magazine coverdisc near you. No details are known really, aside from the thought that it "should be done soon." Stay tuned for more on that.

No word on a PC demo, but as Remi says in that thread, a demo on the coverdisc of one of those "official" Xbox magazines is apparently "as effective as getting a good review," so that might be time better spent. Maybe we'll see both though?

Update: Over in the forums it's been confirmed by "Prosky," a tester at Majesco, that the Psychonauts demo in the works is the same one seen recently on Gamespot.

So that means, based on what we saw on Gamespot, we should expect to explore a little bit of Whispering Rock summer camp, and also the game's training/tutorial level: an obstacle-ridden war-torn landscape contained within the mind of the coach.
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Psychonauts impresses

19 Feb, 2005, 12:09 | Posted by: Remi | Comments: 2
Gamespot has posted an "impressions" article about Psychonauts. Though it offers little new in the way of information, it does have a short little video snippet that might be worth a look.

Read it all over at Gamespot.
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LEGO Star Wars Game Official Trailer

18 Feb, 2005, 16:45 | Posted by: jp-30 | Source: Gamespot | Comments: 3
Gamespot has released the first official trailer for the forthcoming LEGO Star Wars Videogame. The game takes in key events from the entire Star Wars prequel trilogy and has over 30 unlockable characters and a 'drop-in / drop-out anytime' co-op mode.

An official site has also popped up recently, though it's still promising a lot more content to be added.
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Psychonauts put On the Spot

17 Feb, 2005, 17:21 | Posted by: Remi | Comments: 2
If you've never checked out Gamespot's On the Spot you might have a reason to do so today. Apparently there will be a live preview of Psychonauts which probably is a good thing. Or maybe not, I don't know, I've never actually watched the show before.

The webcast starts at 4pm PST (that's three hours from now) and can be viewed over at GameSpot.

Update: Dude! Tim Schafer himself showed up on the program, demoed the game (showing a nice chunk of gameplay footage), and then plugged Razputin.net! You should really check this video out.
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Games that never were

16 Feb, 2005, 19:45 | Posted by: Remi | Comments: 5
G4, the TV channel dedicated to gaming, has a program called Cinematech which will run a show on cancelled games tonight. Why should you care? Apparently LucasArts own Full Throttle: Hell on Wheels and Sam & Max: Freelance Police will be featured products, and who knows - some dirt might surface. (Doubtful as that is.)

So tonight, 7pm, G4. We'd gladly accept any videos captured from the show, so leave a message if you have a chance to record it.
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New hosted sites break loose

16 Feb, 2005, 16:07 | Posted by: A Pirate! Yar! | Comments: 5
What's this, a new hosted site? Thrik of Grim Fandango Network fame has finally launched his sought after Razputin's Domain, a site covering everything related to Double Fine's Psychonauts. So really, stop reading this, and head on over to Razputin's Domain right now.

In related news, Dig @ Mixnmojo is almost ready to be relaunced as the Dig Museum. Currently there's little more than an audio drama there, but we expect that to change shortly. Check out The Dig Museum now.
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DFAC Back

15 Feb, 2005, 19:23 | Posted by: Metallus | Comments: 4
The Double Fine Official Action Official Website has updated its comic-publishing technology and relaunched the Double Fine Action Comics section accordingly. Now it features all kinds of PHP3 goodness, navigation thingers, and also new comics. New Comics!!
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Update: This has been confirmed to be a hoax.

Rumors have been circulating the Internet in the last day or so about LucasArts resurrecting of the first few Monkey Island games for the Nintendo DS handheld system. Started by this thread on the Gamespot forums, the prospect of using the DS's touchscreen to control these classic point and click games has put some adventure fans in a tizzy.

While the idea of official handheld ports of MI games is an exciting one (and we'll be looking into this a bit more, just in case), close examination of this rumor makes the whole thing look a little shaky...<:MORENEWS:>

First off, looking through the thread in question, any and all "information" brought to light, be it leaked press info, leaked letters from LucasArts, screenshots of online stores showing copies of MI:DS that were "only up fir a bit and are down now," and of course the actual leaked DS screenshots themselves, all originate from the same user, Flamming. Within the thread no other users bring information to the table. One user with one post backs up one thing he said, but that's it.

Second, the initial post that starts it all claims to have a quote from the official NGC magazine. The eyebrow of doubt is raised, however, when the alleged article quotes Tom Sarris as a representitive from LucasArts. Tom Sarris used to be the Public Relations director at LEC, true, but he stepped down almost a year and a half ago. It's doubtful that a year and a half ago Tom Sarris was giving quotes to official Nintendo magazines about unannounced ports of Curse of Monkey Island for unannounced handheld platforms. The second thing that makes that article seem a bit shady is the fact that, upon reading these Gamespot forum rumors, the journalists over at Computer & Video Games have gone out of their way to ask the editor of NGC magazine if they'd be running an upcoming article about Monkey Island DS ports, to which he replied "Not that I'm aware of."

To the left there, is a screenshot posted by Flamming in the thread. While this and a handful of other screens might be seen by some easily excitable fans as "definitive evidence," looking closely at the areas where they differ from actual CMI screenshots shows that they could very easily just be Photoshop jobs. The "verb coin" interface is not sitting on top of a decorative pile of coins and other loot in the chest, but is instead sitting on top of a pile of scaled down clones of the same verb coin artwork. And the new added divider between the coin interface and the inventory has a bad tiling effect as if done with a lot of cutting and pasting, or use of Photoshop's Clone Tool.

There are a couple other things about this rumor that made me scratch my head a little bit. For instance, the screenshot allegedly taken from dvdboxoffice.com shows Curse of Monkey Island appearing in their Nintendo DS store (the game was of course "taken down" from the store moments after the screenshot was taken), but for some reason, even though Curse of Monkey Island has had final box art for eight years now, the dvdboxoffice.com screenshot uses placeholder artwork from CMI's opening cutscene for the box art instead.

Basically, this whole thing seems like a very nicely executed hoax by an excited fan. That said, we'll try to harass some people to find out more, if at all possible. Whether or not this particular instance is a hoax or not, the idea in general of seeing the old SCUMM games ported to the Nintendo DS is a pretty appealing one.
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A Vampyre Storyboard

13 Feb, 2005, 17:03 | Posted by: jp-30 | Source: Bad Brain | Comments: 4
Members of Club Bad-Brain are now able to see three pages of storyboards from Autumn Moon Entertainment's forthcoming adventure A Vampyre Story.

Be warned: storyboards are a pretty rough and early phase in the production process (so don't expect mind-blowing full production quality), but you will be introduced to the character, "Baron Shrowdy Von Kieffer." And the storyboards make for a nice item for those crazy Adventure Game collectors out there.

Club Bad-Brain is open for free membership until the end of February, so best sign-up now before they start charging.
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LucasArts updated the Star Wars Empire at War website to show some screenshots which honestly look quite nice. The game is being developed by Petroglyph, a game studio composed largely of ex-Westwood employees (you know, the creators of the classic Command and Conquer RTS series), which is pretty cool in itself. I'm hesitant to blindly post Star Wars news these days, but this stuff is at least worth taking a look at.
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What's the deal?

12 Feb, 2005, 04:08 | Posted by: Webmonkey | Comments: 9
Huh...
  • Psychonauts nearly gold, on its way to stores in a couple months...
  • Telltale games exists, has actually released a game (a clever self promoting game at that)...
  • Vampyre Story continues to slowly progress with screenshots and other tidbits...
  • Four webcomics drawn by Double Fine and Telltale artists...
  • Many secrets on the horizon...
It's odd to have things to write about. It's surprising. It also probably means that the server is going to go down for about two years.
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Telltale games has just announced the release of their first game. A few months back they claimed that before the announcement of their first big adventure game they'd probably be releasing a mini title or two. This is one of them. Telltale Texas Hold'em is the name of the game - a poker game that might be more about the characters than the cards. It's available both at Telltale's website, and the newly opened Adventure Gamers store for a fan community discount of $14.99.

Dan Connors, CEO of TellTale, told Adventure Gamers a little bit about the game, and why they - an "adventure company" are starting with a poker game...<:MORENEWS:>
Telltale Games is about great characters and stories; Telltale Texas Hold Em is about characters. The reason this is the first product released by Telltale Games is because it is much more straightforward then launching a full adventure game based on a license. All the work we are doing on characters now will definitely benefit the quality of our adventure games.

...

The Telltale Engine and Toolset will be used to build all of our products. It is focused on elements required for 3d storytelling and character presentation. The reason why we chose Texas Hold Em as a game mechanic is that poker is all about nuances in the players. Everything we have done with the engine for Telltale Texas Hold Em will be iterated on in our future games.
As for Adventure Gamers opening a store, who knew? To be honest, an adventure site selling adventure games has been a long time coming. There are casual games portals across the net, but why nothing specifically for us adventure fans? "Wait, but what are you getting at? Adventure Gamers' store only sells a poker game!" That very question is answered on the main page of the store itself:
Adventure Gamers is partnering with Telltale Games to sell Texas Hold ?Em, a casual game they made while negotiating their first big adventure contract. We want to raise awareness of this promising team of ex-LucasArts developers, but this isn't yet another casual games portal. In the future we also hope to add all sorts of web-distributed genuine adventure games to this store ? from Telltale Games and from other developers.
So, until then, check out the game over at AG's new store - give it a go and let them know what you think. It's definitely something to tide us all over until Telltale's formal adventure announcement.

Now, to go download the demo myself and give it a shot...
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This is a title This is a subhead This is some text of dubious character. Isn?t the use of ?quotes? just lazy writing?and theft of ?intellectual property? besides? I think the time has come to see a block quote.

This is a block quote. I?ll admit it?s not the most exciting block quote ever devised. Simple list: 1. one 2. two 3. three. Multi-level list: 1. one 1. aye 2. bee 3. see 2. two 1. x 2. y 3. three. Mixed list: * Point one * Point two 1. Step 1 2. Step 2 3. Step 3 * Point three o Sub point 1 o Sub point 2.

Well, that went well. How about we insert an old-fashioned hypertext link? Will the quote marks in the tags get messed up? No!
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More Psychonauts Recognition

10 Feb, 2005, 14:03 | Posted by: Metallus | Comments: 1
It's always good to see some people besides us talking about the excellent game Psychonauts, especially a site that gets a lot of traffic and whatnot. Additionally, since these days, pointing out when other people talk about games we're excited for is pretty much what this website is all about, here's some more of that. C'mon, help us reaffirm our social role!

Erm. Anyway, a few days ago, IGN Xbox (pronounced ih-gehnks-bocks) put up an interesting article called "The Fight for Original Games", in which Psychonauts is discussed and praised to some extent, which occurs somewhere around the middle of the article. There's no real new info on the game, but you should probably check out what gets said, anyway.<:MORENEWS:>

The first part talks about some pretty depressing statistics regarding the number of games that were sequels or games based on established franchises from other media (like the upcoming *gaak* Godfather game) compared to the number of games that were original lisences, and (on the Xbox) the stats came out the latter representing less than thirty percent of currently announced upcoming titles in 2005.

They then examine some original titles slated to come out this year, and Psychonauts is the first game mentioned under their "Star Pupils" heading, which I understood to mean as "Games that will likely be awesome, but that they don't expect these titles to seriously compete with established franchieses". Anyway, in regards to Psychonauts, IGN gave it an originality factor score of 5 (out of 5, apparently) and said, among other things:
The game is a tapestry of surreal and psychotic images that play off every ordinary game idea and then twists them into something strange, wonderful, or weird. As originality goes, this is an obvious winner.
So, cool. Again, there's nothing really new about the game, at all, if you've been following our coverage of it for the past few weeks. But the article is pretty interesting all around and might make you irritated and stuff.
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The king is dead

09 Feb, 2005, 16:50 | Posted by: Gabez | Comments: 2
The folks over at Adventure Developers have published two parts of an article titled "The Cold Hotspot: A critique of the state of adventure games," with a third part to come soon. It's a long but interesting read, and part one and two can be found here and here, respectively. Here's a quote:<:MORENEWS:>
"The adventure game is not sacred or written in stone and needs to own up to it! There, I said it. Sue me, but you'll be doing so more out of spiteful denial than charges of defamation. The truth is, the adventure game genre, as we all know it, has long been suffering from obscurity, lack of progress, sheer banality, isolation (surprise!), and, simply, from the garden variety of dullness."
Harsh words indeed, but you've got to admit, they've got a point.

Like I said last summer, adventure games have to evolve... or die.
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Psychonauts hands-on preview

09 Feb, 2005, 16:29 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 4
Over at BonusStage.com you can find a very current, positive, and worthwhile preview of Psychonauts written by someone who got some actual one on one hands-on time with the game.

The preview talks mostly about the gameplay (something I know people are interested in) and the art direction (something you've probably heard and seen plenty of, but it can't hurt to get a bit more), and touches briefly on the story. Here's a clip:<:MORENEWS:>
Without giving too much of the plot and gameplay goodness away (you really need to play this game to fully grasp it?s "why the heck hasn?t anyone done this before-ness?"), what?s so sweet about the game is how well everything just...flows. Raz?s platforming talents are on par with the best in the genre, yet Psychonauts uses elements from role-playing, adventure, fighting, and action games as well. It?s a thinking man?s (and woman?s) game that?ll make even the most skeptical gamer sport a wide grin within seconds.

Chalk it up to a team and leader with plenty of talent and a host of smashing games created for the PC way back when. Raz can level up and improve his powers by exploring each mind and uncovering figments of imagination, emotional baggage and the keys to unlock them, and what may initially seem to be random bits of information that upon closer examination reveal quite a number of surprising touches.
Wallpaper junkies should also check out BonusStage's Psychonauts art gallery, which contains many high-res concept art and screenshot gems, like this, and this. Anyway check out the full 3-page story here.
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Runaway to Monkey Island

08 Feb, 2005, 14:12 | Posted by: Remi | Source: Adventure Gamers | Comments: 5
Some of you may or may not have enjoyed the slightly LucasArts-adventure-y Runaway from Pendulo Studios. The game had quite a few references to classic adventure games, and this seems to be carried over to the game's sequel, imaginatively titled Runaway 2.

Adventure Gamers has posted a few new screenshots from the game, and particularly this one may interest some Curse of Monkey Island fans. The ponytail is a particularly sexy touch.
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Hmmm

07 Feb, 2005, 20:14 | Posted by: Webmonkey | Comments: 1

WTF?

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Psychonauts PC specs... revealed

07 Feb, 2005, 15:44 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 2
Thanks to baconian at the Idle Forms for pointing these out. Majesco has released the system specs required to enjoy Psychonauts on your PC.

In short, at the bare minimum you need a 1.0Ghz Pentium III or AMD Athlon running Win98SE or better, a 64MB GeForce 3 or Radeon 8500 or better, and at least 256 MB of RAM. Full minimum and recommended system specs below:<:MORENEWS:>

PC System Minimum Requirements:
  • Supported OS: Windows 98 SE/2000/ME/XP (only)
  • Processor: 1.0 GHz Pentium(R) III and AMD Athlon(tm)
  • RAM: 256 MB of RAM
  • Video Card: 64 MB GeForce (tm) 3 or higher or ATI(R) Radeon 8500 or higher
    (except GeForce 4 MX)
  • Sound Card: DirectX(R) 9.0 or higher compatible sound card
  • DirectX(R) version: 9.0 or higher (included on game disc)
  • Hard Drive Space: 4.0 GB minimum hard drive space
  • CD-ROM: 16X or better
  • Controls: Windows-compatible keyboard and mouse

PC System Recommended Requirements:
  • Supported OS: Windows 2000/XP
  • Processor: 2.0 GHz Pentium(R) IV and AMD Athlon(tm)
  • RAM: 512 MB of RAM
  • Video Card: 128 MB GeForce FX 5600 or higher or ATI(R) Radeon 9600 or higher
  • Sound Card: DirectX(R) 9.0 or higher and EAX(R) 2.0 or higher compatible sound card
  • DirectX(R) version: 9.0 or higher (included on game disc)
  • Hard Drive Space: 6.0 GB minimum hard drive space for full installation
  • Controls: Game Pad (optional)

Both of those specs are pretty reasonable assuming you've bought a somewhat gaming-ready PC in the last few years. That said, if you haven't updated your PC since Escape from Monkey Island, it's time to pay a visit to your favorite parts store or website.
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Easy Peasy Quick And Easy

07 Feb, 2005, 12:24 | Posted by: bgbennyboy | Comments: 6
Six months after saying that a new version would be released 'sometime in the next month' ScummVM Quick And Easy 1.4.0 is out.

The new version introduces many new features including: game filters - to display only games of a particular type, a frontend for the extra scummvm tools - so you can compress various datafiles without having to use the command line, and options galore - so you can tweak and change the program to suit your own preferences.

The full list of changes is huge so its best to read this thread for an explanation of the most important ones.
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Something is definitely afoot.
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Games workshop

06 Feb, 2005, 20:24 | Posted by: Gabez | Comments: 4
Top fan-boy Sven has sculptured some of his favourite LucasArts characters out of clay. So far he's completed a sexy looking bust of Guybrush Threepwood, and is working on one of Bernard from Day of the Tentacle. "Next one will be Elaine", remarked creator Sven, "and I will post some snapshots of the different stages".

Sounds good to us. Keep updated on the process via this thread, or by visiting Sven's web-site, gamecharacters.de.
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A Vampyre Story fleshed out

05 Feb, 2005, 19:49 | Posted by: Remi | Comments: 3
Bad Brain Entertainment has updated their A Vampyre Story page, listing some of the developers who (I assume) will work on the game. Actually, it might have been updated for a while, I just recently noticed. Anywhoo:
The team (USA):
Idea & characters: Bill Tiller
Director: Bill Tiller
Technical Director: Gary Brubaker
Lead Designer: Reed Knight
Lead Animator: TBA
Character Designer: Paul Mica
Story Boards: Anson Jew
Sound and Music: Brooks White
Concept and Background Artist: Bill Eaken
3D Artists: Dan Colon, Livia Knight
Do these names sound familiar? Most of the dudes come from the Curse of Monkey Island team, and some have worked on games like The Fate of Atlantis, Sam & Max Hit The Road, The Dig, and The Secret of Monkey Island. These are, in other words, quite some credentials.
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OMG, more Schafer

05 Feb, 2005, 13:31 | Posted by: Remi | Comments: 3
Well, tie us down and call us Tim Schafer boys, but there seems to be a lot of news about the man himself these days. The latest nugget is a four page story about his D.I.C.E. address, which apparently had a lot of interesting information about LucasArts, Psychonauts and Full Throttle:
So, the team decided to table the issue and just draw the biker gang instead. That should be easy. They could look as cool or as weird as they wanted. They went nuts! Fat guys, skinny guys, crazy-looking guys, on and on. One of those characters somebody drew up really stuck out. He just looked interesting. 'That's the main character!' Schafer remembers realizing. The lead character came about because the art team had tricked itself into taking risks.
The Full Throttle 2 team might have taken this a bit far with all the midgets they seemed to be including. Anyway! Read it all over at GameSpy.

Speaking of GameSpy, they also named Psychonauts one of the 25 most anticipated games of 2005.
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A Man and His Beard

03 Feb, 2005, 23:33 | Posted by: Remi | Comments: 3
With Pscychonauts getting close to completion another new Tim Schafer interview has popped up over at IGN. No real new information about the game surfaces, but there's an interesting portion about possible spin-offs:
We've been approached to do work in other mediums for Psychonauts and we talked to them. I wouldn't want anything bad made with that name on it, you know, I don't want a bad Psychonauts movie made. I would like to write it and be really involved in it. I think it would be a mistake to just kind of sign off and let someone just do something we couldn't be involved in, so we're taking our time with that.
Also there's plenty of information about Tim's beard, which I know you're interested in. Read the whole interview over at IGN.
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LucasArts and its Mercenaries eye PSP

02 Feb, 2005, 22:16 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 4
According to this brief interview at Computer and Video Games, LucasArts may be looking to make some games for Sony's PSP handheld platform, both in the immediate future with a PSP edition of Mercenaries, and (though this is speculation on the part of C&VG) possibly some Star Wars titles in the future.

This isn't really surprising ("What? Star Wars video games on new gaming platforms? How outrageous!"), but it's interesting to hear LucasArts talking about developing their own games for handhelds, given most Star Wars games for GameBoy have been developed and published not by LEC, but by other companies like THQ, and most recently Ubisoft.

For rumored handheld Mercenaries and Star Wars action, head to here.
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Okay, maybe the late 20th century. Remi of Scumm Bar fame has whipped up a proper RSS feed for the Mojo, so you can up with the blinding pace that's lately overtaken the usually-stagnant news page!

And as a bonus, Firefox users (and others, but who needs others?) can click the little orange button in the bottom right corner and subscribe to Mojo news as a live bookmark. Totally hot!

Bonus note from Remi: "You might mention that I've only tried it in Firefox's Sage extension and Thunderbird." So, watch out for that. But it probably works. That's what the "RS" stands for.

Update: Mojo reader spinooti (also known as former Mojo news updater Tabias) has set up a Mojo News LiveJournal feed, for those of you who are hopelessly addicted to that sort of thing and want to wake up each morning with Mojo in your friends list.
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Download it. It Commands you!

02 Feb, 2005, 16:27 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 5
The PC demo for Star Wars Republic Commando - one of the only games LucasArts is still developing internally after mass layoffs during 2004 - is now available for the curious. You can get it from FileFront, FileShack, TorrentSpy, and a billion other places

Jake's opinion after playing the demo and then dying a lot due to sucking at this sort of game: It's really quite nice looking, and pretty fun even (more or less). Check it out if you like FPS games, and 300+ meg downloads.
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Be a Schafer Deadhead

02 Feb, 2005, 12:09 | Posted by: Remi | Comments: 0
Get those stalking shoes on; February will be a Tim Schafer month of pandemonium!

First, and you're probably too late for this, he will be speaking at the 2005 D.I.C.E. Summit about "the importance of risk-taking in the creative development of games." D.I.C.E. is apparently the hipper version of the GDC (Game Developer Conference) and it'll end today.

Fret not however, NoMan has let us know that the Tim will also speak at Cogswell College (somewhere in Silicon Valley) on February 12th. This is a "campus event", and I have no idea if it's open to the public, though I'm guessing it won't be too hard to get in regardless. Cogswell apparently is all about "animation, digital motion picture, and videogames, providing a bachelors in art (BA) or science (BS) in these fields".

Oh, and you can still pre-order Psychonauts, as the banner up there might be a testament to.
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A new article. It's been so long, we feared we'd forgotten how. And we had.

We eventually remembered, though, how to work our own website, and after a year and a month (almost to the day) without a new article, we're proud to present Mixnmojo's review of LucasArts' latest offering: Mercenaries, penned by the Scumm Bar's own Remi Olsen.

Does Remi love the game like the rest of the gaming press, or does he hate it like the bitter adventure-loving fanboy that he is? Or neither!? You must read on, dear, and find out for yourself.
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