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Steve Purcell selling unused Monkey 2 cover

27 Feb, 2010, 09:53 | Posted by: Kroms | Source: Spudvision | Comments: 26
Sam and Max creator Steve Purcell has decided to sell a piece of unused concept for the Monkey Island 2 cover off eBay (or, as pirates call it, "YeBay"). Description:
The painting is 7" X 10" was done in gouache (an opaque watercolor) on heavy illustration board and has been covered with acetate since it was created in 1991.
Purcell was also responsible for the final cover, The Secret of Monkey Island cover, and the Tales of Monkey Island pre-order cover. In the words of my inner pirate, this painting "is fab-u-lous." The starting bid is a healthy $795.00.

Purcell's also selling this rare Full Throttle promo poster. In the words of my inner biker, "It's le fantastique."

Shipping to Europe is still being looked into.

If you're in a piratey mood, by the way, you should check out Mixnmojo's latest contest. The prize is a copy of Tim Power's novel On Stranger Tides, the main inspiration of Monkey Island. Check it.
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Mojo Contest: Win On Stranger Tides

27 Feb, 2010, 01:50 | Posted by: Jason | Comments: 8
What on earth, Mojo is running a new contest. We're giving away a copy of On Stranger Tides, the 1988 fantasy adventure novel by Tim Powers that you may know for being a heavy influence on Monkey Island, the source material for the upcoming fourth Pirates of the Caribbean movie, or just excellent reading. To enter for your chance to win this must-have literature, do one of the following:

Option 1: Come up with an alternate design for book's cover. This could range from painstakingly handpainted artwork to a cynical Photoshop prediction of the movie's mass tie-in printing replete with badly cut 'n pasted floating heads of Johnny Depp and Geoffrey Rush.

Option 2: Write a new plot summary or marketing blurb, legit-sounding or facetious, to grace the novel's dustjacket and entice potential readers who'll pass by it at the bookstore on their way to the porn aisle. The length of this grabber should be at least one paragraph but somewhere south of a short story.

You have until March 31st to get us your submission, which should be sent to mojocontest@gmail.com. Entries will be judged by our unbiased staff based on creativity, entertainment factor, and bribe offers. Have fun!

(Note: The copy of the novel that constitutes the prize for this contest is the 370 page paperback release by Babbage Press. Dimensions are 9x6x1 inches. Smell is reasonably pleasant.)
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Blood Island ElGrande Reopens

25 Feb, 2010, 20:17 | Posted by: Gabez | Comments: 4
You may remember a web-site called "Blood Island El Grande" from the days of Internet yore. This was a site that recreated the locations from Blood Island (from The Curse of Monkey Island) in stunning and exciting 3D.

Well, it's back!

Not only has it got everything it had before, but now it also has new images from Blood Island locations, and the promise of further art to come.

I can also recommend the 2D art and the music, which has been brought to you (along with the rest of the site) by Goblin, the creator of our winning podcast jingle.
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G4TV confirms that Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse is indeed the official title of the duo's upcoming third season, and present a nice Twilight Zone-inspired logo as proof. More importantly, G4 apparently recorded an exclusive video with Dan Connors which contains Sam & Max stuff along with "some more big Telltale news," and which will be posted on the site in the next few days. So, woah!

Elsewhere in the grungy world of Sam & Max, a new fansite, http://samandmax.co.uk/, has sprung up out of nowhere and published a profane interview with Joey Camen, the voice of Bosco and the Two-Teeth family in the Telltale episodes. Read it, fools!

Update by Kroms: Bless those ratings guys. New details have slipped. The big news is that Sam and Max will be arriving on PS3. Do beware, though, of the presence of spoilers on the page I just linked to.
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LucasArts Secret History XIV

23 Feb, 2010, 21:26 | Posted by: Gabez | Comments: 54
It's finally here: our Escape from Monkey Island mega-look-back.

Enjoy! And don't forget to tell all your friends!

Thanks a lot to Dan Lee for the superb 3D header art. Take that, Avatar.
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Ghost Pirates of Vooju Island reviewed

23 Feb, 2010, 09:37 | Posted by: Kroms | Source: Adventure Gamers | Comments: 6
Ghost Pirates of Vooju Island, the latest game from Bill Tiller's Autumn Moon Entertainment, has been played and reviewed, by firm but loving website Adventure Gamers.

They have given the game a respectable three-and-a-half stars, which you may recall being the same score they bestowed upon Tales of Monkey Island chapters one and two. That's a good thing.

However, if that doesn't seem like much to you, then keep in mind Autumn Moon is still a young, struggling studio. Both Telltale and LucasArts had their share of misfires before hitting their stride. Ghost Pirates is relatively cheap at £17.59; it's even cheaper at £13.41 from Amazon marketplace sellers. I think that's worth the beautiful backgrounds, at least; and you're supporting a company with the potential to make great adventure games.

Update by Jason: Additional reviews: Electronic Theater, GameBoomers.
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On Stranger Tides coverage: Blackbeard cast

23 Feb, 2010, 00:00 | Posted by: Jason | Source: CHUD | Comments: 5
As you know by now, the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean film, subtitled On Stranger Tides, will be loosely based on the Tim Powers novel of the same name that heavily influenced Ron Gilbert's conception of Monkey Island. The assumption that the adaptation will be "loose" is logical considering that the book's protagonist, Jack Shanty, has very little in common with Depp's Jack Sparrow in personality and background.

However, the outline of the novel, which is about the Fountain of Youth and stars as its villain the infamous Blackbeard, will survive the translation to the silver screen, and today the rumor mill informs us that Blackbeard will be played by Ian McShane, who you may know from Deadwood and who represents some pretty pitch-perfect casting.

Previous casting rumors include reports of Penelope Cruz playing the female lead, and I'm sure you've some kind of reaction to that. But why don't we hear anything about Geoffrey Rush's Barbossa anymore? I was rather hoping that the early reports that claimed that the film would see Sparrow and Barbossa questing for the Fountain together had merit.
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Huffington Loves Sam & Max

20 Feb, 2010, 22:03 | Posted by: jp-30 | Source: Huffington Post | Comments: 5
Blogger Alex Remington at Huffington Post shows his love for Steve Purcell, Sam and Max and in particular "Hit the Road".

So, Purcell's done lots and lots of cool things. But nothing's cooler than Hit the Road. A private school principal once told me that in the history of literature, the greatest translation of all time was the English translation of Waiting for Godot, because Samuel Beckett had personally translated it from French, in which he'd originally written it, into English, his mother tongue. Well, Steve Purcell just might be the Samuel Beckett of comic book video games.


Read it. Read it all.
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Telltale's Dan Connors answers 10 questions

20 Feb, 2010, 21:56 | Posted by: jp-30 | Source: Joystiq | Comments: 0
Joystiq asks Dan Connors 10 questions. He gives 10 answers. Here's one of them;
What's the biggest challenge you see facing the industry?

Busting out of the niche it is in and building enough high quality diverse content to put it at the top of the entertainment food chain where it belongs. I think we are starting the process, and I think the diversification of distribution is creating the opportunity to reach wider demographics. As we expand into these demographics we need to rethink some of our core assumptions about how money is made. At this point the personal computers are as ubiquitous as televisions, but not everyone with a computer is using it to play games even though they could if they wanted to, why is that?
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A long time to wait

20 Feb, 2010, 11:10 | Posted by: The Tingler | Comments: 9
At long bloody last, Lego Indiana Jones II: The Adventure Continues is now available on Steam and Direct2Drive for the reasonable sum of £19.95/$29.99.

Go buy! Y'know, if you haven't got it already.

Update by Kroms: This is marginally relevant, but if you're going to be on Steam anyways: the Penny Arcade games, which are notable for Ron Gilbert's involvement, have had their prices reduced to $4.99 each. However, it is worth mentioning that - as seems to be traditional with Ron Gilbert - there might not be an Episode Three; the games' story is, so far, incomplete. If you can handle that, the games are recommended.
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Lucascast 16: Phantom Penis

19 Feb, 2010, 21:48 | Posted by: Gabez | Comments: 1
A new LucasCast podcast -- number 16 -- has been made available. This week, the Lucas fans talk about Lucasforums, their favourite LucasArts games, and penises. They also mention our pathetic little podcast!

Download the latest LucasCast here, and discuss the show in the forums.
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According to the Mamba twitter feed, Ghost Pirates of Vooju Island is now available at UK retailers, with its ship date having been Wednesday. Now we can all play Autumn Moon's latest with English voices, and all is well.

If, like me, you're in North America, your options are to get the game imported, wait for the confirmed but still undated digital distribution option to hit, or show some real resolve and wait for a North American publisher to materialize.

However you choose to procure it, go get you some handpainted Bill Tiller graphic adventure goodness, and stay tuned for the Mojo review.
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Pirate God's on the Wii

19 Feb, 2010, 00:58 | Posted by: Kroms | Comments: 6
The fifth and final chapter of Tales of Monkey Island, "Rise of the Pirate God", is now available for Wiiware in North America. Europe, being Europe, has to wait.

In other news, former Telltale designer Heather Logas finally has enough funding for her game. Congratulations, and good luck to her!

Heather's father Jerry contributed some music tracks to Telltale's very first game, Telltale Texas Hold'em. You can buy his band's album from the Telltale store. It's jazzy!

Update: Europeans can Wii with the Pirate God on Friday. Thanks to Metallus for the info.

Update by ATMachine: Er, apparently Nintendo was just kidding about that Friday European release thing. Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 5: Rise of the Pirate God will NOT be coming to European WiiWare today. Once again, thanks to Metallus for the info, although it's hardly news to be thankful for...

Update by JP: Hey-yo Europe, Australia and New Zealand. It's finally out.
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Playstation Home One

18 Feb, 2010, 20:33 | Posted by: jp-30 | Source: Kotaku | Comments: 2
You can now do what you normally do in Playstation Home (??) but with Star Wars and Indiana Jones costumes / avatars.

If you want more info, read this Kotaku article.

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A comparatively timely Mojo review

17 Feb, 2010, 01:17 | Posted by: Jason | Comments: 5
Sure, Hal Barwood and Noah Falstein's (Fate of Atlantis) latest adventure game, Mata Hari, may have been released a long time ago, but our review is still far more punctual than other examples that could be cited.

Anyway, Mata Hari. Was that dame a handful or what?
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Telltale tell Appletell all

16 Feb, 2010, 21:27 | Posted by: Kroms | Source: Appletell | Comments: 2
Appletell, a website that focuses on apples Apple and its products, has been busy covering the Mac World Expo 2010. They managed to corner and interview Dan Connors (Telltale CEO), and then get Mark Darin to do a video interview. Darin, for those of you who do not know, was one of the leads on Tales of Monkey Island, and the writer/designer of "The Siege of Spinner Cay" and "Rise of the Pirate God".

iGames Radio later managed to get Telltalers Chris Schmidt, Will Armstrong and "Matt Darin", Mark Darin's clone, on this podcast. It's short, but worth listening to; there are interesting tidbits throughout, including how Tales's story was developed.

In slightly more disturbing news, it seems that (Mark) Darin has joined the ranks of the Formerly Beardless, which include Tim Schafer and Dan Connors. What all of this is leading to remains to be seen.
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Star Wars Galaxies discount

16 Feb, 2010, 13:20 | Posted by: Kroms | Source: Steam | Comments: 2
Star Wars Galaxies: The Complete Online Adventures, a Star Wars based MMO developed by Sony Online Entertainment and published by LucasArts in 2003, has been given a 50% discount on Steam, its price reduced to $9.99 from $19.99. (A Star Wars MMO: just like it says in the title!) The package includes the original game, bundled in with the first three expansion packs: Jump to Lightspeed, Rage of the Wookiees, and Trials of Obi-Wan. A monthly fee to play the game is required. The offer ends on Friday.

On the other hand, it seems that the Steam version of Insecticide: Part One has been region-locked. This may or may not be a move by South Peak to stop themselves from getting some of my money.
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Statement: KOTOR review

16 Feb, 2010, 04:56 | Posted by: MrManager | Comments: 10
You may have noticed it on the side, you may not have cared. Nevertheless, please find enclosed our timely Knights of the Old Republic review, meatbags. End Statement.
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New LucasArts book goes on sale

14 Feb, 2010, 15:50 | Posted by: elTee | Source: Amazon | Comments: 10
Following the success of Rob Smith's Rogue Leaders, a second LucasArts-based book is now available.

Discarding the image-rich and archival based esoteria of the first book, LucasArts is a text-heavy expose featuring essays on a variety of topics:
  • Graphic Adventure Game
  • Star Wars
  • LucasArts Adventure Games
  • List of LucasArts Games
  • List of Star Wars Video Games
  • iMUSE
And if you're worried it won't be well-researched, then here's the best part: this is High Quality Content by WIKIPEDIA articles!™

Buy it here. Or read it here.
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Ghost Pirates giveaway

12 Feb, 2010, 00:57 | Posted by: Jason | Comments: 2
For those of you who prefer to win a free copy of Ghost Pirates from a non-Sluganski source, you could always try the Adventure Gamers alternative. Looks like Mamba is making sure this game gets pimped on as many adventure game sites as they can reach, and good on 'em for it.

One thing it's not so easy to commend them for, however, is this release date confusion. While the Mamba site has and always listed the UK release date as March 26th, the date of February 19th has been thrown around as well at an increasing rate, and the sources are starting to become pretty darned legit.
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Sam & Max Inconvenience a Funnel Cake

12 Feb, 2010, 00:10 | Posted by: Jason | Comments: 5
When I was in elementary school, my friends and I amused each other by creating crude and violent black and white cartoons using an ancient version of Hypercard. When the computer lab got PCs, we transitioned our silly efforts to Microsoft PowerPoint, and even began trying to make games with it when we realized that action buttons could be used to send the user to different slides, thus giving us the ability to design branching paths in our stories. The end result? Incredibly simplistic and linear adventure games.

I got to remembering this crazy hobby from my childhood when it came time for Telltale's 2009 Halloween contest, so over the course of a few days I made a slapdash and highly unambitious Sam & Max PowerPoint game, attempting to recapturing the mindset from those nostalgic days of showing up to school early and squandering my recess, all just to compete with my friends' zany creations. It was fun.

Anyway, since I was already brazenly using the Mojo server to host the file and for some reason was reminded of its existence, here's the .ppt file (7.9MB), which I suspect you may get a kick out of. Have fun! (Assuming it works properly on whatever version of PowerPoint you're on, which it probably doesn't.)
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Aside from a no longer available port of Out from Boneville by Vanbrio Entertainment, Telltale's catalog has never been naively available for Macintosh despite a sizable amount of requests over the years. Based on this rumor, however, Mac users may not have to rely on Boot Camp for their Telltale fixes much longer:
We have it from a very reliable, confidential source that Telltale Games may be planning to release its entire lineup of games to Macintosh very soon, possibly next month (February 2010).

The timing is perfect to coincide with the upcoming MacWord 2010, taking place February 9 through 13, 2010, at the Moscone Center in in San Francisco, CA (USA). An official announcement likely won’t be made until then.
I reckon we'll know for certain in the coming months, but it's sure looking like Telltale's long running claim of wanting to expand to as many platforms as possible wasn't just a lot of talk!

Update by Kroms: Crazy Telltale forum user natlinxz has found this little thing, although it's still not completely up yet. In their own words, "Whoah, looks like my years of making up URLs paid off!" Click on the words little thing to see what they're talking about.

Update 2 by Gabez: The Telltale Police have since pulled that Mac site, but it did confirm that Tales of Monkey Island, as well as the Sam & Max series, was coming to Mac, and that there would be some special deals in which you can buy bundles of games for a good price for a limited time only. Presumably the site will be announced officially soon.

Update 3 by Remster: Aaaaand it's official!

Update 4 by Kroms: Tales of Monkey Island is already available; vote for the next Mac port from that last link.

Update 5 by ATMachine: According to Telltale, if you purchase (or have already bought) the PC version of one of their games, you will automatically be able to play the Mac version of that game for free!

Which means that Monkey Island fans who bought Tales on a PC but really want to play it on a Mac can do so RIGHT NOW. For FREE. Isn't it great?

(And if you want the same deal for your other favorite Telltale series, do be sure and vote on which one should be ported next.)
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Knights tellin' jokes

10 Feb, 2010, 14:53 | Posted by: Kroms | Source: Gamepro | Comments: 1
Gamepro have interviewed and then written about the "Knights of Comedy", including Tim Schafer, Mike Stemmle and Psychonauts co-writer Erik Wolpaw. It's well worth a read, but includes this baffling excerpt:

[T]imes have changed. Early games were text-heavy because they had no choice. Modern games offer photo-realism and surround sound, with millions of dollars in voice acting budgets and characters fully capable of animated slapstick. But the inescapable drive towards ever-more realistic games has also reminded everyone that a written joke doesn't just require good voice acting, or hi-tech animation. It requires good writing.

That's where Wolpaw and [Chet] Faliszek come in.
No, I'm not talking about the "photorealism" comment. I was referring to Chet and Erik of Old Man Murray being alluded to as the messiahs of good game writing. I never realized that the eagles on pogo sticks were a form of slapstick.
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The Australian Classification Database (remember them from the Handsome Halibut LucasArts game title?) have done it again and leaked the following forthcoming multiple platform video game title;

SAM & MAX: THE DEVIL'S PLAYHOUSE - EPISODE 1: THE PENAL ZONE

So we have a Season Title and an Episode 1 title. Wheeeeeeee!

Update by Kroms: A little irrelevant, but the Wallace and Gromit Collector's DVDs are shipping.
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I don't know what it is about Razor from Maniac Mansion that makes her such a magnet for fan artists, but the leather-clad singer's latest unofficial interpretation comes today from Tony Andruss:



She just seems to really have an effect on people.
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Well, not exactly. Lego Star Wars III has just been announced by LucasArts, and a good educated guess could probably discern what it's covering...

The Clone Wars. Since all the characters in the (now getting pretty good actually) TV cartoon series already look like they're made of Lego this shouldn't be a problem, although whether the game will follow any particular episodes or doing their own a la Lego Batman is anyone's guess. The press release reads:
"LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars will combine the best elements of all previous LEGO games while adding brand new gameplay to make it the most action-packed LEGO videogame to date. Developed by the same team at Traveller’s Tales that created the critically acclaimed LEGO Star Wars and LEGO Indiana Jones series, the game will ship on the Wii, Nintendo DS, PS3, PSP , Xbox 360, and Windows in the Autumn of 2010.

“LucasArts is an amazing partner, and working with them on the next iteration of the LEGO Star Wars series continues to be a great experience,” said Tom Stone, director at TT Games. “The team at TT is working hard at making this simply the best LEGO game ever with all new gameplay and features never before seen in a LEGO game.”
This'll be Traveller's Tales' sixth collaboration with LucasArts, and the second since Warner Bros bought them (not sure how that works, but someone's obviously flexible). Let's hope it's better than all the other Clone Wars games, which were so bad even I didn't buy them.
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Telltale Games has put up their back catalog on GamersGate, with a (temporary?) 10% discount. That's Tales of Monkey Island, Sam and Max (both seasons), Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People and Wallace and Gromit's Grand Adventures. Neither Bone nor CSI, however, are available.
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Autumn Moon Interview

06 Feb, 2010, 00:26 | Posted by: Jason | Comments: 25
Like many of you, we at Mojo have been wondering about what's going on at Autumn Moon Entertainment, who have been rather quiet recently despite putting out their second game, Ghost Pirates of Vooju Island, in Germany this past fall, with the English release coming in only a month.

So we asked.

Join us in an epic interview with CEO Bill Tiller as we discuss Ghost Pirates, A Vampyre Story, and the studio in general. You'll also find the first word on A Bat's Tale's status since the game was announced at the beginning of last year before seemingly falling off the map. Read the interview for a ship's hold worth of quality tidbits, production tales, and almost inevitable musings on the adventure game market.

Thanks are owed, of course, to the always gracious Bill Tiller and the rest of the Autumn Moon team.

Update: Because you can never get enough Ghost Pirates coverage, a brief new preview for the game has been posted by MCV, claiming a February 19th release date for the English release, although Mamba's site itself still purports March 26th. The preview also states that "Ghost Pirates will be marketed with ads and competitions in key gaming magazines and specialist adventure games websites." Evidently, they're on to something there.
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Double Fine Productions CEO/Creative Director/writer Tim Schafer and Telltale writer/designer Sean Vanaman ("Muzzled!", "Lair of the Leviathan") will participate in a panel at this year's GDC, entitled "Make 'Em Laugh: Comedy in Games". They will be joined by Rhianna Pratchett - daughter of novelist Terry Pratchett - who is known for her work on the Overlord series of games.

This isn't the first time that Schafer has participated in a GDC keynote or panel. In 2004, he keynoted the topic "Adventures in Game Design", focusing specifically on the creation of the cast of the game Psychonauts. You can download a recording of that keynote from here.

Here's hoping that 1. this particular panel will be recorded, and that 2. you won't notice the fact this news is three days old.
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