As part of our plan to review Double Fine's latest console game, Stacking, we have reviewed Double Fine's latest console game, Stacking.

The review contains many pleasant passages to be read or sung.

If you like what you read, you may buy the game on your Playstation Machine or X Box Contraption, for around $15 (American money).

According to one of the Face Books, the game will shortly be enhanced with Downloadable Content.
Last week top hosted site Nightlight Productions released another installment of their Monkey Island radio play, "in which Guybrush Threepwood finds himself with a case he can’t win, and Carl (the Swordmaster of Jambalaya Island) gets a cryptic message from a mysterious person." You can listen to the latest episode, and catch up on the rest of the series, here.

More episodes will be coming soon -- and in an e-mail we were teased that "next month's Nightlight offering will involve a dog and rabbit..."

Here's a big thank you to reader/veteran Laserschwert for this: Ron Gilbert's recent talk for Game Forum Germany, entitled "The Making of Maniac Mansion", is available to be viewed online. Just click on "2011" and then on the link that does not not have "Ron Gilbert" in the title. You should be able to find similarly-educational videos elsewhere: one by noneother than LucasArts VP Mary Bihr herself, and, in the 2009 section, one by Noah Falstein (Fate of Atlantis) and one by Telltale CTO Kevin Bruner.

I must say, though, that I deeply admire the dubbing in those videos. It doesn't look like they're actually speaking German - the native language of 90% of the world's adventure gamers - at all!

Source: Nordmedia

Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster is the third Amnesia Fortnight game, which are the four projects Double Fine worked on during Brutal Legend's development and continued into today. How do I know this? Like everything I know, it's from this interview Tim Schafer and Nathan Martz did with Gamasutra:

Nathan's original pitch to the company had a lot of Jim Henson in it. It referenced Sesame Street and The Muppets and how much they meant to us and how much they were an inspiration for these characters.

As we talked about the game, it just came up with more and more people, "Have you thought about this as a Sesame Street game?" And it seemed like such a natural fit. You know, Double Fine doesn't really "do" licensed properties. So we kind of laughed it off the first time. But the more we thought about it, the more it actually made sense, and seemed to kind of fit naturally.

Oh snap. The rest is an interesting and informative read as well, and well worth your time.
Hold on, Purcell's not done with you yet. Over on Spudvision, he's posted an unmolested version of that monkey head painting that appeared in the issue of The Adventure (the first, in fact) that promoted The Secret of Monkey Island's release, saying:

I don't see this one online right now. It was painted for The Adventurer, LucasArts game fan newsletter. When we drew the screen art for Secret of Monkey Island we had only a handful of ghastly colors to pick from, hence the blue green Monkey Idol in the game. For that reason as well as the tiny characters it was always fun, when I had a chance, to draw Monkey Island concepts the way I thought they should look.

On your knees.

Source: Spudvision

Steve Purcell's latest addition to the Sam & Max blog is a storyboard for a Freelance Police title sequence concept. You know, that one you have no memories of because you never got to see it.

Here is a story board for a possible title sequence for a defunct Sam & Max game. This was only to try to explore Sam & Max's acting and how the background elements might play against them.
The idea was that there would be colored flats moving in the background depicting various threatening villains. The little rappelling figures are like anonymous silhouetted henchmen for Sam & Max to pick off. The little shaggy rectangle in the last frame indicates a title just in case there was some possible way you didn't already figure that out.
There are some color concepts that go with this which I'll go hunt for at some point which convey a widescreen version of the idea.

I think if we're patient enough, we'll probably have enough individual raw materials from the game made available for Bad Asp! to assemble into a self-voiced playable build by 2079.

Source: The Sam & Max Blog


Sean Howard worked as dialogue writer on DeathSpank and its sequel Thongs of Virtue. He also makes web comics for his web site over here.

Join us as the writer of DeathSpank's puns shares his views on the video game industry, franchises, how he got involved with DeathSpank, and what he's up to now.

Update by Kroms: I thought I'd get a word in here and thank Sean. The interview was originally supposed to happen in October but, due to circumstances outside of my control, got delayed. I neglected to inform him of this change, and kept him waiting, so to speak, for the questions. So, a heartfelt thanks for his patience and for his answers.

The always-interesting Sean Howard - who you may know as a dialogue writer on the two Deathspank games - yesterday Tweeted about his feelings towards Telltale potentially making a sequel to classic LucasArts game Maniac Mansion. Asked to clarify his feelings, he posted this on his blog. It's an interesting, perhaps even important, read, and may reflect the feelings of some of you in this community:

I think Telltale is capable are far more than they are putting out. I don't hate them. I can't hate them. I'm disappointed. They've got so much talent behind their walls, and this is the best they can do? I don't believe that for a second. They SHOULD be the next Lucasarts. They could be BETTER than the next Lucasarts! The could be, but they aren't. And what frustrates me so very much about Telltale is that it seems like they aren't even trying. Puzzle Agent is the only one that seemed like they bothered, and even that didn't go far enough. They are announcing new games based on old properties, and there's very little evidence that they are making better games because of it.

What do you guys think? Is Telltale not fully living up to its potential? And if so, what do you, as outsiders to this development process, think is to blame? Post 'em in the comments section.

As a quick note, Mojo interviewed Sean Howard yesterday before he posted these remarks. The interview should be up soonish!

Source: Squidi

Telltale isn't exactly hurting for licenses to work on right now, but it's pretty likely that they're always pursuing properties of interest to them. At one point, one such property was apparently Scott Pilgrim, a popular comic adapted last year into a movie directed by Edgar Wright. In a recent tweet by the comic's creator Bryan Lee O'Malley, he reveals that he was approached by the game industry's most active story-based studio:

Telltale wanted to do Scott Pilgrim but I said no. I couldn't see it as an adventure game. All respect to them, though

Hopefully we don't find any similar comments on LEC's twitter feed. Giving it a peek so you don't have to, it would appear you'd be lucky to find anything that so much as acknowledges the existence of anything not Star Wars, so I think we're okay.

Source: Bryan Lee O'Malley's Twitter

Wanna see, like, a full fifteen minutes of gameplay footage of Jurassic Park with commentary by Joe Pinney? Giant Bomb is able to provide just that.

Source: GiantBomb

So Telltale's announced five new games in the past two days, bringing their current pipeline to seven projects. What's to know about them?

Jurassic Park got a hands-on preview from 1UP, which details how the game has character-switching, QTEs and dying. Which IGN are totally on board with: "Dinosaur-caused deaths are a wonder to behold," they say. They go on to decribe it as "refreshing". Death in video games is refreshing now, don't you know. Anyways, there is a gameplay video in the second link. And GiantBomb posted a "Quick Look" video of the game. Thanks to AlfredJ for that link!

Onto The Walking Dead: Jake Rodkin and Sean Vanaman (head writer) were interviewed asked about this particular adaptation by Comic Book Resources. And CEO Dan Connors was asked all about Fables. We should totally interview that guy. Then, Graham Annable was asked about Puzzle Agent 2. All in the same link! How do they make it all fit in the same link? Like some voodoo magic or some such.

Busy year for Telltale. Here's hoping these games arrive more fully de-bugged.
Well, here's a nice tip-off from BillieJoe86 (cheers): Telltale has announced, via our corporate rivals, IGN, all five games they have in development (apart from Jurassic Park and Back to the Future). You may want to sit down for this one:

Apart from Fables and The Walking Dead we first have King's Quest - yeah, that one. The classic [sic] series from 1980s and 1990s Sierra returns as a "reboot", though it's unknown if the benevolent hand of series creator Roberta Williams will be involved. Expect more details at E3.

Then we have Nelson Tethers, Puzzle Agent, returning in Puzzle Agent 2. No idea if it's a full series, but Dan Connors has mentioned, in the past, that the formula of the gameplay will change. Thanks to all you people in the comments. This will be a single episode that continues the story of the first. Here's a trailer!

Finally, Hector: Badge of Carnage - an independent episodic game with an episode (not by Telltale) already out - will see two more episodes added to its rooster.

Source: IGN

Along with Myst, Pac-Man, Super Mario Brothers, and World of Warcraft, The Secret of Monkey Island will be in an exhibit at the Smithsonian American Art Museum from March 16, 2012 - September 30, 2012. Fully playable too!

The exhibition will feature eighty games through still images and multimedia elements, and five playable games—Pac-Man, Super Mario Brothers, The Secret of Monkey Island, Myst, and World of Warcraft. In addition, the galleries will include video interviews with developers and artists, large prints of in-game screen shots, and historic game consoles. Visitors will be able to connect with the content of the show across generations, from those who remember the classics such as Pitfall! to those playing contemporary games like Flower.

You can also vote on what other games will be shown in the exhibit (though, not playable).

Now, let's all ask the most important question: What version of the game will they have on display?

Source: Ronzo's Twitter

With all the Jurassic Park excitement, a few tidbits are also out there about The Walking Dead games, courtesy of IGN. And yes, that's games plural: Apparently we're talking a "multi-year, multi-platform, multi-title" deal here. Exactly what that means seems to be up in the air, but it sort of sounds like platform specific titles might be a possibility. A pluralized URL is also active, though it currently points to TTG:

Read more at IGN where they talk to Robert Kirkman, the comic book writer responsible for the franchise.

To editorialize: Hopefully TTG can keep the art style of the comics intact as well as the nerve of the TV series. And then write brand new dialogue. Because lord knows that's needed.
Jesus Telltale, we've already got the second Back To The Future episode and news of your next five projects to get excited about in the last 24 hours, now you have to add the first trailer for Jurassic Park as well?! It's like you're trying to kill us with excitement here!

The story starts apparently right in the middle of the first film, with the guy who was supposed to be meeting Nedry at the dock (doesn't that dock look a lot like the one in Grim Fandango's Rubacava?).

Furthermore, the trailer announces that the season will start April 2011 for PC and Mac and is available to preorder here for $29.99 ($5 cheaper than usual). Please don't announce Monkey Island right now Telltale, or I'll seriously hyperventilate.

Source: GameTrailers

So if you're waiting for five game announcements from TTG today, well, you will have to wait a bit longer.

Alan Johnson

The plan is you'll get to find out what one of the announcements is this evening (Pacific Time) at IGN. The rest of the announcements will come in the following day(s) since there are embargoes on the information from the event.

And as all Peep Show aficionados know, there's no reason not to trust Alan Johnson.

If Internets rumors are anything to go by -- and Wikipedia has told me they are -- today's announcement could likely be The Walking Dead game(s) based on the hit AMC TV show which again was based on the graphic novels.

In other words, Monkey Island 6 and Maniac Mansion 3: Day of the Tentacle 2 might still be a few days away. Telltale's embargos make Apple seem downright friendly.

Update: Two titles are confirmed by All Things Digital: Walking Dead and Fables, based on the DC comics.
Back To The Future: The Game: Episode 2: Get Tannen! (that's a lot of colons) is now available from both Telltale and Steam.

There's also a trailer, which I haven't watched because I own the game and I'm not a freakin' moron.

While I'm immensely excited as I loved the first episode, I'm a little perplexed about the sudden surprise release. There wasn't a press release and Telltale don't even have a blog up about it yet.

Source: Telltale

In a move that's sure to delight parents with a taste for the fine wine that is Double Fine, it's been revealed that the next game to come from Tim Schafer's unstoppable studio is Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster.

The game is being developed exclusively for Kinect, Microsoft's creepy body-reading device for the Xbox 360, which means you get to not only enjoy the exquisite experience of playing a Double Fine game with your children — or by yourself should you be particularly into The Muppets — but you also get to look like a dong get fit while doing so!

On a slightly more forward-thinking note, hopefully Double Fine getting more well-known licenses under its belt will give it the funds and clout it requires to develop more of the kind of games we've all been gagging for the studio to develop (Psychonauts 2).

Whether or not this game is part of the infamous 'Amnesia Fortnight' collection is unclear. Considering Ron Gilbert's experience with children's games it's very much possible he's leading this project, meaning we could still see the promised four games in addition to Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster.

Source: Destructoid

People looking for excuses not to play Stacking are not exactly in a buyer's market right now, which is going to make this big Gamasutra feature about the game that much more devastating to their prospects.

Read the five page spread to get all of Tim and Lee Petty's thoughts on Stacking, Costume Quest, the downloadable space, the very active legacy of adventure games, and a bit, if not nearly enough, about farting's importance in puzzle mechanics.

Is it ever really enough, though?

Source: Gamasutra

Put this one firmly in the "Beyond Speculation" column:

A reader who shall remain anonymous points out that Dom's usually timely Top Chef postings were recently delayed because of "work." The last time this happened? Apparently a while before the Tales of Monkey Island announcement. Dam dam dam!

I suppose we'll find out next week if this is true or not.

Or maybe it's just part of... Image
If you haven't been to Overclocked Remix, you really should. All good-to-excellent fan remixes of videogame music. They've just completed a new project, OCR Vs Bad Dudes, and it's utterly superb. One remixer does the themes for a hero in a videogame series, another does the villain.

Why does that interest us, other than being frickin' awesome? Well, Monkey Island is one of the games remixed. Guybrush can be downloaded here and LeChuck can be got at here.

I won't spoil either, as they are both utterly excellent. You'll have a fangasm once you realize what they're singing behind the Monkey Island theme in Guybrush's mix. LeChuck's mix isn't quite as adventurous at first, then goes very cool fast. Check them out all out here.

Source: Overclocked Remix

Double Fine's new game, Stacking, should be hitting the PSN/XBLA download circuit sometime yesterday. Err, today. Depends on where you live. Anyways, the game is Double Fine's follow-up to last year's Costume Quest. It's innovative for being about stacking, but not about stacking crates - surely a video game first. Plus the whole matryoshka doll thing. That thing is so rad.
With PC owners presumably getting both the second episode of Back To The Future (Get Tannen!) this month, console owners are presumably anxious (or DESPERATE) to know when they were getting the love. According to a report on Eurogamer, Telltale have revealed that Episode 1 will be available on the US Playstation Network on 15th February, with the European release due soon after. They will also release the iPad version sometime this month too. Well, it's about time!

Source: Eurogamer

It's the wet dream of all Sam & Max fans out there, reading the fabled unfinished story where Max is shot and Sam gets a new partner. (Who happens to be a monkey at that.)

Mister Purcell has of coursed blogged a bunch of awesome stuff over the past few years, and yesterday he showed off some panels from the aforementioned comic.

To editorialize, it looks sweet and I don't know why you're even reading this when you should be reading this instead. Here's hoping this story will be completed.
It's not April 1st, you're not still asleep, and we're not kidding. A movie based on LucasArts SNES classic Zombies Ate My Neighbours is in development.

A script has been written by newcomer John Darko, and is described as "Superbad + Zombieland + Home Alone". It's a coming-of-age comedy, with zombies. And yes, protagonists Zeke and Julie still feature.

While the film's producers are still seeking both finances and the rights from Konami, apparently "things are going well and it's coming together". Wonder if it'll have tentacles in it? Hell, I'd pay just to see the giant baby.

Source: First Showing

You know Stacking, Double Fine's next game, is out next week right? 8th February? It will cost £11.99/1200 Microsoft Points. Apparently though, a certain group of people will be getting it for free: Playstation Plus members.

If you don't know it, Playstation Plus is Sony's recently introduced paid online subscription service - similar to Xbox Live Gold. To entice people to pay a premium for a service that's otherwise free, they offer a monthly free downloadable game. Stacking is this month's free game, which will be given the same day as release.

Great if you're already on the service, but the best thing about it is that it's official support from a console manufacturer, so should hopefully bring Double Fine to a much bigger crowd - and that's a very good thing indeed.

Source: Playstation Blog (via Eurogame

I seem to be becoming the go-to guy for the Lego games here. Oh well. IGN have a first look and a trailer for Lego Pirates of the Caribbean, which I'm sure a few people will prefer to Star Wars (especially The Clone Wars).

Probably the most interesting bit of information is that the game will cover all four POTC films, including this summer's On Stranger Tides. The game is due to coincide approximately with that film (like Lego Indy did with Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) and will release on all platforms - although strangely absent from the release list is a 3DS version, especially after all the trouble TT Games went through to get Lego Clone Wars on the system.

Source: IGN

As noticed by the prone-to-notice Ascovel in the forums, you can view a nice Youtube interview with Ron Gilbert, recording during his appearance at "Game Forum Germany 2011," where he gave that Maniac Mansion talk that I know you're about to host for us any second now.

The interviewers are informed and ask good questions, so I would definitely watch the interview. Attempts are made, unsuccessfully, to get some details on whatever Ron is developing at Double Fine; also discussed is how much he'd like to see and/or partake in a Maniac Mansion remake, some miscellaneous adventure game breeze-shooting, and the inevitable mention of the "real" Monkey Island 3 among other [double] fine topics.

Seriously, get going!

Source: Youtube

LEC and Telltale design veteran Chuck Jordan benefited Gamasutra today with a lengthy feature titled "Closing the Loop: Fostering Communication In Single Player Games." Armed with his experience both as a developer and a gamer (not to mention the rather scholarly blogging he's done on the subject over the years), Jordan persuasively puts forth his thoughts on that most popular of topics, the relationship between narrative and gameplay. His take is more compelling than most.

Source: Gamasutra

The next Lego game from our friends at TT Games is once again relevant to our news and is looking quite superb, so we can happily say that Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars is coming out 25th March. It was originally due out 18th February, but has been delayed for some unexplained reason.

I personally think that it's more than coincidence that this new release date coincides with the launch of the Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo's brand new handheld console. Being one of the only good games in a short launch line-up for an inevitably popular console will mean that people will flock to it (I know I will), but not if they've already bought it on other systems.

The game will be on every platform barring the dead PS2 (so PC, PS3, Xbox 360, PSP, Wii, DS and 3DS), and I'm still waiting for them to notice that an iPhone version would be incredibly popular too. We'll try to have a review up around then.

Source: Gamershell

Want a Raz action figure? How about Eddie Riggs? No? Well then, how about some Russian Stacking dolls instead, designed after the characters from Double Fine's Stacking? You do? Good news then, they're now available in the Double Fine store!

Just be warned though: they're VERY LIMITED QUANTITY (emphasis theirs, not mine). It's also a back order, so they won't ship until March at least. Still, cool!

Source: Double Fine Store

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