In other news, Americans, apparently, spell it "pajama." If you've ever wondered why the self-proclaimed "greatest country in the world" can't quite crack the literacy top 20, this might be a good place to start "analyzing".
While we've been somewhat worried about Starbreeze's current financial issues (what with them publishing Psychonauts 2 and all), Tim himself has soothing words for us through GameIndustry.biz.
"At a show like DICE, other publishers come by and say, 'Yeah, how's that going? If anything happens, give us a call,'" he said. "With Psychonauts 2 having been high profile and already having a great trailer out there, there would be enough interest in other people funding it and finishing it if something happened. But I've got no reason to believe Starbreeze isn't going to come through and publish it well."
See, it's all good, and going by the previous times in the past years we've been assured not to worry — Trump will never be elected president, Brexit won't happen, etc. — we see no reason for this to go down the toilet either.
Mojo: Cynical Since 1997™.
Thimbleweed Park is the latest from Maniac Mansion co-creators Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick. It should be a good way to send-off the winter (I find winter ideal for video games, especially adventure games; does anyone else?).
Actually, he granted an interview to The Hollywood Reporter, or more specifically its hosted blog Heat Vision, in one of apparently many press encounters Tim had during last week's D.I.C.E. Summit in Las Vegas. Still though, be a sport and check out what he has to say about Psychonauts 2:
You are an established voice in this industry –
Oh, established voice. I like that.
Does that make it harder for you to live up to expectations when you’re releasing a new game like Psychonauts 2?
I don’t think about that too much. I think the reason we made the first game was that we were just making what we enjoyed. I think we’re doing that again. You definitely think more about your obligations to the characters than to the audience. We definitely keep in mind the player’s experience from the first game, but it’s what’s true to these characters and what situations do we want to put them in and how will they react. That’s more of what I think about.
When do you decide to come back to a series?
For a long time, we never did it. Psychonauts 2 is really my first time going back to a narrative but it doesn’t really feel like going back to it because you get into this frame of mind when I made the first game and we had all these hooks and plotlines that we put in the first game for the next game. We always thought we’d do a second one but it kind of got shelved for a few years. It was surprisingly easy to inhabit those heads again just because you know them really well.
The full interview isn't a whole lot longer, but read it anyway.
It seems like only last freaking May that Boss Fight Studios announced their license to produce collectible Sam & Max figurines. Seeing as it's the only upcoming Sam & Max thing in existence, you'd think I'd be more grateful for the fact that we can keep dragging the coverage out.
But not for much longer! Earlier this week, the full Sam & Max toyline was finally unveiled, and I have to say it looks pretty rad. Furthermore, "These premium action figures will be offered in attractive window box packaging with new illustrations and a new comic strip by creator Steve Purcell!" New comic? I guess there are more Sam & Max things to look forward to after all.
The bad news: the release date is "TBD" 2019. The good news: Zaarin assures us that he's got just enough window caulk to keep the Mojo servers humming until TBD, give or take a downtime.
You may recall that, in the past ten years or so, we discovered to our joy/amazement that Mixnmojo.com is the only place on the entire Internet to use the phrase "sexy weekend in France." Thinking that this absurd claim to fame couldn't possibly be still true, I Googled and, well, see for yourself:
I don't get it, either; maybe France doesn't know diddlysquat about sexy weekends. But god bless the anonymous romantic who first Googled this into the collective Mojo consciousness, anyway.
Hard to believe, but in less than two weeks it will be the fifteen-year anniversary of the cancellation of Sam & Max Freelance Police and the death of LucasArts.* I was pretty sure that the occasion would come and go without incident, because really, what left is there to come out about the game that we haven’t already covered in our big informational round-up article?
As it turns out: some cutscene storyboards! Last month, artist and Grickle creator Graham Annable (who served as Lead Animator on Freelance Police) tweeted that he had found a “whole stash” of storyboards for the assassinated adventure game, and shared an enticing photographic peek as proof. The storyboards reveal that Bernard and Hoagie from Day of the Tentacle were set to make cameo appearances in the game sometime before marketplace realities invited them to go to hell.
You’ll want to read the whole Twitter thread, wherein Annable estimates that the game was “80% completed” and is encouraged by some dude to have his unearthed storyboards scanned and/or donated to The Strong Museum. Not sure if any progress has been made on that front in the month that has passed since the tweet (shut up), but it’s safest to assume those photos are the last Sam & Max 2 thing you’ll see until someone leaks a playable build of the game while the grown-ups aren’t looking. Hey, if it can happen with Warcraft Adventures…
*True, the studio didn’t technically die for another eight years, but only the most cynical person would call what LucasArts was doing between 2004-2012 “living”.
During last week's DICE Summit in Las Vegas, Tim found himself cornered by a journalist at VentureBeat; the result is this interview in which various Double Fine topics are touched upon. Points of interest:
- Tim is currently in a dialog-writing crunch on Psychonauts 2
- Pixar has yet to confess to nakedly poaching Tim's ideas with Inside Out and Coco
- Double Fine has a team working on "secret, unannounced thing"
Fortunately, Tim does not mention any publisher troubles, so I guess we can rest easy that the impact of Starbreeze's recent woes does not extend to Psychonauts 2. Although you have to admit, it would be downright Shakespearean given that we're almost exactly fifteen years downriver of this.
Anyhow, read the whole article here.
Based on one of my favourite Double Fine games and created by Tasha Harris—who apparently left Double Fine in 2011 (where does the time fly?) and now works at Pixar—Costume Quest is the story of a twin out to rescue their sibling from the clutches of a monster. To do this, they use their costume's ability to harness super powers. More friends join, and the party barrels towards the final showdown. It's cutesy, light, and friendly, and is one of only two Double Fine games to get a sequel (in 2014; how has it been five years already?).
Think you'll be watching?
Thimbleweed Park, the latest from Maniac "you microwave a hamster" Mansion co-creators Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick, will be free for users of the Epic Games Store from February 21 through March 7. Remi was a big fan.
Epic Games is trying to compete with GOG, Steam, Origin, and one-to-two-platforms-for-my-games convenience to make a name for itself. It makes one game yours to keep for free every two weeks; the current pick is Axiom Verge, and Subnautica and What Remains of Edith Finch preceded it. It also makes exclusive offers, like the new Supergiant Games outing Hades (and Supergiant is a great developer to support: A+ games, writing, and storytelling, made by an indie team with real heart).
Anyway, this has apparently been known for a while, but we're not late! Technically. Mojo, immediately bringing you the latest news from last week!
Hey, it only took us, what? Half a year or so to release the second episode of our People With Unrelated Accents series. This time, join Jason, Remi, and Zaarin alongside podcast O.G., elTee, as we discuss Loom, without really knowing a whole lot about it. At all.
Is it any good? Who knows?! I haven't listened to it, but Zaarin had to spend months massaging it into a listenable state, so how bad could it really be? Check out the MP3 or FLAC file, or subscribe, like a good person would do:
He was right all along, judging by the original version of the game…
Those of us of a certain age will remember how the Monkey Island games were unavailable for literal years, because . . . Well, who knows why, but it’s probably safe to assume LucasArts liked to pretend they didn’t exist.
Not surprisingly, what with TTG taking a nosedive, Tales of Monkey Island is now part of this tradition. The game has been scrubbed from Steam and GOG, though, as is usual, you can still download it if you have already bought it.
Will this mean pirating under the guise of "abandonware" will start occurring again? Who knows, but this feels like 2002 all over again.
Thanks to LucasArts Adventure Fans for the news, and my apologies if we already posted this and I forgot about it.
Now we've got a brand spanking new Mojo, but not much new news to report, let's take a look backwards into some (possibly) forgotten history.
Back on February 8th, 2003, exactly 16 years ago to the day, Bill Tiller (famed lead artist on The Curse of Monkey Island), graciously attended a fan-hosted IRC chat (ask your grandparents), and for 30 minutes answered their questions. One question came out of a thread on TheScummBar's LucasForums, and it was this:
The "secret" of Monkey Island has come up in some forums recently. Can I just ask you - what was Ron Gilbert's Secret of Monkey Island? Do you know it? Was it all a kid's imagination or is that just a theory?
Bill Tiller went on to give probably the most explicit and straightforward answer regarding the "secret" of Monkey Island, and Monkey Island 2's contentious ending that has ever been given.
And it was this:
Well this is all I know, and I learned it from Larry Ahern and Dave Grossman. Ron went to Disneyland, rode Pirates of the Caribbean ride. thought it was cool and wondered what it would be like to get out of the boat and explore the pirates cave and village. Calvin and Hobbes was very popular back then. It is a daily cartoon strip about a boy and his stuffed tiger going on all sorts of adventures and imagining themselves in all sorts of different things like dinosaurs, spacemen and monsters.
I speculate that Ron combined the to together - Pirates of the Caribbean and Calvin and Hobbes - and created Guybrush.
I was told that the ending of MI2 was originally going to be the ending of MI1. But Dave Grossman and Tim Shafer didn't like it an talked Ron out of it. Then I heard from Larry Ahern that two to three months before MI2 was supposed to be done, an ending had still not been decided upon. And about then Ron decided to go with the amusement park ending he was originally going to use in MI1.
The explanation I heard is that Guybrush was lost in the Pirates Ride at Big Whoop Amusement Park the whole time, imagining the whole adventure. Then Chucky, his mean older brother goes and pulls him back to reality. The end. And that magical lightning coming out of Chucky's eyes and Elaine waiting by the hole on Dinky Island (which sounds a lot like Disney Land) was put there just in case there was to be a Monkey Island 3.
The secret is that the MI world is not real. now I have no clue how Ron would have written his way out of the MI2 ending. He either knows and isn't telling. Or He doesn't know and he isn't telling you he doesn't know. Or he has a bunch of ides of what he would do and isn't telling you that either.That is a bigger secret then what the secret of Monkey Island is.
But secret being that the whole MI world is imagined sucks. Why? Because we want the world of Monkey Island to be real, not in a kids imagination.
Enter big whoop the portal of hell. Lechuck goes in, comes out a powerful ghost. Then he is killed again, comes back as a zombie and hatches a plan to lure pirates through the portal of big whoop and come out zombie/ ghosts. Guybrush had spell cast on him and that is why he was a little kid. he escaped Big whoop in a bumper/ dodgem car and reverts back. Elaine had to rush back to Puerto pollo to defend it from Lechuck renewed attacks because Guybrush is safely under his spell back on Monkey Island. That is the official secret of monkey island in CMI.
Sean [Clarke] and Mike [Stemmle, lead designers on Escape from Monkey Island] don't like that secret or want to add to it, so they either borrow Dave Grossman's idea that the monkey head is jut the top of a giant monkey robot, or they came up with it independently. That is the official secret of Monkey Island in EMI.
Is this all cleared up now? There is no 'one' secret of Monkey Island. Period. Maybe in Monkey5 there will be yet another one. Personally I'd like to know more about Guybrush' s origins. Where did he come from? Who are his parents? Any brothers or sisters? WHo was the voodoo priest who brought LeChuck back to life?
Thank you Bill Tiller! And to mymipage for hosting the event and asking the question! Read the complete interview here courtesy of Archive.org.
(Note: On this day 16 years ago... yesterday (unless you're in the US). I missed it by a few minutes!)
According to Variety, Ad Hoc studio has been founded by four former Telltale designers to continue the narrative game legacy into the future.
The four founders are Michael Choung, Dennis Lenart, Nick Herman, and Pierre Shorette. That's some heavy hitters right there. Hopefully, this batch of creative awesomeness leads to some excellent titles in the future. They're interested in developing live-action interactive narratives, which could be interesting.
Or maybe they'll be like Telltale and hone their craft on Sam and Max. One can only hope.
. . . and as does Telltale.
What do you mean you don’t care? Look, things have been beyond slow in the Mojoverse over the last few weeks, likely because we updated the site, and the world is against us. However, word has it Zaarin is completing two super exciting features this week, so hopefully we can post something other than . . . this . . . soon.