Double Fine CEO/Creative Director Tim Schafer, and Telltale CEO/Co-Founder Dan Connors, will participate in a special event hosted by EEDAR and moderated by G4-TV host Adam Sessler, at this year's somewhat sucky DICE Summit. The event is comprised of three debates on the topics of casual games, innovation, and independence, though it is unclear if all participants will be part of every one. Chris Taylor - who is vaguely related to Mixnmojo, as creator of the Ron Gilbert-produced Total Annihilation - and David Jaffe - who is not related to Mixnmojo and the creator of Sony's God of War games - will also join the debate.

If you're looking for something more immediate to do, check out the photos on Bay Area Sound's Facebook page. Bay Area Sound are responsible for the audio in Telltale's games. Inside you will find everything from Mark Darin directing, Mike Stemmle correcting and Sean Vanaman being scared by a large dude (start with this and then look at the four previous photos in turn), to how different the voice actors look from their counterparts, what Jared Emerson-Johnson looks like when he's in character as the Marquis De Singe and Dominic Armato's death stare.

Source: Gamasutra


Telltale has dispersed the latest issue of its semi-regular newsletter, the Telltale Interloper, to the fans who've made the no-brainer decision to subscribe. There are a lot of noteworthy tidbits included in the newsletter, so here's the diligent Mojo round-up:
  • Sam & Max Save the World is on sale for $4.95 through January.
  • A new piece of concept art from the upcoming Sam & Max season has been released.
  • Telltale is running a new survey. You'll want to take the questionnaire both because you know this is a company that values feedback, and because the questions drop major hints about the third season of Sam & Max. (Tingler adds: you get a 15% off coupon too)
  • The DVD release of Wallace & Gromit's Grand Adventures will ship to season subscribers on the week of February 8th. In the meantime, Telltale has actually published the game in select North American stores, among them Best Buy and soon Walmart. This practice, which I earlier speculated will be true of Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People, represents the very first time Telltale has published a game in retail channels on their own.
  • Speaking of Strong Bad, Telltale is extending the special $19.95 price they've slashed the season to in celebration of Trogday to last through the end of January as well.
  • The oft-delayed North American Wiiware release of "Rise of the Pirate God" will occur on Monday, February 1st.
Hopefully this makes it clear that you should be on Telltale's mailing list if you aren't already.

It probably hasn't escaped your notice that ever since Darrell Rodriguez took over LucasArts as its president, the company has been making great strides in a direction the Mojo-minded have a keen appreciation for.

Through Steam, the Virtual Console, and a Staff of Kings unlockable, the company has been making an effort to re-release its back catalog, something that they were notoriously bad at doing over the past decade and which we made no bones about our disdain for. With The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition and Tales of Monkey Island, they've shown that they're willing to not only acknowledge their old IP again, but rejuvenate it. And with Lucidity and whatever the hell Handsome Halibut is, they've assembled a small team specifically committed to making brand new IP. And perhaps most importantly and exciting, all of the above are meant to be taken as a sign of things to come:
You guys licensed out Monkey Island to Telltale. Is that a process that you think is going to be something you'll continue to do, license out things like Monkey Island for other people to work on if you're not interested in continuing that IP?

DR: Well, we also do the Special Edition ourselves.

That's true.

DR: We did the Special Edition on XBLA and on iPhone, and it did tremendously well. And on PC, it's on Steam. It did tremendously well. We did that internally. We had a great partnership with Telltale, and we hope to do something in the future with them. They're phenomenal partners. They get it. Will we do stuff like that in the future? Yeah, I mean, I'll look at all opportunities.

I'm a huge fan of the adventure genre, adventure games and also the classic LucasArts titles, and whatever way we can get out there for our rabid fanbase.

Do you ever the possibility of bringing back any of the older IP or is it all moving forward for you?

DR: That's what we did with Monkey Island, right? We brought it back and we reimagined Monkey Island with the Special Edition. We're working with Telltale on the Tales Of series. So, we kind of are bringing it back a little bit.

Sure, but in general, but do you see your IP as an opportunity for you? How do you make those decisions?

DR: Absolutely. If you look on Steam, we're doing a number of interesting bundles on Steam, and we'll continue to do that sort of thing because the fans want it. If you look at the blogs as well as all the emails and all the letters that we get, we're going to do what they want.
The Gamasutra interview the above snippet was taken from is mandatory reading, with other key points being the studio's promised commitment to growing internal development, as well as to the Indiana Jones franchise. But like I said, you'll already be reading about that.

In this week's Mojo podcast, we talk about our rivals at Lucas Cast, interview George Lucas, and Gabez takes a bath.

Download "Episode Two, The Fax Climax" here (25 minutes). It was produced and edited by Zaarin.

This is part two of a series separate from the main Mixnmojo podcast, in which Eltee, Zaarin, and I experiment with the podcast format. You can download "Episode One, Who Killed Ron Gilbert?" here (30 minutes), if you missed it first time round.


You can also subscribe to our cast on our RSS, or by searching for "Mixnmojo" on the iTunes store, and then clicking "subscribe."

Head over to Adventure Gamers if you want look at some new screenshots of the gorgeous-looking Ghost Pirates of Vooju Island, the new game from Autumn Moon Entertainment, who also made A Vampyre Story.

The game will be released in English territories on March 26th.

Not own Psychonauts? Shame on you. Not got it digitally and thought the recent Steam and GOG sales were still too expensive? Well, Steam still desperately wants you to buy it: until Thursday it's only £1/$2.

Now that's salesmanship.

Update by Kroms: Brutal Legend is going for a little over half of what its price was in October, a measly £17.99/$36.99.

Those who already own both Brutal and the PS3 game LittleBigPlanet should check out these out.

Source: Steam


Ghoul Patrol, the sort-of sequel to Zombies ate my Neighbors is apparently out on the Wii's Virtual Console service.
Ghoul Patrol
Original platform: Super NES
Publisher: LucasArts
Players: 1-2
ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10 and Older) – Mild Fantasy Violence
Price: 800 Wii Points
Description: The main attractions at the library's Goblin exhibit have come to life! As the Ghoul Patrol, you'll go back in time and de-spook an encyclopedia of zombified historic dudes. Vaporize garbage-can ghosts and ninja spirits, rescue bug-eyed librarians and wigged-out pirates, dodge flying books and adolescent-eating plants, and ultimately put the beastly spirit back in the history books.
Read the Mojo database entry here.

No idea when it will be hitting the PAL regions - they're still waiting for the Indiana Jones game.

Update by Jason: Don't look now, but we published a review!

No doubt you'll remember Heather Logas, a story writer and games designer on both series of Sam & Max (see our interview) and who recently left Telltale Games to work on her own projects.

Well, this is her own project. It's a new kind of concept that involves people pledging some money to support a game, a bit like patronising a playwright in Elizabethan times. If you pledge some money, you get free gifts, and the knowledge that you have supported creativity and artistic freedom.

The game itself? It is based on a choose your own adventure dynamic, like those books that told you to make decisions and then either go to page 42 or page 205. It is also about dreams.

For more information, and to watch a video of Ms Logas talking about her game, click here.

Source: Poem of the Week


Tim Schafer's latest video game Brutal Legend has been nominated in two categories at this year's GDC awards: Best Writing and Best Audio. Congratulations and good luck.

Those of you who were expecting Tales of Monkey Island to get any (and I mean any) nominations will be disappointed, as there are Pulitzer-worthy masterpieces like Halo 3: ODST to nominate for Best Writing instead.

Update: Brutal Legend has been nominated in five categories at the 13th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards (pdf): Strategy/Simulation Game of the Year, Outstanding Character Performance (for Eddie Riggs), Outstanding Achievement in Original Story, Outstanding Achievement in Soundtrack, and Outstanding Achievement in Game Direction. Congratulations, once again, and good luck: they've earned the nomination.

On the other hand, Tales has been snubbed again. This may or may not be due to the awards sucking. It's great they nominated Brutal Legend, but - unless they they hate good writing and extra drippings of fun but just have to nominate Schafer because of who he is - this a serious oversight.

As some have noted, the abruptly existent PC retail version of Insecticide that I've been on about started shipping this week, and my copy arrived today. So here are the details: the game comes in a jewel case in a cardboard sleeve, and the content of the CD is indeed "Insecticide: Part 1" as already available through Steam and other digital outlets. The packaging sneakily does not include "Part 1" anywhere - you only find that out once you open the case.

I do like that Southpeak has released this game in stores, but not when they clearly have no intention of seeing the game completed. Still, if you're interested in the game and gave up on Part 2, we're talking ten bucks here. Oh, and I should probably reprint this comment Larry Ahern left in our previous Insecticide news post about what happened with the PC version:
The design, FMVs, characters, and animation for Part 2 were finished, the levels were about 1/2 done, and then of course there was a lot of tuning to do. And, while I can't promise that getting half the game won't leave you hanging, if you've not played Part 1 yet, or only seen the DS version of Insecticide, the PC one is worth a look.

For those interested, we're trying to get the FMVs to Part 2 posted on our YouTube page. I know it's not the conclusion we all wanted, but it may give some fans some closure. Remind me not to make any more games with cliffhangers though. :)
So, hopefully Larry and Mike can get on those videos soon. For those who aren't aware, the FMVs are the work of Peter Tsaykel, who in addition to working on Grim Fandango is Telltale's lead animator.

I reckon that's about all there is left to say on this Insecticide release. Hopefully we can at least report the availability of those videos sometime in the future. If you're a publisher with some money to spend, why not give Crackpot a call? Please?

The Tales of MI blog has managed to interview the Telltale Monkey Island writers, plus Dave Grossman. Included are bits about the design process, an explanation for some of the more vague elements of the story (including a confirmation of a lot of ATMachine's theories), what Ron Gilbert did or did not contribute, and the possibility of a sequel.

- Mark Darin ("The Siege of Spinner Cay", "Rise of the Pirate God").

- Dave Grossman (head honcho, also writer/additional designer on The Secret of Monkey Island and Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge).

- Mike Stemmle ("The Launch of the Screaming Narwhal", "The Trial and Execution of Guybrush Threepwood").

- Sean Vanaman ("Lair of the Leviathan").

Good stuff, but more is needed. Maybe these guys can arrange it.

Source: Tales of MI blog


The Pumpkin Post noticed a blog update by Autumn Moon artist Jean-Louis Sirois (the same fella who's done all those Autumn Moon holiday images over the years) that's sure to entice you, as in it he shares some character concept art he did for Ghost Pirates of Vooju Island.

Interestingly, Sirois has yet to play the game himself because, like many of us, he's waiting on the English release. He writes that "it's looking like Voodoo Pirates will be out in the very near future in Canada/US," which is the first word we've heard of a North American release, although an English version will be available in the UK at minimum next month.

North By Northwest has a new feature highlighting old games you've never heard of. Well not "you've" but more "others've" in this case. Because their debut column is all about good ol' Grim Fandango.
After the extremely successful adventure titles Myst and Monkey Island, the adventure game genre seemed to be growing. Grim Fandango expanded on (and perhaps even perfected) certain elements of this genre while delivering the complexity and difficulty that fans of the genre demanded. Grim Fandango is one of the first examples of gaming as art. It had an impressively literary storyline (complete with social commentary on corruption and government), and showed a heavy film influence. But the game just didn’t sell well. And nobody knows why. Today, gaming aficionados still refer to the Grim Fandango Effect: games that fail despite being awesome.
Nice to be reminded that we Mojoers are not the only fans out there.

You probably know about the Collector's DVDs of Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People and Wallace & Gromit's Grand Adventures, which are available for purchase from Telltale's web site as is traditionally the case for all their series, which are collected on a disc at the end of their initial, digitally distributed run.

The Collector's DVDs have made their way to Amazon as you can see here and here, but somewhat more interesting is this additional Strong Bad DVD with a slightly different cover art. Also published by Telltale, it has a release date of February 16th and a price point of $19.99. Is it possible that Telltale is quietly releasing their own retail version of Strong Bad that may turn up in stores?

Sean Vanaman, writer of Tales of Monkey Island chapter three "Lair of the Leviathan", and writer/director of the third Wallace and Gromit episode "Muzzled!", has put up an interesting and informative blogpost about the meaning behind games. Included are tidbits on how the puzzles in "Leviathan" were designed and how they are approached, as well as featuring one cut puzzle.
I can't really do anything much of quality until I've figured out what something is about. Wallace and Gromit's Muzzled! was a steaming pile before I realized that it was about Gromit's relationship with and faith in Wallace and not about flash gadgets that turn arctic water-fowl into jewel thieves. Same goes for Monkey Island -- I routinely pee'd in Joe Pinney's cheerios, metaphorically speaking, giving him narrative garbage to work with until I put my finger on the pulse of Guybrush's grand story and what it's about. (Uh, monkeys, right?)
It's worth a read.

Chuck Jordan, who you may know as one of the writers on Curse of Monkey Island, and one of the writers/designers/directors on Strong Bad and Sam and Max ("Abe Lincoln Must Die!" onwards), wrote a sort-of response that is also very interesting and worth a read. Moreover, it, too, uses urination as an example to explain things - just sayin'.

Both of them frequently post interesting things to talk about - as do most of the blog-owning people Mixnmojo covers - so I'd recommend subscribing to their blogs in general for good measure.

It seems that the obscenely delayed but still highly welcome retail release of Sam & Max: Season 2 (redubbed Sam & Max Through Time and Space) for PC and Wii by the fine folks at Atari is just about here, if Amazon is anything to go by. They list both versions, which have highly excellent prices attached, for February 9th. While this remains unconfirmed, it isn't that improbable, and at any rate Telltale's official word on the subject is "soon."

While I imagine most of us already own the PC version of this excellent game through the Telltale route, complete with amazing Purcell cover art, it's always great to see more Sam & Max on a store shelf, where they can wreak havoc on the general public more easily. And of course, we now finally have the opportunity to play through the adventure using our Wiimotes, which pretty much rules.

The alleged shipping date for the PC retail Insecticide that I mentioned not that long ago has arrived, and now lists the availability status as "Usually ships within 2 to 3 weeks," which is a telltale sign that the game doesn't actually exist. Should my pre-order ever ship, though, I'll apprise.

Update: So if you view the page again, you'll notice that the placeholder cover art (which sported a "Part 1" and the Gamecock logo), has been replaced with a new cover with Southpeak's name on it, indicating it as part of their "PC Classics" line. This makes the release seem a lot more real, wavering availability aside, but the question still remains as to whether or not this will just be Part 1, or, for the first time, the entire game. We'll keep you posted.

... and to celebrate, Telltale is giving away a free Strong Bad game featuring Trogdor the Burninator. No. Seriously. For free.

Stop reading this, then, and run and download.

During an annoucement by EA that it was lowering its 2010 fiscal projections, CEO John Riccitiello seems to have indirectly referenced Star Wars: The Old Republic's release window:
Riccitiello also said that the company is planning to launch "our major new MMO"--presumably BioWare Austin's Star Wars: The Old Republic--in "spring 2011." It was unclear if he meant calendar year 2011, or EA's 2011 fiscal year, which ends on March 31, 2011.
Granted, it is indeed a presumption that he is referring to The Old Republic at all, since there are other possible EA-related MMO candidates. Still, given the lack of recent news on the project, I don't think many honestly expected to see The Old Republic before 2011 at this point.

Tingler Confirms: Kotaku confirms that Bioware confirms. So it's confirmed.

Ron Gilbert's new game DeathSpank is "very close" to completion, which (hopefully) means it's also very close to getting released. In celebration, here are some details and trivia that have accumulated since PAX. These aren't new, exclusive revelations - you can get most of it from this PAX demo, whilst simultaneously enjoying the music of composer Jeff Tymoschuk. If you prefer your lavish game details in the form of text, though, simply click on the universally-accepted button for lavish game details in the form of text, the "Read More" link; but, do beware of spoilers.<:MORENEWS:>

The first important thing to know is that, in the videos, enemies are stopping themselves from attacking Deathspank because their aggro status is off - in Ron's words, "It's easier to capture footage when monsters aren't doing things you don't expect."

The story at the beginning of the game is simple: Deathspank's sword has been broken, and he needs another one. The person to go to is Eubrick the Retired (Formerly Eubrick the Bitter...), a retired adventurer, who will lend Deathspank his sword Bessy if Spanky gets him a spicy taco ("I want a tank! No, wait...a taco!"). Unfortunately, the only person willing to make a taco spicy enough for Eubrick refuses to make it, a result of a previous lawsuit. This is all related to Deathspank being out to rescue a bunch of orphans from the nefarious Lord Von Prong, who has trapped some orphans in a castle, and Sergeant Orq, the Orq (the q makes it "totally new and different") responsible for breaking Deathspank's sword. The Sergeant is hanging out at Camp Orqawanga, a summer camp for Orqs. This is worth mentioning because, as you see in the video, entering Orqawanga will make the sun slowly set (the same happens in at least one other video). All of this is somehow related to a place called Scurvyville - a town for pirates and home to the important Captain Taint - and Cliche Island, which, in an unforeseen cliche, I mysteriously know nothing about. There's also the Demon Mines, which house some more of the orphans Deathspank is seeking, and the Sanctuary for the Wounded you can learn about by watching the video and jumping ahead to 06:50 minutes.

the game is usually pitched as a hybrid of adventure and RPG games. Little is known about that, though this Idle Thumbs podcast sheds a bit of light.
What we do know is that you can assign attacks the way you want to (the Xbox's A button to cleave, for example) and whenever you want, as well as dress Deathspank up in your choice of clothes and armor. This all relates to the puzzles. For instance: when in Scurvyville, dress as the pirates do. There's also a targeting system, and, as I'm sure many of you will be happy to know, zero loading time.

The developers are using a production methodology that lets them know if the game is fun or not and, if it's the latter, to quickly break down and make a new combat system over the course of a week. The game has been externally playtested and is now in the "tweaking stages".

Deathspank can die, though this isn't a game about punishing the player and, upon dying, the titular hero should be transported back in front of the last dancing outhouse he, uh, made a deposit at. How and if this will affect things like stats and weapons is unknown.

The art direction's notable for being a "forced roll perspective". The idea is based on a toilet paper roll. Imagine pulling out the paper, looking at it from a low angle, but seeing little 2D papercraft art popping up, very slowly and gradually. This allows the designers to have the exploration and rich feel of 3D graphics, while maintaining the look and charm of good 2D art. The cutscenes are being animated by Klei Entertainement, whose work you can check out in this trailer for their upcoming game Shank.

There you go. The interview I linked at the top of the newspost should give you more info, as should the podcast. I hope you enjoy.

Continuing the post-holiday catch-up, we'd like to direct your attention to this blog post over at Grumpy Gamer, which includes a peek at two of the voice actors of DeathSpank: Michael Dobson (the titular hero) and his brother Brian Dobson (Eubrick the Retired). Read Ron's post and then check out each performer's lengthy filmography on IMDB, like I did.

On Christmas day, while we were all spending time with our families and Ebenezer Scrooge was repenting, hosted site The Pumpkin Post reported that Ghost Pirates of Vooju Island will be published in France, having already conquered or is slated to conquer the Germanic and British territories of Europe.

According to the source for the news of the French release, the month will be February, and the publisher will be Micro Application. And the recipient will be your face.

Develop Online has a new article on recent Star Wars related happenings inside LucasArts.
“Ultimately, if you have a really good story you’ll have a really good episode and as result you’ll have a truly great game. I always say to the games people ‘Look, with that idea this is how I would do it. If that makes sense for you or not in your game, I don’t know, but a Jedi would definately do that in our show,’ for example.”

Source: Develop


Okay, the Escape from Monkey Island Secret History article has fallen way behind. But all that means is that you've had all kinds of extra time to submit a reader opinion on the game. Yet you still haven't! So, really, it's you that dropped the ball here.

But we're giving you one last chance. The EMI article is in its final few years of production, which means that we need all second opinions received by the end of this week in order to lock them into the article before we hand it off to ImageMovers to commence all that CGI work. So send them in, ye swabs!

Also, as my way of saying thank you for not keelhauling me over the article's slight postponement, enjoy this trailer Jake probably put together back in The Day:


What was that I was saying not too long ago about Maniac Mansion fans?

A reader by the name of Fedez sent me two pieces of fan art earlier today, a drawing of Razor with a skull earring, and another of the big happy Edison family gazing upon the evil purple meteor. The only time that hamster wore a more terrified expression was when Syd pressed the "reheat" button on the microwave.

Don't you think it would be great if, I don't know, some hypothetical hosted site that used to flourish but now no longer gets updated returned in a glorious comeback in order to archive fan art like this? Just thinking out loud here.

Ever heard of the Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom arcade game? It was converted to various home systems in various crappy forms, but the arcade was always the best to look at and play. Want a look?

And in other incredibly old-school Indy gaming news, ever wanted to play the very first Raiders of the Lost Ark game but were put off by the dawn-of-gaming graphics? Well, try this remake then!

The December issue of Game Developer magazine had a well written, very interesting and thorough postmortem on the development of Brutal Legend, penned by Caroline Esmurdoc, executive producer at Double Fine productions. GameSetWatch has printed large excerpts from the article and made them available to read.

Topics include the tacky method Activision used to inform Double Fine that they had dropped their game, mistakes made and how the developer plans to avoid them in the future, and how the lawsuit affected the game's development.

Thanks to GameSetWatch for publishing the excerpts, and to Caroline for writing the article. More of this kind of thing, please.

Update: When I originally posted this, I had to move it down a couple of stories for more immediate news. I'm pushing it back up, so that anyone who missed it at first gets a second chance to read it.

Source: GameSetWatch


The complete Sam and Max is going for a $15 on Steam today. The series - developed by Telltale Games - centers on an anthromorphic dog and sociopathic bunny dubbed the "Freelance Police" (the joke's in the title) who take down everything from 70's TV stars to Santa Claus.

Note that when I say "complete," I do not mean Hit the Road or the canceled Freelance Police, but don't let that stop you from campaigning. It never stopped the Poison Pen, even though no-one agrees with him.

Just before Christmas, Eltee and I had a go at a one-off podcast with a different format.

After listening to the result, we both decided to delete the files and never speak of it again. Except then Zaarin weaved his editing magic on it, and it seemed a little more presentable, and rather apposite at this time as well, since it is a podcast that deals with 2009 and the noughties.

I sound like I'm jumping about a lot, probably because I was jumping about a lot, inside a decompression chamber on the moon. Eltee, meanwhile, talks back to me from a cupboard in Cambridge.

Click here to listen to the Experimental Podcast.

We wish you a happy new year.

Update: We have posted a wee overview of the decade.

I swear this game is cursed. Head on over to this here quietly added product page for a retail PC version of Insecticide. The listed release date is January 12th and the asking price is $9.99.

As you may know, Insecticide was from the beginning built as a PC game, but the simultaneously developed DS port ended up being finished first. Although a PC retail version was always planned eventually (as evidenced by the PDF manual and all the tentative PC cover art referencing DVD-ROM media), Gamecock decided to put the game out "bisodically" through digital distribution first. As anyone who's been following this game knows, Insecticide fell off the map altogether after Part 1 was released and Gamecock was acquired by Southpeak, leaving us with a complete but heavily scaled down DS version, half of a PC version as a digital download, and 0% of a PC version on a physical disc.

While I would like to think that the Amazon page is a sign that the game is finally seeing the light of day, I wouldn't get my hopes up. Bear in mind that this would not be the first time the PC version of the game had a phantom Amazon product page that ended up meaning nothing. It's also somewhat fishy that this would suddenly materialize mere weeks before the supposed release. We'll keep you posted as always, but don't be surprised if that page conveniently disappears or at the very least turns out to be something different than it seems. Any of you adorable optimists out there though should feel free to pre-order.

Update: I asked Mike Levine of Crackpot Entertainment if he cared to comment on the situation and he got back to me with "We don't know a thing about this." Doesn't bode too well.