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New hosted site: Pacomania

30 Jul, 2004, 16:31 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 2
Who'd have thought? A new hosted site! Much like Dansky's (neglected) MicroXel Arts gallery site, the ever-present Paco Vink has started his own personal page on The Mojo, featuring a lot of art of his you probably haven't see before. Paco is of course the co-webmaster of The World of Monkey Island and the artist behind its popular comic adaptation of Monkey Island 1, but on Pacomania you'll find a lot more than MI fan art. Enjoy.
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Revenge of the Star Wars News

29 Jul, 2004, 02:40 | Posted by: Metallus | Comments: 5
Actually, this post isn't about the title of Star Wars Episode III at all; in fact, it might be about something interesting! See, I used an exclamation point. Anyway, teh LucasArts updated its Republic Commando info page with a new, long video walkthrough of a level set on the wookiee planet Kashyyyyy??yyyk.

Though you can't make out too much of the scenery (let's just say it's a bit dark), it's a great look at how the game is played and the clip is surprisingly generous in that respect. Though I'm unsure what to think of the game concept right now (I liked Halo but wasn't crazy about Brute Force), I was impressed by the inside-the-helmet HUD design, as shown in all its shaky glory in this video. Judge for yourself here. Yeah, I know you hate Star Wars games, you told me.
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ScummVM 0.6.1 now available

27 Jul, 2004, 12:52 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 2
Endy of the ScummVM team posted a note in our forums letting everyone know that a new version of ScummVM is out.

The new release contains mostly bug fixes (including fixing the bulk of the sound problems in Curse of Monkey Island, Full Throttle, and The Dig), as well as adds support for 64-bit processors. You should go download the latest version today. Don't know what ScummVM is? Ask in the comments and someone will explain.
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SW LEGO Game footage online

26 Jul, 2004, 22:14 | Posted by: jp-30 | Source: from bricks to bothans | Comments: 2
Well, this game looks like it will have something for everyone. Recorded at the recent ComiCon, five fan-shot quicktime clips have been posted at the Star Wars LEGO site 'from bricks to bothans'. Make sure you read the hands on report, that way you'll discover why TC-14 is hopping everywhere in the Droid Control ship (shades of Monty Python).

And if the thought "Who would win a fight between Yoda, Maul, a clonetrooper & Jango Fett" keeps you up at night, you'll love 'clip 5' - no doubt from a bonus level.
Check out the full report with video clips here.
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Hey, new guy!

23 Jul, 2004, 13:35 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 5
Looks like LucasArts has hired someone to their management team who isn't an ex-Electronic Arts employee. After the recent employee departures/layoffs/firings, LEC was left without a Vice President of Marketing, which is something you generally need to run a medium to large sized game company.

Enter John Geoghegan, a marketing guy who seems to have quite a bit of experience marketing things. I don't think there's much more to say than that. We at Mojo of course wish John the best of luck in helping LucasArts stabilize itself, find focus, and maybe stop sucking.
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"Summer of Utility" also happening

22 Jul, 2004, 17:55 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 3
The venerable bgbennyboy and his "Quick & Easy" series of LucasArts game utilities are due for a major update. Fortunately, that's what they'll be getting next week, as Benny launches the first ever "Quick & Easy Week."

Starting this coming Monday, he'll be posting a decent update to every utility in the Q&E suite, and good times will be had by all. Everyone is welcome to attend. Punch will be served.
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Over at the Scumm Bar today is a new editorial by their webmaster, Gabez. In the story, titled "An open letter to LucasArts," Gabez tries to trace a line through many of LEC's past anti-fan actions, from the shuttering of ShawArts in the late 90s up through recent events like legal threats to ScummVM and the cancellation of Sam & Max 2.

He also manages to work Monkey Island 5 in there, if that somehow makes the story more enticing to you. After reading that article it's a wonder anyone's left around here at all. ... Er you are still here, right? Hello?
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LucasArts at Comic Con 2004

22 Jul, 2004, 13:07 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 0
LucasArts has put up the website regarding their presence at this year's San Diego Comic Con (sadly lacking last year's "Ronda's Journey" blog section). If you're interested in what LucasArts will be up to at the Con this year, take a look. If you're not interested, go visit Idle Thumbs or something. ? ?
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EGM: "New publisher for Psychonauts?"

21 Jul, 2004, 17:38 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 0
Though everyone has sort of assumed and/or hoped for the best, the fate of Tim Schafer's new game Psychonauts, has been a bit unknown since their original publisher, Microsoft Game Studios, dropped the game four months ago. Are things looking up?

According to hosted site Tim Fandango, the latest issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly (on page 21) says that Psychonauts may in fact have found a publisher, and may possibly be set to be released in February 2005. If true (cross your fingers), this is great news. Any sort of "new publisher" or "not dead" news is good to hear.

Even if it's in no way a confirmation of the new publisher rumors, it's pretty encouraging that Double Fine has been on a hiring binge lately, with three new employees and another three new listings on their jobs page.
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Over the last few months we've been gradually improving the Mojo games database. I'd just like to show our readers some of what we've done.

First, there's a recent update regarding Indiana Jones and the Iron Phoenix, a canceled graphic adventure from the early 1990's which was supposed to be a sequel for Fate of Atlantis. The general plot overview is that Indy goes hunting for the Philosophers' Stone in 1947 Germany, in order to stop a madman who wants to create legions of undead Nazi warriors.

Anyways, I've added a detailed description of Iron Phoenix's storyline, taken from its four-issue Dark Horse Comics adaptation. Go have a read, and marvel at what could have been.

Next, we've uploaded some screenshots and concept art from the late Sam & Max: Freelance Police and Full Throttle: Hell on Wheels, as well as a few unused background images from the PC CD version of Loom.

Finally, all the images from early versions of The Dig that I posted several months ago on the Mojo forums are now located in the game's Concept Art gallery. There's also a lot of info about the early designs' plot and puzzles in the Dig database entry, so if you haven't seen it already, take a look.

That's it for now. We'll keep you posted if anything else interesting pops up.
(Also, my first news post! Yay for me.)

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Jim Ward to Employees: No Soup For You

15 Jul, 2004, 07:54 | Posted by: DJG | Comments: 17
An internal memo from LucasArts' part-time president Jim Ward has appeared on the net. Basically, it's an announcement that there will be no bonuses this year, along with a lot of motivational words on making "insanely great games".

The news value of this memo is admittedly low -- after all, it's no secret that LucasArts isn't doing very well -- though we'd be lying if we said the memo wasn't interesting on any sort of level.<:MORENEWS:>

Ward calls for the LucasArts employees to make "Insanely great games that will restore the luster to the LucasArts logo so that when we, and our consumers, see it on our packaging and on our games, we'll all know that the Gold Guy is once again the mark of leading edge innovation, creativity and amazing fun." Where did we hear that before? (Pretend that sentence is linked to an archived Mojo interview with Simon Jeffery, then pretend Mojo has archived articles.)

Sadly, there is no mention of any intention to make less Star Wars games. "Make a difference," the memo reads. "Effect change. Make Battlefront, Galaxies, KOTOR II, Mercenaries, Republic Commando and the Episode III games the best that they can be." While it would certainly help to make the Star Wars games actually good, it's obviously only half the equation.

Okay, given that this is a leaked internal memo, it would probably be unfair towards Mr. Ward et al. to quote from it excessively on forums. Or to make crappy fan art with Photoshopped pictures of George Lucas to go with it. Or, say, a LucasArts hate 'em up game. Though I'd be surprised if -- after crushing all our little hearts with the cancellation of Sam & Max 2 -- anyone still has any goodwill left. At least Jim Ward likes the word "insane", so he probably means well.
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Monkey Island music live in concert

14 Jul, 2004, 17:48 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 6
Surely this news will cause at least one person somewhere to wet themselves. According to Music4Games, music from the Monkey Island series will be performed as part of an eclectic live orchestral game music concert August 18th at the GC - Games Convention in Leipzig, Germany.

The music will be performed by the "FILMharmonic Orchestra" (featuring members of the Prague Symphony Orchestra). For a bit more info check out the article at M4G, or the GC 2004 program info and ticket page.
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The Return Of The Gilbert (Maybe)

14 Jul, 2004, 14:21 | Posted by: DJG | Source: Adventure-Treff | Comments: 13
A new interview reveals that Ron Gilbert is going back to mainstream gaming and that a publishing deal is about to be signed.

The Austrian radio channel FM4 is airing a series of programs on "the renaissance of graphic adventures", which today will consist of an interview with Ron Gilbert. A German transcript of it is available here. In it, Ron says he's going to make a game for adults (i.e. not a kids game), though implied that it won't be an adventure game.

Besides that, no one can honestly say what's going on. Ron Gilbert continued doing children's games (together with Dave Grossman) for some time. The website of Hulabee Entertainment hadn't been updated for ages though, and recently changed back to just a logo.

Besides a selection from the usual topics (violence in games, whether Myst killed adventure games, comparisons between games and other media) the interview contains a few other tidbits of note. Ron attributes the best dialog in any adventure game to Tim Schafer for Grim Fandango. Also, when asked to "explain the tentacles" from Maniac Mansion, he said: "because they're so phallic."

To be continued, no doubt. (On his new game, that is.)
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Theforce.net reports on forthcoming plans to shop a gaming concept to LucasFilm whereby the game input is controlled via brainwaves.
Steven Barnes: "there is a project that I am working on that would... control the video game with your feelings, instead of with a joystick, literally use the force to control the game ... you would attach sensors to your body and use your feelings to control the game ... I'm part of a project to work with this right now I can't tell you anymore about it but we hopefully will be presenting this to Lucasfilm within a month or so and if this happens we'll probably be announcing it at the Indiana meeting next year [Celebration?] But I don't know if this will happen but I have been telling these people that with their technology with what I know about storytelling that it could be done and that the Star Wars fan would support it if it works"
For all the details, the original source, audio of the interview and info on Steven Barnes, visit the links provided at theforce.net. Further info on the state of harnessing neural waves to control applications can be read here.

Am I the only person envisaging implant chips in gamer's skulls, and Star Wars: Yoda's Force Lift Challenge at the next E3?
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OT SW on GBA, LOL!

13 Jul, 2004, 20:13 | Posted by: jp-30 | Source: Star Wars official site | Comments: 4
Posted yesterday at starwars.com is news of a new cell-shaded Star Wars game based on the original Star Wars movies for the GameBoy Advance. The game is a collaboration with Ubi-Soft & LucasArts - usual GBA partner THQ is nowhere to be seen.
Star Wars Trilogy: Apprentice of the Force will challenge gamers to adventure through the most exciting and memorable scenes from the classic Star Wars movies. Gamers can control Luke Skywalker as he becomes a Jedi Knight, fight Darth Vader and Boba Fett, escape from the fearsome rancor beast, and destroy the Death Star. The game allows gamers to take part in unique co-operative single-player and competitive multiplayer modes, and participate in other memorable Star Wars-based tests.
There are several in-game screenshots and a character montage on the info-page. It's due for release on the same day as the Star Wars DVDs and the LucasArts game 'Battlefront', so if you still have money to spare on that day, and still have a Star Wars fix to sort out, and own a GBA, maybe this game'll be for you.
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Vampyre Story Interview on AG

10 Jul, 2004, 13:29 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 9
A Vampyre Story, one of the many new adventures under development from ex-LECers, is the subject of a new interview over at Adventure Gamers. Here's a quote from Mike Kirchoff, one of the game's developers:
I founded the company in 2002 and teamed up with a programmer, also from LucasArts, to create a playable proof of concept for the game. We had both enjoyed making adventure games. But with the drop in sales for that genre, it became harder to get assigned to new adventure game projects at LEC. It seemed like the only logical way to be a part of that kind of project again was to create something independently.
A Vampyre Story is a comedy adventure set in the Victorian era, similar in tone to the games of LEC's past. Definitely worth checking out.
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Summer of Retro? goes International

04 Jul, 2004, 23:29 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 17
Anyone who reads the Scumm Bar knows that this summer they've been celebrating the "Summer of Retro?," AKA a chance to upload and divert attention to lots of old content that's fallen through the cracks through the years, or things that may have intentionally gone away but need to be unearthed for nostalgic purposes. And to hide that there's no new Monkey Island news worth mentioning anymore.

Well, here at the Mojo, we've decided (without the permission of Remi or Gabez), to launch our own unauthorized Summer of Retro? Hasty Bootleg Edition. Over the next couple months I hope to unearth some of the old hosted sites, bring back many of Mojo's missing articles that disappeared over the years, and (God willing) drop in a couple new things. Of course this is Mojo Time we're dealing in here, so the Summer of Retro may in fact turn into the Endless Summer of Retro, but really, nobody's complaining right?

I might as well point out that I accidentally started the Summer of Retro Hasty Bootleg Edition just last week with the reintroduction of the classic hosted fansite Highland Productions. You might also enjoy the Scumm Bar's recent posting of a ton of those old link buttons which used to litter the Mojo Network, back when the Mojo Network existed. Nostalgia City. Enjoy.
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