Gamasutra has the 2nd part of its Telltale interview up, this time with CEO Dan Connors and GameTap guy David Reid.
GS: Have you been approached by any of the console makers for digital distribution on, say, Xbox Live Arcade, or Nintendo's Virtual Console, or whatever the heck Sony's doing with the PlayStation 3?Sounds interesting...
DC: Actually, David [Reid] and I were just talking about this. Figuring out this whole episodic move-over into distribution, it's something that you have to be there to learn the behavior of the audience, and what the consumers want, and start tailoring the products in that direction. So the fact that Telltale's sort of jumped in the water and learned how to swim, we're starting to see that we're in a position to work with Xbox and Sony to deliver content for their system that's right.
Again, it's this broadband-friendly, higher quality product than just Bejeweled. It's either a Bejeweled / Tetris kind of thing, or whatever huge title, like?Oblivion. And there's a ton of space in-between, you know. Oblivion isn't broadband friendly, and Bejeweled is not an Xbox title. So there's this whole space that needs to be filled, and Telltale's kind of commitment two years ago to fill this role has put us in the position to be the right answer for people like Xbox and Sony.
More Comic-Con coverage is surfacing, this time a Gamasutra interview with Dave Grossman, which is part one of a larger, ongoing Telltale interview. Lots of neato stuff in there, including some of those ever popular behind-the-scenes tidbits about the makings of the classics. Here's a sample:
GS: What do you think of cutscenes?For future Comic-Con Telltale coverage keep your eye on this thread (though we'll probably post about it here too to make it seem like we're active).
DG: I like them in very small doses. I kind of learned my lesson on that, Day of the Tentacle had one of the most notoriously long beginnings in any game I can think of. And in fact, we cut it in half. There's kind of an interactive part in the middle where you kind of get to the mansion and it's like, 'oh, let's find the tentacles' and stuff. Well, that was just put in there to actually break up the original cutscene that was something like seven minutes long!
Oh, and out of nowhere Gamasutra also decided to put up this podcast with Tim Schafer from the 2004 Game Developers Conference where he lectures on character design. Outdated stuff rocks!
Dan Connors of Telltale Games quoted from this Game Informer article;
GI: A lot of those LucasArts franchises are still very popular ? you spoke about Day of the Tentacle. Is there a chance you?ll be able to wrangle a few more of those away for more episodes? Are you working on that at all?
Connors: It?s definitely on our minds and it?s definitely something we think about. Maybe I can give you more information a while from now. It?s definitely something that makes good sense to everybody. For them it?s the same thing. For them it?s "What?s the business model? What?s the retail model?" It?s not their type of game ? it?s not Star Wars, it?s not with the movie, with the lightsaber ? an action game. When trying to do the two things at the same time it makes it challenging. They?ve been trying to figure out the right solution, and hopefully Telltale is part of it.
Monkey Island 5a, 5b, 5c...etc ahoy!
(Of course the article actually namechecks Day of the Tentacle, and co-writer / designer of that title, Dave Grossman, works at Telltale these days).
Source: Game Informer
Leech off of others! Adventure Gamers has got a cool image of Sam and Max's office (among other screens) from the upcoming games right here. Notice anything familiar about that date on the stacked box? Check out the rest of the great environment art, some of which is from the online and printed 1up previews, and most of which is brand new. Good thing we have no integrity.
For the sake of interest, here's the Freelance Police version so that you can see how the same thing was done twice, only different.
Doesn't it all look great and/or awesome?
Whilst the latest movie rumours are very ????, Grim Fandango fans have at least one new thing to celebrate: the relaunching of the Department of Death!
The site has had plenty of new stuff added to it, as well as still having all the content from the old DOD... and it?s also home to a Grim Fandango mod for Half-life 2 that is worth keeping an eye on.
So go visit!
Update: No movie for you! (Thanks to Thrik and James Isaac)
More or less. Check out the three awesome-looking images on 1up as well as the accompanying preview, which claims that we'll get a two-hour episode monthly! We also have an official release month, October, and even some vague plot elements for the pilot episode! Be sure to buy that August issue of CGW when it's out in stores, or right now online - it contains a different preview from the 1up article as well as more screens.
And, don't forget that today's episode of The 1up Show will feature Sam & Max. Exciting stuff, guys!
Update: 1up's "gamevideos.com" has a video feature up called The Return of Sam & Max.
It's typical - you wait around for years for some new Monkey Island music and then loads comes along at once.
Firstly we have a cover of the Phatt Island music by a band called Neskimos, discovered by MorteTheSkull on the Monkey Island forums.
They're a metal band, and that might be a little heavy and distorted for your taste (plus it's live so the quality isn't as good as it could be) but I think it's pretty good! The track will apparently appear in studio recording form on their upcoming album "NESkimo Brutality."
Whilst I was revealing this news to the fan community, however, Zaarin told me that Press Play on Tape (a 'Commodore 64 Revival Band') had been quietly touring the globe playing Monkey Island tunes themselves. I went to their website to investigate, where I found a video of the band playing the Monkey Island theme and LeChuck theme in London.
But wait! There's more! Over at Amiga Remix Zaarin unearthed yet more Monkey Island covers by PPOT.
We are surely spoiling you! Go download you fools, before father time catches up with you.
Press Release (truncated):
Lucasfilm Animation Singapore Announces New Handheld Games Group and Digital Artist Group Units to Be Added to Singapore Studio
-- With CG Animated Television Series Already in Development, Singapore-Based Studio Begins Aggressive Recruiting and Hiring for New Units
Lucasfilm Animation Singapore, which opened its doors for business in October 2005, announced that it is expanding the size and scope of the studio to include a newly-formed Handheld Games Group to work together with LucasArts in the U.S., and a Digital Artists Group to work alongside Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) for the production of visual effects work.
"We're thrilled to be already expanding on the work being created at our Singapore studio," said Christian Kubsch, General Manager of Lucasfilm Animation Singapore. "We've already hired more than 60 employees from 20 different countries for our animated television series. The new hiring effort for our Handheld Games Group and Digital Artists Group will expand our palette of talent even further and allows us to work with our colleagues in the U.S. at LucasArts and Industrial Light & Magic. It's a very exciting time."
So, there you go. Slightly more information in the full press release that you can read here.
Source: Business Wire
Bill Tiller has been interviewed by Working Title and spills a lot of new info about A Vampyre Story. The team is coming together nicely;
Well right now we have five, but it move up to ten in a few months. We have two more employees to hire and then my team will be complete. But right now we are finishing up preproduction, which we have been on for last two years, just not full time... So my writer, Dave Harris and I are finalizing the game idea with input from the rest of the team. My programmer Aaron St John is starting on the game engine. Bill Eaken, one of the artists is doing initial background work as well as concept art and character designs. My character modeler will be starting this month and will work on the characters already designed, and Mark Teal, my Producer, is setting up the data base and helping me write the production schedule.Check the interview for the rest of the information. There also looks to be a few previously unseen screenshots in amongst the bunch gracing the story.
Source: Working Title
In perhaps Bono's first appearance in Mojo news, the U2 singer has become embroiled in controversy over funding of games developers Bioware/Pandemic.
SPIN.com: While Bono is usually touted for his advocacy and relief work, the singer has recently come under fire for his involvement in a video game that depicts a war-torn Venezuela. According to the New York Post, a private equity firm that Bono established invested $300 million in Pandemic Studios, which made the game Mercenaries 2: World in Flames. In the game, the player takes on the role of a mercenary sent to a "war-torn world" where a "power-hungry tyrant messes with Venezuela's oil supply," according to Pandemic.Of course LucasArts published the first Mercenaries game which probably sparked similar outrage from North Korea but didn't have a tenouous link to a famous pop star to give the story any legs.
Among the groups speaking out about the matter is the Venezuela Solidarity Network, which is made up of more than 50 U.S.-based organizations. They've asked Bono to halt production of the game, saying it "is designed to demean the Venezuelan people, to undermine the democratically elected government of Venezuela." The group noted that the game might be used as a recruiting tool since it is aimed at teens and "20-something males, the same target market for military recruiting."
Despite LucasArts President Jim Ward publically saying that Mercenaries is the sort of non-Star Wars IP they're going to spin into a franchise, it seems the deal soured and Bioware/Pandemic are currently shopping for another publisher. LucasArts are probably pretty thankful right now that they're not caught up in this, freeing up valuable resources to develop more Star Wars games.
Source: Google news
Early reports indicate that Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest has had the highest opening day ever, earning approximately $55.5 million yesterday. Hmm...this movie opens bigger than Star Wars Episode III, and LucasArts has this comedic, supernatural pirate game license on its hands. No, wait, they'd better hold off until 2015, because right now they have all these original ideas to focus their attention on.
Update: Weekend earnings has been estimated to be $132 million, easily beating Spider-Man's previous record of $115 million.
A Vampyre Story's publisher has a name today, the Germany based Crimson Cow. While the publisher's CEO is noticeably not a self-proclaimed doctor, it does have some things going for it, such as having an actual and respected history of producing adventure games. Check out their site for a tiny bit of info. It's confirmed that Crimson Cow has the worldwide publishing rights. The speculative release for the game right now is Q4 2007. A Halloween release, perhaps? Anywho, keep your eye on both companies, as we're sure to be hearing more as production kicks into high gear.<:MORENEWS:>
Here's the press release from Crimson Cow's English language site:
Crimson Cow and Autumn Moon Entertainment sign worldwide publishing deal
The Hamburg-based publisher Crimson Cow today announced that a publishing agreement has been signed between Autumn Moon Entertainment and Crimson Cow. Through the agreement, Crimson Cow has secured the worldwide rights to the adventure "A Vampyre Story" which is currently under development by Autumn Moon Entertainment. Both companies are pleased to be able to pool their many years of experience in the creation and publication of excellent adventures.
?A Vampyre Story? has been written by Bill Tiller, the founder of Autumn Moon Entertainment. A former employee of Lucas Arts, Tiller won himself a place in the hearts of adventure fans through his work on titles such as Steven Spielberg's The Dig, the legendary The Curse of Monkey Island, and Indiana Jones. A Vampyre Story combines modern 3D animations with the qualities of classic 2D adventures and exceptional style.
The point-and-click adventure "A Vampyre Story" tells the story of the beautiful, gifted opera singer Mona De Lafitte, whose life is brought to an abrupt end by a vampire baron named Shrowdy von Kiefer. Henceforth, she is doomed to a miserable existence as the unwilling companion of the vampire in his gloomy castle. Fate smiles on her briefly when her undead captor is destroyed. Seizing the opportunity, Mona runs away from Baron von Kiefer and tries to fulfill her dream of singing at the Paris Opera. Accompanied by her mischievous bat Froderick, Mona must face a number of challenges in her odyssey and learn not only to accept her vampire nature, but also to use the abilities she has acquired to her advantage.
Karsten Otto, managing director of Crimson Cow GmbH, is looking forward to the release next year: "We are convinced that an outstanding interactive story and excellent art design are at the heart of every exceptional game. A Vampyre Story embodies both, and we are proud to be able to contribute to the worldwide revival of the unique, exciting experience of the adventure genre in 2007."
Bill Tiller, CEO and Creative Director of Autumn Moon Entertainment, is also pleased about the deal: "My long-standing experience in this industry has taught me above all: Key to the success of any production is a team that believes in the project from day one, and that can focus all of its know-how and passion. Only then does a great idea become a great game! In Crimson Cow we have found just the right partner, and together we will publish an absolutely top product.?
For more information about A Vampyre Story as well as the first images, please visit the official AVS teaser site http://www.amegames.com/vs/
About Crimson Cow:
Crimson Cow was founded in 2002 in Hamburg (Germany) and is a publisher of high quality, sophisticated interactive entertainment. Among other titles, Crimson Cow has the German licenses for the enormously successful "Runaway" (2002) and the innovative "Fenimore Fillmore: Wanted" (2004), both of which contributed significantly to the revival of the adventure genre. Since the foundation of Crimson Cow, approx. 10 titles have been published or are in preparation, including the undisputed market leader in cycling games, the "Pro Cycling Manager" series. For more information and contact details, please visit www.crimsoncowgames.com
About Autumn Moon Entertainment:
Founded in 2004, privately owned Autumn Moon Entertainment, LLC develops original entertainment products for computer, console, and other media. Autumn Moon's main focus is on creating beautifully rendered and funny linear games with complex and intriguing stories for audiences looking for an alternative to main stream games. The company's goal is to combine the traditional story telling style of Disney animated movies, with the humor and game play of Lucas Arts' early adventure games, and combined with our own unique senilities to create a fun and fulfilling entertainment experience. Autumn Moon's production team consists of experienced entertainment veterans, many of whom worked at Lucas Arts and other leading studios. The talented AME team is very passionate, intelligent, hard working, and funny, with a lot of experience in creating dramatic entertainment, including plays, games, animated movies, books, live action movies and comic books. Autumn Moon's founder, Bill Tiller, has consistently won awards and rave reviews for his work on such Lucas Arts titles as Steven Spielberg's The Dig, Rebel Assault, The Curse of Monkey Island, Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine, Guild Wars, and EA's The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.
Telltale's most recent blog entry reports that the next issue of Computer Gaming World, due out July 24, will feature a massive nine-page article on the Sam & Max game. They also point out that The 1UP Show podcast show will be talking about Sam & Max in their July 14th episode! Sam & Max have taken over the gaming media in an appropriately violent manner.
So be sure to buy that magazine when it comes out, with your money. Unlike you're going to do with issue 127 of PC Powerplay, which featured a nice four page dedication to Sam & Max Hit the Road that was totally scanned and posted in this forum thread a few weeks ago and I forgot to post about it I seem to have forgotten some conjunctions between my independent clauses somewhere.
LucasArts' Product Development VP Peter Hirschmann (remember him?) has filled out a survey on Next-Generation revealing such deep secrets as;
1. I'm currently working on...You think you can handle the rest of these shocking revelations? Click here if you dare.
?projects being made by the best people in the business.
2. My favorite part of the working day is...
?when I get to play something fun.
3. The three brands that I most adore are...
?Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Pixar.
4. When I was 12 years old I most loved to...
?think about what it would be like to talk to a girl.
Source: Next Generation
Check out this interview that Adventure Advocate held with Bill Tiller about A Vampyre Story. Although it's mostly stuff you've read before, Bill does share a few thoughts about LucasArts and the industry's general adversity to creativity. Also, it appears as though Autumn Moon's publisher may very well be German, but you knew what I meant. ?