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But enough about my Facebook profile, what I really want to introduce you to is our Secret History article on The Secret of Monkey Island.
We especially resurrected Ron Gilbert from the crypt for this baby, so please do Digg us if you like what you see, and by doing so it might justify Ron's new, hellish limbo existence. Next month: Monkey Island 2!
Note: the feature image to your
Unfortunately, I wish I knew more about the lack of official info, but the word I got from the publisher is that we should be available on all the sites come Tuesday. Also, I asked our producer about the situation with Gamer's Gate, and unfortunately, it sounds like it was an error for them to be charging $29.99. We'll get this sorted out, but it is supposed to be $14.99 for Part 1, and Part 2 will be available at the same price later. He said he'd be contacting the site to have them fix this error. I tell ya, we're like a well-oiled machine here! Yeah, well anyway, last I checked, there's a great PC game in there. Lots of cool stuff above and beyond what we were able to fit onto the DS, so we appreciate your patience.The GamersGate product page has since been updated with the correct price. And look out for the game from those other sites (Direct2Drive and Gametap) on Tuesday. There's still no word yet on if the PC version of Insecticide will makes its way to any other online outlet, nor is there yet a tentative release date for Part 2. We'll keep you posted as we hear more. In the meantime, rest assured that you can definitely buy the first Part of Insecticide from GamersGate right now for the correct price!
Or, as I should say: we were. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Guybrush Threepwood, Mighty President.
Today, the Mojo database decided to make a break for it and travelled 8 hours back in time. Some comments and at least one news post was lost in the commotion.
The authorities have told us that they've captured the rogue time traveller and if all goes to plan, nothing more will go the way of the dodo.
- Insecticide has been released for the PC... maybe. Well, on GamersGate anyway. None of the other download sites that were supposed to have it like GameTap, Direct2Drive and even the game's website make no mention of it. Also not mentioned on GamersGate is that it's the first of two episodes. It also seems to be rather expensive for just one episode.
According to Crackpot, they're still working on Episode Two, so it can't be both episodes together. Something may be wrong here. Thanks to Diduz for the heads-up though, and we'll keep you informed as to what's going on.
- LucasArts fire even more staff. Reports at Joystiq, who have interviewed an ex-employee, say that key members of The Force Unleashed's team have now been laid off. If LucasArts want to make another game in the series, they would have to either outsource or pointlessly hire new staff and train them. LucasArts maintains that they're committed to internal development and the next Indy game is not affected.
What is most surprising about this is that several of the staff laid off were long-term members of the team who survived the previous culling and walkouts and actually worked on titles like X-Wing, Full Throttle, and Grim Fandango.
Simon Pegg has written a new Spaced sketch spoofing the American remake unaffectionately dubbed 'McSpaced'. See it at his blogsite here. While this really has nothing to do with us (aside from the "TFU" gags we often use to accompany Force Unleashed posts), more proper British Spaced means the world is a slightly happier place. And that's always worth posting about.
Monkey Island Awaits!
Listen to the latest part, or catch up on earlier episodes. Arg!
Now go listen!
There's little to no gameplay on display here, but the footage is nonetheless enticing. Also, the end of the trailer reveals the URL of the official site, but visiting it may result in disappointment. Look out for Mata Hari sometime this year for PC wherever it's going to be released.
Nintendic has confirmed with Crackpot Entertainment that the Nintendo DS version of Insecticide is heading for Europe in August.
The next episode will be on the adventures of Kyle Katarn, although who knows when that will be?
All of these comics have been out-of-print for years and are very hard to come by, but they're mostly of interest to us because this volume contains the two stories that could have been Fate of Atlantis 2 - Iron Phoenix and Spear of Destiny.
While Spear of Destiny most likely bears little relation to the intended story for the cancelled game, Iron Phoenix is very game-like in its structure, and contains several elements that ended up in the true sequel - Infernal Machine. The artifacts being scattered across remote points of the world, including one at Shambala Sanctuary, and Russians being in it for example.
The game seems to be a beat-'em-up more than anything else. Lets hope that it ends up better than this.
and needs your help to decide! Participate in the only election this year that means anything and let 'em know your preference.
...two additional Star Wars titles will ship this November based on â€œStar Wars: The Clone Wars,â€ the new Warner Bros. computer-generated (CG) animated movie and TNT/Cartoon Network TV series.
â€œStar Wars The Clone Wars: Jedi Allianceâ€ on Nintendo DS is the first game developed at the LucasFilm Animation Studio in Singapore, which is where the new Clone Wars TV series is being animated.
Krome Studios is behind â€œStar Wars The Clone Wars: Lightsaber Duelsâ€ for the Wii, which will deliver lightsaber battles via the Wiiâ€™s remote control. Although Star Wars The Force Unleashed is being released on Wii, Lightsaber Duels marks the first original Star Wars game for Nintendoâ€™s best-selling console. Both of these new Clone Wars games will be playable at E3 and the Comic-Con convention in July.
Also it was confirmed that Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings is still in production, "a source inside the company confirmed that the original Indiana Jones game, which was first shown at E3 2006, is still moving forward with some of the development team from The Force Unleashed."
Update: There's a lot more info, including screenshots at this IGN interview.
Update by Tingler: The same article at Venture Beat also mentions that LucasArts will not be unveiling any new games at E3 this year. While this could hopefully mean Indiana Jones might make an appearance, I wouldn't hold your breath. Force Unleashed and Fracture are the only confirmed games appearing.
Honestly though the most interesting part (at least for me) is near the end where he starts talking about the new music for the game. The composer is Mark Griskey, who did a stellar job with the score for Knights of the Old Republic 2, so I'm hoping for a John Williams-rivalling epic.
Thanks to reader n0n4m3 for the heads up!
Where: The Northernmost Marker, Stonehenge, the Threshold of Worlds, Where the Moon Doth Rise with a Dragon's Face, Wiltshire, England, The Universe
When: The Summer Solstice, at the time between Venus has risen over Neptune, and the Crow has called out thrice to the rising sun
Who: All fans of Classic LucasArts!
Just let me know you're coming.
Update: A few people have asked for a deadline on this. If you intend to send in a Reader Opinion, please do so by this Friday, the 20th. Ye land lubbers.
You can discuss the script and these reviews in our forum thread here.
I can tell you though, even though it's probably pretty old news, that the DS version of the game's SRP has gone down to $19.99, which doesn't say anything positive about the game's sales, but may make it more attractive to you if for whatever reason the PC version is not an option.
Update by The Tingler: Hmm. If you look at GameZone's page on the game, they mark the digital download as coming 1st July.
2nd Update: We've now heard back from Crackpot about the release. On asking for a quote about the release, here was the reply from Michael Levine:
My quote is this: "The game is done and the release is imminent.â€So, soon then!
That work? (-:
The brothers Chapman, creators of Homestar Runner and, by extension, Strong Bad, have been interviewed by Kotaku (update: the actual link!) and some of the questions are about Telltale and the cool game for attractive people.
Update by Zaarin: While I'm sure that book about Napoleon is excellent, this is the interview we wanted to point you to.
Still, at least it opens with the Golden Guy back to his lightsaber-flinging self.
If you don't care, check it out here. But then, if you don't care, you won't want to check it out. So who is this video for again?
Also, three lucky people will get to win the first episode of the Wiiware version from
Update: Wind gotten. :(
If you managed to read it before pdfscreenplays opened the Ark of the Covenant and found a 'Cease And Desist' letter inside, or just want to know about it, have a chat about it on our forums.
Don't feel bad if you've never heard of Pinney's name, as it seems the only game he served on back at LucasArts as project leader was Indiana Jones and the Iron Phoenix, the sadly canceled graphic adventure sequel to Fate of Atlantis. Nonetheless, it's always nice to see another member of the old LucasArts family find a new home at
The majority of the press didn't ask him what these two words of awesome meant, but MTV News did. There is scarce little information but what information there is is interesting. Basically: the game is coming "someday," the PR man from Sierra has no comment on whether the Activision-Vivendi merging will affect the game, and we can expect new information "soon". Soon can't come soon enough, really.
"Considering the impressive pedigree, it's no surprise at all that A Vampyre Story is one of the most artistically accomplished games currently in development."If you live in the UK, look out for the full preview on magazine shelves in a few months time. And, apparently, we should be looking for the game itself around that time as well.
"Tiller has spent the last 4 years painting the backgrounds and characters along with fellow LucasArts alumni Bill Eaken, and the results are certainly impressive."
"From what we have seen so far it is definitely capable of provoking laughter"
"Bought to life by the excellent comic timing in the animation and voice acting"
"a unique approach to the core gameplay suggests that we're in for some real head-scratchers come September."
"We're confident that A Vampyre Story will turn out to be one of the greatest adventure games of the year."
We're doing the game justice on the wii, though. Widescreen [...] Also, the UI has been tweaked for consoles, allowing you to select dialog options and inventory items (and browse the menu) with the d-pad as well as with face buttons, and there is a new, pretty episode launcher. The Wii version also marks the return of a favorite Sam & Max cursor of yore.Those of you who've been staying away from Season 1 can now finally get onboard. Don't scare us like that again, Telltale.
The "next-gen" console adventures of Henry "Indiana" Jones, Jr. will continue ... and not just in LEGO form. LucasArts has confirmed to Joystiq that the Indiana Jones title first revealed in 2006 is still in development internally at the company's San Francisco offices. Despite yesterday's staff downsizing, there are "no plans to outsource its development to an external studio."An update on the previously mentioned Shacknews piece confirms this. So, good news for Indiana Jones at least. But what about after that?
Well, we're also of course aware of LucasArts' claim that "We are definitely committed to the internal studio," though the more cynical of us may be more swayed by the thoughts shared by "MonkeyCoder," who in the comments section of the aforementioned Shacknews article says he's a LucasArts programmer and that the company is not in any way abandoning internal development.
So, what to think? Certainly things don't look as resolutely grim on the LucasArts' internal production front as they perhaps seemed based on the last few reports. Only time will tell, of course, but at least for now we can confirm that the Indiana Jones game (titled Staff of Kings by all accounts besides official announcement) is still in active production and in the hands of LucasArts developers, for better or for worse.
Thanks to JP for the heads up regarding the "MonkeyCoder" stuff.
Thanks to Kotaku for the quotes.
Update: by elTee
$35 including shipping, to the UK and presumably the rest of Europe. Bargain!
Following word of routine terminations at develolper LucasArts, a reliable source has informed Shacknews that the company plans to cease internal development and fire roughly 100 more employees after the completion of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.
LucasArts is known to have at least one other title, an Indiana Jones game, in development. Shacknews was told that, following the team's termination, all other partially-completed internal projects will be outsourced, a move that fits with earlier rumblings.
Why not just let LucasLicensing take over and shut (what's left of) the whole place down?
"If I'm Rodriguez and I know that I'm going to do most of my games with EA going forward, then I'm a lot less anal about double-checking everything EA is up to," said Pachter.
An anonymous former LucasArts employee had the same speculation: "My guess: EA cut a deal and is already making Star Wars games! That's just a guess, but on the heels of the Bioware/EA thing and the hiring of EALA's COO as Lucasarts' new President... that math ain't hard to figure."
Film studio politics could be playing a role here too, said Pachter. Traveller's Tales is owned by Warner Bros., and can be expected to focus on making games based on WB properties like Harry Potter in the future. It would be highly unlikely, said Pachter, that WB would allow Traveller's to work on future Indiana Jones games when rival studio Paramount (Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull) would reap the benefits.
Lovely. Pretty sad that what once could accurately be called the most innovative and creatively vital developer on the planet is now mere steps from being "Star Wars and Indiana Jones licensor," but I would think (hope) that being bought out by EA is a future that's less than probable. The fate suggested by this article is one we've all suspected for years, and I'm sure to many people here the company in question has been dead for some time, but it would be still somewhat saddening to see what the quoted parties hypothesize start to really come true.
Industry sites are reporting mass layoffs. From Fragland;
We've heard from multiple sources today that LucasArts has laid off approximately 50-100 of its employees, including a handful of higher profile names like VP of Product Development Peter Hirschmann.
While LucasArts public relations did not get back to us today, several former LucasArts staffers did, with one telling us that 75-100 employees were laid off from the company, including the producer of LEGO Indiana Jones and LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga, Shawn Storc.
According to another source, up to 80% of staff has been laid off in departments such as Production Services, which includes QA and Compliance, with jobs planned to be outsourced overseas. Cuts were also said to be made in development, with art and programming staffers being laid off
It's like dÃ©jÃ vu all over again... Indiana Jones
Update: Keep your eye on the ex-LucasArts employee Facebook group. Some interesting stuff being posted in the comments.<:MORENEWS:>
Update by The Tingler: Kotaku have the news reports, and the bitter employees have spilled the beans on all the secret projects in the works (Mojo comments in italics):
- KOTOR 3 (They say it's an MMO: most likely a joint project between Lucasarts and BioWare)Although Kotaku does make it clear that that comment on Fracture is by an angry ex-employee so probably biased, I can certainly believe it.
- Battlefront 3 (which we've already heard about)
- "The Official Indiana Jones" game (hopefully Staff of Kings, although doesn't that 'official' make it sound like a film tie-in?)
- "another LEGO game based on the Indy universe" (Almost certainly The Complete Adventures)
- "a lightsaber game for the wii (sorry, no lightsaber peripherals)" (Could this be the Clone Wars game? If not, it's strange that it's not mentioned otherwise.)
Two internally-developed games apparently far enough along to be unaffected by the sackings are The Force Unleashed (which they say has already "passed approval with SCEA and is ready to ship") and Fracture, which they say is described by team members as "an absolute piece of garbage".
Insecticide is the brainchild of Mike Levine and Larry Ahern, he of Curse of Monkey Island fame, and involves bugs (the kind you squish), guns (the kind that Jack Thompson fusses about) and what I hear is a fantastic storyline (the kind I love). So, you know: get the game. It's downloadable, and, as I have proved so many times, the one thing a woman looks for in a man.
Update: As jp-30 helpfully pointed-out, the linked-to article points-out that "the downloadable Part 1 of â€˜Insecticideâ€™ on PC will be available June 13 for $14.99 through paradox, Direct2Drive, and GameTap". Thanks jp-30.
The game is actually now getting pushed back to July, but the game is going to just be much better for it. It's just development time.This is pretty sad news (and as far as I know Telltale's first delay ever, unless it's Nintendo's doing), but the postponement is short, and it's far better for this to happen at the beginning of the series than the alternative.
Update: On a more positive note, Telltale will be appearing on Gamespot's live web show "On the Spot" at 4:00 P.M. Pacific time, or about 45 minutes from now. Representing the company will be Emily (Telltale's version of Ronda Scott) and producer Brett Tosti. Telltale promises new stuff from the game to be showcased, so do check it out. (And if you miss it it'll surely be archived somewhere around here later.)
So I was looking at our Game Database and noticed that we have a rather shameful lack of box art for an astonishing number of games, including the following:
- Strike Fleet
- SWOTL Do 335 Tour of Duty
- SWOTL He 162 Tour of Duty
- SWOTL P-38 Tour of Duty
- SWOTL P-80 Tour of Duty
Paul Parkranger & the Mystery of the Disappearing Ducks
- Super Empire Strikes Back
Star Wars: Rebel Assault
- Super Return of the Jedi
Star Wars Screen Entertainment Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire Star Wars: X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter
- Ballblazer Champions
Star Wars: Rebellion
- Star Wars: Supremacy
Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith
If you own or have access to any of those games, you'd be doing us a huge favor by sending in scans of the front cover (and if you're really awesome, the back cover also) so that our database will suck a little less.
Furthermore, if you were to check out the database and notice certain games that you own boxed copies of have poor or low-res cover scans, no back cover art, or no box art for a certain version of the game that you think should be there, and you want to help us out, please do! Together we can make the Games Database much more complete and awesome. Thanks!
Oh, and be warned - if you're a big Star Wars nerd (yes, like me sadly), there's possibly a spoiler for The Force Unleashed on page 3, in the middle of Point 5. It's the Secret Apprentice's name, which hasn't yet been properly revealed by LucasArts.
The event takes place at San Diego, so if you happen to live in the area and yet manage to not go the Convention and write a sonnet about Steven then keep in mind that you deserve to die. Also your feet smell funny.
And now for something more interesting. It turns out that it's possible to get stuck in Monkey Island 2!
Take a looksie!
The bad news is that it's only in the United States of America, which I know no one lives in. Us poor folk in 'Not America' will have to wait until slightly later - this Friday, June 6th to be precise.
While it may be a bit quieter on the Indy front for a long long while, it's not total silence. We've got a review of the game coming up soon, and of course our Fate of Atlantis feature in a few months, plus the vague possibility that LucasArts may actually give some info about that other game they're supposedly working on. Stay tuned, and be happy that there will be a lot less at least!
The magazine is available in Britain now (with a confirmed supply in a train station W H Smiths), will be avialble in American Barnes and Nobles stores in late June/early July, and (this is the best part) is available now, to everyone, on the Internet, for five English pounds.
For those who missed out on buying a Maniac Mansion poster, this is probably the best deal of the year.
What's that? Pas understanday un uno Spanisho? Well good for you that it's English as well!
In another news, "Mike B" sends word that "British magazine Retro Gamer (Issue 51) has a six-page interview with Hal Barwood for a Making of Indiana Jones & The Fate Of Atlantis. Some great info on how the game came about - and why, unfortunately - we'll never see a FOA movie!"
Anyone out there kind enough to give us a scan?
While Google's English translation is a little rough for my tastes, several details are revealed, and others are reaffirmed. It seems like the game's delay comes from issues with the coding side of the game, and the programming has been outsourced to the company Bear Technology to finish things up. On the plus side, and as we've already known, the art side of the game has been long completed, which is why A Vampyre Story 2 is already well into pre-production, with an extremely early suggested release period of Christmas 2009.
See new screenshots and learn much more, including about the game's possible iMUSE type system and future AVS sequels, by reading the whole preview.
Are you ever going to make a graphic adventure again and why at least can't you just re-release them?And how did PR manager Chris Norris and Fracture assistant producer Jeffrey Gullett respond?
Well, you'll want to click right here to find out, won't you?
Update: As "tenochtitlan" points out in the comments, these figures are apparently part of a complete chess set. I'd buy that for a dollar!
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