Articles

You may or may not have heard that Sea of Thieves has doubled down on some Monkey Island content. (I assume with a new content update. But maybe not. I know nothing of the game.) Well, you do not have to play the game to see what it all looks like, thanks to this intrepid Redditor:

(Video was originally embedded here, but because Reddit is quite possibly literally hell, it insisted on autoplaying. So it’s now below the cut.)

I mean, that’s… something.

Update! Junaid points out that the map seen in the video is a tribute to Paco Vink's map from World of Monkey Island (RIP).

Read more...

As I’ve grown fond of touting, this is a historical summer where Lucasfilm has accidentally allowed not one but two non-Star Wars productions to go forward. On the forefront we have Indiana Jones 5, which has been blessed with a very smooth and incident-free…first two weeks. It seems while rehearsing a fight scene, Harrison Ford got understandably carried away with pretending to punch Nazis. Say Disney in a statement:

In the course of rehearsing for a fight scene, Harrison Ford sustained an injury involving his shoulder. Production will continue while the appropriate course of treatment is evaluated, and the filming schedule will be reconfigured as needed in the coming weeks.

Mary Bihr herself couldn’t have phrased it better! As online commentators seem downright giddy to point out, Harrison Ford taking abuse while filming is something of a tradition. Perhaps most notably, the star suffered a herniated disc on the set of Temple of Doom, an injury which kept the star out of pocket for over a month and led Spielberg to shoot as much as he could with Ford’s stuntman (the inestimable Vic Armstrong) before production was outright shut down for several weeks. The scuttlebutt is that Ford may need a month or so to recover from this latest injury, though for the moment production seems to be trying to work around his absence.

This is obviously not good news, and it’s getting downright suspicious how many setbacks this particular project seems to be given to (Forget microchip conspiracies; somebody obviously doesn’t want this movie to get made), but we’ve been here before, and presumably things will resume after whatever hiatus proves necessary. Of course, Option B would be to just do what they did on Raiders when logistical hangups meant a planned fight scene couldn’t be shot as storyboarded:

While Indy is in the infirmary, it seems that neither God nor man can interfere with the Willow streaming series, which some* have called the most anticipated release of all time. Production on the show commenced in Wales several weeks back, and it’s been announced that director Stephen Woolfenden (Outlander) has joined Jonathan Entwistle in tackling at least one episode of the season. And you’d have to have a heart of acorn-induced stone to not be cheered on some level by the spotting of Warwick Davis on a Willow set again.

Now let’s get this thing in the can and released and spawning a point ‘n click Willow game.

*Citation needed

Today is the welcome day that you can buy the LucasArts classic Zombies Ate My Neighbors and its sequel Ghoul Patrol on Windows, Switch, PS4 and Xbox Whatever. Head on over to your preferred platform's respective storefronts and relive some of your favorite 16-bit memories. With a few extra features to boot, it's probably the most exciting product that this "Lucasfilm Games" company has been associated with for some time.

And remember, if you find this digital release too reasonably priced, you can head on over to Limited Run Games to peruse their progressively outrageous physical offerings, including cartridge-based versions for the original release platforms, until pre-orders close July 18th.

By signing off on the use of Pirates of the Caribbean in Sea of Thieves, Disney has shown a willingness to license its IP to third party game studios, but how far does that willingness extend?

Acting as Mojo’s vessel, IGN hooked the nearest Mouse representative that swam its way that they might pose that very question, bearing in mind that Disney's property now includes things like Guybrush and Purple Tentacle.

Speaking to IGN, SVP of Walt Disney Games Sean Shoptaw said that Disney was happy to work with "the best" developers, specifically those who came to them with interesting ideas or interpretations that hadn't yet been done. When asked what was meant by "the best" and if it included indie developers as well as big-budget, AAA titles, Shoptaw confirmed that all were welcome... and hinted that there may already be something along those lines in the works.

"Obviously we work with a lot of big AAA partners like Ubisoft, like Bethesda, like EA, and we'll continue to do that," he said. "But we are very open to quality regardless of size, right? So if they're strong indie that has a real passion and a vision for a story of ours, or a character or ours, or anything in our universe, we are all ears. I think that you'll see stuff coming out over time here that really will back that up. So yeah, it's not just about the big guys. The big guys, those are really important partners of ours, as I noted. But we're hoping to work with a broad set of partners across the world."

Luigi Priore, VP of Disney & Pixar Games, said that in some cases, a big AAA game might not be the best avenue to tell certain stories or focus on certain characters.

"An indie storyteller, a creative could work on another property within the Disney and Pixar collection of IP in a different way," Priore said. "Those smaller indie kind of experiences that are more personal... I think those are opportunities too."

What does this mean? Well, not necessarily anything, but it at least alludes to doors being open rather than closed. No need to give up on your dream of having Bobbin Threadbare cameo in your Candy Crush knockoff just yet.

Comments: 1 / Source: IGN

If you’re a fan of Rifftrax, the Mystery Science Theater-like comedy troupe consisting of that show’s 1997-1999 cast, you know that it carries on its antecedent’s tradition of esoteric references. The general rule is that if you watch enough episodes of MST3K or any of its spiritual successors, you’ll eventually hear a joke about everything, from Shakespeare to 70s television to an incident involving a writer’s ex-girlfriend.

And now, we can add LucasArts adventure games to the mix. Reporting from Reddit, fan “CognitiveNerd1701” says:

I'm watching "The Dark" right now and they just made a joke about a meteor landing in Dr. Fred's yard "and you get to put a hamster in the microwave!" - Mike Nelson

Well, there you have it. If it’s good enough to rate a riff by Mike Nelson, it’s good enough for Disney to greenlight a third installment – that’s just how this works, People In Charge. As for the rest of you, the cited Rifftrax episode can be gotten here.

It is upon us:

Don’t have a headset to play this on and ran out of plasma to sell? Then you may want check out this second, saucier Sam & Max sweepstakes, which you can enter for a chance to win an Oculus Quest 2, a device which has an MSRP of eight trillion dollars (I rounded up) last time I checked.

It’s hard to figure out how much Indy 5 stuff to report on now that the movie is in production and the rumor/leak mill is in full operation. Beyond consideration about spoilers, there’s also the question of whether every stray stalker’s uploaded glimpse of the location shoots really merits that precious Mojo front page ink. Besides which, there are more capable institutions out there who are in better positions to sate your cravings for unfiltered coverage.

But, one innocuous-enough leak couldn’t pass without comment.

Some of the photographs to hit the less reputable broadsides out of the first week of filming depict Harrison Ford and Toby Jones (nice!) exchanging some sort of prop outside Bamburgh castle. (Based on the dots on Ford’s face and the WWII-era imagery associated with the shooting thus far, it seems we’re in for a 1940s prologue.) No one could possibly harvest any meaning out of such an obscured view of this unknown object – that is, no one except those with an eagle-eye for Atlantean architecture:

This is of course an absurd extrapolation that’s about as convincing as zaarin’s theory that Indy is chasing the Zodiac killer, but it’s still good fun. Of course, it’s always fun and games until somebody pops orichalcum into the mouth…

Comments: 1 / Source: Twitter

The film world is acknowledging the passing of photographer Eva Sereny, whose prolific work taking stills for movie productions includes this recognizable photograph of Harrison Ford and Sean Connery during the filming of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade:

How recognizable? Well, SCUMM fans know that it was chosen to grace the cover of the Last Crusade graphic adventure, in a sense making Eva Sereny the box artist for the classic game.

What we in the business call Xbox Games Showcase Extended happened today, and during it Tim gave a presentation about Psychonauts 2. He describes the game’s setup in pretty good detail, offering a more expansive look at the overworld than I’ve seen so far. It all starts at 16:40 in the video below.

If you stretch your memory back to 2006-2007, you might recall that Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings was supposed to be a big deal. Billed as a next-gen/AAA/Xtreme title, it was promoted as the character’s grand, interactive comeback from LucasArts following a long drought of non-casual Indy games since Emperor’s Tomb (2003).

Well, that drought never actually ended, because Staff of Kings wound up being a victim of that classic LucasArts pitfall: a transition at the upper level. The end result was that the studio felt it had to choose between putting its resources either toward a Star Wars game or a Not Star Wars game – another LucasArts signature – and the right to live predictably went to The Force Unleashed, which reputedly shared some of the same tech that was meant to power Indy.

Staff of Kings – in its original form, anyway – was thus cancelled, leaving some low-end third party adaptations for the Wii and handhelds to be burned off after the fact. There was an additional, unexpected casualty amidst all this: a fully completed novelization of Staff of Kings by go-to Indy author Rob MacGregor. What happened exactly to this unpublished tie-in gets kinda complicated, so let me just steal this excellent overview provided by “throwmethewhip”, who also reveals the happy ending that I’m really trying to report here:

In 2008, as merchandising efforts kicked up to coincide with the release of Indy4, one long-teased piece of media, a next gen video game with exciting new physics technology, was conspicuously absent. Behind the scenes of that project, there was production trouble. The next gen versions were canceled and production shifted focus toward the Wii. Ultimately on June 9th, 2009, with very little fanfare, Staff of Kings released for the Wii, PS2, DS and PSP. It was not well-received.

Meanwhile, veteran Indiana Jones author, Rob MacGregor was confused. Rob had written 6 of the prequel novels in the 90s and had been contracted to make his triumphant return to the world of our favorite adventurer with a novelization of Staff of Kings. But his book had not released alongside the game.

Rob has recounted this story at length on an old blog, but in short— the publisher, Bantam, forgot due to the year long delay of the game. Initially, they blamed Rob for not getting the manuscript submitted on time, but he reminded them that he had it in well ahead of the original deadline back in 2008. They did admit their error, but ultimately decided against publishing it; the game after all was not a commercial or critical success. And with that Rob’s novel was lost to the sands of time…

Or was it?

Fast forward several years and Dale Dassel convinced Rob to allow him to format the book. @cg_illus was commissioned to provide artwork. The hope was to persuade Bantam to release the manuscript as an ebook as all the work was done. Ultimately this too failed.

To my knowledge, seven copies of that manuscript were made. This is one of those copies! Fully formatted!

For years now, I have heard people say that the book was leaked and available. It has not been. It has never been sold to anyone and NEVER will be. I know where all seven copies are.

And so now, an announcement:

The book will make its public debut as a month by month, chapter by chapter reading completely free on Rob’s podcast starting in July! Rob has graciously asked me to make this announcement!

So there you have it! I don’t know the actual name of said podcast right this second, but I have until July to figure it out.

There was actually more Sam & Max: This Time It’s Virtual footage unveiled out of that “UploadVR” event than was covered in yesterday’s news post, but I we Remi was just too lazy to finish the job. But let’s not dwell on my our Remi’s indolence; let’s just get the job done.

First off is this exuberant fellow’s guided tour of the game’s first hour, albeit edited down to twenty minutes:

That it’s a positive impression is perhaps more persuasive for the fact that it comes from someone with no Sam & Max background. His only criticism seems to be that the game is on the easy/casual side, which isn’t so damning an assessment of a tutorial-y opening stretch. And if you’d like to see some of the same portions of the game without the commentary, there’s always this:

And don’t catch yourself going outside for some fresh air before you revisit yesterday's gameplay trailer, now on Youtube:

Finally, HappyGiant has revealed that none other than Steve Purcell will be doing voicework in the game. He will be performing the role of Duncan B. Dills, the creator of the Aquabears funtime park, here represented as an animatronic head/bomb that you have to defuse like a Bop It toy, which feels inarticulately objectionable in that Sam & Max way:

We did our best to warn you that the upcoming, surprise Switch releases of Zombies Ate My Neighbors and its sequel Ghoul Patrol would be accompanied by physical releases from Limited Run Game. But would any warning have really prepared you for this?

Well, if I'm gonna be impoverished, it might as well be by this.

We made it.

There was an event today called UploadVR, and Sam & Max: This Time It's Virtual was in attendance. What do you say we cut the baloney and get straight to the footage?

You are probably aware of the fact that audio titans Julian Kwasneski and Jared Emerson-Johnson operate professionally as Bay Area Sound, the decorated studio founded by Kwasneski and Clint Bajakian back in the day. You might even be aware of the Pulitzer-repelling interview we did with them over ten years ago, in which we asked well-researched questions like “What was it like working at Skywalker Ranch?” even though the Ranch wasn’t a thing since the Lucasfilm Games days.

Lately, we got to thinking about the “ten years” part with a bit of embarrassment, and anyway BA Sound is involved with both Skunkape and HappyGiant on these Sam & Max projects we find ourselves surrounded by, so Mojo felt the time was right to confront them, put them on the defensive, and demand to know why it never happened between us after that first date went so well. Also, we talk Sam & Max sound/music. Enjoy!

Onetime friends of Mojo (and of the seminal Remi and Stefan Do Spokane podcast), Panic, is getting close to open preorders for their bizarrely fun-looking Playdate. The $179 handheld console will also have an optional stereo dock. More importantly, one of its twenty-four titles is Sasquatchers, which is being developed by – no introduction needed – Chuck Jordan and Jared Emerson-Johnson (music and sound, natch). Additionally, Jared is involved with DemonQuest 85, in addition to familiar names like Alex Ashby, Lawrence Bishop, and Duncan Fyfe. (And also Belinda Leung – I don’t recognize the name, but based on the company she keeps, I will assume she is awesome.)

So: Playdate. Next month. Mojo-relevant games. What’s not to love?

Update! salty-horse points out that a game about "Forrest Byrnes," the Firewatch mascot is also under development. I'm now officially excited!

Today at long last is the street date for the Indiana Jones UHD box set. While we mortals haven't gotten our hands on one yet, the screencap comparisons that have been circulating suggest that we are in for material quality gains across all four movies.

The somewhat orange-y, "overexposed" grade that Raiders was given for the 2012 Blu-ray appears to have thankfully been dialed back.Temple is just looking straight phenomenal, and man, did the Blu-ray of Crusade really suffer from all those aliasing problems?

Meanwhile, Crystal Skull's color timing seems to have received revisionism of its own this time out -- but in a good way, with a bit of de-chlorination being mercifully conducted on that movie's ugly, trendy embrace of the almighty teal. There's no way to grade out the choice to shoot the installment with highly distracting diffusion filters and self-conscious lighting, though, so you're out of luck if that artifical dreamscape look was your problem with the movie.

But as blown away as we may be by the fine grain structure that has been reproduced so welcomely for these classics (and the Ray Winstone one), those movies are old news. On the subject of The Future, filming of the fifth installment is underway in UK locations like Bamburgh Castle and North Yorkshire. The production is predictably being stalked every step of the way, leading to photos like this showing up everywhere:

Seeing Ford in costume alongside longtime Indy producers Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy is a good feeling. Sad that Spielberg didn't join in on the fun, but life is a series of choices, and so forth.

There's some more spoilery stuff out there too, but I'll relegate discussion of that to the forum thread out of respect to those who prefer their Mojo front page without. Sure, I'm just inventing proprieties out of thin air here, but just roll with it.

Wasn’t sure we were ever actually gonna reach that milestone.

I suppose we have to shift from complaining about this movie never happening to complaining about the exclusion of Dan Aykroyd, as I predict that will age better. It is inescapable now that we’re getting one last adventure with Harrison Ford as Indy, and as the kids say these days: I am in attendance for it.

Comments: 1 / Source: Deadline

Sam & Max: This Time It's Virtual had been slated to release on the Oculus Quest this month, but it looks like it's getting delayed just by a hair:

A month is not too bad at all, but let's face it: it's the end of the world nonetheless.

News Archive