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LucasArts' recent sway to evilness would almost make you forget it still has some redeeming qualities. At least we can say they handed out some really nice pens at the Game Developers Conference! They're so nice, in fact, that GameDev.net awarded it Coolest Pen in its First Annual GDC Pen Awards. The LucasArts pen has a built-in light that sorta makes it look like a lightsaber.

Check out the other winners, as well as the rest of GameDev's wonderful GDC coverage.
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Microsoft Drops Psychonauts

30 Mar, 2004, 18:58 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 33
Sigh. According to IGN Xbox, Microsoft Game Studios has "cut its ties with Tim Schafer and his upcoming platformer Psychonauts." Here's what Microsoft told IGN about it:
"Microsoft Game Studios has made the decision to end its publishing agreement with DoubleFine for the upcoming Xbox game 'Psychonauts.' Microsoft Game Studios believes in the vision of the title and would like to see the game on Xbox. Microsoft is supporting Tim Schafer and DoubleFine in their search for a new publisher."
So that doesn't sound too bad, and we're pretty sure Double Fine will find a new publisher to pick up the title, but its never exciting to hear news like this. The IGN report says Double Fine is still definitely planning on having an E3 presence including a playable demo of the game, so Mojo will definitely have some good Psychonauts coverage come May.

[In other news, my email seems to be broken. If for some reason you need to bug me, try this address.]
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"Vader" secrets revealed at GDC

30 Mar, 2004, 16:26 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 13
Eurogamer has a bit of gossip they picked up at GDC about LucasArts' rumored upcoming game starring Darth Vader. Here's a clip:
Hopefully the run-up to E3 will show more on the Vader game and shed a great deal more light on LucasArts' ongoing plans to milk unending piles of cash from the greatest science fiction franchise in history.
Read the whole article for the actual story (yes, there's more in the writeup than that little insulting jab). Who knows if this is real or not, but a SW game where you play as Vader would at least be kinda different. Maybe? Barely?
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Adventure Gamers: Loved

29 Mar, 2004, 17:32 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 29
Mojo: Forgotten. Maybe its because they attended GDC, and I didn't. Maybe its because Chris, their assistant webmaster, has a cool Full Throttle shirt, and nobody on our staff does. Whatever it is, Adventure Gamers is getting some supreme love from Double Fine Action News, with their new best friend Tim, while Mojo sits alone over here.

Why has Adventure Gamers forgotten us? Why has Tim forgotten us? We were even taken off Double Fine's products page when it was made "less manky" back in February. Was the excising of Mojo from the products page the main cause of the de-mankification? Many a tear has been shed, but everything's okay really, since the Double Fine Action Comic is already up to #20, which is a whole lot of comics. If you ask me.
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GamePro Twists the Knife

28 Mar, 2004, 01:18 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 12
Thanks to hierohero and his site, savesamandmax.com, for providing a scan from the latest ("May") issue of GamePro, which features yet another first look at the "upcoming" adventure game Sam & Max 2.

Like all the other excellent, positive-sounding interview-ridden previews that have run lately, this one has four new never-before seen screenshots of the cancelled title, including a shot of Sam and Max waving their guns around, and a shot of their next door neighbor, Flint Paper. Of course, there's no real reason to look at the screenshots since the game's been cancelled and everything, but we all love the pain.

We at Mojo think its exceptionally brilliant of LucasArts to cancel the game right before all these magazines run screenshot-laden articles about it, instead of, say, waiting until after they run and people can actually learn the game exists, then see what the reaction to the writeups were, but maybe that's just us.
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I suspect the minority of us managed to actually attend the Game Developers Conference, and therefore most or all of us didn't get to attend Tim Schafer's presentation on character design. Fortunately, GameSpy was there, and summarized the talk:
So, exactly what helps define a great videogame character? "People want to be a hero." Schafer argues that the main character should be "the coolest." S/he should have all the best lines, the most active role, and "have other [NPCs] respond to their awesomeness." If ultra-famous, superstar, Hollywood actors wouldn't kill to play the role, then more work is necessary.
Hopefully in the next couple of days we'll be running some photos taken by Marek of Adventure Gamers, who was fortunate enough to attend. For now check out the report over at GameSpy
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Vote Psychonauts in 2004

24 Mar, 2004, 15:51 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 5
It has been pointed out that all we seem to do around here these days is whine and ask you to vote for things, and, seeing as I have no problem with that really, here's something to vote for:

XBox Nation magazine has a poll up asking you what your most anticipated XBox game is. Psychonauts appears in the list. Vote for it. You know you totally want to.

I may update with some complaint or another about something later in the day, so stay tuned.
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Star Wars News Update

21 Mar, 2004, 16:42 | Posted by: Spaff | Comments: 35
Generic Episode III based Star Wars Game #246 has had some new screenshots added to it's product page. Go here if you care.
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Somehow, this German Adventure Website got their hands on quite a few screenshots from the devastatingly cancelled Sam and Max Freelance Police. Some of the screenshots are new. Some we've seen before, only here, they're in much higher quality and not scanned from a magazine.

Weep openly.
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KOTOR 2: So real, so confirmed

21 Mar, 2004, 13:48 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 7
Okay so we all knew this already because not only was a Knights sequel inevitable, but it would also be a really stupid thing to lie about. Well, 1up has confirmed that Knights of the Old Republic 2 exists, and tells us that it will be gracing the covers of the June issues of EGM and Computer Gaming World magazines. So, KOTOR 2 is real. Party down.
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Unleash Wrath Against Counter-Strike

20 Mar, 2004, 04:18 | Posted by: DJG | Comments: 6
The Double Fine Action News has just pointed out that we can still resurrect Grim Fandango by voting for it in the Extra Life 6 competition over at Gamespy. Counter-Strike is winning right now, but that can be fixed, I'm sure. Go forth and Vote Now!
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RPG Fans Unleash Wrath upon Grim

16 Mar, 2004, 18:26 | Posted by: Metallus | Comments: 24
You're probably aware that Grim Fandango was defeated by both Chrono Trigger and Knights of the Old Republic in the title fight thing over at GameSpy. In retrospect, it's a bit of an odd matchup to say the least, but hey, GF managed to get slightly more than a quarter of the votes. However, congratulations are in order for KOTOR as it advances to the final round of the Hyrule bracket, also known as "the contest to see who loses to Zelda: OoT by a lot."

Naturally, there's a new and highly amusing update at Double Fine Action News in response to these results. In addition, you ought to check out the new ACTION comic, because you love doing that.

PS: Someone stole my car. God damn.
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ScummVM 0.6.0 Released!

16 Mar, 2004, 01:57 | Posted by: Jake | Source: ScummVM.org | Comments: 8
Everybody rejoice, a new ScummVM is here, and it is full of classic adventurey goodness. Who needs Sam & Max 2 anyway, eh? We've got all these other games that LucasArts decided to actually publish instead of unceremoniously can, so we might as well enjoy them properly with our modern computers and up-to-date operating systems.

New LucasArts stuff in the latest ScummVM release:<:MORENEWS:>
  • Full Throttle is now actually supported, including the Old Mine Road fighting sequences, and the destruction derby sequence.

  • The original, really blocky and ugly versions of Maniac Mansion and Zak McKracken are now properly supported. This means that you can now play the version of Maniac Mansion that was included with Day of the Tentacle. However, you can't play it from within DOTT yet, you have to add it to ScummVM as a separate game.
Also in this release is a new and improved user interface which, while still ugly and green, allows you to change the graphics settings and things without manually editing the config file, or resorting to a program like the excellent Quick & Easy. ScummVM 0.6.0 also supports both Broken Sword 1 and Broken Sword 2 now, and on their downloads page they've provided alternate versions of the games' video cutscenes, which are recompressed to work with ScummVM.

Lately, major ScummVM releases have included bonuses, and this release is no different. As a special treat, the classic adventure game Flight of the Amazon Queen has been released as freeware, and is fully supported by the new versions of ScummVM. So, if you've been looking for something to fill the hole left by the loss of Sam & Max 2, want a new classic graphic adventure to get your hands on, or if you just loved the original and haven't played it forever, get it today.

Download the ScummVM 0.6.0 release binary for your operating system of choice, as well as the games Flight of the Amazon Queen, and Beneath a Steel Sky from the ScummVM downloads page.

If you don't know what ScummVM is, read more at the official website, or have someone in the comments explain it to you, because I've repeated it here enough times already.
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Holy Crap! Vote Grim in '04!

15 Mar, 2004, 17:11 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 12
Wooo. The poll is up! You'd better go and vote for Grim now. It's currently losing to both Chrono Grigger, and the KOTOR. Vote.
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LucasArts is to 'Deploy Mercenaries'

Yes. After dumping a nice creative intellectual property, they have luckily found themselves something to take it's place, and noticing that the PS2 doesn't have quite enough generic third person war combat games have decided to grace us with yet another one. Hopefully the crowded market will be thankful for this new and riveting concept.

We'd heard about Mercenaries before, but now we've been blessed with official confirmation. Check out this press release:
LONDON, U.K. - March 15, 2004 - LucasArts officially announced today that it will deploy Mercenaries, an open-ended third person combat-action game this fall for the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system and the Xbox video game system from Microsoft. Set in North Korea where a coup has plunged the troubled nation into chaos, an elite private military company has dispatched a lone mercenary to track down 52 fugitive members of the old hardliner regime before they can launch a nuclear attack.

Mercenaries will give gamers the opportunity to live out their action movie fantasies with its explosive combat and non-linear gameplay set in massive interactive environments. If you can see it -- you can steal it, use it or blow it up. Players can demonstrate their creativity in the hunt for enemy combatants using more than 30 real-world military weapons [31 weapons ???]. Gamers will be able to assume the role of one of three different mercenaries and will have the opportunity to call in air strikes and blahblahblah blah blah blah ZZZzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Once again proving that LucasArts has shot it's self in its own head.
For more information check out this 404 error.

Update: Unfortunately, the 404 error now successfully points to the Mercenaries product page. Check out some screenshots!
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Don't Forget: Vote Grim Today

15 Mar, 2004, 13:28 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 0
Today's the 15th, so you're supposed to vote for Grim Fandango in today's GameSpy title fight thing. Of course, the GameSpy guys haven't updated the site yet, so at the moment you can't actually vote for the game, but now that you've remembered its happening, you can add that page to your list of comulsive page reloads for the day.
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Clint Bajakian: Apple Pro?

10 Mar, 2004, 17:50 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 2
Apparently so. The Apple.com "Pro" page has an interview with and article about Clint Bajakian, former in-house LucasArts composer (Outlaws, Sam & Max Hit the Road, Day of the Tentacle) and sound designer (Grim Fandango, Full Throttle, countless Star Wars games) who has since left LEC to create his own company, the Bay Area Sound Department where he's continued to work for LucasArts (Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb) as well as other publishers. Also included with the story are a few music clips from Outlaws and Emperor's Tomb and, um, other things. If you want to get some sort of glimpse into the world of game sound design and music composition, this might be a start.
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You really missed him... Or did you?!

09 Mar, 2004, 15:03 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 14
Captain Mystery has returned to the Scumm Bar, and has had a change of heart. If you don't remember his previous editorials, thats okay, but just remember that he has decided his sole purpose in life is to piss off fanboys with a combination of well thought out ideas, and crude name-calling. That's why it may be a bit jarring, especially to Haggis, to see his latest story is titled, "An Attempt To Contradict Myself Without Saying So: Why Jumping On The Fan Bandwagon Might Not Be Such A Bad Idea."
LEC has come under a lot of flak from the dork armies for some time now, under accusations it sold out to the Star Wars franchise. As I?ve said, I didn?t much care, because we still got promised a few original games. But your latest move is foolish in the extreme. Instead of restoring a good chunk of consumers? goodwill by releasing Sam & Max, you?ve gone in entirely the opposite direction.
Check out the whole article at the Scumm Bar. (This is for real the last post about this sort of thing. You can't go and not update about a Captain Mystery story, you know.)
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Triple "Hammer of Love" Solves All

08 Mar, 2004, 18:59 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 11
Proving he can come through in a pinch, Tim Schafer has gone and updated Double Fine Action News with a single solution to the three problems of how to cope with Sam & Max 2 being cancelled, showing your love for Double Fine Action Comics, and supporting Grim Fandango in the GameSpy Grudge Title Fight:

Buy this Hickee comic.

The comic, created by Graham Annable the lead animator on Sam & Max 2 also features comics by Sam & Max 2's lead artist Derek Sakai and Joe White, another animator on the game, as well as comics by Double Fine's Nathan Stapley, Razmig Mavlian, and Scott Campbell, creator of the two-headed baby and the Double Fine Action Comics, and comics by Grim Fandango animators Dave Bogan and Vamberto Maduro. How can you pass this up? You can't.

Also, yes, we might have written about Hickee a while ago, but nobody noticed. For a funnier version of this same information, visit Double Fine Action News as soon as posible. More of this stuff at www.grickle.net.
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New MI Comic Page

08 Mar, 2004, 16:09 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 5
Page 29 of Paco Vink's amazing comic adaptation of Monkey Island 1 has appeared online today for all to enjoy. If you missed the comic somehow (its been going on for about two years now), you might want to start here.
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New Day, New Week, Same Anger

08 Mar, 2004, 15:45 | Posted by: DJG | Comments: 15
Community outrage over the Sam and Max 2 cancellation continues. Let's take a look at what you might have missed over the weekend in the wild world of angry fan uprisings...<:MORENEWS:>

Several online petitions have sprung up, the most noteworthy being this one. It has gained over 8,700 signatures at the time of this writing and is the most active petition over at www.PetitionOnline.com. Oddly enough, the third most active petition on the site is also for Sam and Max 2.

While we at Mixnmojo feel that writing an e-mail to LucasArts is a far more effective way to let the company know your feelings, signing a petition doesn't hurt either. Just don't get your hopes up.

Adventure Gamers has published an excellent editorial on the subject of Sam and Max 2 and re-published its review of the original game. As usual, we recommend reading what they have to say, since their stuff is, for lack of a better word, fantabulous.

Also, in the new LucasArts Technical Support Forums, it seems that most of the support is of the moral variety. A thread sprang up over the weekend with more than 100 posts expressing their feelings about the cancellation. The replies to this thread far exceeded any of the other discussions you would find on the site. Not surprisingly, the entire thread was deleted this morning by the forum administrators.

Sure, none of this will probably bring the game back... but hey, screw 'em.

A quick note from Jake: Just to let everyone know, barring any major announcements from LucasArts, this is really going to be the last of our "Save Sam & Max 2" coverage. We think everyone's got the message by now who's going to.
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Purcell Comments on Sam & Max 2

05 Mar, 2004, 15:29 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 57
Just got this note in my inbox from Sam & Max's creator, Steve Purcell. He said I could share it so here's the note in its entirety:
LucasArts' sudden decision to stop production on Sam & Max is mystifying. ?Sam & Max was on schedule and coming together beautifully.

I couldn't have been more pleased with the quality of the writing, gameplay, hilarious animation and the gorgeous 3D world that Mike Stemmle's team has created. The rug has been pulled out from under this brilliant team who've so expertly retooled Sam & Max for the 21st century.

I'm extremely frustrated and disappointed especially for the team who have devoted so much effort and creativity to Sam & Max. It's a shame to think that their accomplishments, as well as the goodwill that has been growing in the gaming press toward this project, will all go to waste due to this shortsighted decision.

Thanks everyone, for continuing to make your feelings known.

--Steve Purcell
If you haven't yet, as before we're encouraging everyone to send LucasArts a letter letting them know how you feel (please limit swearing to around 10% of your letter so they might actually read it).

Though unrelated, its worth noting that on Gamespot today, Freelance Police is listed as number nine on the list of top 10 most popular games of the day (at the bottom of the page). On the Gamespot PC page, they're number four.
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LucasArts Opens Support Forum

05 Mar, 2004, 14:49 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 13
It looks like LucasArts opened an official Tech Support Forum on lucasarts.com on or around the 2nd, and we missed it. That's kind of good, as now you can get tech help for the newer LucasArts games that nobody in the Mojo Help Forum knows about. Wonder if the LEC forum is going to expand to general chat at some point? Surely that wouldn't make the LucasForums people very happy.

(As a side note, the LucasArts Support Forums are for technical support and questions only, so, though you surely all want to now, don't bother them with Sam & Max 2 posts, as they will just delete them. Instead we recommend you continue to send any Sam & Max stuff to pr@lucasarts.com.)
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Insult Swordfighting Deemed Insulting

05 Mar, 2004, 08:10 | Posted by: DJG | Comments: 6
In the interest of returning to normalcy (or at least pretending to), here's a bit of trivia on The Secret of Monkey Island. In the february issue of industry magazine GameDeveloper, LucasArts veteran Noah Falstein talks about localisation issues and cultural differences. Here's a possibly interesting bit:
I discovered another clue working with some Japanese experts to translate the insult-swordfighting episode from The Secret of Monkey Island, where characters trade insults and rejoinders to gain advantage in fights. Although this went over well in America and Germany, our Japanese experts were detectably horrified (even though they politely veiled their reactions). They were amazed that we thought it was funny to insult each other, and they found two insults involving farmers and ancestors particularly offensive.
Ultimately the translators suggested to keep the swordfighting in, but remove the most potentially offensive references.

So, yeah ... Sam & Max 2.
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Classic LucasArts Collectors Site

04 Mar, 2004, 17:25 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 11
I know there are more than a few classic-LucasArts collectors who read Mojo and the forums, so this might be of interest. A new site has popped up, Vintagegaming.org, which has a large section dedicated to collecting information about old LucasArts adventure games and their associated merchandise.

I've contributed a couple pieces of Sam & Max Hit the Road memorabilia, but I've seen images of completely insane collectible stuff on the forums and IRC from you guys, so maybe go check it out and contribute something while you're there.
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The Calm Immediately After The Storm

04 Mar, 2004, 14:52 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 22
Well, now that we've gone and confirmed many people at LucasArts' worst fears about Mixnmojo, what's there to do? Until E3 rolls around and we get heaps of new things to poke at, we'll probably be scaling back on the current LucasArts coverage a bit, but you saw that coming right? What does that mean? It means, basically, we'll be focusing on news about the LucasArts community, Tim Schafer's upcoming game Psychonauts, and maybe some more ranty editorials.

So, how about yesterday, eh? In case you missed the ruckus, take a peek at the reader comments on Slashdot, Gamespot, Evil Avatar, Evil Avatar again, Blue's, Blue's again, Shacknews, and a couple of threads and an article over at Adventure Gamers. Also, from the responses in those threads (and from WWHS), one might guess LucasArts has had a few letters emailed to them.

Now, how about Mojo's editorial? I mean, kick ass we got Slashdotted. Our feeble server was completely owned, twice. Thanks to all who read it.

As for how LucasArts might take it, as I said earlier I'm sure we've confirmed all their worst fears about this site. I don't know what to say other than we did the best we could. I'm sure we got some facts dead wrong, and we probably pointed the finger at some people who didn't deserve it, and stepped on a few extra toes, but that's the best its going to get, and we stand by what's been said. We're obviously not LucasArts, and much as we'd like to we don't live under the meeting table in the conference room, we're a fan site. We don't know exactly whats going on, so we made educated guesses. So, something had to be said about Sam & Max 2 and the greater state of things at LucasArts, and harnessing our brains and the past six to seven years of watching them on this site, we took our best stab at it. Anyone is welcome to talk about it, email me at jake@mixnmojo.com.

The fact that so many people agreed with it is making me worry a little less, and I hope it woke the right people up, or at least poked them a little bit in places that needed a good poking.

Yikes. All this inner-worry and angst, this is beginning to sound like a LiveJournal or something. ... Oh God, noooo...

Current Mood: tired
Current Music: soft cell - tainted love
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GameSpot polls Sam & Max

04 Mar, 2004, 12:05 | Posted by: Remi | Comments: 2
Gamespot is currently running a poll that reads "Are you sad LucasArts has canceled the Sam & Max sequel?" Currently 39% has voted yes, with 47% going "Sam and who?!" This is a good way to make your voice heard on a large site, so go vote "yes" now.
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Dear LucasArts

03 Mar, 2004, 17:22 | Posted by: Spaff | Comments: 2
Well, you finally did it. After years of not really being interested in your really crappy output, you finally convinced me of how shit you have become. You need to sort your act out, the only reason people buy your games is because they have Star Wars skins on them. You haven't made a good internal game in years.

Note to LEC Developers: I?m sorry you guys... If I was working there now, I?d seriously be worried - quit guys, quit. There is no future for you. Go work for Factor 5, Bioware, Planetmoon or Totally games as they seem to be doing your jobs anyway and I wouldn?t be surprised if your positions become obsolete in the very near future, Am I Right? Of course I am. Surely you are bored to tears of the poor quality of your company resources and the terrible decisions made by internal departments that result in the public never being able to see your years of hard work.

Quit, unless of course you like making StarWars games, in which case stay, but please try and make some good ones...?

Yours Sincerely,
Spaff.

P.s Was Sam and max 2 cool? write and tell me about it!
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Dear Guys

03 Mar, 2004, 17:02 | Posted by: Spaff | Comments: 0
Quick, hide all the bodies! People are begining to get suspicious about all the people who have left LucasArts and aren't around on Mojo any more and we dont want those pesky FED's poking their noses around this little operation we've got going.

Spaff.
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Dear Jake etc

03 Mar, 2004, 16:59 | Posted by: Spaff | Comments: 0
Keep the noise down!!! I'm trying to sleep!!!!

Spaff.
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Dear Guys

03 Mar, 2004, 16:57 | Posted by: Spaff | Comments: 0
What's with the mess?
I've lost the DJG, I left it just here a few months ago and now all I see is a big pile of hate mail and some post it notes. Try to keep it a bit cleaner yeah? And keep your eyes peeled for the DJG.

Spaff.
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Yep, they've done it. LucasArts has just announced that they've stopped work on Sam & Max 2, saying "After careful evaluation of current market place realities and underlying economic considerations, we've decided that this was not the appropriate time to launch a graphic adventure on the PC."

Don't believe that its possible? Here's the official announcement from LucasArts.com. Our best wishes go out to everyone on the Sam & Max 2 team, who are apprently all still going to be kept on at LucasArts.

To us, the decision seems completely absurd, and not just because "we love adventure games," or something. Surely Sam & Max's production was plagued with troubles, but from the sounds of it so is every game project. Everything that came out about Sam & Max seemed golden. The press was drooling over the game. It looked like they had a sequel going on that, unlike some other recent sequels, was actually going ot get it right. But now, out of the blue, its gone. Which really really makes all of us wonder...


an editorial by the staff of Mixnmojo

LucasArts has made a gigantic mistake.

There, we've said it. Everyone else is already thinking it, and other people have probably already said it, but now we've said it too. The official Mixnmojo stance on Sam & Max 2 being cancelled is that LucasArts has seriously screwed up, just about as much as possible.

Production has stopped on the last original game --and the only game really-- anyone around here was genuinely interested in seeing. Cancelled. Why? From the sounds of it, the people in the Sales department spent the last three months winding themselves up about how impossible it would be for them to sell a quirky adventure game, eventually just snapped, and cancelled the title. Is that screwed up? Yes, that is screwed up.

LucasArts has made a lot of really bad moves in the last year. RTX Red Rock was allowed to ship. It tanked hard. Who really thought RTX would be marketable, would sell well, would really catch the attention of gamers? Full Throttle 2, despite a constant stream of negative to lukewarm receptions from magazines and fans, was allowed to live on in production far longer than anyone really wanted.

Armed & Dangerous, one of the few truly original gems LucasArts has dealt with in the last five or six years, was rushed out early by the suits, in hopes of grabbing some Christmas shoppers. This was decided despite Christmas being notorious for huge A-list titles like Lord of the Rings hogging the coverage and hype, and for mothers who know nothing about games being the ones doing the shopping. Not surprisingly, Armed & Dangerous had a poor holiday season. Who knows what might have happened if they'd let Planet Moon refine the game for a few months, and released A&D it in the nearly empty February, after everyone had exhausted their Christmas games and was looking for something new?

Recently, they shipped Wrath Unleashed. For more on Wrath, see RTX a few paragraphs up. And finally, today we receive word that Sam & Max Freelance Police has been axed.

Notice a trend here? Correct. Not one of the recent LucasArts bungles mentioned above contained the two magic words, Star Wars. If you give the suits at LucasArts a Star Wars game, they can sell it. Why? Because they don't have to try! No cleverness is needed. That's not to say it doesn't take any work, but for the most part you just need to get the screenshots out, buy a few ads on Gamespot, and tell the press "yep, it's basically like EA's The Two Towers game, but this time you play as characters from -- wait for it -- Star Wars!" WHOP, you've made the cover of EGM. (Of course it helps, but isn't essential, if the Star Wars game you're selling is actually good, like KOTOR)

LucasArts has more or less proven that they can sell the hell out of anything that says Star Wars on the box (again, because that takes no creativity and instead a few magic words, some money, and maybe a wave or two of the nostalgia wand, or possibly the soccer mom wand depending if it's a classic or prequel title), but more importantly they've proven that if they are handed anything without the Star Wars name to sell the game for them, they will just have absolutely no idea what to do.

Games that should be cancelled, or seriously retooled, end up shipping and doing poorly, or lingering in production for months draining company resources. Games that need more time are rushed out the door. And finally, when a game falls into their lap that has the gaming press of the Western world salivating like mad, they flip out and cancel it.

And let's be honest here. Even though it sounds a little insane if you look at it from the wrong perspective ("giant dog and rabbit who fight crime, what's the appeal in that?!"), LucasArts has no adventure game, short of making up Star Wars adventure games, that will ever be as marketable as Sam & Max. Not Monkey Island 5, not Day of the Tentacle 2. Even the Indiana Jones adventure game franchise has been muddled beyond recognition at this point. Sam & Max pack personality, edginess, and firearms in unmentionable places like no other LucasArts game series -- actually like no other game series at all, and they do it in a way that basically anybody can laugh at. There are very few people with any size sense of humor who, after hearing them utter just a few sentences, aren't sold on the quality of the characters and the humor. And on top of that, unlike basically any other sequel LucasArts could consider, Sam and Max have no back story, no possible way of alienating new players.

Sam and Max are weird, granted, but is there anybody out there who genuinely thinks they're less accessible than Wrath Unleashed? Less intriguing on a store shelf than RTX Red Rock? Yes, in fact, there is. The LucasArts sales department.

I can see where they're coming from, in a way. If every game without a Star Wars logo that came through your door ended up tanking, getting cancelled, or somehow cause you a huge amount of grief, you might be inclined to just kill the next one in line and get it over with. In a way, their behavior like that is understandable. However, it becomes entirely unacceptable when you remember, that's not their job! Their job is to actually think about things, figure out what's been going wrong, and how to fix it. Their job is to actually try, not to just throw the switch, or pass the title along 'till its out the door, and then attempt to absolve themselves of blame.

Today's an extremely sad day for LucasArts, and we hope they all know it. If they can't even figure that out, they're in far worse trouble than we could have imagined.


Want LucasArts to know what you think? For God's sake, don't start a petition! Tell them yourself! Email LucasArts PR, and let them know whats on your mind (in a constructive way, but don't hold back or anything)! Companies are pretty unlikely to un-cancel a game they've already given the axe, but they should at least know when they've made a mistake.
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Full Throttle: Out Of Stock

02 Mar, 2004, 23:25 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 8
Yikes! I hadn't noticed this before, but Amazon.com is now listing Full Throttle as Out of Stock. The only copies available are used, for $25. If you've been meaning to get a copy, it sounds like getting reamed by used copy collectors prices are soon going to be the only way to go about doing it. If you happen to live in the US or Canada, you can still pick up Full Throttle in a jewel case from the LucasArts company store, fortunately.
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Calling all Walkthrough Authors!

02 Mar, 2004, 22:15 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 1
Pssssst! Have you or someone you know written a walkthrough or hint guide to a LucasArts game, new or old? If you haven't, are you interested in writing one? Do you need an excuse to finish one you started years ago and left for dead? Now is your chance to shine!

With the exception of a few games listed below, Mixnmojo has almost no walkthroughs in its game database, and we really want some! We have had the functionality for walkthroughs ever since the new Mojo opened, but nobody on staff has been keen on writing them. This is where you come in.

I know you've written walkthroughs and hints and lists of codes for old LucasArts games, but have only posted them on the forums, or maybe your old Dark Forces page on Geocities that got deleted back in 1998. I know you're totally sitting on this goldmine of hints and cheatery and you're not sharing.

If you have a hint guide or walkthrough you'd like to let us run, please contact me!

You'll be properly credited and we can link to your email address, Mojo user name, or website in the walkthrough. You're welcome to submit more than one of course. Thanks a bunch!

Here are the games we already have walkthroughs for:<:MORENEWS:>

Monkey Island 3
Monkey Island 4
Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Sam & Max Hit the Road
Day of the Tentacle
Rebel Assault II
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The Double Fine action news encourages you to go vote for Grim Fandango in that GameSpy game face-off title fight thing. Currently, Grim is pretty much destroying its competition, Gabriel Knight 2. The Tim Schafer, creator of Grim, has this to say about the fight:
The Gabriel Knight lady is really nice, I have heard. But tell me, has she ever given you any... FREE COMICS? Hmmm? Double Fine has given you THREE FREE COMICS so far. How many have you gotten from the makers of Gabriel Knight? Probably less than that. Or fewer than that. Whichever is correct. Okay, maybe some comics came free with the game, but I'm asking you what has the Gabriel Knight lady done for you LATELY?
In other news, "Double Fine action comics" is now up to their third comic, so you'd better go read them.
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