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Those old Mojo photos

31 May, 2004, 16:43 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 6
Now that everyone has finally realized that we are far too disorganizied and lazy to put up our old articles with any amount of speed, other people are doing our work for us! Over at the hosted site Mojo Art you can catch many classic Mixnmojo moments in photo form, including the three trips to Double Fine, the two LEC press day invasions, the visit to LucasArts central, and more. Check it out, engross yourself in the supreme dorkiness, and love.
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Another new guy!

31 May, 2004, 16:37 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 3
Apparently we can't stop adding new guys to help with the database! Okay, actually we can, we're stopping now. But if you see some random guy named "scaryrobot" skulking around, he's in fact James Denness, a regular Mojo reader but infrequent Mojo news commenter, who has volunteered to do some time this Summer with the game database. Just thought I'd let you know.
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Planet Moon goes PSP

30 May, 2004, 17:32 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 8
Planet Moon, the notoriously crazy development studio behind Giants and the excellent Armed & Dangerous have recently revealed that they'll be moving their focus to Sony's upcoming PSP portable system.

It seems the idea is, with the PSP being a fresh system, publishers might finally buck the current trend of being retarded, and actually pay brilliant folks like Planet Moon to do what they do best: make games that don't blow. Mojo wishes them the best of luck on the new plan, though these days being in Mojo's good graces seems to be more of a curse...
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LucasArts hires teenage wizzkid

30 May, 2004, 15:40 | Posted by: jp-30 | Source: SF Gate | Comments: 13
The SF Gate reports a welcome change of pace; Lucasarts hiring new talent.
Around the office at LucasArts, Ryan Wieber is simply known as the "light-saber kid."

The nickname works because he's the video game firm's light-saber special effects guru. It works even better because he really is just a kid.

About a year ago, Wieber was living the life of a normal teenager. After picking up his diploma at Del Mar High School in San Jose, he was taking a few classes at De Anza College and working part time at Blockbuster Video.

That's when a senior effects artist at LucasArts in San Rafael called.
Find out the rest of the information in the full article here.

Update: Here's the background straight from the horse's mouth - Ryan was a regular at theforce.net's fanfilms board. Ryan Wieber: Associate Effects Artist for LucasArts .
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LucasArts animator Graham Annable has been named "Best Unknown Local Cartoonist" in SF Weekly's annual "Best of San Francisco" issue for his work as a newspaper cartoonist.
Since 1994 Annable has worked on an extended string of computer game projects for LucasArts such as Star Wars: Obi-Wan, Full Throttle, The Dig, Afterlife, Outlaws, The Curse of Monkey Island, and RTX Red Rock. His projects have won numerous animation and graphics awards including the ASIFA Annie Award, animation's highest honor, in 1998 for "Outstanding Achievement in an Animated Interactive Program".
Catch the rest of the article here.
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New faces at The Mojo

26 May, 2004, 13:33 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 5
Hi everyone, just a quick note to let you know that Spaff and I have brought aboard two new webmonkeys to clamor around behind the scenes. Long time readers and community members JBRAA and ATMachine have volunteered to help finally bring the sagging games database up to speed (Yes, we have a games database! Bet you didn't even know). Please give them a warm welcome!

As you've noticed, they might occasionally be posting news, but as Mojo is trying to focus more and more on "The Classics," its become blindingly obvious that our database is severely lacking. Expect it to be featured more prominently on the site as they beef it up.
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Republic Commando Producers Interviewed

25 May, 2004, 21:35 | Posted by: DJG | Comments: 0
Associate Producer Matt Fillbrandt, Director Tim Longo and Line Producer Chris Williams answer questions about Republic Commando at Unreal Ops.
How did the idea of Republic Commando come about?
We wanted to create a uniquely dark and militaristic Star Wars FPS, which featured finely tuned combat and accessible squad gameplay that would provide a broad audience with a dramatic "Special Forces" experience.

What did you have to limit doing know that it was going to be a cross platform game instead of PC only?
We didn't have to limit anything, but we have to be very careful to ensure that we provide a great gaming experience on both the PC and the Xbox. Nobody wants to play a console game on their PC! We are working hard to ensure the graphics and audio as well as the controls, balance, and difficulty are all perfectly tuned for both the PC and the Xbox. Our goal is that the game should not feel like a "port" on either platform.
Check out the whole interview for more info.
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Fans Present Maniac Mansion Remake

22 May, 2004, 01:59 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 12
Over at the AGS website, an AGS gamemaker, "LucasFan Games," has put up a really nice 256 color remake of Maniac Mansion. The game doesn't offer a new visual style or anything - it still has the full spirit of the original 16 (and 8?) color versions, just slightly more colorful and with a less annoying interface. If you haven't played Maniac Mansion because you were put off by its archaic interface or dated colors, now's your chance to put things right. Thanks to skullkid in the forums for the tip.

Update: For more about the team behind this remake, check here. You might spot a couple Mojo readers of yore in there.
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Mercenaries Trailer Exists

21 May, 2004, 16:24 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 4
LucasArts has put the video trailer for Mercenaries up on the official site. The game's official name is apparently Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction, but it should secretly be Mercenaries: Blow everything the hell up, because that's what you do.

Is the dialogue really forced sounding? Yes. Is the military setting overused? Yes. But... did the game look really awesome, fun, and possibly a tiny bit unique in person at E3? Well, yeah actually. As has been said elsewhere, nobody's head was exploding due to awesomeness overload, but it at least looks like the good folks at Pandemic are trying with Mercenaries, and they're a talented bunch.
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Gamespot has recently added Day of the Tentacle to their list of Greatest Games of All Time. They love it.
LucasArts pioneered a brand of adventure game in which you could never die--you would just get stuck for a while if you couldn't figure out a puzzle--and Day of the Tentacle is a perfect example of this carefree, frustration-free style of gaming. This is a genuine classic--very few games have matched or exceeded the quality of Day of the Tentacle's production.
Check out the whole writeup as well as some cutscenes and other screenshot type goodies here. They also included Grim in the Best Evar list a few weeks back.
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Psychonauts News OMG!!!111

14 May, 2004, 18:50 | Posted by: Spaff | Source: Doug Tabacco | Comments: 15
Wonder why there is no Psychonauts news from any other media sites? Our own Doug Tabacco on the show floor explains:
That's because Psychonauts isn't being shown on the floor. With no publisher to host them and no time or space left to secure a booth of their own, Tim is reduced to showing it out of a hotel suite. We called him and tried to set up a meeting, but he said he's totally booked up. We take that to be a good thing, since it means lots of people (hopefully some of them publishers) are seeing the game.
Thre you have it folks... You heard it here first! Exclusive E3 News coverage. Come on you know Mojo still loves you. It does.
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E3: Nothing is happening

13 May, 2004, 18:50 | Posted by: A Pirate! Yar! | Comments: 24
LucasArts are at E3 and so are some of the Mojo crowd, however nothing is happening.. there are some Star Wars previews around but im sure you can find them elsewhere if you really care... No news from Psychonauts anywhere yet either, but when there is it will be here!

For some E3 round up news head over to Idle Thumbs!
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Site announcement from Jake and Spaff

11 May, 2004, 15:47 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 43
As everyone knows, we aren't exactly rolling in things to cover on Mojo these days. There is the odd announcement or proclaimation of some sort from LucasArts once a week or so, and there's Psychonauts, but on the whole, not a whole lot going on. Which is why we've decided to massively expand our horizons, and take on anything we deem interesting. Definitely not limited to LucasArts. No, I'm no longer talking about Mojo.

Since around last year's E3, Spaff, Marek Bronstring (of Adventure Gamers) and I have been planning a new site, called Idle Thumbs, and its launched today. Our goal with the Thumb, much like the Mojo, is to write about the games we love from the past, and the interesting games on the horizon in a way that isn't so boring that you just stop visiting. Please do check out Idle Thumbs, stay a while, and let us know what you think. Its not much yet, but we've got big plans.

So, what does this mean for Mojo? Not a lot, really. Mojo isn't closing. We'll still have the occasional daily news posts. The hosted sites aren't going anywhere (unless they want to). And of course, we'll have coverage of LucasArts' presence at this year's E3 (though there won't be a lot to write about). So don't fret about anything (except LucasArts' lack of unique games), and instead rejoice, and visit Idle Thumbs every day!
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Lucasfilm licenses SW to JAKKS TV Games

07 May, 2004, 18:06 | Posted by: jp-30 | Source: JAKKS Pacific | Comments: 14
A news item on TheForce.net yesterday reveals LucasArts may no longer be the the exclusive publisher of Star Wars video games
JAKKS Pacific Signs TV Games License With Lucasfilm Ltd. For The Action-Adventure Epic Star Wars

MALIBU, Calif., May 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- JAKKS Pacific, Inc. (Nasdaq: JAKK) announced today that the Company has signed a worldwide license with Lucasfilm Ltd. to produce TV Games(TM) products based on the blockbuster, Star Wars saga.

TV Games(TM) products are slated to be developed based on all films in the Star Wars saga -- A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and the upcoming Star Wars: Episode III.
Hit the full JAKKS TV GAMES press release for the rest of the info. Interestingly there's no mention of the "LucasArts" division in the press release at all. For more products in the JAKKS TV GAMES range, check their website.
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More The Dig funkiness unearthed

04 May, 2004, 20:51 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 2
In the style of proper Mojo excess, reader ATMachine has, erm, dug up quite a few notable pieces of concept art, mockups, and screenshots from really early versions of The Dig. Some of the art is from early versions of Sean Clark's take on The Dig (which ended up eventually being the one which shipped), while some are from Brian Moriarty's version (Brian Moriarty, mostly known to LucasArts fans for the creation of Loom, worked on one of the many versions of The Dig as its development progressed over the span of the mid-90s).<:MORENEWS:>

Included in ATMachines most recent finds are some interesting things including an alternate version of The Dig's notorious "bone puzzle," some odd user interface concepts, and many rooms completely cut from the final game.

This is actually the second batch of screenshots from ATMachine. His first thread containing the other finds is here.
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LucasArts announces E3 2004 lineup

04 May, 2004, 18:56 | Posted by: Jake | Comments: 16
In a press release that just arrived in inboxes across the globe, LucasArts has announced their game lineup to be shown at E3 2004. Heading up the list is Knights of the Ol' Republic 2: The Sith Lords. The game takes place 5 years after the first KOTOR, and is to be available for the Xbox and PC.

The other games on the list (none of which are shocking, by the way, so don't get too excited) are Mercenaries, Star Wars Battlefront, Star Wars Republic Commando, and Star Wars Galaxies: Jump to Lightspeed, and Return to Monkey Island. We'll have (a teeny bit) more on these games for you when we scope out the LucasArts booth at E3, May 14th.
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LucasArts Finally Appoints New President

04 May, 2004, 01:13 | Posted by: jp-30 | Source: LucasFilm | Comments: 26
Theforce.net tips us off that Simon Jeffrey's former role as LucasArts President has finally been filled.
Jim Ward has been named president of LucasArts, the video-game entertainment division of Lucasfilm Ltd., it was announced today by Lucasfilm Chief Operating Officer Micheline Chau. In addition to his new role at LucasArts, Ward will retain his duties as the head of marketing and distribution for Lucasfilm.
Hit the Lucasfilm.com press release for the rest of the info, and hold your breath that LucasArts will again have some decent direction outside of the Star Wars franchise...
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