And you must be dead inside if you're not at least a little bit intrigued by this...
The Double Fine Amnesia Fortnight Humble Bundle Votes Have Been Cast, and the four pitches to become prototype games have been decided:
Hack n' Slash led by Brandon Dillon: an action-adventure (2D Zelda-style) where a young elf uses her hacking skills to cheat her way through.
Spacebase DF-9 led by JP LeBreton: a simulation game where you build a space base where aliens can live and work, and watch interesting stories emerge from their simulated lives.
The White Birch led by Andy Wood: an ambient platform game (in the style of Ico or Journey) in which a young girl climbs a tower to escape a dark, hazardous forest.
Autonomous led by Lee Petty: a first person perspective construction and action game where you where you collect primitives and energy to build self-directed automatons to both explore and survive the hazardous environment of the futuristic "junkyard world".
Also, make sure to check the Double Fine Amnesia Fortnight Humble Bundle site at 2PM PST today, where Double Fine will have a live stream going.
Update: The list of games being made into prototypes has expanded to five! The additional pitch being made into a prototype game is:
Black Lake led by Levi Ryken: an action-adventure where you track animals trough a folk tale forest and purge evil from their dreams which have spilled out into the world.For those who missed the voting period, you can still donate to the bundle and get the five new prototypes, and prototypes for Costume Quest and Happy Song (which became Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster). If you donate more than the average (currently $7.22 USD), you'll also get the prototype of the stop-motion and Monster Hunter inspired RPG Brazen.
The Amnesia Fortnight Humble Bundle is still going on, flaunting its uniqueness in its on-going effort to get you to donate to it so you can vote on which of the four game pitches will become prototypes over the two week period that is this year's Amnesia Fortnight.
To sweeten the deal, Double Fine has added a new prototype to the mix: Brazen. This prototype, led by Iron Brigade project leader Brad Muir, mixes Monster Hunter with Ray Harryhausen inspired visuals (the stop motion special effects seen in classic Hollywood films such as Jason and the Argonauts and the original Clash of the Titans).
A DRM-free direct download and a Steam key will be given for Brazen to everyone who beats the average (currently just under $7 USD). Everyone who already donated to the bundle will receive the bundle, regardless of the amount spent (think of it as an early adopter's bonus).
The final episode of Telltale's The Walking Dead, No Time Left, is out now on the PlayStation 3 through the PlayStation Network.
It will be out on European PSN, Xbox 360 through Xbox Live Arcade, PC, Mac, and even iOS tomorrow. Additionally, all five episodes will be released on disc at retail stores for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in North America on December 5th.Update (November 21, 2012): It's out everywhere now already, including Telltale's store.
Telltale Games in October signed a five-plus-year lease for 22,000 square feet of offices formerly occupied by San Rafael-based design software developer Autodesk on the fourth floor of Marin Executive Center at 4000 Civic Center Dr. in north San Rafael. That nearly doubles the size of Telltale’s studio, currently located on the east side of the city.
“We’ve maxed out where we’re at,” said Dan Connors, chief executive officer and co-founder. “Civic Center will give us room we need to grow our team and take on more projects on a yearly basis.”
Telltale plans to move into its new home in March or April. The new studio will be able to accommodate 160 employees and satisfy company growth plans for the next few years, he said. The company plans to ramp up the staff in 2013.
Currently, the company employs 125 in its current location at 101 Glacier Point near the Richmond–San Rafael Bridge.
You probably remember Amnesia Fortnight, Double Fine's game jam that gave us awesomeness like Costume Quest and Once Upon a Monster. Well, Double Fine is doing it again, and this time you can vote for your favorite concept!
This all runs through Humble Bundle and by contributing there, you not only get to vote, but you also get to download prototypes from this year and last year's Amnesia Fortnight, and... Really, don't read this, but go read and watch the actual announcement instead. Then spend, damn you!
BioWare, a studio of Electronic Arts, and LucasArts announced today that the new, Free-to-Play option for the critically-acclaimed, massively multiplayer online game, Star Wars: The Old Republic is now live. Now players can experience the complete storylines of all eight iconic Star Wars classes, all the way to level 50 for free. This new option complements the existing subscription offering, providing players with maximum flexibility in how they choose to experience Star Wars: The Old Republic.
“We want to give our players the freedom to enjoy Star Wars: The Old Republic when and how they want,” said Matthew Bromberg, General Manager of BioWare Austin. “There has never been a better time to start playing with us.”
Also today, BioWare released Game Update 1.5: HK-51 Activated, which adds new areas to explore, a new Companion character and more...
No, not the game -- you didn't seriously believe that to be the case, did you? -- but the comic anthology. It is now available digitally from Comixology, which means you can read classic Sam & Max comics (alongside the infamous Jake Rodkin extras) on your iOS or Android device.
For only $15 you'd be a complete tight-ass not to buy this, so run and get it!
There are three games by Mojo-related companies that are soon to be released. One has a firm release date. That one is the final episode of The Walking Dead, which will be released on November 20th for PlayStation Network in North America and on November 21st for XBLA, PSN in Europe, and iOS.
The next game that's coming very soon is Double Fine's Kinect Party, which according to True Achievements, now has a placeholder page on Xbox.com with screenshots and cover art (although they didn't reveal the url of the placeholder page, they did post the aforementioned images at their site).
The third incoming game is another Double Fine title: the free-to-play iOS game Middle Manager of Justice, which was featured as a recommended download for iOS in this months Game Informer (so either the editors of the magazine are just wishful thinkers, or the game is coming out soon).
You take this guy over at Android Apps, who searches for logic in the dearth of PC games, modern and legacy, on his favorite gadget, and comes up short:
I look at games like Deponia and a new Edna & Harvey episode, point-and-click adventure games built like the old LucasArts SCUMM games from the '90s, and wonder how it's possible they aren't available on my tablet.
And then there are the archives. GOG.com is a great place to find old games, but can you imagine them having a mobile marketplace? Older titles like Fallout, Syberia and Syndicate would probably kill on mobile.
It almost seems like there's this indeterminately sized society of weirdos that loves those old games and would like to see them given the modest respect of a place in the digital space. It's too bad this admittedly profane cult of individuals can't happen to include the people who actually have the power to make it happen.
Here's another post chock full of tidbits related to the companies Mojo covers, but that aren't big enough news to warrant their own news post.
Double Fine's Middle Manager of Justice should be coming out for the public on iOS soon. The team is still hard at work killing bugs, polishing the game, and addressing feedback they have received from the people who have become beta testers after the accidental release of the game this summer. In the meantime, to tide fans over until the game is released, there's a nice blog post over at Double Fine about the origins of Middle Manager of Justice as an amnesia fortnight prototype, including the original pitch video and character concepts.
Also, for those of you (if there are any of you reading Mojo, which is doubtful) who haven't yet pre-ordered Double Fine Adventure, there's still time to become a slacker backer at the current $15 USD price tag. That price includes the game once it's finished in DRM free form for PC, Mac, or Linux and a Steam code to get the game through the Steam client, access to the unfinished beta on Steam (once it's available), and digital access to the Double Fine Adventure documentary series. You'll get over a dozen of the Double Fine Adventure documentary videos right now. In a week the price will be raised to $30 USD, to reflect the amount of goods you'll recieve, as well as how much you'll receive immediately (as opposed to before, when there weren't as many goodies already available to backers).
Finally, the Grim Fandango inspired The Journey Down: Chapter One, the first part of a four chapter game, by Mojo forum poster Skygoblin, is now available on IndieGameStand at a pay-what-you-wish deal (starting at only $1 USD). It's well worth picking up, if you haven't already. It's an excellent chapter that's a great tribute to the LucasArts classics, while holding it's own amongst them.
Francis "Randy" Sluganski, whom most of you know as the former owner and editor of Just Adventure, has died after a decade long battle with cancer. Mojo and Randy have not always seen eye to eye, but his enthusiasm for the adventure game genre and his efforts to promote it can't be faulted. Our thoughts are with his family and friends in these difficult times.
Angry Birds Star Wars is out now for 99 cents on iPhone, $2.99 on iPad, in HD format on Android for $2.99, on regular format for Android for free (with ads), on Windows for $4.99 (including Windows 8), on Mac for $4.99, on Kindle Tablet for $2.99, and on Windows Phone 8 for 99 cents.
According to Nokia, Angry Birds Star Wars will also be available for Windows Phone 7.5 once Rovio and Nokia "make sure everything works as well as it can".
I just played through the Tatooine level, and it's actually pretty fun. It's essentially a blend of Angry Birds and Angry Birds Space with lightsabers, blasters, and the force, but the latter are implemented well and make for an entertaining experience.
"Star Wars 1313" is now at the mercy of Disney, as the entertainment monster has just purchased Lucas Film for $4 billion, but will this affect the game's development and whether or not it appears on next-generation consoles?
According to a report from IGN on Tuesday, this purchase has apparently placed a cloud of doubt around the project for no reason other than the fact that Disney is really looking to focus on developing titles for mobile and social platforms.
No telling about those other games. Although Star Wars 1313 is the only example to really enjoy public broadcast, LucasArts has supposedly been revving up internal development over the last couple of years. Other projects they've been working on are that Battlefront-looking shooter for Xbox Live Arcade as well as some unannounced flight sim and potentially a couple of others. (Peruse the company job site and choose your own speculation in a game I'm fond of calling, Choose Your Own Speculation.)
While history should certainly keep anyone from ruling out the possibility of the reset button being smacked on in-house development (again), neither can we assume that Disney wouldn't allow LucasArts to operate in a similar fashion to how they are today. That's why there's little reason to fear a "hostile takeover" scenario; certainly, there's no more hostile an environment for interesting ideas than the one that Lucasfilm has imposed itself on its game subsidiary for the past several years. I'll give the new foster parents a chance to rise to the ambition of doing worse instead of assuming it. The safest assumption, of course, is that little will change whatsoever.
As Lucas is already the chairman of Edutopia, which is part of the George Lucas Educational Foundation, it's possible the money may go into that.
"For 41 years, the majority of my time and money has been put into the company," Lucas said in a statement Wednesday. "As I start a new chapter in my life, it is gratifying that I have the opportunity to devote more time and resources to philanthropy."
Disney CEO Robert Iger briefly discussed Disney's plans for game development using the intellectual properties acquired in the acquisition, saying, "We're likely to focus more on social and mobile than we are on console. We'll look opportunistically at console, most likely in licensing rather than publishing, but we think that given the nature of these characters and how well known they are, and the storytelling, that they lend themselves quite nicely, as they've already demonstrated to the other platforms."
So they're continuing with Star Wars 1313, licensing out Star Wars to 3rd party developers and will be churning out mostly Mobile games. So, no change in company direction there at all.
Let's just hope that porting the back-catalog of LucasArts' classic games to tablets and smartphones is on the agenda.