A Vampyre Story has gone episodic. The new game is entitled A Vampyre Story: Year One, and is coming to iPad, iPhone and, later, PC.
Read the official message on the Official Vampyre Story Facebook page:
Mona, opera-starlet-turned-vampire, and Froderick, wisecracking bat, return in this episodic prequel to the award-winning A Vampyre Story. Help the pair explore more of Castle Warg and Draxsylvania™, solve fiendish puzzles, and outwit hideous new creatures.
A prequel! And the Pumpkin Post has the first, exclusive screenshot which we've totally stolen and added to our brand new gallery over here.
If, like me, you like your adventures in little sips of wine instead of giant chugs of beer; or, if, like me, you like your vampyres not sucking figuratively, but literally, and maybe not being lame enough to glow in the sunlight; then maybe you, like me, are the kind of person to want to get excited for this. So get excited! Autumn Moon is back, baby.
You can find a long and excellent interview with Telltale CEO Dan Connors at gamesTM right about now. The subject of the hour is definitely Back to the Future, but the status of other Telltale licenses is addressed as well:
Moving on to Telltale’s other works, how well would you say Puzzle Agent did? Would you consider the Pilot Program a success?
Puzzle Agent we’re super excited about. It’s really resonated well with people and is doing super well on iPad. We’re also bringing it out on consoles as well. I think you’ll continue to see a lot of products coming out from Telltale that are different in concept. Poker Night At The Inventory is the next thing we have coming out in that vein and we’ll look and see how people respond to that but Puzzle Agent I would say has been a great success for us.
Does that success mean more Nelson Tethers games or more Pilot Program games?
Definitely more Pilot games. From a Nelson Tethers standpoint we’ve just got to sit down and think about what it takes to make the next one and put it through a green light process and see when we can get it done by.
How about more Monkey Island?
Well Tales went great for us as well. From our perspective telling the story over five episodes and being able to work with those characters, to work with classic characters like Guybrush and Elaine while also introducing our own characters like Morgan and Winslow was a great experience for the studio and a great opportunity to do a Telltale game that resonated with people. We loved it, it’s been successful on every channel it released on, as have the LucasArts remakes of the first two games. So the sheer love that people have for that franchise was immediately obvious and clear. So we’d love to do more, we still have details that need to be worked out with LucasArts in order to get it done and none of those details have been addressed yet. They recently changed management over there and I think they’re working on their strategy for where they want to go in the future. As soon as that gets sorted out we’ll certainly bring it up with them again.
That's a lot of text! But not as much as you can find in the whole interview.
It's short, it's direct, and it's to the point. That'd be Bill Tiller's latest tweet:
Big A Vampyre Story Announcement this weekend.
Be excited. And what with Halloween being this Sunday and all, the "big announcement" couldn't be any more timely. So what's it gonna be? And almost as if they've been infected by the same virus that has brought AVS out of dormancy, The Pumpkin Post has undergone a redesign, no thanks to you. In any event, it certainly seems like Autumn Moon is back on the radar, hopefully for the long term.
Well, The Force Unleashed II is now out, which means that The Critics are Unleashed Too. Here's a few:
Whatever went down behind the scenes, the result is a game that sometimes resembles a flavorless tech demo for The Force Unleashed – not a worthy successor. While there are certainly pleasures to be had in The Force Unleashed II, they come off as the dregs of a concept that has run its course. The series was bound to exhaust itself someday, but the fact that it happened this early is a brutal disappointment.
The story I found so captivating in The Force Unleashed, is dragged back into life for the sequel, undermining much of that epic tale's original take. The level design, while not broken, is something far worse: Bland. Even the voice acting, which I loved in the original game, started to grate on my nerves halfway through the surprisingly short jaunt.
Hmm, GamesRadar's really contradicts some of the other reviews, especially regarding the quality of the story.
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II takes nearly every complaint we had about the original and fixes it or gives us something better. We finally feel like a proper, force-wielding one-man army. It’s still short and doesn’t take us on a truly grand tour of the Star Wars universe, but the storytelling holds up in quality and fits right in to the existing mythology.
As the more observant of you may have noticed, Mojo was down for a bit today. This was to let us update and change our database.
The media button has now been activated and so far you can check out our archive of over 5000 images of everything from Ballblaster Ballblazer screenshots to Brütal Legend cover art!
The ribbon at the top has also had a face-lift. The social network icons can now be found to the far right and you can choose to be remembered for a week when you log in. No need to keep typing in your password for every time you open the site!
Look for more sections of Media to be opened as the days grow darker/lighter this fall/spring!
And it's reviews! We'll be cataloging them here as long as the other Mojoers can be bothered.
IGN (Score: 7.5)
Eurogamer (Score: 8/10)
"Costume Quest does a lot of things right – it’s humorous, has a great art style that fits the childish theme, a decent battle system, and costumes that double as super powers... But despite these great qualities, the game does have its shortcomings..."
"Costume Quest isn't the kind of sugary indulgence that's likely to make you feel sick. Rather, it's a light and delicious treat that's perfect for enjoying between this winter's gaming meals without the risk of ruining your appetite."
Gamespot (Score: 7.0)
1up (Score: A-)
"Without question, the art and overall premise serve as Costume Quest's biggest hook, and these things are ultimately what drive the game and turn it into something much more than a superficial RPG. Still, whether or not you can overlook and overcome its initial shortcomings is tied directly to how much you buy into its premise on a nostalgic and comedic level."
In a keynote speech we dutifully primed your for, Double Fine's Nathan Martz spoke at Game Connect Asia Pacific, where he discussed some behind-the-scenes details of the studio's by now gratuitously well-known division into four parts:
"Well, Double Fine's done it: They've made a game focused on the concept of trick-or-treating and managed to land on the right side of "gimmick." Costume Quest is, plain and simple, a fantastic embodiment of childhood imagination mixed with a healthy heap of cockiness."
The birthing of "Quadruple Fine", as Martz jokingly calls it, was far from painless. The sound effects and visual effects departments only consisted of two people each, and there was a shortage of programmers with certain specialist knowledge, such as physics or the PS3 platform. Some individuals began to be bounced between projects, losing time, focus and therefore productivity in the process.
But they struggled through, and learned the hard lessons.
More from Martz speech can be read here. Also, to fan the excitement for next week's release of Costume Quest, Double Fine has announced a contest with some snazzy prizes. Won't you learn the details?
Tim Schafer recently related the newfound delights of splitting his studio into quarters in order to develop multiple projects at an accelerated timetable to Gamasutra, who translated it all into a four-page feature with loads of great insight:
When are you going to know like if this is a good strategy for your studio?
TS: I already know. I already love it. I already love my position of being, instead of the bottleneck that everyone was waiting for, like "Tim, when are you going to come up with that character design?" Or story, or whatever, I am now being a helper. Everyone's working. I'm not stopping it from working.
There's this guy I know who would totally not click to read the entire article, and my appeal to you is: don't be that guy.
There's a new Dave Grossman interview on the web today, by the folks over at This is My Joystick!.
“As for where it’s going now, I see a shift from puzzle games with story to story games with puzzles, if that makes sense? The story and characters, which were probably always the most compelling part of the experience anyway, take center stage, and the challenge offered to the player is whatever best supports the moment and the scene at hand, instead of whatever makes the designer look clever. The games are also often being made less lengthy and more accessible, to fit with the busy lives of modern players.”
You can find all the questions Dave was fielded about all things Telltale and - as an added bonus - his answers to them as well in the whole interview.
Having recently departed from LucasArts after over ten years as a writer and producer for all manner of Star Wars games, Haden Blackman has revealed that he has founded his own game development company, Fearless Studios, in Marin County with fellow LEC alumnus Cedrick Collomb, engineering director on The Force Unleashed series. Check this:
Creativity and business savvy aren't mutually exclusive, Blackman asserts, and assuming they are is where most creatively-motivated endeavors tend to founder. "I think that's the problem a lot of people fall into," he says. "You can combine existing mechanics and technology, and still take a risk on art style and things, and still build a big mainstream game."
It's that happy medium he hopes to find with Fearless Studios, says Blackman. "I really want to build big, story-driven action games," he says. "And I'm a big horror buff; I would love to do a horror game. That's kind of where our headspace is at right there."
Emphasis mine. Whatever type of game Fearless ends up producing, it's a safe bet it's going to be worth keeping an eye out for. Read the whole interview with Blackman about the studio's genesis and his vision for it. The Mixers of all things Mojo wish them the best of fortunes.
According to The HD Room, who have a copy of the Back To The Future 25th Anniversary set...
Does that mean the game will be available from October 26th?
If you've heard about the upcoming Back to the Future video game and are anxious to take it for a spin then you're in luck. Included in this set is a small promo sheet that includes a unique code to download - for free - the first of five episodes of Telltale Games' Back to the Future game for PC or Mac.
(There's a picture of the flyer with the coupon code here)
Edit: From Alan at Telltale: "This free episode of Back to the Future offer is completely separate from the availability of the game itself. The free episode offer will go into effect only once the game is available... The offer is also not indicative of when the game's release date is at all."