What ...something ... is, is anyone's guess, though odds are that it will be a smaller game, like Double Fine's four upcoming titles.
Anyway, read the thing and then start speculating madly.
jp update: Kotaku have spoken to the duo about future Monkey Island collaborations. "You know the ex-president (of LucasArts) always leaves a note to the new LucasArts president that says, 'Don't talk to Ron about Monkey Island."
Would it be conspiratorial to wonder if Telltale might be hoping to attach a trailer or some sort of game-pimping promo during this event?
Some people have seen these already, but in case you haven't, Gamecola have published them on their site.
Why is this news now? Because Tim Schafer has given permission for them to be released, meaning we can share them without feeling like horrific e-stalkers.
Now everyone can observe the protoplasmic Schafer (played here by a 12 year old boy), together with Ron 'stripy shirt' Gilbert, Dave Grossman, and what appears (in one photo) to be Mr T.
Guybrush Threepwood, Mighty Jedi
Rumours that the story would appear on tomorrow's edition of The Sun are yet to be confirmed.
This all comes a few hours after it was announced that Ron "Monkey Island slash Deathspank creator" Gilbert would be joining Double Fine to work on a yet unannounced game.
To celebrate this milestone, SOE and LucasArts will reward all current Clone Wars Adventures users with a limited edition Golden Mouse Droid pet. The MMO will also host a virtual party at 3PM PDT, the first in a series of weekly live events, where players can gather to chat, duel, and show off their gear.
Surely with this sort of success, LucasArts can, maybe, spare a few farthings of the licensing fee to up the amount of classic adventures they have on Steam to greater than four? I know I'm asking a lot here.
Nathan Martz, project lead at Brutal Legend and Psychonauts developer Double Fine will present a keynote titled "The Culture, Creativity and Awesome of Double Fine," in which he'll explain how the nine-year-old independent studio has managed to navigate through the financial, creative and market-related challenges of the modern video game industry.
Sounds like a scream! The conference takes place from October 14-15, and surely there will be a write-up of Martz' speech worth reading around then.
Look forward to a timely Mojo review sometime within the next few years.
You can see more shots and get the lowdown from the Telltale Blog.
Update: From James Arnold Taylor's facebook page: "I had a fantastic session for the Back to the Future game today. Can't say anymore than that, but it will be a great game! The story is awesome!".
I guess that's Marty sewn up (and a perfect choice to sub for Fox in my opinion), though I'm still hoping for a small MJF cameo.
Also, Tim Schafer has played through the special edition of the game, and shared his thoughts as he did so via twitter updates for the past two weeks. Some choice tweets:
Whoa. I forgot we put a Hank Plank joke in the cemetery. That's what I wanted to call Guybrush!
Wait, the Voodoo Lady ships LeChuck voodoo supplies in a crate? Which he presumedly uses to make a voodoo doll of ME? She is my enemy!!!
And now that I think of it, where is the original opening? Most of the SE was awesome, but those are some strange things to cut!
Alternative Magazine Online have interviewed Dominic Armato, voice of Guybrush Threepwood: he tells them how often he plays Monkey Island, and what thoughts at reviving the character (thanks Martin Mulrooney).
Steve Purcell has posted another nice pirate piacture on his blog, though this one seems unrelated to any old film projects (thanks Hayden [CENSORED]).
Today is Talk like a Pirate Day (yarrrrr), and this year you can fight viruses at the same time as shivering yer timbers (thanks Rubber John).
Lastly, Snakes of Avalon has been released: a free amateur adventure game made by people in the community and with lots of LucasArts references thrown in. Avast!
When it comes to a Telltale season though, you're really better off going straight to the source, and wouldn't you know it, the seafaring wastrels have seen fit to get in on the action by hawking Tales for a truly irresponsible $4.99 from now until September 20th. Elsewhere in the orbit of Things You Can Have Telltale Charge Your Credit Card For, they will be unlocking Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space (formerly known as Sam & Max: Season 2) as part of that Great Adventure Bundle offer.
I'd like to abstain from indulging too much in piratey patter until Sunday, but it's sufficient to observe that these deals be a bounty worthy of Blackbeard himself, or would be if you didn't already own of all these games ten times over. You do, right?
Coming soon: Mojo news posts that aren't easily interpreted as thinly disguised marketing jabber for video game distribution corporations.
From the Press release:
In Clone Wars Adventures, players become the next great hero of the Republic as they take their place alongside their favorite characters from Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated TV series including Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda and Ahsoka Tano. Gamers can play exciting minigames, engage in dynamic activities, attend lively social events, and access thousands of customization options for their very own personalized avatars. They will speed through space in a Starfighter, take out waves of battle droids in Tower Defense, and test their brains with challenging Droid™ Programming puzzles. Players can also purchase legendary Star Wars outfits, items and accessories through micro-transactions using Station Cash™, SOE's virtual currency.
I guess I'll be "jp-30", Jaepes Dawnglimmer (?) look me up before my kids take over...
So, do or don't, there is no try, yada yada yoda. It's not every week that it's Star Wars week, unless you're this guy, where it's Star Wars week every minute, especially in the shower.
Compare the swashbuckling rogue how she appears on the left side of this image to how she appears in this'un. Thank goodness there is someone out there with the courage to keep that smut out of our children's graphic adventure games. Infamous satyr Bill Tiller was unavailable for comment as of press time.
Now who feels the sudden urge to replay Psychonauts?
The games are Telltale's Puzzle Agent, Sam and Max: Beyond Time and Space (Season Two), Daedelic Entertainment's The Whispered World, Deck13's Jack Keane, and Sierra's King's Quest I, II, III, IV, V, VI and VII. Hothead's two first Penny-Arcade: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness episode features as well, though it is worth noting they are not adventure games.
The bundle goes for $19.99. The games are all PC only, and Telltale's games unlock after a certain goal is reached. It's a good cause, and one worth considering.
Update: The deadline has been extended by another week. 3000 more bundles must be sold for Sam and Max: Beyond Time and Space to unlock, so anyone interested must get cracking.
Lenart isn't able to say a whole lot, at least not a lot that you wouldn't know already, but due to the caliber of the questions asked I still recommend giving it a watch - the part that concerns you begins at 3:00.
Done! Favorite things: insult/pep talk sword fight, talking crabs and dead seagull. (Was that the final end of the Seagull from Loom?)
Well, don't feel bad if you've never heard of it, because I hadn't either. If I had, you can be reasonably certain that I would have been on top of the AVS2 updates, apparently by Bill Tiller, that have been laying dormant there for months. Take this update from May 21:
AVS2 looks like it is on track for Late 2011 now. I was hoping early 2011, but the financing is a bit slower to come than we hoped. Sorry about the delay. Our goal is Halloween 2011, which would be a very cool day to come out.
We are looking into doing a iPhone/ iPad Prequel of AVS. We have to do some research and make sure we can do ti first. But if we can i think will be a cool game because the iPad seems like a really good venue for adventure games. So this will be an experiment. Wish us luck.
So, anyone got any good Ewok/Back To The Future puns? The best I could do was "EndorLorean".
UPDATE: Followed up by this. We now need Ewok/Back To The Future/Spaceballs gags.
The voices are dubbed by guests in the room. And Jake has mentioned recently that Tycho is still a work in progress.
Fun! Can anyone tell who's sitting with Theodore Dudebrush? Jurassic Park's Dr. Ian Malcolm maybe? Or a CSI extra? The glimpse of Dank makes me pine for a Caveman game.
"It's easy to make the Heavy just say, 'I will murder!' at every turn, and for Tycho to freak out," explains Vanaman.
Rodkin continues, "Right, but then we have Tycho threaten to mail-order in the Heavy's sister as his wife."
"It was important to build those dynamics to make them feel natural," notes Vanaman. "Strong Bad and Tycho, for instance, hate each other -- I don't think they ever agree -- but Tycho and Max get along really well, where the Heavy is wary of Tycho, loves Max, and thinks Strongbad is a tiny Heavy."
Telltale hopes to make such dynamics believable and entertaining, but also authentic: Strong Bad, the Heavy, and Max will all be voiced by their original actors, with Tycho's debut speaking role coming courtesy of Bay Area beatboxer, vocalist, and Telltale VA vet Andrew "Kid Beyond" Chaikin.
"We want to develop this place, The Inventory, as just a cool hang-out spot for video game characters to go," says Vanaman . "We're hoping that 'At the Inventory' will start to mean something if the space is cool and the game is good."
Back to the Future Telltale Games
Telltale Games's Back To The Future episodic series is expected to start in November.
Screenwriter Bob Gale, who worked on the Back To The Future movies, has detailed his involvement in the Telltale Games project.
"I've been having story meetings and exchanging emails and phone calls with the folks at Telltale to make sure that what they develop feels like Back To The Future," he told DS.
"My understanding is that the first instalment - this is a computer game not a console game - they'll be coming out in instalments with the levels released apart, I don't know what the exact schedule is.
"I think they're looking towards the end of October, beginning of November to release the first level."
Gale teased that the story could feature an alternate timeline: "Is it canon? Not exactly, it's a game so they're not the same," he said.
"On the other hand you can say that the Back To The Future series has postulated how you could have almost infinite timelines. Who's to say that the timelines we create in the game couldn't be alternate timelines?"
He added that it will be more "consistent" than previous tie-ins with the franchise, recalling that a NES version was "just dreadful" and "one of the worst games ever made".
It was recently revealed that Christopher Lloyd will reprise his role as Doc Brown for the games.
I also want to point out this Slash Film write-up that ran right after the USA Today ("I WAS FRAMED!!!") piece broke, which claims that the series will be released for Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Wii, PC and Mac. I don't think Telltale has officially announced platforms yet; it will be interesting, and certainly unprecedented, if they attempt to hit all of the above simultaneously.
The $5 game comes to Steam this fall for the PC and Mac and is being released as part of Telltale Games’ Pilot Program — an effort to give new, risky game concepts a chance to shine. According to Connors, the game will have to sell between 100,000 to 200,000 units to be worth reviving as a franchise.
“If this version with these game characters work, we will likely follow it up with new game characters or maybe other celebrities, rock stars and the like.”
After the release of DeathSpank, Kroms went on a quest to find Ron Gilbert and ask him some important questions. The day he waved goodbye was the last time he was ever seen by a mortal soul.
Though Kroms disappeared, it seems he was successful as the following interview appeared in Mojo's mail box on a tattered piece of paper.
(click for enlargement)
Real? No idea. USA Today says "yes".
Update: In a likely embargo busting an exclusive first peek from USA Today: "Lloyd will also provide his voice for the games.
Bob Gale, who wrote the screenplays for the three films, is working with the game developers on the plot for the planned five "episodes"."
Another Update: You can read the full, unedited press release (The game will be out 'soon after' the 25th Anniversary movie re-releases on October 26th) on the new game teaser site.
Poker Night at the Inventory
Prepare for a different kind of poker night in a very different kind of club. In Poker Night at the Inventory, you'll deal with Penny Arcade's clever, cunning Tycho, Team Fortress 2's hulking Heavy, Homestar Runner's self-proclaimed "awesome icon" Strong Bad and the hyperkinetic "rabbity-thing" from Sam & Max. These characters come together in ways some never thought possible, in a setting few would have predicted. You'll experience a new style of poker, particularly when hands don't go the way of the other fiery competitors at the table.
Update: Some screenshots are up at Steam. Also, amazing promotional poster by Chuck BB.
For those attending PAX, it'll probably be of interest for you to know that Hothead will be showcasing the DeathSpank sequel there. The expo is otherwise saturated with awesome due to the already announced presence by Telltale, who will be letting you take pictures in front of a Delorean, presumably because the replacement of the Back to the Future ride means you can no longer do so at Universal's theme park. Not sure about Costume Quest as I couldn't find THQ's line-up following a diligent fifteen seconds on Google.
Oh, and I checked: Southpeak's PAX line-up contains neither Insecticide's second half nor a keynote apology.
I wonder how long it will be until Telltale can decide whether or not this was successful pilot and warrants a full season?
Kroms beat me to this news story literally by seconds, proving that he wanted it more.
For those who don't know, Nelson Tethers is the debut episode of Telltale's new "Pilot Program", which, as its name suggests, aims to make one-shot episodes that test whether or not people are interested in a certain game. If people are interested, a full series is developed and vice versa. It was developed in collaboration with Grickle-creator Graham Annable, as can be seen in the game's art style and felt in the game's tone. Read Mixnmojo's review to see whether it's your cup of tea, or just take a leap of faith and buy it.
UPDATE by Tingler: Kotaku have some words from some of these ex-employees. They call it a "massacre" (they don't actually kill their ex-employees do they? Mind you, we haven't seen Sean Clark in a while) while reporting that at least 85 people have been shown the door. Around 60 of those came from internal development.
A statement from the company reads:
"LucasArts is reorganizing its teams to better address the needs of the internal studio. Unfortunately, this means adjusting staffing. LucasArts continues to be committed to creating a first-class internal studio – and to fostering relationships with trusted external partners – in order to deliver quality games that amaze and inspire fans."
Still, this is horrible news. Again.
Using his mother-in-law as his test subject, the 20+ year industry veteran used the very first puzzle (which was later transformed into a tutorial) of Sam & Max: Season 1 to witness how someone completely foreign to video games would respond to interactive design he took part in - a design most gamers would probably argue is about as accessible as it gets. The results are equal parts interesting, humorous and educational.
It turned out she was playing the scene more like a find-the-hidden-object-in-the-picture game, although I had also seen her try some drawers and other non-yellow objects that might be used as containers. Further questioning revealed that it simply had not occurred to her that there might be more to the game than what was on the screen. She wasn't thinking of it as a world; she was thinking of it as a picture.
Fans of intelligent game design ruminations or just plain good writing, both being fortes of Grossman, would do well to read the whole piece.
This intriguing concept potentially offers all the advantages of rendering a console game at 30FPS, along with the visual smoothness and potentially even the crisper response of 60FPS gaming.
30 Mojo Cookie Pirate points to whoever can come-up with the best acronym (SCUMM, iMuse, INSANE, etc) for this thing.
Save on saving the world! (Sorry.)
Then there is a collection of five mini-posters of all that cool 70s-like movie poster art that was used to promote each episode of this season, some of which if I'm not mistaken is the work of talented Telltale web art director Stephen Whetstine. Telltale is also selling those stylized Sam & Max Symbiote figures with the big heads, and on top of all that is the retro Sam & Max T-shirt from the 1992 Comic-Con that they resurrected not too long ago.
Ouch, says my wallet. At least until I get that check from Telltale for pimping all their stuff.
|Adventure||Before or After April, '10|
|Autumn Moon||Before or After April, '10|
|Behind Mojo||Before or After April, '10|
|Community||Before or After April, '10|
|Console||Before or After April, '10|
|Crackpot||Before or After April, '10|
|Developer||Before or After April, '10|
|Double Fine||Before or After April, '10|
|Film and TV||Before or After April, '10|
|House of Mojo||Before or After April, '10|
|Irresponsible Games||Before or After April, '10|
|LFNetwork||Before or After April, '10|
|LucasArts||Before or After April, '10|
|Mac||Before or After April, '10|
|Miscellaneous||Before or After April, '10|
|MunkyFun||Before or After April, '10|
|Ron Gilbert||Before or After April, '10|
|Star Wars||Before or After April, '10|
|Telltale Games||Before or After April, '10|