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Crackpot Entertainment News

Insecticide disc - the final word

23 Jan, 2010, 01:35 | Posted by: Jason | Comments: 9
As some have noted, the abruptly existent PC retail version of Insecticide that I've been on about started shipping this week, and my copy arrived today. So here are the details: the game comes in a jewel case in a cardboard sleeve, and the content of the CD is indeed "Insecticide: Part 1" as already available through Steam and other digital outlets. The packaging sneakily does not include "Part 1" anywhere - you only find that out once you open the case.

I do like that Southpeak has released this game in stores, but not when they clearly have no intention of seeing the game completed. Still, if you're interested in the game and gave up on Part 2, we're talking ten bucks here. Oh, and I should probably reprint this comment Larry Ahern left in our previous Insecticide news post about what happened with the PC version:
The design, FMVs, characters, and animation for Part 2 were finished, the levels were about 1/2 done, and then of course there was a lot of tuning to do. And, while I can't promise that getting half the game won't leave you hanging, if you've not played Part 1 yet, or only seen the DS version of Insecticide, the PC one is worth a look.

For those interested, we're trying to get the FMVs to Part 2 posted on our YouTube page. I know it's not the conclusion we all wanted, but it may give some fans some closure. Remind me not to make any more games with cliffhangers though. :)
So, hopefully Larry and Mike can get on those videos soon. For those who aren't aware, the FMVs are the work of Peter Tsaykel, who in addition to working on Grim Fandango is Telltale's lead animator.

I reckon that's about all there is left to say on this Insecticide release. Hopefully we can at least report the availability of those videos sometime in the future. If you're a publisher with some money to spend, why not give Crackpot a call? Please?
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The alleged shipping date for the PC retail Insecticide that I mentioned not that long ago has arrived, and now Amazon.com lists the availability status as "Usually ships within 2 to 3 weeks," which is a telltale sign that the game doesn't actually exist. Should my pre-order ever ship, though, I'll apprise.

Update: So if you view the page again, you'll notice that the placeholder cover art (which sported a "Part 1" and the Gamecock logo), has been replaced with a new cover with Southpeak's name on it, indicating it as part of their "PC Classics" line. This makes the release seem a lot more real, wavering availability aside, but the question still remains as to whether or not this will just be Part 1, or, for the first time, the entire game. We'll keep you posted.
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I swear this game is cursed. Head on over to this here quietly added Amazon.com product page for a retail PC version of Insecticide. The listed release date is January 12th and the asking price is $9.99.

As you may know, Insecticide was from the beginning built as a PC game, but the simultaneously developed DS port ended up being finished first. Although a PC retail version was always planned eventually (as evidenced by the PDF manual and all the tentative PC cover art referencing DVD-ROM media), Gamecock decided to put the game out "bisodically" through digital distribution first. As anyone who's been following this game knows, Insecticide fell off the map altogether after Part 1 was released and Gamecock was acquired by Southpeak, leaving us with a complete but heavily scaled down DS version, half of a PC version as a digital download, and 0% of a PC version on a physical disc.

While I would like to think that the Amazon page is a sign that the game is finally seeing the light of day, I wouldn't get my hopes up. Bear in mind that this would not be the first time the PC version of the game had a phantom Amazon product page that ended up meaning nothing. It's also somewhat fishy that this would suddenly materialize mere weeks before the supposed release. We'll keep you posted as always, but don't be surprised if that page conveniently disappears or at the very least turns out to be something different than it seems. Any of you adorable optimists out there though should feel free to pre-order.

Update: I asked Mike Levine of Crackpot Entertainment if he cared to comment on the situation and he got back to me with "We don't know a thing about this." Doesn't bode too well.
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Crackpot Entertainment News

Insecticide PC - Half-Price, Half-Game

18 Dec, 2009, 13:31 | Posted by: The Tingler | Source: GamersGate | Comments: 9
Thought we'd forgotten about Insecticide, the quirky shooter/adventure hybrid from Mike Levine and Larry Ahern? Never! And if you made the grievous error of not picking up the PC version, well good news - GamersGate are currently offering it 50% off at the low, low price of $7.49.

Bargain, although GamersGate fails to remind customers the sad fact that this is only Part One, with the second half stuck in limbo. Do the game a favour - pick it up, then when you've finished head over to the Crackpot videos page to complete the story - um, when Mike or Larry actually get round to sticking the remaining cutscenes up.

Let's just hope one day we get to end Chrys's case properly... and I don't mean on DS.
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Reader diduz, who like many of us has been wondering about the status of the super-delayed second episode of the PC version of Insecticide, decided to send an e-mail to Crackpot for some answers.
Baaaaaaaaaaaaad news, guys.
I've sent an e-mail to Crackpot Entertainment and Mike Levine told me Insecticide PC has been cancelled by Southpeak.
They're angry.
I am too.
I guess this isn't very surprising, but it's certainly depressing. (Southpeak, for those who don't remember, bought out Gamecock several months back.) This, of course, totally sucks, because even though the full game does exist in DS form, the proper PC version was clearly the one to have, since it included all the cutscenes, full voice acting, and for obvious reasons looked a good deal better than its handheld counterpart. Although the first half of the "Bisodic" game was released last summer, the promised second part never showed up. There was some hope that a retail version of the whole game would be coming out, but alas.

Keep your fingers crossed that Part 2 isn't dead for good. With a game that's presumably finished or close to it, maybe Mike and Larry can find somebody willing to put it out. I sure hope so, because Insecticide is a nice little story game with a great visual style, and more people really ought to play it.

Update: Mike Levine and Larry Ahern have commented on the situation below, saying "Never say never about finding a new publisher," but that in the meantime they intend to put the FMV cutscenes from the second episode (obviously spoiler-ridden) on Youtube in an attempt to complete the story as best they can in lieu of the actual game.

Mike also wants to direct your attention to Planet Cazmo, a Pileated Pictures web-based game project that involves some ex-LEC guys and apparently has some graphic adventure elements to it.
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Crackpot Entertainment News

Retail PC Insecticide coming soon?

01 Jan, 2009, 19:01 | Posted by: Jason | Comments: 6
The "bi-sodic" release of the PC version of Insecticide has decidedly gone less than smoothly. While the DS version was released this past March, Crackpot and Gamecock elected to release the far superior PC version in two parts via digital distribution, the first of which was made available this past summer, the second of which...we're still waiting on. Whether or not this is the result of development problems or if it's simply something on the publisher's end (Gamecock was recently bought out), it's sort of a sucky situation for people who've been anticipating this story game on a platform where the voice acting is preserved and the detail and draw distance of the environments actually do Ahern's art style justice.

Over on the forums today though, Ascovel noticed an Amazon.co.uk page for a boxed PC version of Insecticide slated for February 28th, and a quick search on the US Amazon site reveals a similar product page, this one with a purported release date of tomorrow. (Sure.)

While one shouldn't get too excited until we get confirmation or somebody's order has shipped (about six months ago a similar PC release appeared and disappeared from Amazon), it's certainly possible that a PC retail release of the whole game is coming, as it was said to have always been the plan after the online release. I have no idea what's going on with Part 2 on the digital distribution end, but it sure would be nice for this game to finally be out. We'll keep you posted.
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Just to let you know, Larry Ahern (Curse of Monkey Island, Insecticide, friend of Mojo and someone you should know by now) has joined the humming throng of the masses and started an internet blog.

There's a few pieces of artwork up including a rather snazzy comic right now, and more is promised, including possibly some old portfolio pieces.
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Crackpot Entertainment News

Levine Speaks

07 Nov, 2008, 04:39 | Posted by: Jason | Comments: 1
Adventure Classic Gaming has published an in-depth interview with Mike Levine, the founder of Crackpot Entertainment and the co-project leader of its only game, Insecticide.

Much about Insecticide's production, including things that didn't make it into the game, are revealed, as are some anecdotes about the old days at LucasArts. Release dates for the Episode 2 are not given, but the project is certainly talked about as though its eventual release is certain. Interestingly, Levine also makes repeated reference to his desire for an Insecticide sequel, the reality of such a scenario not being discussed. An excerpt:
I personally think there are millions of people out there who love video games, but for the most part stopped playing them. They may try out a GTA or Half-Life when it comes out – playing the biggest the medium has to offer, but for the most part, they have less time in their lives, and most games bore them and are repetitive. Humans crave new things. We love new music, new idea in films, art, anything. But games have gotten SO stagnant. We wanted to mix this up. We learned a lot. And yes, we have many ideas how to keep doing this as we move forward. We just need the budgets and time to be able to achieve these things.
Anyway, the interview is nice and lengthy and contains a lot of great stuff, so read it, and pray that the game's PC version gets its remainder out the door sooner rather than later.
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Crackpot Entertainment News

Gamecock No More

14 Oct, 2008, 16:48 | Posted by: The Tingler | Source: Eurogamer | Comments: 8
While this isn't as bad news as the title makes it seem, Gamecock as a publisher no longer exists. According to Eurogamer they've been acquired by the slightly richer SouthPeak. They also point out:
The deal's likely to raise a few eyebrows; outspoken Gamecock boss Mike Wilson has often criticised companies releasing games in order to please investors, and SouthPeak became a public company earlier this year.
Hopefully this will mean Insecticide will get proper advertised release next time, or even - gasp - a boxed release. Heck, they might even grab Brütal Legend for all we know, if they're that happy to splash out.

EDIT: Neon_git on the forums noticed this too, and gave a link to Gamasutra who have a little bit more info on the deal. Thanks!
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Mojo presents: Insecticide podcast

19 Jul, 2008, 02:18 | Posted by: Jason | Comments: 12
Yeah, it turns out we weren't joking about it, even though maybe we should have been. The Tingler and I went ahead and put together a Mojo podcast about Insecticide, accomplished by using two tin cans, a piece of yo-yo string long enough to cross the Atlantic, and a pair of Talkboys. The end result is every bit as awkward, self-indulgent and unfocused as you'd want from something out of Mojo. The general idea was for it to be just two guys shooting the breeze about Insecticide, and I hope it succeeds in increasing your interest for the game if it happened to be low.

The fact that we've never done this before and had no idea what we were doing will probably be evident enough when you listen to it, but wait until you hear that the only option you have to get it is this ~60MB download (68 minutes). Well, actually The Tingler attempted to sex things up by also making this video version (which features gameplay videos and screenshots to complement the audio) for the folks into huge file sizes. I only watched enough of it to verify that it wasn't in fact just a DVD rip of Weekend at Bernie's Part II, but what I saw seemed awesome. I also believe that a few minutes were shaved off of the video version after Thrik and Remi whined about the podcast being just barely too long for them to watch on their iPhone during church, or something.

Anyway, enjoy, if that is the appropriate word, and please do leave your feedback!

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Crackpot Entertainment News

Mojo to your ears

04 Jul, 2008, 00:26 | Posted by: Jason | Comments: 5
Okay, so against our better judgment The Tingler and I may be attempting to put together some sort of intangible phonetic recording (what some of the more hip kids on the internet might refer to as a "podcast") for the first time ever in Mojo history. The subject? Insecticide - that sort of adventure game about bugs that's currently being released for the PC, and which you may not be as excited about as you should due to the somewhat wonky nature of its public exposure.

Well, as people who've played the game and know it to be good, we want to change that, but we need your help. What do you want to know about Insecticide? What topics would you like us to discuss? What, in your mind, would make for an interesting listen on the subject of Insecticide? Post your ideas in the comments below so that our resultant efforts might be something that's only mostly awkward and weep-worthy, rather than entirely.
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Boxed Insecticide coming up?

03 Jul, 2008, 03:12 | Posted by: Jason | Comments: 3
Amazon.com has got a product page for what appears to be a complete boxed version of Insecticide for PC-DVD. While about a year ago it was suggested that a retail release would follow the downloadable episodes eventually, this is the first I've actually heard of this, and I find it a bit fishy since the second episode hasn't even been released yet.

Anyway, Amazon claims the game will be shipping on July 8th for the price of $19.99, so I guess we'll find out if this is real soon enough.

UPDATE by Tingler: Yes, it's wrong.
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Insecticide on Steam

01 Jul, 2008, 22:41 | Posted by: Jason | Comments: 9
As Benny pointed out on IRC, Insecticide Part 1 is now available for download on Steam! Hopefully that's a help to people who are more comfortable with the digital distribution policies of Valve's services over the other current alternatives.

Telltale? You're next, right?

Update: The game is now available from Direct2Drive and Gametap!
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Insecticide PC price corrected

30 Jun, 2008, 07:05 | Posted by: Jason | Comments: 11
I'd have just appended this to the former post, but it was getting a bit long and unwieldly. It's been confirmed by Larry Ahern that the price of the first "Part" of Insecticide as listed on GamersGate is incorrect. I'll repost was Larry wrote in the comments of our previous news item in case you missed it:
Unfortunately, I wish I knew more about the lack of official info, but the word I got from the publisher is that we should be available on all the sites come Tuesday. Also, I asked our producer about the situation with Gamer's Gate, and unfortunately, it sounds like it was an error for them to be charging $29.99. We'll get this sorted out, but it is supposed to be $14.99 for Part 1, and Part 2 will be available at the same price later. He said he'd be contacting the site to have them fix this error. I tell ya, we're like a well-oiled machine here! Yeah, well anyway, last I checked, there's a great PC game in there. Lots of cool stuff above and beyond what we were able to fit onto the DS, so we appreciate your patience.
The GamersGate product page has since been updated with the correct price. And look out for the game from those other sites (Direct2Drive and Gametap) on Tuesday. There's still no word yet on if the PC version of Insecticide will makes its way to any other online outlet, nor is there yet a tentative release date for Part 2. We'll keep you posted as we hear more. In the meantime, rest assured that you can definitely buy the first Part of Insecticide from GamersGate right now for the correct price!
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Friday News Round-Up!

27 Jun, 2008, 23:00 | Posted by: The Tingler | Comments: 24
Some interesting pieces of news today, so instead of dividing them and risking you missing one of themwe I thoughtwe'd I'd put them together!
  • Insecticide has been released for the PC... maybe. Well, on GamersGate anyway. None of the other download sites that were supposed to have it like GameTap, Direct2Drive and even the game's website make no mention of it. Also not mentioned on GamersGate is that it's the first of two episodes. It also seems to be rather expensive for just one episode.

    According to Crackpot, they're still working on Episode Two, so it can't be both episodes together. Something may be wrong here. Thanks to Diduz for the heads-up though, and we'll keep you informed as to what's going on.

  • LucasArts fire even more staff. Reports at Joystiq, who have interviewed an ex-employee, say that key members of The Force Unleashed's team have now been laid off. If LucasArts want to make another game in the series, they would have to either outsource or pointlessly hire new staff and train them. LucasArts maintains that they're committed to internal development and the next Indy game is not affected.

    What is most surprising about this is that several of the staff laid off were long-term members of the team who survived the previous culling and walkouts and actually worked on titles like X-Wing, Full Throttle, and Grim Fandango.

  • Simon Pegg has written a new Spaced sketch spoofing the American remake unaffectionately dubbed 'McSpaced'. See it at his blogsite here. While this really has nothing to do with us (aside from the "TFU" gags we often use to accompany Force Unleashed posts), more proper British Spaced means the world is a slightly happier place. And that's always worth posting about.
NON-SPACED UPDATE:
  • Strong Bad previewed at IGN. Less than a month to go!

  • Lego Indy demo now on Xbox Live Marketplace. A bit late, but welcome.
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Insecticide screenshots

25 Jun, 2008, 20:08 | Posted by: Kroms | Source: Gamershell | Comments: 7
Crackpot's released new Insecticide screenshots (PC version). Good stuff.
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European Insecticide date

23 Jun, 2008, 17:15 | Posted by: Zaarin | Source: Nintendic | Comments: 1

Nintendic has confirmed with Crackpot Entertainment that the Nintendo DS version of Insecticide is heading for Europe in August.

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Insecticidecide

14 Jun, 2008, 03:50 | Posted by: Jason | Comments: 10
So, despite last week's press release announcing the downloadable release of the PC version of Insecticide (Part One) on June 13th, I'm not seeing it on Direct2drive, Paradox, or Gametap unless I'm missing something.

I can tell you though, even though it's probably pretty old news, that the DS version of the game's SRP has gone down to $19.99, which doesn't say anything positive about the game's sales, but may make it more attractive to you if for whatever reason the PC version is not an option.

Update by The Tingler: Hmm. If you look at GameZone's page on the game, they mark the digital download as coming 1st July.

2nd Update: We've now heard back from Crackpot about the release. On asking for a quote about the release, here was the reply from Michael Levine:
My quote is this: "The game is done and the release is imminent.”

That work?
(-:
So, soon then!
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In case you're heartbroken over the delay for Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People: Gamecock has just announced that the first part of Insecticide, for the PC, has gone gold (the DS version got released a while ago).

Insecticide is the brainchild of Mike Levine and Larry Ahern, he of Curse of Monkey Island fame, and involves bugs (the kind you squish), guns (the kind that Jack Thompson fusses about) and what I hear is a fantastic storyline (the kind I love). So, you know: get the game. It's downloadable, and, as I have proved so many times, the one thing a woman looks for in a man.

Update: As jp-30 helpfully pointed-out, the linked-to article points-out that "the downloadable Part 1 of ‘Insecticide’ on PC will be available June 13 for $14.99 through paradox, Direct2Drive, and GameTap". Thanks jp-30.
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Insecticide interview with Larry Ahern

16 May, 2008, 15:02 | Posted by: Kroms | Source: Gamasutra | Comments: 1
Larry Ahern of Insecticide has been interviewed by Gamasutra on Insecticide, Crackpot and their business model - and I swear that's a lot more interesting that in sounds.
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