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Up on Gamasutra is a tell-all postmortem/wrap-up article about the development process behind Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb, written by the games lead programmer. The article chronicles the ups and downs of the development, and really gives you a taste of what it might be like to work on a project that sounds well organized at the start but sort of descends into horrible madness.
Conversations became tense, there were some arguments, and after a while we began to subconsciously avoid one another. Unfortunately, this adversarial situation combined with the intense workload to cause a complete communication breakdown between the upper tiers of management. Although the project leads conversed on a daily basis, we rarely spoke to, or heard from, the owners.
Yikes. Take a look for a scary, educational behind the sceens peek.
It?s time again for the Game Developers Conference. Like the previous years, several current and former LucasArts employees will be speaking. The conference isn?t open to the general public (boo), but if you?re willing to spend the money, you can order audio and video cassettes of the various lectures. Among those speaking are:<:MORENEWS:>

Former LucasArts Employees:
Clint Bajakian, composer and sound designer
Hal Barwood, writer and designer (currently unemployed?)
Julian Kwasneski, sound designer
Michael Land, composer
Tim Schafer, The Man

Current LucasArts Employees:
Chuck McFadden, senior QA lead
Nick Porcino, senior systems Engineer

Well there you have it. The Game Developers Conference will be held in San Jose, California from March 22 through 26. Anyone who manages to sneak in and write an investigative Mojo report will receive a free pack of Skittles.
Over at the Mixnmojo Forums, a contest has just sprung up to see who can design the best new logo (and matching desktop icon) for bgbennyboy's killer app, LEC Quick & Easy. For those who don't know, LEC Q+E is a lifesaver for people trying to run classic LucasArts adventure titles in the newer Windows NT-based operating systems (namely, Windows 2000 and XP), with full sound and music.

The winner of this contest will get a whole lot of forum credits (the number keeps climbing!) for use at the LucasForums store, a game donated by Gabez, and quite possibly other neat junk.

To post your design, or to see the current entries, check out this thread. Go on, win the respect of forum mongers everywhere!
Though it's probably old news (see?), game industry site Gamasutra has a profile, interview, and small portfolio up for Bill Tiller. The interview includes some fun facts? like this:
Upon graduating from the Cal Arts character animation program, LucasArts offered me a job on Steven Spielberg's The Dig. I should have run the other direction! Just kidding...sort of. That was one hell of project to cut my teeth on. It got better pretty quickly. I got to film some "Star Wars" video for Rebel Assault. I think I was the first person since George finished those lame "Ewok Adventures" to actually shoot new "official" Star Wars footage.
Those who already have a free account (or those interested in the wonderfully long sign-up process) should definitely give it a look.
Adventure Developers has put up Tip 21, the final note in the series of tips for game-making, written by Bill Tiller and Larry Ahern, who have worked on a number of LucasArts games in years past. And what is that final, and therefore most important tip of all, you ask? Isn't it obvious? To Have Fun.
The venerable Quick & Easy toolset has received a massive overhaul, boasting two new programs, and updates to the existing three. The Quick & Easy software, written by Mojo help forum admin bgbennyboy, is a series of tools designed to help people get their old LucasArts games up and running on newer OS's.

Available for download include updated versions of LucasArts Quick & Easy, ScummVM Quick & Easy, and CMI Launcher, and the two new tools: Entertainment Pack Launcher, and CMI Launcher - Coin Edition (see screenshot below for CMI Launcher Coin). For details about what each of these programs does, check out the Q&E website.
The ScummVM website was updated yesterday to announce that they've been voted Best Emulator at the Linux Game Tome site.

Aside from that, they've updated to remind everyone that Curse of Monkey Island support is coming along nicely (which, I must admit, is especially exciting for Mac users), and gave a quick roadmap for the next few months of development, including Maniac Mansion and Loom EGA support. To check out their current progress you can always download a daily snapshot build, or get the source and compile your own.
In response to our previous news post, I contacted the Game Developers Conference to ask if audio CD's will available sometime after the conference is over.

The good news is that the online store at Gamasutra will be selling audio recordings of the conference about a month after the event.

The bad news is that these recordings will only be of lectures and panel discussions. That means that you won't be able to listen to the full day workshop given by Ron Gilbert, Tim Schafer, Dave Grossman, and Noah Falstein. However, you will most likely be able to purchase recordings of the lectures and panel discussions led by Sean Clark, Clint Bajakian, and other LucasArts-related people.

So... any volunteers to sneak into the GDC and record the workshop?
LucasArts.com pointed out today that many of their employees will be speaking at the Game Developers Conference March 4-8 in San Jose, California. Among the highlights of the conference, the following seminars should peak your interest:

Art and Science of Brainstorming, a full day tutorial led in part by Ron Gilbert, Dave Grossman, and Tim Schafer.

How to Write Good "Bad Dialogue": Cramming Storytelling Into an Action Game, an hour long lecture by Sean Clark and Ryan Kaufman (Full Throttle 2 co-designer).

What Producers Should Know About Audio, a panel discussion led by Clint Bajakian and members of the LucasArts sound department.

Now I know, you're probably not qualified to go or unable to afford the travel expenses. Not to fret. Recordings of the conference are usually made available on audio tapes and CD's. Pretty neat, eh?
Justin Chin, designer of Jedi Knight (at LucasArts) and New Legends (at the now-defunct Infinite Machine), has apparently resurfaced. I came accross the website of his company Monsterrocket Filmworks. Although the main page hasn't been updated since July 13, 2002, there's something on the current projects page that may be of interest:
I'm doing the story work for an unannounced game in pre-production. It's a very cool project and I'm having a lot of fun.

Additional, I'm writing a film screenplay based on the game.
Anyone care to wager what he's talking about? Lots of fun can be had with Google, by the way. Check out this art from Outlaws and Curse of Monkey Island.

For the record, I have no idea what I'm doing here. I remember a lot of shouting and some weird noises. Then I woke up and I was logged into MARMITE! Really! ? ?
Comments: 11 / Source: me.
Aaron Giles, the man responsible for the LucasArts Entertainment Pack, has written an article on his website with an overview of some of the new SCUMM game features.

If you don't remember, the Entertainment Pack was issued by LucasArts in the UK with Windows-friendly versions of Full Throttle, Sam and Max Hit the Road, and The Dig. Aaron, if you didn't know, used to work at LucasArts porting many of the classic games to Macintosh systems and was contacted by the company to update the old games once again.

Some of the lesser known features Aaron points out are full screen mode, graphics smoothing, correct aspect ratio (a welcome feature, I must say), and more. Check out the article for this interesting read. Thanks to bgbennyboy for the heads up!
So then... who was responsible for this? it's got to be one of you :) this character for the popular RPG online blah blah game Never Winter Nights, is based on the one and only Mr Guybrush Threepwood! Now all you wannabe pirate RPG fans out there can parade about in your own fancy pants. Hooray!
I've monkeyed around with ScummVM 0.3.0 (released yesterday, see story) and taken some screenshots, especially of the user interface, which is new to this release (and will hopefully make it easier for everyone to use ScummVM to play their old games).

Not only does ScummVM let you play many LucasArts classics on modern computers (including Windows, Mac, Linux and some oddballs like PocketPC and Dreamcast), but it supports many newer sound and video settings not found in the original versions, and lets you run games full screen or in a window. Take a look:If none of those descriptions in parentheses make any sense to you, fear not. First, just look at the screenshots, because they're pretty cool, and second, check out the ScummVM Website, the ReadMe, and most importantly the download page.
Jake called me from his car and said I should update Mojo saying that ScummVM has released 0.3.0b, and that he'll be home later (after a movie) to put up screenshots and write more about it or something.

To make your very own screenshots, go here and download ScummVM! I hear it even has instructions!

He won't tell me what movie he's going to see because he thinks I'll put it in the post. Hah.
LucasArts' latest PC hit, Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, has gained quite a following among the mod community since it's release in the spring. A lot of high-quality maps and player models have been made and released by fans, but we haven't heard much from the larger projects, those teams aiming to make whole new games and missions for JK2. Finally, gamers are starting to see the results from some of the more ambitious modification projects.

One of these projects is a total conversion mod, which is an attempt to bring the LEC classic Dark Forces into the three-dimensional world. Darth_Linux, the project leader for the "Dark Forces" mod, has announced that a playable demo, featuring the first level of Dark Forces, "Secret Base", is now available for download from their site.

I just got through playing it, and I'm very impressed with the quality! If you've got Jedi Knight 2, be sure to check it out here.
If there's any doubt that ScummVM is in fact the coolest software project in existence, that doubt should be stomped into the dirt upon viewing this scan from PCZone magazine.

Those of you who haven't been following ScummVM should definitely check out the ScummVM website for updates about the forthcoming 0.3.0 release, which will include support for The Dig, a basic GUI, as well as other things you should read up on.

For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about...<:MORENEWS:> here's a slightly altered clip from the ScummVM website, which you should read over briefly (especially the FAQ and downloads page):

ScummVM is an implementation of LucasArts S.C.U.M.M. (Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion) interpreter, used in games such as Monkey Island, Indiana Jones, Day Of The Tentacle, Sam and Max, and many more. With ScummVM you can run these games and more on nearly any computing platform without the usual bugs, and with some additional features. Some things are still missing, and some games cannot be completeted yet. There are quite a few known bugs. Regardless of the bugs it is still possible to play some games all the way through to the end.
Many of you should remember that a while back, a group of people decided to build a sequel to the much loved Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis. That project was awash with beautiful screenshots, ideas and promise. The site sadly became a lost myth rather like the plot behind the games themselves.

But now, They Return! No longer called 'Indy Project' but 'Amberfish Arts', they have re-surfaced to take on the world once more
"We have renamed the team following an important decision to extend our range of possible projects beyond a single Indy-related fan game. Amberfish Arts may quite possibly become the label for an entire series of fan games and other projects. Right now, however, we are fully concentrating on FoA2.
There are some new screenshots and some news of progress. Here are a selection of background pictures from the game, with more sketches, renders, old art and new on The Amberfish Arts website! w00t!
bgbennyboy of LEC Quick & Easy fame has made a new tool to help ease the headaches caused by recent operating systems. The tool is a modified Curse of Monkey Island Launcher that has two new important features.

One, it allows you to change the level of directsound acceleration, which fixes the problem of video cutscenes running too fast in Windows 2000 and XP. The new launcher also has the ability to play CMI in windowed mode, which is very cool but can be a bit unstable.

Thanks to people like bgbennyboy, we can continue to play our favorite graphic adventures despite the lack of support from LucasArts... but business is business, I suppose.

Update: It seems LucasArts did support this problem somewhat.
Blow out the candles and wack that pi?ata, because it's time to celebrate. ScummVM, the fan-made tool that allows you to play LucasArts SCUMM adventure games on Windows and a variety of other operating systems, is celebrating its first birthday this Tuesday, September 17th. Stop by the Birthday Forum or the #scummvm chatroom on irc.freenode.net to wish the developers a happy birthday.
That's right, with the conclusion of the tenth episode, Tierra De Los Muertos is now available for preorder on CD. This CD contains the digitally-remastered, much-better-than-mp3 version of the entire series, and 8 of 12, the man behind the magic, really wants to make it worth every penny. Click here to find out about all the details, and to read up about the preorder giveaway! Yeah, you like that.
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