Articles

Although the fate of The Walking Dead: The Final Season was what seemed to worry the gaming press most when Telltale threw in the towel at the end of last year, it was the incubating follow-up to the critically acclaimed The Wolf Among Us that was perhaps the more lamentable (non-human) loss when the building came down.

Happily for fans of either series, both of those losses were ultimately recovered.  The Walking Dead got its finale earlier this year, and today yesterday Forbes reports that the-holding-company-now-going-by-Telltale is collaborating with AdHoc Studio (the current home of several ex-Telltale developers) to revive the other orphaned project.  Here, have an announcement trailer:

Now to revive that The Devil's Playhouse soundtrack album...

Comments: 4 / Source: Forbes

You might have seen this posted in the comments by the suspiciously named “custard,” but in case you haven’t, this Twitter thread by contracted In the Valley of Gods writer Duncan Fyfe is worth a read.

We do, of course, sympathize with Duncan -- we got woefully little left to write around these parts, although Jason is pushing hard for more Larry content. But hey, there’s always an opening for you at Mojo, Duncan. We pay in love and hugs.

When Valve swallowed up Campo Santo, Zaarin predicted Jake would jump on a Steam overhaul project. Turns out that was closer to correct than what we had expected.

In a statement accidentally sent to Polygon instead of us, Jake said:

To fans looking forward to In the Valley of Gods, it’s probably clear that the optimistic “2019” at the end of the announcement trailer isn’t going to be accurate. In the end, Valve Time makes fools of us all. But yes, developers from the former Campo Santo team have joined other projects at Valve, including Half-Life: Alyx. As you can imagine, our experience in the first-person adventure genre is pretty relevant. You hear a lot about how at Valve you can work on what you want. It turns out that’s true, and there’s a lot of work available. As we integrated ourselves into Valve it became clear there was a lot of valuable work to be done on Half-Life: Alyx. Some of us starting lending a hand, and have since become full-time on the project as it approaches launch. Similarly, some ex-Campos are working on Dota Underlords, some are on Steam, and so on. So to answer your question as of today, In the Valley of Gods development is on hold—but it certainly feels like a project people can and may return to. And when that happens, we’ll find an exciting way to let fans know.

And that's all we got.

Comments: 8 / Source: Not Jake

So here is a Mojo rarity: a sunshine story filled with sweetness. Don’t get used to it.

If you for whatever reason have played Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order you may have noticed a reference in the game to a "Jedi Master Mar Ti 'Buck' Kam'Ron," which, of course, almost spells out Martin "Bucky" Cameron. Many will remember that name, having seen it in the credits for games like The Secret of Monkey Island and X-Wing vs. Tie Fighter. Turns out that Bucky’s son worked on Fallen Order and added the tribute to his father who sadly passed away last year.

Check out GameSpot for more.

In the last few days a reporter at PC Gamer has noticed several strange goings-on at Campo Santo, the game developer started in part by ex-Telltale and ex-Mojo Jake Rodkin. They report some disappearances of mentions of the game-in-progress Valley of the Gods:

...recent changes in the Twitter bios of three of its lead developers—Firewatch producer and 3D environment artist Jane Ng, art director Claire Hummel, and Campo Santo co-founder Jake Rodkin—has some followers worried that the game has been canceled.

A check of the Internet Archive confirms that the changes were made relatively recently. The Twitter bios of Ng and Hummel both indicated that they were working on In the Valley of Gods as recently as October 2019, while Rodkin's bio made the same reference up to September. All three now indicate simply that they are employed by Valve.

But they also point out that the game website is still up, as its Steam holding page. Jake could clear this up, but what are the odds of that?

Comments: 5 / Source: PC Gamer

Quoth the Jason, “The bloodletting begins.”

Greg Rice, Double Fine’s VP of business development and arguably their second most recognizable face, has left the company for a “new position elsewhere in the game industry.” A tweet string makes it pretty clear there is no bad blood behind the departure, though it seems somewhat prudent to speculate if the recent Microsoft acquisition would have changed his responsibilities within the company. And that’s what we do. Speculate.

The day you’ve been waiting for has arrived. Limited Run Games is continuing the mission they announced back at E3 to anoint select classics from the LucasArts library with handsome re-releases in beautifully curated collector’s boxes. You might recall that the first batch from their ongoing slate dropped back in June.

As usual, they are taking the responsibility that comes with holding a precious license for the LucasArts catalog seriously, by reserving this benediction for only the most deserving titles. This ability to exercise taste and judgment is critical, because the studio's library is a vast one, and you don’t want to squander the finite resources that plainly go into these packages on anything less than the undisputed gems. On that basis, you’ve probably already guessed that the latest re-releases are Star Wars Episode 1: Racer for N64 (available in regular and premium editions, both containing actual cartridges) and its sequel, Star Wars Racer Revenge for PS4 (the game was originally for PS2).

I speak for everyone when I say it couldn’t have happened to a better pair of games. The people making these calls really seem to know what they’re doing. I mean, God bless them.

GamesRadar got with Tim for the tenth anniversary of Brutal Legend, resulting in an interview that comes off as something of a postmortem for the studio's second project, and also arguably still it's last game of a giant scale. Read the article and renew your expertise of the game's wacky development history.  Remember that hilarious lawsuit, what with all the laughter it caused?

Tim also talks about how you can play against him in Brutal Legend online every "Rocktober" 13th, but that probably would be more relevant if we'd reported on this article when it was published. We'll try harder next year, as far as you know.

For now? Scummbuddy points us to a recent Archive.org, where 2,500 DOS games can be played to free through an emulator (DOSBox as it seems). Which games, you may ask? A quick search reveals:

Loom
The Secret of Monkey Island
Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge
Zak McKracken
Maniac Mansion

And so on, read the full LucasArts list for more. I haven't taken much time to look at this, but LeChuck's Revenge requires the code wheel at least. I assume all of this must be legal and all Actually, I don't assume that at all, so go look for both LucasArts and LucasFilm games while you still can.

Update: Turns out this is all a whole lot more legal than I had expected. Archive.org is, as it seems, exempt from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, due to their efforts to preserve our digital history. A simple summation of that can be read right here.

Tomorrow is Rocktober 13th, the 10th anniversary of the release of Brutal Legend! To celebrate DoubleFine is hosting a livestreaming event where you can play against Tim Schafer and other members of the Double Fine team.

As Lee Petty Tweeted earlier today, "You can beat him! @TimOfLegend is old and nowhere near his fighting weight!"

Join the melee tomorrow between 1 and 4pm PST (9pm to 1am GMT).

Image

That headline might sound like an anno-2001 fan-game, but it is, in fact, a reference to an Uncle Scrooge comic that comes loaded with Monkey Island references.

A Reddit… person… thing (Redditor?) brought this to light, and kindly posted a bunch of images from the story. Some highlights: Captain LeChunk, Brushwood, “LeChunk’s Revenge,” and the rather inspired Grizzlebert.

This Disney-Monkey Island thing seems to have come full circle.

Comments: 1 / Source: Benzo

PC Gamer has put together a small oral history of sorts about what they -- and probably many of us -- consider the best Psychonauts level, "The Milkman Conspiracy." A quote:

That was only possible because writing all the dialogue came last. After the designers and gameplay programmers had finished, Schafer would assess every piece of the level, and write dialogue based on all the work that came before. "That was the most solid foundation for the jokes to get layered on top," Robson says. "Half of my memory of Milkman is playing it without any of that dialogue, so that stuff still almost feels like a sort of recent edition. And then after you're done with the level, six or eight weeks later, this dialogue appears all of a sudden in the game."

Now run and read it.

So back in July, the official Arby's Twitter posted this.

That is a real thing.

Not sure what I can really add to this. I knew Stan was a whore, but...social media?

I'd make a smart aleck comment about how Arby's is doing more to promote Monkey Island than its actual copyright owner, but what point would I really be communicating? Everyone, by definition, is doing more to promote Monkey Island than its copyright holder.

J’accuse! See Stan there? That’s shamelessly stolen from the venerable SCUMM Bar. How do I know this, you may wonder. Simple. Notice Stan having a black something or other coming out his mouth. When Skyfox created that animation for TSB, he did it by hand, capturing each frame manually, removing the background . . . All while thinking Stan was smoking a cigar, when it was actually part of the background. Arby’s, have you no shame? - Remi

After the controversy surrounding the SCUMM Bar theme, an anonymous source going simply by Bozeke has pointed us to Burt Ives’s "Go Tell Aunt Rhody," a 1956 1752 ditty which sounds eerily familiar . . .

I do believe Stan’s theme appeared first in LeChuck’s Revenge. Follow the notes, and we undoubtedly will find the elusive Secret of Monkey Island.

(And yes, this is pretty much all we have to post about these days.)

I maintain that the one consistency we saw through Telltale’s turbulent history, was the quality of their soundtracks, composed nigh exclusive by Jared Emerson-Johnson. And now you can own (or rent, if streaming services are your thing) a piece -- a large piece -- of it, by grabbing The Walking Dead soundtracks featuring thirteen hours of music from the games. Digitally, you can find them at Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play, Amazon Music, and YouTube Music.

And if you’re really with it, go pre-order the four soundtracks on vinyl from Skybound. They’ll be available this December.

Mojo: We’re All About the Music(TM).

The theme, that is, not the honorable web site.

@Nicozilla_FR points us to a Reddit thread, where the SCUMM Bar theme's origins are revealed . . .

So now I guess we have a name: "Oh Good Ale Thou Art My Darling."

(And before the usual suspects start whining, I know it's not actually a rip-off, but it's interesting the original material wasn't credited. A very quick search reveals the song at least has existed as a recording since the fifties.)

Update! Our crack reporter, elTee, has through diligent research confirmed the song has existed at least since 1859.

Over at PAX West, a thing which was going on last week, Double Fine was on hand to show off Psychonauts 2. Judging by this preview on Shacknews, Double Fine was giving the same demo they were giving back at E3, resulting in said preview offering exactly zilch in the new information department.

But despite the fact that Shacknews has let all of you down in a very personal way, PAX West wasn't a washout. That's because those stalkers at Destructoid chased Tim all around the expo until he "consented" to be interviewed at length. With a gun pressed against his cheek, Tim talks about all sorts of juicy stuff, like the fact the Microsoft acquisition is still an ongoing affair, the unclear fate of Double Fine's publishing arm, hints about the studio's post-Psychonauts 2 project, and how he really feels about virtual reality, now that the cameras are off and Rhombus of Ruin is Old News. And then there's this observation:

I love the Switch, and a lot of people at Double Fine are huge Nintendo fans and I think we always have been and will be. Early on in my career, Super Mario 64 was obviously very influential for me. And it always felt weird that I feel like I just cannot sell a game in Japan. Japanese games people would come to visit at LucasArts and they would look at Grim Fandango and they'd be like "Are these characters done?" One of them actually said that. I was like "Yeah, that's the final art," and he was like "They don't have skin." I always thought that we had very Japanese sensibility in our love of design and love of character. But, I guess our taste and aesthetic are more American than I realized. Some day we'll have a game that Japanese people will like.

Why do you resist Tim, Japan? Why have you not read the full interview, everyone else?

Double Fine doesn't just make games, they sometimes bless them with love, and release them into the world, too. Not that we normally mention that, but why don't we? So breaking with tradition here's news on another new DF game, hot on the tail of RAD. This one is called "Knights and Bikes", from by London-based Foam Sword Games, and it has already been called "gorgeous" in the comments.

It's out "today" (actually last week) for PlayStation 4, PC, Mac, and Linux. But not XBox. (The last time that will be happening.)

Shortly after it was announced that the Telltale brand has been relaunched, its web presence was relaunched as well. A few of the studio's catalogue titles are directly available again, letting us know which IPs that Jamie Ottilie and Brian Waddle, the men behind Telltale Redux, where able to snatch up. Behold the 2019 Telltale library, in the order the site presents it:

  • RGX Showdown
  • Batman The Enemy Within
  • Batman: The Telltale Series
  • The Wolf Among Us
  • Puzzle Agent 2
  • Hector: Badge of Carnage
  • Puzzle Agent

So, a smattering. And two of those games were merely published by Telltale, rather than developed. (Remi had to explain to me what RGX Showdown even was. It didn't take.) The highlight as far as I'm concerned is Nelson Tethers. Hopefully that means Graham Annable at least got a check outta all this hooey.

Happily, some decent person behind this revival (or maybe just our own Jennifer, going by the comments of the previous news post) has made it so that you can sign into Telltale with your old account and download your old purchases once again. I just logged into my account from January 18th, 2005 to confirm that. So take the second chance you've been handed and get your games if you failed the first time.

Comments: 2 / Source: Telltale

. . . or at least the name is. Polygon reports TTG has been acquired by LCG Entertainment, and that, and I quote, "some of Telltale’s back catalog and will work on new games based on a few Telltale-associated properties, as well as new licenses." The Wolf Among Us, Batman, and Puzzle Agent are part of the roster.

We know some other assets have sailed off -- The Walking Dead for example -- and while there are murmurs of former employees coming back in some form or other, it's uncertain how Telltale-y this new Telltale will be. We shall see.

News Archive