Tim Schafer and Double Fine blew the doors off of E3 this summer with the announcement that Grim Fandango would be being remastered and re-released. After a horrifying few hours where it was rumored that the release would be exclusive to the PS4, we now know that Grim Fandango will be returning home to the PC. At a special panel at PAX Prime 2014, artists who worked on the original talked about their efforts to overhaul the classic.
Double Fine boss Tim Schafer revealed last month that Grim Fandango, the cult classic LucasArts adventure, was being remastered and re-released for modern systems. Unfortunately, those systems were the PlayStation 4 and PS Vita, and not the PC. Schafer didn't leave us out in the cold completely, however, saying at the time that there would be "talk about other platforms soon," and today he was as good as his word.
Any film nerd will tell you: the best part of owning your favorite movie on DVD is listening to the director commentary. There’s a distinctly Special-Feature vibe coming off of this video of Tim Schafer playing the LucasArts classic Day of the Tentacle, and I just can’t get enough of it. Though the sequence was originally filmed as bonus content for the Double Fine Adventure documentary, it’s just been posted online for all to enjoy.
As great as new adventure games are, there will always be a piece of our hearts devoted to the LucasArts classics, like Day of the Tentacle or Curse of Monkey Island. Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer has also become something of a classic, so it seems a natural fit to see it set up in that art style.
One of the best memories from my Star Wars gaming holocron is loading up a LAN multiplayer match in Jedi Knight 2 with a low-gravity mutation switched on and a lightsabers-only weapon restriction. It was silly loads of fun, but the Force wasn't with publisher LucasArts' wishes to continue the series, as Disney closed the studio last April. Our only hope lies with the power of JK2's lingering community, where a brave modder is taking on the huge task of uplifting the entirety of the game's graphics in a HD remake mod.
Grim Fandango is one of the best adventure games ever made—an epic journey through a world that meshes Casablanca with Día de Muertos, as brilliantly imagined by Tim Schafer. First released in 1998, it was just about the peak of storytelling in the genre, but it always had one huge problem: the controls. But a new mod may solve those problems, changing the game's controls from keyboard-based "tank" movements to a point-and-click interface.
Now here's an idea that makes a lot of sense: Take World of Warplanes' gameplay and monetization model, slap some Star Wars on top of it, and stand clear of the avalanche of money that's about come your way. That seems like the gist of Disney Interactive's announcement today that it is developing Star Wars Attack Squadrons, a free-to-play space combat game.
Things got a little scary after Disney bought out LucasFilm last year, acquiring the rights to all of LucasArts' games before shutting down the studio for good. What would become of classics like Monkey Island, Grim Fandango, and Knights of the Old Republic? Well, we've got our first development—the House of Mouse has signed a deal with EA to develop and publish games based on the Star Wars licence.
If you're the sort of person that likes to torment yourself with thoughts of what could have been, then you're going to love this hour-long stream of the cancelled Star Wars Battlefront 3, recorded yesterday in celebration of the series ('May the 4th be with you' and all that). It's "pre-alpha", so not the disputed "99% done" version that was axed by LucasArts - but nevertheless it appears to be (sorta) playable, if a little spotty visually. Battlefront fans can check it out here, but be sure to have your monogrammed Darth Vader handkerchiefs at the ready.
Ron Gilbert isn't making a new Monkey Island game. This is a fact he's very clear about. A whole two parts of his seventeen point speculative design brief for the definitely-not-happening sequel are dedicated to ensuring you understand that it's definitely not happening. That aside, it's an interesting look at how the series' creator would handle a follow-up. Which he isn't.
It's sad to see LucasArts officially shuttered, but here's something very positive to come out of it: Raven Software has released the source code for Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast and Jedi Academy as a tribute. That means modders keen to bend those old Star Wars games to their whim now have all the tools they need.
Disney sent a tremor through the Force today with the announcement that it's closing developer LucasArts and halting all projects. Game Informer reports the entertainment giant is shifting the company it bought last year "from internal development to a licensing model" as well as laying off the majority of its staff.
“I would say it’s within the top three pitches we’ve ever come up with,” Obsidian CEO Feargus Urquhart told RPS, describing Obsidian's pitch for a new game set between the end of the recent trilogy and the start of A New Hope.
"We think that timeframe is super interesting," he added. "It’s the fall of the Republic, the extermination of the Jedi, it’s Obi-Wan going off and making sure Luke is OK. You have the Sith, but you have the extermination of all Force users except for very, very few. So it was an interesting time to set a game, and you know, Chris Avellone came up with a really cool story.”
Mass Effect 3 wrapped up Commander Shepard's climactic crusade against the Reapers, and we loved every moment of its epic scale. But what if the faction-based fracas spilled onto the majority of the planets, stations, and ships from the rest of the trilogy? The Mass Effect: Unification mod for Star Wars: Battlefront II answers the call with Alliance, Geth, and other armies swarming across memorable destinations such as the idyllic colony of Eden Prime and the tropical paradise of Virmire.
Monkey Island's famous insult sword-fighting section was a memorable mixture of excellent puzzle design and charming, folksy put-downs. Now, thanks to modder Karza, you can expand your rapier repartee in this playable browser-based HTML5 port of the minigame.
In an interview with VentureBeat, Double Fine founder Tim Schafer discussed how the studio's groundbreaking Kickstarter campaign changed his stance on the transparency of showing a game in progress to the public, declaring he's now "unafraid" of being open.
A former LucasArts employee has called into question the claims made last week by Free Radical's co-founder, Steve Ellis, that Battlefront 3 was "a 99% finished game that just needed bug fixing for release."
Speaking to Gamespot, the anonymous source said, "this 99 percent complete stuff is just bullshit. A generous estimate would be 75 percent of a mediocre game."
Disney's recent acquisition of Lucasfilm scored it more than the Star Wars franchise: it also picked up LucasArts and its catalog of games, including Monkey Island and Maniac Mansion, landmarks of Double Fine designer Ron Gilbert's career. While discussing his current project, The Cave (and his thoughts on The Walking Dead), I asked Gilbert how he felt about his work being under Disney's control.
It's mystery time! During a chat yesterday with Trevor Longino, Head of PR & Marketing at GOG, I mentioned I'd really like Microsoft to let them sell Freelancer. All this Star Citizen business is making me pine for it, but I can't find my original CD. It's very sad. In response, Longino pointed out that he still has his original Freelancer CD, but also shared the news that GOG is currently working out a deal with either Microsoft, Take-Two, or LucasArts. So I may or may not get Freelancer, but there's no losing.