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Adventure News

January 2005



Negotiations between Bad Brain and LucasArts discontinued

In the last couple of months, rumors on the possible resurrection of LucasArts' Sam & Max: Freelance Police grew in gaming circles. The rumors mentioned a new, mysterious games publisher called Bad Brain that was willing to raise money in order to buy the rights to an unnamed adventure game from LucasArts. Wolfgang Kierdorf, Bad Brain's CEO, stated that "yes, we are talking to LucasArts about a game that might involve animals, but that's all folks!", successfully gaining the attention of the games press at large.

Many thought this was too good to be true. Unfortunately, they were proven right, as Bad Brain today brings the news that negotiations between them and LucasArts over the rights to Sam & Max 2 have been discontinued.

"We tried everything to bring you the game you all wanted. But it seems all hope has gone. They broke off negotiations. But you truly have to believe that it wasn't our fault and it sure wasn't the money. We just don't know and they don't tell", is the message found on Bad Brain's website.

LucasArts has not commented, but it seems that Kierdorf's surprisingly open attitude during the negotiations -- which he admitted were protected by a non-disclosure agreement -- may have led to the break-off.



Monkey Island creator's musings on the game industry

It's always fun to read about Ron Gilbert's involvement in the gaming market, and quite a story it is. FileFront have picked up on it in their very interesting article about his life, his endeavours in the computer business and his aspirations for the future of computer games.

The article talks mostly about how he got into making computer games, starting with a programmable calculator where he created what he calls "the Half-Life 2 of those days", which was essentially just a Star Wars-themed verson of "guess the number". But the article also touches slightly on the subject of the future of gaming as a whole. Gilbert envisions more mass-market appeal and cheaper development of games, by creating shorter and simpler games instead of the genre-defying games we've been seeing an awful lot of lately. As a further means for games to reach those goals, he hopes that developers find a way to make games that "people don't out grow."

In other, and may I add breathtaking, news of Ron Gilbert, he's recently been treated to a 12 hour Lord of the Rings marathon, or what is apparently slow and painful torture, complete with timestamped pictures.



DIY's adventure column returns

The latest edition of Independent Adventuring has surfaced over at DIY Games. The article gives a summary of the month's events in the freeware adventure scene and you should read it right now.



Ubisoft brings Myst to your "home/living room environment"

Console adventurers can today rejoice, as Ubisoft has announced the Xbox release of Myst IV: Revelations. This new release will bring Myst into your living room environment in Dolby Digital Surround 5.1. The Xbox version also provides a couple of new features for console gamers, like easier navigation, an improved Help Map System and apparently "a faster one-click interface".

Ubisoft stresses that no changes has been made to the actual gameplay. Additional details and launch information will be revealed on the game's website in time before the release in March.



German voice actor to work on Unknown Identity's adventure

dtp have announced that they have hired the German voice actor of Matt Damon to do the main role in Nibiru: Messenger of the Gods. Matthias Hinze, who has done all the German dubbing in Damon's films, started working in the studio in Hamburg this Monday.

As you might remember, a similar act was done in The Moment of Silence, where well-known voice actors were doing voices in the German version of the game. "We had engaged Johnny Depp's voice actor for the role of Samuel Gordon in Black Mirror and the voices of Bruce Willis and Julia Roberts in The Moment of Silence. They all were just the right choice, and ratings as well as sales prove us to be right with this strategy", says dtp's PR Manager Christopher Kellner.

Nibiru, which is developed by the Czech developer Unknown Identity, will be out in German-speaking countries on March 15th.



Early 90's adventure, renewed

Wyrmkeep Entertainment has released the demo version of The Labyrinth of Time, which is the same game that was released in the early 90's by Electronic Arts (yes, they did adventures at one time), although now with cleaned-up music along with a couple of new features. The graphics are "still in glorious 8-bit color", though.

In The Labyrinth of Time, players are assigned by the spirit of Daedalus to destroy the Labyrinth of Time before the power-mad spirit of King Minos can use it to rule the universe. The demo can be downloaded from Wyrmkeep's website, where you can also find additional information and screenshots.

The first-person adventure is out now, and is available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.



Editorial at AdventureDevelopers on the "uptight adventure gamer"

Adventure Developers have published the first part of a feisty editorial about a perceived staleness of the adventure genre, blaming it on uptight adventure gamers who never want any changes.

In grasping at categorization, some gamers conveniently include such requirements as flat 2D painted backgrounds and a point-&-click interface, while others insist that it should run on five-year-old systems or be played only on the PC. Such misconstrued thinking can only serve to corner and suffocate otherwise viable new ideas and applications conceptually, creatively, technologically, and commercially.

You might recognize this soapbox speaker as none other than Beiddie Rafól, news updater and forum denizen at this site. A second installment called "Warmed over leftovers" is to be posted at a later date.



Release expected in late February

Herculean Effort, creators of Apprentice and Apprentice II, have announced the production of a deluxe version of their original classic Apprentice. The new version will include improved music, improved graphics and full voices.

Apprentice is the winner of many awards, including four 2003 AGS Awards and one 2003 AG Underground award.



A mainstream look at the renewed classic

In their article Old Favorites, Renewed: A Tale of Metamorphosis, The New York Times takes a look at the restoration and renewal of older game titles for today's market. The article discusses, among others, Pulse Entertainment's Bad Mojo Redux, which was originally released in 1996.


Pulse did not have to do much to make Bad Mojo ready for the 21st century; the game's photorealistic environment always looked great in its grisly way. The badly acted video sequences that tell the story have been spruced up, but the most significant difference is that this release will run on up-to-date PC's, which can choke on the original.




Micro Application wants to become "essential player" for adventure games

The French company Micro Applications has signed an agreement to publish Lost Paradise in Europe. The game, which is due for release this autumn, is produced by Benoît Sokal's White Birds Productions. Sokal's name might be familiar to many of you, as he is the mind behind Microïds' Syberia games.

"It is our ambition to become an essential player on the adventure game market. In this respect, including Lost Paradise in our product catalogue seems an obvious choice, especially in the light of the project's attractive nature, Whitebirds' dynamic work team and Benoît Sokal's unquestionable talent.", said Rémy Poirson, the Marketing Director at Micro Application, which also hold the European rights for Dreamfall: The Longest Journey and previously published The Black Mirror in France,

Check out the image gallery for some new Lost Paradise concept art.



Suspense thriller intro for your downloading pleasure

GameSpot has just uploaded the opening movie for the upcoming Still Life from Microïds. The 49MB file can be either streamed or downloaded. Other previously released clips are also available, including gameplay footage. Still Life will launch in mid April (Q2 2005).



UK games magazine dedicates two pages to fan-made games

The February 2005 issue of UK magazine PCGamer carries an article on Underground adventures in its 'Extra-Life' section.

The double page spread manages to mention Maniac Mansion Deluxe, AGD Interactive's versions of King's Quest and its sequel, Space Quest 0: Replicated and Space Quest: The Lost Chapter in the main body, along with The New Adventures of Zak McKracken, Broken Sword 2.5, Indiana Jones and the Fountain of Youth and, despite being focused on remakes, Apprentice. There are also passing mentions of Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis 2 and King's Quest IX.

Available at newsagents from 21st January, it's nice to see a magazine both mentioning some adventure games and being nice about them!



The online game goes... well, online!

The online film noir adventure Gumshoe Online went online today, giving adventure gamers the chance to take on the role of a private detective "trying to scrape a living in a corrupt city". The game aims to recreate the 'film noir' feel of movies such as L.A. Confidential, The Maltese Falcon and Chinatown.

In addition, Hiding Buffalo is currenty running a contest where they give away $40 vouchers for the Amazon online store of their choice to the first five detectives who solve the game's "Moonshine" mystery.

The game is played in your favourite internet browser, and can be found at



If you play Uru on a Radeon card, read on...

ATI has just released version 5.1 CATALYST driver for the Radeon series graphics card. Among a short list of games improved by this new driver is Uru: Ages Beyond Myst, though the specifics of this improvement is not mentioned in detail. You can grab the 5.1 ATI CATALYST driver at the ATI site.

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