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Mojo Updater
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Posts posted by Jenni

  1. On 9/3/2020 at 5:45 PM, ATMachine said:

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the first game that Lucas Learning actually published Star Wars Droidworks in 1998? (Aside perhaps from the mysterious Paul Parkranger and the Mystery of the Disappearing Ducks, of which only one copy has ever turned up on eBay, from the personal collection of LucasArts package designer Terri Soo Hoo.)

    Mortimer and the Riddles of the Medallion, released in 1996, was published by LucasArts (EDIT: apparently during the time period after the learning division(s) merged into LucasArts, but before Lucas Learning was spun back out into its own division). 


    According to the Los Angeles TimesThe Mystery of the Disappearing Ducks: A Paul Parkranger Mystery (released in 1991 or 1992, and was the winner of a Cindy Award for special achievement in instructional design) was only one of at least two of these types of instructional discs released by Lucas in the early 1990s. The other was GTV: A Geographic Perspective on American History (released in 1990 or 1991, and was selected by Technology & Learning magazine as one of the top five educational software programs for 1990-91).


    EDIT: I did a little more digging. SFGate revealed a third early 1990s educational disc by Lucas: Life Story: The Race for the Double Helix.


    EDIT 2: More digging. According to the New York Times, the learning division of the Lucas companies was founded in 1987 as LucasArts Learning. GTV was made in association with the National Geographic Society, the California State Department of Education, and Apple Computers. Life Story was made in association with Apple's Multimedia Lab, the Smithsonian Institution, and Adrian Malone Productions. Paul Parkranger was developed in association with the National Audubon Society (which we already knew).


    LucasArts Learning also developed an experimental program titled Mac Magic, which was developed in association with the Marin Community Foundation, the San Rafael, Calif., School District and Apple Computers. It was a cooperative learning program for classrooms that taught language and history skills to ethnically and academically diverse students. It started in 1989 and ran for at least four years. It was awarded the "Point of Light" award from President H.W. Bush in January 1993, less than two weeks before he left the White House.


    EDIT 3: According to a New York Times article, LucasArts Learning was merged into the LucasArts Entertainment Company in 1993.  And according to the Los Angeles Times article above, the learning division was then spun out from LucasArts as Lucas Learning in 1996.


    EDIT 4: After even more digging, T.H.E. (Technological Horizons In Education) Journal revealed one more videodisc for classrooms by LucasArts Learning: Choices & Decisions: Taking Charge of Your Life. It was developed in association with Visa. It was used in at least six classrooms beginning in 1992 and taught students financial management and consumer life skills.


    EDIT 5: Apparently, according to a New York Times article, George Lucas created another learning division in 1989 after filming Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade titled Lucasfilm Learning Systems. GTV was published in 1990 by that division.


    EDIT 6 (8 hours later): I decided to do another search, and the 1992 book Transforming American Education mentions another Laserdisc title by Lucasfilm Learning Systems in the GTV series: GTV: Planetary Manager. It's an exploration of the connections between science, the environment, and society.

    • Like 2
  2. 19 hours ago, ATMachine said:

    That's rather odd considering that Brian Moriarty allegedly chose to work on educational games at Lucas Learning instead of making the LOOM sequels.

    Lucas Learning did make educational Star Wars games.  But, AFAIK the only adventure game for children LucasArts ever produced was Mortimer and the Riddles of the Medallion.


    Humongous Entertainment did eventually break out into other genres (especially with the Backyard Sports games) but their modus operandi was adventure games for children, something LucasArts never embraced.

  3. 1 hour ago, Daf said:

    My main questions would be: why exactly did Ron leave LucasArts, and why did he do so at that time and not before or after?

    I've only ever heard vague things, but that might be because I'm not that well informed. Bloodnose Mike over at the LucasArts fan discord provided the explanation that Ron just wanted to own the IP for the games he was making, which is something I'd heard, but I wanted to know if you guys had different or more detailed answers.

    Tim Schafer mentioned how they fought with the management at LucasArts to even get the name of the project lead on the cover of the games they made.  MI2 finally had Ron Gilbert's name on the cover, but since the fight to get it there was a pain in the neck, I imagine he wasn't too thrilled to go through that process again with the LucasArts brass.


    Plus, Ron wanted to make adventure games for children, to get them interested in adventure games young so they'd carry that interest into adulthood, something LucasArts wasn't keen on doing (Mortimer and the Riddles of the Medallion being the sole game in that genre by LucasArts, quite a bit after Ron left).


    As he owned Humongous Entertainment, he could make the games he wanted to make and be credited for it.  Plus, he had a deal with LucasArts that allowed him to fork the SPUTM engine and SCUMM language for the HE games, allowing him to continue using the tools he created at LucasArts.  It was definitely a win-win situation for him.

    • Like 4
  4. On 8/15/2020 at 2:43 PM, Udvarnoky said:

    Impressive stuff, guys!


    Jenni's collection reminded me of the existence of that ridiculous bargain-bin retail version of Sam & Max: Season 1 that only contained the first three episodes. Truly a noteworthy release in terms of sheer disdain for the customer, up there with Insecticide: Part One; And By The Way Part Two Is Never Coming.

    Telltale has a lot of that kind of iffy disc releases.  I've got a ton of "Season Pass" discs, which have one episode of the game on the disc and the rest of the games have to be downloaded (although that's better than Sam & Max 1+2+3 - at least you have access to the whole season).


    I've seen worse though.  I have an Atari Vault disc that only has a Steam installer on it with a Steam key to download the games on Steam.

  5. I've been collecting Telltale memorabilia since they were founded, so I'm pretty much the Telltale historian at this point. 😛 I posted some of the stuff on Twitter after Telltale went kaput, but my collection has grown since then: 









    I'll see if I can assemble all of the Telltale stuff I've accumulated since then into pictures, as well as my Double Fine stuff (tons) and LucasArts stuff (not so much).

    • Like 4
  6. Tales, because the secondary villain of Marquis de Singe is interesting and gives it a more interesting story than the usual Guybrush/Elaine/LeChuck love triangle (MI2 and MI4 did this too, but the quest for BIg Whoop didn't click with me and Ozzy Mandrill wasn't a very interesting secondary villain). Plus, I really enjoyed the character of Morgan Le Flay.


    So, because everyone loves lists:


    1.) Tales of Monkey Island

    2.) Curse of Monkey Island

    3.) Monkey Island 2

    4.) Secret of Monkey Island

    5.) Escape from Monkey Island

  7. My favorite story is The Devil's Playhouse. My favorite puzzles are in Beyond Space and Time. The story outweighs the puzzles IMO. The order of my favorites is, thus:


    1.) The Devil's Playhouse

    2.) Beyond Space and Time

    3.) Hit the Road

    4.) Save the World


    Oh, and just for the heck of it:


    5.) Poker Night 2

    6.) Poker Night at the Inventory

  8. 2 hours ago, FaNaTiC said:

    But the last one I've been trying to figure out is: Is that Rush Limbaugh? If so, why? (Newspaper 7/7)


    It likely has to do with the fact that Rush Limbaugh ridiculed peace protesters during the Gulf War, so it would be ironic that his campaigning against peace would lead to him becoming a slave under Purple Tentacle's authoritarian rule. 

    • Thanks 1
  9. I can't find an answer to Jefferson's deal witht the log. What's up with this wooden obsession?



    I'm not 100% sure, but it's possible that his obsession comes from the fact that rather than buying the materials to build his home, he used all of the materials around his property to build Monticello. This included molding and baking his own bricks from the clay and using lumber from the trees on his property. He also planted trees on the property (possibly to compensate for the ones he cut down).



  10. (This BBCode requires its accompanying plugin to work properly.)


    I decided to get back into video editing, and thought of a fun idea. Both The Wolf Among Us and Night Court involve trials held in the 1980's, so I thought it'd be fun to mash them up. :)


    The original, for comparison:


    (This BBCode requires its accompanying plugin to work properly.)

  11. No Mojo news story yet? I guess Jennifer will c&p it if nobody has time before the morning.

    It's certainly interesting. It's also interesting in that it's actually not just out of the blue, as ATMachine has actually been talking about a release of Brian Moriarty's version of The Dig for quite a while.


    Since there's not much to the news at this point, I think the twitter post and this forum thread will do for now. If there's something substantial that comes up though, I'll write up a news post about it in a heart beat. :)

  12. I wouldn't say that. The only good thing Disney did with LucasArts, from my perspective, was to make its catalogue available DRM-free. Can't exactly give them credit for letting Double Fine remaster Grim Fandango. Sony seems to have played a big part in that, and I don't see the indie-LucasArts saying "no" to them.
    The original LucasArts turned down the offer to remaster Grim Fandango multiple times though, as the people in charge usually weren't willing to license their adventure properties. Most of the time they weren't exactly known for being open to making games outside of Star Wars (Darrell Rodriguez was the rare case, and Tim has stated that the staff at Disney and Sony have lined up in such a way that it reminds him of that small time frame that Darrell ran things).


    It definitely sounds like it's the combination of the current people in charge at Disney/LucasArts as well as those at Sony that have allowed Double Fine to revisit Tim's LucasArts games. The Double Fine versions of Tim's LucasArts games would not have been possible without the help from all three companies, as Double Fine is developing them, Sony helped with the financial means, and LucasArts has provided Double Fine with all of the assets from their archives, including the material from the cancelled Day of the Tentacle remake by LucasArts Singapore. With these things, it's the right factors aligning at the right time, and the Disney run LucasArts is definitely a part of that.

  13. I picked all of the latest batch up. I got all of the last bunch that was non-Star Wars, and I picked up a bunch of Star Wars games in the Star Wars Humble Bundle.


    Disney is actually doing pretty good with LucasArts so far. The decision not to go forward with Star Wars: Attack Squadrons after the closed beta (although playing it, I can kind of see why - it was fun in spurts but it would need a lot of polish to be considered good enough for people to pay money for, and I guess they decided it wasn't worth it) and pulling Star Wars: Tiny Death Star from the marketplace (this one I don't understand, as it was fun, and it seemed to be pretty popular if the fact that it kept showing up on the iTunes most downloaded list is anything to go by) are really the only things that I can think of that they didn't handle well with LucasArts so far. Everything else has been pretty darn good (and certainly a lot better than how LucasArts themselves handled the company since the turn of the century).


    I'll admit that I've mostly ignored the non-adventure games by LucasArts up until now. Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine is the only non-adventure game I played at launch, and I played a little bit of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic last year as part of a thread at the Double Fine forums where everyone played a game from their Steam game list that is in a genre that they normally wouldn't play.


    I'm going to go through and play the games I missed out on, as they've been doing a pretty good job on releasing games that have been praised by fans (and at least got decent reviews by critics, if not glowing). I started Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb now. I'm actually liking it quite a lot so far. The voice of Indiana Jones is great (he sounds a lot like Doug Lee (Indy in Fate of Atlantis and Infernal Machine), but at times he actually sounds quite a bit like Harrison Ford himself, which is great), and I really like that they strove to amp up the action to make it feel faster paced and more cinematic. I actually thought I'd dislike the move away from puzzles in order to make things less slow paced, but in actuality, the opposite is true. It actually benefits from that, at least so far, in my opinion.

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