A scrapbook of stuff I'm reading / looking at / listening to / thinking about. Ask me anything you can't Google.
Posts tagged "lucasarts"
Oct 07, 2014
Replaying Grim Fandango
I don’t replay games often (if at all (though I’m still a Super Mario Bros. 3 expert, natch)) but GRIM FANDANGO deserves it. It rewards replay like great films reward repeat viewings or great novels reward rereading. It’s a great story well told in a world unlike any other. (It helps that I have a soft spot for bizarre afterlife mythology and Day of the Dead iconography, and no real interest in whatever the latest consoles are.) Everything from the art style to the dialog to the music all works together in harmony.
I’ll never get rid of my copy of SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE. I’ll never ditch my DVD of IKIRU. Thanks to ResidualVM, I’ll never get rid of GRIM FANDANGO either. I’ve spent the last two days playing through it and it was bliss.
Karl’s right: I’ve replayed a bunch of Tim Schafer games over the years — Day of the Tentacle, Full Throttle, Grim Fandango, and Psychonauts — and they’re all great.
As a side note: I think replaying, rewatching, rereading aren’t emphasized enough. Experiencing new works is important, but re-experiencing old favorites is, too. If you absolutely love something, and it makes the gutstrings in your vibrate, it’s important to go back, see if they still resonate, each time the experience is a little different, and you can start to understand why, and it’ll teach you stuff about the work and yourself.
Apr 08, 2013
» “Better personal lives will lead to better games.”
Over at Penny Arcade, they do a better job of than I did of responding to that LucasArts’ eulogy:
The cost of our games, including the 18 hour work days, the ruined relationships, and the isolation from friends and family, is incredibly high. Reporters joke with each other whenever we tour a studio and see the free coffee, the cafeteria, the movie theaters, and the showers; the nicer a corporate office looks, and the more features it offers employees, the less likely it is that you’ll ever leave the premises for things as mundane as a well-rounded personal life. That expensive coffee machine and climbing wall isn’t a free perk, it’s the payment for when you’re asked to skip that funeral or work through the weekend.
I’ve talked to too many people in this industry to wonder why so many of our games feel adolescent; many of the artists who make the games are given a job, they begin to live at the studio, the hours grow long, they cease to grow as human beings, and they’re stuck with the same influences, passions, and sense of humor they had as a teenager.
Emphasis mine. The very same could be said for advertising or any “creative” [shudder] agency.
Apr 06, 2013
A Eulogy for LucasArts
In the trenches of game design, work was hard.
Crippling crunches that lasted for months aged us and tested our sanity.
Sometimes executives presented us with projects, development partners, or deadlines that were impossible…
Marriages failed as we poured our hearts into games that the press might eventually skewer.
Pregnancies were delayed in favor of project milestones.
Funerals were missed.
LucasArts made so many games that shaped my ideas about storytelling and humor at a young age, and I’m truly grateful for their work, but DANG I’m glad I didn’t fulfill my childhood dream of working in game design. Sounds like a sweatshop nightmare. (Or advertising.)
Sep 24, 2011
Aug 12, 2011
Jun 03, 2010
Apr 19, 2010
» Ron Gilbert, creator of Monkey Island, responds to Roger Ebert on video games not being art
Here is my challenge to Roger: Why is Monkey Island not art, yet, the Pirates of the Caribbean movie is art?
I will hold the story and characters of Monkey Island up to the Pirates of the Caribbean movie any day. The story in Monkey Island 1 and 2 is as deep and complex and interesting as that of Pirates of the Caribbean. The characters are as living and real and developed as you’ll find in any film, I’d even argue more so since you can have conversations with them and explore the nooks and crannies of their stories in a way a movie or book cannot.
Roger also mentions in his essay “Why are gamers so intensely concerned, anyway, that games be defined as art?” I would ask: why are you so concerned that they are not? You’re the one that keeps bring this up, not us.
Thx to @anorwood for the link!
Mar 07, 2010
» Sam and Max Hit the Road: One of the Great Comic Book Games Ever
"A private school principal once told me that in the history of literature, the greatest translation of all time was the English translation of Waiting for Godot, because Samuel Beckett had personally translated it from French, in which he’d originally written it, into English, his mother tongue. Well, Steve Purcell just might be the Samuel Beckett of comic book video games. His participation in the project ensured that the game’s artwork and humor were both remarkably true to the sociopathic glee of the original comics, as well as to the relentless absurdism of Monkey Island, making fun of everything including the very format of the game. When you try to pick up a person, Sam refuses, saying, "I don’t indiscriminately use people…except Max." When you repeatedly click with your cursor to try to pick up something that can’t be picked up, Sam explains that he can’t, getting more and more angry until he breaks down crying, at which point Max says, "Now you’ve done it. You’ve broken Sam’s spirit by trying to pick up that dumb object. In fact, if I didn’t find his pathetic sobbing so amusing, I’d come out and rip your limbs off.""
—From an article on Huffington Post declaring that Steve Purcell’s Sam & Max Hit the Road is among the greatest comic book games ever (hard to deny). Nothing revealing in the article, I just enjoy that one of my all-time favorite cartoonists is becoming well-known enough now after 20+ years to start making appearances on sites like HuffPo.
Oct 21, 2009
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