If you're an avid reader of the Telltale blog (or a
stalker secret admirer) you may well remember that time back in July when we mysteriously found ourselves at Comic-Con without a camera. Earlier this week, while pulling together all of our worldly possessions for E for All, I made extra super sure not to repeat this mistake. I packed the camera, and I even charged the battery. What I forgot to do, however, was pack a USB cable. Which leaves me on the eve of E for All's final day, with a whole bunch of pictures and absolutely no way to get them to you. Bah.
Here are some links courtesy of people who were slightly more prepared...
Here are some links courtesy of people who were slightly more prepared...
- Wired Blog: Checking Up On Sam and Max
- Aeropause: Sam and Max Season Two Preview and Interview
- Ripten: Dan Connors Talks Sam & Max
As November 8th and 9th creep closer, and as E for All rolls out in Los Angeles, the Season Two Quality Spigot is turning counter-clockwise at an alarming rate. Up this week, most notably, is the trailer for the Sam & Max Season Two premiere, Ice Station Santa. You can watch it above, or check it out on the Season Two website. (If YouTube's your thing, click here for the YouTube version.)
Also on the Season Two site, you'll find some brand new screenshots (featuring the return of last season's "differently useful" technology support group), and a new gameplay video. Enjoy!
And, again, if you're planning on going to E for All this weekend, be sure to stop by booth 1123 and check out Ice Station Santa. Maybe buy a shirt or something, too. If you want.
Well, the good news is that Nick, Will*, and I made it to LA. But not without some drama. I'll give you the Cliff Notes version now while I wait for a super secret file that Jake wasn't quite done tinkering with when I left to download. (Hint: This super secret file will be on display at our E for All booth AND will hit the web on Thursday. So make sure you're either at the LA Convention Center or on the internet that day. We're all counting on you.)
Okay, so the first bad thing was when the cab that was supposed to show up at 4:15... didn't. At 4:18 I called the cab company to find out where it was. At 4:25 I finally got off hold and was able to speak to a human being, who told me that the cab driver didn't want to come back to my house because if he did, he'd get penalized for not having shown up initially. I mentioned that we'd been standing on the sidewalk since 4:00 and no cabs had come by. The dispatcher said "It won't be much longer" and we hung up.
So, 4:35 rolls around and the cab still hasn't shown. Our flight was at 6:00 and we had a ton of bags to check so I was starting to panic. [readmore] While I waited on hold (again), Will called a different cab company who said they'd send someone right over. At 4:53, the second cab showed up and we piled in with all our bags and said "Quick, follow that car!" (Okay, we didn't, but it might have been funny in a "we're about to miss our flight so everything's funny, except when it's not" kind of way.) Meanwhile the dispatchers from the original cab company were so busy arguing with each other about the fact that no one had picked us up that they didn't hear me saying "Never mind, we just got in someone else's cab" and I took the bold measure of hanging up on them. So there, Yellow Cab.
My panic had subsided to a dull anxiety by this point, but we were still in very real danger of not getting on the flight. We got to the airport at just the time that we would have been cut off from checking luggage and dashed to the nearest curbside check-in. And then! The guy looked up our flight and said it was delayed. I have never been so happy to hear those words. I think I actually said "YES!" and did an air pump with my fist. It was mildly embarrassing.
In future I should be careful what I wish for, because the 6:00 flight ended up being delayed until almost 8:00 and we didn't get to our hotel in LA until well after 10:00. Amazingly, everything in LA has gone smoothly, from our bags being the first ones off the chute (guess it pays to show up at the airport late!) to the drive from the airport to the hotel being boring and uneventful. Now all we have to do is get through a day of set-up and four days of convention. Piece(s) of cake.
Despite the picture-less nature of this blog, I assure you we DID bring along a working camera (two, in fact!) and will be taking pictures of the whole extravaganza. Watch the blog for more E for All goodness all the rest of this week. Oh yeah, and don't forget that melty-good surprise headed for the site on Thursday. It makes me smile, and I have no doubt you'll do the same. Hell, you might even go "YES!" and pump your fist in the air. (Don't worry, we won't tell anyone.)
If you are planning to be at E for All, come see us at booth 1123! We'll have an exclusive Ice Station Santa demo available for your playing pleasure, and of course all the merchandise we could cram into our suitcases and the delight of meeting Telltalians in person. And c'mon, how can you miss out on that?
*Telltale's new lead tester, for those not in the know.
For those who haven't stopped by the YouTube today, a new short cartoon by Telltale's Creative Director Emeritus (and author of our own excellent Dank/Dunk webcomic which you should all be reading) has been making its way across the web, and you should watch it. Check it out and then stop by the video's YouTube page and let Graham know what you think.
While you're there, you should also go check out all of Graham's other videos. (My favorites are Space Wolf, and The Lonely Hunter.)
No! Your Dank is most certainly in my Dunk!
There's been a subtle change in the Dank comic strip this week. The curtain has been pulled back, revealing the creator in all his glory.
Allow me to introduce Dunkin Fudman, better known as Dunk. He draws a comic strip called "Dank" that you may or may not have heard of. Before any widespread panic ensues, let me assure you that "Dank" will live on. Everyone's favorite caveman inventor will show up whenever Dunk is able to crank out his comics.
The Dank/Dunk strip will appear weekly from here on out. Enjoy.
The last of the 2007 trade shows is upon us (thank God). Telltale will be at booth 1123 at the E for All show in Los Angeles, October 18-21, hanging out and selling stuff and letting the eager attendees check out our games. This will be your LAST CHANCE to meet with Telltale folk IN THE FLESH until who knows when. (Probably APE, in the spring.) Not only that, but we'll have a playable demo of Ice Station Santa at our booth. This won't be going up on the web until the Nov. 9 release, so this is a sneak peek in every sense of the phrase.
It just so happens we have 20 free E for All passes, which we're willing to give to those of you who are dying to join us at the show. What do you have to do to get one? Just send an email and ask. Put "E for All Pass" in the subject line so you won't get nuked as spam, and include your mailing address in the email to make it easy on me. I'll mail the passes out later this week.
Yeah, yeah, you still have to figure out how to get to LA. But maybe you already live in LA, or maybe you have a crusty old great aunt who lives there and loves it when you come to visit, or maybe you're willing to hitchhike all the way across the country The Wizard style. You'll figure something out.
This could be you! (Power glove sold separately.)
If you've been around the Telltale community for a while (a year, to be precise), you may remember this little contest we held last year to commemorate the launch of the first Sam & Max game in over a decade. We had some awesome entries and in the end chose the four that we thought were the most creative, weird, and just plain fun. (Also one of them may have been illegal, but don't tell our lawyers.)
In the great tradition of repeating things that were good year after year in a flailing attempt to relive the past, we're bringing it back! You have between now and Monday, October 29 to email firstname.lastname@example.org with your entry. The basic rules:
- Your entry should definitely have something to do with Sam & Max (Halloween-themes are optional)
- You can submit whatever you want and as many times as you want, but you'll only win once
- Don't break any laws
- Make something awesome!
Entries must be emailed to email@example.com by Monday, October 29 at 9:00 a.m. Pacific time. We'll post some of the entries on the blog that week and will announce the winners on Tuesday, November 6.
CSI designer Greg Land and partner Nick Stokes go forensic at the old mini golf course.
As most of you know, Telltale's newest CSI game was detected in stores last week, just in time for the Season Premiere of the TV series.
In the wake of the myriad shooters bludgeoning their way into the market, official reviews for CSI: Hard Evidence are trickling out at the pace of dried blood.
Regardless, there is a smattering of *a-hem* hard evidence that the latest CSI game is indeed a satisfying one. Here are a few facts that help us substantiate our assertion that Telltale has made a great game for our fans, and for CSI lovers everywhere...
First, many users on the various forums have testified that "it's the best CSI game yet." In fact, a few here on the Telltale site gave it an "11 out of 10." Thanks guys!
As of this writing, a forensic statistical analysis of the PC version on Gamespot shows an average player rating of 81%, based on 50 votes. Notably, more than 50% of voters rated the game as a "Perfect," and the vast majority rated it as "Great" or better.[readmore]
Third, anonymous sources have tipped us off that several stores are sold out of the game. Amazon shows it's in the top 25 games, and the #7 selling PC Action title. (Not sure why it's listed under action, though!) Perhaps being in the New Release section the same time as Halo 3 isn't all bad…
Further, CSI is designed to be fun for men and women, ages 18 to 108. One customer claimed that he is alternating playing cases with his wife – and highly recommends it. Now that we're playable on consoles as well, CSI is a GREAT game to play on the couch with a loved one. (Or even a liked one!) Find clues together, and place bets on who dunit! It's more like the show than ever before…
On a behind-the-scenes note, back in January, the Ubisoft execs were so pleased with our product that they wanted to double-down and release it to more systems. They even created a TV ad campaign, which has never been done for a CSI game. This type of confidence in the product is a real testament to the game, and a good sign for our consumers.
Finally, in my opinion, the most compelling evidence that CSI: HE is a great game is a single common confession - many people have already achieved a Master ranking on all 5 cases. This means they have played and replayed the game until ultimately they unlocked the final bonus item. People are busy. 12+ hours is a lot of time for most of us. We don't have time to waste on things that aren't fun. It's a good bet that if so many people are taking the time to finish and replay the cases, then they are likely to be engaging and satisfying along the way.
In closing, whatever the official reviewers say, evidence shows the initial response has been very favorable. Telltale put a lot of love and energy into making CSI: Hard Evidence the best it could be. We feel it's a great product. So, next time you spot Grissom and Catherine on CBS just think - I could be solving my own case with those guys right now!
CSI: Hard Evidence
I know at this point you guys are all obsessively reloading the Season Two webpage every five minutes to see when new stuff goes up so this is effectively superfluous, but just for the record...
Some new Season Two media went out today from episode 201: Ice Station Santa, including six new screenshots (viewable here) of Sam & Max tromping around the arctic, and a new gameplay video (just over on the right, there) wherein the Freelance Police harass a former president.
We've also announced the pricing of Season Two episodes, which, again, should come as no surprise to most of you: Individual episodes will run you $8.95, or you can order the whole five-episode season at any time for just $34.95. (Also, if you buy one episode and then realize you want the whole thing, just like last time you'll be able to upgrade to the full season for the difference of just $26). And, of course, anyone who buys the season will be entitled to receive a free copy of the games -- plus heaps of special features -- on a DVD at the end of the run (you've still gotta pay the shipping, though). For more info, check out the Season Two FAQ.
Last week, we had some press come in to take a look at Ice Station Santa and talk to some Telltale staffers about Season Two. You can read previews on 1up*, GameTap Read, and Games Radar, with some other writeups and reactions at Adventure Gamers and Joystiq.
Keep your eye on the blog and the Season Two page for more news as it breaks!
* Bonus update: Ooh, I totally forgot about this yesterday! In addition to their preview, 1up also has an exclusive gameplay video: a conversation between Sam & Max and their favorite vermin pal. Check it out right here!Hey guys, guess what?
Though there will be a full real announcement tomorrow along with new screenshots, gameplay videos, FAQ updates, and the works, but for now, here are the basics!
Sam & Max Season Two makes its debut with Episode 201: Ice Station Santa, premiering for GameTap subscribers on Thursday, November 8th. Then, just a day later on Friday, November 9th, the game will be available to buy and download from Telltalegames.com!
After a quick break, the releases will go monthly, starting with episode 202's debut on GameTap, Thursday, January 10th, followed by the worldwide release on Telltale's website, Friday, January 11th. After that, look for the subsequent episodes to land on GameTap and Telltale's site the second Thursday/Friday of each month!
Crazy, huh? I would make up some hopefully-entertaining lie to put here about how I had to lock Emily in the conference room or fill her desk with packing popcorn or something to post this stuff a day early, but the truth is, she's on vacation and therefore powerless to stop me!
See you tomorrow for the full scoop!You heard me.
Yesterday we slipped a new video onto the Season Two page... didn't notice it? Too lazy to click that link? Lucky for you, it's right here!
In this video, Sam & Max pay a visit to their favorite paranoid
schizophrenicshopkeeper to see just how much life changes when you have $100 trillion burning a hole in your pocket. The best part is when Bosco screams like a girl.
Looking to download some Season Two videos? Here you go...
This picture was sent to me by Logan Decker, senior editor at PC Gamer. He spotted it while on vacation in Buenos Aires, on a wall in the San Telmo district.
This is exactly what the world needs. More Sam & Max graffiti on walls. You know, like this. Not that I'm encouraging vandalism or anything like that. I'm just saying.
So hey, speaking of sightings... seen Sam & Max Season One at any cool (or lame) stores lately? If you have, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know where. (Pictures are not required, but always encouraged!) We've got this big world map hanging on the wall with push pins in it to represent the places Season One has been spotted. I'll update the blog with a picture later in the week, so get those sightings in!
If you're an avid follower of the Telltale Interloper, you've probably been sad that we haven't come out with one since... err... Christmas. Well, cry no more! Our first Interloper in eight months brings a handy round-up to all the important stuff that's been going on, plus the return of the ever popular Order Up recipe column. Best of all, working on it made us remember how much fun it is to send out a newsletter every now and then. We'll try to get the next one out a little sooner.
offices of Telltale Games in
beautiful California. Visit us
Vol III, # 1 Aug, 2007
Sam & Max Get Second Season, Fans Invade Streets
We've known for months now that there would be a second season of Sam & Max, and right before Comic-Con in July we officially announced it, so you may have known, too. (Of course, we realize we neglected to send out a newsletter at the time, so maybe you didn't know. Our bad.) Today's an even more exciting day, because the first big Season Two video has been released, and if we do say so ourselves, it's awesome.
Click here to watch the Season Two Cinematic Trailer! Come on, click it.
So when can you get the new games? We're not ready to spill all the beans yet, but we promise the first episode will be out this fall, and we'll have plenty more goodies to entice you between now and then. In fact, some are already up on our blog:
New from the Freelance Police Summer Collection
Sam & Max Season One + Bonus Disc
All six episodes and a huge helping of extras.
Sam & Max Season One Case File
A collection of random junk from each episode!
Sam & Max Season One Soundtrack
A two CD set of pure musical bliss.
The Effigy Mound Sketchbook
A book of rare art from Purcell's archives.
SEASON ONE NOW AVAILABLE
IN PACKAGED VERSIONS
Back when Sam & Max Season One was announced, we promised a disc version of the games to anyone who bought the season for only the price of shipping. That disc is available now! It's a hybrid DVD – put it in your computer to play the six episodes, or in your TV's DVD player for developers' commentaries, bloopers, trailers, machinima shorts, and a few surprises.
If you're a Season One customer, head over to this page and enter your order number to get the DVD for free. And if you've previously bought an episode from us, you can upgrade to the full season and get the disc for $26 plus shipping.
Retail product on store shelves: As if that's not enough, Season One is now available at retail in North America, in a package that includes a fold-out poster and other goodies. A similarly cool retail release will be hitting Europe in September. Read all about it right here.
Hip new accessories suitable for playing, framing, or reading
Bone: Out From Boneville CD Version
The first episode in the Bone game series.
Bone: The Great
Cow Race CD Version
Adventure! Love! Deceit! Cows! Bone episode 2!
Sam & Max Poster Print - Street
Season One's cover painting as a sweet print.
Sam & Max: Surfin
The collected comic anthology is returning!
CSI HEADED TO
Months ago, Ubisoft announced that we're developing a new CSI game with them, entitled Hard Evidence. If the dearth of CSI news since then has had you sweating, never fear. We can now finally reveal that we've been working feverishly behind the scenes to bring Hard Evidence to the Wii and Xbox 360, in addition to the PC.
All three versions are scheduled to come out this fall, bringing the newest CSI game to a larger audience than ever before.
More on CSI: Hard Evidence: Check out these blog entries for the latest news and media!
» Screenshots and console announcement
» Teaser trailer
Yields 6 perfectly charming muffins
2 1/4 cups unbleached bread flour
1/2 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoon yeast
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup buttermilk
1. Be so kind as to marry the flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a mixing bowl. Add butter and milk and stir until the awful mess forms a proper ball.
2. Step lightly and sprinkle the counter with flour. Drop the dough on the counter and knead for 10 minutes. Oil a large bowl, stuff the dough inside and cover with some of that delightful plastic wrap.
3. Take a brisk stroll across the moor for 90 minutes or so, until the dough positively doubles in volume.
4. Separate the dough into 6 pieces like so many helpless orphans.
Cruelly shape each orphan into a ball. Grease a baking sheet and arrange the balls on it, 3 inches apart. Cover everything you see with plastic wrap. Everything!
5. Consider founding an overseas colony and levying a repressive tax on tea for 90 minutes or so, until the balls have doubled.
6. Kindly heat a skillet to medium and warm the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
7. Brush the skillet with a spot of vegetable oil. Slide a few balls onto the skillet, making sure to leave at least 1 inch between them.
Cook 5-8 minutes or until their little bottoms are a rich golden brown.
8. Flip them over and cook for another 5-8 minutes. Toss them in the oven for 5 minutes to ensure the center is baked properly.
9. Now hands off! It's vital to king and country that these muffins cool for 30 minutes before serving.
Give it a try at home! If you do bake some muffins using this recipe (which was reluctantly revealed by our writing intern Ian Dallas after bringing a batch into the office one day), let us know! Email email@example.com!
BONE INVADES RETAIL
Boneville and Cow Race discs sweep the world's game stores
About a year ago we made an announcement in this very newsletter about Out from Boneville being translated into other languages. And then... it never happened. Why not? Well, right after we made that announcement, we got involved with a company that would be releasing both games in Europe, in more languages than we had planned. So we decided to sit back and let them do what they do best – localize games and publish them in Europe. The result is a whole lot of Bone love on the fairer continent, in territories including the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Russia, and Poland.
Have you seen Bone in a store? If you have, we'd like to see it, too! Take a picture of one of these Bone games on the shelf and email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hey, what about Telltale's Bone CDs? The self-published CDs that we sell from our website were backordered for many months, and for that we're really sorry. But we bring you good news! The CDs have finally been manufactured, and are now available in our store. If you're one of those whose order was delayed, thanks for your patience. And if you've been waiting to buy the CD, now's your chance!
OTHER THINGS GOING ON
What else have we been up to in the half a year since the last time we sent out a proper newsletter? Visit our blog to find out, or just check out the best of the best, highlighted below in handy link form:
That's it for this issue! We're going to try to send out news with actual frequency from now on, so get ready for that! Also, we'll be bringing back the Dear Max column next time, so if something is troubling you and you find yourself in need of advice, don't hesitate to ask Max at email@example.com. See you soon!
» Sam & Max & PAX - Telltale live from the Penny Arcade Expo
» Attack of the Comic-Con Suit - Our giant costume terrorizes San Diego
» Comic-Con Adventures, 2007 edition - We had a booth! Rock!
» Comic-Con part deux - Further Con adventures
» Surfin the Highway coming back in print?!! - We're bringing it back!
» Sam & Max: Season One now on Steam - So stop asking, already
» It's a happy day here at Telltale... - Can't remember why, now...
» Season One contest winners revealed! - Congrats!
» You like us! You really like us! - Our forums are amazing!
» The APE lowdown - Telltale at the Alternative Press Expo
A few months ago, Kevin came up with this great idea for a PAX panel, to make a Sam & Max episode on the fly. Not a full episode, of course, but a mini episode with dialogue and inventory puzzles and exploration and plenty of jokes. When the panel was over, we'd take the design back to the office, complete the mini episode, and post it on our site for all to download.
Well, those of us who wouldn't actually have to be involved in the making of the episode thought it was a great idea. Then we pitched it to the people who would have to be involved -- specifically, Dave and Brendan on the design side, and Jon on the technical side -- and were convinced that the scope might need to be reined in a little. The final decision was that we would use the panel to write a 15(ish) line dialogue, with the help of hundreds of audience members, and then animate it on the spot. The basic flow of the panel is already described here, so I'll just cut to the end:
(Thanks very much to our impromptu voice actors, whose names I scribbled down on a piece of paper that I now can't find. One of them was a guy from Evil Avatar, and one was our former intern Deirdra, and one was a guy who recently came back from Iraq and couldn't wait to finally play the whole season.)
This scene was written, recorded, and animated right there during the hour-long panel (Dave, Brendan, and Kevin did a Q&A while Jon and Marco had their heads down working on the technical stuff). And it went surprisingly well, compared to some of the technical-difficulty-riddled rehearsals we did here at the office in preparation...
So, yeah, all in all making a Sam & Max scene in a completely artificial environment with the help of 400 strangers is a lot of fun. Shall we do it again next year?
Note: PAX write-up and pictures coming soon. The camera hasn't made it back into the office yet.
So maybe you picked up from some of the PAX coverage or Telltale's own forum that a new and extremely awesome cinematic trailer was unleashed at PAX. Now you can see it with your very own eyes, along with a few screenshots and some titillating morsels about the content of the upcoming season...
Also make sure to come back tomorrow, because we'll be posting the hilarious (and sometimes cringeworthy) results of our "Make a Scene with Telltale" panel, and quite possibly some pictures taken at the show and when we had dinner at the Space Needle. Awesome.Many people were curious about what went down today at our "Make a Sam & Max Episode with Telltale" panel at the Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle. I would spend a long time telling you, but Christopher Grant over at Joystiq has written up most of it for me, and even went so far as to post a video of the short we created with the audience! You can check it out here.
In official blog fashion, I will now cite a bunch of his post -- including the video -- without permission in a fit of excitement:[readmore]
Read the rest at Joystiq's site. We'll have more PAX goodies for you in the near future (including the Season Two trailer!), so stay tuned.
Despite being told we'd be creating an episode, it turns out games (even episodic ones!) take a little longer than an hour (but just barely we imagine). Improv comedy style, they take suggestions from the crowd for events in the game. First, a favorite fruit? Pomegrenates we yell out. A vacation destination? Someone yells "North Pole." A new career for Sybil? "Taxidermist" two blurt out over each other. The writing process has begun.
Sam: Hiya Sybil!
Max: What's your story lady?
Sybil: I'm an orthopedic surgeon, baby!
Sam: Holy heavenly horse radish in a Houston whorehouse!
Max: Who cares, I'm running for re-election!
Sam: More importantly we need a pastrami on rye to save the world!
Sybil: Why do you think I have a pastrami on rye sandwich?
Max: Orthopedic surgeons always have pastrami on rye sandwiches!
Sam: They use them for lubrication!
Max: It's science, Sybil.
Sybil: The problem with science is you can't prove it. Also I need condiments.
Sam: To Bosco's little buddy!
They pick three people from the audience to record the three voices (including their intern ... nepotism!). Normally they would record these all separately, with real voice actors, but we're on a tight schedule so these fine folks'll do. To show that they didn't do so bad, they show a bloopers reel featuring the actual voice actors. They even animated all the scenes! Our favorite part? The bad words (carefully bleeped out for the youg'ns)The Adventure Company, publishers of the Season One retail CD, have released video interviews with Dave Bogan, Telltale's art director, and Sam & Max creator Steve Purcell. These are snippets of the footage TAC shot when they visited our (old) office to film the behind-the-scenes featurette that comes as part of the retail release.
Watch them, and be enlightened.
Here it is, the video you've all been waiting for...
Want to download it so you can watch it again and again? Be our guest!
(Also, if you like this video, why not go over to YouTube and rate it?)
I would have written this blog a week ago, but my repeated attempts to get pictures of Sam & Max Season One on a retail shelf were comically thwarted. But today the planets aligned...
I took these pictures at the Best Buy in San Rafael. Also, over the weekend Jake picked up a copy of the game at Fry's in Campbell. He forgot to take a picture, but he did get a thumbs-up from the Fry's employee who checked his bag on his way out!
Now we want to know where you've seen Sam & Max. There's an updated list of retailers carrying the game below, and these stores have locations all over North America. If you've seen Sam & Max in a store, please write in and let us know where it was. Better yet, take a picture! (Thumbs-up is optional but strongly encouraged.) Send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll tack it up on this big map we're going to hang on the office wall for this very purpose.
Read on for where you can pick up Season One at retail...[readmore]
Sam & Max Season One can be purchased at...
Best Buy Canada
Electronics Boutique Canada
Nebraska Furniture Mart
Toys R'Us Canada
(And don't forget Amazon.com.)Telltale will be at the Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle August 24-26, showing off Sam & Max Season Two and speaking at a bazillion panels. Here's where you'll find us...
Check out our current games, pick up some merchandise, and get a first look at the new Sam & Max episodes with the exclusive premiere of the Season Two cinematic trailer. We'll also be doing Season Two gameplay demos throughout the weekend!
Adventure game legends Dave Grossman and Ron Gilbert will be at the booth to sign game boxes, napkins, scraps of paper, and even body parts if that's your thing. Always wanted to ask some dorky question about a Secret of Monkey Island in-joke? Now's your chance.
If you only go to one panel at PAX, make it this one. Telltale's design leads Dave Grossman and Brendan Ferguson take the stage with CTO Kevin Bruner, technical art director Jon Sgro, and choreographer Marco Brezzo to create some Sam & Max content on the fly. You bring the ideas, we'll bring the cynicism. The result may just be hilarious.
Telltale's design director (and resident storyteller) Dave Grossman joins fellow LucasArts alum Ron Gilbert and Nate Fox of Suckerpunch to talk about the unique opportunities games provide for telling a good story.
"The hardcore community can be snarky and unpredictable yet is still the most sought after audience by game publishers." Ahh, but we love them anyway. Telltale's marketing chick Emily Morganti joins Victor Wachter (Cryptic Studios), Michael Meyers (MMPR), and Carolyn Carnes (Ubisoft) to share our views on game PR.
Sam & Max, Penny Arcade Adventures, Half Life -- episodic games have been a hot topic lately, and a few companies are leading the way in figuring out everything it can be. Representatives from Telltale, Hothead, and Valve get together to talk about what the episodic model means for gamers and for the industry.
We're getting a lot of questions on the forums about when the case files will ship, so here's a little update:
This is the first batch, that will be going out to our warehouse in tomorrow's mail and will ship to the first 500 or so customers who ordered case files starting next week. We are working as fast as we can to stuff the rest!
The new poster prints and a whole bunch of t-shirts are shipping to the warehouse tomorrow, too, if you're waiting for one of those items.
We put this video together for our Comic-Con panel and thought you fans would probably like to see it, too, so here's an early look at one of Season Two's new characters doing her thing...
If you're one of those who likes to watch promo videos over and over, grab the QuickTime version.
Also in completely unrelated news, Dank's back!On Sunday morning, a miracle happened. We checked out of the hotel, climbed into the car, and found... the camera bag! It had been hiding under the back seat the whole time. Lame.
We vowed to spend our last hours traveling the show floor to bring you nothing but the highest quality Comic-Con content, but before we set out on this quest, Max Allan Collins stopped by our booth with his son, Nate. You might not know the name, but if you're a Telltale fan you probably know his work -- Max writes the dialogue for the CSI games. We got him caught up on the status of Hard Evidence (coming to PC, Xbox 360, and Wii this fall, if you haven't been paying attention), and showed him the trailer that was released last week. We offered them a copy of 3 Dimensions of Murder, but not only do they already own that one, it turns out that Nate is also a Sam & Max fan and Season One subscriber. The kid's got taste.
The time had come to explore new ground, so Jake and I grabbed the camera and got moving. Our first stop was Steve's booth, four aisles away from ours. It was super convenient to have him so nearby. We'd been running over there throughout the show, dropping off Max for President pins and printed Interlopers, and he'd been sending people our way to check out the games. Steve even stashed the Sam & Max costume in his booth when it wasn't being worn because he had more space than us. (It was a little creepy, sitting there on the floor like a life-sized doll...)
As usual, the area around Steve's booth was crowded with fans waiting to get a book or print signed, so we lurked behind them and snapped pictures while no one was looking. In addition to the new street prints based on the Season One DVD cover, Steve had his last copies of some older prints with him, including the office print that used to be in our store and the art from the Hit the Road box. He also brought several pieces of original art, one of which was the cover of the Season One soundtrack.
Steve signing things, and receiving his Eisner from the Pope in a recreation of Friday night's award ceremony.
On Friday, we'd been told by one of the guys at Hothead that a Fone Bone costume was roaming the floor, so we decided to seek it out at Scholastic's booth. As we were walking, we came upon a Bone poster in one of the booths, with a long line of people queued up under it. "Wouldn't it be funny if Jeff Smith was here doing a signing?" I said. We rounded the corner, and lo and behold, there was Jeff Smith doing a signing. All during the show we'd heard from people that he was around, but we hadn't run into him yet and didn't realize he had his own booth. (Failure!) He was going to be around for a little while, so we said we'd be back and made our way over to Scholastic.
The Scholastic booth was like a little bookstore, with tons of Bone and Harry Potter stuff set out. We ran into a woman named Cathy, who works with the Scholastic Book Fairs in San Diego. Coincidentally, it turned out Cathy was the lucky soul who had been wearing the Bone costume during the show. We arranged a rendez-vous with our Sam & Max costume at Jeff's booth and elbowed our way back there to watch the magic unfold.
Seeing the two costumes together was really... weird. The camera inside the Bone costume wasn't working, so Cathy couldn't see anything when she was inside it. She was being escorted by her son and Steve Hamaker (who does the coloring of the Bone books), but even so, she couldn't stay in the suit for too long at a time. It took a little while for Nick to get the guy in our suit over to Steve's booth and for a few minutes it looked like the two costumes would never meet, like two ships passing in the night (or something), but then they showed up and the magic happened. People swarmed around snapping pictures, kids and grown-ups alike, shouting, "Oh look, it's Sam & Max!" and/or "Oh look, it's Bone!" (plus the occasional, "hey, is that Casper?"). It was a very surreal Comic-Con moment.
Our next stop was the Penny Arcade booth, where Gabe and Tycho were signing. We had a little chat with Jerry (aka Tycho) about the Sam & Max games and the upcoming Penny Arcade games, and then Mike (aka Gabe) drew in our sketchbook.
Left to right: Steve's drawing of Sam & Max in my Surfin' the Highway, Gabe's rendition of Sam & Max and a drawing of his own, Fone Bone courtesy of Jeff Smith.
Last but not least, we hit the Flight booth to check out the newest book, which contains a story by Telltale's good friend Graham Annable. Daniel was hoping to meet the editor, who's a high school friend of his wife's, but the booth was mobbed and we ended up just standing around awkwardly looking at the books. I plugged Flight at last year's Comic-Con and I'll do it again: this is a beautiful compilation, with a little something for everyone inside. I didn't buy it because I'd already spent all my money at Jeff's booth (on the One Volume Edition and a Fone Bone plush toy!), but I'm regretting it now.
So that's it for Comic-Con 2007. Well, not it it, because this week Nick's working on piecing together all the video he shot, but that's it for blogs. Oh, except I almost forgot to mention that the new sketchbook and poster print are now in the store...
From left to right: Dave Grossman, Mike Stemmle, and Steve Purcell. Photo care of Mike Stemmle's camera.
The story so far: Last Friday, we loaded up Jake's parents' Highlander with all the merchandise we would be selling at Comic-Con and he drove down to San Diego. The rest of us followed on airplanes a few days later, with the end result of eight Telltalians converging on Comic-Con City by Wednesday night. On Thursday, we realized we couldn't find the camera we'd so diligently packed anywhere. On Friday, Jake remembered he's packed a second camera, but that, too, had mysteriously vanished. This left us, at around two o'clock on Friday, defeated by the fact that our attempts to blog from Comic-Con would be depressingly without graphics. Which, as everyone knows, is a boring way to blog.
Elsewhere in San Diego, Mr. and Mrs. Herrera (parents of Daniel) were on their way to visit their son at the convention with a digital camera in tow. They let us borrow it, and we took a bunch of pictures of our booth and the Sam & Max costume and the LucasArts booth where every single game they ever made was encased in glass. But then! We tried to get the pictures off the card reader and somehow ended up with a corrupt file system on the memory card, effectively wiping out all the pictures we'd taken, as well as years' worth of Herrera family memories. (We're sorry.)
But then!! We had a signing at our booth with Steve Purcell, Dave Grossman, and Mike Stemmle, and Mike had a camera that he let us use. So now we have pictures, and this blog can finally be posted. Horray!
A picture taken for us by a fan named Allen Barrett, at the height of the Great Camera Despair of 2007. From left to right: Chuck, Jake, Dave, Daniel, Doug, Theodore, Emily, demo machine.
Camera woes aside, it's been a good show. On Thursday morning, we did our panel with Hothead Games, developers of the Penny Arcade Adventures. Chris Remo of Shacknews was the moderator. It was really interesting to hear Hothead's perspective because what they're doing -- and their philosophy in general -- is really similar to ours. It's like looking in a mirror (or, more accurately, looking back a year to the time right before we released the first episode of Sam & Max…)
During the panel, we teased the audience with a few concepts from Season Two and a brand new render. What, you want to see them too? Well, here you go!
On Thursday afternoon, we tried out the full-sized Sam & Max costume for the first time. We had been told the suit was built for a 5'9" wearer, so we found a guy who's 5'9" to wear it. Unfortunately for all involved, the suit is actually built for someone who's 5'6", so the pants are a little funky. But all in all it looks great, and it's hilarious to see a great big Sam lumbering around. He can't get very far without being stopped by a gaggle of picture-taking admirers, and small children run up and spontaneously hug him. (Much better than bursting into tears, which is what I was afraid of.)
Sam posing with Playboy's Miss November 1998 and a small boy. Welcome to Comic-Con. Also: Sam and Max posing with Nick, and with Mike Stemmle. Click a thumbnail for even more costume and signing pics!
Intern Nick has been following the Sam suit around with a video camera but we forgot to bring a firewire cable with us, so you'll have to wait until next week to see the spoils of these excursions. Here's a hint: Mega Man is involved.
As far as merchandise goes, we have pretty much everything we sell in our well-stocked store, plus a few new goodies. Following up on last year's The Age of S & M (which is still available right here in Telltale's store), Steve released a new sketchbook this year, called The Effigy Mound. Back by popular demand are cringe-worthy requests from the censors on the cartoon show ("Sorry, but the flatulence jokes are still unacceptable."), plus concept art and a bunch of other neat stuff most people in the world have never seen before. We also have a brand new print here, based on the art Steve did for the Season One Bonus DVD.
We know, we know, it's just not fair that we're at Comic-Con with brand new sketchbooks and a brand new print, and you're not. We can't stand to make you mad, so here's a compromise: we'll be adding the new sketchbook and print to the store in the very near future. (We would have added it already, but things like setting up products in the store are unbelievably annoying when you're in San Diego mooching off some other booth's wireless internet...)
The signing was well attended, with lots of adventure game fanboys (and girls) showing up to have discs, sketchbooks, and prints signed. I used the opportunity to get Steve to sign my copy of Surfin' the Highway (I'll scan the picture and post it once I get back home, because it's awesome.)
One last little gem: Steve's Sam & Max webcomic was up for Best Digital Comic in Friday night's Eisner Awards... and and he won! He got a trophy and everything. We'd take a picture of it for you to see... if only we had a camera.Thank god Chuck's here at Comic-Con. Read what he wrote about it on his blog while you're waiting for us to update this one.Not to be outdone by this week's CSI announcements, Sam & Max are elbowing their way back into the news with the official word that Season Two is a reality, and it'll be coming to GameTap and Telltale's website this fall. To celebrate the announcement, here's a brand new render featuring a character and environment you've never seen before.
One big difference this time around is that the episodes will be available from Telltale's site just one day after their exclusive launch on GameTap, instead of 15 days. For more details and quotes from important people, read the press release.
In other news, Comic-Con starts tomorrow, and we'll be covering the show with frantic blog postings throughout the weekend. We'll also be releasing some more Season Two stuff and adding new Sam & Max merch to the store. Come back with your wallet!
(Also, for anyone who's wondering, History of Sam & Max part four is on its way. Jake's already in San Diego and he ran into some problems posting it remotely, but those should get straightened out later today.)Hot on the heels of yesterday's console announcement and screenshots, today we bring you this nice little trailer, courtesy of the folks over at Ubisoft.
Can't stand the heat? Then get out of the crime scene. (Heehee.)After months and months of coy smiles and clever aversions, we can finally confirm that yes, we are still working on CSI: Hard Evidence, and there's more going on than meets the eye. Ubisoft officially announced today that in addition to the PC version, Hard Evidence will be simultaneously released on Xbox 360 and Wii -- and we're the ones putting the console releases together!
These are our first console releases, and it's been super exciting to get the tools working on the consoles... not to mention the technical improvements, like widescreen support, that will also make it into the PC version as a result. Releases on all three platforms are scheduled for this fall, so very soon you'll get to see how cool it is, too!
Until then, here are some new screenshots to make you giddy with excitement, in all their widescreen glory...
Another CSI goodie will be coming your way on this very blog tomorrow, so be sure to check back then!
When was the last time you walked into your retailer of choice, plucked a Sam & Max game off the shelf, and bought it on the spot? If your answer is "Way back in 1993" (or alternatively "I had no spending money in 1993" or "I lived on a desert island in 1993" or "I wasn't even born yet in 1993"), you're in luck. Starting this August, Sam & Max will be showing their pretty little faces in retail stores for the first time since we were all wearing parachute pants.
For your convenience, we've put together this handy list of North American retailers who will be carrying the games.
EB Games Canada
What's that? Too lazy to walk into a store and dig out your wallet? Why not preorder now at Amazon? You'll still have to dig out your wallet, but there's none of that pesky walking involved!
In addition to the spiffy box pictured above (we know how you fans love your spiffy boxes), the retail release includes the 6-episode Season One on CD, along with a bonus CD cram-packed with a behind-the-scenes video and other extras. Plus you get a poster version of the cover art Steve did for the August 2006 Computer Gaming World cover right inside the box!
(Note that this retail release is completely different than the bonus DVD we put together for our Season One customers. What's a self-respecting Sam & Max fan to do? Why, get them both, of course!)
Sam & Max in a box on retail shelves. It's the day you thought would never come. You have permission to weep openly.