Mark of the damned

Posted on April 2007 by TelltaleGames

Whoa. Have you guys taken a look at the top comment on the Sam & Max MySpace page lately? You should, because today on the comments page, you'll see some scary (but perhaps awesome?*) skeletal Max goodness, inked forever into the arm of "The Curmudgeon." Anyone else who wants 249 MySpace friends like The Curmudgeon, well, now you know what it takes.

* Still scary, though.

Sam & Max trivia contest - win something cool!

Posted on March 2007 by TelltaleGames

This morning Steve came in for a meeting, and when he let his guard down for a few minutes I dropped a pile of Game Developer magazines and a Sharpie in his lap and made puppy-dog eyes at him until he signed them. So now I have five signed Game Developer magazines, with Steve's Sam & Max autopsy art on the front cover and a big honkin' Sam & Max: Season 1 post-mortem inside. What better reason to have a contest?

All you have to do is answer the questions below -- preferably correctly, but that's your call -- and email your answers, along with your name and address, to We'll toss all the entries with correct answers into a hat and pull out three lucky winners next week. And as for the other two copies... well, we're an equal opportunity place around here, so we'll draw for those last two out of the pool of incorrect entries. Everyone can be a winner!

And so, without further ado, we bring you...

This stylish magazine could be yours!

The First Annual Whenever-We-Feel-Like-It Sam & Max Trivia Contest

  1. What was the name of the first Sam & Max comic, and what year was it published?

  2. What is the name of Sam & Max's next-door neighbor?

  3. What crime fighting-canine does Sam hate to be compared to?

  4. Name two amusement park rides that Sam & Max can go on in the 1993 game Sam & Max Hit the Road.

  5. What's the name of Sam & Max's female friend in the Sam & Max Freelance Police cartoon series?

  6. What's the name of Brady Culture's TV show, and what year was it cancelled?

  7. In The Mole, The Mob, and The Meatball, the freelance police play poker with a guy dressed in black. What's his name, and who does he look like?

  8. What kind of gun does Max carry?

  9. Who invented Sam & Max?

  10. How old are each of the Soda Poppers?

The contest closes Friday, April 6, at 9:00 a.m. California time. We'll announce the winners the following Monday. Only one entry per person, please!

This contest is now closed. Winners have been drawn and will be announced shortly!

Reviewers to Episode 4: "We love you!"

Posted on March 2007 by TelltaleGames

So tomorrow episode 5 comes out on GameTap, but that doesn't mean episode 4 is gone and forgotten. I won't bore you with a long list of review links this time around, but here are a few of the highlights:

  • GameTunnel has chosen Abe Lincoln Must Die as "Game of the Month" on its March Indie Game roundup. (Well, it's tied for game of the month with an RPG called Loonyland II: Winter Woods... does that make it Game of the Fortnight?) The illustrious panel also gave the episode a Gold Award. Woo!

  • After a lukewarm response to episode 3, Mixnmojo has awarded episode 4 five skulls. (It's their highest honor!) I think The Tingler likes us again.

  • Adventure Gamers' not-always-easy-to-please Evan Dickens gave the episode four and a half stars, his highest Season 1 score to date, and says it's "easily the funniest of the series."

  • GameSpy really liked the episode as well, also giving it four and a half stars and calling it "a harbinger of great things to come."

  • PC Gamer, 1UP / Games for Windows, and Joystiq have also given this episode their highest scores yet. Lots more good reviews can be found over at GameRankings.

If for some bizarre reason you're still not convinced that you need to play Abe Lincoln Must Die this very minute, maybe the much lauded War Song will inspire you? (Also available for download here.)

Obligatory marketing message: Don't forget, if you already bought one Sam & Max episode, you can get the whole Season 1 kit and kaboodle for just $26! All the info you need about this upgrade deal is right here.

(If you try to upgrade and are told your order doesn't contain a qualifying product, please email us and we'll fix it right away. We just uncovered a database problem preventing some valid orders from being recognized.)

Vote Max in '08!

Posted on March 2007 by TelltaleGames

It's official. A group of concerned citizens has decided to jumpstart Max's 2008 presidential campaign (whether he likes it or not), with a little funding help from various prestigious organizations around the globe. Tired of Hillary? Suspicious of Edwards? Can't remember the names of the rest of the candidates? Then head over to and find out how a little lagomorph that could is setting the stage for a landslide presidential victory.

This latest machinima short should give you an idea of his policies...

Also this week: Episode 5 comes out on GameTap on Thursday!

New Sam & Max MP3 downloads!

Posted on March 2007 by TelltaleGames

It's been a while (months!) since the last soundtrack update, but happier times are here at last! Our composer, Jared Emerson-Johnson (hailing from Bay Area Sound) found some time between episodes 5 and 6 to bounce out some new MP3s for all to enjoy! So, yes, we've added four new tracks from Sam & Max Season 1 to the Sam & Max Soundtracks page, which you should hurry up and go download.

From episode 3 we have "Ted E Bear's Mafia-Free Playland and Casino" (the track which plays on the casino floor), from episode 4 we have "Lincoln vs. Max" (which plays on the White House lawn) and "Consecutive Office" (the background for the Oval Office under two different ruling powers), and we have a sneak peak from episode 5, Reality 2.0, called "Combat Begin!!" Download and enjoy!

Reality 2.0: A new reality awaits...

Posted on March 2007 by TelltaleGames

Yep, it's that time again! Another episode is on its way out the door, which means it's time to start teasing our beloved fans with some content.

Today we bring you a set of six screenshots and a delicious trailer for Sam & Max episode 5, Reality 2.0. Head over to the Sam & Max page to see the goods. This baby will be landing on GameTap March 29, and will magically appear on our site on April 12.

In other news, machinima #11 will be up on the Sam & Max page in the very near future. Until then, feast your eyes on machinima #10, War Games (and any others you may have missed).

EDIT: Machinima #11 is now up! What a great day this turned out to be.

A blog about t-shirts

Posted on March 2007 by TelltaleGames

[shameless pimping]

This week we have a few t-shirt happenings in the Telltale store...

  • The DeSoto shirt is being discontinued. That's right, Telltale's first foray into the wonderful world of t-shirts is reaching the end of its run, which means if you've been waiting to buy your DeSoto shirt, the time to act is now! We have limited supplies of XL, L, and M shirts and when they're gone, they're gone forever, so buy now or forever hold your peace.

  • [readmore]
  • Small and medium men's Max & Crossbones shirts are now in stock. The smalls are brand new. We received a few requests for smaller men's shirts as of late, so we decided to take the plunge and print some up. The mediums were sold out for a while, but they're back now.

  • Max & Crossbones girl shirts are cool! These aren't a new addition to the store, but they are a personal favorite of mine and I will continue singing their praises until the day I die. Just in case you're not sure what a girl shirt looks like, here's a visual aid. If you're a girl -- or if you know a girl -- then you have no excuse not to buy one of these pretties.

All sizes and styles of Max & Crossbones shirts can be found right here. And don't forget we have stylish hats, too!

[/shameless pimping]

GDC 2007 in review

Posted on March 2007 by TelltaleGames

Ahh, last week I was so optimistic. We fully intended to bring you all sorts of great GDC coverage, complete with pictures, play-by-play commentary, and goofy video footage. And then... well... GDC happened. It was great, for a bazillion different reasons, but it also sucked the life out of us. Which is why it's been almost a week and we're just posting about it now.

First things first: Here's a picture of our mini-booth in the IGF area of the expo floor. (Thanks to Heather for taking a picture... she was the only one who remembered!) Having a space like this where we could meet people and stash the swag we'd picked up around the show is a godsend. I shudder to think how we're ever going to survive next year without it. (Guess we'll just have to make another game worthy of being nominated...)

Our intern Nick spent the most time at the booth, showing off Cow Race to the curious passers-by and shooting the breeze with whoever came up to him. Seriously, the kid's a born schmoozer (and the rest of us were very appreciative!)

On Wednesday night, the IGF and Game Developers Choice awards kicked off with some Sam & Max machinima shorts that we made special for the event. [readmore] Here's one of them (all fuzzy and You-Tubey until we have time to convert it to the right format ourselves). The other two can be viewed here and here.

You can download prettier QuickTime versions of all three IGF shorts from these links:

We didn't win the awards we were up for, but the ceremony was still a lot of fun (especially some of the speeches given by the IGF winners). The best part must have been the Mega64 skits that played during the Game Developer's Choice awards, this one in particular.

One of the other highs of the show was seeing the Game Developer with Sam & Max on the cover pretty much everywhere we went. We brought a stack back to the office so everyone would be able to take a copy for themselves and one to send home to Mom.

I got to go to several panels, the best of which was the very last lecture on Friday afternoon, given by gaming academic Ernest Adams. It was about storytelling and "perceived difficulty" in games, and a lot of what he talked about made me think of Sam & Max. Hopefully he will post his lecture slides on his website because I'd be interested to hear what our fans -- especially those who think the Sam & Max games are too easy -- think about his theories regarding what makes a game seem difficult, and how that relates to what makes a game fun.

Thanks to our IGF nomination and the generosity of the folks at GDC, we got a bunch of passes for the show, which meant a bunch of people could attend. Here's what some of them thought of the event.

Graham: Best moment: The Microsoft lecture where the speaker suggested a self-spell-correcting programming editor, quickly followed by an agonized "NOOOOOOOO" from an audience member and lots of laughter.

Jake: Worst moment: Finding out I had eaten dinner one table away from Miyamoto an hour after I went home.

Charlie: I enjoyed to opportunity to talk with co-workers from the past. It was like a class reunion. The GDC is one of the only ways that this is possible. Also, the programming sessions that I attended broadened the scope of my interests. I've been reminded of relevant programming subjects. For example, threading support for quad-core CPUs.

(Ahh, programmers.)

Daniel: This was my first time going to GDC with a Classic Pass with a bunch of people I knew. Seeing familiar faces makes everything much more fun from the quick chat between sessions to cheering Sam and Max and Bone on in the awards show. Another great thing was having the privilege of going to GDC lectures for the first time. Even though some were more on the "let us show you our software features so you buy it" side of things, most of them were about industry professionals with solid experience sharing their knowledge with the rest of the community. I am grateful for the opportunity to learn and enjoy some time with good people and I am happy that there is a place that nurtures the community that we are all a part of. That said, I probably will not take 3 days off for GDC again. I also saw a frog near the lake. It was green.

Dave G: After Kevin and I spoke on Monday, one of the IGDA scholarship winners came over and told me that they were all getting together to show their projects to each other. So I went. A couple of the games were really interesting, and for the rest of the week I felt like I’d seen something really cool that everybody else missed. Oh, and lots of people were excited about episodic development and wanted to talk about it, which was also kind of neat.

Marco: I attended a Technical Artists roundtable discussion in hopes that it would solidify a definition of the position in the industry. I learned that no two people in that room did the same set of tasks and that there is no solid definition of what a technical artist is. It’s pretty much whatever.

Greg: Going to GDC this year reminded me of what I loved about attending college. I liked picking courses that appealed to me at the moment. I liked bringing coffee into the sessions and then spotting a buddy across the room and joining them to watch. I enjoyed sharing my knowledge by participating in a round-table. I also enjoyed learning from the sessions I went to. And best of all -- even better than college –- I loved having no homework!

So, that's a wrap on GDC. Now it's time to start thinking about Comic-Con...

Our final Grickle contest winner

Posted on March 2007 by TelltaleGames

Grickle Contest Winner #3

The Amazing Flying Plumber

by Jude Austin

Anyone wandering along my road on a pleasant September morning five years ago might have been happy to pause for a minute and listen to the sounds of nature. They go something like this:

"Cheep cheep" as the sweet little birds serenade the cool morning.

"Skritcha-skritch" as the happy squirrel races headfirst down the tree and starts hunting for food.

"Miaow" as one or more of the local cats catches sight of the happy squirrel and starts to stalk it.

"Chatter-wham-screech-patpatpatpatpat" as the local cat leaps for the happy squirrel, which accelerates at Mach One up a tree just in time for the cats to thud into it and get bombarded by various objects by the sweet and now irate little birds.

Hey, it could happen.

If that person should chance to look up, however, they may see something more sinister; a desperate-looking man frantically attempting to spell out the word HELP by sticking pizza boxes onto the window.

Okay, enough scene setting. Rewind.

At the tender age of nineteen I had been living in my apartment for a few months now (as the amount of takeout cartons and pizza boxes scattered all over the place could bear witness). Our story starts a week or so earlier, when I turned on the shower and found the hot water wasn't getting through. No problem. I call the plumber and he says he'll be there next Tuesday.

Admittedly this is something of a small problem; I'm one of these people who feels dirty if they don't get AT LEAST two showers a day (it's usually three, and four is not unknown). For a week I was resigned to running cold water, mixing it with boiling water from the kettle and using that. Not fun. So much for playing the Helpless Female card to get quick service.

Still, the Big Day finally came, and it went something like this:

9.20am: I let plumber in.

9.24: Plumber wiggles shower button to see what problem is.

9.24.30s: Sudden flash of insecurity; what if the shower works perfectly? What if it was all my imagination? Ever since what is now referred to as The AA Man Incident, I'm very wary of such things. Don't ask.

9.25: Shower delivers freezing cold water. Plumber puts hand in to test
temperature, accidentally diverts water into face.

9.25.03s: Much spluttering from plumber.

9.26: Plumber says he can fix the problem, but it will probably take all day.

9.26.05s: Much spluttering from me.

9.28: Plumber takes out big impressive looking tool. Leaves other tools in
workbox for now.

9.29: I tell plumber I'm going into town for the day (I feel very uncomfortable just sitting while other people around me work)

9.29.10s: Show plumber where tea and coffee are. I never drink that stuff
anyway; someone might as well use it.

9.30: I walk out of flat, mind occupied with problems at work.

1.20pm: I walk out of cinema and suddenly remember I may have locked front door on my way out.

1.21: Find four messages on mobile from father confirming this. Good thing
plumber didn't have MY mobile number.

1.23: I phone father, who says plumber has - in a last desperate bid for
freedom - opened window and climbed out of it. To this day I'm not sure how he managed it since I live on the first floor.

1.25: Hide in public library until they close. Not too bad either; read four books and saw the float carnival pass by through one of the windows.

6.00: Get home to find plumber gone. Find message saying that despite his using ladder to climb up and down into my flat, bringing in the parts he needs, plumber still has not managed to fix shower. Will be coming back tomorrow.

8.00am the following morning: Put note and key in envelope under doormat, then flee Wrath of Plumber to public library again.

6.00pm: Shower working again! YAY!

2002 - present day: Get teased mercilessly by friends and family. Even my
grandmother still says things along the lines of, "You haven't got a plumber in your flat this time, have you?"

2002 - present day: Pray that shower never needs fixing again. Been lucky so far, but who knows what future holds?

Abe Lincoln Must Die now available for everyone!

Posted on March 2007 by TelltaleGames

Stay frosty, America!

That's right, for just $8.95 (or $0 if you're already a Season 1 customer) you can find out why websites like GameSpy are saying Abe Lincoln Must Die is "easily the best entry in the series to date" – just head on over to our Sam & Max page and get the game today. The Oval Office will never be the same.

If you're a Season 1 customer and you haven't downloaded episode 4 yet, you'll find easy-to-follow instructions right here. And if you've already bought an individual episode and would like to become a Season 1 customer, don't forget you qualify for a discount!

What's new in March?

You may have noticed that we haven't sent out a Telltale Interloper yet in 2007. It turns out that releasing a game each month AND putting together a content-filled newsletter is a little taxing for our three-person web staff. (Plus, Outlook 2007 does really ugly things with HTML emails, which makes us sad.) So, we'll be doing what we have internally dubbed mini-newsletters from here on out. Watch for the Interloper's triumphant return sometime after Sam & Max Season 1 wraps up.

Here's the rundown of what's happened at Telltale in the past month or so: Lots more Telltale news can be found on our regularly-updated blog.

The Grickle contest's cringeworthy winners...

Posted on March 2007 by TelltaleGames

We asked (again), and you listened! This time around we had over a dozen entries for our "tell us your awkward story, win a rare, signed copy of Grickle" contest. Graham picked through them to select his two favorites, then slaved over a hot drawing table to illustrate them to perfection.

Our lucky winners, Todd Kolbuck and Jude Austin, will be receiving two of the last remaining copies of Graham's first book, Grickle, on their doorsteps in the near future. Autographed, no less.

Here's one of the winning entries, for your cringing pleasure. The other one will be dragged onto this very blog, kicking and screaming, later in the week.

Many thanks to everyone who entered, and to Graham for supplying the prizes and illustrating the winning entries!


Grickle Contest Winner #2

The Story that STILL Makes Me Cringe

by Todd Kolbuck

When I was about 17, I had a part-time job working at a big box toy store. I was hired, along with 20 other people to cover the Christmas rush. One of the girls I worked with was absolutely gorgeous, and I offered to drive her home on a particularly cold winter's night.

So we're in the car, but I'm so intimidated by how attractive she is that I can barely think or speak.

I'm working up the nerve to say something smart, when she asks me, "So, where do you live?"

I very suavely replied... "I'm not sure".

The rest of the ride home was very VERY quiet.

Thankfully, a few months later, she transferred out to the west coast and I didn't have to face her IN PERSON ever again.

However... about a year later... in a funny twist of fate, it turned out she had become a professional model! A successful one I suppose, she had her picture in virtually every store in the mall where I worked!

I couldn't go for lunch or walk out to my car without remembering that conversation.

It's been 15 years, and it STILL makes me cringe.

GDC - also known as A Week of Debauchery

Posted on March 2007 by TelltaleGames

GDC is here, and we started the week off well with a party hosted by us, attended by many, and overflowing with drinks that were enjoyed by all (possibly enjoyed too well). Among the guests were some guys from Joystiq who were not afraid to wield a camera and a microphone in their intoxicated states. The result - Steve Purcell in an alley talking about the Power Rangers. Life is good.

Also worth checking out -- a slightly less intoxicated interview with Dave Grossman, and Kotaku's account of the morning after. We shot some video ourselves, but have come to a tacit agreement that the tape should be melted down and then run over with a semi. (What happens at GDC stays at GDC?)

Party aside, the highlight of the day for me was getting my first glimpse at the March Game Developer with Sam & Max on the cover. The ad to the right is included in the GDC tote bag handed out to every participant, which is great exposure for the game. This one is all crumpled and soiled from being pulled out of and shoved back into my pocket all night as I ran around the bar showing it to everyone. I can't wait to get my hands on the magazine itself later this week. Plus there's the special Sam & Max appearance at the awards ceremony... we'll be able to tell you more about that later in the week!

Unfortunately we weren't able to tape Dave and Kevin's talk at the Independent Game Summit yesterday (a combination of bad luck, bad timing, and a volunteer in a yellow shirt who wouldn't let me into the room even after I showed him my tattoos), but we did get Sunday's WonderCon panel on video and will be putting it up for your viewing pleasure at some point in the future.

Sam & Max ep4 delayed by negative 7 days

Posted on March 2007 by TelltaleGames

That's right, Season 1 customers can get Abe Lincoln Must Die! starting today, a full week before the general episode 4 release on March 8.

Why? Well, there are many reasons, but one of the biggest is that we love you.

If you're a Season 1 customer you should have received an email today with a download link. Didn't get it? Go here for other download options.

As Abe Lincoln would say, "The time to act is now..."

Lotsa stuff going in March...

Posted on February 2007 by TelltaleGames

March is shaping up to be one of the busiest months for us since... well... never mind, every month is a busy month for us. But in March, we're getting out of the office!

Here's where we'll be. Will you be there too? If yes, come see us!

  • Wondercon - San Francisco, March 4

    Wondercon is the little brother of San Diego Comic-Con, and it promises to be just as much fun. We'll be doing a roundtable discussion on Sunday at 1:30 in Room 220, in which Dave Grossman, Brendan Ferguson, Dave Bogan, Steve Purcell, and Jared Emerson-Johnson will discuss the highs and lows of making Sam & Max: Season 1. The panel will be moderated by Jon Gibson of i am 8-bit.

    Also on Sunday, Telltale animator Jeff Sarre's short film, "Swinging," will be shown in Room 250 as part of the San Francisco International Children's Film Festival. It'll go on sometime between 12:45 and 1:45... just in time for you to check it out, and show up at the panel fashionably late! The premise? "Two shoes start up an old record player and begin to dance. Find out what happens when a lonely glove tries to join in." There is nothing more heartwarming than a lonely glove. I can't wait.

  • GDC - San Francisco, March 5-9

    With E3 in limbo this year, the Game Developer's Conference is looking to be a great big orgy of gaming goodness... and Telltale's going to be all over it. We start on Monday, when Kevin and Dave G. talk about episodic gaming for indie developers as part of the Independent Games Festival. This will be taking place Monday, at 4:15 in Room 3018, West Hall.

    Not to be outdone, Dan will be speaking on a panel entitled "Early Lessons in Digital Distribution" along with Ric Sanchez from GameTap and some other people whose names I'm not sure about because the GDC sessions list database thingie isn't working for me right now. But it'll be great, I promise! This one's at 4:00 on Wednesday in Room 3020, West Hall.

    But wait, there's more! Bone: The Great Cow Race is up for an IGF award, so we'll be showing that game at a kiosk in the IGF Pavilion. This demo will be staffed by various and sundry Telltale employees Wednesday through Friday, so if you're at the show, stop by and say hi! (Voting's still open for the IGF Audience Award, too...) Plus, Culture Shock is up for a Game Developer's Choice writing award, and Sam & Max will be making a special appearance of sorts at Wednesday's awards ceremony.

    And then there's one other surprise that happens to coincide with GDC... Sam & Max will be featured on the cover of Game Developer magazine, with a mid-season post-mortem contained within the magazine's esteemed pages. Not to be outshone (outshined?) by last August's CGW, this magazine will have another super cool painting by Steve Purcell on the cover. This is the March issue, and we're told it'll be all over GDC, so if you're at the show make sure to grab a copy.

  • SXSW - March 11

    Dan will barely have had time to recover from the GDC festivities when he has to hop on a plane for Austin, TX to speak at the South by Southwest digital media conference. He'll be talking about digital distribution again (it's one of the things he does best!), and how it works for games. That talk is on Sunday at 2:00 in room 12AB. If you're in the area, you should check it out... the festival (which encompasses film, games, music, and other digital media) sounds like a lot of fun.

Besides all this, we've also got episode 4 coming out, episode 5 on the way, and all the great content that comes with releasing a new game every month. Woo.

Hey, look! It's a Sam & Max content jubilee!

Posted on February 2007 by TelltaleGames

That's right, the website has exploded with content. Again. Funny how this seems to happen on a regular basis. So, here's what we have...
  • An Abe Lincoln Must Die gameplay video. Watch Sam & Max try to talk their way into the White House, with little to no success. Besides being right here in front of you on the page, this video is also nestled cozily on the Sam & Max page and a download-friendly version can be found right here.

  • Machinima #9 - "The Blank Blank Blank". You'll find it on the Sam & Max page, along with its eight machinima brothers.

  • Sam & Max Issue #11. Yes, Steve's webcomic lives! (And so does Sam!)

  • Two new user-generated wallpapers. These come to us from graphic designer Eriq Chang, and they sure are purdy. Grab them from the Wallpapers, Avatars, and Other Stuff page. (Which, curiously enough, contains neither avatars nor "other stuff". Discuss.)

  • Sam & Max sketchbooks. Yeah, really, Sam & Max sketchbooks! These beauties are back in stock. If you're one of those who ordered while we were reprinting, your sketchbook should ship in the extremely near future. And if you've been waiting to make your purchse, now's your chance!

The other big news is that episode 4 of Sam & Max launches on GameTap tomorrow. So go watch the trailer again and get yourself giddy with excitement...

Tag, you're it.

Posted on February 2007 by TelltaleGames

Funny thing, people keep sending us pictures of Sam & Max on the sides of buildings.

First we got this email from someone we'll call "Tom" (since that's his name) who goes to school in New Jersey. Of course, schools on the east coast are full of those classic-looking brick buildings just BEGGING to be tagged with a grinning rendition of Max... so how appropriate that Tom did just that!

Bonus points to you if you can guess which campus this is (click the thumbnail for a slightly more detailed picture). And a gold star to you if you go to school there and have seen the Max tag in person!

Then there's this company called "GameTap" located in Atlanta. GameTap is part of Turner Broadcasting, which has a tendency to put billboards promoting their properties up around the Turner campus. This picture was sent to us by a friend of Jake's who goes to school at Georgia Tech.

So there you have it, two Sam & Max sightings in one short week. Where will they pop up next? [cue ominious music]

In other quasi-political news, vote for Bone!

Posted on February 2007 by TelltaleGames

Image borrowed from Bone: Eyes of the Storm. And doctored slightly. Hand puppets rule!

As you may or may not be aware, our very own Bone: The Great Cow Race is up for an IGF award (that's the Independent Games Festival, for those not in the know), and the Audience Award is now open for voting. Gamespot has demos of all the games in the running right here for your downloading and playing pleasure.

Cow Race is in great company, with games like Samorost 2, Armadillo Run, Bang! Howdy, and Castle Crashers also in contention (all of which happen to be personal favorites of Telltale staff). There's even a game called Fizz Ball, which has nothing to do with the raincoat, baseball bat, and beer version of Fizzball invented by Steve Purcell and friends in the 80s, but it's a funny coincidence all the same.

So practice your civic duty and go vote! The winning studio gets a $2,500 prize and also the warm, fuzzy feeling of knowing that it's well-loved. And let's face it, a little positive reinforcement never hurt anyone.

Abe Lincoln Must Die!

Posted on February 2007 by TelltaleGames

Episode 4 is just around the corner, and the freelance police are taking on their most powerful adversary yet -- the President of the United States. Buckle your seatbelts, because the DeSoto's headed for Washington D.C. for a political showdown, Sam & Max style.

Episode 4 launches on February 22 (next week!) on GameTap, and March 8 here on our site. You can check out some screenshots on the Sam & Max page.

For those who want to watch the trailer over and over, you'll find a WMV version right here.

Sam & Max in: Coffee

Posted on February 2007 by TelltaleGames

Another week, another Machinima short. This week's short, "Coffee," was again written by Steve Purcell, and was cobbled together in the Telltale cutscene tool by yours truly! If you haven't been keeping up on the shorts, you can view all 8 by clicking here, or clicking the "Machinima Shorts" button on the Sam & Max page. By the time episode 6 comes out, we'll have churned out 15 of these guys!

In other news, episode 4 more or less wrapped up today! Pending a couple tweaks and some last minute squinty glares from QA it's all ready to go! We've got some other nice surprises in the works too, which should, well, surprise you! Enjoy the short!

"Secret Writing Project X"

Posted on February 2007 by TelltaleGames

Last month, eagle-eyed players may have noticed an extra name scroll by in the "Written By" area of Situation: Comedy's closing credits. One "Jeff Lester," to be precise. More recently, those same players (and human-eyed players as well) may have noticed that in The Mole, The Mob, and The Meatball, Jeff's name got a lot bigger, and muscled its way from the closing credits to the opening ones. Who the heck is this guy?[readmore]

Starting with episode two, Dave and Brendan decided that it was time to get a few more hands on deck in the dialog department. While those two guys, Steve Purcell, and the rest of the Telltale design squad still hash out the scenarios, the plot, the puzzles, and write a good portion of the dialog, these games have a lot of talking. For instance, Sam and Max combined have well over a thousand lines per episode (sometimes getting close to two thousand), which is a heap of dialog to write every month!

In the search for more writers, Jeff fell into our lap by way of being thrown there by his longtime friend, Telltale animator Tim Reardon. As for the results, I think that everyone will agree that we couldn't be happier with the writing of episodes two and three. My favorite part, though, is that (though I didn't know it at the time) Jeff is a lifelong Sam & Max fan. Apparently this is a man who has spent the last twenty years in love with the comics, citing the Epic Color Collection as one of his favorite books of all time. Clearly an awesome guy!

Jeff has written up a bit about his experience working on episodes two and three in his blog - wherein he's been referring to the gig as "Secret Writing Project X" for the last few months. All are encouraged to give it a read and send him a good word for his excellent contribution to the games!

Episode 3 is here!!!1!

Posted on February 2007 by TelltaleGames

Well, launch day has come and gone once more, and we're a little tired. But that shouldn't stop YOU from downloading and playing Sam & Max episode 3, The Mole, The Mob, and The Meatball, RIGHT NOW!

If you're already a season 1 customer, this page will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about getting episode 3 (but were afraid to ask). And if you haven't taken the plunge yet, Ted E. Bear's Mafia-free Playland and Casino is a great place to start! Just mosey on over to Telltale's store, click a few buttons, and you'll be up and running.

So, go play it. You'll love it. And you'll have the Ted E. Bear theme song rolling around in your head for months. It might even make you a little bit crazy. Like we are. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Sam & Max to walk the red carpet

Posted on February 2007 by TelltaleGames

Figuratively speaking, anyway.

The nominees for this year's Game Developer's Choice awards have been announced, and Sam & Max: Culture Shock is up for Best Writing, along with Dreamfall, Bully, Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. For those who aren't familiar, the Game Developer's Choice awards are one of the highlights of GDC, which takes place in San Francisco in March.

Speaking of GDC, Kevin and Dave Grossman will be giving a presentation about episodic gaming for indie developers, and Dan is participating in a talk about digital distribution. We'll also be showing off The Great Cow Race since it's up for an IGF award for best audio, so if you're going to be at the show, stop by the IGF Pavilion and come say hi!

And hey... only one more day until Sam & Max episode 3 comes out on this very website. Woo!

Sam & Max in: A bunch of short videos you missed

Posted on February 2007 by TelltaleGames

The big day is almost here again! Sam & Max episode 3: The Mole, The Mob, and The Meatball is set to land on Telltale's site in just three days (that's February 8th for those counting down at home). To pass the time while we wait, I figured I'd let you know what's up in the world of Telltale's short time-wasting web videos.

A new Sam & Max episode a month may seem like blindingly fast to many (it does to us!), but some of you out there need something to keep you occupied at all hours of the day lest you make the lives of those around you a living hell. Well, here at Telltale we say "let the baby have his bottle!"

To placate the rambunctious masses, and to give us something to do in our copious time off, we've been releasing heaps and heaps of videos on our Sam & Max page. Have you missed any? They come in two flavors:

1. Machinima Shorts: The Sam & Max machinima shorts are a series of quick minute-long movies starring Sam and Max, built entirely in the Telltale Tool! Machinima shorts come out once a week in 3-week bursts, starting right around when we release a new Sam & Max episode on our site. Though the writer varies from short to short, this week's, titled "Interrogation," was penned by Steve Purcell!

2. Interim Theater: For those times when the Machinima Shorts - and the games themselves - still aren't enough, there's the Interim Theater. Interim Theater is a loose collection of clips, from short near-pointless footage of Sam & Max standing around their office with nothing to do, to age-old Flash cartoons that time forgot, to some footage of Steve Purcell drawing Max in people's books at Comic-Con while casually contemplating holding a razor blade to his eye. Basically if we find anything of note crammed between the cushions of the Telltale virtual couch, up it goes!

New Interim Theaters usually appear in the two weeks between GameTap's premiere and Telltale's international release of a new Sam & Max episode, and new Machinima Shorts are posted almost weekly, on Mondays or Tuesdays, all available on the Sam & Max page.

If you want to catch up on videos, you can browse the archives on the Sam & Max page, too. Enjoy!

A contest that has nothing to do with Sam & Max

Posted on February 2007 by TelltaleGames

Okay, here's an embarrassing story... we had this great idea for a contest and no one entered.

Well, that's not quite true. One person entered, and therefore he wins! We love you, Daniel Løke!

So, we still have two signed (and incredibly rare) Grickle books to give away. All you have to do is send us your witty, ~500 word story about something awkward or lame that happened to you. Send you story to by February 15 and you just might win a prize!

And here's the winning story from round one...

Grickle Contest Winner #1

The Wrong Side of the Bed

by Daniel Løke

I woke up by the sound and excruciating pain of myself falling to the ground, and as I attempted to climb back up on my feet, I noticed that time was way later than it should have been. I pulled on some pants in a hurry, and ran for the kitchen to acquire some digestible substances to go. Opening the refrigerator, two options unfolded themselves before my eyes: Expired milk or a brown banana. First I went for the banana, and shoved it into my mouth so fast I couldn’t even taste the foulness of its atrocious taste, and then I drank the milk without giving it a second thought. I grabbed a couple of socks, pulled them on, and leapt into my saggy shoes so fast even Lucky Luke would envy me my speed. [readmore]

As I left through the door and headed for my bicycle, I could feel raindrops falling onto my much exposed skin. Wearing only a t-shirt in a situation where time was clearly of the essence, I surrendered myself to the nakedness, and jumped onto the bike. A little too late to do anything about it, I noticed that the rear tire was flat, but continued to bike whilst being shaken like Bond's martini, and the expired milk going through my digestive system evolved into milkshake.

As I approached my destination – the school which I attended on a semi-regular basis – I noticed that it seemed too quiet, and sensed some uneasiness in the air. I stopped the bike outside the main entrance, and stared into the dark, empty halls through the thick glass of the door. I threw the bike, or what was left of it, to the ground, and begun hammering my head against the concrete wall.

After a few minutes of contemplating the mere silliness of the situation, I turned around, only to be looking into the eyes of the girl of my dreams – the girl I had had a crush on for God knows how long.

"Hi there. Are you okay?" she asked. I stuttered and uttered strange sounds, mostly because my brain was too exhausted to figure out something to say.

"Hi... I'm nokay," was the brilliance that I allowed to escape from my mouth. The girl smiled, nodded, and slightly intimidated as she must have been, she moved off. I don't know what scared her off the most – the odour, the crazy look in my eyes, or the fact that I was standing outside school on what appeared to be a Saturday, knocking my head against the wall. She walked off, and never looked back.

As I walked home, having dumped my piece of crap-bicycle, I was followed by a dark cloud on the sky, pouring acid rain down on me. Entering my good, literally old apartment, I slowly paced towards the bathroom to wash my face and brush my teeth now that time was suddenly abundant. I turned on the faucet, and threw cold water in my face. Now that my heart rate had dropped from above average to below, I stared into the mirror, and sighed at the sight of my own appearance. My hair was a bush, I had a moustache of expired milk, and looking down on my feet, I realized one of my socks was a pinkish colour, while the other appeared to be black.

I walked into my bedroom, stared at my bed, and marvelled at its beauty. Thinking how I had met the girl of my dreams at my most beautiful, I threw myself into bed, and couldn't help but think, before I fell into a sweet comatose of sleep, "who gives a damn?"

The Mole, The Mob, and The Meatball review round-up #1

Posted on January 2007 by TelltaleGames

Another month, another episode, and so far The Mole, The Mob, and The Meatball is holding its own in the polls. Here are the reviews that have come out so far:

English Foreign Language More to come, I'm sure...

Also, since you're here, why not check out the latest installment of interim theater? Hmm?

Telltale week in review: Episode 3, Music galore, Return of Dank, and more!

Posted on January 2007 by TelltaleGames

Happy Friday! Geez, happy Friday evening even! (Where did the day go?) I know some of you don't visit every single page on Telltale's site every single day, so here's a handy update covering what's gone on in the world of the Telltale Web this week. There's some good stuff in here, so pay attention:

  1. Sam & Max episode 3 is out on GameTap! Everyone who is currently enjoying Sam & Max via GameTap should be up to their knees in The Mole, The Mob, and The Meatball. The episode launched on the GameTap network yesterday to much fanfare, and probably a little prancing. So, if you're on GameTap and you haven't played it yet, get on it! (A review roundup will be appearing shortly, because Emily loves those.)

  2. The Sam & Max Interim Theater is back! With Sam & Max: The Mole, The Mob, and The Meatball now up and running on GameTap, that means it's only two weeks until the episode shows up on our site! We realize that for some, this two week wait can be painful, boring, depressing even. To remedy this, we've dug down deep into the sticky, disgusting crevices of the Telltale Virtual Couch to find anything remotely bright and colorful we can wave at you in the meantime, hopefully bringing a smile to your dour face.

    First up, we have a short piece of animation by Telltale friend, Creative Director emeritus, and creator of Dank, Graham Annable. Look for more Graham, and more Interim Theater in the coming days! Check it out on the Sam & Max page.

  3. A new page of Dank went up! Speaking of Graham... his comic's back! After six months of wallowing in webcomic obscurity, everyone's favorite caveman inventor has returned, and lo and behold, he's brought continuity! Join Dank in the search for his pal Gok, who disappeared sometime in the six months Dank was away dreaming of skeletons. Catch up on the last three pages, and keep your eyes peeled for more Dank very soon!

  4. New Sam & Max soundtrack MP3s are here! The onslaught of audio goodies just doesn't let up. This week we put up three new tracks from Situation: Comedy, and as a bonus gift, you'll also find a track - the Ted E. Bear Waltz - from the upcoming third episode, "The Mole, The Mob, and The Meatball." Check them out on the newly opened Sam & Max Season One soundtrack page!

  5. Fan wallpapers galore! Let me level with you here: your desktop's been looking a little, how do I say, totally lame, lately. Perhaps you should remedy this by downloading one of two excellent new fan-created wallpapers from Telltale? On the Sam & Max wallpapers page you can find a nicely drawn wallpaper by Alan Graham. Or, on the Bone wallpapers page, you can find one by wallpaper designer Brad Custer commemorating the Mac release of Out From Boneville from a few months back.

  6. Telltale is hiring! Yes, it's hiring time, and we have four positions available. We're looking for a Senior Software Engineer, a Character Rigger/Animator, a QA/Game Tester, and (gasp!) a Wii Systems Programmer. If any of those sound like you, please drop us an email, or check out our jobs page for more information.
That's about it for this week! Next week ushers in the full-force return of Interim Theater, the promised review roundup, and probably some screenshots or something! If you think I missed anything from this week, let me know in the comments.

Situation: Comedy review round-up #2

Posted on January 2007 by TelltaleGames

Part of the beauty of this episodic thing is that with games coming out monthly -- and shorts coming out weekly in between -- there's always something Sam & Max-y going on. (Well, it's beautiful in theory. In practice it can be a little overwhelming...) In the true spirit of episodic content, today we bring you another list of episode 2 reviews... on the very day that episode 3 launched on GameTap! Of course this means that episode 3 reviews are starting to trickle out. (So far, so good.) We'll have some links to those post haste.

Till then, bask in this Situation: Comedy goodness:

English Foreign Language As always, if I missed anyone, my humblest apologies. Coming tomorrow: episode 3 reviews!