Telltale's nearly award-winning technology

Posted on November 2006 by TelltaleGames

On Tuesday, several members of Telltale's tech team went down to the south bay to receive an award for the Telltale tool. Getting details about the shindig from those guys was like pulling teeth (to his credit, Kevin lost his voice yesterday and all he could do was whisper, and Jon did chime in that the desserts at the banquet were good), so our marketing guru Joel stepped in with a first-hand account.
[readmore]







Tuesday night, Telltale attended a new awards ceremony, established by an esteemed Northern California business publication -- the Silicon Valley Business Journal -- to honor outstanding young companies.



Randy, Jon, and Kevin with their plaque.

Of the awards, Business Journal Publisher Vintage Foster said "We are excited to recognize the achievements of these emerging companies in technology-rich Silicon Valley. The companies we are celebrating have pioneered technologies with the potential to profoundly impact people and their businesses."



The ceremony was held right in the heart of Silicon Valley, in a swank banquet hall. After indulging in the extensive finger foods provided by the hosts, we were escorted into the hall for the ceremony. Telltale CEO Dan Connors represented the company at the event, along with CTO Kevin Bruner, technical leads Graham McDermott and Jon Sgro, financial advisor Andre Blanadet, Chairman Matthew Le Merle and myself.



Listening to the achievements of the other finalists -- in fields ranging from Bio-Tech to Medical Devices to Environmental solutions -- we felt proud to be recognized amongst such top talent.



Alas, Telltale didn't take home the top prize in the Entertainment category (that went to a new home entertainment company called Digital Deck). We left the evening feeling that this certainly won't be the last awards ceremony we'll attend, and we'll look forward to getting the main trophy next time around! More info here.







Of course, we're all very happy about the award. But we'd be happier about it if those guys had brought back some of that dessert for the rest of us.

Three dimensions of Sam & Max

Posted on November 2006 by TelltaleGames

If you're an old timey adventure gamer, you may be familiar with a game called The Neverhood, which was entirely modeled out of clay. A newer game (which hasn't been released in English yet) called Tanita: Plasticine Dream takes a similar approach. So, for all of you who shun the move from 2D to 3D (you know who you are), we present you with... Sam & Max: The Clay Experience!

Okay, not really. This is another one of our Halloween contest entries. The entrant, Jill, used air-hardening clay and painted the freelance police with acrylics. I love the wrinkles in Sam's pants!



Also, in a completely unrelated endeavor, one of our forumites was inspired to mold the everyone's favorite lagomorph out of plasticine after playing Culture Shock. See? Sam & Max inspire creativity! Video games are good for today's youth! Woo!

Arts & crafts, part deux

Posted on November 2006 by TelltaleGames

So, now that you've seen yesterday's art project, you're eager to make some Sam & Max art of your own? No problem! You don't even need construction paper or glue. As one of our Halloween contest entrants demonstrated so gracefully, all it takes is a couple of household objects and a few squirts of red pasty stuff that may or may not be ketchup.













Steve's opinion of these beauties: "I like the Marcel Duchampesque non-sculptures of the eerie visages of the Freelance Police."



I just want to know what that red stuff is...

Sam & Max activity center crawls back to life

Posted on November 2006 by TelltaleGames


Hey everyone! Just wanted to post a quick note to let you know that the Sam & Max activity center has finally made its triumphant return to the site. So, if you were seriously missing creating your own comics, brightening your day with some Sam & Max wallpaper, or reading made-up interviews with characters from the game, your life should now be returning to what you apparently consider normal.

Artsy craftsy bits of time-wasting nonsense

Posted on November 2006 by TelltaleGames


If you've been reading our forums lately, you may have seen Jake's reference yesterday to a paper bag puppet gallery that has taken up residence in the new conference room (a.k.a. the Romper Room). This reminded me that we made paper bag puppets over lunch three weeks ago and no one ever posted a blog about. So here you go!



We started with a package of construction paper, 100 brown paper bags, and a dog-eared copy of Surfin' the Highway. Oh, and lunch, but there was far more artsy-crafty time-wasting than lunch-eating.








It's funny how quickly construction paper causes you to regress. We ran short on white paper so some of us had to get creative.[readmore]



Lessons learned: ten adults are not good at sharing two pairs of scissors. Also, glue sticks have nowhere near the nostalgia quotent that flour paste would have had, but what can you do?








The finished puppets are now a fixture in our new conference room, which we have lovingly dubbed the Romper Room. This most excellent room came into existence when Dan moved out of his office into another office on the other side of The Wall. (It may have been knocked down but it's still with us in spirit.) It was supposed to have become somebody else's office, but before it could be claimed, comfy chairs started showing up in there, then a coffee table, then a mangled-up pinata (empty, unfortunately) that we scavenged when the American Cancer Society moved out downstairs, and then a weird retro standing hairdryer that Kevin claims he brought all the way from Florida when he moved here.



It is unquestionably cooler than the regular conference room, and there have already been a few scuffles regarding who gets to use it when. Dave and Brendan have a sneaky habit of slipping in while the rest of us are arguing over it and closing the door behind them, leaving us peering longingly at them through the window. They claim they're writing episode 5, but we know they're just using that room for the comfy chairs. In fact, they're in there right now, at this very moment, doing some of that so-called work and lounging around in the comfiest of comfy chairs. Not that I'm bitter.



Anyway, here's the gallery... it's like a little Max puppet army!



So, here are our Max puppets. Where's yours?

Halloween stragglers

Posted on November 2006 by TelltaleGames

Sadly, we received two entries to the Halloween contest after the deadline had passed. It was too late to consider them for the grand prize, but I wanted to share them with you, because they're still pretty cool. [readmore]





We'll be showing off some of the non-Halloween themed entries in the blog later this week.



Also, having nothing to do with Halloween but having everything to do with the blog, someone who will remain nameless accidentally erased all of the comments made since the new site went up last weekend. Oops.

Hey! We released a game! (Culture Shock activation instructions inside)

Posted on November 2006 by TelltaleGames

So, you may have noticed that a little game called Culture Shock showed up on our site on Wednesday. We hit a couple of snags, but overall it's been an awesome launch and all the reactions I've seen to the game have been postiive and really great. It's weird... for the past year or so, ever since Telltale announced we had the rights to Sam & Max, there has been this mounting anticipation about how the game would be, if it could possibly live up to fans' expectations, etc. This all reached a fevered pitch this summer, and to be honest there were days when some of us thought the fans would be impossible to please, no matter how good a job we did. And then the day came... Sam & Max have arrived. No one's talking about the Freelance Police in the past tense anymore. People are playing Culture Shock, and loving it, and looking forward to the next episode. It's been a pretty cool few days.



It seems that some people who preordered didn't receive notification emails when the game came out, and are languishing away thinking they'll never be able to play it. Not true! [readmore]We posted this info on the forum already, but just in case you missed it, here's how any existing customer can access Culture Shock:



  1. Download the game here, or by clicking any of the Culture Shock demo buttons you see on the site, or from any mirror site that's hosting the demo. (The "demo" is in reality a full version of the game, but only a short piece of it can be played until you pay to unlock the rest.)

  2. Install and run the game.

  3. On the first game screen, click "I've already purchased this" and enter your order number and the password you created when you placed the order. Voila! That's all there is to it. (If you don't know your order number or forgot your password, email us and we'll help you out.)




So what are you waiting for? Sam & Max are here, and it's quite possible that the world will never be the same.



EDIT: Also, we'd like to give a great big thank you to everyone who was so cool and patient with us as we got our activation snafu worked out on Wednesday.

And the winners are...

Posted on November 2006 by TelltaleGames

We thought long and hard, and reconsidered, and bickered a little bit, and thought some more, and finally settled on the winners for our Halloween contest. And here they are!
[readmore]



Sam & Max created in Legos

Judges' comments: "They spent time to build the Desoto and the clever casting of a Lego wolf in the role of Sam. Nicely staged."









Freelance Police Halloween Costume

Judges' comments: "Halloween + Costuming takes work and they turned out pretty good + someone suckered their little bro into dressing like a bunny and convinced him it was cool + the little bro is channeling Max in this photo, and is hilarious."








Max as a bar of soap


Judges' comments: "A lovingly realized portrait of Max in soap so that it can be slowly dissolved against the entrant's own body. Sweet and disturbing - like Max himself."





And, a bonus fourth winner... but they only get the prize if they swear on a copy of Surfin' the Highway that they NEVER do anything like this again:



Flaming Max Effigy

Judges' comments: "That was pretty fun. I'm not sure we should be encouraging this sort of behavior, but... fun."



(Note that this is the first and last time we will ever give someone a prize for setting something on fire. Don't try it again.)



Woo! These lucky folks will be getting an email in the near future with a coupon for the Season 1 set, and everyone else will be getting a coupon for Culture Shock. Thanks, all, for participating... this was fun. Let's do it again sometime!

Happy Halloween!

Posted on October 2006 by TelltaleGames

Our first ever "do random stuff" contest has come to a close and we received some really fun entries, many of which are Halloween-themed. And guess what, it's Halloween! So, while our judges are making their decisions, we decided to share some of the Halloweeniest (?) entries with you. (There were lots of great non-Halloween themed entries too, which we'll be showing off on the website later on.) [readmore]



Also, because we're in a giving mood and choosing just three winners was proving to be too damn hard, we decided this morning that everyone who entered will get a coupon for a free copy of Culture Shock when it comes out tomorrow. Woo!



Happy Halloween to all...































Culture Shock review round-up #3

Posted on October 2006 by TelltaleGames

Okay, I know, it's been a long time since I posted one of these. As a result, this is a huge list. Sorry. We were busy putting together a new website!



I've included a bunch of non-English reviews this time, since the international release is nearing. Less than 48 hours 'til world domination! [readmore] Not in English Whew! My fingers are tired.

It's alive! (More or less.)

Posted on October 2006 by TelltaleGames

Those who have been watching us a little too closely in the last couple of months may have noticed the occasional dropped reference to upgrading the forum, bumping the Bone games up to take advantage of the the latest version of the Telltale Tool, or maybe even the occasional flat-out declaration that we're redoing everything about our website. If so, it probably comes as no surprise to you to discover that we redid everything about our website.




Though Emily, or a press release (or more likely, both Emily and a press release) will officially fill you in on the details on Monday, we've put up the site up now to let everyone take a look around, and so we can get more public (and therefore more humiliating) look at what parts of it are going to break and fall off the moment more than 3 people are checking the site at once.




So what's new? Let's see...[readmore]
  • Sam & Max Season One pre-orders have begun! A quick stop by the store or the new Sam & Max page can fill you in on the details, and, of course, let you place your order for the full six-episode run.



  • Telltale is now carrying an assortment of third-party games! A quick glance at the front page of the site will show you that we've expanded our lineup to include four new game series, all of which we think compliment Telltale's own titles. We've got Ankh from Deck13 Interactive, both Samorost games from Amanita Design, Al Emmo and the Lost Dutchman's Mine from Himilaya Studios, and the first case from Law & Order: Criminal Intent by Legacy Interactive. It's like you died and went to... an online store that's got lots of story-based games!



  • We totally replaced the forum! We ditched the mysterious world of MVN Forum for the standard, more recognizable and easy-to-use vBulletin. As an added bonus, we took advantage of the switch to integrate user accounts across the site. You no longer need separate account for both the forums and the main Telltale site. Now you can log into the main page to post comments in the blog, edit any newsletter subscription settings you have, or check your purchase history, and then you can jump right over to the forums and already be logged in. Woo!



  • Out From Boneville and The Great Cow Race have both been updated to use the latest version of the Telltale Tool! What does this mean? Most importantly, the new versions are compatible with more systems, so if you were having trouble playing the Bone games in the past you might want to give them another go. There are two other side benefits of the upgrade: you can now run both games in multiple resolutions (up to 1600x1200), and if you need extra help suppressing the walkthrough-urge, you can now turn off the games' hint systems in the main menu. Check them out on the new Bone site.



  • There are a bunch of other little things too, but it's the middle of the night and my eyes and brain are beginning to melt together, so you get to discover them for yourself!
Also, as is the case with such things, with every new feature comes a part of the site that isn't quite done yet. If you come across a page that doesn't quite look polished, or is flat out missing, with only a "coming soon" sign hanging in its place, there's a good chance that will be remedied by the next time you're here.



Well, we're all off to bed now. Hopefully nothing violently implodes overnight.

The story behind Our Bewildering Universe

Posted on October 2006 by TelltaleGames

The week before Culture Shock was released, we added the following Flash movie to our site as part of the Interim Theater. Since the game is now out, we've moved it here to the blog in all its glory. You may be wondering just where this odd little Flash movie came from. Wonder no more! Steve Purcell tells all below.







How did you get hooked up with the people at Lightsource Studios?




Lightsource Studios is a commercial art production company south of San Francisco run by two old friends of mine. Gary Winnick hired me at LucasArts when he was the Art Director there many years ago and I've known Frank Cirocco since we were both doing comics. Back in 2001 my older brother Lee who has written many books on various technical subjects, while somehow managing to make complicated content entertaining to read, was working on a book about Flash animation. He asked if I'd be up for doing a piece to include in the book that could be dissected to show the process. I immediately called Lightsource and asked if they would be interested in working on a little short.[readmore]



What was the process for making this? What parts did you work on and what parts did Lightsource do?



Storyboard graphic, from The Age of S&M.
I wrote an outline for the short and fully storyboarded it. Then I went in and started drawing the keyframes on paper. I broke the figures into layers that could be vectorized which was all handled by the Lightsource crew. I gave them color guides since I wanted it to look muted like faded 16mm film. As they began to assemble the pieces and start moving them around Gary and Frank were supervising the animation. I was working at ILM at the time but managed to come down to the Lightsource office and offer some additional Direction (The three of us share the Director's credit). It was fun going online with Gary and Frank looking for the sound effects. It was amazing how many various fart sounds we had to sift through to get the right brain-popping effect. There was a whole section listing "human" farts and I had the urge to call up the sound effect company and demand that they guarantee that the farts were indeed human.



How come you never made any more of these?



I'd love to do it but it's actually very time-consuming. Fortunately, Lightsource had a crew that they could devote to this project at the time. I certainly don't know how to do Flash and am not likely to learn soon.



The music in the short is credited to Lee Purcell. Is that your brother?




Yeah, my brother put together the weird minimalist sort of X-files background theme. We would always talk about doing some kind of creative project together. This is as close as we've gotten so far.
He has a hilariously dry sense of humor and has a lot to do with influencing what I think is funny.



Thanks Steve and Lightsource Studios for letting us host this short!

Do random stuff, win Sam & Max!

Posted on October 2006 by TelltaleGames

As we announced in our newsletter earlier this week, we're holding a contest in honor of Halloween and Culture Shock's November 1 release on our site. The original idea was to get people to send in pictures of themselves dressed like the Freelance Police (or anyone Freelance Police-related) for Halloween. We're dying for someone to carve a pumpkin that looks like Max, so we decided to throw that into the mix. Then we figured what the hell, let's open it to ANYTHING you can come up with that's fun and creative. Some of the examples I mentioned in the newsletter were creating a user-generated comic or a Freelance Police haiku, but those were just meant as ideas. All we really want is for you to do something sort of Sam & Max related (or even not), send us some sort of proof that what you did exists (whether it's a picture, a description in email, a link, a short movie...) and we'll toss your entry into the hat.



Okay, so we sent that newsletter out on Tuesday. We've already received some entries, and that makes me happy, but what makes me sad is that they're mostly user generated comics and haiku. Sure, I know creativity takes time (and sometimes a little beer). You can't force it. But I'm still hoping we'll get some really imaginative entries before the contest is over. Get out the construction paper and paste. Color outside the lines. Start thinking like a lagamorph.




What's it worth to you? How about Season 1 completely free (including the CD at the end of the run) AND a Sam & Max E3 poster signed by Sam & Max creator Steve Purcell and game designers Dave Grossman and Brendan Ferguson? We might even feature your entry on our website or as an episode of Interim Theater.*



Entries should be sent to contest@telltalegames.com and must be received by 9:00 a.m. Pacific time on October 31. (Include your full name and address so we can mail you the stuff if you win.) All entries will be evaluated by an elite panel of judges, including Steve, Dave, Brendan, and anyone else around the office we can rope into it. We'll announce the three winners on November 1, the same day Culture Shock shows up on the site.



*What's that? Not familiar with Interim Theater? Clearly you aren't visiting our Sam & Max page often enough...

Culture Shock review round-up #2

Posted on October 2006 by TelltaleGames

Great reviews keep pouring in! Here are some from the past two days: We're really happy with the press so far, but there isn't a review in the world that can live up to this excellent feedback we just got from some guy named Mike Stemmle: "Sam & Max is precisely the kind of roughage the bound-up computer game industry needs to get it off its constipated butt. Thank goodness for the questionably-credentialed dieticians at Telltale!" Enough said.

New Sam & Max merchandise for you to buy!

Posted on October 2006 by TelltaleGames

So, you're one of those who's waiting out the next two weeks until Sam & Max's worldwide release? Or maybe you've checked out Culture Shock on GameTap and you're itching for more Sam & Max-ness? Lucky you, because we've just added two new goodies to our store that should make you very happy indeed!














The first is a really classy black and white sketchbook entitled The Age of S&M. This is Steve's first Sam & Max book in about 10 years, and it's full of never before seen concepts, doodles, and other Freelance Police-related works of art. Some of our favorite parts are the inside-cover sketches of Sam & Max, along with notations, that Steve made as guidelines for the people doing the animated series, and the list of lines and scenarios that the censors cut from the episodes. (Example: "Please do NOT show Max biting down on a battery while standing in water.") Supplies are limited, so get one now or lose out forever.






We've also added the Max skull & crossbones t-shirt that Steve had at Comic-Con this summer, in M, L, and XL. (No girl shirts, I'm sorry to say. If you are a girl who wants a shirt -- or a guy who wants to buy a shirt for a girl -- please post a comment and let us know! We want to get an idea of how popular these would be if we introduced them into the store.) The same design will be featured on baseball caps in the somewhat near future.




This merchandise and more is available right here in our online store. Buy it, and be happy!

Culture Shock review round-up #1

Posted on October 2006 by TelltaleGames

Sam & Max reviews were under embargo until today, which not surprisingly meant that a TON of reviews came out today! The excellent news is that the reviews are extremely positive. The even more excellent news is that the majority of people who have played the game so far are seeing it as a worthy successor to Hit the Road and the Sam & Max franchise in general. We know how important Sam & Max is to the fans, and it means a lot to us to hear back from the fans that we're doing this right.



Here are many of the reviews that ran today, in no particular order. I'm sure I'm missing some, so I apolgize if yours isn't on the list! There have also been a few non-English reviews that I didn't include here. Most international reviews will probably come out a little closer to the worldwide launch on November 1.



Public service announcement: some of these reviews (or the screenshots with them) contain mild spoilers, so if you haven't played yet, you might not want to click those links. Whew! Needless to say, today was a pretty good day around Telltale HQ. We even had a bit of champagne mid-afternoon to celebrate. (Thanks, Bay Area Sound!)



More links tomorrow? There just may be...

Extra! Extra! Sam & Max released!

Posted on October 2006 by TelltaleGames

Our October newsletter was mailed out today. It's short this month, but only because we're working on a ton of great stuff for you guys. But definitely check it out for the contest - a chance to win a free Season 1 package AND a signed E3 poster!

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The Sam & Max: Culture Shock countdown is on!
Get the game in two weeks from Telltale's site, or right now on GameTap!































More Sam & Max excitement:
























































(MOSTLY) NEW MERCHANDISE FOR YOU!










Sam & Max Sketchbook

Chock full of sketches, guaranteed!





$17.99













Max & Crossbones T-Shirt

For Halloween, or any special event of your choosing.





$18.99











Sam & Max
Poster Prints

Set of two 18 x 24" limited prints, signed by Steve Purcell.





$29.99












Out from Boneville...

Out for Macintosh!
















It's a Honkin' Big Contest!

Anything goes, and creativity counts big time...




















































Jeff Smith all over Europe

Posted on October 2006 by TelltaleGames

I popped over to Boneville.com today to see if there was any reaction to yesterday's Out from Boneville Mac announcement, and although that hasn't been posted yet, I was pleased to find a bunch of pictures of Jeff's European tour. It looks like he's having a great time (in spite of a sore arm)... and there's still a month to go!



Hmm. I wonder if Telltale management could be convinced to send the marketing department on a European tour?


Mac users can now play Out from Boneville!

Posted on October 2006 by TelltaleGames

I used to be a Mac user. In fact, the only reason I got a PC was because fewer and fewer games were being made for the Mac. It's always made me feel like a turncoat, which is why I'm very happy to announce that the first Mac port of a Telltale game has just been released!



Out from Boneville was ported over to Mac by a company called Vanbrio. It's a download, with a free trial period and the opportunity to unlock the full version for $12.99 (same as the PC version). You can find the game here.



There's also a big honking feature on the game over at Apple.com.



Happy Friday, Mac users!

Hope you're in the mood to do some humming...

Posted on October 2006 by TelltaleGames

...because here are three never before-heard-tracks from the new Sam & Max game that will allow you to do just that!



Well, okay, they're not exactly never-before-heard. If you've been to our MySpace page, you've already heard the office theme. And if you're one of the lucky people who's tested the game in our office or over at GameTap, you've probably heard the other two as well. And of course, if you're Jared Emerson-Johnson, the composer, or one of the fine folks who work with him at Bay Area Sound, or you're somehow involved with studio.jory.org where the tracks were recorded, or you're one of the jazz musicians who played on the tracks, then yeah, you've heard them already. But for everyone else in the world, these are brand spanking new. Woo!






UPDATE: Interested in some more Sam & Max music? Click away...

Sam & Max cartoons... and it's not even a Saturday morning in 1997!

Posted on October 2006 by TelltaleGames

still from Sam & Max animated series
God, people on the internet are fast. I got an email at about 5:00 this afternoon from one of GameTap's PR folks letting us know that a formal announcement had been made about the Sam & Max cartoons coming to GameTap, which meant we could finally tell you guys the good news. I finished what I was working on and came home and ate some dinner. (I'm tempted to tell you exactly what I had for dinner, but this isn't that kind of blog.) Then I sat down to write it up, and lo and behold, Joystiq and Kotaku had already beaten me to it!



Anyway, after a few rumors and a little confusion over whether or not the Sam & Max cartoons will be coming to GameTap, the word on the street today is that they definitely will, and that the first one will be in the service on October 12. October 12! That's a mere day away!
[readmore]



For those unfamiliar with the Sam & Max legacy, the cartoon debuted in 1997 on Fox Kids. It was produced by a Canadian company called Nelvana, and (brace yourself) the voice actors are NOT the same guys from Sam & Max Hit the Road. (How dare they replace Farmer and Jameson? Cheeky bastards...) I have only seen a few episodes of the cartoon here and there, so I'm not really qualified to comment, but my unqualified opinion is that while they're not quite in the same vein as Sam & Max Hit the Road or the comics, they're still pretty entertaining. And apparently they have a fairly high nostalgia factor for people just a little bit younger than I am, who were the right age to be watching Saturday morning cartoons when these aired. (Not that there's any wrong age for watching cartoons. I didn't own a TV in 1997... that's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it!)



We actually encountered a few of those nostalgia-ridden people at Comic-Con. One guy literally walked by Steve's booth, did a double-take, grabbed a Season 1 postcard from the table, and shouted, "Oh my god, they're bringing back the cartoon?!" We quickly explained that Season 1 is in fact a video game series, thinking he'd be even more excited by the prospect. The passer-by's eyes narrowed, his nostrils flared, and he tossed the postcard down and walked off in disgust. He didn't even shake Steve's hand.



I may not have had a snappy comeback then, but now I say to that guy (and every guy/girl out there like him who's this passionate about the Sam & Max cartoon show) – go sign up for GameTap! You'll get to watch Sam & Max episodes starting Thursday! And not only that... you'll get to PLAY Sam & Max episodes starting next Tuesday! It's so exciting I can hardly stand it!




To learn more about the Sam & Max animated series, go here.

Big Sam & Max pricing announcement!

Posted on October 2006 by TelltaleGames

Max has money to burnWhat's that? You have money burning a hole in your pocket, and you really want to go out and get a Frappucino / model airplane / Danielle Steele novel / pack of baseball cards / [insert your personal passion here] – but you don't know how much to set aside for Sam & Max? Well, you're in luck, because we're about to tell you just that!



Without further ado, here is the pricing for Sam & Max: Season 1:



Individual episodes: $8.95


The entire season: $34.95



Buying the entire season gets you access to each episode as soon as it comes out on Telltale's site (we'll send you an email to let you know it's available), and next spring you can get a CD version of Season 1 for the price of shipping. Remember, there will be six episodes in Season 1, which means buying the whole season up front will save you almost $20. We'll start taking preorders for Season 1 in a couple of weeks.



Of course, there's a third option – get the episodes as part of a $9.95/month GameTap subscription (if you're in the US). As I mentioned last week, GameTap has set up an affiliate program for us. If you're going to check out GameTap, please do so by clicking one of the links on our site (like this one!).



UPDATE: I've seen a few questions around the web regarding international prices. The prices above apply to everyone! No matter where you are, you'll be able to buy the games from our online store for $8.95 per episode, or $34.95 for the full season. (Prices are in US dollars, of course!) The only thing that may vary by region will be the shipping cost if you opt to receive the CD version of Season 1.

Sam & Max do MySpace

Posted on October 2006 by TelltaleGames

If I had a nickel for every person who's asked me "Have you ever considered making a MySpace page for Sam & Max?", I would be a rich woman.



Unfortunately I'm not a rich woman, but with a little help from Jake and Phil our summer intern and a lot of help from some guy who goes by the name of HieroHero, it's now a reality! See for yourself!



In the five days since the page went live, we've collected almost 300 friends. Not bad, but MySpace is at its best when it spreads like a virus. Won't you help the cause? Add Sam & Max as a friend, and tell all your friends about us, and stuff. Max would really appreciate it. He sees this as just one more step toward world domination.


Sam & Max on MySpace

Playing around with GameTap

Posted on September 2006 by TelltaleGames

So, you're counting the days until Sam & Max comes out. Crossing them off on the calendar with a big red Sharpie. Maybe even drooling a little. The new Sam & Max game is closer now than ever, but what's a gamer to do while waiting out these last few weeks until Culture Shock's premiere? I have an idea... why not check out GameTap?



I know what you're thinking. "She has to say that, she's the PR person." Well, yeah, maybe I do. But I was interested in GameTap long before they had anything to do with Sam & Max. About a year ago, someone on Adventure Gamers linked to an article about this new service from Turner Broadcasting that would make old games available to today's gamers through a cable-like subscription and on-demand model. I remember thinking then that it seemed like a really cool idea, especially for gamers such as myself who never really grew out of the 90s, and I hoped it would catch on. And catch on it did. A scant year later, GameTap has over 600 games in its vault, original game-related animation shows and other programming are being broadcast through the service, and GameTap has hooked up with two of the year's biggest PC releases, Sam & Max and URU Live. So if you're looking to kill some time until Culture Shock comes out, here are some reasons to check out GameTap.[readmore]



Shadow of DestinyShadow of Destiny is easily one of my favorite games of all time. Never heard of it? It originally came out for consoles, which is rare for a story-driven game like this one, and it got next to no promotion when it was ported to PC a few years ago, causing stores to keep it in the back instead of putting it out on the shelves. (Not a great strategy if you actually want to, I don't know, sell the game.) This lack of marketing was a real shame, because Shadow of Destiny is a truly unique experience. You play as a guy named Eike who's stabbed to death in the street in the opening cutscene. Short game, eh? But you're not dead yet. A disembodied voice offers Eike the opportunity to go back in time and try to prevent his murder. Being the crafty fellow you are, you manage to do this--only to have it happen again. Each time you think you've outsmarted whoever it is behind the killings, the elusive killer finds another way to do you in. Eike's quest to prevent his own death takes him further and further back in time, and gets him mixed up in a dangerous alchemical experiment, the disappearance of a local girl, and a search for a mysterious red gem. Is Eike really fighting for his own survival, or is he being used as a puppet to achieve someone else's ulterior motive?



Aside from its unusual storyline, this game's stand-out feature is that it has seven or eight different endings. You can have a perfectly satisfying experience by playing the game only once, but the more times you play, the more you learn more about the larger story and who Eike really is. The story raises a lot of interesting, even existential, questions and I found myself thinking about it long after I'd finished playing. Shadow of Destiny is one of those games you'll dream about at night, it's that good.



The Last ExpressWhat Shadow of Destiny is to me, The Last Express is to apparently everyone who's played it (which I unfortunately haven't yet). Just yesterday at lunch, Brendan was saying The Last Express had such an impact on him, he sometimes misremembers things that happened in the game as happening to him in real life. It's set on a train and takes place in real time, meaning that rather than standing around and waiting for you to come over and interact with them, the non-player characters go about their own business as if they were real people on a real train. What you see and who you interact with depends on you being in a certain place at a certain time, so you could play this game twice and have two very different experiences. It's a game that makes it onto many adventure fans' "top ten" lists, and has become hard to find, which makes it a great addition to GameTap's library.



GameTap just added The Last Express to their vault as part of "adventure week," along with some puzzle-game classics like The Crystal Key, Beyond Atlantis, and Dark Fall: The Journal. Another new addition is Zork: Grand Inquisitor, the last (and generally considered the best) of the Zork graphical adventures. Some of the older story- and puzzle-driven series you'll find on GameTap are King's Quest and Space Quest, the Myst games, and the Zork text adventures. If you like a little action mixed in with your story, you'll probably enjoy Beyond Good and Evil (another game with far too short of a shelf life) and Heather's absolute favorites, the Quest for Glory games. One really nice thing about playing these older games on GameTap is that the service's emulator runs them smooth as butter on your PC, no mucking around or DosBox required.



My tastes tend to run to story-heavy games (and the Sims, but that's a topic for another blog!), but GameTap has plenty for people with more diverse gaming preferences than mine, from classic arcade and card games, to fighting, racing, and strategy. Some games have multi-player and "head to head" functionality, so you can play against someone else, and of course this winter the MMO URU Live, set in the Myst universe, will make its long-awaited debut.



GameTap"If all this hasn't been enough to suck you into the vortex of gaming goodness that is GameTap, there's one more reason you should check them out: they've been really good to us. Frankly put, if not for GameTap, you wouldn't be seeing a new Sam & Max game this year, let alone six. Another of the ways GameTap has shown their support for Telltale is by setting us up with a sweet affiliate program. If you click through to GameTap from any link on our site (including this one right here!!!!) and sign up for GameTap's free trial, they'll give us a nice chunk of change. Torn between your loyal devotion to Telltale and your unbridled curiosity about GameTap? This is the best of both worlds! So why not head on over, mess around with what they have, and check out the first Sam & Max episode, Culture Shock, on October 17. I bet once you get started over there, you won't want to leave...

Production on Sam & Max Episode 1 halted... because it's done!

Posted on September 2006 by TelltaleGames

Yes, you read that right. After a lot of careful thought on the matter, we've decided to stop working on Sam & Max Episode 1, Culture Shock.



This surprise move came a few days ago, when intrepid game designer Brendan Q. Ferguson climbed onto his chair, pointed a finger toward the ceiling, and shouted, "Eureka!" This wouldn't have been so unusual by itself, as Brendan is known for climbing on chairs and shouting things, but this time the exclamation was followed by an emphatic, "By god, I think we're finished!" Cautious optimism erupted into wild applause around the office as the impact of these words sunk in. Champagne flowed, baked goods were laid out, confetti was thrown. Brendan was hoisted up onto the shoulders of Randy Tudor and Dave Grossman and paraded around the office in a lopsided fashion. "Three cheers for Culture Shock!" we shouted, and "Ding dong, the witch is dead!" and other nonsense, as sleep-deprived geniuses are wont to do.[readmore]



In all the commotion, this guy named Pete Tsacle sneaked in and made himself comfortable in Brendan's chair. He's been sitting there ever since, doodling character concepts on scraps of paper. It looks like he plans to stick around, so we put him to work making this Culture Shock promo video just for you.






(Want to download this video? Click here!)

Once the team stops gorging on brownies and sobers up from all the champagne toasts and picks the confetti out of our eyes, it's back to work on episode 2... and 3, and 4, and so on. But for now, allow us this brief moment of revelry. Episode 1 is done, and in just a few short weeks, you will be playing a brand new Sam & Max game. No joke.



Culture Shock comes out October 17 on GameTap, and November 1 right here on our site. Get ready.



















Fans play with comic generator, hilarity ensues

Posted on September 2006 by TelltaleGames

Something pretty cool happened last weekend, and it had nothing to do with the Wii. In the midst of all the news coverage and flying rumors, some people stumbled upon the Telltale Comic Generator for the first time. Since Friday morning, over 200 comics have been added to our gallery. And some of them are actually pretty funny!



To celebrate, we've just added six brand new panels for your comic generating enjoyment, featuring Sybil Pandemik, resident licensed psychotherapist and tattoo queen. So go say something funny! And don't forget to vote for the comics you like best.



[readmore]
Here are some of our favorites from the last few days...























Wii? Wii who? (Updated!)

Posted on September 2006 by TelltaleGames

You may have noticed something of an explosion on the internet last Friday or so, stemming back to an unassuming little blog I wrote about the Wii. I think everyone involved is a bit shocked by the way it took on a life of its own.



Yesterday we got an email from Daemon "Peg Leg" Hatfield over at IGN requesting a Q&A, and Dan took the opportunity to set the record straight. Get the news directly from the horse's mouth here.



Not that I'm calling Dan a horse.



Wednesday update: It just so happened that Chris Remo from Shacknews came in yesterday to get a look at Sam & Max, so he pulled Dan aside for a few minutes to chat about the fan Wiiaction to last week's hubbub. (Sorry, had to do it.) Also, PC Gameworld has posted a nice piece on episodic gaming with a focus on Bone and Sam & Max. It has nothing to do with the Wii, but you should read it anyway.

Do you know what today is?

Posted on September 2006 by TelltaleGames

ARRRRR!!!



Ahoy ye landlubbers! It be Talk Like a Pirate Day an I be here ta do just that! Er... an', of course, sing to all ye scummy scalliwags th' praises of that most scurrilous pair a' scurvy dogs, Sam and Max! (Of course Max be not a dog at all but rather some sort o' rabbity-thing but that be hardly th' point now, matey.) As ye all know, ye'll be able ta play yer Sam & Max interactive experience on GameTap come October 17th, from th' comfort of yer own PCs.



Here be some lovely links ta be sailin yer web-browser to on this most fine September day.



Just a week or so ago, Dan an' Emily found themselves holed up in some dingy inn or some such with some a' our best hearties from GameTap an' some mates from th' crew of URU Live. They were there ta show off th' booty to th' greenhands that be wanderin' through with their little notebooks an' pencils an' heavy jugs o' pricey sparklin' water. (It makes me weep ta mention it, but I hear tell there were nary a drop a' rum ta be had.) Luck were with Emily an' Dan however, an' we were able ta rescue 'em from that dingy place afore quite all th' rum had left their bodies or they had answered quite too many perilous questions. Over at 1UP.com th' folks be divvyin' up th' details. Some swabbie o'er there gives all ye mates that be slaverin' at th' jawbones a right full preview of th' first episode of th' Sam & Max season. Which, mind ye, will be comin to ye from GameTap on October 17th. To yer PCs.



Once ye've filled up yer hold with glitterin' jewels o' intelligence from 1UP.com, set yer course fer this quite intriguin' column on Slate Magazine. Seems that even th' salts a' gamin be keepin' their eyes on Telltale to deliver 'em a gamin' experience quite like that a' watchin' th' ol' telly-vision. Seems reasonable ta me, since some a' us in this persuasion have little time fer gamin' these days, what with oceans ta sail, booty ta plunder, an' forum members ta make walk th' plank. So in case ye lot has th' memory of a dried trout, let th' warm winds of GameTap stir yer soul an' bring yer vessel 'round fer some episodic action startin' October 17th right to yer own PCs.

Sam & Max vs. the Wii

Posted on September 2006 by TelltaleGames

Mega-update, April 4, 2008: Sam & Max Wii is now a reality! Look here for the details.








News flash, Friday afternoon: They took notice! We got a phone call from Nintendo this afternoon. We'll take it from here - please don't email them anymore!



A funny thing happened last Tuesday at around lunchtime. An email landed in my inbox titled "Sam & Max for the Wii/Mac?" That's not the funny part. I (along with about ten other people in the company) get the email sent to Telltale's feedback account forwarded to me, and now and then someone writes in asking about certain platforms or proclaiming their undying love and devotion to Telltale's episodic model. The funny part was when, less than a minute later, I got another email with the subject "Sam & Max & Wii?" The first was from someone in Detroit; the second was from Sweden. Coincidence? I think not.[readmore]



In spite of the uncanny timing, it took two more emails before I put aside the very important marketing work I was doing to go in search of the source. Several days earlier, Mixnmojo (the best place to get Telltale-related news other than Telltale's own blog!) picked up on a comment Dan made during one of his PAX appointments about the fact that Sam & Max would be a good fit for the Wii. That had been on Mojo a few days already, and we hadn't received any mail about it, so it seemed odd that it would only now be generating a bunch of responses. Then a quick query on Blogger turned up this post on GoNintendo, which highlights the same quote from PAX that Mojo picked up on, and takes it one step further by inviting readers to email Telltale and encourage us to bring Sam & Max to the Wii.



In just a few hours, we received over a dozen enthusiastic emails to the feedback address about bringing Sam & Max to the Wii -- not bad considering that address usually only gets about one or two emails a week, and those are usually spam. (And I don't know how many other emails may have been sent to various Telltale addresses for which I am not on the recipient list.) I meant to write back to each and every one of the people who emailed the feedback address, but that aforementioned marketing work got the better of me. So, in one fell swoop, here's Telltale's official stance on the Wii issue:



We'd love to bring Sam & Max to the Wii. We already think it's a good fit (as evidenced by Dan's comment at PAX). In fact, Heather brought up way back in January how great the Wii controller would be for an adventure game (of course, back then it was called the Revolution... what kind of a dumb name is that?), and we're great fans of Adventure Gamers' recent article on the subject. Thing is, us thinking it's a great idea isn't enough. We need the guys at Nintendo to agree. And with a company as big as Nintendo, getting noticed by the right people can be tricky.







If you want to keep emailing us about how great Sam & Max would be on the Wii, please do. It's great to see how many people are interested in this sort of thing (and we know that for every mail we get, there are a bunch more of you out there who didn't write). But it would be even better if you'd contact Nintendo and tell them what a great idea it is. Maybe if enough fans write in, they'll take notice?



Don't bother with an online petition though. We all know those don't do any good.