Articles posted July 2009

Hello Adventure!

Wow, what a pathetically long stretch of time not to post a single thing! Of course, once you have the "not posting" momentum, it's easy to keep on going. So what on earth would make me revive this blog-like news thingy? I mean, it would have to be something so exciting, so astounding, that I'd choose to break my silence and shout it to the world.

What could it be?

Well, as you all know by now, I did a few year stint at LucasArts Entertainment Company, initially working on the Macintosh ports of such illustrious titles as Dark Forces and Full Throttle. But my true love was the LEC adventure games, and so while I was there, I also dove in and ported Day of the Tentacle and Sam & Max Hit the Road to the Mac — even though nobody had asked me to.

Flash forward a few years. I had left LucasArts behind for working at Connectix (who were eventually purchased by Microsoft). I happened to run into some of my former LEC colleages and told them, it would be great if we could port all the SCUMM games to modern Windows, just let me know and I'd be happy to make it happen. Nothing came of it initially, but we eventually managed to work something out, and I was given the go-ahead to put together modern Windows-compatible versions of both Full Throttle and Sam & Max.

But why stop there? Being a bit of a completist, you can imagine that I was compelled to get more than just those two games up and running. But LEC decided to focus on the two original games they requested, and they were eventually released in a limited fashion, which was in the end a pretty big disappointment for me, as I had envisioned something much more mainstream. And maybe even involving some of those other games I had ported — even though nobody had asked me to.

Of course, I fully understood the logic behind not releasing the remaining ports I did. After all, for LEC to release them would mean running all the games through QA again, solving bugs, and committing to fixing customers' problems. I periodically pinged my contacts, hinting that they should consider alternate, "unofficial" ways to release the games, but I never really got the sense that anything would ever happen with my ports.

Until a couple of days ago.

That's when LucasArts announced — to everyone's general astonishment — that they were going to release 10 of their classic games on Steam, including 4 SCUMM games (Loom, The Dig, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis). Of course, I was immediately curious to know if this meant they had revived my now years-old work to port the games, and it turns out that yes, some of my work is finally seeing the light of day! (After some additional improvements and bug fixes by the team at LEC, naturally. Thanks for cleaning up the details, guys!)

I honestly thought this day would never come. And now that it has, well, that's a great excuse to break the radio silence. I only hope that these re-releases are successful enough to warrant a second round. Because, while I can't reveal the titles of the other games I ported, I am somewhat of a completist.... :)