Whatever happened to the Toonstruck sequel?

No, seriously, I’m asking. What gives? It was teased by the current rightsholder, then apparently just dropped and forgotten. At least, that’s how it seems.

Maybe I should backtrack, in case you don’t know what Toonstruck is. Because, even as popular as it once was, mentioning it still seems to draw some quizzical glances.

Toonstruck was a late-golden-era (1996) graphic adventure game created by Burst Entertainment, a company made up of a bunch of adventure gaming veterans (the one I’m most familiar with is artist Bil Skirvin, who had previously been at Sierra On-Line). They sunk everything they had — and then some — into developing Toonstruck, their first — and, as it would turn out, only — product.

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I went to AdventureX with a video camera

I hardly need to reiterate at this point that I had a great time at AdventureX 2016. I’ve spent the past week since I got home saying it over and over again, to people in private, to people on Twitter, to my friends who were also there.

I think Fred actually said it best: Not only was it a good time and everyone was super chill, but it felt validating. Like our little obsession that most of our friends and IRL surroundings doesn’t seem to understand has a reason for existing.

It’s still surprisingly hard to explain to people who have no knowledge or interest in computer games what an adventure game is. My outlets for that is, as you’ve maybe noticed, to make endless YouTube videos and podcasts about it, as well as talking about it daily on Twitter, because that’s how I get what’s quite frankly a life-long passion of mine out of my system.

Going to a convention like this was, in a strange way, like coming home. I kept saying, “These are my people,” whenever someone asked me if I’m having a good time, and by that I meant that I was finally in a room with likeminded individuals to whom jokes about sliding tile puzzles and slow-talking narrators weren’t met with quizzical glares but with nods of understanding.

Anyway, I also brought a video camera, and the footage that came out of that (as well as my mobile phone) was used in two videos. For the sake of posterity, I’m archiving them here.

The first one was edited by Frederik for our Back Seat Designers YouTube channel, with the focus of the three of us (Fred, Gareth, and myself) all being in the same physical place for the first time ever:

The second was my own little travel documentary, focusing less on the convention itself, but more on my experiences getting to and from the convention and the challenges I faced in doing so:

I will definitely be back for AdventureX 2017. I hope to see you there.

Late Last Nite: the “Speakeasy” edition is released

Last year, I had the good fortune of lending a small hand in the making of Late Last Nite for the AdventureJam 2015 game jam.

My contribution consisted of writing the dialogue for the snot-nosed Cedric parody, Chadwick, and that was pretty much it. The rest was all down to the fabulous talents of the No More For Today geniuses — Jess, PCJ, Resulka, Chris, Kevin, Gareth, and Fred.

Now, more than a year later, the “full talkie” version is finally released, featuring the voices of YouTube star Sarah “PushingUpRoses” Wilson as the narrator and professional lighter-inquiring-person Rebecca McCarthy as our plucky protagonist.

Chadwick the Owl

I voiced the obnoxious potato chip monster, Chippy. And of course Fred voiced Chadwick the Owl in a voice he swears is somewhat dissimilar to CyberCedric.

The talkie version, like the non-talkie version, is completely and utterly free for your downloading pleasure.

Episode 39: Xtra Episode 4

It’s the 4th and final Xtra episode, and indeed the final episode of the season! I know I said that four episodes ago, at the 12th episode, and that was also true. This is the final, final episode.

To reward you for sticking with it for so long, the episode begins with some bloopers and outtakes from Joe Cassara, Frederik Olsen, and Josh Mandel as King Graham, before we finish up the Music Talk with Brandon, James, and Ken, and the “does Space Quest hold up today?” chat with game designer Francisco Gonzalez.

And, finally, a special musical treat from Pete Toleman.

It is all here in full auditory glory:

Even though this is the final episode of this season, I would be remiss not to remind you to subscribe, so you will be ready when season 4 rolls around sometime this century.

The YouTube version is here, and it features the Francisco interview in its uncensored glory:

Thank you so much for sticking with me this season! Now I’m going to let this website fulfill its true potential as a blogging site, first and foremost. Be sure to check in at my YouTube page where I release two Let’s Play videos a week. And if you can’t get enough podcasting, we also talk adventure games over on Back Seat Designers, and more general nerdy stuff at Nerd Against The Machine!.