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Al Lowe retires (again), probably due to issues with Paul Trowe

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Personally, I feel that there already IS a "Sierra 2.0" going on right now. If not in name, then certainly in spirit. Between Al and Josh teaming up for LSL:R, Jane and Robert with Moebius and GK20, the Coles with Hero-U, Scott and Mark with SpaceVenture, and even Ken Allen's Under the Half Dome album a lot of the Sierra alums already have returned. Hell, I'd even lump the IQ and Himalaya guys with Quest for Infamy and Mage's Initiation (respectively) in this list.

 

And I actually prefer to see my dev teams spread out instead of under one roof. The Kickstarter regulars know that I've backed dozens of adventure game projects and aside from having to keep track of multiple forums for projects I like it this way. It gives more creative freedom to the people working on these games. Having one person, especially "he-who-shall-not-be-named", in charge kinda ruins the magic we've been seeing over the past couple of years.

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Discovering AGDI's games was like experiencing Sierra 2.0 for me. At the time Oakhurst Sierra was no more, and I had thought I'd never have a new Sierra game experience again, but then came games that felt just like new Sierra games. Honestly, I consider those AGDI people saints for what they have accomplished.

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Someone posted a link to the Replay Games forums on facebook, noting how the place has become overrun with spambots...

 

ulgro5k5.png

(Posting a screenie here, since most of the Replay forum refugees that occasionaly frequent SQnet won‘t be able to see the spammy glory for themselves)

Anyway, going back to that place brought back so many fond memories. Especially the memories of all the fucking drama caused by that cover art contest. Too bad most of it‘s nuked now. To celebrate the bygone days of harmonious forum-postsmanship and mutual getting-our-hopes-up-for-a-now-crushed-pipe-dream-of-endless-LSL-remakes, here‘s my own Larry ReLOADed cover art submission. Hopefully, Tom King and Tahr won‘t get too jealous of my maaad MS-paint skillz.

 

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Who can spot all the various obscure references (all 3-4 of them) I‘ve hidden (in plain sight) in the picture?

Lessons I learned the hard way from making this:
- Receding hairlines are a pain in the ass to draw. So are hands, zippers, and just about everything else.
- Justin McMenamin‘s child can draw a better Larry than I can
- My logo somehow still looks better than the one on my Kickstarter backer box. In yo face, Andy Hoyos!

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In one sense I'm sad to see the state of that forum. There was a lot of good, passionate discussion about the lackluster official cover art and other LSL issues. And it was all erased.

 

But I'm also happy to see yet another sign that a company headed by Trowe is in shambles. On Twitter Paul suggests that he's trying to go back to school. Does that mean Replay is done for the foreseeable future? Hope so. Also looks like he might have used one of those services to get himself a bunch of "fake" Twitter fans to try to make himself look like a popular big shot. I remember he never had more than 900 or so Twitter followers as of last Dec.

 

Fronzel, you mentioned TAHR. He was such an amazing artist and an excellent forum contributor. I hope some indie adventure game developers establish contact with him and try to hire and involve him, at least in some way, in the game art production or marketing art for some upcoming indie adventure titles, not only because he's a brilliant artist but also because he appears to be a fan of the genre. Here's a "tribute" video he did: http://youtu.be/XDD5D4Bhk3Q He is someone I hope remains active in the adventure game community.

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It feels almost absurd to recall how much promise there was in the air for Larry series after Reloaded was funed. Al Lowe was back in the game, Josh Mendel was beefing the up the script and after the PR was given to Josh, it almost felt like there was a genuine future for the series in the form of remakes and possible new game at some point. And then it all  fell apart.

 

And it does suck for those people who never did get their physical goodies. Last time I visited Reloaded KS page there still was peopl there waiting for their rewards and that should not be the case.

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That tribute video is great!  I never bothered to register for the Replay forums so I completely missed that one.  The exploding genitals death is probably my favorite death in the original game.

 

It feels almost absurd to recall how much promise there was in the air for Larry series after Reloaded was funed. Al Lowe was back in the game, Josh Mendel was beefing the up the script and after the PR was given to Josh, it almost felt like there was a genuine future for the series in the form of remakes and possible new game at some point. And then it all  fell apart.

I always get my hopes up every time I check in on this forum (so like once every few months) and I see this thread has new posts.  Only to find that, nope, Codemasters hasn't transferred the license to someone else and gotten Al and Josh back together on a new game or another remake.  Such a shame the way this one turned out :(

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I can't believe I had no idea about this.  I'd been regularly checking the Andromeden Spaceport for Spaceventure news but hadn't been looking anywhere else this year.

 

Of course I had been around during PT's original remarks about Spaceventure and had expressed sadness about the whole affair.  I had wondered how Al Lowe could tolerate such behaviour and still be part of Replay.  In a way at least I'm glad he and Josh are out of there.

 

However what with the whole conviction of PT and the details surrounding it, the whole thing leaves me very sad for Al and all the Larry fans.  I always was of the opinion that the as long as Al and Josh were developing the games I'd be happy.  Now it's almost tragic that the rights to further Larry games are once again in the wrong hands.

 

I feel like a total Muppet for posting this on twitter in March.  No wonder there was no response :(

 

https://twitter.com/tomlee80/status/442284718890160128

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Beating the dead horse here (or rather the bleaching bones that are left of it), but what the shit...

 

Seems like I got so caught up in that whole #gamergate shebang that I completely neglected to check my go-to-place for lulzy interwebz drama: The LSL Reloaded Kickstarter comment section. A bloody shame, since I completely missed out on this gem left a month ago by Jeroen Dekkers.

 

It's a good thing I have good backups of this game as I'm now being denied access to download my paid for tier:

We have determined your behavior during your time volunteering with Replay Games to have been unprofessional and harmful to the company as a whole. To ensure that my time is spent on behalf of our customers, we have permanently banned your account, IP address, as well as blocking your email address.

Thank you,

Replay Games C.S.

 

"Unprofessional and harmful to the company", that's fucking golden!

 

No matter whether it's putting up with my incessant anti-Steam rants, Steve's rampant homophobia or Roland's constant reminders how Tom King's cover artwork is inferior to THAR's, Jeroen's been an enormous assett to Replay by giving that shithole some class. He's an all-around class act!

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Holy shit, I didn't know he'd actually gone to those lengths. Surely that's a breach of contract?

 

I feel tempted to share the copy that was... ahem... graciously bestowed upon me by one of the people who actually contributed positively to the game when I stated that I'd never played it because I refused to give Paul any money.

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He also recently went back on the abuse front with a prominent adventure game community member because they had the temerity to click on his LinkdIn account. (Seriously - who pays that much attention?).

 

The positive for me is that he seems to be a parody of himself. As someone who hasn't had to deal directly with his bullshit, he's just brilliant as a muse for writing criticism of the gaming industry. I mean, blocking someone who tried to promote his games? That's almost literally a word-for-word enactment of a sketch I wrote for the SQH podcast.

 

Melon.

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He also recently went back on the abuse front with a prominent adventure game community member because they had the temerity to click on his LinkdIn account. (Seriously - who pays that much attention?).

I... I...

 

I just don‘t understand. Why this? Why now? It‘s been over a year since the shitstorm hit the fan. Many a bag of popcorn was consumed, but I thought that - save for a few disgruntled backers still waiting for their shit to arrive - this was over and done with. Did he realise that he ruined his career and reputation and figure „Well, if interwebz drama is all I‘m good for, then dammit, interwebz drama they shall receive!“

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As repetitive as Paul's malice and idiocy has become, that he's denying account access to a paying client is no less hilarious to me (I mean, of course it's sad, that goes without saying). There seems to be no limit to the man's stupidity and hypocrisy. As if he's one to talk about unprofessional behavior? Regardless, he's got to see that such methods--regardless of right or wrong--will destroy his company pretty quickly.

And what's with that change in voice from "we" to "my," and then back to "ours," in the letter? Is Paul in the 3rd grade? If he's the public relations department as well as CEO... OH SNAP! 

I wouldn't work for the asshole for more than one week. Probably why he has nobody else available to handle PR.

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Interview with Big Al himself

 

Obligatory Paul Trowe drama:

 

You don't have to talk about this if you don't want to, but you mentioned you actually don't get royalties from the re-release?
Oh, I did. I got a little pittance. But the CEO of the company and I had a falling out, and I'll let people Google that and find out. I'm not going to get into that here. Paul and I just had a falling out and he's refusing me to pay anything, and it's not worth suing him for it. So he can just have it, I guess. [Laughs.] That's the way it worked. I gotta give Paul Trowe credit. He did a masterful job with the Kickstarter. Most of the success of the Kickstarter was because he was relentless. He worked and worked and worked on that thing, constantly updating the site, answering comments and questions from people, and I give him credit where credit's due. He did a great job on that.
 

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Isn't that pretty much normal fare for retro adventures on Steam, though? It's still not the most popular of genres, and certainly not among the mainstream gamer crowd.

 

Reading that Al gets no royalties for a game he basically designed is, of course, infuriating. But hey, whenever dirt like this is published, the chances of Paul ever working on a game again are lessened dramatically. It's already been more than a year since "Serena". I doubt we'll see him again.

 

It's a great interview, by the way. It's always fascinating to read anecdotes about the early days of PC gaming from the people who were there.

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