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Paul Trowe criticism on Kickstarter update

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I'm officially locked out of the Replay boards I think it was because I didn't return Paul's call or text yesterday.

 

Shame to hear that. I wonder if there's any of the old guard left anymore.

 

Replay's forum has turned into a ghost town. I checked out a couple of previously lenghty threads, which have been dwarfed into a incoherent mess of couple of messages. A lot of good discussion about the LSL series has been gone down the drain, which is damn shame. Now the most active posters there seem to be genuine trolls PT accused the banned people of being. You get what you order, I guess.

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I tend to be a lurker but I figured I'd speak up for this.

 

I've never really cared for LSL and didn't support the project but my support for Josh and Al (and everyone at Replay and who helped make LSL) has always been there even if not in a monetary sense. It may not be my cup of tea, but I can appreciate it as the piece of art that it is. The part about this whole ordeal that bothers me isn't that we've got a raving lunatic casting a shadow on our little niche but rather that there's collateral damage. Unfortunately he's not just some discontent child, he's in a position to impact others. It's the impact he's having on others that's bothering me.

 

I wouldn't have cared if he just made his comment on the KS page. The comment was full of speculation and likely more of a mirror of what was going on at his company than it was what was actually going on with the two guys. Running a company can be stressful, and the guy might have just been at a breaking point; we're all human afterall. The problem comes from when he starts to exercise his power.

 

I don't feel anyone needs to actively do anything to keep him in check. It's obvious the guy is melting down and is just going to blow up. The best thing to do isn't necessarily ignore him, but treat him like the ticking timebomb that he is. Acknowledge that he's there, and he's going to blow, and just get out of his way. Don't add to the explosion, let him go down in flames acting like an idiot. Lay down the facts, don't get emotional (or try not to), and let him drown in his own lies and his little temper tantrums.

 

I was concerned over the future of Space Venture, but I don't actually know what's going on behind the scenes so I checked my fears at the door and won't count my adventure games until they hatch. I'll wait until everything's in the open before passing judgement, but to be honest even if the two guys just grabbed my cash and ran I would have been fine with it. For as big of a part as Space Quest was in my life I would have just given them my pledge for the privilege of telling them how much I've loved their work and that was my own personal way of telling them thank you.

 

Ok, I've exhausted myself, I think I'll get back to some serious lurking. Just wanted to get that off my mind.

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Shame to hear that. I wonder if there's any of the old guard left anymore.

 

Replay's forum has turned into a ghost town. I checked out a couple of previously lenghty threads, which have been dwarfed into a incoherent mess of couple of messages. A lot of good discussion about the LSL series has been gone down the drain, which is damn shame. Now the most active posters there seem to be genuine trolls PT accused the banned people of being. You get what you order, I guess.

 

Replay's board is officially dead. There probably won't be any more posts of a relevant nature. Everyone who cared is either banned or left after the bans.

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Another point on Josh Mandel and why he's probably in damage control on his own end (sadly, probably in his own mind as opposed to the kind that Lawl Trowe-ll is doing):

http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2012-12-04-replay-games-appoints-josh-mandel-as-cco

 

He was going to be a big player at Replay (still is?) and I think this has really thrown a spanner in Josh's proverbial works, in terms of future game development for him and his career. Utterly tragic, yet another setback for the "3rd Guy from Andromeda" who (in my opinion) is the nicest ex-Sierra employee; one of the most talented, definitely the most funny and best at writing click messages. I hope I'm reading too much into this and that Replay isn't dead.. but it's hard to see how the ship can right itself this time, after Paul's final meltdown.

(Guess you can't get that Astro Chicken timer to stop..)

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I've never seen a forum die so quickly in my life.

 

It happened within a couple of days over at the Telltale Games forums recently as well. I never thought I'd see a forum I frequently visit just dwindle away so fast, and to have it happen not just once but twice in a matter of a few weeks is pretty amazing. The TTG forums death probably won't be as permanent though.

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Yeah, I just visited their new "forums" yesterday for the first time since I left in March and couldn't believe the mess I saw. And against all feedback from the community and moderators alike. Alienating fanbases must be the popular trend lately. ...except here with the 2 Guys!

 

Another point on Josh Mandel and why he's probably in damage control on his own end (sadly, probably in his own mind as opposed to the kind that Lawl Trowe-ll is doing):

http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2012-12-04-replay-games-appoints-josh-mandel-as-cco

 

He was going to be a big player at Replay (still is?) and I think this has really thrown a spanner in Josh's proverbial works, in terms of future game development for him and his career. Utterly tragic, yet another setback for the "3rd Guy from Andromeda" who (in my opinion) is the nicest ex-Sierra employee; one of the most talented, definitely the most funny and best at writing click messages. I hope I'm reading too much into this and that Replay isn't dead.. but it's hard to see how the ship can right itself this time, after Paul's final meltdown.

(Guess you can't get that Astro Chicken timer to stop..)

 

Yikes! I hope he's not done permanently. I'd rather he not be under Paul's tyrannical rein, but this is an unfortunate circumstance all around. Why couldn't Paul just keep his mouth shut? Totally unfair.

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While I agree with the pointlessness of remaking the VGA Larry games (and that Replay needed new games, including Larry 8, rather than remaking every Al Lowe game), it's not like Josho was a Scumsoft employee under the tyrannical reign of Elmo Pug. It was (is?) a mutually beneficial relationship.

This may or may not be common knowledge, but Josh was going to be leveraging his position being close to the CEO Trowe, and making his own games and using Replay as a springboard. Hence, his promotion to CCO, he would have had high output and creative control at Replay. Fester Mudd had contributions from Josh and while this is a totally off-the-record comment, Josh mentioned to me on IM sometime last year that he was working on a new game that would be under the Replay Games banner (that's all I can say about that, probably too much even so).

 

Finally, to close, the last thing I heard from Josho in May, included this bit (which we knew already, but in current context seems oddly fitting and eerily foreshadowing): "I can’t muzzle Paul any more."

 

EDIT: From Facebook, I posted this:

"Not saying Josh did the wrong thing or that Paul caused him to delete his FB account, just saying it's sad to see both Paul doing what he's doing and Josho going MIA at the same point.

I would be very sad (and others I assume) if this final Trowe move spelled the end for Josho's involvement in the Sierra community or the adventure game community."

 

On a much lighter note, Sam, I miss your old handle(s). I like the new one because I love SQ6 and Josh, but still I miss Waffler and the other couple you had. Now what were they..

 

Serena: Kudos for fitting Kielbasa's "Thank you" speech into your thankyous. You win an IOU netting you the free space cocktail of your choice next time you are in Oklahoma. :y: (Except a Uvula Spritzer, I really hate how those are made..)

 

EDIT 2: I still had an account on the Replay forums, so I had a little silly rant. I feel somewhat better now. :P Serena, Irishmile, and everyone else, I hope you are too.

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Most of you probably know, but in case you don't: It was originally Replay's intention to remake all the old Larry games. That's six remakes in a row we're talking about, with the possibility of a new Larry game being released afterwards.

Says Al (
):

[1:07] What will it take to get a new Larry? Well, Codemasters still owns all the rights. We only have licensed the rights from them for a remake. We have to prove that we can make a successful game. We're going to do that with new backgrounds, new animations, new complete voiceovers and even real music by real musicians. We want to make a Leisure Suit Larry like you've never seen before.

Also, apparently the Kickstarter FAQ had this wording at first:

The problem is, Codemasters, the publisher that owns the rights to Leisure Suit Larry and sold them to us wants to see what we can do with the game first. They said if we do a good job at a re-make then we'll have total freedom to do what we want on the next game.

The section has since been reworded, but that statement has been widely quoted on the web.

 

It's not clear to me that Replay was obligated to do six remakes -- apparently one remake would have sufficed to prove their capabilities and to rake in enough funding to interest strong backers or, ideally, to finance a sequel outright.

 

I have no idea how Replay's remake of Leisure Suit Larry's Casino for iOS fits into this.

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His LinkedIn profile lists him as "formerly" Chief Creative Office at Replay for one year from July 2012 until June 2013. So Josh left Replay 3 or 4 months ago.

That tallies nicely with Josh Mandel's last post on the Replay forums dating from June 27th, 2013.

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I have no idea how Replay's remake of Leisure Suit Larry's Casino for iOS fits into this.

 

I think it's just the easiest and cheapest way they can make an another product that can a) bring in some money, B) keep Larry in the public eye. But I doubt it'll go well with the general fan base, as I didn't read that many favourable comments about it when Replay originally announced it. That kind of casino games have an entirely different target audience and they propably won't be getting an adeventure game because of it.

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Paul comes across immature in his writing and sometimes a mix between exhausted and rambling on camera. He has an unfortunate willingness to engage in personal, public squabbles and his social media behavior has all the tact and diplomacy of a sledgehammer. Basically, he comes across as the opposite of "professional" or "adult." This doesn't inspire confidence in his company or products.

 

I don't say this to bash him. I just wish he would have recognized that his being so public as the face of the company would not be good for the game. We all have strengths and weaknesses, and PR work is definitely not his strength. Why did he have to post cringe-worthy video updates like, "Paul Trowe tells all"? It was as if he wanted to increase his own "star" and get attention for himself. Some of his whining updates on Kickstarter, in which he begged people not to hate him and in which he took forever getting to the point, were often painful to read.

 

When Josh Mandel took over the updates, the campaign instantly took on a more professional tone. Mandel also graciously engaged with people on the forums in very frank but worthwhile conversations. It was clear that Mandel was incredibly devoted and passionate about the project, but he never lost his professionalism. Mandel deserves a lot of credit for cleaning up the earlier messy impression created by Paul. Paul should have stayed in the background and focused on whatever it is he excels at.

 

I just hope people realize how hard Mandel worked on this project.

 

I also wonder if Al didn't assert himself enough or ever contradict Paul. Paul seems to have a very strong personality, while Al (whom I don't know personally) seems more easy-going. Perhaps Paul got his way on pretty much everything, instead of deferring to the creative talent like Josh and Al. What good would being a "Chief Creative Officer" do if the CEO is micromanaging everything?

 

One thing that's certain is that Josh Mandel is a proven unique and immense creative talent. I have confidence that we have not seen the last of his work.

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I could be mistaken, but I get the impression LSL Casino will be more or a straight port of the original rather than a full-blown remake. Mind you there is very limited information available about it currently...

 

Remakes are tricky. On one hand you already the plot, puzzles, characters, locations, etc. You *could* just do a straight makeover, but standards have changed in the past 25 years. A higher resolution alone won't wow anyone. On the surface LSL1R is very close to the original... Now try using every icon and/or item on everything you encounter in every scene (including the "filler" background artwork). More than anything I was impressed by the sheer volume of comedic responses. Sadly most gamers today merely skim the surface, so all the extra effort is lost on them.

 

Even when done right too many people dismiss remakes in favor of anything new (regardless of quality).

 

Something like Casino is far more recent and should be fairly cheap and quick to port to iOS. At a (presumably) lower price point it would likely end up being more profitable than LSL1R. That's the saddest part about the game industry... A game like Madden just needs updated stats and one new feature (that was previously available during the last console generation and then cut). Call of Duty just needs a new sub-title or a higher number attached to the old one. Any 'Ville' game just needs to exist. Adventures & RPGs however require significantly more effort and their sales are often embarrassingly low in comparison :(

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Josh's involvement in LSLR needs to be applaued, he brought professionality and a likeable spokes person to the project and his writing contributed a lot in the game being, IMO, the best version of Larry 1 in existence despite the flaws it has. If another Reloaded LSL game comes out I hope Josh will take part in it, as he is a great successor to Al Lowe. And here's for hoping he does continue his career in games.

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I sent Josh an e-mail last night. It's not something I would usually do either, but Josh comes across as such a genuinely nice guy, and there's no doubt that he's extremely talented, so he really deserves the attention.

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My suggestions.

1. Email Al and let him know how you feel about Paul. Let him know we still support him but not with Paul. On his website his email is listed as webmail@allowe.com

2. Email codemasters. The game must not be selling well which is why Paul is acting like this. Email the highest person you can get ahold of there. They also have listed custservice@codemasters.com . I also think tweeting to them, so its more in the public eye, is also beneficial. https://twitter.com/codemasters

 

We have to make it very clear to them that we want more Larry games with Al, but not with Paul. Don't let Al get painted with the same brush. These are all normal channels with which WE can also express our opinion. Take the 5 minutes it would take to write an email. It might just save Larry.

 

This. I already emailed Codemasters before reading that and will also drop Al an email. It might even be worth emailing Activision/Roberta Williams (if possible) regarding King's Quest. I know Activision said they will be using the IP themselves but Paul may do his best to convince them to license him the rights if Replay make enough money from LSL. I know most people are saying to take the moral high road but if Paul wants to try to derail SpaceVenture then I do not see why he should not get a taste of his own medicine. What goes around comes around I say.

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For what it's worth, I have it on good, Andromedan authority that Paul was lying through his teeth back when he claimed he'd been in talks with both Scott Murphy and Ken and Roberta Williams about the Space Quest and King's Quest franchises.

 

He hadn't actually called any of them. So tread lightly; Ken has not cut any sort of deal with Paul about King's Quest and at no point has he considered doing so.

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Wow what a shocking series of events! Still can't believe this is happening!

 

Although I wasn't a regular poster I always enjoyed reading the many great discussions about Larry! I enjoyed seeing the different perspectives everyone had to the game. And it's all gone! :(

 

I logged on yesterday to check responses on a thread I posted on and was shocked to see posts that were deleted. At this point I thought only SteveHNo96 and Roland were deleted because of their constant nudity demands lol and then as I looked around I realised the devastation!

 

I made the point a few times since the release of the game, that the budgeting of the game was a big reason for the flaws (such as crappy animation) and surely the man with the money and the man responsible for screwing up the budget was Paul himself!!! This all makes perfect sense now!

 

Anyways I'd like to give out a big thanks to the volunteers that gave so much of their time and energy to have this game developed! I had no idea so many of you had contributed in such a selfless way! This also goes to show you the kind of man Paul is. Not once do I recall him publicly thanking all you guys for your contributions! He never posted in the forum to let everyone know how grateful he was! Nothing in the Kickstarter pages either! AMAZING!!!

 

So once again thanks to all you guys for putting up with that guy for all those months in order to have Larry resurrected! Too bad it had to come to this! :(

 

Like others have stated I too will not be supporting any Leisure Larry 2/8 or anything that has Paul's name on it! Not a chance! Even if he does get it done somehow I will not even purchase the game! I will be obtaining it via other means instead! :P

 

I have unliked the facebook pages associated with him and I noticed there was a post on the Replay Games Facebook page from a guy named Robert Gibbs that expressed his disgust in what has happened. I checked again today and those posts were deleted!

 

I'm really hoping Codemasters sees what we have seen, and also sees the potential with Larry and goes via other avenues to bring us further Larrys! :) It may not accomplish much but I'll be emailing the customer service at Codemasters and doing what I can to spread the word!

 

With the update coming soon for Larry Reloaded can you imagine if he took out names from the credits or names from the Kickstarter easter egg in the game that he banned from the forums? Sheesh!

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