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

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I'm really hoping we'll see a new Larry game from a new company and with Al and Josh.

 

I also feel bad for the Fester Mudd guys for having to be stuck with Paul right now. Episode 1 was quite charming and fun!

 

Also want to mention that I think describing Paul's actions as "bullying" is a bit off, as it suggests Paul picked on weaker, helpless, innocent people in order to intimidate and feel dominant. To me, Paul's behavior (in comments, banning people and even reportedly showing porn to some guy's girlfriend to, perhaps, get back at him, though I don't know what really happened) showed him to be an immature, vindictive, vicious jackass who tries to think of the most cutting personal insult to hurl in order to get back at someone who crosses him or criticizes him. Apparently Paul doesn't hesitate to "go there" or to take disagreements to the no-chance-for-resolution level. There's a lot of rude jackassery in online communication, so it shouldn't really be news worthy, though Paul really takes it to unnecessary personal extremes. The Replay work environment among employees must have been terrible, since I can imagine that, with Paul as CEO, it would likely have been easy for disagreements to quickly become personal and for some decisions to be made for petty, personal, spiteful reasons. Looking on from the outside, he always seemed like the furthest thing from a professional and came off like a whiny baby in his Kickstarter updates. Many companies have inter-company squabbles and disagreements with contractors and competitors, but most CEO's have the good sense to maintain a level of professionalism in public discourse for the good of the company. Paul has shown that he is not fit to play a highly visible role in a company and is probably not even fit to manage a company like Replay. By himself he has created so many unnecessary PR disasters and has burned so many bridges that it almost seems like he almost couldn't have caused more damage to himself and his company even if he had been trying to. The worst of all to me were "the" allegations (not going any more into that). This man needs to be kept the hell away from Leisure Suit Larry, a series I love so much.

 

Does anyone here know if Al would consider working with a new team on a new Larry game, if Codemasters could arrange it? Wouldn't it be great if Codemasters could fund the game for a couple million? Anyone know how well Reloaded has sold?

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I can only speak for myself, but my own experience in dealing with Paul is that as long as you're kissing his ass he'll be happy. But, the first time you say anything negative, no matter how small, he blows up and tries to make your life a living hell. Until his outburst on the SpaceVenture update in October, he and I had at least a halfway decent working relationship. As soon as I defended the Two Guys and refused to take back what I said about him, he went on a rampage. That's certainly no way for the CEO of a company to act.

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Just as an aside, since it is somewhat semi-relevant to this thread (and since I can't discuss it on the Replay forums for obvious reasons :D):

 

To my great dismay, I found *this* on German amazon today: http://www.amazon.de/Leisure-Suit-Larry-Reloades-Edition/dp/B00FE95LI8/

 

Now, I'm not sure if any of you actually played version 2.0, but I found it to be an absolute mess that breaks more things than it fixes. So much in fact that I was glad I kept the setup.exe of the initial release. Language selection, achievements - that's all fine and dandy, but this apparently went through no proper playtesting whatsoever before it was released (not surprising, considering... you know...). A two-bit enterprise like Replay releasing this broken mess is one thing, but the real shocker here is that retailers (both online and "in the real world") picked this to be THE definitive version of Larry Reloaded (particularly so in the case of online retailers, where version 2.0 is the only version you can get). Makes you wonder if they ever tried the game themselves before they decided to put it in a box and sell it.

 

Not to mention how fundamentally wrong it is to basically release a patch as a full-price-game...

 

 

edit: Just a minor complaint compared to all the other things that are wrong with this release, but why are the colors on the cover artwork so off? It has this weird, ugly, yellowish tint. Not to mention all that other stuff they plastered all over Tom's artwork.

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They actually DID have a proper testing group.  John Carsey and I coordinated with a bunch of volunteers to hammer out any bugs and make it a seamless release.  And we all know how that all went down.  I have no idea what happened internally after I was let go.

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I would not be surprised if all of our names have been removed from the credits.

Nah, no worries. Just compared the two versions and your names are still in the credits and all the in-game references are also there.

 

(I wasn't able to make a more detailed comparison between the two versions of the credits, since 2.0 just crashes if you attempt to launch it with FRAPS turned on. Figures.)

 

One thing I noticed is that one credit DID get removed. Billy Joe Cain is no longer credited as the Chief "Happy Ending" Officer.

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There was an article that had a great commentary about the fact that just because Paul Trowe was a pervert (I guess the word "sicko" just didn't have the same ring), does that mean that only the depraved, sick, twisted people want to play adult-themed games...

 

http://dispatches.cheatcc.com/620

 

This brings up an interesting point. Even if Paul Trowe is a sicko, why is it that we as a society are okay with games with horrible amounts of violence but throw in some sex and uh oh -- this guy must need CPS called on him.

 

Anyways, this article pretty much puts it to rest.

 

Oh yeah, also act now and you will get:

http://lists.cheatcc.com/72 (10 hottest chicks in gaming)

 

and

 

http://lists.cheatcc.com/100 (10 reasons why sex sells and we're all buying it).

 

Now how much would you pay for the Paul Trowe repellant? :)

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Hmm. I can't really take that article seriously.

 

No matter how many good points the guy may make, Paul Trowe did not "step down". Al Lowe did. Apparently, only a handful of us are able to discern between their names despite the misleading "owe" ending.

 

Not only does it boggle my mind, but it also infuriates me that poor Al will likely never get a break because quite a few so-called journalists will keep writing that the "creator" was the sex offender.

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I have to agree with Frede on this. The article itself has some good stuff, and I agree with a lot of it, but the author still needs to get some of his facts straight.  As stated, Lowe stepped down...not Trowe.  As far as I know, the CEO still has complete control over Replay.

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It really is a shame that Al's and Paul's last names look so similar. I wonder how many people saw "underage teen" and "porn sex scandal" and "Al Lowe resigns" in headlines and concluded that Lowe had done something wrong.

 

Lowe conducted himself in such a classy way and fulfilled his agreement with Replay and didn't deserve any of this. It's sad because he and fans had been unhappy with where things stood for the series after Box Office Bust, and now things have been left in a worse state. These disastrous headlines, and an unfinished-feeling Larry Reloaded game, can't be the end.

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Chris Pope has said that Al knows how highly Chris thinks of him. But he also said that Al seemed serious about retirement this time around.

 

Never say never, though. I learned that lesson in a most enjoyable way back in 2012. If Josh Mandel ever joins Guys from Andromeda for a project, having Al aboard as a consultant doesn't sound so far-fetched. But that's all speculation and wishful thinking on my part.

 

Either way, I wish Al all the best.

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Frede and Intendant, hearing that gives me hope. I am actually a huge fan of the original Larry games and a few years ago bought an mt-32 to be able to play them again and hear them as they were meant to be heard. :-) Larry's 3, 6 and 7 are my favorites. The Larry Reloaded game was a misfire IMO. It didn't have the same fun feel that I STILL get when I play the oldies.

 

I have faith in the Two Guys team and Josh Mandel and know they love adventure games and know what the hell they're doing. If they could do a Larry 8 (or some big new Larry game), I would be in heaven. Looks like it would just come down to funding. Why not go for animation like that in Broken Sword 5 (looks more like timeless hand drawn but is really 3d and is probably cheaper to produce). I would rather a COMPLETE and polished feeling Larry game with animation like that rather than a true hand drawn cel look but so many actions left unanimated. Or hire a team with EXPERIENCE creating 2d hand drawn style animation. N-Fusion is supremely talented and, goodness only knows what they had to go through working with Mr. Trowe and they have my sympathies, but they apparently had no experience creating games using this kind of 2d-style hand drawn animation. Also, I know it's a small world and you are all probably friends and don't like to hear negative stuff about people you know, but I don't like Phoenix Online stuff (which looks dated) and their design philosophy. Their stuff is too melodramatic and isn't great for virtual exploration, and I've read their designers' comments online... and they are so politically correct. They would be totally wrong for LSL. I mention them because I have watched with alarm as they did what they did to KQ (not good), and now they're doing Gabriel Knight (!), and I don't want to see them get involved with a third classic Sierra series. Two Guys team and Chris Pope would be a good match. Anyone who has an in-game title like "Latex Babes of Estros" is right up LSL's alley. So, I hope SpaceVenture is a smash hit so we might get another major title from a team of Sierra greats and also new talent. And I do hope Al has at least some role in a new Larry game. I love his sense of humor. Mandel's writing is great, but his humor is sometimes a little esoteric and cerebral and tiring and hard to get, and I think Al's touch should be present to bring the writing back to a simpler state, even if Al just wants to work as a consultant. I love Mandel's stuff, though, and think his writing sounds better when performed by an actor with a more neutral sounding voice who isn't "trying too hard."

 

The type of humor that the Larry games should go for should be more like Married with Children or National Lampoon's Vacation movies or some other sexy (but funny) comedy from the late 80's like Revenge of the Nerds. The humor should be clever, but also absurd and bawdy and over the top. Give the fans what they want, and know who your audience is. Do not try to please the Rock, Paper Shotgun editors and make no apologies for offending anyone. Here's the classic NO MAAM episode that epitomizes the tone:

http://youtu.be/j0sXk1GhnGI

 

Men make fun of women, women make fun of men. And it's done in an irreverent and light way. Larry 7, a game I consider better and more fun than even than even LucasArts classics, struck this tone perfectly. Larry games should not play it safe. Anyway, just wanted to get my two cents in, in case any future Larry game development team members read this forum. Larry 7 should be your standard: keep it light, go against the politically correct grain at all times, and remember that fan service should be a priority, which can include, among other things, nip slips to reward the player for game progress or for solving clever puzzles or finding easter eggs. These games should not take themselves seriously.

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I recently read this interview Al Lowe gave:


 

and if you scroll down to the comments section we have a comment left by someone who signs his name: Josh Mandel. The comment is: "Ask him this... Ask Al who REALLY did all the work on Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded, because it certainly wasn't him!!"

 

Now this is either really Josh Mandel with a friendly jab at Al Lowe, although it seems unlikely, or, and to my mind the most likely option, that this is really mean old Paul back to his "tricks". If we recall a similar comment left in a thread on this forum which goes as follows: "Ask them a hard question. Ask them why they didn't join up with the folks at Replay Games to create Sierra 2.0 and instead chose some guy they've never heard of, Chris Pope, to run a company they don't own." You can notice a similar pattern in the writing. It seems like a comment trying to stir up some bad blood between Al and Josh.

 

Just thought someone who is on more friendly terms with Josh Mandel could ask him if he is the who left the comment.

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Yeah... Josh himself pointed out the article to me... It is ridiculous, First off anyone who has talked to Josh even a little will tell you, the man is really nice, and VERY humble.  This kind of aggression is just not his style in my honest, moderately informed opinion..  Its also NO secret that Josh designed reloaded and Al took on less of the responsibilities, I'm pretty sure Al has named Josh as such publicly elsewhere..  This is just someone trying to drum up drama between two very nice men... in fact I have never heard of either one being unprofessional in interviews OR in comment sections... what possibly would they have to gain from such nonsense? 
 

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I've known Josh long enough to see through the ruse. Like Justin said, the comment left by "Josh Mandel" is not at all like him. To anyone in the know, it's quite obvious who this impostor is. (This is one "Josh" that I wouldn't mind setting on fire in a dilapidated old cabin)

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Would anybody really believe that was Josh? It's so incredibly out of character....ridiculous. I hope this is just some random moron trolling and not the Troll himself. I'm tired of hearing from that guy.

 

That comment seems to be gone now, or I can't figure out how to view it. There are only 3 replies there now by Josh, Tom King, and Irishmile.

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