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AC
Post subject: Howdy from Aaron & Chris
Post Posted: Feb 02, 2008 10:41 pm
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For starters, I want you guys to know how nice it is for us to check in and, no matter how long it's been, people are still coming here, chatting, keeping friendships alive. And, as much as we'd like to take credit for it, I think this community is now its own entity and would continue to survive without our old buddy Tex.

As mentioned in UKMPoster's message, I thought it was high time we had a chat, if you all are interested. I'm available Monday through Wednesday this week, and then unavailable Thursday through Tuesday; I can't commit to a time after then, but I'm sure we could work something out.

On the other hand, it might be easier if people just wanted to post questions for me to answer over the next few days. I'm good either way. For now, I'll pass along some information that might answer a few of the more obvious questions you'd want to ask.

First, I am no longer an employee of any software company - I started my own contracting business last year (WordPlay.LLC). Currently, I'm busy working on the Shaun White Snowboarding videogame for Ubisoft. I have other projects that I'm working on as well.

I travel to Montreal almost every month, usually for a week at a time. My home is still in Salt Lake City and I have an office I work from which has been kindly donated to me by a Mr. Chris Jones. Chris is busy running a golf simulator business, but we have continued to work together on several different projects. I think he donated the office because he likes having me around.

Now...let me tell you a story about getting games made these days:

A few months back, Chris and I were literally minutes away from signing a contract to do a new game (not a Tex Murphy game, mind you, but a game that we're quite sure you all would enjoy); unfortunately, the company received word from their financial people that they were in trouble and needed to not only avoid taking on new projects, they had to cancel several that were in development.

Luckily for us, one of the higher-ups at this company had so much faith in our project that he put us in touch with a second company. After several phone conferences, it was clear that we all shared a common vision about gaming and its future. These guys LOVED our game idea and were excited to work together - all we had to do was agree to terms and crank this new game out. A day or two later, the company reps told us they'd met with their board of directors, who'd decided that they didn't want to invest in videogames...preferring other types of media.

Just last week, another company that Chris was in negotiations with (not in regards to an adventure game, but with the possibility of doing an adventure game on the table), decided to go in "another direction".

A long, sad story...

HOWEVER, there is a silver lining to all this. We've come up with a game we love. The story and script are written. We're casting voice talent. We're working on puzzles. And Chris and I have sworn solemn oaths that this game will be produced. It's too good, too simple, too do-able not to make it happen. No matter what we have to do - donate gallons of plasma...dig through trash for recyclable bottles...sell our less-important organs - we WILL get this game done!

So what about Tex? Trust me, he's never far from our minds. Chris and I still have hopes to bring Tex back. I read the UTM thread about whether or not we could top Pandora. Well, I can tell you this: the rest of Tex's story is finished, waiting to be told, and (if I say so myself) it kick's Pandora's ASS.

That being said, I think Vracar made some great points about Tex and the current state of videogames. And, honestly, I don't see Tex ever coming back with a huge budget (unless one of us wins the lottery). However, story has always been our focus and you don't need a big budget to tell a great story. Chris and I strongly believe that we can bring Tex back for his final bow and produce a game that may be scaled down in some respects, but will deliver the goods that really matter. And, if we're lucky, the game we're making now will be the gateway to bringing Tex back.

I'm sure many of you will say "we've heard this before", and I won't blame any of you for being skeptical. This is one reason why I didn't make an announcement, even though it seemed a shoo-in that we would be signing a development contract. We're always torn between wanting to share our optimism and excitement with you guys and not wanting to disappoint you when the seemingly inevitable hammer falls. But, as I said, this time is different; Chris and I have suffered through NINE years of frustration and, dammit, we're mad as hell and we're not gonna take it anymore!!!

So, you guys can expect to hear about a new game from us, hopefully by the end of this year. We can't promise a specific date, but the wheels are rolling and - for a change - we're not relying on anyone else to make it happen.

I guess that's the big stuff. I'm sure I've left out a bunch of words as I've typed this, which I always do when I'm tired, but I'm sure you'll all get the gist. Let me know in your responses whether or not you'd like to do a chat or just send me your questions. I'll be snowboarding tomorrow during the day, and then watching my beloved Patriots crush New York in the Super Bowl, but I'll be back online on Monday and I can answer your questions through Wednesday.

Good night, good luck, and keep the faith!

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Fred Buer
Post subject: Re: Howdy from Aaron & Chris
Post Posted: Feb 02, 2008 10:51 pm
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As always, thank you for taking care of us, AND our faiths.

And a very good luck to you both! I'd write more, but I'm in a hurry at the moment. I just wanted to express my gratitude.

-Fred

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Bjyman
Post subject: Re: Howdy from Aaron & Chris
Post Posted: Feb 02, 2008 11:00 pm
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I'd like to chat but I'd need advance notice to get off work so having a late time or an option to ask questions for those who cant make it would be good.

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marinedalek
Post subject: Re: Howdy from Aaron & Chris
Post Posted: Feb 03, 2008 12:42 am
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Great news about the mysterious "New Game" :D - I'm sure everyone's keeping their collective fingers crossed for you guys.
Just a quick question if I may - if money were no object would you want to go down the FMV route for a further Tex game, or would you stay with completely 3D cutscenes? I'm tempted to say I'd prefer the former, but being realistic as long as Chris does Tex's voice I'd settle for the latter :P

Oh, and just a quick thank you for scaring the crap out of me at age 7 when I played Pandora :lol:

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Cubase
Post subject: Re: Howdy from Aaron & Chris
Post Posted: Feb 03, 2008 6:59 am
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Good news as always, thanks for stopping by. It's always good to get updated and to see how you guys are going. You guys have great spirit, I am sure you will get there soon enough!

-Cub. =o)

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freepizza
Post subject: Re: Howdy from Aaron & Chris
Post Posted: Feb 03, 2008 7:55 am
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Thanks for the post AC. Glad to hear things are looking... not bad heh. You should come around here more often, you don't have to tell us anything interesting but I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say we would love you and Chris to be a more voiced part of the community. I can understand if you just dont love us :wink:

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Jim the old guy
Post subject: Re: Howdy from Aaron & Chris
Post Posted: Feb 03, 2008 8:41 am
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Yes, thank you for stopping by and giving us some good info to "chew" on. We're not skeptical, just hopeful.

As far as chat or questions, I can do either. However, sometimes a chat can be difficult for those in other countries, especially "Down Under". Maybe the Questions route would make it easier for all - and for you - since no one will be under a specific time frame. My 2 cents.

And yes!, we are and will continue to keep the faith.

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i'm_melting_i'm_melting
Post subject: Re: Howdy from Aaron & Chris
Post Posted: Feb 03, 2008 10:19 am
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:D Nice to hear from you again, guys!

Maybe a 'Questions' thread, and a follow-up 'Answers' thread may be the solution here, like Slashdot did in their recent Joel Hodgson interview:

Questions - http://ask.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/11/21/2013229&tid=133

Answers - http://interviews.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/01/25/1457218

You can be sure I will buy whatever game you've got in the works when it comes out - if only as a future 'investment'. :wink:

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Ruben
Post subject: Re: Howdy from Aaron & Chris
Post Posted: Feb 03, 2008 12:39 pm
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Thanks for taking the time to write. Your new project looks promising! I can't wait to buy a product from you guys. Also, I will attend the chat if time allows me to do so. Tex Murphy lives forever!

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jcarnby
Post subject: Re: Howdy from Aaron & Chris
Post Posted: Feb 03, 2008 12:42 pm
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Great to hear from you, AC! Thanks for stopping by! The mysterious game sounds very intriguing and I'm sure I'm not the only one who can't wait to hear more.

Chat would be great. My schedule may or may not allow it, but I shall see once the general consensus of the best time for everyone else comes in.

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SeuLunga
Post subject: Re: Howdy from Aaron & Chris
Post Posted: Feb 03, 2008 12:54 pm
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Thanks so much for stopping by! My candle remains lit!

As for the next Tex game, all I need is stodgy mouse movement, those great stories and puzzles and the old gang. Best luck to you and CJ, we believe in you!

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Jerry Dan
Post subject: Re: Howdy from Aaron & Chris
Post Posted: Feb 03, 2008 2:08 pm
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Thanks for checking on us! We're dedicated to keep this board going until the events of Overseer are slated to take place (you know, just to help him out a little bit).

Actually, the way I have it figured, this board will eventually evolve into the American Information Database that Tex will make use of to solve crime. We'll play our role in history, never fear.

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James LeMosy
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Post subject: Re: Howdy from Aaron & Chris
Post Posted: Feb 03, 2008 2:56 pm
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Howdy Aaron! Thanks for dropping in! Always good to get an update on what you guys are up to, Tex-related or not. We're all looking forward to your new venture with much anticipation -- keep us posted...we will, definitely, keep the faith!

Everyone, I've started a new thread to post your questions for Aaron and Chris, aptly named "Questions for AC & CJ." I'm still looking into a viable chatroom solution for the site for possible future chat events, but for now, I think this will be the best and most convenient way to go about a "chat" and still accommodate everyone's different schedules and time zones.

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DrPaul
Post subject: Re: Howdy from Aaron & Chris
Post Posted: Feb 03, 2008 2:58 pm
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If I had to choose between chat or submitting questions, I would go with the questions because I think it would be more inclusive (scheduling a non-issue) and your replies could be more thoughtful.
---
In an earlier post, I suggested that Pandora was the quintessential computer game and doubted that it could ever be topped. That comment referred to the whole PD package - 3D virtual world, full motion video, story, characters and actors. Tough to beat. That being said, I agree with you whole-heartedly that the *story* (and characters) is really what sets the Tex games apart from all others.

Although Pandora was also a technical and production marvel, it's real strength was in the story and the characters.

My fantasy continues to be a Tex Murphy interactive fiction game - heck with the technology. Story and characters rule!

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michel pronk
Post subject: Re: Howdy from Aaron & Chris
Post Posted: Feb 03, 2008 3:10 pm
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It is always nice to hear from u two "Aaron & Chris"

We indeed have come a long way from just being a bunch of peaple interested in a game to almost real comunety of friends who chare their ups and downs help where help is needed and just enjoy chatting about everything around us in thw world.

Chat would be grand but as some have stated its gone be kinda hard with so many diferent time zones so a list of quistions and ansers would also be grand in my opinion.

Nice to hear u got alot of work to do and your own (WordPlay.LLC) compeny going. But about your office kindly donated by Mr. Chris Jones ehh your probebly cheeper to keep arround then a cleaning lady. Neh im joking ofcourse its grand to see u two keeping togther.

Wow gold simulator business Ohh well sadly i cant even see the ball on the ground so i dont even know what i would be hiting but ohh well funn is in trying everything once.

Yeah New games develpment, sadly its all about how to make a quick return on investments. instead of good contens and gameplay. having said that it just makes me glad there are still peaple like u two around who care more about story telling then "Ohh it looks good so it will sell." Hope i made cence there but what it boiles down to what other game develpers would keep in touch with peaple like us years and years afther just to say hello chat to us and keep us posten on their lives their hopes and dreams.

I for one never met more nice peaple on any other games messagebourd then here with TEX, Somehow that dude just brings out the best in us all even if playing the dark path is more funn to wath.

Well, I can tell you this: the rest of Tex's story is finished, waiting to be told, and (if I say so myself) it kick's Pandora's ASS. Sounds so so good LOL and well in what ever form someday we will know it all.

New game at the end of the year? Cansels holidays for the end of the year to make sure i got some spare coins. Neh ill just let my wifes get it for me as a cristmast present.

Good luck snowbourding and have funn at the match well a few sleepless night for us thinking of ridiculous things to ask. In any case took me 2 days to come up with good reply in this time i think i got it,

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