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Leisure Suit Larry's Maker On Wedgies v. Bullets 270

Posted by timothy
from the goose-the-bad-guy dept.
simoniker writes "Al Lowe, the creator of lounge lizard Leisure Suit Larry, has been talking about his comeback game with new developer iBase Studios, Sam Suede, asking why games nowadays are too violent, and revealing of his new title: "there's going to be guards, but instead of slitting their throats, you'll give them a wedgie." He also asks: 'Let me put this way, the shelf is full of racing games and shooters, RPGs and action games. Where are the comedies?' Well, where are they?"
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Leisure Suit Larry's Maker On Wedgies v. Bullets

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  • Don't comment unless you can answer the following question: [allowe.com]
    What can you get in a "red light" district?

    a. in many cases, trouble
    b. the Blue Plate Special
    c. outdoor lighting fixtures
    d. lingerie

    • by bj8rn (583532) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @03:55PM (#15438992)
      a. in many cases, trouble

      Oh, and wasn't there a key combo that let you bypass the age questions? I was definitely not 18 when I played it, and neither was I American enough to know the answers to many of the questions, so I cheated.

  • No Funny Games (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Dr_LHA (30754)
    Last genuinely funny games I played were the Monkey Island series of games. So this guy is certainly speaking a lot of truth.

    Leisure Suit Larry games were never funny, mildly titilating if you're a 13 year old maybe, but funny? No. So I'm not sure how qualified he is to talk about making funny games.
    • I don't know (Score:4, Insightful)

      by BitterAndDrunk (799378) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @04:01PM (#15439052) Homepage Journal
      The first one was pretty damn funny I thought.

      The whole "quest to get laid" was fantastic, and the censored bar moving up and down was pretty damn clever.

      Sure, some of the jokes were a bit hacky, but all in all I thought the game was clever and the whole meta-commentary ("it's hard to find the right girl, and when you do she steals all your money") was pretty clever as well.

    • I don't know if I'd agree with you. I only played the original (CGA/EGA graphics) and while I was certainly a teen or younger, it was funny.

      Like how he'd get sick and turn colors (eventually plaid) and die if you slept with the hooker and didn't use a rubber. That was funny.

      Then again, games were simpler back then.
      • by Zaphod2016 (971897) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @04:47PM (#15439452) Homepage

        Like how he'd get sick and turn colors (eventually plaid) and die if you slept with the hooker and didn't use a rubber. That was funny.

        Not only was this scene funny, but playing as a 13-year-old it really helped drive home the point that condom use was a good idea.

        I'm not saying it is the duty of video games to teach sex ed, nor am I one of those "video games are the root of child violence" people, however, I certainly see value in this sort of thing. Speaking for myself, I have learned stuff from all sorts of goofy sources, and more often than not, entirely accidentally.

    • I found the first game to be funny, and not particularly titillating, when I was 13... so I'm not sure how qualified you are to talk about which games are funny (or titillating.)
      • It didn't make me laugh, and I played 2 of the games. I guess the first one was better, I never played it.

        Monkey Island on the other hand had me laughing out loud.
    • The original Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards was indeed quite silly. I sat down and played through it again a few years ago (the original, not that godawful VGA remake). It took all of about 3 hours, but that's mostly because I remembered how to solve the puzzles. Probably would've taken a day or two to go through it for the first time.
    • Freedom Force was HILARIOUS. I played that game like four times laughing the whole way.
      The Third Reich wasn't anywhere near as funny though :
      Dungeon Keeper was almost as funny.... Then there's the concept games like Earthworm Jim and Sacrifice - Shiny's last great game...

      I've quit gaming, or I'd be able to name one or two more... Evil Genius seemed to have potential, but it may not have lived up to it. Black and White had built in, I guess. Star control makes honorable mention for funny, certain
    • Re:No Funny Games (Score:4, Informative)

      by Kazzahdrane (882423) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @04:37PM (#15439379)
      For the love of Gaming God, play Psychonauts. If you have, and didn't find it funny, I'm surprised and saddened.
    • The first LSL game was a graphical update to a text adventure Sierra bought called Soft Porn. The only really novel stuff Al added was graphics, the main character's name, and a couple of minor plot changes. I found the text adventure and the graphical version quite amusing, probably because Al didn't add much to it (also probably my age at the time - 14). I didn't find the sequel very funny, however, and didn't play another.

      Maybe I've grown up, but giving a wedgie to a guard is not really funny to me.
    • Last genuinely funny games I played were the Monkey Island series of games. So this guy is certainly speaking a lot of truth.

      Leisure Suit Larry games were never funny, mildly titilating if you're a 13 year old maybe, but funny? No. So I'm not sure how qualified he is to talk about making funny games.


      humor is a matter of taste and there is still no accounting for taste.
    • Last genuinely funny games I played were the Monkey Island series of games. So this guy is certainly speaking a lot of truth.

      I thought Postal 2 was pretty funny myself, although it was full of gore and violence ^_^

      My favourite part was when you shoved the shotgun up a cat's ass before you shoot someone... Here kitty kitty kitty...
    • Re:No Funny Games (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Espectr0 (577637)
      There are good violent games that are also funny. San Andreas is the last one i remember. Damn, it was too funny when smoke was eating while being drived-by gangs. Or Truth the hippy. Or Mike Toreno when you stole the jet.
  • by hjf (703092) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @03:54PM (#15438973) Homepage
    I think many nerds will think this game is offensive. I mean, they are the main victims of wedgies...
    • That's okay. See, the guards are the no-future jocks and bullies who used to give you wedgies, and you're the secret spy / wedgie master out for revenge.

      Or something.

      Imagination: use it or lose it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @03:54PM (#15438979)
    I've got a couple little kids (yeah, I know - "please think of ....") - and am quite annoyed by the double-standard in gaming and media in general.


    Seems like blatently dangerous and illegal activity is endorsed by the industry (shooting people; blowing things up; etc) - while perfectly legal stuff (wasn't the sex in the GTA mod consentual?) ends up being shunned and forbidden.


    What kind of lesson is that?


    If I were making the rules; game rating should he based on the illegality of the activities in the game -- if there's murder or similar - keep it away from my kids. If it's minor misdemeanors (like this new game sounds like) that's better.

    • by faloi (738831) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @04:16PM (#15439188)
      Seems like blatently dangerous and illegal activity is endorsed by the industry (shooting people; blowing things up; etc) - while perfectly legal stuff (wasn't the sex in the GTA mod consentual?) ends up being shunned and forbidden.

      I think it was consentual and legal...as long as you don't consider prostitution to be illegal and believe that prostitutes aren't effectively coerced into prostitution because of other circumstances in their life.

      If I were making the rules; game rating should he based on the illegality of the activities in the game -- if there's murder or similar - keep it away from my kids.

      You're a parent. It's your job to make sure that your kids are only exposed to things you find appropriate. That's why you should paying attention to what your children watch, play and listen to. And it's also not a bad idea to keep up with what they're learning from their friends and in school to make sure it matches your belief system. <tinfoil>And you should feel free to speak out if you don't like the idea that your kids are learning to be submissive to all form of authority while not learning to actually think for themselves</tinfoil> (yeah, I think that's the case, but it's pretty tinfoil hat-ish).

      If you rely on the government or some industry or another to monitor what your kids learn and see, I'd wager your going to be VERY disappointed someday.
      • by hobbesmaster (592205) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @07:12PM (#15440592)
        I think it was consentual and legal...as long as you don't consider prostitution to be illegal and believe that prostitutes aren't effectively coerced into prostitution because of other circumstances in their life.

        In GTA:SA if you were with a prostitute, she just came into your car and it rocked back and forth (very similar to what happens in "The Sims 2" if you WooHoo in a car). Your health would be restored, and your cash would go down (or up if you'd completed all the "pimping" missions). The "hot coffee" mod did not change this. In GTA:SA there were several girlfriends you could have (5 or 6 IIRC, you could be dating all of them at the same time without repercussion too since they were in different parts of the "state"). Each gave you some gameplay bonus for dating them - some were pretty big like getting out of jail or hospital for free (and keeping all your weapons!). Once you started dating a girlfriend you'd go on dates to wherever she wanted (dinner, dancing, bar, whatever), and take her back to her place. If you went to a place that she liked (fast food = bad) you'd get a +5 to the relationship stat (starts at around 30). Once you got your relationship stat above a certain point (40-60 depending on who) after you drop her off at her house she'd ask if you wanted to "come in for some hot coffee". Without the mod installed the camera fixed on the house and you'd hear moans and so forth, time would ellapse, and your relationship stat would go up by another 5 (so 10 for the entire date). With the hot coffee mod installed this was actually a button mashing minigame where you could succeed or fail, if you failed it nullified the bonus from the successful date, if you succeeded you'd get the extra +5.

        Now whether you want to complain about this gameplay mechanic or not, I don't particularly care, but at least complain about the right thing...
  • No funny games? (Score:5, Informative)

    by steveo777 (183629) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @03:54PM (#15438982) Homepage Journal
    Funny Games
    Metal Arms - Glitch in the System
    Conker's Bad Fur Day
    The Bard's Tale (PS2, XBox, PC)
    Metal Gear 3 - Snake Eater (very comical commentary, involving a box)

    These are just off the top of my head.
    • Duke Nuke'm had some funny bits too, catching the monster in the bathroom, giving the go-go girls money for a pasty flash.

      Good clean fun !
    • Most of those are lame-ass* console games, here are some real ones:

      Giants: Citizen Kabuto
      Armed And Dangerous
      Serious Sam
      SiN Episode 1
      Splinter Cell (CT?)
      Max Payne

      I wouldn't call all of them comedies, but the conversations the enemies have are often hilarious.

      *Just kidding, ha ha.
      • I recently started playing (in 1964) Army Men - Air Combat with my girlfriend, and let me tell you that the game is quite funny, it has some nice moments, like when you have to throw green crayons in to the Tan unit fabric to change the color of the soldiers.

        I think the army men sires are quite nice, but yeah, the larry series are hilarious (at least, I really liked them, and I remember staying a loong night until I could answer those three pesky questions after a friend gave me the game... next day (I was

    • A lot of RPGs had good moments during dialog. Take KOTOR, for instance. According to Wikipedia, HK-47 was supposed to be comic relief, and from my own experience there are many dialogue options that'll tick Bastila off. A good deal of situational irony as well in its sequel.
    • We're talking Comedic games here, not games that have a few one liners and funny moments in them. I believe there is a big difference. What is sad is that there isn't much you could put on a list of true comedic games.
    • Don't forget No One Lives Forever, where the object is mostly to sneak around, since you're a spy, or dispose of the baddies quietly. It's worth it to sneak around too- the guards in various places have conversations to alert you to their presence and such. The conversations are hilarious.

      Two of them inside one of the "evil hideous" discuss how one's brother has gone into the business of kitchen remodelling, and the other asks for the brother's number as his wife has been nagging him to have something d

  • by jbrader (697703) <stillnotpynchon@gmail.com> on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @03:56PM (#15438995)
    The difficulty with comedy in games is that jokes tend to get tired quickly, then after they get tired they get annoying. Think about games where there's some goofy voie over or sound effect, it's funny at first, then just lame, then bay the time your in the last third or so you want to strangle whoever pu it in there. S the challenge for a comedy game woul be to continously add new jokes, gags, whatever to keep the humor fresh but also to keep the gameplay consistent.

    Comedy is hard.

  • Comedy is... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by krbuck (6961) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @03:56PM (#15438997)
    Comedy is hard,

    blowing shit up is (relatively) easy.
  • It gets old (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 0xABADC0DA (867955) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @03:58PM (#15439019)
    A joke is only really funny the first couple times you hear it, but often killing the enemy gets even more fun the more times you do it. So naturally they make the games you'll play over and over.
  • I miss Larry (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ArcherB (796902)
    I remember playing LSL on my Apple//c many years ago. While it was not exactly a wholesome game I'd give to my kids, it is a stark contrast to modern day, Grand Theft Auto's Hot Coffee. LSL was almost a clean dirty.

  • by Anonymous Commando (6326) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @04:02PM (#15439059)
    I've been playing Burnout 3 on XBox lately, and I find myself giggling when I send a competitor's car flying into a deep ravine...

    ...but maybe that says more about me than it does about the game...

  • by jalefkowit (101585) <jason@NOSPam.jasonlefkowitz.net> on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @04:03PM (#15439074) Homepage

    If the definition of "comedy" being used is "includes wedgies", I think I'd rather not have any "comedy games", thanks.

    Now, a game that aimed at a grown-up audience and had a sophisticated sense of humor, that I could get into. But "sophisticated" is not the first word that jumps to mind when I think of Lowe's portfolio, so that's probably too much to hope for.

  • by Jason1729 (561790) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @04:05PM (#15439096)
    The LSL games were big hits if they sold 20,000 units. Games today have to sell millions to be considered sucessful. Targetting the larger market means they aim for the lowest common denominator.

    Those Sierra adventure games were and still are my favourite games.
  • Double Oh Seven (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Speare (84249) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @04:05PM (#15439099) Homepage Journal
    I once worked for a game company who was trying to get the rights to implement a 007 James Bond project. At the time, separate from the concept they were pitching, I offered an idea for a different "treatment."

    In *my* idea of a cool James Bond game, you would be faced with all the same sorts of adventure-game intrigue and scenarios that you would expect. However, as the player, you had a choice of solutions to each problem, and you would select from different famous portrayals of James Bond to use them. You could pick any Bond actor you wanted for any problem, but the methods used would be quite different depending on that choice.

    Wine and dine and charm the lady? Of course, everyone would pick Sean Connery's Bond for that one. But maybe you could detonate the truck as you jumped over it with a motorcycle, so switch to the action/adventure Timothy Dalton. If you could just gain computer access through the use of a one-liner retort that's crisper than a tux and dryer than a martini, well, Pierce Brosnan seems more adept at that sort of thing. And if you want to see how clumsy buffoonery and cheap cable-crane stunts can serve Her Magesty's international showdowns, we all know that's the only way Roger Moore won't disappoint.

  • Good idea. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by fuzzyfozzie (978329)
    The first person that makes a game geared toward the middle school crowd that involves roaming around the school (of course, the usual stereotypes involved) and doing stuff like that to teachers,students, and staff members will make a fortune.
  • Changing Times (Score:2, Interesting)

    by VirionNW (936737)
    I think comedy games lost ground partly due to the development of those trigger-happy genres, which are in turn becoming more complex and diverse to survive (well, some FPS/action games are, others are still bang-bang run-run festivals.) It seems to be about the same as traditional Adventure games, look at what happened to the classics like King's Quest; they tried a 3rd-person hack-and-slash and it flopped. Maybe they need to do what the game in the article is doing, well, at least the idea (wedgies just a
  • Replay value (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Killgore9998 (978340) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @04:12PM (#15439163)
    The reason why there are no comedy games on the shelf is simple, IMHO. It's because they offer 0 replay value. When was the last time you picked up Leisure Suit Larry for an additional play-through, or any other game that does its best to be funny? Now, when was the last time you decided to go through the Halo campaign again, on another difficulty level perhaps? Granted, Monkey Island has a lot of replayability - but that's because it's such a superbly made action adventure game that it's impossible not to enjoy it another time. But it's not for the humor. The nature of comedy is such that it gets old quickly, and innovation is everything. Racing games and FPS's don't suffer from these problems.
    • Actually about a month ago, I have it on an old 386 laptop that i keep around for the occasional playing of such games!
    • That why books stores never have comedy....
    • """The nature of comedy is such that it gets old quickly, and innovation is everything. Racing games and FPS's don't suffer from these problems."""

      It is obvious you have you never played the Indy 500 [the-underdogs.info] racing game. Driving around in a fricking circle for however many hours it took on a 286 to do it? Now *that* gets old quickly. :^)

      --Robert
    • Umm... I think you're very wrong about that. Taken to the context in movies, I've watched great comedy films over and over again long after the action and drama films are collecting dust on the shelf. If comedy is well done, there's infinite replayability. Why do we quote Simpsons and Futurama episodes OVER AND OVER again? Because they're still funny even after first viewing. The simple fact is that good comedy is a lot harder than action. It's much easier to throw a bunch of enemies into a game that the pl
    • Re:Replay value (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Hinhule (811436)
      No replay value?

      I can't tell you how many times I have played through
      The Monkey Island series
      Sam&Max
      Day of the Tentacle
      Maniac Mansion
      Simon the sorcerer series
      etc

      However lately (since 2000) the only games I can think of are Monkey Island 4 and Simon the sorcerer 3d.
      The adventure game market was vibrant until the 3D games hit. Since then I have not seen many, and I miss them.
  • by cptgrudge (177113) <cptgrudge&gmail,com> on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @04:13PM (#15439168) Journal
    Let me put this way, the shelf is full of racing games and shooters, RPGs and action games. Where are the comedies?

    I'll tell you where. In your pants! It's a fucking joke down there!

  • by blair1q (305137) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @04:15PM (#15439187) Journal
    Where are the new Sam'n'Max games?
    Full Throttle?
    Maniac Mansion/Day of the Tentacle?
    Monkey Island?

    Lucas isn't good for much any more, but he's got this IP in his vault and isn't doing a fucking thing with it. Instead he's producing uber-violent, xenophobic, pornomythic rubbish for the big screen and grubbing for tie-ins.

  • I know they're aimed at kids, but I thought the Spy Fox series by Humongous Entertainment was very funny, nice spoof on spy movies. "A spy without gadgets is like a shopping cart without a broken wheel," or words to that effect.
  • Crap man... do you have any grasp at all of the English language? Can someone translate the blurb into English for us non-Timothy speakers?
  • by RoffleTheWaffle (916980) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @04:25PM (#15439277) Journal
    In the Megazeux GCS community, comedy games are a pretty big deal. Not only are they easy to make, they're also deeply satisfying for players of all genres and fandoms. This is because no matter what kind of game you prefer to play - FPS, RPG, RTS - there's one genre everyone can relate to - WTF.

    Case in point: Inmate 2993's 'Cans' series - nearing its tenth birthday - is one of the most popular and widely known games to ever be made for Megazeux. These games, especially 'Cans' and 'Cans Episode One: Special Edition' are considered must-haves, alongside the other classics of Megazeux such as Adlo - an exceptionally well done platformer - and Bernard the Bard - an RPG considered to be the 'best game of all of Megazeux'. Guess what genre the 'Cans' series falls into?

    Comedy.

    Comedy games don't get much attention these days outside of their little niche. That's because they rarely feature the adrenaline-pumping action and pretty colors that are required to achieve any semblance of popularity in today's gamer culture, and forget getting the game published and sold in stores without a big name like 'Leisure Suit Larry' behind it. That doesn't mean comedy gaming is irrelevant, it's just underrated. I personally like a game I can both enjoy playing and get a good laugh out of, and if spending time with the Megazeux community has taught me anything, it's that I'm hardly alone.
  • by spun (1352) <`moc.oohay' `ta' `yranoituloverevol'> on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @04:28PM (#15439308) Journal
    Anyone remember Planetfall? Or Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy? Hilarous through-and-through, but many other of Infocom's interactive fiction games had particularly funny moments. Of course, interactive fiction lends itself to humor more than most types of games.
  • The little price tags attached to the same damn rehash of racing games, shooters, RPGs and action games.

    It makes me laugh to think that studios can command such money for re-heated ideas....
  • Most of the enemies in SIN Episodes die in extremely funny ways, yelling stuff like: Aargh my legs! or: it burns, it burns!
    If you score a headshot in GTA vice city the head disappears and the victim walks on squirting blood, hilarious!
    In Carmagueddon you can chase grannys and score "style" bonuses if you made nice streaks of blood on the tarmac very inventive!
    In Half Life 2 you can learn about physics by playing around with a sawn trough corpse hanging from a tree; both fun and educational!
  • Why just go for one or the other when you can have both! I haven't played Postal2, but Postal was pretty darn funny
  • Humour is subjective, however selling sex, violence and high speed racing to men is a bit snow to eskimos.
  • Dragon's Lair 3D - the recent release, was funny.
    Now I want a version of "Space Ace" to play on my PC!
  • Not an Al Lowe game but in the same genre and of the same era is Spellcasting 101 [the-underdogs.info] and what still makes me smile is the following puzzle.

    You are forced to fight a bull and chasing you around the arena is thirsty work. Your inventory contains a bottle of laxative. Ah yes but the really fun part was the sound. In an era when sound was rare hearing that gurgling sound was hilarious.

    Sure it ain't sophisticated and proper humor and all but Monty Python never minded some underwear humor and it is a lot better th

  • Bring them back! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by adolfojp (730818) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @05:11PM (#15439638)
    Graphic adventure games were replaced by first person shooters because first person shooters were the summer blockbuster movies of the game universe. They don't need a compelling story, just a lot of explosions and special effects.

    The other day I challenged my nephews to play and finish the old Monkey Island games. They have Game Cube and Playstation 2 consoles at home.

    They got hooked immediately. 15 year old games with outdated VGA graphics got the attention of my nephews. They have now moved on to the Quest for Glory series. (Hooray for dosbox and scummvm)

    There needs to be a graphic adventure game revival. The games don't need to be the summer blockbusters of the game industry. They will make enough money just by filling a gap that exists in the computer game section.
  • Eric the Unready.
  • by Subacultcha (921910) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @05:32PM (#15439829)
    Planned comedy is very hard to pull off unless you've already got a lot of skill in setting up jokes and comedic timing. Unfortunately, those aren't skills people acquire in the normal day-to-day of game development. You really need someone who developed their comedic skills on their own and also loves and understands games.

    Can you imagine, with all the rushed art and programming that goes on in game development, how well humor would fare? Not well. You may have a joke that works well with the development team for some reason, but just completely falls flat on the audience. In the end, the publisher is going to want the game done and not really worry about whether it's funny or not.

    The best example of a funny game recently is Psychonauts, by Double-fine. The dialog in that game was from Tim Schafer (Day of the Tentacle, Full Throttle) and Erik Wolpaw (from Old Man Murray - http://www.oldmanmurray.com./ [www.oldmanmurray.com] The game was often delayed and was even cut from Microsoft's lineup because Schafer was hard to work with. It was eventually released by Majesco and despite lot's of great reviews, it wasn't exactly a smash hit. The humor is top-notch, but in the end, if people don't like the game and it doesn't have a huge publisher backing it, it's not going to sell.

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