Leisure Suit Larry In The Land Of The Kickstarters

By Alec Meer on April 2nd, 2012 at 6:00 pm.

I need a button on my keyboard that automatically types the word 'kickstarter'

We need to create a master document of old PC gaming franchises and genres and tick off everything that announces a resurrection via Kickstarter. I suspect there’ll be quite a lot of them by this time next year. Next to take a swing at recapturing past glory and the hearts and minds of elder gamers is Leisure Suit Larry creator Al Lowe, who wants to rescue his beloved sleazeball from the terrible fate he suffered in recent years. In a project called ‘Make Leisure Suit Larry come again!’ – DYSWHDT – he’s asking for $500,000 for a brand new point’n'click starring the original Larry. Well, a brand new remake at least.

He and his new colleages at Replay Games have rescued the licence from Big Software, meaning they’re free to do what they will. In fact, this is the previously-announced remake of the first Larry game, In The Land Of The Lounge Lizards, but they want to make without publishers and with, hopefully, a higher budget.

It is, I must admit, a little odd to be Kickstarting a game that was announced months ago and presumably had some budget already, but hopefully their intentions are honest in terms of making a better game, and not just establishing what extra cash they can round-up. There’s no reason the crowdsourcing model can’t be used to improve existing projects, I guess. Mighty funny one, though. And a shame it’s a remake rather than a brand new game.

Here’s a video starring Lowe, who’s the very definition of ‘avuncular’ and has what could be said to be the final word on the fate of Sierra.

You know how this works by now, right? Around an hour after announcing the project, they’re at $1200 already.

Tomorrow, we’ll be posting about the Plumbers Don’t Wear Ties 2 Kickstarter.

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104 Comments »

  1. bit_crusherrr says:

    I really don’t like kickstarter. It’s just a way of getting investment you never have to pay back.

    • Pathetic Phallacy says:

      Art should not be a debate between risk and reward.

      • Brun says:

        That statement is only applicable if all games (or all kickstarter games) are art, which is clearly not the case.

        • Chris D says:

          I think it’s applicable so long as some games are art.

          But the main point is that kickstarter isn’t trying to replace the investment model, it’s a way of funding games that wouldn’t exist without it. The reward is that a game you like will exist.

          • StranaMente says:

            More than that, if someone decides to pay, get the game he wants, no harm has been done, without need to call in “art”.
            If, however, the game ISN’T done, then we have other problems that have nothing to do with art.

            However, games ARE art.
            Every single component of a game is considered art individually (acting, storytelling, 2d digital painting or 3d modelling, music…) and games are even more than the sum of the parts, so games are art.

          • Brun says:

            Games are like any other medium in that some of them are art and some of them are not. The line distinguishing them, as with music, photography, painting, sculpture, and film, greatly depends on the personal biases and opinions of the beholder.

            Just as an example, some films are art, and some clearly are not. Most of the fare at Sundance would probably be considered art. This year’s installment in the Transformers franchise probably wouldn’t. Same thing with video games. Shadow of the Colossus/ICO? Probably art. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare N? Not so much.

          • Shadram says:

            “Every single component of a game is considered art individually (acting, storytelling, 2d digital painting or 3d modelling, music…)”

            You forgot the most important bit: the code. That’s science.

        • ucfalumknight says:

          The problem with calling something “Art” is that “Art” is completely subjective. Watching a fisherman fly-casting perfectly could be considered art. Watching a naked man wallowing around a stage in his own feces could also be considered art. So, are games art? In my opinion, yes. But, I think we must defer to US Supreme Court Justice Stewart in his 1964 Opinion on Pornography: [I can't define what is pornography.] But I know it when I see it.”

          • LennyLeonardo says:

            And the problem with a descriptive term that’s completely subjective is that it’s then completely meaningless, making this whole discussion meaningless, and also, coincidentally, really boring.

          • DrGonzo says:

            Art is meaningless and boring.

          • AlexanderMangel says:

            drum roll….. art creates meaning… opportunity for meaning that is.

            And it so happens to be: often when it’s boring people try to find meaning.

      • Terragot says:

        Art should not base it’s existence on financial principles.

        • Raiyan 1.0 says:

          Man, all those paintings and sculptures resulting from patronage during the Renaissance must count for nothing, huh?

          • DrGonzo says:

            And Van Gogh. Shite, because he made them for a living.

          • jrodman says:

            Is this a complex self-contradictory joke? Calling van Gogh’s income from painting “a living” would be extremely generous.

    • skorpeyon says:

      This would be true except for the simple fact that every game-based kickstarter I’ve ever seen offers you a copy of the game for investing at the lowest level. In some cases, this level is cheaper than the game will be when it is released. Therefore a LOT of the time it’s more like a very-advanced pre-order. They don’t have to pay the money back, but they do give the people something for their investment. Granted, if the game doesn’t get made you get nothing, but for all of the big games I’ve seen they’ve hit their goals incredibly fast and then followed through on their promises.

      I mean, come on, they’re up to $6,916 already.

    • Carra says:

      Or you can see it as pre-order with all the benefits going to the developers.

    • Oof says:

      Jesus Christ. Somebody do some research on Roman law already and see that this kind of thing has been around since AT LEAST THEN. Or STFU and let those of us who are happy to throw money at people do so in peace.

    • InternetBatman says:

      You pay it back with goods, and if the goods aren’t very good people won’t buy from you again. But again, it’s patronage not investment.

    • kwyjibo says:

      Kickstarter is just a way of pre-ordering things that you want.

      Those people who give all their money in order to get that smug feeling like they’re some patron of the arts? They deserve to have their money taken from them. They’re paying $500 for an iPod dock. They’re idiots.

      • LionsPhil says:

        No, sir, I submit for the thread’s consideration that it is you who is the rear-end of an ass!

      • fish99 says:

        It’s not like a preorder though, because there’s no guarantees. With a pre-order, if the game never makes it to market, you usually get your money back. You don’t with kickstarter.

        Lots of games get cancelled or run out of money long before reaching market. it’s just a matter of time before this happens to a crowd sourced game. People will be a lot more reluctant to give money once that’s happened once. There’s also the question of what happens when the project goes tits up and people start demanding their money back (from amazon payments etc).

        Another risk with kickstarter is the game may not turn out like you were hoping, or just may not be any good.

      • Mattrex says:

        Truly spoken like one with no consideration for anything beyond the contents of his wallet.

    • Dizzard says:

      I think you can argue that it isn’t just a case of “getting money you’ll never have to pay back”

      If Fargo or Tim Schafer happened to go back on their promise I bet even their reputations would be in tatters, and rightly so.

    • mrhoohex says:

      ea plant

  2. Richie Shoemaker says:

    I’m half-tempted to research the prospect of kickstarting PC Zone back into life. Sadly, by the time I’m fully-tempted kickstarting will as maligned as zombies and DRM combined.

  3. Olderman says:

    Wow, three projects and the revolution makes everyone yawn. While my best 80s gaming memories were RPGs, LSL is still way up there. My only problem… A remake? I really would have preferred a new title.

    • CMaster says:

      There’s been a hell of a lot more than 3 games put up for Kickstarter.

      • Olderman says:

        Well of course, but I’m referring to the three that got all the attention. There may be a couple more I missed but the “revolution” I’m referring to started with W2, even if KS has been around for years.

        • Brun says:

          The “revolution” really started with Double Fine – that’s really the first big one I can remember. Wasteland 2 may have gotten the biggest monetary number, but regular readers of RPS were seeing Kickstarter articles for months before W2′s announcement.

          • Olderman says:

            Oops, yes DF :) My greater interest in W2 got the best of me there. The third being The Banner Saga and it seems to be going downhill from there, enthusiasm-wise. Actually even TBS went a few notches down. Then again they don’t have the same track record.

            Al Lowe definitely has that track record. His project’s weakness is being a remake though. I wonder if I wouldn’t prefer replaying the original.

          • Lambchops says:

            FTL also deserves a mention as part of the Kickstarter surge as they showed that unknowns could get in on the act too as long as they had a good concept and some sort of evidence that they could deliver on the game.

            Funnily enough I didn’t really expect to see games on Kickstarter. I did contribute to getting a couple of albums made on Kickstarter (or the music varient PledgeMusic) but for some reason I didn’t see it coming with games. Glad it has.

  4. djbriandamage says:

    I’m getting in on this one, no question. I’m a little disappointed that this is yet another remake of the first game (the original was CGA, the remake was VGA), but I’ll kick in a few bucks to state my interest in an all new chapter of this much-beloved classic adventure series.

  5. Sauceror says:

    No thanks, move along..

  6. felisc says:

    Al Lowe has a great voice.

  7. Eclipse says:

    $500,000 for a Leisure Suit remake? It’s an enormous budget for a 2d point and click adventure, I think even Double Fine one got way too big.
    My studio is doing a 3d metroidvania (3d graphics, 2d gameplay) for PC and console and we have a budget way, way, way lower than that :\ let’s say it’s around 5% that sum. Maybe we should jump the kickstarter bandwagon, but we’re european and other crowdfunding sites are nowhere as popular….

    • skorpeyon says:

      I do agree it seems like an awful lot. They do mention they’re starting the game from scratch, and I’m not sure just how many people are involved in the project, however. And I do hope that by “from scratch” they mean they’re designing a new engine and everything. So it could take time, and therefore money.

      But still, I agree it seems like an awfully large budget for a point-and-click.

    • djbriandamage says:

      It appears their long term plans are to develop the game for many platforms, including mobile. Plus, have you seen the art and animation frames? Looks pretty snazzy.

      • Eclipse says:

        it looks very bad to me, flash game quality. And with something like Cocos2D making an adventure game for pc and ios\android is really fast actually, or at least it shouldn’t involve more than a single coder for a bunch of months

      • LionsPhil says:

        ….really? I’m seen amateur Flash animations with better lipsync and facial expression.

        And less agonizingly-bad voicework. Yeeesh.

        (Hell, that taxi-hit would be poor in quality for AlbinoBlackSheep for crying out loud.)

    • DrGonzo says:

      I’m a wee bit worried by Double Fines game mainly because of the budget. It’s mainly why I didn’t invest in the kickstarter (other than they didn’t need it).

  8. Infinitron says:

    It’s a remake of a remake of a remake.

    First Larry game (made in 1987) was a graphical version of Softporn Adventure, a text adventure made in 1981.
    Then they made a VGA remake in 1991.

    And now this.

  9. Faldrath says:

    Regarding the alt-text, I use Word’s autocorrect feature to save time with very frequent words (it was a life saver when I was typing my dissertation). You could set it up so it replaces “k” with “Kickstarter”, for instance!

  10. JackDandy says:

    Hmmm.

    I never played the Larry games, so I think I’ll pass on this one.

  11. vanlock says:

    I want another Larry in Odorama with a scratch-a-smell card !

  12. Amstrad says:

    I love that Lowe makes no mention of the non-existent LSL4 and just sighs when he inevitably gets to the topic of the games made during the Sierra On-Line years.

    • FataMorganaPseudonym says:

      I also love that he makes no mention whatsoever of Magna Cum Laude or Box Office Bust at all and refers to Love for Sail as the “last Larry game.” He is, of course, entirely correct on that point.

  13. Zinic says:

    Does this count as “Jumping the Shark” for Kickstarter? Because honestly, I could do without a Leisure Suit Larry game.

  14. Juxtapox says:

    I love Leisure suit Larry. I really do. Played all of them when I was younger, well, most of them.

    I just can’t stand the new graphics, I just can’t. Uh, I’d love to contribute but these graphics man.. these graphics. I want blocky tits!

    • Eclipse says:

      it’s not just about blocky pixels, the art direction on this remake is truly afwul, especially characters and sprites. Love for Sail for example looked WAY better in 1996

      • Juxtapox says:

        I agree. I never liked the look Larry got in the later games.

        If this project would look like this: http://free-game-downloads.mosw.com/ss/4954_0.png
        I would pledge a much higher amount than I usually do.

        I believe simple graphics are enough, your mind automatically fills in the EXACT details of what things look like, hence making it the perfect art direction/graphics engine. It’s not just about nostalgia, it’s about you filling in the gaps, the good kind gap.

  15. pilouuuu says:

    It looks good. Al Lowe is amazing! I would have preferred a new Leisure Suit Larry game though instead of remaking the same game once again.

  16. stupid_mcgee says:

    Wasteland 2? Sure. Especially with Obsidian on board!

    Takedown? Sounds cool. I would love someone to bring something akin to Rogue Spear back into gaming.

    Leisure Suit Larry remake? The original wasn’t that good and… Yeah, I’m just not a fan of LSL. I mean, great if others are, but I wonder how much traction this will get. LSL is mainly known by the public as being an early-era “naughty-bits” game, not for being a particularly well made game. (even though LSL does have its moments, but it’s akin to HBO’s “Dream On.” worth a chuckle, but not that amazing and blatantly used sexuality as its focal selling point) I think Lowe is a good game designer and he has a great sense of humor, I just wish this kickstarter wasn’t for, what I consider to be, such a mediocre game.

    Why don’t we do a kickstarter for a National Lampoon: Van Wilder game, instead!? No? Good. It was terrible idea.

    This reminds me of my state legislators.

    “Hey guys, guns in bars! We did it!”

    “Um. We never wanted that. We wanted our crumbling roadways fixed and our waning economy turned around.”

    “Yep. Guns in bars. You’re welcome.”

    • StingingVelvet says:

      The Al Lowe ones are generally considered to be damn good games by people who don’t instantly judge them by the content.

      The later ones are terrible though. Hence Al Lowe being in the video.

  17. Etherealsteel says:

    I’d be interested if they Kickstarted the game: No One Lives Forever. I loved that game and the second one too. I’m done with Larry he’s had several good runs with that series, time to move on Larry.

    • Olderman says:

      Yes the other weakness is that it’s been done, done again, and again. I wonder if Mr. Lowe doesn’t kind of shoot himself in the foot by retracing the whole history. Not the same as “finally a second Wasteland”. Sure there were the Fallouts but…

      Then again it cleared $10K in a couple hours. But buzz dies out and $500K is a long ways away.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Problem with NOLF is that, I believe, the talent have moved on and been otherwise occupied. Likewise SiN, for that matter.

  18. InternetBatman says:

    I’m surprised Zork hasn’t reared its head.

    • OtakuMan says:

      Well given that Zork IP is owned by Activision…

      …that might be a bit tricky. Although if the original Zork developers are following this, I may see if I can get some info from them about what they’re thinking, feeling, and/or planning.

      • Jason Moyer says:

        I’d be more interested in a new Steve Meretzky game, really. I love the original Zork trilogy but Meretzky’s games were far and away the best stuff to come out of Infocom.

        Actually, I’d be more interested in a re-make/sequel to Leather Goddesses Of Phobos than LSL.

  19. Oof says:

    I can’t see myself pledging to this. The humour of these titles has always been just so-so.

    Give me a Quest for Glory Kickstarter, and for a new title in the franchise, and you’ll have my money.

  20. MichaelPalin says:

    But is another Larry necessary? I hate the sequelitis and unending franchising of big publishers, I definitely would prefer that Kickstarters is used for something genuinely new and innovative and not for old glories to re-release old titles for the shake of it. It wouldn’t be much of a progress for the medium if Kickstarters is used just for that.

    But I’m just a bit grumpy, time will tell.

  21. Hodge says:

    I’d chip in for a new Al Lowe-led sequel, but for yet another remake of the original? I think I’ll pass.

    Having said that, reading those pledge rewards reminded me just how much I love Mr Lowe’s writing, and if I was the kind to have $10 grand kicking about in my pants I’d easily take him up on the meet + greet offer.

    Now, if Scott Murphy was to throw up a Kickstarter for a new Space Quest game? With Josh Mandel on board to help with the writing? There’s a money fountain right there. Too bad it will never happen, due to both licensing issues and Scott’s emphatic exit from the gaming world.

    • Juxtapox says:

      A new Space Quest game…? Oh my. Oh my…. With Mark Crowe? Hnnnng. [insert Fry meme]

      • LionsPhil says:

        I thought at least one of the Two Guys was done with it all, though. And for what happens when you only have one of them…see Space Quest V onwards.

        Also I’m not sure even Kickstarter could get the money up for a game with a text parser in this day and age.

  22. Ratchet says:

    Someone go whisper Kickstarter in Julian Gallop’s ear. I’m sure my most favorite game of all-time is the most favorite of many others as well; undoubetly the outpouring of Kickstarter pledges would be glorious indeed…

  23. StingingVelvet says:

    The franchise I would love to see return is Shadowrun, the real singleplayer RPG kind. The IP rests in good hands, but last i heard they were fucking it over with a free to play MMO or something.

    Oh well.

  24. Lambchops says:

    If this get’s funded I’ll be amazed, though it does seeme to be doing well so far.

    I realise that it’s a series of games that has been sullied by its sequels and that many hold the early ones in reasonably high regard . . . but seriously . . . .a remake. Fair play to them if they reach 500 grand but I’m not sure I understand the mentality.

    Then again if someone promised me a Grim Fandango remake I’d almost certainly buy it (but perhaps not Kickstart it) so maybe I’m just a great big poo poo headed hypocrite!

    • LionsPhil says:

      I’d question why, really. What’d you improve about Grim?

      Ok, ok, the control system. But visually, it’s already all raytraced and pre-rendered except for the characters, who are specifically designed, save perhaps Glottis, to be chunky and polygonial and painted-on as part of the deliberate style of little puppets, so the advance of technology means nowt. And the voicework is all present and fine.

      It’d be an effort best invested in some other adventuring classic that hasn’t aged quite so well, or on what we have with the Double Fine adventure: scooping out delicious, fresh ideas from Tim’s fecund brain-casing.

      • pilouuuu says:

        Grim Fandango NEEDS a remake, updated version. It should have higher res, characters with more polygons and textures. Hopefully the backdrops could be raytraced again. And it must definitely have point and click control! The rest is just perfect. Except for the part with the fire beavers.

      • Lambchops says:

        @ LionsPhil

        A version that works on current systems would be grand! Might as well give it a lick of paint and a swift fix of the more iffy parts of the control system and job’s a good ‘un.

        I agree though,it doens’t need messing around with, I was thinking more that I’d definitely buy something of the ilk of the Monkey Island Special Edition for Grim.

  25. freduardo says:

    This seems like exactly the kind of franchise that would benefit from Kickstarter. It’s old enough and sleazy enough that no real publisher would touch it, it would never sell well in retail and it depends on something no wad of studio money can buy in this industry: good writing, wacky jokes and cheesecake.

    I wish you luck, Al Lowe, and this may be the first Kickstarter campaign I support with my wallet.

  26. neolith says:

    I wish kickstarter would accept paypal. :(

  27. Bob says:

    A remake doesn’t interest me, sorry. Kickstart a new version and I might be willing to part with some cash.

  28. Sivart13 says:

    Why in the world is it a remake? What other Adventure Game needed to be remade two times?

    Think of a new story you loon.

  29. sophof says:

    A remake? $500,000? Sounds to me someone has been smoking something he shouldn’t have.
    Although not too long ago I would’ve thrown a lot of money at my screen if they were to do a remake/update of X-COM :P

  30. Bensam123 says:

    Funny how Manga Cum Laude and Box Office Bust weren’t mentioned… Guess they’re somehow trying to separate themselves from full on sex games, which is funny.

  31. Sunjammer says:

    Oh awesome, remake the least enjoyable of the classic Larry games. LSL1 is just wall to wall sadness, depression, venereal disease and nerd rage against women and men alike. It’s one of the saddest games ever made. I played it once and if you want me to play it again, I suggest you throw ME a Kickstarter.

    For craps sake, LSL7 was a JOY of a game; How about an actual sequel worth our time?

  32. Bfox says:

    They really need half a million dollars to remake this? Am I missing something?

  33. DestructibleEnvironments says:

    That Al Lowe is a handsome young man.

  34. Red_Avatar says:

    http://seeingredrant.com/?p=517 <– *cough* Funny how I predicted this, isn't it ? ;)

  35. RegisteredUser says:

    Staring.eyes tag so badly needed.

    Really would rather have a new / decent larry game. Larry has _always_ been borderline bad humor/puns though, sadly, but e.g. LSL 6 did have 1-2 not too ugh-ifying moments, I guess?

    Either way, shame what happened to this series in the end.

  36. Grey_Ghost says:

    Even though I had a lot of fun with the LSL series especially LSL3, I just don’t think I can back this. A remake of the first game doesn’t sound that interesting, especially with the art style of the characters they are planning to go with. That cartoon-y bulbous headed Larry just reminds me of the awful Al Lowe-less games that got made.

    EDIT: Hmm, my rose colored glasses made me forget about the box art. Guess I was too attached to the pixelated graphics from that era.

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