LSL HD – How Old Are You?

Dear Backers,
How are you? I am fine. If you haven’t come to the Replay Games forums recently, you’ve missed a lot of great info, art, and commentary by Dennis Flath, the Technical Art Director at N-Fusion. He checks in just about every day and has been answering questions right and left. Feel free to ask him any questions you want about N-Fusion’s dev process (and don’t forget you can ask me questions, too, also in the “Questions for the Team” subforum, which I check constantly).

Britton Mathews, our website guru, updated the Replay Games site ( and the forums ( over the weekend, and we’ve moved over to a new server. If you have any problems at all accessing or using the site or forums, let us know so we can address it quickly – but, so far, it’s been a very smooth transition.

Britton will also be sending out the surveys starting this week, so if you’ve got Leisure Suit Larry swag that’s supposed to be coming your way, you should get your survey soon. Kickstarter’s software only allows us to send these out *once*, so if you send yours in and it’s incomplete, or you want to change some information, contact us through Replay’s Customer Service and we’ll make sure it gets changed.

The artists at N-Fusion, Al, and I have spent a good amount of time this past week on the Larry model sheet. It’s now pinned down and we’ll probably release this model sheet very soon (possibly before my next update). Al and I are both totally happy with the version we ended up with: it gives Larry a tiny bit of a younger look (so that we can age him gradually throughout the games that follow), the right attitude, a properly tailored leisure suit, and a nose that pays subtle tribute to male genitalia. Or is that my imagination?

Oh, and N-Fusion is preparing a video update. They’re hoping to have it ready this week.
I’ve been asked if we’ll be releasing model sheets for all the characters, and the answer is an “almost yes.” My current thought is: we’ll release them, but not all at once, and maybe we should avoid releasing the Jasmine model sheet so that she’s a total surprise. I’m really reluctant to take all the mystery out of her prior to the game’s release, since she’s the only real new major character in the game.

Al has decided, at least for the time being, not to have his actual band playing in the game. He’s currently talking to a variety of composers/arrangers, and we hope to have a firm decision on this individual within the next couple of weeks.

For my part, I’m currently working on the Age Verification questions. Trying to make them funny and not TOO tough. Those of you who are under 17 right now, or who are too old to remember trivia and current events from the very early 2000’s, had better bone up on your pop culture. (Rim shot!)

Yours in Larry Laffer,

Space Venture update!

Introducing the Andromedan Post! The place to get the latest news of SpaceVenture and more!

We’ll still be posting updates here on Kickstarter, but you’ll get more frequent news from our official online newspaper! 🙂

PS- Check out the news about when Lori and Corey Cole will be live with Chris Pope on Tuesday!

Space Venture KS Update

Announcements involving the podcast right here atcha!

Previous shows including those from have been back dated and added to the feed. With the exception of the Ellen Mclain episode as we are still fixing some audio issues. Visit or iTunes to check those out now!
We’re still planning to put together higher quality copies of the video feeds for all of our Justin.TV episodes. Visit to check that out.
The podcasts are planned to be weekly, but we’ll also be trying to work around everyone’s schedule.

And finally..

Lori Cole and Corey Cole, the master minds behind the Quest For Glory series are coming on to talk with Chris Pope live within the next few days! Lori and Corey will be talking about their history with Sierra along with a little info on their upcoming Kickstarter plans! Watch the Guys From Andromeda Twitter feed for the exact date and time announcement. This post will also get updated once that is determined. The show is planned for early next week!

LSL KS Update

Good evening, LSL Backers…

I’m interrupting my biweekly update schedule to deliver some news that many of you have been anxiously awaiting: the arrival of N-Fusion staff on the Replay Forum!

Dennis Flath, the Technical Art Director on our project, has posted some bio information on himself and the rest of the team, given us some sample artwork, has dropped some other tidbits, and has committed to checking the Replay forums daily to answer quick questions (more comprehensive answers will have to wait for his bigger updates). Dennis already answered at least one or two interesting questions in the “Questions for N-Fusion” thread, in addition to the big info drop in the “Staff Introductions” thread.

This Wednesday, he’s aiming to post another art update. And we’re kicking around the idea of video updates, since Dennis has an HD camera and is handy with editing software. Yea or nay?

Please drop by and read his first major post here:

Talk to you in a few days.


KS Update #32

Message from Josh Mandel:

Greetings again from your faithful correspondent, Josh Mandel.
During the past couple of weeks, both Paul and I have (on separate occasions) visited the offices of N-Fusion in beautiful New Jersey. Jeff Birns, the CEO and Creative Director at N-Fusion, led a six-hour meeting in which he and I, along with team members Chris, Joe, and Dennis, went over the design and milestones. Jeff’s approach to milestones is as meticulous as I’ve ever seen in this industry, with seemingly every miniscule detail plotted out and planned.

On LSL, N-Fusion is undertaking several tasks at once. Programmatically, the game is being constructed from start to finish immediately, using sketches, placeholder animation, placeholder text, placeholder music, and even placeholder voices. This way, each finished asset can be dropped right into the game as it’s completed, and we can immediately see how it fits and identify any issues or revisions needed to make sure the completed asset works as needed.
Simultaneously, the artists are developing model sheets for every character in the game. Al and I will go over the rough models before they’re brought to a finished state (as we will with the backgrounds and animations). Once the model sheets are complete, we plan to share some of them with you in future updates. Al and I are also spending a lot of time talking about the game’s music. This is one area that’s extremely near and dear to Al’s heart, what with his musical background, and I remember well on Freddy Pharkas how tightly Al holds those reins. I believe – but don’t swear me to it – that Al’s own band will be recording at least some of the in-game music.

I’ve always felt that, as the original Sierra LSL series progressed, the music got jazzier and jazzier, to the point where the melody line – the most infuriatingly catchy melody in the business – was getting a little too lost. Moreover, LSL1 specifically takes place in a Vegas-like atmosphere. So my suggestion to Al was that, since neither the original LSL1 nor the LSL1-VGA remake has had a Vegas soundtrack, that that’s what we should strive for here: a brassy, big-band sound such as you might hear accompanying The Rat Pack. Al agreed that this was a new and appropriate direction for the music, so I’m tremendously excited by this. We’re currently reviewing various arrangers.

One last bit of great news, which I freely admit is purely victory-by-association for all of us with a stake in LSL: N-Fusion has been declared a Finalist in the Unity 2012 Awards for their most recently-released game, Air Mail! Better still, they’re not just Finalists in one category…they’re Finalists in three categories:

Best Visual Experience
Best Gameplay
Golden Cube Award (given to the Grand Prix Winner)

The Finalists are individually selected by Unity “to honor the best content being created with Unity.” The awards will be presented on Thursday, August 23rd. (Air Mail, not incidentally, was the iPad Editor’s Choice in the App Store when it was first released in late May.)

The complete list of Finalists:

To bring it a little closer to us: since N-Fusion will also be developing LSL in Unity, I think this bodes extraordinarily well for our project.
So I’ve got my fingers crossed for them, and I know Larry, wherever he is, is pulling for them as well. But then again, Larry pulls for everybody.

My name is Josh Mandel, and I approve this update.

LSL1 Reload Update From Josh!

Happy Monday, LSL1 backers. Josh Mandel here to cover the current events. I’ve committed to writing updates for you on a biweekly basis at a minimum, even if there’s nothing dramatic to report.
Speaking of drama, let’s address the elephant in the room: our switch from Adventure Mob to N-Fusion. I won’t revisit the details, nor address arguments that’ve been made in forums and message boards around the gaming community, but I want to mention that the decisions not to go with Adventure Mob and to go, instead, with N-Fusion were made independently weeks apart. This was not a case of N-Fusion offering a better deal and an abrupt abandonment of one for the other. Paul Trowe, Al Lowe, and I agreed unanimously in both cases, and we agreed on the need to separate from Adventure Mob well before we agreed that N-Fusion was very well suited to accomplish our goals for the game. That’s all I feel comfortable talking about publicly, at least for the time being.

Al and I have finished the redesign of the game. This includes the new locations and the new female character (her name, it can now be told, is Jasmine, and that name is not merely incidental). But we’ve also redesigned many of the other puzzles. In some cases, Al identified puzzle sequences that he had always felt could use improvement; in other cases, we agreed together that there would be ways to handle a given puzzle sequence either more logically, more entertainingly, or both. We were careful not to stray too far from the source material because we still want the game to feel like the game you’ve played before. But we also didn’t want original players to be able to blow through the game effortlessly.

Another thing we’ve done is worked in a couple parodies of popular games. It’s always been one of Al’s trademarks to include in his games sly tips-of-the-hat to other games. For instance, the Larry games have always included references to other Sierra game series (a problem for us now, given the rights issues), and those of you who remember our last co-design, Freddy Pharkas, Frontier Pharmacist, will recall the parody of Lemmings as envisioned with snails. We’ve done the same with the LSL1 redesign, but even though the game takes place in the ‘80s, we’ve updated the games we’re parodying for modern audiences. (Don’t worry, there are no arcade sequences in our LSL1 redesign. The original LSL1 didn’t have them, and neither will this remake.)

For my part, I’ve been spending copious amounts of time writing in-game messages related to the inventory items in the game. That’s something I can do independent of artwork. So I have my immense spreadsheet of inventory items (there are far more items in the remake than in the original) and have been doing what I love to do most of all: rewarding exploration. There’s an interesting article related to this on the Adventure Gamers website; read it at

On the topic of artwork, I’ve asked the artists at N-Fusion to plan now to create what I refer to as “Skirvins.” Bil Skirvin was one of the artists on many of the Larry games (and Art Director on the LSL1-VGA remake), and he occasionally worked into the backgrounds shapes that are, perhaps, best described as “subtly lewd.” I want the new Larry to maintain this tradition and, if possible, improve on it; gamers these days are very used to finding hidden objects, so I think that kind of exploration also deserves reward, even if it’s as passive part of your gaming experience (no, you won’t be able to click on them and get twinkly particle effects and a note in your mystery-keeper’s journal).

By the time another two weeks rolls around, I think I’ll have a lot more to talk about and show you. For now, N-Fusion is simply getting their minds wrapped around our perverse little project here, and I do plan to ask them to start joining in on the conversations on the Replay Games forum as well.

My name is Josh Mandel, and I approve this message.

Trading Up… As In Developers for LSL: Reloaded.

During an exclusive interview, Paul Trowe of Replay Games, announced a change in Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded.

Leisure Suit Larry is always hoping to get lucky, and maybe that will happen with a new developer. Replay Games has decided to switch developers from an Israeli game studio to an established firm in New Jersey.

Replay Games raised more than $600,000 in a Kickstarter crowdfunding project to revive the old Leisure Suit Larry video game franchise. Paul Trowe (pictured above right), founder of Replay, has teamed up with original creator Al Lowe (pictured above left) to create a remake entitled Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded, using the Kickstarter money.

The plan was to have Adventure Mob, a Tel Aviv-based game studio, build a cross-platform game using the Unity Technologies game engine. But now the company will use N-Fusion Interactive, a Manalapan, N.J.-based game studio, Trowe said in an interview with GamesBeat.

“This is a good thing for us,” he said.

N-Fusion Interactive has been in business for over 17 years and has produced games on a wide variety of platforms. Most recently, they’ve released the iOS hit Air Mail and “Deepak Chopra’s Leela,” a motion-controlled meditation/relaxation experience for the Xbox Kinect and Nintendo Wii.

Lowe created the original adventure game, Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards, in 1987. The story was about a loser who tries to score with women, cracking lewd jokes along the way.

The whole project is part of the retro trend to bring back beloved franchises and win new fans. The team will update the graphics, the music, the user interface, and the humor.

Replay Games has also hired Josh Mandel, a veteran game maker with 25 years of experience, as its chief creative officer. Mandel is a former Sierra Entertainment designer who worked on games such as Space Quest 6, Freddy Pharkas: Frontier Pharmacist, and King’s Quest V.

Trowe said the change in studio will not affect the game’s expected release in the first quarter of 2013. He said that N-Fusion is working on the title already and the team has expressed a “real devotion to the license.”

Lowe is working with Mandel to redesign the Leisure Suit Larry game, which will have all-new environments (like the one below), puzzles, and women.

The hope is revive a moribund license. After the original game debuted, five more Larry games and other auxiliary titles followed. The last Leisure Suit Larry game that Lowe worked on was Love for Sale, released in 1996.

The Larry franchise was most recently owned by Vivendi Universal, which acquired Sierra (via acquisitions of parent firms) years ago and then sold it to Codemasters, which published a title called Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust, in 2009. That game was done without consultation with Lowe and didn’t sell well. Critics hated it, with giving it a 2.3 out of 10 rating.

The new game got its life after Trowe bootstrapped his Austin, Texas-based company in 2008 to focus on the digital distribution of games. Trowe was the first teenage beta tester at Sierra On-Line, the now-defunct publisher of the original series.

Update from Josh!

Hey, Guys,

Josh Mandel here. As we’ve mentioned many times before, updates for the game, Q&A with the developers, and so on have all moved to the Replay Games forum ( We haven’t been posting a lot of news *here* because once our Kickstarter effort was completed, we don’t have much more news about *Kickstarter.* Here on the Kickstarter site, we attempted to restrict ourselves to news pertaining specifically to Kickstarter. Which means we don’t have much to report…other than news of Kickstarters we’re trying to help with ourselves. (We’ll also be posting info about the Kickstarter premium items as that information progresses!)

As for Paul’s travels and PR efforts: please understand. Paul is not on the creative end of this game *at all.* He is not a programmer, an artist, a designer, a writer, or a composer; his involvement in the day-to-day development of LSL1 is extremely minimal.

So why, some of you are clearly asking, is he telling you about all the things he’s doing?

One very simple reason…and it’s something we’ve stated many times. I guess we just need to connect the dots for you.

Our goal is to reboot *all* of the Leisure Suit Larry games, not just LSL1. But we do not — WILL not — return to Kickstarter to raise funds to develop the subsequent Larry games. We are dedicated to funding the other games in other ways.

One way, of course, is with the money we earn from sales of LSL1. Another is to interest the press, investors, distributors, etc. in the games.
Those routes to funding require a helluva lot of time and attention. I’m not the one to do it; Al’s not the one to do it (although Al, as the “public identity” of Larry in most people’s minds, does have to participate sometimes). Paul knows more about guerilla marketing than Al and I put together; he has a great track record of getting games funded and launched. But if we’re going to make LSL1 a big enough hit to fund LSL2 (and LSL2 a big enough hit to fund LSL3, etc.), it is CRUCIAL to the success of our long-term goal that he be out selling and promoting the LSL brand *constantly* and as energetically as possible. To ding him for this, or to suggest that the game will be made faster if he’d stop traveling and promoting the series, is simply wrong. Al and I are working away ourselves while Paul is off doing his thing. His thing doesn’t slow us down, and when all is going smoothly, we don’t slow HIM down.

For updates on the game, PLEASE go to the Replay Games forum. (We’ll actually be putting out a couple of big announcements pertinent to the game — and the series — within a day or two!) And in the meantime, I hope you’ll support Paul’s efforts to bring the whole LSL series back into the public eye. Those efforts are integral to what Al and I are doing, and I think they’re actually quite integral to the gist of why you all supported the game so well in the first place.
Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you at the Replay Games forum. I check in there frequently.