Over the last few years some friends and former coworkers of mine have been chipping away at remastering the Telltale Sam & Max games, after buying the games and assets from Telltale when the company died spectacularly in 2018. We did a physical release last year which I got to do all the design work on, and I finally got mine and opened it today... It turned out way better than I was expecting. (I didn't expect the little cardboard inserts for each layer!)

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It's a little cheesy how much power a "big game box" can hold over a certain type of brain, I guess. I wasn't expecting the thing to have much of an effect on me other than liking the aesthetics, but unwrapping it and opening it see the game was, I would say, *annoyingly* emotional as an experience. Apparently I still have complicated contextual anxiety over how "real" the Telltale adventures were, as budget downloadable games living in the shadow of LucasArts classics that got me into games.

This isn't to say that putting them in a big box automatically Elevates them in some objective way. But I do feel like the teams at Telltale put so much of themselves into the games, gave more to the company than it probably deserved. Internally these games always felt like "stepping stones to something greater" for the company/management, while for the team... these games were the point! It felt good to see and touch a version that didn't feel ephemeral, like it would slip out of my hand.

@ja2ke they occupied such a weird space in terms of like how to even conceptualize them. Like, at the time I would wonder was I even buying a complete game?

@darius Yeah it was very strange. In hindsight I feel like what Telltale was attempting was cooler than I thought it was at the time. The studio was decidedly uncool though, so convincing people otherwise was a task. And it turns out the folks who ran it were not 100% trustworthy so maybe it makes sense that there was an air of untrustworthiness that people picked up on. The teams themselves were as all in as they could be though, and just wanted people to enjoy what we made.

@ja2ke @darius my Irrational and 2K Marin survivor-feelings are probably quite different from those of Telltale folks, but i get the impression there is a common thread of being denied closure, worrying that any legacy is really just cardboard cutout easily pushed aside by industry fickleness and the hype drumbeat, that our doomed voyages were "not worth it" in the end. but the memories of my coworkers' faces in their proudest moments melt & evaporate that.

@jplebreton @darius Yep that is very much it. It's a small thing, but I ended up doing a full length manual for this release just to justify getting the 2007 team photo in the box.

@darius @ja2ke "yes, virginia, a videogame can be finished (eventually)"

@ja2ke Nintendo Wii 50MB download limit casts a certain cruel shadow over a creative person's heart

@jplebreton 50MB I wish - it was 40! Love to ship actual .mid files in your game in 2010 but not as a style choice!

@ja2ke lol, christ that's nothing. Registered Quake wouldn't fit in that, let alone the music.

@ja2ke these look gorgeous, well done! Hope the LOTCG one comes out anywhere near as nice as this..!

@benx I ordered it, am excited for it! I ended up doing all the graphic design work on this myself because I'm a control freak ... Wait that's only partly it, also I really wanted to get to design a whole big box release myself. I did all the design work but LRG did all the fit and finish, prepress work, and figured out how the assembly worked and it's all top shelf stuff. Very happy with it.

@ja2ke oh nice, thanks! (Is looking like by the end of Q3 for the collectors edition.)

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