Hello! I'm Tom. I designed a game called Gunpoint, about rewiring things and punching people, and now I'm working on a new one called Heat Signature, about sneaking aboard randomly generated spaceships. Here's some more info on all the games I've worked on, here's the podcast I do, here are the videos I make on YouTube, here are some of the articles I wrote for PC Gamer, and here are two short stories I wrote for the Machine of Death collections.
Years back, Craig linked me to a pilot for a cartoon about a boy and a shape-shifting dog voiced by Bender from Futurama. It was eight minutes long, and amazing. Here it is:
It seemed far too awesome to ever get picked up, and sure enough, no-one ever mentioned it again. Until about a month ago, when someone said something about an Adventure Time T-shirt on Twitter.
I was all, “Man, did that pilot go down so well people still buy stuff relating to it years later? That makes it even dumber that it definitely never got picked up, a fact I will continue to assume without ever checking.” Then I checked that assumption, and found they made FIFTY THREE EPISODES of this incredible thing and never told me.
I would have bought the hell out of a DVD box set or something, but the Cartoon Network cleverly saw me coming and decided not to release one so that I would have no way of giving them money. You win this round, Cartoon Network – I’ll watch these unauthorised rips of your content on YouTube. But mark my words: one day you’ll slip up, and there’ll be a way for me to pay for Adventure Time. And on that day, you will know the wrath of my twelve to eighteen pounds.
Here’s another great episode before I explain why all the episodes are great.
All the episodes are great because:
I say every episode is great, but they’re not always funny: some of them are so weird or so dark – or so both – that there aren’t many jokes. But that visual imagination and the likeable heroes mean it always works as a straight story – even if it has a completely bizarre ending.
It’s weird to be watching this at a time when Futurama is back, and doing gender humour that wouldn’t even get a pity laugh on an open mic night. Every time that series has bombed in recent years, it’s when it betrays its characters to attempt some weak social commentary or manufacture drama. Adventure Time shows why characters and imagination are always more important than plot or gags, even in a comedy.
Iain: I feel complete.
Phydaux: I always thought adventure time was a one-off. I didn't even think it was a pilot, just a single cartoon they made. It's cool that there are others :D
Max: I was very worried when this got picked up. I was afraid that they wouldn't be able to live up to the high bar set by the pilot, but such fears were delightfully unnecessary.
It is a fantastic show. And I want Cartoon Network to shut up and take my money.
Seen some Adventure Time before, but binging now.
It's still great. Also weird.
Also, yeah. Newest Futurama looks bad.
Caleb: There were two new episodes of Futurama earlier this week. The gender one? Not great. But the second one, wherein Bender gains access to a duplicator machine, is quite good!
Korolev: This is about the best thing I have seen this entire year. Thank you.
westyfield: I'd heard of this a few times but never seen it or looked it up. It's great, thanks!
TooNu: Thanks for this Tom :) it's great!
Geoff: It appears that it has been released via iTunes?
Cy Brazanthr: I was really into Adventure Time when it first began and what really drew me into it was how "lawful good" the whole thing seemed. like it was an elaborate D&D campaign in which a father (whose avatar is Jake) is trying to teach proper moral behavior to his young son, (Finn) and even though the scenarios he and his son go on occasionally test the father's moral fiber, Finn is almost always stand-up about it.
Anyway, because of that lens through which I was viewing it, the episode City of Thieves was absolutely heartbreaking. It felt like "What the fuck kind of moral is this father trying to convey here? Is he trying to run a campaign that is his version of The Killing Joke?" I didn't watch the show for a long time after that and it took me a while to stop thinking of Jake as secretly running the whole show, the whole thing not being a morality play for Finn, etc.
Are you aware of Regular Show however? It capture that same sort of anarchic throw-away story spirit but without any of that sweetness that can eventually be corrupted by a bad interpretation of an episode.
Bret: If there is a moral to City of Thieves, it's a simple one.
"Forget it Jake (and/or Finn). It's Chinatown."
I think my favorite thing right now is the whole world being post apocalyptic. It beats out Fallout as the best nuclear wasteland to hang around in, I'd say.
DrugCrazed: I watched this when I was in America. It seemed to me that someone had given the writers some LSD and said they could stop taking it once they'd finished writing the script.
Even Chris Morris makes more sense!
CW: It's a good show but it can get really weird. In one episode a penguin humps the dogs face, completely out of nowhere. I don't see why this was put in...
Adventure Time Game Jam, by Tom Francis: [...] Arcade Game Making Frenzy, and this year’s theme is Pendleton Ward’s amazing cartoon Adventure Time. Pendleton himself gives the bizarre opening talk, and the organisers say you’re allowed to [...]
Adventure Time Game Post Mortem, by Tom Francis: [...] Arcade held an Adventure Time-themed Game Making Frenzy. It meant anyone could make a game with Adventure Time characters for the purposes of that compo, which is rare, so I [...]