Leisure Suit Larry Tries His Luck on Kickstarter

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Leisure Suit Larry Tries His Luck on Kickstarter

Al Lowe and Replay Games want to make Leisure Suit Larry come again!

It's true that I'm getting a little tired of talking about all these videogame Kickstarter projects but this one deserves a mention, I think, if only for its historical significance. Originally released in 1987, Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards was one of the biggest franchises in the classic Sierra stable, alongside King's Quest, Space Quest and Police Quest, and was also notable for its startlingly "mature" [although endearingly tame by today's standards] gameplay. The sequels, sadly, grew increasingly awful, culminating in the disastrous 2009 release Box Office Bust, which has a well-deserved Metacritic score of 20 [our own Logan Westbrook recommended that gamers who see it in a bargain bin for a dollar use the money to buy some candy instead], but Replay Games is now seeking to revive its past glories with help from the man who made it all happen in the first place - Al Lowe.

Not only was Leisure Suit Larry a ground-breaking adventure, as Lowe explains in the Kickstarter pitch video, it also invented shareware - sort of. "We didn't mean to, that's just kind of how it worked out," he says. "Larry was one of the most heavily-pirated games in history. How do we know? We sold more hint books than we sold copies of the game."

Replay's vision for the Leisure Suit Larry remake includes both PC and tablet versions of the game, updated, "ultra-high res" graphics, a modern interface, full voice acting and even more of that "great" Al Lowe humor. If the game is funded, excess cash will be used to pay for additional platforms like XBLA and PSN, localization into other languages, "a live orchestra performing all your favorite Leisure Suit Larry tunes" [I'm not sure if that's serious or not] and more.

The Replay team has actually been at work on the Leisure Suit Larry thing for quite awhile now: Replay announced that a Lowe-powered remake was in the works in October 2011. And while there's presumably already funding in place for the project, a successful Kickstarter could make the long-term plan to remake all the "real" Leisure Suit Larry games and, if they're a success, possibly even create new ones a little easier to realize. Or maybe Al just wants more money. Who knows?

Like all the other Kickstarters kicking around, a pledge of $15 will get you a digital copy of Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards: Reloaded, while higher tiers bring greater rewards: $50 gets a digital "art book," $100 brings a physical copy of the game including a Leisure Suit Larry branded condom [still in wrapper!], $500 gets a signed "Descent Into Madness" special edition of the game with a whole bunch of bonus stuff like a hardcover art book and your name in the credits, and so on.

The Kickstarter seems to be going pretty well so far, with a little over $24,000 of its $500,000 goal pledged in just a few hours. So whether you're an old Sierra fan, an adventure gamer with a taste for the "risque" or you just think it's time for Al Lowe to buy a new shirt, now's your chance to step up to the plate and help out. Do it for Larry - do it for love!

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Why it just so happens I have all those Stripper tips saved up from DNF. Their all yours Larry.

and here we are reminded ...

not all old games are worthy of new life

Huh. Didn't think a lot of people still cared about that series. Hell, I forgot all about its existence.

Was the first of those games supposed to be actually good? That's news to me o_O

...*wonders if the Kickstarter will be more popular if it was to NOT make another LSL game*...

hehe Grewly

I love all these kickstarters. I hope they work and creative people can directly get paid for their work without having to sell their souls to publishers.

Getting kickstarter fatigue already. 'Tis a shame, because it could be such a good tool if only good games were getting the treatment.

dyre:
Was the first of those games supposed to be actually good? That's news to me o_O

wikipedia if thats worth anything:
Unsure of how the game would be received, Sierra's management chose to release the game with no publicity or advertising budget. Unsurprisingly, its first-month sales were lower than any new Sierra product launch in years; many large computer chain stores refused to sell it, finding the adult content unacceptable. However, word-of-mouth spread quickly; by year's end, Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards became a critical and commercial success, being named the Software Publishers Association's "Best Fantasy, Role Playing or Adventure Game of 1987" and selling over 250,000 copies. According to marketing director John Williams, "Obviously lots of retailers were selling lots of Leisure Suit Larry, but no one wanted to admit it." LSL also became one of the most pirated computer games of all time, with some copies even reaching Eastern Europe where it became a hit on university computers in the Soviet Union and elsewhere. Al Lowe estimated that the amount of pirate copies in use exceeded legitimate ones by almost 6 to 1.

from that it sounds it was pretty good. i would guess the writing had to be good to have it succeed, plus Al seems like a nice guy. :D

The first game was indeed pretty good. I'm a little weirded out by the fact that it's being remade a second time (VGA version in 1991 was the first remake I know of with markedly different graphics) and nobody seems willing to mention that fact, but if the crew is willing to add a good number of new scenes (and boobs) then I'm on board.

Ultimately I wish the plan was to make LSL 4 though. That game would be brilliant if only because Al Lowe intentionally wrote himself into a corner and I have to know how he would get out of it.

karloss01:

dyre:
Was the first of those games supposed to be actually good? That's news to me o_O

wikipedia if thats worth anything:
Unsure of how the game would be received, Sierra's management chose to release the game with no publicity or advertising budget. Unsurprisingly, its first-month sales were lower than any new Sierra product launch in years; many large computer chain stores refused to sell it, finding the adult content unacceptable. However, word-of-mouth spread quickly; by year's end, Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards became a critical and commercial success, being named the Software Publishers Association's "Best Fantasy, Role Playing or Adventure Game of 1987" and selling over 250,000 copies. According to marketing director John Williams, "Obviously lots of retailers were selling lots of Leisure Suit Larry, but no one wanted to admit it." LSL also became one of the most pirated computer games of all time, with some copies even reaching Eastern Europe where it became a hit on university computers in the Soviet Union and elsewhere. Al Lowe estimated that the amount of pirate copies in use exceeded legitimate ones by almost 6 to 1.

from that it sounds it was pretty good. i would guess the writing had to be good to have it succeed, plus Al seems like a nice guy. :D

Hmm, after reading the rest of the wiki article, it sounds like a humorous dating sim in which you can get killed pretty easily. Sounds alright, though not the sort of thing that would attract a loyal fanbase.

Haven't played the originals, though I'm now tempted to try them. If the games are as humorous as the guy making them, it'd be pretty awesome to see it get a reboot.

"Al Lowe and Replay Games want to make Leisure Suit Larry come again!"

I see what you did there... (it's kind of obvious)

OT: I think I played the game when I was six, I wonder why I didn't get it at the time.
I don't care if a new one comes out, I probably won't play it anyway.

I've never played a Larry game.

Consequently, all I know about them is that they're well known for something related to boobs.

Andy Chalk:
The sequels, sadly, grewly increasingly awful, culminating in the disastrous 2009 release...

Grewly??

Andy Chalk:
our own Logan Westbrook recommended that gamers who see it in a bargain bin for a dollar use the money to buy some candy instead

I want to thank you for linking to that review. I skipped it first time around because like hell was I buying that piece of crap, but I rather enjoyed the well-deserved jabs Logan aimed at it.

Andy Chalk:
but Replay Games is now seeking to revive its past glories with help from the man who made it all happen in the first place - Al Lowe.

Well, well, well. THIS will be interesting.

IMHO:
Double Fine Adventure was a massive success through the combination of a good developer reputation and an infusion of press caused by Notch's Psychonauts interest.

Wasteland 2 is a massive success because of the same kind of reputation plus the infusion of press from Double Fine's massive success.

Hardcore Tactical shooty shooty bang bang or whatever was almost a failure but somehow managed to pull through via a facelift and some eleventh-hour promotion, from what I hear.

And now, we have something different. A Kickstarter that's:

1) in the same(ish) genre as one of the previous ones,
2) is a game whose initial success was partly-to-mostly from the novelty*,
3) continuing a series that was in toilet several games ago and has been wallowing in ever deeper sewage with each new release.

( *There had been naughty games before, certainly, but this was far more widely available (albeit mostly pirated) and more professional than older fare like Custer's six-pixel wang.)

I wonder, will these things hurt it more than help it?

1) Could go either way. Will people help out something similar to what they've already shown interest in, or will they see it as an also-ran or a frivolous redundancy?

2) Again, could go either way. Will adults want to try relive that teenage-years electric thrill of sneaking looks at stolen/found Playboys? Or will it not interest them now that the excitement of the forbidden is gone and replaced with ubiquity and convenience?

3) Okay, this one's just a pit to dig out of. There's no positive way to spin this except "It won't be like that, we promise."

Andy Chalk:
$100 brings a physical copy of the game including a Leisure Suit Larry branded condom [still in wrapper!]

An odd dilemma: The significant other wants some action but you forgot to buy condoms. The only one easily available is the LSL-branded one. Do you ruin any hypothetical collector or sentimental value it had and use it, ruin an evening of sexy times via lack of protection, or risk ruining both by letting your partner see the thing at any point during the night?

Formica Archonis:

Andy Chalk:
$100 brings a physical copy of the game including a Leisure Suit Larry branded condom [still in wrapper!]

An odd dilemma: The significant other wants some action but you forgot to buy condoms. The only one easily available is the LSL-branded one. Do you ruin any hypothetical collector or sentimental value it had and use it, ruin an evening of sexy times via lack of protection, or risk ruining both by letting your partner see the thing at any point during the night?

My experience is, that sex takes priority over sentimental condoms.

Fredrikorex:
"Al Lowe and Replay Games want to make Leisure Suit Larry come again!"

I see what you did there... (it's kind of obvious)

I imagine it would be rather difficult for a guy to come without it being obvious.;)


Aardvaarkman:

Andy Chalk:
The sequels, sadly, grewly increasingly awful, culminating in the disastrous 2009 release...

Grewly??

Trewly.

(Good catch! I didn't even see that, and I hinge a great deal of ego on my ability to proofread.)


Ewyx:
My experience is, that sex takes priority over sentimental condoms.

Gonna take a sentimental condom,
gonna set my heart at ease.

(Sorry, couldn't resist.)

I think this is one IP that the gaming community has outgrown. Point and click adventures, a genre I really liked growing up, is pretty dead today and LSL only ever appealed to a certain segment of that market.
While I would love to see another successful Kickstarter funding campaign I don't know how well this one will do.

Sorry Al, but the only Sierra franchise I'd like to see resurrected is Quest for Glory. I'm all Kickstartered out for the next few months.

The fact that Al Lowe is back is not really good news in my opinion. The only old Sierra franchise that needs its original designer to work in my opinion is Gabriel Knight.

I always assumed playing LSL was like reading the articles in Playboy. It never appealed to my younger self but now I'm kind of nostalgic for eighties softcore sleaziness - not enough to actually pay any money for it or play beyond the first screen, but I promise to pirate it for old times' sake.

Eh, not buying it, Lowe. It worked for Double Fine because everyone was thinking of Psychonauts, but your repertoire isn't shining so brightly. Especially since the latest thing anyone's gonna remember is awful and craptastic.

I played Leisure Suit Larry back in the day. It was god-awful and pretty damn unfunny. There is one point where you decide to get married, and you have to give the girl chocolates and a diamond ring (that you find in the sink in lefty's (But whatever you do, don't flush the toilet!)) and she ends up tying you up and stealing most of your money, requiring you to play gambling games to get it back (and you can still lose it all!). And the end of the game requires you to buy an apple from a homeless guy and read the bracelet on the girl in the hot tub (after attempting to sate your lust on a blow-up doll!) And supposedly this is your "true love" or something, but you only met her five minutes ago. Yeah, sure, whatever...

I also played Leather Goddesses of Phobos, which was a text adventure game and about 100 times better. And you could play it on three different levels of naughtiness: Tame, Suggestive *i.e. Normal* and Lewd (still not terribly adult, but eh...)

when i saw him open the door to sierra i went "ha ha awww..."

I'm a supporter of niche markets; everyone should get a chance to enjoy the certain genre they love, no matter how... odd it may be.

This happens to be in the spectrum of stuff I don't necessarily care for, but for the Leisure Suit Larry fans that still want another installment, I'll let them enjoy this fundraiser and possibly get another installment in their franchise, hopefully one better than the turd masquerading as Box Office Bust.

I never liked this series to begin with, maybe I'm just not old enough. I would be willing to invest in a new Space Quest game however.

I backed Tim Shaffer's project, because you know, HE'S TIM SHAFFER!

Honestly, I refuse to recognize anything that was made after LSL7: Love for Sail (namely Magna Cum Laude and Box Office Bust) as sequels. They weren't made by Sierra, Al Lowe was barely on board, if at all.
Now, about a remake... There already was a VGA remake, which is still completely playable. Do we really need a "high res" remake with a collector's edition? As fond as I am of the games, as nostalgic I may be of those carefree days when I played the game behind my parents' back, well... I'm not sure I really want to see this series resurrected. Again. The horse is dead, stop beating it; get new ideas, new projects, go in new directions.

Point to note, for all the negative Nancys in the thread(and I use that in the most pejorative way possible), Al Lowe states in his video there that Leisure Suit Larry 7 was the last LSL game and makes no mention of the slag that came after because he had nothing to do with it.

Never played the series not sure if i missed out or not the only one i almost played was the first one but being 10 i was unable to pass the questions before game start.

If they wanna kickstart something from sierra why not Civil war generals?

Honestly, I wish the best of luck to him - hopefully I won't live long enough to see the kickstarter project in which one lone game developer tries to raise enough money to re-release Box Office Bust with updated graphics.....the sun would have exploded by then.....

I liked the first game, since it's actually quite funny, but I just don't think it's still a relevant franchise today, and should probably be left alone.

I guess the wave of unnecessary Kickstarter projects has begun. It was bound to happen eventually, but I hope it won't drag down stuff like the Double Fine Adventure or Wasteland 2 with it.

I need a red Naugahyde covered special edition physical copy of LSL. I wonder how many Naugas gave their life to satisfy nostalgia?

I played it when I was about 10; I had sex with a hooker, got an STD and died. Had no idea what happened so it got turned off and never played again.

Wouldn't mind playing it again, 18 years on, as I may appreciate the humour more but Im not going to get my hopes up.

Also, as for the branded condom... pretty sure it'll just be the wrapper, with the actual condom being a run of the mill vanilla looking thing. The other need never know.

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