When is Self-Promotion Not Self-Promotion? Jeff and the Second Season of Sam & Max.

I am appallingly bad at self-promotion--saying something that sounds even remotely boastful makes me feel like an utter a-hole. 

Accordingly, I suppose I should feel grateful for the circumstances surrounding the first episode of Sam & Max's second season, Ice Station Santa, premiering on Gametap just a few weeks from now: I worked on the dialogues for the first episode (along with the talented and terrifyingly young Ian Dallas) but can't honestly tell you how much of my material made it in. Telltale has released three gameplay videos, excerpts of scenes for which I did the early drafts, and the percentage of the material I recognize as mine runs anywhere from 30% to 80%. For a panoply of reasons, this second gig was a lot harder than my first, and I was pretty sure when my contract was finished that stuff would end up rewritten. (Hey, that's the freelancer life for ya...)


So even if I was capable of exhorting people who enjoy my writing to check out Ice Station Santa, I'm not sure it would be entirely cricket for me to do so. However, there are a variety of non-me reasons to be excited about Season 2 of Sam & Max if you're a fan of the characters.


First, while working on the first episode of Season Two I had the opportunity to see some of the projected plans for the other episodes, and I think Telltale has done a great job of coming up with stories and locations for this season that nail that crazy Steve Purcellian sweet spot Sam & Max fans crave.


Second, Telltale brought Chuck Jordan on full-time and I believe he's doing the bulk of the dialogues for the second season. The man's work on Season One's Abraham Lincoln Must Die! really knocked me on my ass, and I'm totally in awe of him. As a fan, I couldn't have hoped for better news.


Third, Gametap is currently offering the above-mentioned episode on their free player. I think I read somewhere that Telltale may be following suit, but for now this is a great way for you to see what I'm talking about without having to pay out any cash.

Fourth, Gametap may or may not be still having an anniversary sale, making it super-cheap to sign up for the service for a year and play not just Sam & Max episodes as they're released, but a slew of other great games. Sadly, the site is so damn slow on my work browser I can't tell you for sure if the sale's still going, but I can say that any service that allows me to play the Atari 2600 version of Adventure, Sonic The Hedgehog, Super Puzzle Fighter, Sega's Typing of the Dead, and the Sam & Max games on any computer in my home is worth it even at the non-sale price. But go poke around their site if you get a chance and see if it's still going on.

And, finally, I did write some funny lines for Ice Station Santa--funny enough that even a low-self-esteemer like me feels confident they made it in--and the episode has a great, high-concept premise which it looks like the Telltale crew did a great job of developing visually. Regardless of my role in it, I hope fans of the characters check out this series if they haven't already.