Immediately following our previously-published interview with Telltale Senior Designer Dave Grossman, we were joined by Telltale CEO Dan Connors and David Reid, Vice President of Marketing at Gametap, the PC-based gaming portal that will house the exclusive premiere of Sam & Max: Season One this October.
Where Grossman filled us in on the design aspects of creating an episodic adventure game, both Connors and Reid provided insight on the digital distribution and production of Sam & Max: Season One, to give us a full perspective on this unique partnership. Grossman also remained present for the interview, to answer our remaining design inquiries. Also discussed was Telltale's other episodic adventure game, Bone, based on Jeff Smith's comic book, which has thus far seen two chapters released: Out From Boneville and The Great Cow Race.
Gamasutra: I don't know if you can answer this honestly, with David Reid sitting right next to you, but…why Gametap?
Dan Connors: [laughs] Well, Gametap really provides for us an opportunity to get into episodic gaming, and it works really well with their system. So, with Gametap being a subscription system, the idea of building a piece of original content and a feedback network was something that Telltale is very interested in. We have multiple distribution partners for Bone, but we're interested in finding partners that are more broadband friendly, looking at presenting a higher level of content than what the existing digital distribution network offers. So we see Gametap as the next generation of what broadband content is all about, and we see what we're building as the next generation as well.
So it's a good fit, and the guys over there, Rick Sanchez who's just a great game fan, he knows every single game that's ever existed, when he heard that Telltale was going to make Sam & Max, he came in and really went after it. And it was important to him, and you could see by the games that he's going after already, that Gametap's going to present an opportunity for developers to get their innovative products out. So we really shared a vision, I think, at the end of the day, of what broadband content should be.
GS: Have you been approached by any of the console makers for digital distribution on, say, Xbox Live Arcade, or Nintendo's Virtual Console, or whatever the heck Sony's doing with the PlayStation 3?
DC: Actually, David [Reid] and I were just talking about this. Figuring out this whole episodic move-over into distribution, it's something that you have to be there to learn the behavior of the audience, and what the consumers want, and start tailoring the products in that direction. So the fact that Telltale's sort of jumped in the water and learned how to swim, we're starting to see that we're in a position to work with Xbox and Sony to deliver content for their system that's right.
Again, it's this broadband-friendly, higher quality product than just Bejeweled. It's either a Bejeweled / Tetris kind of thing, or whatever huge title, like…Oblivion. And there's a ton of space in-between, you know. Oblivion isn't broadband friendly, and Bejeweled is not an Xbox title. So there's this whole space that needs to be filled, and Telltale's kind of commitment two years ago to fill this role has put us in the position to be the right answer for people like Xbox and Sony.