Grossman is the Senior Designer at San Rafael, California-based
Telltale Games, currently serving as Lead Designer on the upcoming Sam & Max: Season One, the license for which was recently acquired by Telltale after the IP's previous video game treatment, Sam & Max: Freelance Police, was cancelled by its publisher, LucasArts.
to Telltale, Grossman provided design and programming work on a number
of high profile games, including classic adventures The Secret of Monkey Island, LeChuck's Revenge: Monkey Island 2 and Day of the Tentacle at LucasArts, the Pajama Sam and Freddi Fish series
for former Lucas co-worker Ron Gilbert-founded Humongous, and most
recently provided contract work on a variety of games, including Voodoo Vince for Microsoft Game Studios and a number of serious games projects.
sat down with Grossman at the 2006 Comic-Con International in San Diego
to discuss his role at Telltale, the joys of a yellow sky, and what's
in store for our favorite dog and rabbit-thing freelance police duo.
Gamasutra: What exactly is your role on Telltale's treatment of Sam & Max?
Dave Grossman: I am Senior Designer at Telltale and Lead Designer on Sam & Max Season One.
GS: At least a couple people at Telltale were working on the cancelled Sam & Max: Freelance Police project at LucasArts, right?
That is true. I'm not sure exactly which ones, but my co-designer
Brendan Furgeson was actually one of the writer/programmers on that. I
believe some of the artists were also working on that, and I think
Randy Tudor [Engineer] was working on it. Some of the other guys became
the heads of our company. I was obviously not one of the people working
GS: Do you know how the license was acquired by Telltale? Did it have to be acquired from LucasArts, or...?
No, no, it had to run out. What happened was they had kind of a lien on
it for a couple of years, like an option where if they didn't put
anything out for a certain amount of time the license would revert back
to Steve [Purcell, creator of Sam & Max], and then once they
did...he was happy with the first treatment, and he knew the people,
and so they hammered out some new details for a new deal, and off we
GS: So it wasn't a situation where LucasArts could have sat on it if they wanted to.
DG: They would have had to release a new game, I think. And clearly they were not interested in doing that.
GS: They seemed afraid to.
DG: Yeah. I think they may be at this point, I don't know, jealous? [laughs].