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Video: Remembering LucasArts' groundbreaking Maniac Mansion Exclusive
April 3, 2013 | By Frank Cifaldi

In memory of LucasArts which, essentially, finally came to an end today, we dug into the GDC vaults to bring back designer Ron Gilbert's postmortem of his groundbreaking 1987 graphical adventure game Maniac Mansion.

Gilbert was employee number nine of what was then called LucasFilm Games. After a couple of supporting roles on other projects, Maniac Mansion was his first game as creative lead.

The game was an innovator in a lot of ways: while it wasn't the first graphical adventure to use mouse controls, many would say it was the first to do it right, thanks to Gilbert's simple sentence construction interface for what he called his SCUMM engine.

Most of us associate Gilbert with later work, such as The Secret of Monkey Island, but he says that Maniac Mansion is still his favorite work. And in what he calls his "odd collection of memories" about the making of the game, his nostalgia for that long-gone era is obvious.

The video of Gilbert's presentation is available above for free, courtesy of the GDC Vault.

About the GDC Vault

In addition to this presentation, the GDC Vault offers numerous other free videos, audio recordings, and slides from many of the recent GDC events, and the service offers even more members-only content for GDC Vault subscribers. Those who purchased All Access passes to events like GDC, GDC Europe, and GDC China already have full access to GDC Vault, and interested parties can apply for the individual subscriptions via a GDC Vault inquiry form.

Group subscriptions are also available: game-related schools and development studios who sign up for GDC Vault Studio Subscriptions can receive access for their entire office or company. More information on this option is available via an online demonstration, and interested parties can find out more here. In addition, current subscribers with access issues can contact GDC Vault admins.

Be sure to keep an eye on GDC Vault for even more new content, as GDC organizers will also archive videos, audio, and slides from other events like GDC China and GDC 2013. To stay abreast of all the latest updates to GDC Vault, be sure to check out the news feed on the official GDC website, or subscribe to updates via Twitter, Facebook, or RSS.

Gamasutra and GDC are sibling organizations under parent UBM Tech.

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Todd Boyd
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My favorite Nintendo game of all time. Fantastic stuff, and truly groundbreaking.

William Kus
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I'll have to give this game a try. I find older games have so much more charm and I feel empty when I find out about a great game I never played regardless of the age.

Ian Uniacke
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Just ftr, although Maniac Mansion added the mouse, which is definitely an important part of these games, the real grand daddy of these type of games is the video game adaptation of Labyrinth, released a year earlier. Of course Maniac Mansion was the first to gain notoriety.

Mickey Blumental
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My gawd, the title music is now stuck in my head.

Much as I love Maniac Mansion, I utterly flipped when I got my hands on the gorgeous sequel Day of the Tentacle.

Ian Uniacke
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The intro to DoTT was the most amazing thing I had seen on a computer to date at the time.

Megan Swaine
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Such an awesome game with a fantastic amount of replay value. It inspired me to want to be involved in video games.

That said, my first introduction to it was the C64. ;)