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Back In The Water: The Monkey Island Interview
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Back In The Water: The Monkey Island Interview

July 6, 2009 Article Start Previous Page 3 of 4 Next

It's interesting that you're heading it up, and Ron consulted to an extent, because you're two thirds of the original design team on the first two games. Those two always seemed much different to the third and fourth to me -- more muted and surreal, in a way. Maybe the addition of voice acting was part of what changed it. Do you have any thoughts on the shift in tone, and the impact on Tales?

DG: Well, I'm sure those things do affect it. Something that I always thought was true about the Monkey series was that, while moment-by-moment it's quite silly and there's lots of slapstick, verbal humor, and ironic pointing out of social dysfunctions, the broad strokes of the story there are actually quite serious.

The first one is about this young man who's come to this island to realize his life's dream, and in the quest of doing that, he falls in love and he finds out, "This is more important to me than my life's dream."

It's actually quite a serious story, despite being a pretty silly experience overall. I've been pushing the team to try and capture that aspect, and when they try and do things in the series that seem baldfacedly hugely ridiculous, I call that into question -- whereas, when the smaller points are ridiculous, that's what I love.

Did you guys have an internal concrete interpretation of the end of Monkey Island 2? That was probably the most interestingly surreal moment of the whole series.

DG: Yes, and it was somewhat vague and paradoxical, but there was an internal interpretation thereof. Maybe someday Ron will actually make the theoretical Monkey 3A, and we'll follow that up. I'm not going to do it. I'll leave that to him.

That just might be slightly off the page for what we've got planned for this season anyway. I mean, there's some weird stuff, but it may stop short of being that weird.

From a personal perspective, how does it feel to be working on Monkey Island again after nearly two decades?

DG: It's almost twenty years, yeah. My last chapter in this saga came out in 1991, so that's been 18 years.

It's been good actually. It was a little weird. At first, it was like my old girlfriend just called me out of the blue and wants to see me again, wants to meet for dinner, or whatever.

But as we've been working on it, I've been remembering what's fun about these characters and that world -- and it really is. Now it's like hanging out with old friends, and it's pretty nice.

On the mechanical side, inventory item combinations are in a Telltale game for the first time. In a genre that's so mechanically stripped-down, how do you decide to take steps like that? I know you've had fan requests.

DG: Well, let's just say that it's a feature people have repeatedly asked for. I've always been resistant to that, actually, because it's easy to put it in a game and not use it, and have it just generate a lot of, "Well, I can't use those two things together."

But, this being a revamp of the series that's been running for 20 years, there are some things that feel good in it that might not feel good in something else. So, there's that. Then, there's the ability to read all your dialogue choices and text on the screen, which just seemed critical to do, so we're doing that again.

Article Start Previous Page 3 of 4 Next

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