Telltale Games interview

Floppy eared psycho Luke K and almost sane, fedora brandishing Patrick G marched into the Telltale offices, and refused to stop hogging the coffee machine until they got some answers from Mark Darin. It’s a legal grey area, but it worked.

CG: You’re singlehandedly keeping the point and click adventure alive, in that yours are the only good ones released in the last few years. Will you stick with the genre, or do you plan to abandon it eventually?

MD: We love story based adventure games. We have no intentions of abandoning that, but that also doesn’t meant that we won’t try to branch out every now and again. Adventure games, like all media, are constantly evolving. We’ll continue to evolve as well while sticking to the core of what makes these kinds of adventure games so special.

CG: The Wallace and Gromit games show that you’re willing to make licensed adventures. Are there any more licenses in the works, and what licenses would you like to do – regardless of how likely they are?

MD: So far all of our games are licensed based. We love working with creative partners, it helps us keep in touch with popular media while still allowing us to have creative freedom to create new stories that can be experienced interactively! I can’t give away what we have in mind next.

CG: Writing a script – particularly a comedy one – for a point and click game, where you need to keep gameplay in mind, must be extremely difficult. How many writers do you use per game, and has the process become easier over time?

MD: I think most of us have had experience in this sort of thing, writing a linear comedy story that integrates clever puzzle based game play. Typically there is one writer per episode, and that person is usually also the lead designer and director for that episode, so it is a lot of work. We do have different writers for each episode, that way one person isn’t completely overwhelmed. I also act as a season director, making sure that each of the writers maintains a certain style so that the episodes all feel like they are part of a single story.

CG: Do you see the all conquering Wii, with the help of the Wiimote, as a useful tool to keep the point and click adventure alive?

MD: Sure! The Wii is a great system for introducing new audiences to the genre. And adventure games like Tales of Monkey Island are the perfect kinds of games to play with the family gathered around the TV

CG: Who or what influences your humour?

MD: A few of my personal influences: Douglas Adams, Mark Leyhner, Zucker Brothers, Marx Brothers, Monty Python.

CG: You did a brilliant job of bringing Sam & Max back in business. Now Monkey Island, next…? How about Grim Fandango? PLEASE?

Our answer to this last question seems to have been lost in the electronic post…

CG: What made you decide to go for a new batch of point and click games, and did it seem like a risk at the time?

MD: Fans have been asking for a long time to see some of these games again and Telltale was interested in making episodic story based games, it seemed like a natural place to start! The increasing popularity of digital distribution meant that the risks involved in creating and distributing these kinds of games were reduced.

CG: How many people are involved in making each episodic release?

MD: Oh geez, it’s hard for me to say. There are constantly people rolling on and off the team. I guess there are probably 20-25 people actively working on the game on average.

CG: All your games so far have been episodic releases. Do you plan any full blown all-in-one epics?

MD: Our studio is built from the ground up specifically to be able to create episodic content, and we’ve gotten pretty good at it. I think we’ll stick with what we do best for a while!

CG: While we know that the Telltale game engine doesn’t work with the PS3 at the moment, will that change in the future?

MD: Eventually we’d like for our games to run on every system out there.

 

To find out more about the weird and wonderful world of Telltale Games, head to www.telltalegames.com

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Written by Luke K

Luke plays lots of videogames, now and again stopping to write about them. He's the editor in chief at Critical Gamer, which fools him into thinking his life has some kind of value. Chances are, if you pick up a copy of the latest Official PlayStation Magazine or GamesMaster, you'll find something he's written in there. Luke doesn't have a short temper. If you suggest otherwise, he will punch you in the face.

One comment

  1. Pidgeridoo /

    I love their games well done for a very good interveiw 😀

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