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Q&A With the Team

posted by Jake on - last edited - Viewed by 13.5K users

Welcome to the secret forum! As a thank you for pre-ordering, we've created this little backstage area where you can hang out with the development team, keep an eye on the development of Tales of Monkey Island, and hopefully get your hands on things before we go wide with them to the public.

First off, though, let's start a Q&A thread!

Any questions you've got for the development team, ask 'em here!
We'll try to dogpile this thread with high quality facts and higher quality lies conversation!

1.5K Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • I think it'd be more accurate (and hopefully clearer) to say that ToMI begins at the end of an imaginary MI5. That meshes better with the events as described (episode 1 apparently begins with a botched Boss Battle of sorts, setting the new plot into action) and would hopefully result in fewer people thinking that someone is going to make an MI5 to go in that gap, which is not a sensible assumption.

  • I might be the only person who got the porcelain thing, especially unglazed porcelain...uhg.

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    Dave Grossman Telltale Staff

    @LuigiHann said: I think it'd be more accurate (and hopefully clearer) to say that ToMI begins at the end of an imaginary MI5. That meshes better with the events as described (episode 1 apparently begins with a botched Boss Battle of sorts, setting the new plot into action) and would hopefully result in fewer people thinking that someone is going to make an MI5 to go in that gap, which is not a sensible assumption.

    Yes, that's pretty much the size of it. Remember how at the beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indy is retrieving an idol from this place full of boobytraps in the middle of a jungle? That's the end of some kind of big adventure, the rest of which is not told, nor do I expect it ever will be told. You just have to imagine it. "MI5" was just a convenient way for me to describe where Tales fits in, which is to say, some things happened after Escape, and they led to the beginning of Tales, but you just have to imagine everything before the climax of that adventure. No one is actually making MI5.

  • @Dave Grossman said: Yes, that's pretty much the size of it. Remember how at the beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indy is retrieving an idol from this place full of boobytraps in the middle of a jungle? That's the end of some kind of big adventure, the rest of which is not told, nor do I expect it ever will be told. You just have to imagine it. "MI5" was just a convenient way for me to describe where Tales fits in, which is to say, some things happened after Escape, and they led to the beginning of Tales, but you just have to imagine everything before the climax of that adventure. No one is actually making MI5.

    That explains things pretty well.

    I figure it's a bit like CMI. Certainly a lot happened between when Guybrush and Lechuck entered the carnival and they both made their way back to Puerto Pollo, but the game never fully explains what happened in between these two events.

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    Dave Grossman Telltale Staff

    @hplikelike said: For those of us who grew up on HE, what was it like working on those games? How was the transition from a teen/adult audience to a children audience? and how did you convince people that it would make money? and how exactly did HE "die"?

    Working on Pajama Sam (and Freddi Fish, which I also did once) was really fun - as was Moop and Dreadly at Hulabee a bit later (same basic set of people, different company name). I never intended to write children's games at all, by the way. I'd been freelancing around a bit, and had done some work with Ron Gilbert that was intended for Humongous's emerging grown-up division (Cavedog). He called me up one day and said, "Look, I know you don't generally do kids' games, but we've got this idea for one that's a bit weird, and I think it would be good for your sensibilities. Want to write it?" I wasn't up to anything special at that time, so I said sure, I'd give it a shot.

    Pajama Sam. And it was really fun to do! I liked writing for an audience with a young sense of play. The thing to remember is that kids aren't any less intelligent than adults are, they just have less knowledge and less context for things, so you have to explain a bit more. I learned how to get puzzles to hint themselves effectively on repetition while working on those games. I have a bit of a soft spot for cuteness, and I also liked slipping in all the humor that was intended for the parents who'd be playing the games with their kids. Before I knew what was happening we'd done several more titles, and all of a sudden I was known as a children's author - which is fine, but it was a pigeonhole I was starting to feel until I hooked up with Telltale four years ago.

    As for convincing people it would make money: Fortunately, I didn't have to do that. Ron did. And apparently, he did a good job. And it did make money; Humongous was doing quite well until Ron and Shelley sold the studio about five years in. That was pretty much the peak of its success. I know they even wanted to try to buy the company back at one point to try to turn it around, but wound up leaving and starting Hulabee instead.

    True fact: It was Tim Schafer who suggested the name "Humongous Entertainment."

  • @Dave Grossman said: True fact: It was Tim Schafer who suggested the name "Humongous Entertainment."

    Doesn't surprise me, he seems to be good at coming up with company names. Take Double Fine for instance.

    For those that don't know where that came from I quote from the FAQ on their website:

    Where does the name “Double Fine” come from?

    It comes from a sign on the Golden Gate Bridge that, until recently, said “Slow to 45 mph – Double Fine Zone.” I ingeniously selected the name Double Fine so that when people drove over the bridge they would see the name “Double Fine” and think, not just that we had purchased ad space on what must be the most expensive billboard in California, but that we owned the city and all of San Francisco had been declared to be a “Double Fine Zone.” I believe it did work for many years, confounding and intimidating our many, many foes. But for absolutely no good reason, the old sign is now flashing the less awe-inspiring message, “Speed limit 45 mph – Auto toll $5.” I mean, how are you supposed to name a game company after that? Don’t people even think these things through?

  • @Dave Grossman said: ...

    Which means that either of them would probably have a more interesting answer to this question than I do. They came up with the basic story while I was out one week and pitched it to me when I got back (since then, of course, we have spent many many hours pounding it into a nuanced, shimmering beauty). I'm wondering what their notes from that week look like.

    I do have a note from early in the story phase that reads "Touch of LeChuck" - my idea for a title, which a lot of people thought sounded too creepy so I eventually had to give it up.
    ...

    A+ for "many hours pounding it into a nuanced, shimmering beauty." Exemplary work as usual Mr. Grossman. I am, however, disappointed in your colleagues decision not to use the title, "Touch of LeChuck." It would have encouraged many a parody on Youtube, I'm sure. (When zomBIES love a pirate ...!)

  • I do not recall this one ever being answered. I seem to have run out of new questions to ask, but then again, most TMI related questions should be answered in two weeks, anyway.
    @mhaley said: A few years back, there was talk about a public version of the Telltale Tool. Has there been any progress on this, or was that just a wild rumor?

  • @Dave Grossman said: As for convincing people it would make money: Fortunately, I didn't have to do that. Ron did. And apparently, he did a good job. And it did make money; Humongous was doing quite well until Ron and Shelley sold the studio about five years in. That was pretty much the peak of its success. I know they even wanted to try to buy the company back at one point to try to turn it around, but wound up leaving and starting Hulabee instead.

    It all went a bit weird, though, as Shelley was jailed for fraud in 2005, wasn't she? A bit shocking, to say the least. Where is she now, do you know? Do her and Ron still speak? I guess that whole affair effectively killed Hulabee :(

  • @Dave Grossman said: Yes, that's pretty much the size of it. Remember how at the beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indy is retrieving an idol from this place full of boobytraps in the middle of a jungle? That's the end of some kind of big adventure, the rest of which is not told, nor do I expect it ever will be told. You just have to imagine it. "MI5" was just a convenient way for me to describe where Tales fits in, which is to say, some things happened after Escape, and they led to the beginning of Tales, but you just have to imagine everything before the climax of that adventure. No one is actually making MI5.

    You could go a bit further and say "In Monkey Island 5, every single continuity error in the series is solved cleanly, flawlessly, and above all, entertainingly. Even that Herman Toothrot mess. Which means that not only will we never make Monkey Island 5, it's likely that nobody on Earth will ever be capable of making the thing."

    That game's going on my non-shelf right next to Leisure Suit Larry 4 and and Space Quests VII through XII. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go watch the best film Bill Cosby ever made, Leonard Part 2.

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