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Ron Gilbert Dreams of Monkey Island 3a

posted by BlankCanvasDJ on - last edited - Viewed by 830 users

Ron Gilbert posted this in his blog yesterday, in case you guys didn't see it.

[quote]If I Made Another Monkey Island...
Apr 15, 2013 five past eleven am
Yeah, I know, that sounds like the title of the O.J. Simpson book. I realized that after I typed it, but I'm not going to change it.

So, before I get into this fanciful post, I want to make one thing perfectly clear... actually, I'm just going to make it my first point. It's probably the most important one. Actually, I'll make it the first two points.

One - I am not making another Monkey Island. I have no plans to make another Monkey Island. I am not formulating plans to make another Monkey Island.

Two - Let me say that again. There is no new Monkey Island in works and I have no plans to make one. I'm just thinking and dreaming and inviting you come along with me. Please your keep your hands inside the boat at all times. No standing or you might get wet.

But, If I made another Monkey Island...

Three - It would be a retro game that harkened back to Monkey Island 1 and 2. I'd do it as "enhanced low-res". Nice crisp retro art, but augmented by the hardware we have today: parallaxing, depth of field, warm glows, etc. All the stuff we wanted to do back in 1990 but couldn't. Monkey Island deserves that. It's authentic. It doesn't need 3D. Yes, I've seen the video, it's very cool, but Monkey Island wants to be what it is. I would want the game to be how we all remember Monkey Island.

Four - It would be a hardcore adventure game driven by what made that era so great. No tutorials or hint systems or pansy-assed puzzles or catering to the mass-market or modernizing. It would be an adventure game for the hardcore. You're going to get stuck. You're going to be frustrated. Some puzzles will be hard, but all the puzzles will be fair. It's one aspect of Monkey Island I am very proud of. Read this.

Five - I would lose the verbs. I love the verbs, I really do, and they would be hard to lose, but they are cruft. It's not as scary as it sounds. I haven't fully worked it out (not that I am working it out, but if I was working it out, which I'm not, I wouldn't have it fully worked out). I might change my mind, but probably not. Mmmmm... verbs.

Six - Full-on inventory. Nice big juicy icons full of pixels. The first version of Monkey Island 1 had text for inventory, a later release and Monkey Island 2 had huge inventory icons and it was nirvana. They will be so nice you'll want to lick them. That's a bullet-point for the box.

Seven - There would be a box. I imagine most copies would be sold digitally, but sometimes you just want to roll around in all your adventure game boxes. I know I do. Besides, where would you store the code wheel?

Eight - There would be dialog puzzles. They weren't really puzzles, but that's what we called them. Being able to tell four jokes at once and meander and getting lost in the humor of a conversation is the staple of Monkey Island. No one has done it better since. Just my opinion.

Nine - I would rebuild SCUMM. Not SCUMM as in the exact same language, but what SCUMM brought to those games. It was a language built around making adventure games and rapid iteration. It did things Lua could never dream of. When Lua was in High School, SCUMM beat it up for lunch money. True story. SCUMM lived and breathed adventure games. I'd build an engine and a language where funny ideas can be laughed about at lunch and be in the game that afternoon. SCUMM did that. It's something that is getting lost today.

Ten - It would be made with a very small team. Not 30 or 20, but 10 or less. It means the game would take longer, but it would be more personal and crafted with love. Monkey love. Wait... that's not what I meant...

Eleven - The only way I would or could make another Monkey Island is if I owned the IP. I've spent too much of my life creating and making things other people own. Not only would I allow you to make Monkey Island fan games, but I would encourage it. Label them as such, respect the world and the characters and don't claim they are canon. Of course, once the lawyers get ahold of that last sentence it will be seven pages long.

Twelve - It would be called Monkey Island 3a. All the games after Monkey Island 2 don't exist in my Monkey Island universe. My apologies to the all talented people who worked on them and the people who loved them, but I'd want to pick up where I left off. Free of baggage. In a carnival. That doesn't mean I won't steal some good ideas or characters from other games. I'm not above that.

Thirteen - It won't be the Monkey Island 3 I was going to make in 1992. I'm not the same person I was back then. I could never make that game now. It is lost to time. Hopefully this one would be better.

Fourteen - The press won't get advanced copies. I know all the reasons they want to get a game in advance, and they are all valid, but I feel they should play it at the same time you do. I hope they won't be mad at me. My Metacritic score hopes they won't be mad it me.

Fifteen - It would have full voice. It's something we dreamed of back then and we can do it now.

Sixteen - If I used Kickstarter, there would be no fancy videos of me trying to look charming (as if I could). No concept art or lofty promises or crazy stretch goals or ridiculous reward tiers. It would be raw and honest. It would be free of hype and distractions that keep me from making the best game I could. True, I wouldn't raise huge sums of money or break any records, but that's not what I want to do. I want to make a game.

Seventeen - The game would be the game I wanted to make. I don't want the pressure of trying to make the game you want me to make. I would vanish for long periods of time. I would not constantly keep you up-to-date or be feeding the hype-machine. I'd show stuff that excited me or amused me. If you let me do those things, you will love the game. That, I promise.

I hope you've had as much fun reading this as I had writing it.[/quote]

Personally, as a fan of the entire series (not just the first two), I'm not terribly excited about the idea of a game that completely disregards more than half of the storyline, but it's nice to see that serious people still have more Monkey Island on the brain.

17 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • I feel that many people would jump on me for saying this, but I would rather Telltale did another Monkey Island then Ron Gilbert.
    Tales is the best game in the series and to be honest monkey island 2 is probably the worst in my opinion.

  • Eighteen - Please see one and two!

    It's just a dream

  • @Syd said: Ron has made another blog post which clarifies one of the things he had said.

    I find this bit to be quite interesting: "If I end up being able to make this game at some point, we all might find that it fits nicely in between Monkey Island 2 and Curse of Monkey Island."



    I've seen him say similar things before, and it makes sense. I've heard a variety of people saying that MI2 was just a kid playing around, and while it certainly seems that way at the end of the game (and even kinda feels like it if you go through the plot), I think the whole "LeChuck flaming eyes" thing was supposed to unseat that as an absolute. (Leave it open for sequels if he wanted one.) It seems he did, at one point, want it to continue, so we can't assume the kid thing was supposed to be gospel truth. Rather, it was just the devs playing around with us.

    Now that Guybrush's future and continuity has been long decided, there are still a few deliberate holes left in the story. (Usually for humor.) We don't know how he escaped from the Carnival floating away in a bumper car. It would make an interesting theme for a new game.

  • @royschreiber said: I feel that many people would jump on me for saying this, but I would rather Telltale did another Monkey Island then Ron Gilbert.



    I'm actually totally with you on this, my opinion of Ron Gilbert isn't very high at the best of times, particularly when it comes to him whining about how he'd have done things differently with MI. He didn't, so he should quit bitching, and suggesting that he'd write off everything that came after Monkey Island 2 just seems really disrespectful to both the fans who love the later games as well and the people who worked on them. It's not their fault that Ron chose to leave Lucasarts after all.

  • @Jen Kollic said: I'm actually totally with you on this, my opinion of Ron Gilbert isn't very high at the best of times, particularly when it comes to him whining about how he'd have done things differently with MI. He didn't, so he should quit bitching, and suggesting that he'd write off everything that came after Monkey Island 2 just seems really disrespectful to both the fans who love the later games as well and the people who worked on them. It's not their fault that Ron chose to leave Lucasarts after all.



    Where did you read such nonsense? Gilbert only said that he'd start his story from the ending of MI2 because he wants to do what he's originally intended. That however doesn't mean he wants to delete the events of CoMI, EMI and Tales. Every MI fan knows that there is a huge hole in the story between the the ending of MI2 and the beginning of Curse, days pass during that period which is a great opportunity for fitting a full game there.

    Gilbert is not stupid, he knows the series has evolved and he respects that but he's also the creator of the best two games in the series. That's why he should own the IP and that's why he should lead development on a new Monkey Island game, there's no question about this. Telltale is a great developer and they are certainly capable of making a quality MI game but that would simply not be the MI3 Gilbert writes about on his blog.

    If you've started with the first two games back in the day and read his blogpost you know that what he talks about is the real deal, the Monkey Island game that the fans want since 1991. If you think that a new season of ToMI from Telltale would be better than a game that Gilbert has planned for more than 20 years by now, you are very, very wrong.

  • I'd really like to know what he wanted from 3 and to know what would be different between his universe and the one we know. And though we'd lose Curse and Tales, there is no price too great to unmake Escape. I pay it gladly.

  • @Master of Aeons said: I'd really like to know what he wanted from 3 and to know what would be different between his universe and the one we know. And though we'd lose Curse and Tales, there is no price too great to unmake Escape. I pay it gladly.



    True. If this happens, he needs to go out of his way to make Escape non-canon. That game was really awful.

  • @supmandude85 said: True. If this happens, he needs to go out of his way to make Escape non-canon. That game was really awful.



    There's an easy way just never play it say its uncanon and any refrrences just pretend there from a better unseen adventure (theres like 50 unseen edvents that get referenced).

  • @coolsome said: There's an easy way just never play it say its uncanon and any refrrences just pretend there from a better unseen adventure (theres like 50 unseen edvents that get referenced).



    That's only "easy" if you haven't already played it. I've already played it, and removing it from my memory and from existence is impossible. But yeah, I do pretend it never happened.

  • @Master of Aeons said: That's only "easy" if you haven't already played it. I've already played it, and removing it from my memory and from existence is impossible. But yeah, I do pretend it never happened.



    I have played it and liked but you can take the same principle to anything series that had a bad movie version or horrible episode or what ever. Like the Doctor Who movie apart from Paul Mcgann being the doctor I don't consider the rest canon.

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