Return to Monkey Island development diary
Ron Gilbert updated his blog with a new post where he shares the Return to Monkey Island development diary. The diary doesn't include a lot of entries, as by the end of July 2021, he got so busy he didn't have time to update it anymore. In any case, in the comments section, Ron added some interesting details:
We decided against a playable Elaine because the story went in a direction where that didn't make sense anymore. It would be fun to do a MI with Elaine is the playable character and Guybrush is the sidekick, but that will have to wait for another game.
Gilbert also added that to prepare for the game development he played the first three Monkey Island games.
GamesBeat talks with the Return to Monkey Island designers
Ron Gilbert and Dave Grossman gave another interview to talk about the Return to Monkey Island. Most questions by GamesBeat had already been asked before or were very generic. The most interesting one was about the monkey wrench puzzle, to which Grossman explained:
The Monkey Wrench puzzle from LeChuck's Revenge is notoriously unsolvable and was not a good design on several levels. Even if you are an English speaker from a location where the tool in question is commonly called a "monkey wrench," and you realize that that's what you need, you still have to make an astonishing predictive leap about how your actions will create that tool. Nothing in the game sets any of it up adequately.
Read the full interview here!
Short interview with Ron by CNET
CNET has published a short interview with Ron Gilbert. The article talks mostly about how long it has been since the first two games were released. At the end of the piece, they ask a few questions to Ron Gilbert.
The ending of Monkey Island 2 had a huge cliffhanger. I left Lucasfilm right after that and never resolved it. Future games did their best but we wanted to tackle it head on. While Return to Monkey Island does start right after Monkey 2 ends, it's not a 'sequel' to Monkey 2 either. It's going to be a fun journey. It will be an e-ticket ride.
Read the full interview.
Australian newspaper talks with Gilbert & Grossman
The Sydney Morning Herald, an Australian newspaper, talked with Ron Gilbert and Dave Grossman about Return to Monkey Island, the upcoming Monkey Island game.
Gilbert talked about pixel art and how he doesn't want to do more of the same.
Players often want ‘more of the same, but better’, and those two ideas don’t go together. The games we made back then always changed and took advantage of new players, ideas, and tech. There is no reason to stop that now.
Grossman also discussed how they approached the game and nostalgia.
There is always a desire to return to some rosy or exciting past, and we rarely find it right where we left it. It’s always shifting and changing, never quite what we thought we remembered. Or what we imagined
Head over to their website to read their article.
IGN turn to interview Ron & Dave
IGN also managed to get an interview with Ron Gilbert and Dave Grossman. The interview doesn't contain plenty of new information, but it's still worth checking.
When Ron is questioned about how they approached the game from the start, he says they wanted it to be a solid pirate adventure.
Dave and I spent a lot of time talking about ‘What is Monkey Island? What does it mean to us now? What does it mean to Guybrush now?’ Thinking about interesting stories. For me I wanted this game to be a good solid pirate adventure. I felt like some of the past Monkey Islands had veered a little bit into the silly territory. And I wanted this to just be, ‘It’s a pirate adventure.’ Guybrush is sailing the seas and visiting islands, and so that was a cornerstone that I wanted to do.
Read the full interview.
Ron brings his blog back up and clarifies the new MI
Ron Gilbert took down his blog because the comments section got too many complaints about the new art style. GrumpyGamer, Ron's blog, is now back up with the comments of recent Monkey Island articles disabled and a new post where he clarifies the points written by him in 2013 on a new Monkey Island game. He explains that those points were not promises or commandments.
My point is these were not commandments handed down and etched in stone on a giant tablet. They were just random thoughts about a (then very unlikely) new Monkey Island game.
None of these are promises or anything I owe anybody.
People talk a lot about Monkey Island 3a as if it was the game I would have made after Monkey Island 2 had I stayed at Lucasfilm.
He also discusses the new art style and people's expectations.
I wanted the art in Return to Monkey Island to be provocative, shocking, and not what everyone was expecting. Rex is an amazing creative force and we have a team of incredible artists, animators, sound designers, programmers, and testers all pouring their souls into this game and it's beautiful to see, play, and listen to.
Check out his latest post to read everything he had to say.
Ron and Dave get interviewed by Ars Technica
Interviews with Ron Gilbert and Dave Grossman keep popping up. This time, it was Ars Technica's turn. Besides sharing some information we already knew from past interviews, Gilbert revealed to Ars that Return to Monkey Island includes a built-in hint system to prevent people from going to the web:
Hiding a piece of information somewhere with no clues about where to find it—that kind of thing just wouldn't fly today... Having hint systems means that if you make the puzzle just completely weird and obscure, people just go to the hint system.
Ron also shared that the game will have two difficulty modes similar to Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge.
They can play the casual mode, which is just a lot of simplification of the puzzles. That is our main way to get people into playing a point-and-click game if they haven't done it before.
Make sure you read the full interview.
The Verge also interviews Ron and Dave
In addition to Adventure Gamers, The Verge also interviewed Ron Gilbert and Dave Grossman. Although they shared the same screenshots, they managed to get some interesting stories from Ron. Especially the one about Dominic Armato's reaction:
(...) We got together, we had coffee, and I think he was very interested in the new game, almost kind of wondering whether maybe he could have a voice part in it. And then I told him that it was the new Monkey Island, and he was just floored. Which is a reaction I get from a lot of people. Before, when we were bringing people on, and we’d talk to them, the minute I mentioned, “I’m making a new Monkey Island….” One person literally started crying. They were so happy that this was happening. So I think Dominic was really floored that we were doing it and extremely happy.
Read the full interview!