Ron Gilbert is either directly or indirectly responsible for many of our favourite gaming memories. With Dave Winnick he co-created Maniac Mansion, which introduced the SCUMM scripting language behind almost all of Lucasfilm Games/LucasArts’s most revered classics. He co-founded Humongous Games, where he was responsible for several popular children’s series like Putt-Putt, Freddi Fish and Pajama Sam. He collaborated with Tim Schafer’s Double Fine Productions to create the unique puzzle-platformer The Cave, and reteamed with Winnick and successfully Kickstarted the original new pixel art adventure Thimbleweek Park. But wait, wasn’t there something else he did? Oh, right! He also created Monkey Island, one of the most beloved adventure game series of all time, including the surprise reboot just last year in Return to Monkey Island with Dave Grossman.
There’s only so much of a legendary career (which also includes plenty of cross-genre accomplishments too numerous to mention) you can fit into a two-hour interview. But the tag team of Paul Morgan Stetler and Daniel Albu peppered Ron with as many questions as they could in their latest installment Conversations with Curtis. There are lots of fun insights, so dive in to find out such nuggets of wisdom like what game character Ron named his dog after, what Monkey Island 2 has in common with Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Blazing Saddles, and how the “strange democracy” of pirates influenced once of his most memorable puzzle sequences.
If that’s not enough, Ron talks about getting nothing but enraged handwritten letters (from back in the days of snail mail) about the controversial ending of LeChuck’s Revenge, his fondness for subverting expectations and creating art that’s open to interpretation, a lesson belatedly learned about the value of hint features, and even the key ingredients to what makes Monkey Island and its destructively enthusiastic protagonist Guybrush Threepwood so successful. To top it off, he also offers a sneak peek into what the future might have in store, including the possibility – however unlikely – of a Thimbleweed Park 2 filled with lots of personally interesting creative elements that a whole lot of people will “totally hate.”
All this and more are just a click away! You don’t even need to choose a verb first.
Conversations with Curtis is part of the Adventure Game Hotspot Network, a collective of talented, dedicated content producers who work entirely independently but have joined forces to promote each other’s efforts.