Ron Gilbert pulled off the best April Fools hoax ever this year. He stated on his own blog on April 1st that he was working on a new Monkey Island game.
It was difficult to tell if this was a joke, but he confirmed it a few days later by revealing the official trailer for Return to Monkey Island. With creator Gilbert returning, Dave Grossman returning to co-write, and composers Michael Land, Peter McConnell, and Clint Bajakian returning to write the music, the game aims to harken back to the classic point-and-click era of the first two Monkey Island games.
I had the opportunity to speak with both Gilbert and Grossman this week to learn more about the game and its development. While the team behind Return to Monkey Island hasn’t released much beyond what’s in the video, Gilbert and Grossman did give some insight into what to anticipate when the game releases later this year.
Continue reading to find more about how we created a modern point-and-click adventure, how we learned from previous initiatives, and how we kept the project a secret. The company has also released the game’s first official screenshots, which we’ve included in this story. The developers were the ones who came up with the captions.
What brings you both back to Monkey Island now?
Gilbert, Ron: If you read my blog or follow me on Twitter, you’ll notice that I’m continually inundated with requests for a new Monkey Island, and it’s something I’ve been extremely interested in. [Note: I mistakenly pushed a key on my keyboard that activated a YouTube video, so I missed a phrase here.] Fortunately, I was silenced.] But I believe that when that opportunity arose, I was eager to seize it and recruit Dave into the grand scheme. At the most basic level, I believe it was simply a matter of timing.
Dave Grossman: I think we should do this on a regular basis. I believe Ron and I have progressed to the point where we have something new to say about the universe of Monkey Island. “Oh, here is a chance to work with Ron again and to revisit these characters, this universe that I adore, and to have some fun,” I thought as soon as he called. To be honest, I wasn’t a hard sell. I was practically ushered in right away. While I was saying, “Yes, yes,” I believe Ron was still pitching. “Can we get started?”
Ron: I believe you were a little more animated. I still had a lot of fear and anxiety. We should meet together in 35 years and see what we can do…
Grossman: I’m all for it! I’m in right now; give me a call in 35 years.
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