CEO Dan Connors assesses chapter one and previews chapter two.
Telltale's Tales of Monkey Island saga is in full swing. Chapter one, Launch of the Screaming Narwhal, is out now on PC and WiiWare. Chapter two, The Siege of Spinner Cay, is due out later this month. We grabbed Telltale CEO and founder Dan Connors on the phone, while he was driving over the Golden Gate Bridge, to find out just what chapter two has in store for fans, and what the team's learned from chapter one. Oh, and don't worry, Dan wasn't driving.
VideoGamer.com: Did Tales of Monkey Island meet your expectations?
Dan Connors: Oh definitely, yeah. It was a great launch for us. We’re really happy with it. I think it even exceeded our expectations. It’s been pretty shocking how much love there is still out there for the Monkey Island series. It seems like a generational thing as well.
VideoGamer.com: Can you talk about sales?
DC: Unfortunately I can’t get into the specific numbers, but I would definitely say it’s our strongest performing franchise to date. We’re pretty excited. It was number one on Steam for a few days. It did really well. It’s been our best performing title from our side as well.
VideoGamer.com: Congratulations are in order then. Well done.
DC: Thank you. It's been great.
VideoGamer.com: Have you taken anything on board from feedback?
DC: One thing we noticed, with the exception of a couple of reviews, is that people are engaged still after the cliffhanger. That's the huge thing we were going for with this franchise. With every episode you're going to see it continue to build up to the finale. It's been a huge goal for us as an episodic company. To see the first one come out and have people respond well to the fact that they want to see what happens next, and they're thoroughly engaged in the story of Guybrush and Elaine, that's been the positive thing we've taken away from this.
Some of the other stuff we're hearing, a lot of it is around some of the control issues. We're just continuing to iron those out and make that feel better as we continue to push through on the series. But to date there hasn't been any one theme that everybody's like, this has to change. There's no soda poppers that everybody thinks is thoroughly annoying. Usually a lot of the feedback starts coming after the second and third episode.
VideoGamer.com: Did you agree with any of the criticism relating to any of the puzzles or the supporting characters?
DC: I'd have to think of the specific criticisms. We get a lot of constructive feedback, which obviously we appreciate. We'd rather have people caring to say that they don't like it as much as anything. I'd have to think what the specific stuff is. The world's going to continue to grow and grow as the series runs on. There'll be more and more characters that people will be able to meet. Some of the characters that we already have are just getting introduced, and they're going to continue to get more and more depth and more and more interesting as the adventures continue.
VideoGamer.com: Do you have any update on when chapter two will be released?
DC: We're still working on it. It'll probably be later in the month [August], but we haven't set a date on it yet.
VideoGamer.com: Have you had any interesting entries for the Game Designer for a Day competition?
DC: Oh yeah. We've had tons of interesting entries. It's always a blast at Telltale for us to read through and judge that stuff. The thing about doing episodic gaming is that we can do things like this, and it's a good way to interact with the audience, and see what they think and see what they think is funny. It's a great thing for us too, so we've been really happy with it.