DeathSpank screenshot
DeathSpank screenshot

Q: Your work is known for its great writing. I know from reading your blog that you're a big fan of The Wire. Do you think we'll ever get to that HBO level of consistently good writing, and what's your feeling about the current standard across the industry?

RG: I think it's not really in a good state. I think most games are not very well written, and I don't really know why that is. It's probably just that the whole industry is still in a fairly young, immature state. I don't know if writing is really appreciated, not only by players but also by reviewers. Occasionally a game will come out that has good writing and people will say "Hey, that was really well written!" - but they don't really notice bad writing. I think that's just where we are, we're a very young industry. As time goes on people will start to appreciate different artistic elements of games, and writing is one of them.

Q: In your keynote at PAX last year you were talking about how it's important that games don't seek to emulate film too much. I know you're not a fan of games which rely too heavily on cutscenes to tell their story. Do you feel that projects like Heavy Rain move too far away from what a game should be?

RG: I think it's very important that games are their own thing artistically, and if people are just saying "I wish I could make movies but I can't, so I'm going to make this game as much like a movie as I can", I don't think that's the right way to go. I think movies will be around for hundreds and hundreds of years because they are what they are, and people are always going to want some form of passive entertainment. But games will be as well. I think they're very different, and I think you have to look at telling stories in games very differently from telling stories in movies. That's one of reasons I don't like cutscenes. Cutscenes tend to take control away from the player, and when people are playing games they like control. That's why I like the dialogue in Monkey Island, and it's why I did the exact same thing in DeathSpank. You can tell a lot of story by letting the player have control of it. They can participate in these conversations that are going on with characters, and they can have a lot of fun and get a lot of humour out of them. Games really are a different art form, and we're just now discovering what that art form is, and how to do it well. And I think that's one of the things that's exciting about the industry right now, figuring all that stuff out.

Q: You mentioned on your blog that you recently had lunch with Gary Winnick, your co-creator on Maniac Mansion. Is that something you'd like to revisit?

RG: You know, I don't know. It's a good question, and people ask me that a lot. I don't have the same desire to revisit that as I would, say, Monkey Island. I'm not really sure why. It'd be fun to do, but it's not a burning thing inside me.

Q: How about the idea of working with Gary again? Is that something you'd like to do?

RG: Yeah, I love collaborating with people a lot. Gary's a great guy, he's a wonderful artist and he's very, very funny. We kinda bounce stuff around every time we meet, but there's nothing firmed up at the moment.

DeathSpank is due for release on July 13 on PSN and July 14 on Xbox LIVE Arcade.

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User Comments

Bloodstorm's Avatar


Who did you copy and paste that from?

Anyway, the man is a legend, he gave us Secret of Monkey Island, a classic that should never be forgotten.
Posted 18:01 on 03 July 2010
Chrissd21's Avatar


Dudes an idiot.

And I mean that in.. Actually fairly harshly, he should know better.

ICO, Shadows of the Colossus, Braid, The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom. Hell, even Mirrors Edge is more art house than mainstream.

What this person fails to realise is what the majority of people today cannot grasp. The gaming industry was mature enough to be art house years ago, but you have to look. Same with films, I wanted to see Pan's Labyrinth when it came out, fat chance of that happening. Had to wait till it came out on DVD, then download it because it was impossible to find in stores. Eventually found and purchased it. And this is a "mainstream" art house movie. Think of all the one's that are so art house they're never picked up by major retailers?

Same with video games. If you want art house, start looking. If you want mainstream, walk into a major retailer. They might have Machinarium. I'd call that art house, an indie puzzle game. Not your usual style. But that's about it.

Yes, publishers should make more of the smaller indie art house titles. But I have a feeling that if they did, I would no longer love them. Commercial companies lose the imagination that makes them great.

AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! A Reckless Disregard for Gravity. Plain Sight. Blueberry Garden. These games are on Steam, which is a great outlet for smaller games. Easier to get out. Aaaa! started off as a mod, I remember the beta testing on ModDB. Now it's all grown up. 'wipes tear from eye'

But you get the point? You want alt, you don't go mainstream. You want a fish, you don't go to a desert. Go to the bloody sea already and see how big it is.

Off topic, "hardcore" gamers are still playing Everquest, Starcraft and CS: S. MW2 isn't "hardcore". Going by original term. Summer blockbusters are definitely MW2, but they're not hardcore. I'd even term art house hardcore, these are your fanatics who will pay $50 for a movie ticket to watch this movie only 2 people in their city have heard about. And will love every second of it.

The rest of the masses are just like females who buy Wii for WiiFit. Not counted. :P
Posted 17:48 on 03 July 2010


This guy really knows his stuff. I WILL BUY DEATHSPANK....

Hats off.
Posted 11:10 on 03 July 2010
SexyJams's Avatar


I'm so buying Deathspank :D
Posted 20:45 on 02 July 2010
guyderman's Avatar


I thought it was Rhod Gilbert at first!
Posted 18:00 on 02 July 2010

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Release Date: 13/07/2010
Developer: Hothead Games
Genre: Action
No. Players: 1-2
Rating: PEGI 12+
Site Rank: 5,577 122
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