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Feature: Sam & Max's Dave Grossman on Design

Today's main Gamasutra feature speaks to Telltale Games Senior Designer Dave Grossman about the upcoming episodic adventure Sam & Max: Season One, his days at Luca...
Today's main Gamasutra feature speaks to Telltale Games Senior Designer Dave Grossman about the upcoming episodic adventure Sam & Max: Season One, his days at Lucasarts helping design classics The Secret of Monkey Island and Day of the Tentacle, and how a yellow sky can improve your game in certain situations. In the following extract, Grossman reflects back to his work on The Secret of Monkey Island, and how many of its most memorable moments were implemented almost as happy accidents: "It was an interesting situation working on Monkey Island because you really had a lot of opportunity to expand on things as we were building it. So, basically because so little had to be decided in advance, the art didn't really take a whole lot of time. There were only sixteen colors, you didn't have to worry too much about "oh, I'm going to have to change this animation, it's never going to work," because the animations were so simple, they were just kind of characters walking around like little puppet theater things. So things like, there's a bit where Guybrush is walking around on top of a giant pinnacle of rock, and there's sort of a dangerous looking bit over the edge. Well, it had just been drawn into the art that way, we didn't really intend for it to be dangerous, but it was easy enough for me to make the little piece of rock crumble down, and jump him off, and copy the little Sierra screen as a little dig at Sierra, and then he bounces back… "And there's that whole scene that happens behind a wall? You're in the Governor's mansion and you have to get the idol? We went back and forth for a week or two, we just kept trying to design that part of the game. It was like, there had to be some puzzles in the mansion, and you have stuff going on with the guard, and some ants and a trail of honey, and it just wasn't working. And finally, I was just joking, I just said, "Well, let's make the whole thing happen behind a wall." And Ron [Gilbert, lead designer] was like, "Hmm! Let's try that!" And I'm like no, I'm just kidding! Really! And he's like no no no, just mock it up, it'll work, you'll see. And…it was good!" You can read the extensive feature for more, including brand new art featuring our favorite crime fighting dog and rabbit-thing duo (no registration required).

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