Ron Gilbert is best known for his work on adventure games, namely the Monkey Island
and Maniac Mansion
games, but he's not limited to the adventure genre alone.
In fact, his upcoming game, DeathSpank
, published by Hothead Games, will be a game that combines adventure gaming and Diablo
-style dungeon crawling. Developers often draw from different genres to create hybrid kinds of gameplay, and Gilbert thinks that game makers can learn a lot about design by studying the classic adventure genre.
"Adventure games are probably most commonly known for how they tell stories -- or at least that's how I think about them," Gilbert told Gamasutra
as part of an in-depth new interview. "It's how the stories are structured, how the puzzles are structured, and how the story weaves in and out of the puzzles."
He said, "I do wish that was something that people who do other genres would understand better. Even doing a first-person shooter, I think if you understood how really good adventure games are structured, there is a lot that can be learned. And vice versa, too. There are a lot of really great things that first-person shooters and real-time strategy games do that I think adventure games could really learn from."
Gilbert added that while game design can often seem very genre specific at times, there is a lot of cross-pollination going on between genres. "A lot of things cross over. There certainly are genres of games, but I think they do share a lot in common," he said. "I have a lot respect for movie directors who direct movies in all different genres, who have done really good comedies, and action movies, and sci-fi stuff."
"I really like that breadth, and I think that's true also with games. There are strategy games and adventure games and first-person shooters, but there are a whole lot of things that are common there."
For the full interview with Gilbert on DeathSpank
, his game design philosophy, and his own background, read the full Gamasutra feature
, available today.