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Old 04-14-2006, 09:28 AM   #1
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Default Dave Grossman and his return to design

So, this question is for Dave Grossman whenever he arrives. Just wondering how you feel to be back doing design after quite a long absence from the field (unless I've forgotten something, in which case I'm an idiot and you can disregard this post) and what in particular prompted the return?
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Old 04-14-2006, 09:29 AM   #2
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Dave should be here around 11:00 (about half an hour from now).
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Old 04-14-2006, 10:16 AM   #3
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I've tied Dave up so it may take a while for him to respond... start the timers...

He was still working as a freelance writer and designer - he worked on the Total Annihilation series with Ron Gilbert (one of my personal favorite games), and did a lot for the Pajama Sam franchise.

Here's his moby games profile...
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Old 04-14-2006, 10:24 AM   #4
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I knew he'd done a fair bit of writing work, but not a lot of design for a while (or at least, not explicity credited as such.) Thanks for the link.
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Old 04-14-2006, 10:38 AM   #5
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Wow, a thread with my name right at the top! Cool.

Yes, I haven't exactly been absent from the world of design, but doing it as a contractor the last eleven years means you haven't always seen me credited as such. I did do some story-and-puzzle design work on some of the Pajama Sam and Freddi Fish titles, for example, but am mainly recognized for having written the scripts, and in general a lot more of my writing is out there than game design.

The main difference now is that I'm directly involved in actual game production again, as opposed to sending off a design or a script and then getting the finished product in the mail a year later. I've been mainly a pre-production, design architecture and scriptwriting, occasional emergency firefighting type guy for a long time.

Primarily the change was prompted by two things:
1) I was getting a little weary of freelancing. I like the work and the hours and the exhorbitant contracting rates, but I don't like having to scare up new business, read contracts, and so on. I'd rather just be making games.
and also 2) The existence of Telltale. Not too many companies are doing the sorts of games I like working on the most, these guys were starting up at just the right time, and some of them were already friends of mine.

It seemed like the thing to do, so I jumped on, and I'm liking it.
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Old 04-14-2006, 10:49 AM   #6
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I really should track down Pajama Sam and Freddi Fish sometime... Thanks for your response; it's good to see you back working on a basis where we can expect a steady stream of Grossmanny goodness in game form.
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Old 04-14-2006, 11:15 AM   #7
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Thanks! Glad to be here.

Pajama Sam in particular is worth playing, if you don't mind goodhearted cuteness. Get one of the first three (there's a Sam 4 that I've never seen, but it wasn't well received). And the Freddi Fish game I did was Freddi 4: The Hogfish Rustlers of Briny Gulch, possibly the only underwater western mystery ever written.
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Old 04-14-2006, 11:24 AM   #8
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I was thinking about Pratchett's children books who don't really differ from his 'traditionnal' stories : do you feel that writing for a teenager/adult audience and a younger audience are two very different exercices? And if so, do one feed the other?
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Old 04-14-2006, 11:34 AM   #9
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Yes, writing for kids does require a somewhat different approach from writing for adults, though perhaps not as much so as some people think. What's really interesting is trying to do both at the same time, which is what we did with the Humongous titles I just mentioned. They were aimed at kids, but we knew the parents would often be playing along with them, and in fact we wanted to encourage that sort of behavior. It became a matter of putting things in for the adults in such a way that the kids would either not be aware they were missing anything, or would appreciate it on a different level. Alice in Wonderland is a terrific model for this. I own several copies.
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Old 04-14-2006, 11:36 AM   #10
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Spongebob and Sesame Street (certain segments, anyway) are two shows that I've always thought do a good job of appealing both to kids and their parents.

Dave, did you guys find yourselves thinking this way on Cow Race, as well? (i.e. ways to appeal to kids as well as adults)
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Old 04-14-2006, 11:46 AM   #11
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As for movies, Mrs. Doubtfire is probably the best example of appealing to kids and adults I can think of. It even inspired Al Lowe to make Torin's Passage.
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Old 04-14-2006, 12:59 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fov
Spongebob and Sesame Street (certain segments, anyway) are two shows that I've always thought do a good job of appealing both to kids and their parents.

Dave, did you guys find yourselves thinking this way on Cow Race, as well? (i.e. ways to appeal to kids as well as adults)
Funny, I actually did a little work on a touchable SpongeBob book for Fisher-Price.

Bone is actually exactly the opposite of Pajama Sam, as a direct result of the cross-generational appeal of the comics. It's written for adults, but we bear in mind that kids are also going to be playing, so we take care to make sure that they can.
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