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Sean Clark & Mike Stemmle interview

Avast ye blunderbussers and scalawags! 'Tis an interview with Mike Stemmle and Sean Clark of the Escape From Monkey Island [TM] crew. ARRRRGHH!

(Pirate Mode Off) First of all, congratulations on getting the game out. It must feel like a huge accomplishment.

Sean & Mike: Thanks.

Escape From Monkey Island features a brand new villain and sees Guybrush and Elaine as a semi-happily married couple. Was it your intention to depart from the Monkey Island formula?

We weren't looking to depart from the formula as much as we were looking to mix it up a bit. From our perspective, it was a choice between adding a new villain or introducing Elaine's wise-cracking kid brother...

What were the day-to-day routines during the EMI project?

Coffee. Work. Lunch. Nap. Work.

If not In Crunch then Play Counterstrike, else Work Some More.

Repeat ad nauseum until done.

How did you manage to create such cartoon-looking 3D graphics?

Three words: Kick ass artists.

Did the game development become easier or more complicated with the new 3D technology?

After weighing the positives and the negatives, it was easier. All the downsides of dealing with 3D programming (ugly no-fun math, flakey video cards, etc.) were more than offset by the increased freedom it gave our artists and animators.

Could you tell us your best LucasArts 'war story'? Any behind-the-scenes jokes?

Mike: I'm personally fond of the time we accidentally misprinted the phone number of our product support line in our company newsletter, sending inquisitive consumers to a phone sex line.

Sean: Yeah, that was good. My favorite was when they told us we were moving out of those nice offices with windows that opened to a cement building full of cubicles... oh, wait...

What is your opinion about the alleged "Death of Adventure Games"?

Sean & Mike: Death is nothing but another stop on the ever-spinning Wheel O' Karma. If one waits long enough, the wheel will spin again.

How did you approach the restyling of the Melee Island, which was last seen in the first Monkey Island game?

We took a long, loving look at the Melee backgrounds in The Secret of Monkey Island... then told our artists to try not to completely ignore them.

In your opinion, what makes Monkey Island 4 this year's best adventure game?

Monkeys. Monkeys are funnier than elves in tights. Of course, being the ONLY adventure game might actually be the clincher...

If Monkey Island 3 had a fake 3D button, and Monkey Island 4 has a fake multiplayer button, it is easy to extrapolate Monkey Island 5 being a multiplayer game. So, who gets to be Guybrush?

The more pertinent question is "Who'd WANT to be Guybrush?" In a multi-player scenario, the smart player'd pick Elaine...it's obvious that she's the only competent pirate in the Tri-Island Area.

What are you going to do after your well-deserved time off?

Take some less-than-well-deserved time off. Then, if we're feeling maladjusted and unscrupulous, we'll take some pushing-our-luck time off. By then, hopefully one of us will have come up with an idea for our next game(s) before we're fired for taking some completely-unjustifiable time off.


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