Eurogamer: How did you ensure that?
Jonathan Smith: We have done pub quizzes to make sure they really know their stuff about all the individual characters and where they come from in the fiction. If you're not making something you love you won't do your best work. We're privileged to be working with great story universes that are loveable. So getting into them and filling your head with them is the first thing, because then the ideas flow naturally.
Everyone who works at TT Games and Traveller's Tales has a sense now of the LEGO game world, what works, what's fun, how to be funny in the LEGO game world, what sort of humour, our tone there we understand that. So coming to each new story universe and applying that is how they generate the ideas.
Eurogamer: The walking animation for LEGO Captain Jack Sparrow is fantastic.
Jonathan Smith: It is. But you're going to be controlling Jack quite a lot, so to get that right is so important. It's also incredibly hard. That is art. You can't instruct someone how to do that and to pull that off. That's where we're lucky to have talented people who are so experienced now in what they do.
Eurogamer: The game includes content based on the fourth film, which isn't out yet.
Jonathan Smith: Which we've done before.
Eurogamer: How do you manage that situation? Do they want to keep many of their cards close to their chest?
Jonathan Smith: They know we're making a game which is telling the whole story of the movie, which will be released at the same time as the movie. Disney Company is well set up as an organisation to help partners work through that kind of process, and share and support everything we do.
Everything that's being produced the team are getting to see, and that's a process they love. They were excited to have read the script and to see where the work is going on in the movie, and see the rushes come through. We're privileged to be in that position.
Eurogamer: Do any of the cast have any involvement?
Jonathan Smith: Certainly Jerry Bruckheimer sees the game on a regular basis, and we know he's very happy with it, which is great news. I was lucky enough to play the game with Ian McShane a few weeks ago. That was a moment of some privilege.
Eurogamer: What did he think?
Jonathan Smith: He loved it. I wish I'd got a LEGO mini figure made of you. Anyone who has a LEGO mini figure of themselves, particularly when it's brought to life with such charm and skill by the animators at Traveller's Tales, immediately feels quite an outpouring of emotion.
Eurogamer: Will this game have the free-roaming experience Harry Potter had with Hogwarts?
Jonathan Smith: There is a hub area from which you will voyage on your adventures. It's a large port filled with secrets that will unlock and unfold through the game as you progress and get new characters.
Eurogamer: So it will have a similar experience?
Jonathan Smith: Hogwarts was the largest single environment we built, and the hub area of Pirates of the Caribbean isn't larger than that, but a sense of persistent progress through the hub will absolutely be there.
Eurogamer: The series has always had superb two-player co-op. Is it impossible to go further than that? Have you tried more than two-player co-op? Does it just break down?
Jonathan Smith: Nothing is impossible. We have consistently found the two-player experience is not only how most people play together – it's unusual for more than two people to be playing a game together – but also what works best with our stories we've been telling as well through LEGO games.
There hasn't been a driving need we felt to push that on, particularly not if it would require sacrifices elsewhere, or compromises elsewhere, to make it happen.