Double Fine's Tim Schafer • Page 4

On fans, funnies and roadie love.

Eurogamer: Is it going to happen with this?

Tim Schafer: You'll just have to wait and see for the final box art, won't you!

Eurogamer: Do you think there's still a future for the point-and-click adventure? Things like Capcom's Zack & Wiki did some clever things with the control scheme, for instance.

Tim Schafer: There's a very passionate fanbase for point-and-click graphic adventures out there, and they're making their own games now using certain engines anyone can pull down and make a game in. But there's also companies like Telltale [also ex-LucasArts] making graphic adventures and Autumn Moon [creator of A Vampyre Story, again ex-Lucas], a lot of games being made in Europe, and Zack & Wiki on the Wii. I played that and, wow, it was so strange to see a Japanese game especially that had this point-and-click graphic adventure, which I don't think were ever really very popular over there. It was funny to see, and I'm very interested to see what happens in the future with it.

Eurogamer: Looking back at the old days of LucasArts - were you based on Skywalker Ranch?

Tim Schafer: We started at Skywalker Ranch and they kicked us off because they could only have so many flushing toilets. That was the excuse they gave at the time: 'We can only have so many flushing toilets as per the county code and we have to get rid of someone and it's you guys'. They didn't like us because we worked crunch mode hours and we were at the Ranch day and night and they wanted us all to leave so they could run around naked. I don't know.

Eurogamer: We got to go to the Ranch a couple of years ago, and spent the night there...

Tim Schafer: You spent the night there?! How did you get to spend the night there?!

7

The cast of Grim Fandango, with Schafer bottom left.

Eurogamer: Obviously we're important people!

Tim Schafer: I never got to spend a night at the Ranch! Eurogamer gets everything!

Eurogamer: Did you have much contact with George Lucas? Was he hands-on at that time, or did he leave you to your own devices?

Tim Schafer: George was never really that hands-on. I met him three times - I was there 10 years. But he did come by in the early days of Monkey Island, and Ron [Gilbert] demoed the game to him and I remember he said: 'You should emphasise the main character more'. Which was a good piece of advice we got at the time, because the main character was just called 'Guy'. Here's the guy in the game and he wants to be a pirate. When George found out his name was just Guy I think he was like, that's a sign that maybe you should develop that character more. And that's good advice for any game.

I think a lot of games want to have this blank main character and they usually use the excuse of [puts on mock intellectual voice], 'We want to be a blank slate, a tabula rasa!' But usually I think that's just an excuse for the fact that it's hard to write a main character, because you have to make a lot of commitments and risk turning off the audience by making him or her have any specific characteristics. It's hard to do; it's hard to do with books or anything. You just have to pick it and work on it really hard to get the right character that the people, even though it's different than them, will want to be.

5

Purple: the colour of bastard.

Eurogamer: As we know, Psychonauts was Eurogamer's game of the year. Do you think Brütal Legend's going to be up there for us?

Tim Schafer: I hope Brütal Legend is also Eurogamer's not just game of the year for one year, I'm hoping it's so good they give it two years in a row. Game of two years? Three?

Eurogamer: It's that good.

Tim Schafer: It's so big, the first half of it gets game of the year this year, next year the second half.

Brütal Legend is coming to PS3 and Xbox 360 on 16th October. Or 'Rocktober' as Schafer has henceforth decreed it shall be known.

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