Ron Gilbert reveals his vision for a new Monkey Island game
"If I made another..."
Monkey Island creator Ron Gilbert is not currently working on a new Monkey Island game. He wants to make that clear.
"I am not making another Monkey Island. I have no plans to make another Monkey Island. I am not formulating plans to make another Monkey Island," Gilbert wrote in a "fanciful" post on his Grumpy Gamer blog.
He continued: "But, if I made another Monkey Island...
"It would be a retro game that harkened back to Monkey Island 1 and 2. I'd do it as 'enhanced low-res'. Nice crisp retro art augmented by the hardware we have today," Gilbert explained. It sounds similar to the recently updated versions of the first two adventures. "It doesn't need 3D."
The game would be "hardcore": no tutorials, hint systems or "catering to the mass-market or modernising" - a different tack to Gilbert's recent work The Cave which offered a number of concessions to newcomers.
The biggest hurdle Gilbert faces is the fact that Disney now owns the swashbuckling adventure series, following its recent acquisition of LucasArts.
Disney has said it is open to licensing its IP for use by other studios, and Gilbert previously told Eurogamer that he would talk with the studio to discuss the franchise at some point. But Gilbert has now indicated that simply licensing the IP would not be enough.
"The only way I would or could make another Monkey Island is if I owned the IP. I've spent too much of my life creating and making things other people own," he said.
"Not only would I allow you to make Monkey Island fan games, but I would encourage it. Label them as such, respect the world and the characters and don't claim they are canon. Of course, once the lawyers get ahold of that last sentence it will be seven pages long."
Gilbert would ignore the three Monkey Island games that were released after he left the series - the enjoyable 2D Curse of Monkey Island, the less enjoyable 3D Escape from Monkey Island and Telltale's episodic Tales from Monkey Island saga.
"All the games after Monkey Island 2 don't exist in my Monkey Island universe."Ron Gilbert
"It would be called Monkey Island 3a," he wrote. "All the games after Monkey Island 2 don't exist in my Monkey Island universe. My apologies to the all talented people who worked on them and the people who loved them, but I'd want to pick up where I left off. Free of baggage. In a carnival.
"That doesn't mean I won't steal some good ideas or characters from other games. I'm not above that."
There would probably be no "verbs", the actions that allow Monkey Island hero Guybrush Threepwood to interact with his surroundings. And there would be a "full-on" inventory - another feature excised from The Cave.
Gilbert would work with a small team - 10 or less - on the project, in order to craft a more personal game.
"If I used Kickstarter, there would be no fancy videos of me trying to look charming (as if I could)," he concluded. "No concept art or lofty promises or crazy stretch goals or ridiculous reward tiers.
"True, I wouldn't raise huge sums of money or break any records, but that's not what I want to do. I want to make a game."