Your adventure game dream team

Watching Brian Moriarty’s lecture at AdventureX made me remember of what a good storyteller he is and it has switched on my “what if” mode.

Let’s pretend for a moment that all the people who have worked in the adventure game industry could harmoniously cooperate with each other with absolutely no relational issues… what would be your adventure game “dream team”? Which people would you choose to head each department and why?

Here is my theoretical dream team, heavily influenced by the fact that I’ve always been a LucasArts fan:

Plot and story: either Jane Jensen or Brian Moriarty. But Tim Schafer is also very good at it, even if I’ve found the story of “Broken Age” less interesting than his previous stories.

Graphics: scanned backgrounds by Peter Chan, because his “Monkey Island 2” art is fantastic and I love his style.

Puzzle design: Ron Gilbert, because he is a master at creating logical puzzles well integrated into the story.

Music: Peter McConnell, because his outstanding work on “Grim Fandango” proves that he knows how to convey strong emotions with sounds.

What about your dream team? :slight_smile:

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Hm… I recoil a bit from that dream-team-idea, because we have many good adventure game designers. I find it difficult to build a team.

Yes, Tim Schafer is very good in creating interesting and unique stories. For me “Broken Age” has an interesting story too. Most of Brian’s stories were a little bit too “dark” for my taste.

I admit that I don’t like the scanned graphics in Monkey Island 2 (as they appear in the game), but I do like the original graphics/paintings that were scanned in. Do you refer to the scanned or the original backgrounds?

I have to think a little bit more about my “dream team”, but I definitely would consider Dave Grossman to be part of it.

I agree with that.

But, if I had to choose a team, I would decide for the MI 1 team, seeing how brilliant MI 1 has been (I know this sounds boring :smiley: ). It wouldn’t need any other artist, storyteller or composer.

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Yes, I thought the same. Both “Indiana Jones” teams did a great job too. But LowLevels intention was to build a new team consisting of the best game developers - am I right, @LowLevel? :slight_smile:

I was referring to the original art, before it was scanned. In other words, to these drawings:

That’s correct or, more precisely, consisting of your favorite artists. :slight_smile:

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I agree: I like (these) water color paintings a lot.

My adventure dream team would be as follows:

Plot and story: Shu Takumi, the mindmaster behind the Ace Attorney series

Graphics: any well-known pixel art artist, like Octavi Navarro, Mark Ferrari or Gary Winnick. They don’t need presentations.

Puzzle design: David Fox, because he is a master in designing puzzles, especially in Zak McKracken and a few in Thimbleweed Park that I have recognized they were made by him, and of course Ron Gilbert

Music: it depends on the game, but my favourite would be Michael Land, who composed, among the other things, the music in The Dig.

Well, it’s hard to tell which team member I would replace in order to build a new team. The story, the puzzles, the music and artworks from MI 1 - even Steve Purcell’s cover art for MI 1 is really really good!

In 320 x 200 px, drawn art, such as Chan’s drawings, don’t look as clear as pixel-art, so - for this resolution - Ferrari would still be my favorite - maybe with classic dithering. Or maybe Octavi.
For higher resolutions, I would like Chan, but it depends on which style would be most appropriate for the respective game. There are a lot of talented non-pixel-art artists. CMI, Whispered World or Lost Horizon look nice, too, for example. By the way, there even has been some great fan-art for Monkey Island or other games.

If I had to replace Michael Land, I would really love to chose John Williams, of course. But, Michael Giacchino has already composed a few game soundtracks - and his Rogue One score was quite williams-esque. So, maybe Giacchino would be an alternative.

My favorite game/puzzle designer is Ron, so I would definitely not replace him. With DotT, Tim Schafer also did a great game, so I think that he would be a good storyteller, too, even though I did not fully like his later games as much as MI and DotT. To my knowledge, Gary and David weren’t involved in MI 1. So, I think they should be added to such a team.

And, maybe Ron, David, Gary and Tim could do a weekly stand-up meeting podcast. :slight_smile:

AHAHAH, this thing is getting out of control!


And what about Dave? :slight_smile:

If anyone has any idea or the means how to do skype interviews, I would just love it if there was any way to talk with both @David and Matthew Alan Kane at the same time about Zak. Maybe for the occasion of it´s upcomming 30th anniversary? Forum members can submit questions and someone with skype (or hangouts or whatever ) talks to them both. Audio only would also be fine, as long as it´s like a conference.

Yes, why not. His participation may be worthy as well - even though I am not a fan of his Telltale games (though this is mostly due to the 3D engine).

It has always been difficult for me to understand how much each member of a Lucas development team has contributed to the design of the games.

While it’s more simple to attribute the responsibility for the most important design choices of a game to the person who had the idea for the plot (and so, to Ron Gilbert for the first two MI games, to Tim Schafer for Full Throttle, etc.) it’s trickier to understand what the other members of the team exactly did for the game. When you really like a joke or a dialogue or a puzzle or a specific part of the plot, how can you be sure of who contributed to it?

So, those Lucas alumni who had for sure a big part in creating those games but who, like Dave Grossman, were at best co-designers of a game, have probably become less known for their contribution, because people tend to remember mainly the name of the project leader or the name of the director.

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Yes indeed. That’s why I just mentioned the MI 1 team. Every aspect in the game was done by more than one person and I assume that every team member worked full-time on this game and might have left a certain footprint in it.

Though, Ron seems to have been the only director in that project. Therefore, he might have had the biggest influence.

It would be a very nice thing!

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So true! If I am not mistaking, a lot of dialogue in MI was written be Dave Grossman, so yeah, we’d want him on the dream team too.
And Steve Purcell! His boxart is always wonderful and he did animations (and backgrounds in MI2 too?)
Musically, I’d get Al Lowe in to play a sax solo.
That way it is not a pure Lucasarts alumni thing.
In reality, I think there are a lot of really talented people over the years in the industry, but that doesn’t mean they’d produce a good game by merely putting them together. In case of the core team of TWP, their shared history from the old pioneering days certainly helped to quickly pick up where they left off. That spirit and aura is something I find lacking in modern teams like the one that do this high-production value preview of a game and then cancel an already arrogant Kickstarter campaign prematurely (yes, I am looking at you, Shakes&Fidget-the adventure )

I’d rather say what is my “forum adventure game dream team”, based on what I learned of you all by your posts.

Interface design by @seguso.
Plot and puzzles by @ZakPhoenixMcKracken, @seguso (otherwise the puzzles won’t fit with his fancy interface :laughing:) , @LowLevel
Written by @milanfahrnholz (I expect lots of The Simpsons references). He might as well do the art :smiley:
Programming by @Guga, or if it can’t be me, @Nor_Treblig.
Playtester: @DZ-Jay :smile:


My dream team:

Graphics: Ron Gilbert. (he dresses up as all the characters, then is scanned. Example: image)

Voiceovers: David Fox (he does all the actors in different pitches)

Engine: Gary Winnick. (Diesel, probably)

UI: me. (No verbs and no objects either.)

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People always forget Dave. He was 1/2 of DotT (he just doesn’t seek out of the lime light), he’s a great puzzle designer and hands down my favorite game writer. Some of my favorite dialog from MI is his.


Yes, it’s a shame. I like his work and would love to see another adventure from him. Maybe in Thimbleweed Park 6 :wink:

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