This was originally written in late January, and was put up on PlusXP February 15th. If you want to read it as it was on PlusXP, check it out at http://plusxp.com/2010/02/the-telltale-question/. However, due to exam committments and so forth, I haven’t really been able to write anything of late. So I would rather put up this article than leave the site blank for a while. Expect another post or two of these re-runs until Mid-May. This one is being re-run first because of Sam and Max Series 3: The Devil’s Playhouse being released in a few days, so this is now sort of relevant again. Go buy Sam and Max Series 3 at http://www.telltalegames.com/store/samandmax, please. :)
Also, this version has a joke included that for some reason was omitted in the original article. So you can consider this the definitive version, or something. So yeah, enjoy this reposted article about Telltale Games and old school games. :) – Edward
Telltale Games are one of my favourite developers this generation, providing Point-and-Click lovers like me with a chance to relive one of the greatest genres of gaming of the 90’s. I may have started off gaming with Nintendo, but the thing that started off my love for PC Gaming was undeniably the Monkey Island series, as my dad had both the first games on CD, as well as some of the old Sierra ‘Quest’ games on floppy disks. Regardless, Monkey Island was one of the first games I truly fell in love with, and shaped my sense of humour and taste in games for years to come, and today, the Monkey Island series stands as one of my all time favourite series of games.
When I was younger, I also used to watch a lot of cartoons with strange humour (most likely bought on by Monkey Island and the ‘Quest’ games), but there was one cartoon I loved in my youth, but never saw again for years, the Sam and Max: Freelance Police cartoons. Now, a couple years ago, I had a Point and Click revival, wherein I became massively addicted to point and click games again, replayed all the Monkey Islands, sought out Day of the Tentacle and Sam and Max Hit The Road, and have also, in recent times, played through Full Throttle (fun, but short), Grim Fandango (fun, but incredibly difficult to play on a post-windows’98 computer), Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, and The Dig (which I very recently bought and completed). Now, this is probably all sounding quite irrelevant right now, but this is where Telltale games come in.
Telltale Games: Holy light and halo sadly not included… yet…
A few years ago, they bought the license to Sam and Max, and to date, have released 2 seasons of episodic games for the rabbit and dog duo, reviving the point and click genre almost single-handedly. Since then, they’ve also given the episodic gaming treatment to Wallace and Gromit and the cult internet icon Strong Bad.
Then, in one of my all time favourite things about 2009; Telltale games made Tales of Monkey Island, an episodic adventure bringing back one of my all time favourite series of games. I was ecstatic, and I wasn’t disappointed, either. For this, Telltale stand as one of my all time favourite developers.
As well as this, Telltale care a lot about their fans, offering free episodes to customers, often putting their series on sale, talking to their fans in the forums, and actually taking on board and reacting to fan feedback. Now, this is where everything I’ve talked about starts to, in some way, come together. Telltale, in their most recent newsletter to their fans, offered a coupon for 15% off a series of their games or more free episodes if I answered a questionnaire, which would give them feedback to their games so far but would ask several questions about their upcoming series of Sam and Max. It promises to be their most ambitious series yet, with another storyline spanning all episodes, monsters and foes across time and space, psychic powers (which alone instantly attracts me to your game, so you know), and more of the humour we’ve come to love. After questions gauging my interest on what they plan to bring to the new series, a couple of questions afterwards piqued my interest, so much so, that they shall now appear below:
“21. If Telltale were to develop new games based on an existing series, which below would be of greatest interest to you? (Select top 3)
Sierra Quest series (Kings Quest, Space Quest, Police Quest)
Other LucasArts adventure series (beyond Monkey Island, Sam & Max)
Leisure Suit Larry
Infocom series (e.g. Zork, Planetfall)
Broken Sword series
22. If Telltale were to develop new games based on another previous LucasArts game (beyond Monkey Island, Sam & Max), which below would be of greatest interest to you?
Day of the Tentacle
If these questions are anything to go by, then in future, Telltale games may try and make some more games based on previous, unused franchises by Sierra and Lucasarts.
However, if they did, which ones would be best for the company to revive (and not in the “HD Remake” way, sorry)?
Because I unfortunately do not know anything about Myst, Maniac Mansion, the Infocom series, Zak McKracken, or Gabriel Knight, and I’ve barely played LOOM, so I can’t completely endorse their revival, sorry about that.
Full Throttle and the Dig had pretty concrete endings, that wouldn’t do so well to open up to a sequel. As good games as they were, I feel the impact of the stories would be lost a bit if they were continued. However, a prequel for either could be great ideas; learn more, or even experience the downfall of the alien society before you visit it for real in The Dig? Learn more about the rise of the main character of Full Throttle into the leader of the gang, before the real story starts? The worlds are open to explored more, but the stories of their characters reached a good ending, so unless the games were another part of the world, or before the games they’d be reviving, I don’t see much point in them being revived.
The Quest series would be a more interesting one to take on, seeing as there were many different ‘Quests’, so anything between King’s, Space and Police could be invoked, and they could do practically anything with the stories, as far as I’m aware. It’d be interesting, but I always thought those series were famed for their extreme difficulty, as well as their humour, and they would most likely be too difficult for some modern gamers (myself included), and changing the difficulty drastically would probably annoy the original fans too much.
Leisure Suit Larry would be a weird one for them to tackle, as well. Leisure Suit Larry, while it was a very funny game, is one that is quite adult (the objective of the games are to get laid, basically), and in recent years has suffered a massive downfall (Box Office Bust? More like its title than it thought). While Telltale could no doubt bring it back to its former glory, the series is probably just a bit too adult, and would be difficult to encourage more people to play, especially considering its adult nature and recent failures, and of course, any fans of the series will get very annoyed if it’s made a lot less explicit.
Day of the Tentacle is going to be a hard one to justify, seeing as the ending to that one is also a sign that everything’s going to be okay. But, there’s nothing to say that it won’t be okay, and remember, in a game which employed time travel, there were only two different time periods unlocked, and not nearly any of the cliché time travel locations we’d normally see. Sam and Max, while exploring Time Travel in “Chariots of the Dogs” may impact this one a little, but as with the Day of the Tentacle characters, there’s so many different ways and places that the characters could fit into that’d work out brilliantly. All they have to do is find a way to justify travelling through several locations in time, and with the same characters as Day of the Tentacle, how hard can that be?
This now leaves us with Grim Fandango and the Broken Sword series. And you know what? If Telltale can get them, they’d be fantastically silly not to take advantage of them. Both games would be absolutely perfect for Telltale. Grim Fandango has one of the best worlds in a Lucasarts game (Monkey Island takes the crown), with some of the best characters, and despite its concrete ending, it’s still a game that would work with a sequel, and is the most deserving of a sequel and a revival than any Lucasarts game listed in that question. Broken Sword 1 and 2 were fantastic games, with amazing characters and great puzzles (the less said about 3, the better, and I’ve yet to find a copy of Angel of Death anywhere). They’d also be very easy for Telltale to write new adventures and stories for, and if anything, the episodic structure would be almost perfect for the series (as it would Grim Fandango, which was split into distinctive parts anyway).
So my appeal to Telltale games is this: If you’re able to get the rights to Broken Sword and Grim Fandango, and make an episode series for them, please, please do it. Both series would be playing to your strengths, and they’re the two series that you’d make the most out of, and do the most justice to.
And if you don’t? More Sam and Max & Monkey Island is just fine :D
What do you think? Which series do you think Telltale (or any other company) should revive, and how?