Return to Monkey Island will start right after Monkey Island 2 ends – News

All games after Monkey Island 2 don’t exist in my Monkey Island universe“, I had decreed Ron Gilbert in 2013, at a time when the author of manic mansion, Cave et thimbleweed park he figured he’d never get the chance to reconnect with the Lucasfilm Games license ever again, but he had nonetheless spent time drawing the outlines of what would be “his” Monkey Island 3. And a few years later, the man was as good as his word: Return to Monkey Island will begin exactly as I had imagined it for years, namely from the memorable and enigmatic ending of monkey island 2imagined more than 30 years ago.

One of the really important things for me was that I wanted the game to start at the end of Monkey Island 2, when you enter the amusement park. I wanted the game to start there. I don’t want to go into all the details, but we start there, and then there are a lot of weird twists and turns, as you’d expect from us.“, confirms Ron Gilbert. To explain to everyone what it is about, it is best to use the terms of Julien Pirou in his Retro Island dedicated to the series:

This matchup leads to a bizarre and confusing ending, which some have compared to the endings of Brazil or Twin Peaks. We discovered that LeChuck and Guybrush would actually be two children, two brothers playing pirates in an amusement park…or would they? In short, a true cerebral inversion, open to multiple interpretations. And since Ron Gilbert left Lucasarts soon after to found his own company, Humongous Entertainment, and thus didn’t make his own Monkey Island 3 to answer the remaining questions, many gamers were left a bit wary.

From his 2013 wish list, Ron Gilbert conceded a few deviations, the first being having returned to Monkey Island without being in possession of the franchise as he would have liked. Not being able to buy Disney, the author was content to find enough creative freedom. The opportunity fans have been dreaming of came during PAX 2019, during a conversation with Devolver Digital’s Nigel Lowrie, himself close to PlayStation’s ex-John Drake, who had just been named VP in charge of licensing adaptations. of Disney in video games. Therefore, the spark was born before the start of the pandemic and it was in December 2019 that Ron Gilbert began discussing the project with fellow author Dave Grossman to seriously discuss what a new Monkey Island would be.

Some may wonder what Ron Gilbert has been up to professionally in the three years since the release of thimbleweed park and the start of the project Return to Monkey Island. We learn that the author had started working on an RPG for a year, but he never came up with anything satisfactory. Therefore, the project was abandoned although Ron Gilbert does not rule out returning to it once the page Return to Monkey Island route. As for Dave Grossman, he was beginning to find the time long in auditory game and jumped at the chance after hearing the magic words “Monkey Island”, his enthusiasm even helped dispel Ron Gilbert’s few doubts and worries.

Although Terrible Toybox (the name of Ron Gilbert’s studio), Devolver Digital and Lucasfilm Games have kept it a perfect secret all this time, the truth is that the development of Return to Monkey Island is nearing completion, with the game expected to be out in 2022. According to Ron Gilbert, the development team numbered 25 at peak production, with that number now reduced as most of the work has already been done. The development of Return to Monkey Island required more artists and animators compared to thimbleweed park, whose workforce did not exceed 14 people, recalls Ron Gilbert. The budget was also higher and all team members were playing the game remotely, setting a limit of 40 hours per week. With some overflows but no crunchtraffic activated.

Candid from start to finish, the interview also teaches us how Rex Crowle, a former key player at Media Molecule where he notably directed the memorable tear awaytook over the artistic direction of Return to Monkey Island not thanks to his fame in the video game industry but thanks to a fan creation 15 years ago:

He had made a version of Guybrush in blocks, and he sent it to me a long time ago, in 2007 or 2008. I remember him sending it to me, and I had no idea who it was, just some guy sending me fanart. I liked it very much and made it my wallpaper for a long time. When I started thinking about Secret of Monkey Island, I remembered how shocking that image was. So I started googling his name and found out he had done Knights and Bikes and some other stuff I didn’t know existed. So I sent him an emailsays Ron Gilbert.

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