Judith Lucero

May 02, 2021

It is with great sadness that I found out that Judith Lucero passed away.

Judith was the lead tester on Monkey Island, Monkey Island 2 as well as a vast number of other Lucasfilm games.

She was the one who taught me the importance of testers and how they are a critical gear in the machinery that makes up making a game. Testers aren't just unit tests in human form. They have a unique perspective on the game and poke not only at the bugs but also the design and the thought process of playing a game.

It's a lesson I have never forgot and never will and I owe most of that to Judith.

Here is a email Judith and MI2 testers sent me. It goes on for 5 pages. Some of the suggestions were implemented.

"D" bugs were design bugs.

Mau May 02, 2021
Tester?. That's something the current game industry doesn't know about.

Alien426 May 03, 2021
> Tester?. That's something the current game industry doesn't know about.

Nope, "tester" is another name for "consumer" and "whale" and "cash cow".

I like that page. On the one hand it clearly is of its time; with playful fonts and arrows. We all made computer documents like that in the 90s. On the other hand, you can see the structured approach that a tester needs. Topics clearly separated and using bold text to easily identify them.

Delores (not that one) May 03, 2021
I have nothing but the highest respect for testers (not to mention anyone who starts letters with "Dearest Ronster"). Back when I had time to play adventure games and inevitably got stuck for hours many, MANY times, I often wondered what superhuman abilities one might have to possess to be able to not only complete a game swiftly but also find issues in the process.

One thing's for certain: you took her suggestion that the game might have been too short to heart! I absolutely loved how long and varied it was; it really felt like several games in a series, all rolled into one. As for being too easy, the full game was certainly quite difficult, and including a "Lite" mode was a stroke of genius. I started on Lite, and I'm not sure I would've found adventure games as exciting if I'd had to do the full thing right away.

Here's to you, Judith, and to all the testers.

Zak Phoenix McKracken May 03, 2021
Too short and Too easy? Really?

Deckard May 03, 2021
Would it be possible to see the other four pages?

Grumpycats May 03, 2021
Glad to see the proposal is part of the final Game

LasseS May 03, 2021
Sad to hear about Judith Lucero.

Lucasarts games of that era always did seem more polished than the adventure games from various competitors, Im sure good testers and testing procedures are a huge part of this along with the more player friendly game design philosophy.

blombo May 03, 2021
You're incredulous about how hard & long the game was when (as stated in the document) "much of the game wasn't implemented"? (o_O)

Lucas May 04, 2021
I love to play Role Playing Jobs

Mike May 04, 2021
It's often strange to learn of a death of someone who means something to you. It's like a part of them - something unique to them that means something to you - is now gone from the Earth. I'm glad we have people like that in life but it sucks to lose them.

sombra2 May 04, 2021
I'd love to see the rest of the text

Johan Windh May 04, 2021
Sorry for your loss, Ron.

Sigurd May 04, 2021
Very interesting post. The best people in creative arts are those who are humble enough to take feedback from others Even though that means you have to give up something you have worked hard on. Even Mozart was part of a scene. Would love to read the other Pages, it semed spot on, great ideas. Thanks, Judith❤️

Grant May 04, 2021
My condolences for the loss of your friend and a team member who helped in provoking the obsession we share as fans of yours and these games. Thank you for sharing these memories, I am truely sorry for your loss.

Jonas N May 04, 2021
I was always so fond of the travelable maps, and they did make it feel even more like an adventure! So, thank you Judith & Test Pit Dregs, I suppose.

Eric May 05, 2021
I'm sorry to hear of her passing. Thanks for sharing the email, it sounds like she was a fun and smart person to work with. I'd love to see the other pages!

Nathan May 05, 2021
What a beautiful document. Judith seems like she was an exceptional person. My condolences to those who knew her. May the head of the navigator guide her safely to new adventures.

Davide May 05, 2021
It seems to have been a very cool person and definitely worked to enrich the memories of my childhood, without me even knowing. It's a nice gesture that you give her credit for her ideas and contribution.

Mike McP May 06, 2021
I knew I liked this woman from the first sentence.  Sorry for the loss, and would enjoy reading the entire email.

Ds May 06, 2021
what a great team. Sorry for the loss

Evan Z May 06, 2021
That's a real bummer. I'd love to read the rest of the text as well.

Emiliano Volta May 07, 2021
I remember her name from MI credits. Sorry to hear that, another piece of our age of wonders that goes away. RIP.

Ariel May 08, 2021
In sorry for her loved ones' loss.

Mister T May 08, 2021
Sorry for your loss. I really like the wording of the letter. It does not only hint at being written by someone who has a sense about the whole process but also at being written for someone who will have an open ear: no exaggerations, no big exclamations, just little nuggets of truth and a range of possible ideas, apparently meant more as descriptive examples than actual propositions. It looks like something every team leader, director or captain of any sorts should want to receive.

Brian Goldberg May 09, 2021
That really sucks. The world lost a creative and interesting person. :(

I suppose I won't ask about the lego set this time.

Conny Torneus May 11, 2021
My condolences and Yes, bug testers are not just unit tests in human form. I learned that as well, the hard way I might add. So consider yourself blessed.

Karel May 13, 2021
My condolences. Another person from those early days I haven‘t read about in the past years is Michael Land. Anybody else?

Matt May 14, 2021
Why were you called Ronster?

frisby May 22, 2021
As someone who has tested several newer adventure games it's nice to see the tradition of telling the devs to burn your criticism right before you rip apart the game has been there from the beginning.

god May 23, 2021
I know the paper is so wavy because it was wet, from the tears you've wept.

Mikael May 23, 2021
My condolences. Why did that happen? When was she born?

Philipp May 23, 2021
My condolences. What stands out from even this one page is that she was just as passionate about writing and telling stories and being funny and poetic as the people who made the games she was testing. No such thing as "just a tester". And it makes me think testing is just as much about understanding what is right about the game as finding out what us wrong.

David Fox May 26, 2021
I was deeply sadened when I heard about Judith's passing. I met her in the mid-80s on The Well, an early BBS based in the SF Bay Area. I asked her if she'd be willing to try playing our game-in-progress, Labyrinth (since we had 0 testers at the time other than the dev team), and she quickly jumped at the opportunity. By the time we were doing Zak McKracken, she came on board as one of our primary testers. I still remember the evil grin she had, standing in my office doorway, which could mean only one thing, "I found a really interesting bug!" She'll really be missed.

wysiwtf Jun 02, 2021
wait a moment...
This screenshot doesnt look like an email but more like a printed letter made up in a word processor! I dont think HTML emails were a thing back then.

Having that said, Im very glad people like Judith exist and give proper and creative feedback to those actually doing the game - its of immense help and she obviously did a pretty impressive job.

RIP Judith, Im sorry for your loss.

Ron Gilbert Jun 02, 2021
> This screenshot doesnt look like an email but more like a printed letter made up in a word processor!

You got me.  I made the whole thing up.  I never worked at Lucasfilm or on Monkey Island.  I'm just a dog on the Internet.

Bobe Jun 02, 2021
Ron, would you say that email has existed in your life longer than it hasn't, if that makes sense? And not just the date of invention, but your first sent email.

Ron Gilbert Jun 02, 2021
My dad worked at a university so I was emailing him back in the days when you had to include the full route the email would take, plus Lucasfilm had email from the day I started, so I've probably been emailing more than not.

Conny Torneus Jun 02, 2021
Whoa, now I feel old. HTML e-mails weren't a thing back then and so it just had to be a printed letter from a Word Processor.

Almost as horrible as when a guy wondered why I had a box of 3D Printed "save icons", pointing at my "floppy disks". No, he was not kidding and once it sank in I felt old.

Dave Jun 07, 2021
My condolences.

And as a tester myself, I appreciate the input your team have taken onboard from us over the years <3

Johnny Walker Jun 10, 2021
Would LOVE to read the other four pages!! Sorry for your loss.

anon Jul 24, 2021
hey did you watch "Against all flags" a pirate movie starring errol flynn and did it inspire monkey island a little? It's got lots of monkey island vibes!

PS. I played mi2 as a kid and liked those suggestions that made it into the game such as the map!

MAtt Jul 28, 2021

Len Sapnit Aug 23, 2021
My deepest sympathies go out to her and to her family. I pray she rests in eternal peace back to the cosmos / heaven / God

Søren Ladegaard Oct 17, 2021
I'd love to see the rest of the pages 😀

Brian McInnis Nov 14, 2021
Please oh please GOD show us the other pages, Ron, we're BEGGING you. This stuff is BEAUTIFUL.

Ron Gilbert Nov 14, 2021