When I Made Another Monkey Island

May 01, 2022

Nine years ago I wrote a blog post titled "If I made another Monkey Island" and it feels like there are some things I need to say.

I can't remember the exact incident, but the day I wrote that I was feeling down about never being able to make another Monkey Island. I wrote it in a single afternoon, and it was not much more than a stream of thoughts. In the movie version, tears would have been pouring down my cheeks, but it wasn't the movie version so I was probably sipping coffee and eating a chocolate chip cookie.

My point is these were not commandments handed down and etched in stone on a giant tablet. They were just random thoughts about a (then very unlikely) new Monkey Island game.

None of these are promises or anything I owe anybody.

People talk a lot about Monkey Island 3a as if it was the game I would have made after Monkey Island 2 had I stayed at Lucasfilm.

Here's the deal.

The totality of that idea was "Guybrush chases the demon pirate LeChuck to hell and Stan is there." That's it. That's all it was.

Games, movies, and books don't come out fully formed. They start as a morsel of an idea and then all the hard work begins.

Roger Ebert had a great quote that I am constantly reminding myself of:

"The muse visits during the act of creation, not before."

Had I stayed at Lucasfilm I might have started with that idea, but by the time the game was done it would have been something completely different and better.

And that is exactly what Return to Monkey Island is.

When Dave and I first got together to talk about Return to Monkey Island we had a nearly blank slate. We talked over ideas we'd had over the years including one of mine where Guybrush wakes up 3000 years in the future on a snowball Earth.

We talked about my original "hell" idea but other Monkey Island games had already done much of that (by pure coincidence) and there was little point in rehashing it.

The one thing I wanted to do was start the new game right where LeChuck's Revenge ended, and that became the one unmovable stone.

I have made one pixel art game in my entire career and that was Thimbleweed Park. Monkey Island 1 and 2 weren't pixel art games. They were games using state-of-the-art tech and art. Monkey Island 1 was 16 color EGA and we jumped at the chance to upgrade it to 256 colors. Monkey Island 2 featured the magical wizardry of scanned art by Peter Chan and Steve Purcell and we lusted to keep pushing everything forward.

If I had stayed and done Monkey Island 3 it wouldn't have looked like Monkey Island 2. We would have kept pushing forward, and Day of the Tentacle is a good example of that.

I never liked the art in DotT. Technically and artistically it was fantastic, but I never liked the wacky Chuck Jones style. But that was Dave and Tim's game, not mine. They can do what they want and I completely supported that.

Curse of Monkey Island also took a leap forward. It introduced us to a fully voiced and taller, lankier Guybrush with painted backgrounds that were all the rage in the late 90s. It was very much a game of its time.

When Dave and I first started brainstorming Return to Monkey Island we talked about pixel art, but it didn't feel right. We didn't want to make a retro game. You can't read an article about Thimbleweed Park without it being called a "throwback game". I didn't want Return to Monkey Island to be just a throwback game, I wanted to keep moving Monkey Island forward because it's interesting, fun, and exciting. It's what the Monkey Island games have always done.

I wanted the art in Return to Monkey Island to be provocative, shocking, and not what everyone was expecting. Rex is an amazing creative force and we have a team of incredible artists, animators, sound designers, programmers, and testers all pouring their souls into this game and it's beautiful to see, play, and listen to.

The music Michael, Peter, and Clint are doing is equally amazing. It's not AdLib, Sound Blaster, or even Roland MT-32 music. Its stunning, interactive, and recorded live.

Return to Monkey Island may not be the art style you wanted or were expecting but it's the art style I wanted.

When I started this game my biggest fear was Disney wouldn't let me make the game I wanted to make but they have been wonderful to work with.

It's ironic that the people who don't want me to make the game I want to make are some of the hard core Monkey Island fans. And that is what makes me sad about all the comments.

Return to Monkey Island is an incredible rollercoaster. Get on and have some fun or stomp out of the amusement park because it's not exactly the rollercoaster you wanted.

I hope you'll jump on with the rest of us.

*Seventeen - The game would be the game I wanted to make. I don't want the pressure of trying to make the game you want me to make. I would vanish for long periods of time. I would not constantly keep you up-to-date or be feeding the hype-machine. I'd show stuff that excited me or amused me. If you let me do those things, you will love the game. That, I promise.


Joan May 09, 2022
So far, I LOVE the art. Eager to play the game, I'll enjoy it 100%.

Per May 09, 2022
I love everything with this upcoming release! I can't wait! Any release date yet??

Per May 09, 2022
...and another note to this: I'm 40 years old. I've grown up with the MI1/2/3-games. I've learned English mostly because of your work. When you, Ron, released this announcement, I was filled with nostalgia and just .. happiness. Truly amazing feeling. I've played the first three games, well, I can't even remember how many times. Probably hundreds. So you can call me a hard core fan, and I seriously love this artwork, feeling confident you will create something magical with this!

Pinitrius May 09, 2022
I loved the art style of the trailer! Keep walking...!🙂

Moebius May 09, 2022
Keep it up Ron! We are extatic to have another chance at selling fine leather jackets. This time we get to bring our kids on board. Thank you and the team for bringing joy to the world.

Fred Five May 09, 2022
Per said it! It could have Been me writing that comment. The kids and I are going to have a blast returning to Monkey Island. Respect to you Ron, and the crew for making this happen.

Sparta May 09, 2022
I just love the artwork! And Im 40 years old and big fan of the old adventure games.

hardcorefan May 09, 2022
Well said Ron. I apologize if me and others made you sad whishing old monkey art. It will be the game you want and I will enjoy it for sure, will support you always!

PseudoGoN May 09, 2022
These games mean a lot to me. Maniac mansion was my first videogame, when I was 5. I didn't know what I was doing, but I had a lot of fun exploding the mansion xD. I played every single game you and your teams made in Lucas since then. I can consider myself as a hardcore fan and I honestly believe you should just do whatever you want. You earned the respect and the trust with you work. So we have to wait and not judge anything till we play. It's the minimum we own you. And I'm sure it will be funny, smart, beautiful and amazing. Thanks for bringing it back!

Kipvanpearcy May 09, 2022
Regardless of graphic art preference I can't wait for this to come out!
I'm hoping to get stuck a lot, not for masochistic purposes but because solving a big puzzle and then accessing a different "room" was such a reward and I absolutely want to feel that again!

Without giving us an exact releease date, is it possible to share either the advancement (in % or whatever measurement is relevant) or tell us what phase the production of the game is in?

Thanks!

Sebastian Richter May 09, 2022
I for one am incredibly excited and delighted. Whatever it looks like (sounds like, plays like,...), I'm so pumped

Driphyre May 09, 2022
You have more support behind you than you know. We're just quiet people letting you work. I wouldn't have commented except I felt you may need to hear how there's way more in support of your forward thinking vision for the series and art style. Moving the game forward is what true MI fans are about. I played SOMI when first released, I was 10, and I REALLY cannot wait to play this. Thank you Ron

georgesakalakisart May 09, 2022
Hi, I didnt have the chance to play the previous monkey island games, but this one looks amazing visually!!! I fell in love with the art direction immediately. Looking forward to playing it! Keep up the amazing work, thimbleweed park is one of my all time favourite games <3

Pepe May 09, 2022
Don't be sad because of the few people out there who wish for a game that you didn't do. I'm sure they will enjoy the game regardless of that.

I can guarantee that 99% of your fans are going to enjoy it a LOT. And that's the second biggest understatement of history.

Vainamoinen May 09, 2022
I am so excited for the music, it's not even reasonable any more, and now that I know it has its iMuse moments... good Pirate god. Also well on board with the character design we've seen and the locksmith interior. Really looking forward to seeing (and hearing!) more.

Rum Rogers May 09, 2022
Go Ron go!!!

Zomantic May 09, 2022
So excited about this fresh approach! I really wanted a new Monkey Island, not just _another_ Monkey Island. Can't wait!!!

Kikimora May 09, 2022
I am really looking forward to the new and true Monkey Island sequel. The new graphic style seems to be awesome as far as I can see from the trailer, and I've no doubt at all that the game and its humor will catch me again. This is a really nice and bold evolution and I can't wait to see it in-game. I hope we can see some making of/concept art for the characters as well. I would love to see how the characters came to life again.

Mike May 09, 2022
I'm personally convinced that the best way to get a good Monkey Island is to let Ron and co. do their thing. Interference from the internet and its culture can only make things worse.

Leon May 09, 2022
My Dad got me into Monkey Island. We're both very excited, whatever the art style. That said, it looks fantastic!

Can't wait. Sod the haters and party with us instead.

Ben May 09, 2022
I'm on the rollercoaster, and I'm glad you don't feel shackled to an imagined version of this game from 9 or even 30 years ago. I'm excited to find out where the muse takes you!

Grant May 09, 2022
Thank you Ron! Your announcement literally turned me into an 8 yr old version of myself on April 4th (a reaction my security cameras captured and I edited into an embarrassing video and posted online for everyone to see lol) and with every new bit and interview that comes out I can say I am getting more and more excited than I was even that first surprising day. I didn't know I could still get that excited about something frankly so really... thank you!
I cant wait to eventually play the game that *you* and your team want to make for us when its ready, I know I will likely talk about it for the rest of my life and likely even get some of that beautiful art tattooed on me right beside the many other Monkey Island tattoos I have lol.

Thanks for the lifetime of great stories insight and experiences😀

Zaxx May 09, 2022
I dig the art style very much, can't wait to see more of the game in motion!

Allan May 09, 2022
First, thank you for the first wonderful games. You made our lives better.
Second, thank you for making a sequel. This is our biggest news since Monkey Island 2.
Finally, if you can make the third game the way you want it, we will love it, period.

At the very beginning I was slightly influenced of some critics. Fact is, the trailer gave me goose bumps. I liked the graphics and I loved the screenshots and seeing Melee Island again. I am so happy.
As a kid, I printed a map of Melee Island and put it on my wall. Together with Scabb my favorite island.

And I have to say again. I always wanted a Ron Gilbert Monkey Island and now we are getting it.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am so glad I lived long enough to see that ;-).

In a world of adventure games we say:
"In Ron we trust".

Allan May 09, 2022
PS: I will buy any very special fan edition that may come. Hopefully with an autograph.
😀

sImasC May 09, 2022
I was a child and playing Monkey2 on my Amiga 500. The game was fair to play (monkey1 too hard for me that time), I love the music and story still today.

sarcasm: I want to have the same experience like back then. Put the game on 1,44MB floppys! Even if it is now x GB in size!

Honestly, it wasn't much fun to play diskjockey on the A500 ;) Monkey2 had 11 floppys if I remember correct. Later in my life I invested two weeks to copy all of my Amiga games to PC. My Amiga only had enough RAM to copy half a disk, then transfer it to the PC, then the second half. But then I was able to play the good old games with scummvm without the floppy bottleneck. Some may say, it was not the way the creator wanted the game to be played. But at the end it was way better!

Time changes, technology changes, people change...

"[...]We are born to change
We sometimes regard it as a metaphor
That reflects the way things ought to be
In fact change takes time
It exceeds all expectations
It requires both now and then
See although the players change
The song remains the same
And the truth is
You gotta have the balls to change" <credit: Joss Stone

I am pretty sure I will love to travel back to Monkey Island!

MonkeyFan May 09, 2022
I' ve be waiting for this for over 30 years, hoping for a REAL Monkey Island. Now that it's about to be released people complaining about graphics? So, it would have been right to release a Monkey Island 2 with a C64 graphics or sounds? The game will be great, people should respect the hard work behind this!

Dan May 09, 2022
The new game looks amazing. Speaking as a fan, an artist, and a gamedev, I love the new art! I can't wait. Great work so far!

cb May 09, 2022
I've played The Secret of Monkey Island at least once a year since 1990. LeChuck's Revenge about as often. People say we're nostalgic. I don't think so. I have a continuous present with Monkey island. I play it like it just came out yesterday. Again and again. It is an example of cinematic storytelling in computer games with a narrative arc as specified by Syd Field in screenplay. This makes the game a timeless classic and it plays on a timeless theme, pirates. This is the real secret of Monkey Island. Make the game what you want to make. I play it, because I trust you.

Juha May 09, 2022
What made Monkey Island 1 and 2 such great games for me was the thing they made you feel something. Like it was magic. And you really wanted to get lost in that magical world. The same feeling when you saw a classic like star wars new hope for the first time. I think that is all I want from a new monkey island game.

Matt T May 09, 2022
Well screw you guys, I'm going to be honest 😀 I'm not sure I like this new art style.

I don't want pixel art, the new game should push the boundaries just like the old ones did. I just think it should be Peter Channed and Steve Purcelled to the max like MI2. The reason for that is selfish. I want the new game to make me feel the same way the old ones did, and still do.

But you know what? I didn't make Monkey Island. And if I did, I probably would have screwed it up by making players die all the time or something cos I took inspiration from the frustrating-as-hell Sierra games that had gone before.

So sod what I think, and sod what everyone else thinks too. Make your game Ron. It's like a long lost chapter of my childhood and it's gonna be absolutely brilliant 😀

Johnny May 09, 2022
Looking forward to playing YOUR game, Ron! I'm all aboard!

Johnny May 09, 2022
Looking forward to playing YOUR game, Ron! I'm all aboard!

Mike May 09, 2022
I don't like the art. It doesn't look special, it doesn't look appealing, it doesn't look elaborate, it doesn't look quintessential. It is banal. It is dreary. It is overstylized to all heck and full of hard straight lines and pointy corners everywhere that could poke somebody's eye out.

It also has inconsistencies. Why are the pigeons pointy block creatures, but the parrot looks like a regular drawing? Also, you might be overdoing the stylization, when a guy in portrait looks like a literal ape, although that was not intended.

To be clear, I am not asking for pixel art, hand drawn art is superior in my opinion, but pixel art would certainly be better than what is presented here.

All said, I will play Return to Monkey Island regardless of the art style and certainly enjoy it, but yeah, this art style leaves behind a very bitter taste in my mouth. If this was some random game that I saw on Steam, then I would just scroll right on by without giving it another thought. I just don't get the feeling that this art style is doing the series justice. It is a grand game series and deserves better than what I perceive to be an inferior and somber art style commissioned for a cut-rate.

I don't want to hurt any feelings, I am just being honest and don't mince words when getting something off my chest.

Sorry if I sound like grumpy gamer. :)

Cheers

RashoHyo May 09, 2022
Hi Ron, I was so hoping you would write something beyond that "cold" note added to your old post. It was important that you spoke to us like that...we old fans have not become the enemy...and never will be...we just need to be encouraged! Like maybe you need to be! Come on Ron...you know we will always support you!
Thank you for having the courage to take on this challenge!

ATMachine May 09, 2022
I'm very much looking forward to Return to Monkey Island, and I'm also glad to see this blog make a return. Hooray for Monkey Island! :D

Remy May 09, 2022
Man...The original Monkey Island trilogy (I know you didn't work on the third one) were crucial moments in my gaming life. I would play the original whenever I would visit my cousin as a kid during the summer until my parents bought it for myself. Didn't even speak English back then so I played it in French on the cd version. I wish I could forget I have ever played these games so I could experience them anew all over again but with your new "Return to Monkey Island" game, you are giving me this opportunity to dive, head first, in the world of Monkey Island once more and experience those very first feelings of excitement of playing a new adventure game. I will never be able to thank you enough for that.

DM May 09, 2022
I've got a friend, an old and great friend of mine. One of those friend you've got when you are 11 and everything in the world was perfect.
We were used to play Monkey 1 and 2 back in the 90's on his Amiga. I've got wonderful memories of summer days spent going around into Melee, trying to solve the puzzles...and wondering together on what Monkey 3 could be.
It's one of my most beautiful moment.
Then...time goes, we lose sight of each other...and 30 years passed.
As soon I realize that Return to Monkey Island was real, I wrote to him, after so many years that we didn't hear. "Hey, get ready to be back in Monkey Island togheter, like good old days!"
His reply was
"I'm crying, it's one of the greatest gift that we could have. I'm ready."

Thanks Ron and Dave!

Ps: art style is gorgeus.

k321 May 09, 2022
I'm glad the graphic won't be pixel art, but I'd prefer something that resembles The Curse of Monkey Island over the chosen style. I'll still play the game and hopefully be satisfied with other things like story, humor etc.

Morten May 09, 2022
Are people complaining about the art??? But it's PERFECT! I am a hardcore fan - played back in 1990 on my Amiga. People are weird!

Demetris Leptos May 09, 2022
What went down here? The game trailer looks exactly what Monkey Island should have looked liked and sounded like after Monkey Island 3 which in itself was an amazing continuity from 1 and 2. Just make sure it has nothing to do with Monkey Island 4. I'm pretty sure 3D is supposed to be an advance in tech but nothing beats down hand drawn art and animation - and the trailer demonstrates a well made hybrid of these qualities - vectorish, grainy/pixelated, smoothly interpolated but looks like handly animated. Simply put the trailer art looks like what MI should have looked like all along - the remastered versions did not do this correctly - the drawing style looks like interpolating shadows too much to the point it does not look handly drawn and the movements are so linear. Also, what I didn't like in MI3 where the sword fights - MI1 sword fights were legendary. Let me pinpoint an important detail. MI1 sword when falling on floor bends until rest. MI3 does not do this - only audibly. You see now how little art aesthetics make huge memorable differences. The MI3 sword fights were not memorable. Anyway, You are good!!! Full speed ahead!!!

Commodore VIC-20 May 10, 2022
Hear ye,

The GFX looks sweet.

I am Rubber you Are Glue

The Legend of Monkey Island May 10, 2022
Very excited for the new Monkey Island game. Huge fan since the 90's. I really like the art style and I am really glad you decided to go for something new. Looking forward to see the art, animations, music and voices altogether.


Thanks Ron, Dave and the team!

Sveinung May 10, 2022
Please ignore complainers. They're likely chronic.
A new Monkey is such an unlikely and unexpected treat, no fan of the series would quibble about the visual style. I just don't believe it.

Pete May 10, 2022
Keep up the great work Ron, as like many here I'm sitting quietly and patiently :)

I'm a huge fan having experienced the originals back in the day and the thing I love most about the originals are the stories and puzzles. The graphics were great for the early 90s but fully appreciate that's where they belong.

The released screenshots for RtMI look fantastic and can't wait to play!!!

Don't let anyone deter you from doing what you want to do. Pay no attention to them.

Many thanks again Ron!

Klaus May 10, 2022
1) Take all the time you need for this, don't rush anything that would reduce the quality
2) Don't let the haters influence your decisions :)
3) Thank you!
Can't wait for this!

Ross May 10, 2022
I'm really looking forward to playing Return To Monkey Island, all the games of the series bring me a lot of joy, and of course I'm looking forward to seeing how the game picks up from the end of Monkey Island 2!

LeChucks Revenge is my favourite of the series so far, it's holds a lot of nostalgia and to this day I can still immerse myself in it, enjoy hopping islands and looking for Big Whoop. However as much as I love it I don't want a new game in the same exact style/design, as the subsequent games did they got a new look, engine, design, etc and we must always move forward, while still fondly looking back on what's come before.

I like the new art style, all the games have their own and it's the story and gameplay that makes these games and I know I'm going to really enjoy sharing another adventure with Guybrush - roll on release day!

The feeling I got when I first played Monkey Island 2 I'm sure many first time Monkey Island players will get when they play this, the world will open up to them and they'll see the fun adventure games can bring.

Fabien May 10, 2022
As usual, the unhappy people make more noise than the rest of us. I'm pretty sure, lot of us are happy and curious to see the new MI with the new DA.

Funny to see people easily switched between the state to have no hope for a new MI and now complaining loudly and forging a strong opinion only based a few images and a short video ;/

Anyway, I'm part of the people (the majority ?) trusting you and the team, waiting impatiently to play this new MI ! :)

And I guess, whatever the community, there will be always a small of part of it being a pain in the ass and considering themselves the true fans. First example in mind, From Software hardcore fans telling to the rest of the players what is the right way to play Elden Ring going against the author vision, just like here ;/

Guybrush SHG May 10, 2022
Still absolute excited about that game!! Cannot wait to see more stuff, the main characters, gameplay trailer etc. Personally i think i would prefer a more classical style (not pixel) ... anyway, i`m very fine with the direction ron and his team choose and i`m happy they be able to make the game they want! Hope for some special edition box set ... and of course for a german localization with norman matt as guybrush!

Will May 10, 2022
Love you and love this game 💓 thanks for bringing Monkey Island back to us, with this amazing art and creativity

Utwarrior May 10, 2022
"If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses."
- Henry Ford

:D

Vito dizketto May 10, 2022
Honestly, Ron, I think the graphic styile i've seen in the preview is AWESOME. and it's the perfect idea of what a modern monkey island style would be! i love pixel graphic, but still, monkey island should be something fresh nowadays and not repeat itself or make happy the nostalgic gamer. I think this style reached exactly the way that - at least for me - would have monkey island in modern gaming days.
keep up the great work ! congrats!!!

Robert J. HM May 10, 2022
I just can't wait to play this game! I wholeheartedly support the people making it and have total confidence in their decisions. I've never been disappointed by them before, and I'm sure I won't be this time, either.

I want no other Return to Monkey Island than the Return to Monkey Island YOU want to make!

Captain Smirk May 10, 2022
More excited for this than BOTW2 😀. Really enjoyed Thimbleweed Park and The Cave and I'm really hoping this is just re-start of the series and not the end.

Side-note: When I first played MI2 I was in middle school. I had a rough time (little did I know everyone were struggling). MI2 was my escape along with some of Monty Python movies. I enjoyed every bit of MI2 and didn't want it to end. I believe at one point I took all the books at Phatt Island. A little bit later I introduced PuttPutt to my younger sister.

Ron you are a treasure and the true secret to Monkey Island.

Torbjörn Andersson May 10, 2022
Maybe it's because I didn't play the Monkey Island games until the early 2000s, but I think it's kind of neat how each game has a different style. None of them look even close to the first point-and-click adventure I played, which was Déjà Vu on the Mac, because they reflect the time in which they were made.

While I love the old games - every pixel, every bloop and bleep - I'm looking forward to seeing how this one turns out. From my perspective, the worst case scenario is there will be one more Monkey Island game than there used to be, and it will be great but I won't be able to play it for technical or personal reasons. I can live with that!

Of course, I say that as someone with no personal stake in it.

KestrelPi May 10, 2022
Rex Crowle is a great artist - see his work on Media Molecule stuff, and more recently Knights and Bikes, it's really cool! He's a complete pro, and Ron's lucky to have been able to get him. As far as I know he's a huge fan, too, so I bet he feels lucky to have the gig. One thing I will say is that his work pops much better in motion, and we haven't seen very much in motion yet, so hold tight. I really think it's  

I mean, I get people having reservations - my first thought was whether Peter Chan or Steve Purcell were involved, of course - but when I realised it was Rex, I totally relaxed. He might not be a familiar name to you but What the series needs is a great game artist who can put their own distinctive stamp on it, just like Purcell and Chan did before him and Rex is definitely that.

While you're at it, play Knights and Bikes. It's a great game and I think you can see the influence of Monkey Island on many aspects of its atmosphere.

Everything I've been hearing about this game has been exciting, and I can't wait to see more.

Fede May 10, 2022
Ron I know you always listen to people. I know that you're a professionist with passion and love for what you do - as always, I've no doubt that will be a great game. Selfish, disrespectful immature people... what can you expect? As a pro, you must go on. I wish you the best with your life.

OzzieMonkey May 10, 2022
It's a real shame that the negativity surrounding the art style got so vitriloic that you were even compelled to write this. We wouldn't have Monkey Island without you, so it seems weird to me that some people have felt the need to question how you've decided to make this game. I also know that some people just genuinely aren't keen on the art, and I think it's important to recognize that it's a valid opinion (albeit one I don't personally agree with and shouldn't sway the artist's vision either way), and not everyone has responded negatively to it because it's not pixel art, their criticisms lie with what is presented in front of them rather than what they didn't get. Regardless, I don't think we've seen enough of the game yet to really make any sweeping judgements on the overall quality of the presentation. I do lean more positively in general though, as the trailer already got me on board and I'm generally digging the almost DeathSpank-like approach to the character design (at least that's what it reminds me of).

Outside of the art though, I think it's definitely true that we need to let go of any preconceptions we had about some fully formed "Monkey Island 3a" because as you've said, you don't really know what you're making until you actually get started. As someone who has dabbled in creative projects myself, sometimes sticking to a rigid idea gets in the way of making spontaneous choices, and those choices are what makes a piece of art more interesting that just executing a blueprint. I'm glad you've been more open about embracing the games that came after (though I have no idea what it actually means in a chronological sense, but I'm very excited to find out!) and from what little we know so far, it's going to be moving the series forward, and that's all I've ever wanted in a new title.

I'm absolutely gasping for more info; plot details, a look at Guybrush, even just a release date. Absolutely cannot wait for this game, the wait is killing me!

Johnny Walker May 10, 2022
Please release more screenshots, videos, information ASAP! I'm hitting refresh several times a day at the moment :) So excited!

Thanks Ron and Dave!

Román May 10, 2022
I enjoyed the master piece that is Thimbleweed Park when it came out. I'm sure this will be a fantastic and fun game that I will love.

Thanks for keep bringing your your work!!

NoirReservoir May 10, 2022
Absolutely loving to see it back. I feel some fans are entitled to their opinions, but that won't stop me enjoying this game. I love the art style, and I can't wait to hear Dominic's smooth voice and Dave and your wit!

McFly May 10, 2022
The thing is, people who dislike the art will be those that are most vocal about them disliking the art. You just can't take them as a representative sample. And I'm pretty sure that no matter what type of art was revealed (or any new tidbit about the game), there will always be a vocal number of people that will consider it their duty to proclaim they passionately dislike it and this other thing that obviously isn't present would be much better.

I'm excited for this game, and am thankful for it existing even if it doesn't ultimately meet my insanely high expectations. It's something that a teenager in me has been waiting for for a looooong time.

McFly May 10, 2022
(also... let's not forget how people initially reacted to Wind Waker art, and how it all turned out in the end) :)

Threepbrush Guywood May 10, 2022
Hi Ron,

I am really excited that a new Monkey Island game is in the works, but I just have to say that I don't like the art either. The trailer is mostly fine, but the art in the released screenshots is really lacking. It just looks so generic, like a corporate cash grab where the art was outsourced to some sweatshop in India.


I undoubtedly believe that the game will be great and a financial success, but would I personally be willing to buy a game for full price, although I consider the art style to be very unappealing? Probably not.

Just to be clear, I am not demanding anything, I am just stating my opinion on the matter by leaving some critical feedback. I am perfectly fine with you just making the game you want to make.

KestrelPi May 10, 2022
Hm. Regarding one of the above comments, if I were wanting to leave critical feedback about someone's game, I would perhaps pause and wonder whether I would ingratiate myself to the person by saying that the work of a cherished colleague that they've been collaborating with for 2 years looked 'like a corporate cash grab where the art was outsourced to some sweatshop in India.' Do you honestly think Ron's going to look at that and think 'hmm, useful feedback, thanks, I'll pass that onto Rex'?

You're entitled not to enjoy the (very small amount of mostly static and out of context) art that you've seen so far. You can also do so while respecting the professionalism of an artist who has worked on several titles that have been celebrated for their art direction.

I do not want this thread to turn into a flame war that makes Ron regret turning comments back on. In order to keep it that way, let's perhaps think a little about the words that are coming out of our fingers and consider whether they're just openly insulting Ron's friends and colleagues before pressing send, eh?

Ron May 10, 2022
You're being kind of a bitch about this. I wish you would have waited until the game were released to say anything

jimmyduckie May 10, 2022
Dear Ron,
I'm over 50 years old for good.
Your games were fantastic experience back then, when I was young.
When I remember them I can't but smiling.
I saw your trailer. I think it was very good.
I really liked all the artistic work and i found it very interesting. Well, in second thought just very good.
So don't mind all the bad opinions.
Just do what you know to do.
You are very good at this.
Just tell your story.
It will be good remembered.
Thanks for your work and your creativity.
Let us cheers with a glass of grog!

Benjidubs May 10, 2022
The ‘Return' artwork looks absolutely fantastic to me and I was genuinely surprised to see *any* commentary to the contrary. I honestly didn't see any negativity, just commentary about the supposed pervasiveness of it.

Sure, ‘Curse' wasn't your game, but I don't remember any significant pushback 15 years ago to what was probably the most radical departure at that time (and arguably still is). Regardless of any disagreement in vision and direction and where you choose to pick up from, I think it's still considered a very worthy sequel in many ways that subsequent instalments are not, especially in presentation.

From EGA to VGA to SVGA, Speaker to OPL and MT-32 and iMuse to Digital, floppy to CD, text to Talkie...‘Return' in my mind is an absolutely natural and appropriate progression the same way 'Secret' to 'Revenge' to 'Curse' was; to the point where even opening this post for comments I think is lending credence to a minority opinion that is neither representative of the greater fanbase nor constructive in any way.

They'd certainly never pay more than twenty bucks for a computer game.

KestrelPi May 10, 2022
By the way, if anyone reading this wants to get more of a feel for Rex Crowle and how he thinks about developing a visual style for a game, he did a really interesting talk about this in the context of Knights and Bikes called "Overtaking nostalgia to create the fantasy of Knights & Bikes", which you can find online on twitch and places if you search for it. I was lucky enough to be present for this talk, and I've been following his career since.

(Incidentally I really enjoy the thing he says about influences on visuals not having to be visual - I've been saying this for years, that it's never too early to engage a musician on a project - concept music can, in some ways, work just as well as concept visuals)

No matter what you think about the tiny amount you've seen so far of Return, it's extremely clear to me that Rex is a guy who really thinks very deeply about developing a visual style, and was never going to just throw something together thoughtlessly, and that we're really going to need to see the whole thing to get the full effect.

I think a lot of the themes that he was thinking about for K&B have overlap with Monkey Island, and I know he's a huge fan so believe me when I say he's one of us. He's exactly the kind person who would have been disk swapping Monkey Island on his Amiga 500, and who feels the atmosphere of Monkey Island in his bones. This project is very probably an absolute dream come true for him, and I hope one day to see a talk from him where he shows some of his working like he did with K&B.

(to Benjidubs above - I definitely DO remember some people grousing about Curse's style, and saying the characters looked too cartoony or the backgrounds too distorted or whatever. But what happened is people got used to it. They will here, too)

Robert May 10, 2022
I'm buying that game nomatter what! I'm grown up now and can afford to buy a Monkey Island game :) While I love the first two Monkey games, I also love the 3rd which was made by others. Lets goooo, more rubber chickens!

archie May 10, 2022
I care not what other people think, what we will get is the monkey Island game that we deserve. The artwork is fantastic, forget the doubters and the haters as I've seen so much positivity about this it's unreal. The true fans have your back. I personally can't wait, hopefully not long till release!

Adri May 10, 2022
I am 44 and love this new concept art or monkey island! When you launch the trailer of the new monkey island..man...you make me very happy, one of the best news in a lot of years!

Pharaon May 10, 2022
Respect. Thank you for creating something to look forward to. The art looks great. I can't wait.

archie May 10, 2022
I'd like to add, that as a middle aged gamer I thought I should introduce my daughters to the originals and a couple of years ago we played them through and loved every second, very nostalgic for me and hilarious for them. They were jumping up and down to see that another one being made, so not just me, but WE can't wait!

archie May 10, 2022
I'd like to add, that as a middle aged gamer I thought I should introduce my daughters to the originals and a couple of years ago we played them through and loved every second, very nostalgic for me and hilarious for them. They were jumping up and down to see that another one being made, so not just me, but WE can't wait!

Jonas May 10, 2022
They're gonna buy it anyway, don't worry. As will I, another hardcore fan (how can I not be?), and I think it looks absolutely gorgeous and enticing. Can't wait. Hurry up!  Pleeeease!?

DieSkaarj May 10, 2022
Do all pushy sales people go to hell?

Because they can bloody well get there! Hah!

NaibStilgar May 10, 2022
Just make what you want Ron, it will be good and we will like it.

P.S. Thimbleweed Park reviews calling it a throwback game are missing the point and I can unserstand how it may be discouraging to you, but that is their fault and not yours.

MonkeyIsland.fr May 10, 2022
How good it is to finally see a creator who keeps his creative direction, regardless of the comments and opinions of the dissatisfied! Ron Gilbert, our hearts go out to you! You knew how to create the best video game saga and you offer us the future possibility of taking us back 30 years with a sequel imagined by you... so stay the course captain!

Germán May 10, 2022
We also want the game you want to make Ron, don't worry about it

AMM May 10, 2022
I do like the art, but believe me: This could have King's Quest 1 CGA graphics and I would still buy it. It could have MI4 3D graphics and I would still buy it.

seguso May 10, 2022
I can't wait for the game and for the COMMENTARY to the game!

ipnotistis May 10, 2022
I am yet another one 40 y.o guy who owe so much in the m.i series. I also learnt English because of this game. I am deaf and I would hardly be able to learn without the games, I wasn't the easiest leaner back then. For many years i was living abroad.

I haven't seen the artwork, but i have trust in the creators. Creators are an important source and part of our culture and civilization.

I don't understand what kind of people are those hardcore fans that cry out (crybabies) for the graphic art! Must be spoiled people or haters.
And you know what, 'haters gonna hate!'.

Positive people (most of us) won't even mind if the artwork is totally affected by Picasso's paintings!

Don't get the wrong impressions; haters cry all the time, lovers are silent. That's why you got sad at first about the bad reactions!

Greetings from Greece!

ipnotistis May 10, 2022
p.s. with great respect to Picasso, I mean that many gamers (hardcore and crybabies) would freak out if the faces or bodies were like Picasso paint them.

Zak Phoenix McKracken™ May 10, 2022
We got one teaser trailer, four screenshots, a few interviews of a game we waited for 30 years. It's not enough to judge the game. Let the game come out, play it, and then (only then) comment on it.
Meanwhile... we can hope to see/read new things related to Return to Monkey Island!

Juan Restrepo May 10, 2022
40year old, not english speaker from latam. My room is full of monkey island things. I went to my wife crying like a baby when I saw the announcement. That's the kind of power you have Ron.
Do what you want, we'll enjoy it. I, in particular, like the art so far.
Please don't be sad.. for one annoying comment, there are 10 or more people that support you.
Unfortunately, hate tends to be more verbose and noisy than any pleasant feeling.

jmpuk May 10, 2022
Nice to see you have put in this piece art the same magic and a big piece of your soul jointly with love. We will enjoy for sure!!. I will for sure, as a matter of fact by reading I am already doing.

Dan D May 10, 2022
When my dad bought my brother Monkey Island 2 for our Tandy I played it so much and fell in love with the game. My dad played it as well, I was young so he helped with some of the puzzles. Then we eventually caught an Lucas Arts Adventure pack with The Secret of Monkey Islanf and Maniac Mansion, Loom, Indy: last crusade, and Zak McCraken. anyways I played the Monkey island games 1 and 2 and years later I still played them with a friend. ALL THE TIME. Your a legend to me to this day.
  Hearing this announcement makes me so happy and excited!!!  I totally trust in what you will do with it and the art looks awesome!!!

zer0th May 10, 2022
Haters are gonna hate no matter what. I loved MI1 and MI2 art... didn't like MI3 and MI4's art that much. Even played Tales of MI (didn't like that much the graphics either). Monkey Island is 99% about the experience (story, characters, environment, etc) 1% graphics. You, my man, are one of a hell experience creator. Love your work and I'm 1000000% sure it's going to be ANOTHER EPIC experience of yours.

fyi love the style on this one

PD: I played MI so much that I basically remember almost all dialogs in the game.

Hempsa May 10, 2022
I can't wait. After 13 years since Tales, I gave up hope for a new Monkey Island game... and then BANG <3

Koty Dwa May 10, 2022
"Formula for failure: Try to please everybody."
Herbert Bayard Swope

I think it really sucks that we've been waiting so long for another MI game MADE BY RON GILBERT and when it finally happens, people keep saying what this game should be like. I like the graphic style so far and I have my full trust in Ron.
All I wonder is to which volcano should I throw a sacrificial virgin so gods of gaming would blessed us with a another Maniac Mansion game...

Matt May 10, 2022
I can't wait! Looking forward to introducing my daughter to Monkey Island too.

DM May 10, 2022
@ KestrelPi
I just finished watching "Overtaking Nostalgia To Create The Fantasy Of Knights & Bikes" ...totally impressive! Rex Crowle really goes deep into his work.
I am even more convinced that Ron's choice is the right one.

Pedram May 10, 2022
I remember, that I appreciated Lucas Arts adventures, because no two would look or feel the same. Different art, different characters, only the humor you could count on. That was so great and I love seeing „I do it my way" again.

Roland May 10, 2022
I think most people couldn't/didn't know, that also right after MI2 the graphics would have changed so much. My question could still be "why"? From the artistic style, for me it's a step backwards in the graphics, not pushing it forward. It's my problem, I just don't understand why shall ugly/quick'n'dirty be more forward than beautiful art?
I'm still pleased to see the new Monkey Island.

On the other hand, Ron, what's the problem with people complaining about the graphics???
You wrote "I wanted the art in Return to Monkey Island to be provocative, shocking, and not what everyone was expecting."

So it's exactly what you wanted: The graphics were provocative and the people were shocked!!
So you should be happy about all the complaints about the art style I think. 😀
Goal reached!

I think most people did understand "doing the game you want to do" the more related to the story content, not that you would have a provocative and shocking art in mind.

Hans May 10, 2022
Ron, I am absolutely looking forward to what you and your team are creating with Return to Monkey Island. You shouldn't feel pressured into justifying the decisions you (and again, your team) made for a game we are all waiting for for decades! You are one of the persons in gaming industry who proved so many times to know how to make good games, why should have changed that with RtMI (and of course, THIS definetely causes (hopefully positive) pressure, as you already pointed our yourself)?
Just tell the haters they fought like dairy farmers 😀

Alex May 10, 2022
So many exaltationing kids in comments and no one can explain what good in new art. But i wonder if author speaking about fans of old chapters with OLD style he REALLY think we must love this new childish ugly trash when he calls it schoking and provokating himself? Whats wrong with his logic? ORANGE!

Alex May 10, 2022
So many exaltationing kids in comments and no one can explain what good in new art. But i wonder if author speaking about fans of old chapters with OLD style he REALLY think we must love this new childish ugly trash when he calls it schoking and provokating himself? Whats wrong with his logic?
ORANGE!

Cinobear May 10, 2022
Hey man, thanks for making the decision to make a new one. You guys made all this possible 30 years ago, and you're the ones making it possible now. None of us can imagine your situation, and none of us should imagine this game instead of you guys, lead the way, I for one will follow.
I've been a diehard fan of lucasfilm games since maniac mansion, my daughter has tears in her eyes when a day passes when we can't play Monkey Island (we're playing through the entire series to arrive at the new game with a fresh set of experiences). Thank you.

Brideaux May 10, 2022
Ron, thank you. Please know your efforts are immensely appreciated. RtMI already looks amazing. Make the game you want to make, and ignore the critics. I'm so excited to play (and love) another MI.

Joe May 10, 2022
It will be great! I think I've never been excited for a game in my life. Thank you for doing that.

k0SH May 10, 2022
I don't like the art style that much. Like I didn't like the 'Broken Age' art style too. But I bought Broken Age and played it because the art style is only one aspect of the game experience. Sadly I didn't enjoy that game because of its story.
But RtMI is something new and I'm looking forward to play it and to find out if I'll enjoy it like I enjoyed TP! 😀

wysiwtf May 10, 2022
Oh comments are back on. Nice.

So the obvious discussion:
Did I jump up in joy when I saw the trailer and the art style going "wow this is really pushing things forward!"? No I didnt. In fact kind of it reminds me of old vector based flash games a bit.

But that does say nothing about what game this is going to be and what you do with that artstyle. Im a hopeless nostalgic but I know for sure the new MI needs not to be retro but modern looking so it can grab onto a whole new generation of gamers. On the other hand if you would have put it in a complete 3d or even VR setting... oh boy, there would have been thousands of souls screaming out in agony at once!

I/we have all the trust in your and your teams expertise and I'm not expecting a life changing experience either (we can never be 10 years old again im afraid), so im pretty sure this is going to be pretty awesome!

Please make all the decisions you are comfortable with and dont try to please the
crowd. Most of them have no idea about game design anyway.

And yes, im a little bit hyped.

wysiwtf May 10, 2022
PS:
GNU Terry Pratchett
"A man is not dead while his name is still spoken."

A Three Headed Monkey May 10, 2022
I suspect Ron received / saw some overly pushy or insulting posts from a few people that were excessive in their hate and arrogance, hence the whole situation we are dealing now.
Putting that tiny, microscopically miniscule extreme group aside, I think it is ok for people to like or not like the art direction. It is simply a personal opinion and much like Ron is 100% entitled to release the game in the art style he wants to release, people are allowed to say they love/adore/faint over it/dream of it in their sleep/not sure about it/don't like it as every single one of these opinions is equally right.
As long as a conversation is done in a polite and nice manner, then everyone can have their own opinion and explain it, thats how conversation works! So no, you who adores the new art style and you who doesn't, none of you is crazy ;)

Ron Gilbert May 10, 2022
The reason I closed comments on the other post wasn't because people didn't like the art style, it was that I got tired of deleting comments that were personal attacks on the team or just anger for the sake of anger. You don't have to like the art style but keep in mind you've only seen 4 static screen shots. We have done extensive outside playtesting and the art always threw people for the first hour and by the time they were done, all the art and animation got very high praise. I worry that some people have gotten so worked up that they will rage quit and never give the game a chance. If anyone is calling this crappy flash animation I suggest you go look at some actual crappy flash animation. There is no comparison.

Bjarne May 10, 2022
Thank you for all the fantastic game you've given us over the years.

Curse is a masterpiece.

Conny Torneus May 10, 2022
Yay, I can comment again 🙂

Martinland May 10, 2022
Still excited, still on board, e.g. still waiting with our daughter to finally play it; thank you *very* much, Ron Gilbert - this is something that brightens up our lives, especially mine as it is right now. Great news indeed!

Bjarne May 10, 2022
I'd love to see a remake of Curse, or some sort of sequel with the same areas and characters.

seguso May 10, 2022
@bjarne
you know Curse was not made by Ron, right?

MonkeyIsland Fan May 10, 2022
Hi! I love Monkey Island, each one of them. And I'm really happy to see that there is one more.

Thank you for all the work. I usually don't comment on these places, but I don't want you to see only bad ones.  

Keep up the good work, and I hope you can be full of joy and happiness like you deserve

DieSkaarj May 10, 2022
Well, I can't believe your validity.

v00d00m4n May 10, 2022
Sorry Ron, but you can't make whatever game you want to make! When you release first entry in series, it's not your game anymore, it also game of fans, not in terms of authorship, but in terms of belonging. Fans buy this game and sort of own it. 1st game sets standards and expectations. Then when sequels comes out they set even more standards and expectations and of they are not done by you but fans loved them, because sequels met their expectations, it is not your game anymore even more than before, it's collective game, which belongs to you, other authors which was accepted by fans, and to fans.

Consider fans as your investors or producers, who pay you! You can't simply do whatever you want without majority of investor's or producer's approval!!!

if majority of your investors or producers say they don't like art style, then you should abandon this idea and make something that would please your investors and producers or fans!!!

The only difference between producers or investors and fans is that fans consume your products. But consumers have their rights to demand product they want for money they pay you!

When you don't listen to majority of your fans and do whatever you want, you are enraging and disappointingly them, and this never ends well!

If you would not change art direction to something consistent in style with recent remakes and telltale sequels, your game going to flop, tank, bomb, it's not going to sell well!!!

Look at recent Battletoads game that was made in ugly, grotesque, primitive and childish modern style - fans rejected this abomination, and game failed pretty badly. People waited for this game for 30 years but did not even buy it because it was not the game they waited for, it was something not for old fans but for modern tasteless kids!!!


If you decided to revive old franchise and aim it for new kids, ignoring your old fans, you will end up without new fans, because modern kids not interested in such games, and you will also end up without majority of old fans, because you betrayed them.

Look at recent remakes of Monkey Island 1 and 2 and episodes - they was accepted by fans, because they actually found sweet spot between old style and some necessary modernization, somehow it looked modern yet the same! This was good example of how you do modern Monkey Islands!

What you doing now is bad example, this is not how you do sequels after so many years!!!

Want example of perfect late sequel? Psychonauts 2 by your old pal Tim - this game is 100% looks and feels like sequel everyone wanted and expected for more than 15 years, game has modern lighting, but all characters looks same, despite more polygons, they speak same voices and game even plays the same (they only bad part of game is flat windows 8 and Xbox One like design of ui which is worse than hand drawn style of original game)!!!

You should do the same and make game exactly in same style as remakes of 1 and 2 , to meet fans expectations! if you will keep insisting that you want to make game with this modern ugly style, nobody but you and few shoes licking fans of you will play it, like it or not!

We old fans grown up with more realistic an eye pleasant old school cartoons, which was not as flat, edgy, grotesque, ugly and childish as new cartoons and your new art style. And we are mostly 30-40 years old now and we hate modern ugly cartoons and missing times when artists was not so primitive and infantile as they are nowadays. We don't want something from our childhood to be modernized and sodomized like many other recent attempts like Battletoads or new Duck Tales, or recent ninja turtles or transformers or whatever is rebooted now, which doesn't look nearly as good as cartoons of 90th did! If you want to make a sequel to our childhood, you should make it like it was done in the era when originals was done, except for pixels and old overcomplicate non context sensitive controls, because it's ugly limitation of times that is gone for good. Think same was as developing team of recent remasters of 1 and 2 was thinking, and then your game will please fans! It should be fully redrawn, right now it looks ugly and disappointingly because of huge inconsistency with previous most recent games and because it simply gone ugly modern direction old fans never going to like. Sorry Ron but we are not infected by modern infantilism and promitivism of post My Little Pony era cartoons, this is why you are getting so much of negative feedback you should listen to!

Oh I almost forgot another examples of products that subverted fans explain like you going to do - Matrix 4, which is generally hated by millions of fans because they are absolute not what fans expected and has very little in common with previous movies, even in visual and music style.

If you keep doing what you do now, you are going to repeat fate of those abominations and new monkey Island would be forgotten very soon and you will be another Lana Wachowsky, once good director that became bad.

frisby May 10, 2022
Not sure why it's shocking that there's discussion and crotchety old fans - you did wait 30 years for us to get old after all - and you spend plenty of time yammering on about ye olde Star Trek or Apple yourself.

That said, it's hard to believe your 'that's all there is' line about your old mi3 plot, after years of teasing it... and that's a cruel way to reveal that if true.   Hopefully the 1-2 subtext and mystery returns, at least...  Hoping for the best.

Spider May 10, 2022
I'm actively happy that all the people bitching about their rights and entitlements as fans aren't getting what they want. Like I was already stoked about a new Gilbert-led Monkey Island, but to see all these toddlers scream and stamp their feet because the world doesn't move on their command...well, it's a bonus. These people don't want a new game--they want something that will literally take them back in time and make them the children they were, and anything that reminds them it's not possible must be torn down so they can ignore it. You'll never, ever, ever get the game you think would have come out in 1993. It's not real and it never will be. Learn to enjoy what you have.

Rawr May 10, 2022
Art is the last thing on my mind but is a plus to the game. My priority is the story and music. If you can bring the magic of Monkey Island nostalgia back to the forefront and what made it great in the first place, art would the last thing people worry about.

Rawr May 10, 2022
Forgot to add that you were the one that kept me entertained as a kid growing up with these adventure games so keep on fulfilling those dreams for the next generation. En garde! Touché!

Pichulo May 10, 2022
Everything seems great to me, I'm in favor of being surprised. All I ask is that the requirements are not too high. Many MI fans are in our forties, we don't play video games anymore (apart from sporadic miracles like Thimbleweed Park), we have computers to work with Office and not much else. The graphics that have transpired scare me a bit.

Miguel Baptista May 10, 2022
Daily reminder that Ron Gilbert is making a new Monkey Island game.

Josejulio May 10, 2022
I'm pretty much hyped about this game. I'm sure you want this game to be nice - so far we have only seen a few screenshots in a new visual style. I do find them interesting and I'm curious to see more and play this game.

I find myself watching the trailer from time to time - hope that you can give us some more things :-D.

Thanks for taking on this adventure, everything will work nicely!

Utwarrior May 10, 2022
If the future is to be determined by the fans, the film industry will only make more sequels, reboots, and unoriginal, play-it-safe movies. It doesn't matter if you're a fan or if you're in the industry: let's respect creators and their creative vision.

It happened with Star Wars (hello Disney), Justice League and Sonic. This is not right. Ron's MI games are far superior in technical and narrative terms to sequels he wasn't involved in. Let's trust the team and celebrate!

A product made with love will always be great, and i'm sure that's the case here. Thank you Ron, Dave, David, Robert, Jenn, Michael, Peter, Clint, Noah, Rex and everybody at Terrible Toybox and Devolver Digital. <3

And let's praise Craig Derrick, John Drake and others for keeping the dream alive.

DM May 10, 2022
@ v00d00m4n

Um ... no.

"Consider fans as your investors or producers, who pay you! You can't simply do whatever you want without majority of investor's or producer's approval !!!"

Fans are not producers in any way, they are customers. And luckily "most fans" (I mean REAL fans) are fans of Ron Gilbert's vision, before Monkey Island. And they wants Ron Gilbert's vision, not that of a group of people who believe they know what he wants but who actually have no knowledge of the creative process behind any cultural product.

"You should do the same and make game exactly in same style as remakes of 1 and 2".

... I can come to understand (not to support) the reasons of those who want pixel art and the same style of Monkey 2, in the name of a misinterpreted visual fundamentalism (...Ron himself said that if it had been done in 93 Monkey 3 would not have had the style of 2). But those who ask for a continuity of art style with the remakes ... they do not realize that they are a prisoner of a huge logical paradox.

"... we hate modern ugly cartoons and missing times when artists was not so primitive and infantile ..."

I have written it several times in these pages along with others: this is NOT a modern style. It has its roots in the 1950s works of Maurice Noble, or in the German expressionism of the 1920s. You may not like it, God forbid, but it is not a "modern" or "childish" style. In no way.

Sushi May 10, 2022
Look behind you! Three million supporters!

Governor Elaine Marley May 10, 2022
I am sorry you having been getting so much impertinent negativity. I wanted to write a long winded post about how I feel about the art style, but have now decided against it. Enough has already been said and written about it.

Just this: You should obviously make the game YOU want with an art style that fits YOUR vision. This makes some fans that don't like the art style a bit unhappy and worried, me included, but in the end you will have delivered the perfect Monkey Island experience and we will have regretted ever having second thoughts.

I can hardly wait to return to Monkey Island! Best wishes to your and your team! :D

seguso May 11, 2022
Is the Voodoo Lady the hint system? :)

Clawjelly May 11, 2022
Funny, the first some screenshots of this MI actually reminds me more to Day of the Tentacle than MI.

Oldscot May 11, 2022
I love the new art style monkey island needs to move forward. I like most here, lost it in the 4th of April when the video was dropped. I can not wait to see it and of course play it. We have waited what feels like an age for this and to rehash something in the same style would not be inkeeping with what had gone before. You will never please everyone but just know the vast majority can not wait for this to come out. Much love

Zak Phoenix McKracken™ May 11, 2022
@seguso: I bet no, my idea is that the Voodoo lady is missing. What would be a nice idea for a hint system? My guess: a lawyer with a spike hair head.

Torbjörn Andersson May 11, 2022
@v00d00m4n

"if majority of your investors or producers say they don't like art style"

Judging by the comments so far, the majority seem to be okay with it. Maybe I'm looking at the wrong sample?

"You should do the same and make game exactly in same style as remakes of 1 and 2 , to meet fans expectations!"

My only expectations for a new Monkey Island game was that there wouldn't be one. Personally, while interesting in their own way, I found the remakes to be a bit awkward.

I'm interested in seeing the old games well preserved for the future (don't get me started on the broken/cracked version of Maniac Mansion that's currently sold on GOG/Steam), and I do enjoy seeing the occasional throwback game (assuming that they've learned from the mistakes of the past). But I'm also excited to see what the new game will bring to the table.

Rum Rogers May 11, 2022
@v00d00m4n

Very well, Ron lost you as a fan. Bye. Let the countless remaining fans enjoy the game.

Step Han May 11, 2022
Dear Ron Gilbert

Sorry that so much is written to you, even though it shows how much you and what you create is still in demand and always remains.

First of all, to clarify; I'll buy your game for sure.

And what I write is not an expectation of you, but can also be understood as your invitation to the wishful thinking several years ago. Of course, I'm happy if the idea is still well received overall. To be sure, a vote can be helpful.

Nevertheless, on behalf of all fans of the more tried and tested graphic styles, I think I am right to ask you and them about it: "Do you please consider taking a survey, at least, if the game is successful at the latest and in order to continue working on it? If this shows, that it is worthwhile to offer a paid DLC, for example?". Because I am sure that then others will invest all the more preferably and confidently in order to either play both, or to wait for the other. With a DLC you would be sure that the original must be owned and thus continue to sell; as well as that the frugal and already satisfied no longer have to pay. But I bet you that most of them also buy the extension for some kind of Demake or an alternative graphic style. I believe that this is most likely the correct course of action; at least that's how I would do it. Anyway for a compromise that also suits the fans of the old graphic styles and still brings innovations with it, it would not even necessarily need rough pixels. If there is an opportunity to see the work of the original graphic artists (or something more similiar) in the most modern style; I honestly find the best desirable idea for most. In addition, this is also a way to recreate something extraordinary that has probably never existed before and is therefore all the more memorable. I also take another box with great cover artwork if the possibility exists. Preferably even with another hint book, which contains like the old ones, diary entries, so the memoirs of Guybrush. With a poster of the clean cover artwork and possibly also the maps. And if this pays off, then it can also be speculated about making the whole series uniform again. So that it fits together properly, if you play through one after the other again and again; maybe also as a complete package.

Thank you, all the best and kind regards, from a loyal fan.

PS: I definitely like to pay more than $20 for that, because it's worth it.

PPS: Maybe that's the possible secret of monkey island.

PPPS: I bought 5 boxes of Thimbleweed Park, apart from the previous GOG release and DLC, to support it and because I love your games.

Sundman May 11, 2022
Allow me to quote Tim Schafer: "I'm someone who really respects original creators, and I'd always want Ron to be in control of it but I feel like Monkey Island has been through so many hands that it almost belongs to the world now - to the fans, to so many people", Legacy of Monkey Island feature in Retro Gamer 212

Matt May 11, 2022
I'm thrilled with the art style you have chosen so please keep it up! I couldn't be more excited to go back to Monkey Island

Isaac Pau May 11, 2022
I am 43 years old. I played Monkey I, Monkey II, loom, and Maniac Mansion. I am not a fan of DOT because the graphics. Also I played actual adventures, included Thimbleweed Park. I understand your point of view, but I cannot share it. For me the only way to come back to Monkey was using Pixel art, when I realised that there will be another Monkey Island, I felt happy, today, after to see the trailer I am sad, like you. For me, one of the most important things was the graphical spirit. Maybe this game would be amazing for the kids, but for me is like to listen another Stan talking about the best ship in the Island. You should the game that you want I should accept that Monkey Island died in the 80's. I am sure that more people feel like me. I wish you the best in this new idea.

KestrelPi May 11, 2022
@Sundman
Wouldn't read too much into it, it feels to me like this was Tim's way of diplomatically saying 'of course we'd all like to know what Ron would do with Monkey Island, but since that seems unlikely to happen then other people deserve a chance at putting their spin on it'

Sure, Monkey Island has gone through a lot of iterations, and I think there *is* a sort of sense of cultural ownership of it now, in the same way that many classic things feel like they belong to the world after a time.

But while Ron is still around, and with Dave on board too I'm sure we're all happy to discover what they will bring to it after 30 years away. Well, most of us anyway.

Adrian May 11, 2022
Ron, first of all, I'm thrilled to even be writing to you. Monkey Island is the game that made me want to be a game designer. I must've played each MI dozens of times. But, who's counting? I only know that the last time was a few days ago and that this will happen until I die. The reasons? I'll be brief: a masterpiece of storytelling.

I've been seeing the mixed feedback and I got many flashbacks. The game I work on is a different genre and with fans that have been playing it since more than a decade. Anything new you try to do is an apparent mistake (well, sometimes it really is!), until they get to play it. Real feedback happens then, but boy do they let you down and make you feel miserable when you need to be motivated the most.

An important portion of gamers don't want to play again the game they love, they want to feel the same way they did when they played it back then. Kids, excited about getting out of bed, with a still uncrushed imagination and spirit. Chasing that high. You can give them anything, even what they ask for, but there will be, at minimum, apathy when they realize they can't feel that again. Or maybe they do for a minute and then continue with that chase. Enough to keep them in that vicious nostalgic loop.

I know you'll do an amazing game. As soon as I saw your name, Dave's and Michael's I was overcome with excitement. There are two ways of handling nostalgia: either it makes you want to go back, or it makes you happy you lived it. I choose the latter. Sometimes I even tear up and maybe a psychologist can link it to the former, but in the end, I want to see where the story goes or where it ends. The graphical style, whichever the creator chooses is fine (and I personally like it!), because once it's out there, it's the story what will make you love what you see, not the other way round.

Thank you, Ron. I love what you do and I do want you to do the game you want to do.

Bobe May 11, 2022
Is the engine powering the Return to Monkey Island trailer? If so, I'm definitely happy with that.

I don't know how a game like this is made, but I think an engine that uses vector graphics and skeletal animation would be really cool. In the behind the scenes videos, Broken Age did something similar to that, I believe. I think they were just bitmap image planes, though.

I imagine animating a 2D rig is a lot faster than doing frame-by-frame pixel animation. You can block out some rough animations, put them in the game, see how it looks, then go back and add any in-betweens, reload the engine, and voila! That's how SCUMM-style development is supposed to work, right? Think of an idea at lunch and have it working in the game in a few hours. People complaining about the art style aren't taking into consideration the technology that might power their new favorite game. Things that ordinarily wouldn't get animated because it would take too long can have a bezier curve assigned to it, and...instant bobbling in water! It's going to make the game feel more alive.

Let's be done with pixels. Vectors and curves are so much cooler.

Could be anybody really... May 11, 2022
When I read the news about RtMI i was at first a bit sceptical because of the Ron's comments from back in the day about curse. But I figured from the looks of it, after telltales games and the fact that devolver was involved: This is going to be an alternate timeline spinoff indie thing so hey Let's go, I am game!
(yes I know Ron elaboratet on the curse situation and I got a lot of respect for him from that. Thank you Ron <3)

So yea the artstyle is different for reasons, but hey it fits the scope so I am game. As long as they have fun making it, i will probably enjoy playing it :)

However what really makes me sad to see, is those "MI1 and MI2 are the ONLY real ones" people who just can't stand any critique towards this project. Calling all people "crybabies" or "unreal fans" who have negative feedback is not going to make things better and most certainly doesn't present u in any better light than "those crybabies" you talk about...

I personally love and replayed as well as rewatched (yes, i like longplays) every single monkey island game and I love all of em. Escape even being one of my favorites. I love that they all are so different and I am looking forward to how different this will be. But wow... the "OG MI1 and MI2 fans" community is a toxic and gatekeeping bunch and that makes me super sad... Especially after Rons respectful desicion and comment towards curse fans.

I still wish all the best to Ron, Dominic and the rest of the team and i hope they have a a lot of fun with this game. I know I will! <3

DM May 11, 2022
@Isaac Pau

"If I had stayed and done Monkey Island 3 it wouldn't have looked like Monkey Island 2. We would have kept pushing forward, and Day of the Tentacle is a good example of that."

Guys... it's not difficult.

If had it been done then, Monkey 3 would have had technically similar graphics to DotT. It would therefore have been a low definition cartoon, not "pixel art".

There is no betrayal of an alleged "original purity", simply because ... it never existed.

Miyu May 11, 2022
Since I was a little girl I have been a great fun of yours and monkey Island made me love and fell into this genre for more than 25 years. And when I saw you guys where going to make ANOTHER monkey Island. I could not believe it. And I can't wait to play it. I want the game YOU guys want to make. Not what people WANT. If they have a problem then don't play it. Or MAKE IT YOURSELF -_-. I WANT the game Ron Gilbert wants the players to play. And in the years se live with people complaining about everything and they are never happy. Doesn't matter what you do. ALWAYS There are going to be people complaining about something. So please keep the hard work and bring us the marvellous game I know you are going to make and be done with those people.

Loves to all the team and can't wait to have the game in my hands and enjoy another Monkey Island game!!!!

Hugs from Spain!

Myles May 11, 2022
Thanks Ron! I'm pumped to see a modern monkey island and it's what I'd hoped for. I'm pretty much a "hard core" fan. Cannot wait for the new one. Keep crushing it!

ToRa May 11, 2022
I personally feel that you should make the game you want. I believe the game would be as complete as it can be that way. Either way, I am going to buy this game either way, no doubt about it.

Sentimental Stab May 11, 2022
I admit I was disappointed at first because I didn't like the graphics at all, but now I'm really excited for the game as Ron said the first impressions of the testers were a bit confused with the graphics in the first hour of play and then they loved it, I'll probably end up liking the graphics and I'll be one more of those who will eat his words, I can't wait to dive into the game :)
PS: Nostalgia is a very difficult feeling to control.

starhawk May 11, 2022
In the 1700s and early 1800s, when actual pirates and privateers roamed the seas, as romanced in so many popular movies and games, a ship's captain trusted only the chart of locations he'd drawn up himself. In places genuinely too dangerous for him to fill in on his trusty map of what was, what wasn't, and where, the captain would, in his best penmanship -- as , in those days, the appearance of one's handwriting was far more important than spelling and grammar beyond the crudely intelligible -- three Latin words in a simple phrase...

HIC SVNT DRACONES

Here be dragons.

Whether the grizzly sea-captain in question, with his ragged, salt-sprayed beard, vibrant clothes, and tricorn hat, brass sextant, spyglass, and saber at his side, actually truly thought that dragons -- or sea monsters of any actual real sort -- genuinely made a home in that particular spot is a matter of debate at best. (Personally, I'm a bit doubtful -- real life is quite rarely so romantic as a multibillion-dollar Disney film franchise, after all!)

Yet, over the years, in a sense, one can imagine the phrase taking on a somewhat different tone from the original. See, in those days, it was a warning, and referred specifically to places even the bravest, most adventurous, most cavalier captains might not be courageous enough to lead their men to -- and places their men might be rather justified, dare I say, in trying to jump ship, or worse, should their captain try to steer that way.

Yet, in more modern times, I hear the phrase spoken and understood, on the rare occasion that it is brought back out, not in fear but in eagerness, not in trepidation but in enthusiasm, in ambition -- let's see what's over the next hill, let's see what's around the next bend... let's cross the river, what do you think's on the other side?

Bring me that horizon. *Hic svnt dracones!*

But, as two famous singer-songwriters of a somewhat earlier modern era once remarked -- time hurries on -- and in the early 1990s, there were two computer games that changed the landscape of such things forever. One was MYST, and I adore that franchise.

The other was The Secret of Monkey Island.

Ron Gilbert, sir, you are what those of the Colonial era, and that of the Golden Age of Piracy, would term a Master in your Hall. I trust you, and where you lead, I will follow. You have proved yourself worthy of one who can be given such trust implicitly, and if, in the end, the numbers do not follow, then the metrics by which they were assigned are out of calibration.

The 1990s are gone. What once was, has long since left us, or been changed and made over. The leaves that are green, turn to brown ;) and then, once crumbled in one's hand (or all about the ground), they turn to the soil underneath our feet, that new leaves, and new trees, may grow forth again.

A tree planted in the earliest days of Guybrush Threepwood, Mighty Pirate! is just now entering the equivalent of its randy teen years, were it a human. That which was a seedling in the days of Blackbeard, is a wizened old man of an oak, now, if it's still here at all.

But, perhaps, Lord Cutler Beckett's claim that "The blank edges of the map [are] being filled in [...]" was a process never quite completed. Perhaps, somewhere, there is a sea captain's chart with a spot not yet filled in. Perhaps. I suppose we can at least imagine it... imagine that, somewhere in that spot, there are a few lonely islands formed loosely under the flag of the Tri-Island Area, under the governorship of one Elaine Marley... a place where sea pirates still roam the waves and drink grog, where a remarkably expressive fellow named Stan sells used ships in gravel-lot style, where monkeys roam... well, nearly everywhere... and where a young fellow named Guybrush Threepwood still dreams of being a fearsome pirate with a tall ship and a savage crew.

After all, that's the point. It's not about the art style. It's not about the music. If you want to relive the past, the past is still there for you. The hardware is still around, and there are emulators for those who don't care or can't get it.

It's about the adventure. It's about putting yourself in the mind of a strange fellow with a strange name and a strange dream, and guiding him through the unlikeliest of insane, inane circumstances (and then some) towards his goal.

If you want to argue... well... go find a three-headed monkey!

You can find me down at Stan's asking about used ships... or maybe at the SCUMM Bar. Just ask for Guybrush Threepwood.

HIC SVNT DRACONES -- in the modern sense. Onward!

nachoman May 11, 2022
Real fans are on the same ship mate, I'm really excited to finally get to know how MI3 should have continued. I can't wait to play in any artform you want to deliver as long you keep it real as always Ron!

Marty May 11, 2022
MI3 looks really good and I know some of us will enjoy playing it the same way we enjoyed nr. 1 and 2. There will be someone against, that price will be always there. The just think about the positive comments and what many of us really think about the MI universe. We appreciate the job and the result for sure.

Thomas May 11, 2022
the game looks great i cant wait for it
what game engine are you using?
good luck ron

St_Eddie May 11, 2022
@v00d00m4n - That's the biggest pile of bollocks that I've ever read. Just how entitled can one person be?!

Monkey See Monkey Do May 11, 2022
Hi Ron, I think you're doing the right thing by moving forward with the series. If you came up with a game in pixel art, recycling the same jokes and puzzles (as great as they were the first time around), people would complain too.

If you had made this game immediately after MI2, I'm sure trying to go "retro" back then would have been the last thing on your mind.

For example, I didn't like how MI3 recycled the insult sword fighting; it was one of the best and most memorable moments of MI1, but it had been done and I felt they should have thought of new puzzles and jokes instead of playing the nostalgia card.

Godspeed you Pirate Emperor!

Seaorc May 11, 2022
The new art is so good, that it will be put up next to the Mona Lisa in the Louvre!

Stan's Previously Owned Pixel Art May 11, 2022
We wait 30 years for the biggest game of all time but instead of Monkey Island we get Day of the Tentacle. Someone needs to find the DeLorean and go back in time to that fateful day Ron read the article about Thimbleweed Park being a throwback game. Just before he sits down to read the article someone needs to shout "Ron, look behind you a three headed monkey".

PS Of course I am just joking. We all know the game is going to be amazing and I cannot wait to play it.

CarloSupreme May 11, 2022
I had a health scare recently and my very first thought was "what if I'm not here by the time Return to Monkey Island comes out?". Not making that up.

suejak May 11, 2022
Ron, it looks great. Very excited. I don't know if you've been exposing yourself to too much social media, but I doubt the people you're hearing from represent most of us retro gamers out here.

Matt May 11, 2022
If you knew from extensive playtesting that the art always threw people off at first, why do you act so surprised? What was the reason to keep the polarizing art style?

Adrian May 11, 2022
Don't mind the haters. All true Monkey Island fans love the fact that you are giving us another game in the series after such a long time. Thank you so much and keep up the good work!!!

S.Regev May 11, 2022
Hardcore fan here, and I'd just like to say that 2022 has officially been reduced to a futile attempt of containing my excitement for 'Return'.


Oh, I'm also going to become a father this year...
In Ron we trust!!!

Dane May 11, 2022
Have both the new art style and be able to switch to the pixel art as they did with the Special Editions. Solved. Everybody's happy.Regardless, I'm pumped for this. Just make YOUR game Ron. Can't wait.

Martinland May 11, 2022
starhawk: Best post so far! \o/
Stan's Previously Owned Pixel Art: Haha, close contender! :-D
Thomas: It's the engine Ron Gilbert built himself for/with "Delores" in 2020.
CarloSupreme: /oO\ All the best to you - you *have* to be able to play the game!

DieSkaarj May 11, 2022
Actually, I heard that Ron took stock of all the complaints and has now partnered with a famous Danish company, in addition to Lucasfilm/Disney, and the new game will now be done entirely in Lego. So, that way we all win. We get blocky art AND it pushes the boundaries of Unreal Engine 5.

O' and the release date is as soon a Ron finishes the Pirates set the Special Edition guys sent him. So, expect a Q4 release if Ron's track record with the Coliseum is anything to go by (this includes time to remake the engine after draggin' and droppin' it when moving it from Linux to Windows.)

St_Eddie May 11, 2022
@Dane - It's not quite that simple. To have a retro switch like the special editions would require pixel art alternatives to be creates for every single screen and character in the game.  However, I would love the option of a 640x480 mode, which would just lower the resolution of the existing graphics.  Perhaps it could be added as an unlock upon completion of the game?

St_Eddie May 11, 2022
Not that I'm saying that the game needs such a mode. I just think it would be a neat extra, in the same way that Thimbleweed Park offered players an unusual (but awesome) amount of customobility options (the toilet paper option is genius).

Marco May 11, 2022
I am 47 years old and I grew up with all of those wonderful Lucasarts Games ... because of their humour and storytelling. I never played or play other games I must say - to me only those Games "clicked" with me and I enjoyed them. Thimbleweed Park was the retro game I wanted - it was, like Ron once said, how I *remembered* the Lucasfilm Games. Loved the pixel art with their additional lighting effects and all of that. So I backed the game and got more than I could hope for.

What do I wish for? Just a new *real* Monkey Island game. I never warmed to MI4 or the Telltale games ... didn't work for me. Like all the other adventures out there back in the day it's just not for me. So I hope especially for the dry humour and those crazy ideas again - all in a shiny, modern artwork and great music (the music is a huge part of the feeling). Oh and I hope for a fully dubbed version of the game so I can play it with my kids. Their first adventure game was "Thimbleweed Park" and they loved it and played it with me.

So - looking forward to play it!

Tim May 12, 2022
I'm 51 and played Monkey 1 and 2 both about 12 times... I recently got my hands on the monkey2 special edition thanks to amazon. And yes, i start playing....again.. 13's a charm i guess.
Thanks Ron for making the new 3a version. Cant't wait to play it.
Oh, and please make a mac version.

Torbjörn Andersson May 12, 2022
@Monkey See Monkey Do

"For example, I didn't like how MI3 recycled the insult sword fighting; it was one of the best and most memorable moments of MI1, but it had been done and I felt they should have thought of new puzzles and jokes instead of playing the nostalgia card."

My pet theory for some years now has been that since the first game had insult sword fighting and the second didn't, it was always intended as a one-off puzzle. So that's just one of the things I'm looking forward to seeing what the new game does.

Mind you, some of the variations in later games were pretty clever. Others, perhaps not so much. (Though after hearing horror stories about Monkey Kombat, once I actually played Escape From Monkey Island it didn't seem so bad after all.)

Mueli77 May 12, 2022
I've been a huge Monkey Island fan since the first game, which I played on my 386 PC back then. But with the best will in the world I don't understand why so many people can condemn a game that only has a few pictures and a short video based on the graphic style.Let's be honest with you. What is happening now, a new Monkey Island implemented by the spiritual father and in the way he imagines it, is the best thing that can happen to us fans.When I saw the first pictures and the video, it felt right for me too. It was different, but also somehow logical and satisfying.Yes, it's not what I expected, I'll be honest.But I just thought it was beautiful.Seeing the locations from Part 1 in this new style was like coming home after a long time.Time has changed a lot, but it still feels like home.

Marco May 12, 2022
Dear Ron, I come from a place full of islands and pirates: Naples, Italy. I was a teenager and with my schoolmates played and played and called each other in the middle of night to finish your games. You where soooo deeply in tune with us, and of course,  magically,  with our lives, our places, our lust of exploration and our desire of living adventures during a normal and home-school-sport routine.  So thank you for coming back with Guybrush. Our lives changed, we grown up, and so on... keep our sight open to adventure, to dreaming, to laughing on the absurdity of life, and its great beauty. I dreamed a life full of dreams, now I work in cinema and this is for your games! See you soon, Naples and its islands and pirates are waiting for you.

me May 12, 2022
a w e s o m e!!

Ger May 12, 2022
My problem with the art is the same with Broken Age art, that is cute and sarcastic in equal measure. And that is a staple of gen X that I always hated. Why spoil the innocence of a child drawing with sarcasm like it is Ren & Stimpy. In that it is something very 90s. But it has grown old.

Conny Torneus May 12, 2022
Let's see if I got this right. You are making Return to Monkey Island, it will follow the events in Monkey Island 2 (basically eliminating the story arc of all the Monkey Island games that came after), essentially making this the third game in the series? And its not beeing made as "nisch" game (I'm looking at you Thimbleweed Park)? It is in effect a naturally evolved game  that Monkey 2 was to Monkey 1?

If so, People are actually struggling with this? Really?

Gerny Meneus May 12, 2022
Only thing sad about all of this is the 40 year old "MI1 and MI2 are the only real ones!" purists being absolute assholes to everybody. Great toxic fan community you guys created there...

Roman Adler May 12, 2022
Just want to say, that most people dont want another pixel adventure, thats a misunderstanding, but nobody likes the ugly art of Rex Crowle. It needs to be cartoonish like modern larry laffer games. Dont let this guy destroy your advenuture.
If you dont want it to be cartoonish, because it has been done already, realism would be another option. But not this ugly picasso childbook crap. please. remove this guy from your team.

Roman Adler May 12, 2022
Perhaps you ask yourself why your stuff is so important to us.
To my generation you are like steven spielberg, like george lucas, like robert zemeckis. You represent our childhood. Please dont create a Episode 1-3 like george, please accept your responsibility.

Monkey See Monkey Do May 12, 2022
@Roman Adler

I'd argue that Episode 1-3 sucked PRECISELY because Lucas tried to appeal to the old fans (he just misunderstood what the fans liked, thinking all they wanted was more lightsabers and more special effects).

And Ron has no "responsibility" to us, he can make whatever game he wants, just like you are free to embrace the new direction or not.

St_Eddie May 12, 2022
@Roman Adler - Look, man; as someone who wasn't sold on the art direction upon seeing the screenshots, I have to say that there are ways to express your subjective critisism without coming across as rude and disrespectful.  The art direction is chosen, it's a done deal.  Complaining about it isn't going to change that and insulting artists personally and saying that they should be booted from the project (like that's gonna happen at this late stage) is just plain rude, not to mention unnecessarily provocative.

I remember when Zelda: The Wind Waker was unveiled to the public and the absolute hate that chosen art style received (I should know; I was one of the people being critical).  I also remember how the tide shifted once the game was released and how the art style in the Wind Waker became hailed as one of the greatest art directions from all of the Zelda games (I should know; I'm one of those who did a 180).

The point being; it's fine to not be 100% sold on the art style glimpsed from early screenshots.  It's fine to be critical and say that you don't like what you're seeing, but don't write the whole game off at this early stage or judge the entire game's art direction based upon nothing more than a few static screenshots. We haven't seen the game in motion yet. We haven't yet had an opportunity to fully adjust to this bold new art style.  Most importantly, even if you really do hate this art style with a fiery passion; it's maybe not the wisest, nor most compassionate choice to insult the developers and artists on the blog of the main director of the game at a personal level.  To tell the development team that they ought to drop Rex Crowe as an artist because it's "crap"?  That's rude, man.  Have some class.  Please.  You are commentating on the head honcho's blog and in all liklihood Rex Crowe is reading these comments.  Show some respect.

Again; at a personal level, I'm not 100% sold on the art direction yet but I'm still open to being proven wrong with the final game and besides, there are ways to express criticism without coming across as a disrespectful jackass.  I implore you, choice your words more wisely in future.  If you want to hate-rage, then maybe do it on some place other than the blog of the chief developer.  Would you like it if somebody knocked on your door and insulted you?  I would imagine not.

Rum Rogers May 12, 2022
Hey Ron, what about locking the comments section again? Seems like some people never learn. I'm so sorry for you and the team, looking forward to playing the game. All the best!

St_Eddie May 12, 2022
Just to expand upon a couple of the more specific comments you made, @Roman Adler...

"Just want to say, that most people dont want another pixel adventure, thats a misunderstanding"

Absolutely agreed, 100%. It's a total strawman argument that sprung up; that anyone and everyone who was critical of the art style in the screenshots just wanted pixel art.  People generally loved the hand drawn backdrops of The Curse of Monkey Island, so that argument is clearly bollocks.



"but nobody likes the ugly art of Rex Crowle."

Woah, woah, woah.  No.  There's a difference between you not liking that art style and other people's tastes.  Don't speak for everyone.  You have no right to.

"It needs to be cartoonish like modern larry laffer games."

Says who?  You?  That's an opinion to be sure but "needs" implies that it's an objective truth and your subjective opinion most certainly isn't.

St_Eddie May 12, 2022
@Rum Rogers - I rather felt that I was being the voice of reason :(

Having said that, maybe it is best for Ron to lock the comments again and just let the game speak for itself upon release.

St_Eddie May 12, 2022
and for the record; I too am incredibly excited to play the final game.  In fact, I can honestly say that I've never been more excited to play a game than I am to play this one and I'm 39 years old (and a lifelong gamer)!

Rum Rogers May 12, 2022
@St_Eddie Sorry I wasn't referring to you obviously :) Anyway, can't believe how self entitled and rude some fans can be.
Go Ron go!

Fuz May 12, 2022
I'm sorry Ron, I respect and admire you like no other game designer, The Secret of Monkey Island is my aòò-time favourite game by far and much more for me than "just a game" - it was kind of a life changing experience. But there are flaws in your answer to fans. Hope you don't take it personally.
The "Pixel art" argument is a strawman. And one I'm really tired of reading.
It's false that fans wanted "pixel art". We hardcore fans don't want pixel art, we want high definition 2D with a style as evocative as Purcell's works for the covers of MI and MI2, not a children cartoon (also thinking of the closeups in the Scumm bar or Guybrush & Elaine), and with frame-by-frame animations and not cheap skeletal ones made in Procreate. And MI and MI2 weren't even "pixel art", as you also said. I never considred them pixel art.
Being on Melèe island was like being inside Treasure Isle or an Errol Flynn movie. Those were the *real* caribbeans we were exploring, those were *real* pirates we had to deal with - albeit a bit wacky. LeChuck was really scary at the time (something he lost in CoMI - which I'm not a fan of). Now it's a disney cartoon, and not a good looking one either. It completely lost its atmosphere. That mobile game art direction and animations are not "pushing forward". I guess it's mostly a budget/time problem.
Very few of us think that RMI should have been pixel art, and I suspect it's because they can't elaborate better on the difference between art direction and on-screen results (which at the time were obstacled by technology).

With undiminished esteem,
Fuz

St_Eddie May 12, 2022
"The "Pixel art" argument is a strawman. And one I'm really tired of reading.
It's false that fans wanted "pixel art"."

This much is true.  People seriously need to stop with these dismissive strawman arguments.  It's only causing further vision among the fandom.

Having said that, the more I gaze upon the screenshots for Return to Monkey Island, the more I am becoming ingratiated with the chosen art direction and even if I don't end up loving the art style in the final game, I fully support you and your team, Ron, for the decisions which you have made but yes, the dismissive strawman arguments really do need to stop.  Literally nobody was saying that the game ought to resemble a C64 game.

I have faith to a reasonable degree that time will prove you and your teams decisions correct, Ron but as you yourself said, people ought to be allowed to hold subjective opinions to art providing that they are made under the understanding that what we are seeing is not the full game in motion and that striking art has a tendency to take a while to settle in, so to speak.

St_Eddie May 12, 2022
I guess that my ultimate point, if I even have one, is that... man, I am so elated and excited that you have chosen to make another Monkey Island game.  It warms the cockles of my heart.  Us fans are only focusing so strongly upon the art style because that's all we've seen thus far; screenshots.  As soon as we see more of the game and eventually play the game, the discussion shall surely progress beyond the art direction alone.

St_Eddie May 12, 2022
I genuinely believe that time will prove you and your team right, Ron and that you will eventually be vindicated.

Fuz May 12, 2022
P.S.

Wonder what people would say if the next Halo looked like Samurai Jack.

Stan May 12, 2022
> Wonder what people would say if the next Halo looked like Samurai Jack.

As someone who thinks Halo is a steaming turd pile, I say it can only help.

Rum Rogers May 12, 2022
@Fuz
I AM an hardcore fan, I'm 37 and have played MI1 back in 1990/91. Please don't speak for ALL hardcore fans, OK? Thanks.
I can't say I 100% dig the art style but I for sure 100% respect the creator's choices and vision. Was I expecting something different? Yes. Will I enjoy Return To Monkey Island with its art style? You effing bet!
I'm sure it's gonna be a fantastic game. Keeping complaining that you don't like it for whatever reason is pointless. Just enjoy it or leave it.

Hairbrush Cheapwood May 12, 2022
Aren't we ALL bored of going on about the artwork now? I mean, we get it, some of you aren't keen, but it's not changing. Either embrace it (or at least give it a chance) or move on for your own wellbeing as sitting on the same merry go round is going to make you dizzy.

Just think for a moment...... This time next year we'll have played a new MI, and not only that, it's Ron's MI! Who ever thought that would be possible? Surely that sends a shiver down your spine!?

We'll finally get to see what happens after Revenge (Curse cheated! – I did enjoy it though). I'm wondering if we'll get some answers regarding the parents and brothers plotlines or will it get even more mysterious?

I wonder if we'll discover the true secret. (I'm in 2 minds, part of the fun is guessing!). I'm also wondering what Ron really means by the fact this is a Return to Monkey Island not a numbered entry (Voodoo time travel!? Or chapters set in different time periods? Old man Guybrush anyone!?). There's so many cool things to speculate on!

I was also wondering (& I'm getting ahead of myself) if this is "the end" or if we'll get more MI in the future (please!).

I just can't wait to play Ron's Monkey Island! (WOW, writing that gave me Goosebumps! It REALLY is going to happen isn't it!?).

Wesley May 12, 2022
My best friend introduced me to the Secret of Monkey Island when we were in college. We played it religiously until we beat it and the teamwork it took for us to do so brought us closer together as friends.

In fact, we used to refer to each other in turn as "slacker", "loser", "ruffian", and "fop" every time we saw, spoke, or wrote to each other.

Mike passed away on January 15th of this year (2022) from COVID-19. Not a day goes by that I don't miss that slacker...

So please, Mr. Gilbert, make me a game that will celebrate your genius and humor and let me imagine my friend sitting there playing along with me.

kyr May 12, 2022
i have been playing since the 80's and have always tried to play the most modern technology ...

i can't stand the fuss about pixelart and look forward to the new style ...

at the current time i don't want pixel mush but something sharp ...
i want to see the people who want a far cry in 20 years old technology ...

DM May 12, 2022
@ Fuz

Thank you for calmly arguing your ideas. I understand what you mean.
However ... also consider this point of view, maybe it can be useful for you to re-evaluate the current artistic style.
The "realistic aspect" of Monkey Island is actually present only in the first chapter (moreover, the famous close-ups were already judged by Ron not very suitable with the general atmosphere of the game).

Already in Monkey 2, a progressive "cartoonization" of the whole is much more evident: remember the close-ups of the governor of Phatt, the expressions of Guybrush while drinking the Grog or while seeing the fake Le Chuck, and even characters like Largo or Rum Rogers Jr are ... caricatured. Cartoon.

Purcell too, in an old interview from the 2000s, said that if they had the right technologies the art style of the first two game would have been exactly like that of Monkey 3.

Thus, the realism of Monkey Island never really existed, except as a projection of the imagination.

The funny thing is that even the current art direction lends itself well to this projective aspect, as Rex Crowle rightly said. Try to consider it also from this point of view.

Ps: I'm 40 year old, played the first two Monkeys and all Lucas adventures in the early nineties.

I'm an hardcore fan.

Stan's Previously Owned Pixel Art May 12, 2022
Fan reactions to Monkey Island art style through the years:

Monkey Island 1 - Too realistic - I don't like the close-ups of the pirates - takes away from the atmosphere

Monkey Island 2 - Not realistic enough - I miss the close-ups of the pirates

Monkey Island 3 - Too Cartoonish

Monkey Island 4 - Too 3d

Return to Monkey Island - Too modern


My reaction to the fans:

"You fight like a dairy farmer"

Vainamoinen May 12, 2022
Fat laughs to all the people pretending to speak for the entire fanbase, especially those with the gall to use the pronoun "we" to slap it on their own fringe opinion so that it might look more important.

I - first person singular - love the angles, the contrast, the color scheme, the lighting, the composition, the character design, the detail management, the texture, the stylistic consistency and the incredibly emotive facial expressions of the trailer ghost lady. Throw in a good bit of animation in the backgrounds and this will feel like a true Monkey Island, instantly.

Not speaking for anyone else, because that would be stupid, but I have the feeling I'm not alone.

Sebastian Huerta May 12, 2022
Not a fan of the artwork to be sincere. I personally think/feel that it draws me away from the world you created with the 2 masterpieces you gave birth 30 years ago. But being a hardocore fan of your work, Ron, I am Eager to play this! Been waiting for the past 30 years. 43 Year old fan from Argentina.

Patrik Spacek May 12, 2022
I am not surprised about the negative reactions, but I believe in Ron's great storytelling and puzzles.
We all knew this is gonna be a big deal, we all knew that this sequel needs to be perfect, which is not happening 100%.
The problem is in art direction, not about artists! This art direction and artworks should be done by Peter Chan or Will Tyler.
Unfortunately, this is not what all fans are gonna change by arguing, but the creators should consider this problem in future. Right now, the art has lots of artistic problems and its not likeable or pleasant looking.
At the end, we all will play it... at least once.

Stan May 12, 2022
@Patrik: This is your option and yet you state it like it is a universal fact. As an artist, I 100% disagree with you. It may not be what you've fantasied about for the past 30 years and that is the real issue. I don't think Ron could ever have lived up to that. He can't please everyone no matter what he did so he's doing what he wants.

Hedy May 12, 2022
I believe the only people complaining are non-artists. I can't imagine any reasonable person being upset with the direction that the original creator intends.

I love this new direction - I would have been upset if it were art by committee, which this is clearly not.

Thank you so much, Ron, for creating MI and for creating this.

Hedy May 12, 2022
Anyone who comments that an art style is "objectively" anything can instantly be dismissed.

Rex Crowles is awesome - my subjective opinion.

Jesus May 12, 2022
If you guys had fun making it, then it is indeed the game I want to play, nothing more.

In 30 years I've played every art style, and all of them have delivered great games.

Good luck on the release, I'll be there "waiting in the line" to get my copy.

Best regards Ron.

seguso May 12, 2022
Ron, why don't you give us some clue about the story, so we have something else to discuss :)

Tanafor May 12, 2022
Hi! old fan from Spain. I was a pre-teen when I first played Monkey Island, and I'm still in love with the first two games. I liked the third a lot, the rest, well, not so much.

I still don't know if I will love the new art, I have to see more, but I definitely don't hate it. At least it's interesting. Every Monkey had a different art style, and I like that.

Anyway. I'm sure I will love the game, because it will be a ton of FUN. All my support to the creative team!

Roland May 12, 2022
What do us tell those many complaints about the art style? -> People really liked or loved the art style/graphics of MI 1 and 2! I can imagine a big part of the success then and over 30 years was due to people also loving the art of the game!
A beautiful game but with bad story, content, gameplay could not have had such success.
An ugly game with good story, content, gameplay may not have had such success.
MI 1 and 2 had very beautiful art and good story, content, gameplay!

So a huge part of MI fans greatly admired the gorgeous graphics, not only story, content and gameplay!

Now we can read from different sources that graphics/art style was just a random technical matter, and not what really would have been intended to be.
Some fans are greatly admiring MI 1 and 2 over 30 years long to a big part thanks to the graphics and the box cover art style! Now we can wake up from that dream, hearing graphics were just an issue, not intended. Cool.

On the other hand, it seems, the game inventor was thinking the huge success had just to do with the great story, content, gameplay. And now 30 years later it is possible to make the graphics in a way, it always would have been intended to be but technically not possible then.

All fans admiring over 30 years the graphics get born new now and can finally see, how it should have seen right from the beginning, if it would have been possible then.

Wake up graphic fans! Wake up creator of Monkey Island! You both have slept and dreamed something the last 30 years. Now everyone can//must wake up!

Ron, couldn't you imagine that many MI fans next to the gameplay especially loved/admired the gorgeous art of MI 1 and 2? ??? ?? ?

Zak Phoenix McKracken™ May 12, 2022
@seguso: are you nuts? (offence not intended 😀 ) Whatever Ron will write about the story, there will be 50% flames and 50% licking. No no... I hope that Ron will leak as less as possible  details, until the game release!

Roman Adler May 12, 2022
@Roland, I can say for sure that its the game design I love and not the graphics. The graphics where great and worked but the main thing have been the puzzles, the text and the characters.
I still like Maniac Mansion and ZakMcKracken more than MI and thats been C64 horror graphics.

Having said that, even if I complain about the art direction of MI3, I'm sure that I'll love the game, I just dont want a rex crowle perverted childbook guybrush threepwood, I want him relateable and likeable. Crowles characters would fit into a tim burton movie, not in Monkey Island. But if Ron Gilbert wants it to be like that, who am I to complain. Perhaps I've seen MI1 and 2 wrong, perhaps I've been too young, perhaps Ron wanted it like a tim burton movie.

Ron Gilbert May 12, 2022
I'm closing comments again. They have degrade into personal attacks on Rex, artist and other posters that I am constantly deleting.