Mike Stemmle: I'm Mike Stemmle, a game designer for Telltale Games.
Hooked Gamers: Telltale, more than any other developer, has supported episodic gaming. Wallace & Gromit, Strong Bad and Sam & Max have all been instrumental at making episodic gaming mainstream. Why the switch from retail avenues to downloadable, episodic gaming. Does it offer any advantages over traditional release models?
Mike Stemmle: Downloadable episodic gaming allows us to be nimbler, more responsive to the public, and generally more fun for many. It's also been a heck of a lot more financially viable way for us to produce adventure games.
Hooked Gamers: Both Sam & Max and the Monkey Island series were absent for a long time before Telltale got their hands on them. You have already successfully revived Sam & Max and are now working to return Monkey Island to its former glory. What made 2006 an opportune time to re-introduce Sam and Max? Did its success help seal the deal with LucasArts for Monkey Island?
Mike Stemmle: With Sam & Max there was definitely a sense that there was an audience out there just WAITING for another game, especially after the collapse of the "Freelance Police" sequel. It was just question of putting it together. I'd like to think that its success (and the general success of downloadable content) had something to do with LucasArts' desire to jump into the corporate bed with Telltale, but I wasn't privy to those conversations.
Hooked Gamers: Working on Tales of Monkey Island must be a dream come through, what is it like to revisit such an iconic adventure?
Mike Stemmle: It's like riding a unicycle with a tuba. It's hard, you never forget how to do it, and people are really impressed when you pull it off.
Mike Stemmle: Oh, the usual. Mainstream acclaim. Insane overreaching. Wild parties with rap stars and debutantes… It'll all end in tears, but it'll be a great ride.
Hooked Gamers: Max: great president or greatest president? (Not all of our readers may get this, so let me explain: in Episode 4 of Sam and Max, Max ran for the presidency against a giant Abe Lincoln statue, and won)
Mike Stemmle: Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos.