Mike Stemmle on Telltale Games' work

Mike Stemmle on Telltale Games' work


We asked Telltale Games about episodic gaming and Max running for president and Mike talked about inspiration and people chained to cubicles in their office.

Hooked Gamers: Hi, thanks for participating in this interview. Can you introduce yourself and tell us about your role at Telltale?

Mike Stemmle: I'm Mike Stemmle, a game designer for Telltale Games.

Mike Stemmle on Telltale Games' work
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 on Telltale Games' work
Hooked Gamers: The adventure genre is going through a renaissance, something Telltale's efforts have undoubtedly played a substantial role in. Where do you see the genre going from here?

Mike Stemmle: Oh, the usual. Mainstream acclaim. Insane overreaching. Wild parties with rap stars and debutantesů 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.
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