Gilbert DeathSpank-ing Hothead

Famed designer joins Penny Arcade developer as creative director, announces "Monkey Island meets Diablo" episodic series.

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Having built his reputation on cult adventure game favorites such as The Secret of Monkey Island and Maniac Mansion, Ron Gilbert is a name most people associate with quality within the industry. However, speaking to GameSpot recently about the trials and tribulations of pitching a game, the iconic game designer revealed that despite years of effort, he could find no takers for his latest project, which he credited in part to, of all things, his adventure game rep.

Death, certainly, but where's the spank?

Far from abandoning the project, Gilbert has at long last found a publisher willing to bite. Hothead Games announced today that not only would Gilbert be joining its Vancouver, Canada-based operations as creative director, it would be publishing his labor of love, DeathSpank.

With gameplay described as "Monkey Island meets Diablo," DeathSpank follows the travails of the unusual titular hero, which first appeared as an animated comic cocreated by Clayton Kauzlaric on Gilbert's Web site, Grumpy Gamer. The first episode of DeathSpank--Orphans of Justice--is currently slated to arrive on undisclosed platforms "soonish."

Gilbert's ties to Hothead stem from the gamemaker's forthcoming high-profile adventure game, Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness. In May, Gilbert revealed he was collaborating with the studio and Penny Arcade webcomic creators Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik on the episodic series. The first episode of Penny Arcade Adventures was slated to arrive for PCs and Xbox Live at the end of 2007, though it is not yet available.

Discussion

27 comments
pixel_beetle
pixel_beetle

I can't wait! Monkey Island 1 & 2 are two of my most favourite games ever... and I love how Ron Gilbert is dedicated to making games that actually engage a player, not just ram graphics and what not down their throats. With his witty humour it should be fun and engaging... I'll keep watching out for it!

nonoyawns
nonoyawns

if Clayton Kauzlaric's character design is any indication, this should be good =)

feen_uk
feen_uk

With a game by Gilbert and a title of 'DeathSpank', you cant go wrong :)

theKSMM
theKSMM

When an industry notable like Gilbert has a hard time pitching his ideas, what hope is there for the little no-name guy?

BiglyBiglyFK
BiglyBiglyFK

it's going to be another great game made by geniuses, loved by geniuses

noelveiga
noelveiga

He made me laugh with the title alone. Genius.

never-named
never-named

I saw the Deathspank shorts...they were hilarious!

iamjct212
iamjct212

Would it be cool to have a LIVE game that added a new chapter every month? KInd of like online gaming soap opera. I would just worry about MS charging too much LOL. A gaming comic book? Can I copyright this idea......

rounikenshin09
rounikenshin09

ha good old grumpy gamer, once lucasarts sees this game, maybe they'll let him do the real Monkey Island 3...

Aerothorn
Aerothorn

Sounds great. Glad the game got a taker - I wasn't sure it would.

Agreb91
Agreb91

Seems interesting. Can't wait. :)

bundok
bundok

I loved Monkey Island. I personally miss the genre... wish they'd bring more of that back. It's the perfect lazy-day, lazy-game.

lamprey263
lamprey263

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

kori911
kori911

That's pretty cool. I'll read it.

teirdome
teirdome

Sometimes there are good reasons that publishers shoot down ideas. Other times they shoot down Sim City. Hopefully this will be a Sim City and not a Mrs. Marigold's Cooking World (or another crappy title of your choice).

dannyodwyer
dannyodwyer staff

Ill eat any sandwhich prepared by Ron Gilbert. Cant wait to see how this turns out.

ro-co-to
ro-co-to

The first 3 monkey island games are still pretty hilarious; combat rpg should make the game pretty interesting.

Karjah
Karjah

Maniac Mansion is one of the best games I have ever played period. Diablo is also in that category. A mash of the two. That's going to be something to watch. :)

Chief_Kuuni
Chief_Kuuni

hmm, don't know what to say to that but ok

SilentCard
SilentCard

Both Monkey Island and Diablo were great games, so a "combination" of the two would be cool.

4esth
4esth

Sounds pretty interesting. With such a history of great games, I trust it will be something to look out for!