Jurassic Park and Back to the Future: Telltale Games Q&A

We talk to Telltale Games design director Dave Grossman about the studio's just-announced Jurassic Park and Back to the Future games.

We talked to Dave Grossman, design director at Telltale Games, about the studio's newly announced but already much-anticipated Jurassic Park and Back to the Future games, whose only presence at E3 are "Coming this winter" posters and a pink hoverboard.

What can we expect of the Jurassic Park and Back to the Future games in terms of genre? Both of them are going to be episodic. You can expect Back to the Future to be the next step in the evolution that we have been doing for the adventure game--probably a little more accessible and directed. We've been moving things in that direction for a long time.

Jurassic Park will be a little bit more of a departure for us. The reasons will probably be obvious to people who are trying to figure out how we will do this game. What we always try and do is whatever's best for the license. Jurassic Park is going to require a lot of tension and time pressure and stuff like that--you need to run away from dinosaurs. Your standard graphic adventure mechanics are not very good for that.

We don't want this to be something where you hang around and solve things at your own pace...spend a lot of thinking time, trying to figure out "What do I do with this tool?" or whatever. It's going to be a much more closed-in, claustrophobic, directed kind of an experience. It's going to be you racing to do some small task really quickly before a dinosaur comes around the corner and eat you. Or even if he's not about to, you're going to think that he is.

We've been told to expect both these games this winter. How closely are the Jurassic Park and Back to the Future teams working together?

They are working on the games separately at the same time, but there is some spillover.

Which platforms will be the games be on?

We're not saying anything about platforms for these yet. However, I will point out everything we've ever done has come out for PC, so it's safe to assume that.

Did Telltale pursue these licenses in particular? Are there big Jurassic Park and Back to the Future fans working on the games?

It was strange to see [the fans at Telltale] coming out of the woodwork; even ones you didn't know about. As soon as we said, guys, we've got this opportunity to do a Back to the Future game, what do you think? They were like, oh my god, that's the greatest thing ever. So we definitely got all those guys on the right teams. Back to the Future is one of those things that makes obvious sense for us. Jurassic Park is something we've been looking for, which is a good opportunity to get into something with a serious tone to it and has been a specific goal for us for a while. We want it to be accessible, but we want it to feel serious.

Are you feeling the pressure over making games of film franchises with such huge fan followings?

There's always a little pressure associated with that. It's kind of the same pressure we always put on ourselves--but maybe a little bit larger because it feels like more people are watching. But we always take it seriously: We want to get it right and we will go to great lengths to get it right if we have to.

The Wallace & Gromit series is a good example, where we like like, OK, we're up against a big problem because none of us are English. What are we going to do? So we hired an editor who lives in Britain and we got the voice actors from over there, did a lot of back and forth with [Wallace & Gromit animation company] Aardman...asking is the tone right, is the humor hitting, what do we need to change to get it right?

We'll do the same thing with these. We do have people at Universal who are pretty protective of these licenses. They don't want to just hand them off to somebody and say go make a quick buck. They've been nurturing them for 20 years and want to keep doing so. They've got experts over there to tell us what to do and what not to do.

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Discussion

21 comments
TRBO_RAD
TRBO_RAD

I just read a preview in my game informer magazine and jurassic park looks and sounds pretty sweet....im hoping that it will come to console? By the sound of it in this interview though it doesn't sound as amazing. Im hoping for the best but who knows most of the other JP games have been awful so its a toss up. I just wish there was a set date my magazine said spring i hope its early spring :)

TheRaptorPack
TheRaptorPack

Does anone think that Jurassic Park and Back to the Future will be Point and Click games. ( Like Sam & Max)

MRobbinsFriece
MRobbinsFriece

I'm one who enjoys sim games so I actually enjoyed JP: OG. Don't remember much about the original BTTF games since I was like only 8 or 9 when they came out. Both games have a potential to be huge success stories if done correctly. Too bad we can't combine the games some how and see, Biff call a T-Rex, "Butthead". Then watch him get eaten. lol

MAXrat320
MAXrat320

@ AvatarMan96 theres been a JP4 in production for like almost 10 years now but it keeps getting pushed back because script problems and crap. but i really hope it gets made soon

Darthrocker
Darthrocker

TTG have been very good with getting fans involved & getting things just right... i'm sure they are going to do a terrific job with this franchise were others have failed... its also good to see them branching out with there genres, which also shows their innitiative and innovation... well done TTG... keep up the good work

termadoyle
termadoyle

Telltale hasn't disappointed yet! Looking forward to both games! ;)

Jah_Glow
Jah_Glow

The final paragraph gives me hope -- that someone out there cares about the end result, not just the monetary potential. I eagerly await both of these.

KrazzyDJ
KrazzyDJ

The NES Jurassic Park was pretty good. It's probably the only good Jurassic Park game I know of !!!

aryeec
aryeec

I'm sooooo excited for the Jurassic Park game and the movie!!!!!

kylops
kylops

I've waited years for a good Jurassic Park game, hope that this is it!

MAXrat320
MAXrat320

jurassic park is gonna be cool. so is the new movie

animemog
animemog

This will be incredible.

LordAndrew
LordAndrew

Back to the Future game sounds interesting. And Jurassic Park sounds really risky.

edubuccaneer
edubuccaneer moderator

I`m with sonic0491 as a huge fan of BTTF. Don't care as much for Jurassic Park.

sonic0491
sonic0491

If they stuff up Back To The Future I will NEVER forgive them. Make it happen.

dreamer77dd
dreamer77dd

back to the future game i remember in the past but say with a crytek engine or something like that or Jurassic park. in the past they were not the best games so i wonder what they will do. I also wonder if their will be any new movies coming out, Jurassic park in 3d? better be cutting edge stuff

The_Dude1212
The_Dude1212

I -REALLY- hope Jurassic Park is a good game, no matter what genre it becomes. And while we're at it, I want to see the Jurassic Park arcade game on the Wii VCA, lol.