Among the gaming halls of fame is a platinum bust of Ron Gilbert, famed video game designer, two great works of his being Maniac Mansion and The Secret of Monkey Island. If you had any assumptions that Mr. Gilbert had been abducted by adventure-game-loving aliens, think again, because you were somehow right. HotHead Games, developers of… uh… have taken dragged Ron Gilbert into their fortress of doom to design a video game he had in his mind for a long time – DeathSpank! This video game will truly be used for nefarious purposes to enslave mankind!
DeathSpank will be an RPG-Adventure hybrid, and I have a feeling we’re talking real adventure here, because that’s Ron Gilbert talking. He describes it as a Diablo-Monkey Island hybrid, which sounds like beautifully twisted fun for all ages. It will be an episodic game, with its first episode titled rather sombrely as “Orphans of Justice”, which will be coming rather soonish, according to the big poster on their website.
And now, because your subconscious mind really asked for it, here’s the official press release(!):
HOTHEAD GAMES TO PUBLISH NEW RON GILBERT GAME DEATHSPANK
Gilbert joins the Vancouver crew as Creative Director
The Great White North, January 9, 2008 – In a move that may upset the balance of the universe (or at least that around the 49th parallel), Hothead Games announced plans to publish Ron Gilbert’s long-awaited RPG-Adventure game, DeathSpank. Described as “Monkey Island meets Diablo”, the game will be released in episodic format and feature Gilbert’s unique style of humor and storytelling. In a related move, Ron Gilbert will be joining the company’s Vancouver-based studio as Creative Director, effective immediately.
Speaking from his secret game design cave, Ron Gilbert said, “I’ve spent over four years trying to find the right publisher for this strange little game. Now that I’ve done it, you just know that somewhere four horsemen are saddling up.”
The episodic game follows the thong-tastic adventures of a misguided hero named DeathSpank, a character that first appeared on Gilbert’s Grumpy Gamer website in a series of animated comics he penned with long-time creative collaborator, Clayton Kauzlaric.
Hothead prepared for Gilbert’s arrival by ordering the finest morsels of jellied moose meat and lager brewed with water from the nearest available glacier. “We’re all huge fans of Monkey Island and we love Ron’s unique vision and sense of humor,” said Joel DeYoung, COO of Hothead Games. “Ron shares Hothead’s goal of bringing much-needed humor and innovation into games, so having him here in Vancouver as our Creative Director is an excellent fit.”
“I’m really excited to be working with Hothead Games not only on DeathSpank, but as their new Creative Director,” said Gilbert. “I got to know everyone at Hothead while I was helping with On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness. They really understand humor and being creative like very few publishers do.”
As Creative Director, Gilbert will work in the Vancouver-based studio on all of Hothead’s games. He is also expected to improve his hockey skills substantially during his stay.