For gamers of a certain age, Lucasfilm Games’ (later LucasArts) output was a source of consistent fun, innovation, and creativity–akin to early Disney or Pixar in terms of reliable quality. Titles like Maniac Mansion, Full Throttle, Loom, The Dig, Monkey Island, and countless others left their marks on a generation of kids and adults alike.
Over at USgamer, there’s a fantastic, long-form interview with five of Lucasfilm Games’ key architects, covering everything from the founding of the company, to the development of code, to the creative processes involved in making some of the most famous graphic adventure games of all time. A few highlights:
- George Lucas didn’t really know anything about games or gaming. Lucasfilm Games was created so Lucas could avoid tax penalties by reinvesting in a new business.
- There was no company mandate to make adventure games. Developers just made what they liked.
- Ron Gilbert, who co-designed the SCUMM language that would become the backbone of nearly all future Lucasfilm Games’ adventures, hated text-based games. Hence, he developed a point-and-click system.
- Designer and programmer David Fox says he’d likely be “really good at Twitter” because all the dialogue in the early adventure games was limited to 80 characters.
But those limitations helped make those early games work, says Chip Morningstar, project lead and co-designer of the proto-MMORPG, Habitat:
“If you have awesome technology, it’s easy to fall back on it instead of designing a compelling experience. … It’s not an emotional connection.”
Read the rest in the full interview.