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Questions for Mike Stemmle? Post 'em here!

posted by Emily Telltale Alumni on - last edited - Viewed by 10.9K users
While the Q&A with the team thread is quite possibly the coolest thread in the history of Telltale's forum, we wanted to give you guys a chance to get a little more in depth with the folks working on the game, so starting this week we will be doing Q&As with specific members of the Tales of Monkey Island team... starting with designer Mike Stemmle!
During his decade-plus tenure at LucasArts, Mike was kept as far away from Star Wars as possible, instead acting as lead designer on titles like Escape from Monkey Island, Sam & Max Hit the Road, Afterlife, and the never-released Sam & Max: Freelance Police. After several years working as lead writer on Star Trek Online, Mike came to Telltale, where he co-designed Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People. His disturbing blend of dry wit, convoluted syntactical constructions, and bathroom humor have added a healthy helping of absurdity to the Tales of Monkey Island proceedings.

Mike's the lead writer/designer on the first Tales of Monkey Island episode, Launch of the Screaming Narwhal, so you should definitely pick his brain about that. But also feel free to ask about other projects he's worked on, his favorite color, his favorite Star Trek character, etc.
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  • Hey Mike! Glad do see it's not just Dom thats being mdae to answer all our questions none stop now :P spread the pai... fun!
    How much have you been influeced by the original Monkey Islands in not just the first episode, but on other games you have worked on?
    Is it truely a landmark franchise that you are glad to finally be working on again?
  • Hey Mike!

    I have a lot of questions, but I won't give you a ton of homework in the first post. My question is this: You, of course, made Monkey Island 4. What was it in that project that you wanted to achieve (how did you wanted to make it 'your' game while at the same time keeping it in the spirit of the previous games), and what's different in style/atmosphere this time around? In a semi-related question, how do you do differently in this project then you did with your previous project, Strong Bad? Both are of course episodic, but they have a very different sense of humour.

    I have a lot more questions, but I'll let the rest of the forum members have a chance first.

    EDIT: All right, one more question. Seeing as how you're the lead designer on the first episode, what do you do after that one is finished (which, I guess, is right about now, except for all the bug-hunting etc.)? Do you stick around to help on the other episodes, or are you going right into the next project (Sam & Max)?
  • Wow awesome! How important would you say technical knowledge is for a games writer?
    I'm guessing for you the 'designer' part of your job title is referring to more technical skills.
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    I've got one for Mike "Sea++" Stemmle, what is your favourite game barring the ones you've worked on of course?
  • Q&A's with specific members of the team? Great idea!

    Hey Mike!

    Since you're a designer/writer for a single episodie, how much collaboration do you have with the designers/writers of other episodes? Is it all kind of worked out in an outline beforehand, or is it kind of developed as you go?

    If you're working on the first episode, would your decisions for that episode end up affecting later ones, or are all "overarching" and repeating series gags talked about beforehand?

    In fact, what really is your role in it? We know that you dessode, wign and write the first episode, so we'll know we thank you when it's great. But how's that work into the grander scheme of the season?

    Who's your favorite Star Wars character?
  • I have a couple of questions if that's okay.

    1. One thing has perplexed me since I bought EfMI (and enjoyed it :)). What was the purpose of Pinchpenny and the other non-playable islands/was there a purpose/was there an idea to use these in a later game?

    2. Is there much more to the island we see in ToMI (Flotsam iirc?) than we have seen already, or will the episode be built largely on the dock-area?
  • When you were working on SBCG4AP, did anybody ever come into the room and say "Hey Mike," and then both you and Chapman said "hey" at the same time?
  • I'll leave you alone on Escape From Monkey Island *booming voice* FOR NOW. Mwahahaha. What I really have questions about are the Sam and Max series.

    On Hit the Road.

    1. How much creative input did you have on the game?

    2. What's your favorite puzzle?

    3. Any interesting or funny stories about the production of the game? Where did the idea for the Andy Griffith/Don Knotts twin come from? I always wondered how you guys got this idea. :D

    4. What made you switch to that interface instead of the old SCUMM interface?

    On Freelance Police (yep, I have to grill you on it. whether you answer me is a different story.)

    1. With you guys and Lucas finally in good terms again, do you think you'd consider or rather would LA consider remaking Freelance Police with updated graphics? I know you tried a long while back to obtain the rights again and failed. And if not....that brings me to Question 2.

    2. Can you give us any good snippets of some funny moments out of the game? :D Or a general idea of what it was going to be about? Or are you constantly finding red beams of light flashing over your forehead every time you're about to type the words Freelance Police?

    On you-

    What did you think of the new Star Trek movie?

    On Tales of Monkey Island-

    1. Which game in the series would you compare it the most to?

    2. Is the bad guy going to be big mean and scary?

    3. Who is your favorite MI character?

    4. What was your main goal when writing for the game versus when writing for Escape? Okay, I brought it up once. Did you have a general idea of how it would go in your head when you started out?
  • What should someone new to the Monkey Island Series know?
  • Now that the first episode is nearly to its conclussion, (and considering its the first one, the one that starts the whole thing):
    Wich were the hardest parts, the things that took really a lot of work and time? Also wich were the lightiest (is that a word?) and funniest.

    Anticipated thanks and congrats for the great work!
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