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06 October, 2016

What Happens When Gaming Becomes A Chore?

When we lose sight of why we game, our hobby becomes nothing more than a humourless chore.

My 18-month old daughter had finally gone to sleep. As is my usual evening ritual, I trudged downstairs and plonked myself, bleary-eyed and exhausted from work, in front of the TV ready to game the remainder of the night away. For 10 minutes I stared blankly at the screen, unsure of what to play. My ever growing "pile of shame" beckoned to me with merciless taunts and jeers. The pressure to pick up a game - any game - merely to wipe off my backlog was immense. It was at that moment I had an epiphany: sadly, my wonderful hobby had become nothing more than a humourless chore.

10 September, 2015

25 Fun Facts to Celebrate Monkey Island's 25th Birthday

Do you really know all there is to know about the Monkey Island series?

In celebration of Monkey Island turning 25 (yes, 25!), we’ve scoured the murkiest corners of the internet for some of the most random and fun facts about this iconic series. Yes, some of these facts have been around for years now, but you still might learn something. But even if you know them all, just have a bit of fun reminiscing about how great this series has been to us over the past 25 years.

Also read: Happy birthday Guybrush! Ron Gilbert Celebrates 25 Years of Monkey Island
Also read: Could We Ever See Another Monkey Island Game From Ron Gilbert?

So without further ado, here are 25 fun facts about Monkey Island, plus one special bonus piece of trivia for good measure.

09 September, 2015

Could We Ever See Another Monkey Island Game From Ron Gilbert?

Monkey Island creator, Ron Gilbert, addresses the burning question that die-hard Monkey Island fans have been asking for years.

This month we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Monkey Island series, and the introduction to all our lives of Guybrush Threepwood in The Secret of Monkey Island. Yep, the first game in the Monkey Island series was released all the way back in 1990. Ron Gilbert has already kicked things off in style by writing a retrospective piece over on and you can read about it here. We've also put together 25 Fun Facts to Celebrate Monkey Island's 25th Birthday, which is well worth checking out.

There was a rather tasty, though slightly depressing, morsel of information towards the end of his blog. Gilbert addresses the possibility of making another Monkey Island, stating that he always envisaged the game as a trilogy. Sadly, don’t get your hopes up. Gilbert acknowledges that Disney currently own the Monkey Island IP and has shown no desire to sell it. So unless we can badger Disney into parting with the IP, I don’t think we’ll be seeing another Gilbert-branded Monkey Island.

If you’re interested, Gilbert teasingly blogged a few years ago what he would do if he made another Monkey Island. The best we can hope for in the near future though is the Monkey Island-inspired adventure, Duke Grabowski, which has industry legend and LucasArts alumni Bill Tiller at the helm. You can check out the link below for more information on this project.

Also read: Introducing the Monkey Island Inspired, Duke Grabowski

Also read: The Top 10 Best Pirate Games of All Time

Stephen Mitchell

09 September, 2015

Happy Birthday Guybrush! Ron Gilbert Celebrates 25 Years of Monkey Island

Monkey Island creator Ron Gilbert waxes lyrical about how Guybrush Threepwood came to life some 25 years ago.

Could it truly be? Has it really been 25 years since the world was first introduced to Guybrush Threepwood, mighty pirate, in The Secret of Monkey Island? Well, close enough, according to legendary creator Ron Gilbert over on his Grumpy Gamer blog, stating he isn’t quite sure if the game hit stores in late September or early October of 1990.

In celebration of reaching this milestone, Gilbert gives a rather fascinating insight into the development process and how The Secret of Monkey Island came to be in our hands. The blog is well worth a read, if only to see how the world of game development has changed so remarkably over the past two decades. The source code itself resides on four floppy disks (see picture below). Yes, floppy disks! I dare say many of you reading this haven’t seen a floppy disk in your life.

Or check out the process for how games were manufactured back then:

“When the release candidate passed testing, it would be sent off to manufacturing. Sometimes this was a crazy process. The builds destined for Europe were going to be duplicated in Europe and we needed to get the gold master over there, and if anything slipped there wasn’t enough time to mail them. So, we’d drive down to the airport and find a flight headed to London, go to the gate and ask a passenger if they would mind carry the floppy disks for us and someone would meet them at the gate.”

I can’t express my amazement at this process better than Gilbert when he says “can you imagine doing that these days? You can’t even get to the gate, let alone find a person that would take a strange package on a flight for you. Different world.

Also read: The Top 10 Best Pirate Games of All Time

Also read: Could We Ever See Another Monkey Island Game from Ron Gilbert?

Towards the end of his blog, Gilbert mentions that one of the things he is most proud of in life is being involved with Monkey Island. But he doesn't say it in a self-serving, boastful way. Rather, he says it in such a way as to convey his genuine thankfulness at being involved with something that has touched so many people's lives. And we couldn't agree with him more.

Thank you Ron for introducing us to the wonderful character of Guybrush Threepwood and the universe of Monkey Island. The world is a far better place for having the insult “Oh yeah, you fight like a cow!”

Stephen Mitchell


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