Mike Stemmle Joins Telltale

By John Walker on February 19th, 2008 at 6:50 pm.

Here’s some interesting news. Telltale, they behind the recent Sam & Max episodes, have hired Mike Stemmle, one half of the LucasArts double-act who created the original Sam & Max: Hit The Road.

Mike Stemmle

(I should stress, I took this photo eight years ago, and he looks nothing like this now. But his office is worth remembering. Click the pic to see the full-size. Oh, and this hung from the middle of the room.)

Stemmle is one of three recent acquisitions of veteren LucasArts talent by Telltale, along with Justin Chin, and Brett Tosti. Now, speaking as a reasonably vocal dissenter of the Sam & Max episodes, simply because their humour and puzzles just aren’t good enough, this is deeply intriguing and positive news. Stemmle’s new position on the S&M team is described as “designer”, which I can only hope is a low-key way of saying he’s in charge of a lot of stuff. He’s a very, very funny man. He seems quite pleased about the job too, saying,

“Mere words are proving woefully inadequate to describe my delight at hooking up with this fiendishly dedicated crew. The excitement and talent swirling around Telltale remind me of the geysers of imagination that erupted across the gaming industry in the early 90’s. Only this time, with rational production schedules.”

Along with appointing Chin and Tosti as executive producers for the company, overseeing new unrevealed projects, this bodes very well for strategic thinking at Telltale. They may hate me with a passion burning with the fire of a thousand suns, but I want nothing more than for them to make me adventure games that make my heart sing. They can do it, and with Stemmle on board, I feel it coming closer. I am wearing my happy face.

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15 Comments »

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  1. Nick says:

    Rubber chicken with a pulley in the middle!

    That is some great news, hope it works out..

  2. twb says:

    For reference, he now looks like this (in center). A little less Robinson Crusoe-ish these days.

  3. Trezoristo says:

    I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of the Star Trek: Online community where this guy posted something every now and then (he was part of the dev team, ST:O has recently been cancelled so I guess that’s where he’s coming from). He is hilarious, definitely looking forward to seeing some of his work back in a game that makes it to the finish.

  4. cHeal says:

    Yeah I really wish them well, I think they’ve really got the whole episodic idea right, unlike Valve. It’s a pity they haven’t quite produced the goods yet.

    I personally don’t really do adventure games, but I was really really tempted to pick up the first Season of Sam and Max just to feel good.

  5. Meat Circus says:

    @cHeal:

    Don’t. It’ll just make you sad.

  6. Nick says:

    Less sad if you hadn’t played the original, but still sad.

  7. Sum0 says:

    Pick up Rubber chicken with a pulley in the middle
    Use Rubber chicken with a pulley in the middle on Mike Stemmle

  8. Taxman says:

    I really enjoyed the first season of Sam and Max frankly way better than any of the indie adventure game efforts that have been the only other alternatives in the intervening years.

    The second season is definitely an improvement over the first and worth checking out there is even an easy option for people not clever enough to figure out the puzzles like the Monkey Island 2 lite mode.

    Anyway I wish Sam, Chin, Tosti & Telltale the best of luck in recreating that atmosphere that gave us Day of the Tentacle, Monkey Island etc.

  9. Thiefsie says:

    Wow… Afterlife… totally forgot about that game!

  10. cHeal says:

    Oh yeah I had no intention of playing it, oh god no. But I thought I’d be nice and buy it just to support the developers.

  11. Cargo Cult says:

    He’s got a decent quantity of no beer on that desk…

  12. Vinícius says:

    OMFG AFTERLIFE! The greatest city-building sim EVER created!

    Screw SimCity! GIMME AFTERLIFE 2! :D

  13. Kadayi says:

    I bought season 1 of Sam & Max, as mini adventure games they are ok, and the engine is decent enough looking, but the dialog just isn’t that funny. Generally the whole exchange between Sam & Max is one banal surreal exchange after another, but without any depth to the humour, and very little to do with the situations they are in. Hopefully Mike will be able to point them in the right direction.

    Certainly a good flagship for demonstrating what episodic gaming can be though.

  14. malkav11 says:

    I’m really quite fond of the recent Sam and Max games, but I agree that the original game is still funnier.

  15. Andrew Farrell says:

    Justin “Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight” Chin? Ooooooh.