Deathspank: Deathspank

By Jim Rossignol on May 24th, 2010 at 8:40 pm.

Deathspank? Deathspank
Deathspank. It’s Ron Gilbert’s many-years-in-the-kitchen-of-development humorous Diablo-alike, and it has quite the art style. I’ll admit I’d forgotten about it entirely until a video (below) turned up today, and the reason I’d forgotten is that it’s not clear if there will be a PC version. Will there be a PC version? I don’t know. I’ll try and find out, right now. In the meantime, assuming there is a PC version, you can go watch the video. Otherwise, please use mind-erasers to delete this experience from your memory. Thanks.

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58 Comments »

  1. Simon says:

    WANT!

  2. Peter Radiator Full Pig says:

    Man man man.
    Looks more solid that Diablo, and from Monkey Islands maker.
    Its a Diablo clone, so it deserves to be on pc.
    Its from Monkey Islands lineage, so it deserves to be on pc.

    It will be a game i will buy, even with shit reviews, for monkey island.

  3. Wulf says:

    I’m sold on Deathspank’s voice alone.

    • Mungrul says:

      Yeah, isn’t that The Tick I hear?!?

    • Wulf says:

      YES!

      That’s why it sounds familiar! It’s been bugging me, that. And you’re right, I think it IS.

    • Mungrul says:

      Hmmm, well apparently, even though it sounds like The Tick, I’ve done a bit of digging, and that’s not the case.
      The Tick was voiced by Townsend Coleman in the animated series, whereas apparently Michael Dobson is the voice of Deathspank.
      He sure SOUNDS like The Tick though.
      God, wouldn’t a Tick game rock?

  4. Bhazor says:

    Phroaw, I fancy that.

  5. Wulf says:

    Going by a comment in this bit of news wot sez “If you’re freaking out about no [Deathspank] PC version announce yet, stop freaking out. EA wants as many people as possible to play it…”, I’m rather inclined to believe that this is coming to the PC after all.

    • Wulf says:

      Drat, someone beat me to it, not sure how I missed that. Probably it being just a link and no accompanying description as to what the link is. >.> Sorry!!

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    VelvetFistIronGlove says:

    I’m really looking forward to seeing this, and also very anxious that it might turn out to be another funny-on-the-surface-but-the-jokes-run-dry-too-quickly game, sort of like how the Penny Arcade Adventures turned out (also from HotHead).

    I don’t know what Ron Gilbert is doing now, but it is… interesting that he has quit HotHead before the game is released. Not necessarily a bad sign, but certainly it raises doubts.

    I guess we wait and see.

    • Wulf says:

      Not surprising at all, really. A lot of contracted people will leave a studio before a project is finished if their personal work is actually complete for it, since the time after is usually just polish, optimisation, bug-squashing, and so on, a process that can take a little while all by itself. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard of someone involved with the content (such as the writer) leaving before the optimisation process.

    • Mo says:

      @Wulf: except he wasn’t contracted, he was HotHead’s creative lead.

      But yeah, I’m not really worried about DeathSpank. Gilbert stayed on to finish the job. The game is essentially done now, they don’t need his input to complete the tedious checklist-requirements for Sony & Microsoft.

      I think the reason he left was that he wanted to continue pursuing episodic games. At the time he joined HotHead that was their business model, but they’ve had a change of plan since. Gilbert has been pushing for episodic games well before it was commercially viable (ie: distributing episodes by mail on diskettes). Who knows, maybe he’ll join Telltale?

  7. Joe Martin says:

    Then again, I asked a lead producer if it was coming out on PC and he told me no.

  8. pupsikaso says:

    How can a point and click hack and slash be played on anything OTHER than a PC?

  9. Renzatic says:

    NEED! NEEEEEED!

    If it doesn’t come out for the PC (which it better >:( ), I guess I’ll have to betray you all and get it for my soon to be purchased PS3.

  10. The Great Wayne says:

    If drunken leprechaun is a playable class and we’re not getting that on pc I will be a very, very sad panda.

    If we can’t play said drunken leprechaun, I’ll be disappointed, but it could have been worse.

  11. Dean says:

    From Ron Gilbert’s website (I nearly Rhod Gilbert then, that’d be an entire other type of game…)

    “As DeathSpank ends the creative and production phases and start down that long and winding road of certification and testing of the XBox and PS3 and [REDACTED] versions, it’s looking quite amazing and is damn funny. So, to quote my childhood hero George W. Bush: Mission Accomplished.

    I will be working closely with EA and Hothead on the PR for DeathSpank as the release date of [REDACTED] draws closer. “

  12. Tei says:

    Impressions:
    – This video seems generated on a PC. I feel that, because of the speed of the animations (60FPS). I have not firm ground, this is pure witchery. So, I could be totally wrong. But heres my feeling.
    - This video looks about x9000 less interesting than the old one. Maybe people are fond of Golden Axe, but I don’t want to play again Golden Axe, thanks. And this looks very Goldenaxery for some reason. Like a arcade saloon game, or like a console game.

    • Mo says:

      I haven’t watched the video (sold on the game a long time ago, so I’m not spoiling anything for myself) but your Golden Axe comment sounds about right. DeathSpank is *not* an RPG, it’s an adventure game combined with RPG-lite. The real enjoyment from the game comes from the storyline, funny dialogue, and puzzles.

  13. Mo says:

    Call the DeathSpank hotline!
    1-866-631-1574 (toll-free from the US)

    It’s hilarious, and includes some awesome digs at Canadians (“Press 1 to administer justice and then cover the victim with universal healthcare, eh.”)

    • DigitalSignalX says:

      I called and went through the whole tree, absolutely hilarious. EH.

    • Shrewsbury says:

      People outside the US can use Skype, toll-free numbers don’t cost a penny on the service.

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      VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      Thanks for that tip, Shrewsbury! It worked just as you said, without costing me a penny (£0.01, that is).

      So everyone else: call the number via Skype, it’s a good laugh.

  14. Mario Figueiredo says:

    Meh. Any Diablo clone is bound to just be inferior. Definitely not a game you will still be playing 10 years after it was released.

    That said, videos like this are useless. Pretty? I didn’t find prettiness anywhere. Where is it? All I’ve seen an excuse to draw bad 3D. Whatever. But even then, where’s the inventory system? Where’s the loot system? Where’s the character progression system? Well, not in that video. Not in their website screenshots, features or blog pages.

    You folks that get all girly and droll all over some sad excuse of a preview video… I offer my prayers.

    • The Great Wayne says:

      If your post isn’t a -bit too- subtile use of irony, I think you missed the point.

      It’s not that much the diablo part -it could be a railshooter, I could care less- than it is the Ron Gilbert part that make most of us excited.

      That said, I sense someone is a bit too sensitive on the question. Did a diablo clone beat your lil’ sister ? I know what it is, trust me, once I cut my thumb on a page of the Titan quest’s manual.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      Ok. If it gets you less confused, read again ignoring the first paragraph.

      As for Ron, my deep respects. But It’s not because he emerges from a long sleep I’m going to get all excited and have to change my shorts every time I watch a video. When the game actually tells me anything about what it is, THEN I will know if it is any good.

      Ron’s great. A Legend and all that. But he never invited me over to his place, we aren’t friends and I payed for all games he developed. Like with the games he developed back then, I didn’t buy them all. Some I simply didn’t like. And I’m really not holding my pants on this one. Didn’t convince me one bit.

    • Renzatic says:

      I watched this video on the internet today. It was for a game. A game that didn’t exactly appeal to my sensibilities. For reasons beyond my comprehension and/or understanding, the fact I didn’t like this game made me mad. So I posted about it on the internet.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      Aww… cute.

      Here’s another: I watched someone say they didn’t like something I did. For some reason that made me mad. So I tried to be a smartass on the internet.

    • Renzatic says:

      I watched someone throw some snark my way over my smartass reply to his original post about getting mad at a video he saw on the internet. For some reason this made me absolutely flat out furious. So I posted a response on the internet.

    • Razz says:

      I’m anxiously awaiting further developments in this particular comment tree.

    • Wulf says:

      Hm, say… Mario, didn’t you freak out at Privates? And then there was that time where you flipped out when I made a joke. I’m just thinking that you don’t have my sense of humour. Regardless, I got a good couple of laughs out of the trailer (especially the thing with orphans, ponies, and unicorns), and I suspect the game will be rather hilarious. It’s Ron Gilbert, after all. And good humour can elevate even a mediocre game to greatness. It’s happened before.

      So, the game, maybe, just maybe, might be about being fun and funny, just something to have a laugh with, much in the same way as Monkey Island was. And really, if you don’t get the trailer at all, then you probably didn’t get Monkey Island, either. It’s a lot of the same kind of humour, and it appeals to me.

      So, when someone said that you missed the point, they weren’t far off the mark. Just that you couldn’t understand the point, because I don’t know what you find amusing but it’s clearly not the same sort of thing that I do.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      Now, where did I put my wet blanket?

      Ah! Silly me. Here it is. I have it always on. Comfy.

    • Stromko says:

      I don’t understand why we’re excited about Ron Gilbert games coming to PC, to be honest. Even Psychonauts was a console game (which I played on PC), it was a platformer best played with a game pad. Yes it was lovely, but being such an artistic and linear game it was probably better with a fixed resolution on a generic system running it all. Brutal Legend (which I played on console) was even more of a console game, yet another “sandbox” linear console game best played with a game pad.

      Why do we have this great big boner about having an excuse to plug a gamepad into our PCs and run low-rez games at high-rez? Might I suggest just getting a SNES emulator and saving yourself some effort? Or, how about, instead of buying an additional 300$ video card which you can then run at 10% efficiency on console ports, just get yourself a console and a Gamefly account and you can try all sorts of flashy but linear and short-lived games, such as what Ron Gilbert puts out, for pennies on the dollar.

      Maybe I’m just extra cynical this morning, there’s really no reason for me to dislike the concept. Indeed, I’ve played console ports and enjoyed them, I just don’t see a reason to drool over them no matter who makes them.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      Stromko!
      You sad, sad person. How can you not see that this game has humor? Unicorns and ponies and all. It’s very funny. It’s like… you know monkey island humor. Only it’s not like monkey island. But it has the humor. So, it’s kinda like monkey island. But without the humor. Or the monkeys… or maybe there will be monkeys. It has unicorns and ponies, after all. Why not monkeys. Monkeys are funny. And you if say “monkey island” that means you always know what you are talking about. Especially if you follow that by telling they don’t know what they are talking about. And that is funny too. I’m all laughs. And if you read this paragraph to the end and don’t laugh, then you don’t have my sense of humor. You sad sad person.

      Want to share my blanket? It’s big enough. We don’t need to touch.

    • geldonyetich says:

      All I see here is a bunch of confusion.

      First off, Psychonauts & Brutal Legend: That’s Tim Shafer. Aside from working on the first two Monkey Islands alogether a long time ago, Shafer has nothing to do with Gilbert.

      Second, I don’t even think I’d call this a Diablo game. Maybe a Diablo parody, but it’s pretty clear that nobody wants to compete with Diablo 3 and so he’s branching out in more of an adventure game direction.

      That’s probably where most of the angst I see here is coming from: nobody knows what to make out of Deathspank yet. All the easy comparisons (e.g. “this is a Diablo game” or “this is Monkey Island” are more blinding than revealing, per usual). Frankly, Gilbert has his work cut out for him just to try to overcome this being an easily forgettable experiment.

    • Stromko says:

      They were funny games, true. Saying they’re console games because of their mechanics is forgetting that their story and presentation have a solid appeal to anyone with good taste.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      @geldonyetich

      Well, the diablo reference was exactly to appease to a few comments trying to compare this to Diablo.

      As for the rest. The video or the website don’t really reveal much about what the game will be. All the defining aspects that can make a game actually be good or not are hidden from us, so far. So I did find it amusing some of the comments (not all) on this article.

      I’ve seen my share of “I WANT!” on early previews on RPS turn into “that game sucked” a few months after release. The irony never ceases to amaze me, that in a place that lives and breaths games everyday like RPS, some gamers still get all excited over what is essentially one piece of absolutely nothing. Now that’s their prerogative. But so is mine to comment on that.

      The piece of news is relevant, of course. But some of the reactions… well, I prefer the approach of “let’s hope it turns out good”. For now, and for a game that is about to be released, we really don’t know anything about it. And that in itself is worrying.

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      lhzr says:

      @mario: someone’s in a bad mood today. a rainy week in your part of the world too?

    • jalf says:

      A Diablo clone?

      I suppose… In the same way that Mass Effect 2 was a Wolfenstein clone.

      Or you could look at it as an adventure game with combat.

      I realize that you get more cool points for saying “everything was better then” and dismiss everything that didn’t exist in your childhood as cheap clones. Spoken as a true granddad.

      How quickly gamers have grown up. ;)

    • Wulf says:

      @jalf

      Funny thing is that I’m probably as old as Mario, whether I’m older or younger, I don’t know, but I certainly couldn’t be called ‘young’ these days, unless the person calling me young was being aptly ironic. And yet, I love new developments. I’m an anomaly though, because I think plasticity hasn’t properly struck my brain yet. I’m getting on but everything is still new and exciting!

      It reminds me of that Hitch-Hiker’s quote, I can’t remember it exactly so I’ll try to paraphrase it: Any new inventions that come before you were born are simply a part of everyday life and just the way things are, any new inventions that come about a short while after you’re born are new and exciting, any new inventions that come about at middle-age or older is an abomination and against the natural order of things.

      And yet, I’m quite a bit past middle-age and I don’t feel that way about anything, I read Science journals and keep up with the latest in any field I’m interested in, and it’s all grand. In fact, I think things are just the same as when I was young or are improving, and that’s wonderful. I can cite great things from any point in my life, even yesterday.

      But some people seem to get caught up in time, and for them that Hitch-hiker’s quote holds so, so true.

      Me? I’m looking forward to Deathspank. It looks like a laugh, it has Gilbert, the trailer is funny and I’m completely sold on the competence of the voice actors. And I’d say it’s just as you called it, more of an action-adventure RPG thing. It doesn’t look too Diablo-clone-y to me.

  15. Shadrach says:

    I was really interested in this from the very first mentions of it, and a few bits of concept art that they released. Now, I’m not so sure, looks more like a clickfest grindy diablo-clone with lots of wish-washy color effects. And I never liked diablo… I was hoping for more of a 2d scroller sword-em-up or something more original. Well, might still turn out good if the humor is in there somewhere.

  16. Hmm says:

    Oh please tell me it won’t be another Brutal Legend – a potentially good game that never got released on PC.

  17. MWoody says:

    OK, I have a question.

    What is the logo for this game supposed to be? Because all I see it panties.

  18. GT3000 says:

    Budget purchase.

    • Stromko says:

      Given that it’s coming out on X-Box 360 and PS3′s downloadable arcades, yes, it is a budget title and that’s exactly what they’re going for. I’ve never heard of a game via those routes that cost 40$, let alone the 60$ that console games go for nowadays.

  19. Nels Anderson says:

    That would be Michael Dobson, who has done a ton of other voicework, including Mojo Jojo from Powerpuff GIrls.

    In a weird coincidence, the other person who did Mojo Jojo’s voice was Roger Jackson, who has also done a bunch of voicework for Telltale, most recently General Skunkape in Sam & Max season 3. Too weird.

  20. Shazbut says:

    I’m going to play it safe and say that if this comes out on the PC, I will sautee my own anus

  21. Quests says:

    This game sported adventure-like puzzles, a year or so ago.

    Are these still in? Cause i like puzzles for the thinking involvedm i don’t like action for the dumbness involved.

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    Lars Westergren says:

    I’m not a big fan of Diablo-ish games, but for Ron Gilbert, I’m willing to convert.
    :)

    Also, I really really liked the music and jokes in this early trailer.

  23. Lobotomist says:

    I can only say that being big fan of Ron G. , and loving the concept of Deathspank. I am extremely disappointed with what i am seeing.

  24. LionsPhil says:

    Tei, what are you on about this time? You can tell it’s running at 60FPS? That’s bloody impressive, as I’d almost put money on the video being encoded at a conventional 25-ish FPS. Even YouTube 720p HQ is 25FPS.

  25. Josh says:

    Just got word from a reliable source that it’s coming out for PC, as if there was any doubt. get your sautee pan ready @Shazbut.

    Veryu much looking forward to playing the hell out of this.