Ron Gilbert’s New Game Announced

The hero of a generation of gamers, Mr Ron “Monkey Island” Gilbert, has announced his new game, and the publisher who’ll be distributing it.


DeathSpank Episode 1: Orphans of Justice.

High quality graphics are a must.

Oh yes.

It’s an “RPG Adventure”, featuring a character from the short-lived Grumpy Gamer cartoons. Gilbert explains,

“I called up Tim Schafer and said “Loan me a desk, I have a game to design!” and I proceeded to crank out what can only be called the perfect melding of a Monkey Island style adventure game with the wicked RPG game play of Diablo. Clayton [Kauzlaric] and I got together and banged the kicks out, slapped some meat on the characters and tightened up our story and world, and damn it, we had a design you could cook an egg on.”

Published by they giving us the forthcoming Penny Arcade game, Hothead Games, this is the triumphant return of a man who’s been helping many other developers behind the scenes for a few years now (including said PA game). Gilbert explains on his blog that it’s been four years in the making. Four years of being refused by publishers. After co-creating the DeathSpank cartoon with Clayton Kauzlaric, he was switched in as the main character and the world built accordingly.

“I roughed out a game design for the first episode and started pitching it around and a funny thing happened. Everyone hated it. But the weird thing is the more publishers that turned it down, the more convinced I became that this was a great idea. Every rejection fueled me with excitement and the knowledge that I was right. Nothing says innovation and creativity like armed security showing up to escort you out of the building while saying ‘Let’s not have any trouble.”

But then came Hothead, with a completely different attitude/crazy naivity, and the game is going to happen.

So it seems Gilbert has moved to Canada and become the Creative Director of Hothead, as well as lead developer on DeathSpank. So that’s rather good news then!

Press release here.


  1. Feet says:

    Good name.

  2. DuBBle says:

    What is, “Published by they giving us the forthcoming Penny Arcade game”?

    If crazy naivity leads to the employment of one of my heroes, I say let’s try making everyone in society equal whilst walking over the surface of a swimming pool.

  3. Phil says:

    Does Tim Schafer have a supply of desks that actually aid genius game design? It explains a lot.

    Is anyone else a little scared that the diablo clone genre is a little hard to get right the first time?

    An episodic Monkey Island on the other hand would be a dead cert, although would probably bore him to death to make.

  4. Lodde says:

    Maybe most publishers just don’t want their pants sued off by DC? That’s pretty much just a stick version of Deathstroke the Terminator.

  5. Incognito_gbg says:

    No matter what the quality of this game will be, I will buy this game. And the Penny Arcade-game.

    Ron Gilbert must stay in the game. He must.

  6. Yhancik says:

    Damn I don’t like that character design. But aside from that, Y.A.Y. !

  7. Stew says:

    Misparsed as “DeathSpunk Episode One: Organs of Justice”, which gave me a really, really weird image.

  8. Frans Coehoorn says:

    Wow! That’s like, the second best news I’ve ever heard this year!

  9. KindredPhantom says:

    “Nothing says innovation and creativity like armed security showing up to escort you out of the building while saying ‘Let’s not have any trouble.”

    Epic quote.

  10. Lucky says:


    That is all.

  11. Sombrero says:

    that is actually the best news i’ve heard all day!

  12. Aquarion says:

    It’s… er…

    Yay Ron Gilbert?

    Yet also… deathspank… The name – and the art – make me think it’s going to try to be too “funny” in a kind of extreme “aren’t we wacky” type way…

    I look forward to being massively wrong.

  13. Lunaran says:

    This doesn’t look very ‘next gen.’

    … I love it.

  14. Masked Dave says:

    “The name – and the art – make me think it’s going to try to be too ‘funny'”

    Did you just accuse Mr Monkey Island of *trying* to be funny? That seems… silly.

  15. drunkymonkey says:

    If I died now, I wouldn’t be happy because I wouldn’t get to play this game.

  16. Jay says:

    That is the best ting I’ve heard all year. Even if it’s only been 10 days

  17. Frans Coehoorn says:

    No, it’s “second best”. Try to keep up the Monkey Island vibe, you three headed monkey you. ;)

  18. Kast says:

    My initial reaction: “WATTUF?!?”

    That is literally the second most terrifying orphan I have ever seen.

    OK, zany could be a problem but it’s Gilbert! And a little bit Schafer! And some guy I’ve never heard of before!

  19. yns88 says:

    This sounds excellent. Perhaps 2008 will surprise us and turn out to be just as exciting as 2007 in the games industry.

    However, I surely hope to god it sees better production than that image. I bet you can easily find a hefty number of free flash minigames with more professional visual direction than that. However, the design itself could become a nice parody of every third grade boy’s violent drawings and comics, and if it’s pulled off correctly the style could be quite invigorating.

    I was just a tiny bit put off when he advertised an RPG-Adventure then proceeded to name only Monkey Island and Diablo in the post. Many people consider Diablo to be barely in the realm of RPGs, and I fear the “RPG” portion of the claimed genre will just end up being action gaming with stats.

  20. Saul says:

    I think I have a new new second-favourite game development studio!

  21. Saul says:

    It’s so second-favourite that it’s ‘new’ twice.

  22. RPS Exclusive: Adventurer Mike Stemmle Interview | Rock, Paper, Shotgun says:

    […] Ron Gilbert’s gone back to adventure development, you’ve returned, and we’re still trying to convince Al […]

  23. Rolex Daytona says:

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