Death Spank
"Smart people agree: Awesome DeathSpank fan site doubles as a tool to learn German: Sprechen Sie Spank?"
- Ron Gilbert

Die Liste mit deutschen und englischen Interviews zu DeathSpank:


IFC: It seems like "DeathSpank" was originally more of a sci-fi idea. Why the shift to Tolkien-esque sci-fi?
Vlad Ceraldi: Oh, there are a lot of surprises in store for gamers with "DeathSpank." We can't really say much more at this time, but let's just say "all assumptions will be tested."




GameInformer: How big is the world of DeathSpank?
Chris Mitchell: Big enough that focus testers kept getting lost until we added arcane navigation technologies called ‘maps.’ Big enough that our mighty computers would crash when we tried to edit those maps. Big enough to drive developers mad when trying to remember where everything is! Pretty big. [...]

GI: What kind of quests can players expect to find in the game?
CM: Well let’s see…gather quests, kill stuff quests, defend things quests, destroy things quests, protect people quests, recover body parts quests, build condominium quests, design golf courses quests, assemble magical body parts quests, cooking for the wretched quests, scientific discovery quests, wholesale destruction of villages quests, unicorn poop quests, leprechaun mobster quests. You know…the usual.




Gamasutra: What phase are you guys in now?
RG: I don't know what phase [laughs]. I can't put a word to that. We're getting very close. The whole world is completely carved out, totally textured. Everything's all done. All the adventure game is done. All the monsters are placed. It really is just about playing and tuning, playing and tuning, over and over and over, just making sure everything just works perfectly.

Game Informer

November 2009

Scan und Transcript
GI: You consulted with Hothead for a while, and decided to join the company.What attracted you to this company?
Ron: First of all, I really like the people a lot. was pitch(ing) Deathspank to them, which I had (been) pitching to a lot of different publishers, they really just got it. I told them the idea and how I wnted to do the art, and it immediately clicked for them. The people here are good people, and are really funny. I just thought, "If I come here and make the game here, it's going to be really good."

Idle Thumbs Podcast #42


Idle Thumbs hat mit Ron Gilbert auf der Penny Arcade Expo ein Podcast-Interview geführt, in dem es unter anderem um die Verbindung von Adventure-Elementen und den Action-Elementen eines Rollenspiels geht. Interessant ist vor allem, dass sich die meisten Kämpfe auf die Nebenquests verteilen werden, man sich also für die meisten Kämpfe oder feindlichen Gebiete bewusst entscheidet und in der Hauptquest viele Kämpfe auch komplett umgehen kann.



1UP: You were talking about how for a lot of the dialogue choices, you wanted to make sure they weren't just "good" or "bad," and that they felt like actual conversations. What kind of differences will players see in the world based on things they choose? Or will they?
Ron Gilbert: Yeah, I think the difference is... I don't want to say that it's subtle because that's not really the right word. But the thing that I don't like about a lot of the dialogues in games recently is I do feel like I'm choosing things off of a menu. It's like, "Oh, that's the good choice" and that's going to cause this to happen, or "Oh, that's the bad choice" and that's going to cause this to happen. So, I think what there is is there's more subtlety going on when you have conversations with people and you're exploring these dialogue trees. And I think that's what really good dialogue trees are about -- it's about exploration. It's about getting into a conversation with somebody and exploring their story through these dialogues.

RPG Codex


RPG Codex: Is it anymore of a challenge incorporating comedy into an action RPG rather than an adventure game? Is there any difference in how you'd approach it?
Ron Gilbert: The most important thing for me when integrating comedy into DeathSpank was to make sure -- at some level -- the combat is always taken seriously. I didn't want to give DeathSpank a bunch of silly abilities like throwing a pie in someone's face or farting. There are funny things he does, such as cast a spell that conjures a bunch of chickens that attack someone (it's the funniest thing you've ever seen) but there are real stats behind the attack. Players can look at it and understand the damage it does and the effects it has on the enemies (i.e. fearing them), plus these chickens are tearing some guy to pieces. Tragedy is when bad things happen to you, comedy is when bad things happen to someone else.



Gamasutra: How contiguous are the episodes going to be, from release to release? Is it one overarching story, or will the episodes be more independent?
Ron Gilbert: Each of the episodes is very independent. There is some larger story context going on, but the story episodes are very short little completely self-contained stories. They're really meant to be played in any order - you could play number five, and then play number one, and then play number four - so the order you play them is really kind of irrelevant.

Adventure Gamers


Original (Ab Seite 2)
Adventure Gamers: What conventions from RPGs are you going to use and which ones are you going to leave out? Are we going to see stats like dexterity or strength, and so forth?
Ron Gilbert: No, not a lot of stats. Again none of this is finalized, so it could be totally different by the time the game comes out. (laughs) It's not a very stat-heavy game, but it is about what you are wearing. You get all your abilities through the items that you find. So in that sense it's a lot more like Zelda. It's making sure you have the right weapons, armor, hat or boots. That's really how you progress your character as opposed to dexterity stats or all the D&D type stuff. That also fits really well with the adventure game model, because adventure games are really about acquiring items and using those items.



Joystiq: How much of the quality of an adventure game do you think is entrenched in the puzzle design? Do you need good puzzles to be considered a good adventure game, or could you get away with no real puzzles like in games like Fahrenheit? Those are closer to interactive films, I suppose.
Ron Gilbert: Well, you know, I'm pretty dogmatic about that. I think an adventure game is about the puzzles. I think if you take away the puzzles you don't necessarily have a bad game, but you don't have an adventure game. I think because of my history with that stuff, I have this classic definition of an adventure game and it's about puzzles. It really is.



Deutsche Übersetzung
Incgamers: Wie würdest du DeathSpank für jene beschreiben, die deinen Blog bisher nicht gelesen haben?
Ron Gilbert: Deathspank ist ein episodisches RPG-Adventure mit einem übermotivierten Helden namens DeathSpank, der oftmals mehr Schaden anrichtet, als Gutes zu tun, wenn er Leuten in Not hilft. Wie der Name andeutet, ist das Spiel ein satirischer Blick auf die Spielehelden und wie ernst sie sich zu nehmen scheinen.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun


RPS: You say you’re planning to combine adventure gaming with the RPG in DeathSpank. I’ve often wondered if the RPG hasn’t simply replaced the area adventures once occupied in our lives. What properties of each are you aiming to bring to the mix?
Ron Gilbert: Adventure games are all about telling a good story with interesting and sexy puzzles. One aspect of the DeathSpank design I am very happy with are the puzzles and the puzzle flow. It’s very “Monkey Island”. For an adventure game, telling the story should be flawlessly woven into the puzzles, if it’s not, then the puzzles seem out of place and are just progress blockers. I like the way the two ended up complementing each other so well. As for the RPG, let’s face it, there is something fun about whacking stuff with a sword and collecting items that make you stronger and more powerful, or just look cool. The real trick is going to make sure that those two aspects of the game complement, rather than fight with each other. Getting that right is going to be a fun challenge. Oh… there will be no grinding. That is one part of RPG/MMO that I do not like, and from a design standpoint, it can be replaced with the adventure play.


(kurz vor der Bekanntgabe von DeathSpank)

Original (deutsch)

GEE: Du bist mittlerweile seit rund zwei Jahren auf der Suche nach einem Publisher für dein neues Projekt, ein Adventure mit RPG-Elementen. Hast du inzwischen einen gefunden?
Ron Gilbert: Nein, noch nicht. Aber ich habe ein paar sehr ernsthafte Gespräche geführt und schätze, dass sich da innerhalb der nächsten neun Monate etwas tut.

GEE: Warum dauert das so lange? Müssten sich die Firmen nicht darum reißen, das neue Ron-Gilbert-Spiel rauszubringen?
RG: Ich glaube, es liegt daran, dass Publisher sehr pragmatisch denken. Die wollen etwas, das sich sechs Millionen Mal verkauft und ihnen 200 Millionen Dollar einbringt. Alleine bei dem Wort "Adventure" verlieren die meisten schon das Interesse. Wobei einige europäische Spieleentwickler schon interessiert waren. Aber die haben nicht so viel Budget, und es ist schwierig, die Summe zu bekommen, die ich brauche.