LucasArts made adventure games, because it couldn't make Star Wars

Ron Gilbert says that the early days of Lucasfilms' games division made adventure titles largely because it couldn't make Star Wars games.

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Ron Gilbert is largely credited with helping to forge the adventure game genre. But it may have never happened if he hadn't been restricted from what he really wanted to make: Star Wars games.

At his PAX Australia keynote, Gilbert said the game group at Lucasfilm wanted to make Star Wars games, but the license had been sold to other companies before the company formed a games division.

"Had we been able to make Star Wars games, I'm sure that's all we would have made," he said, according to The PA Report. "Not being able to make those games creatively freed us in ways I don't think we understood at the time. Without that freedom, there would be no Maniac Mansion, or Grim Fandango, or Monkey Island, or Loom. "Constraints or limitations can sometimes be a driving force to innovation and creating inspiration."

His speech argued that developers should "embrace limitations" to make them a strength. In retrospect, he says, "I'm so thankful that we were not allowed to make Star Wars games."

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    July 22, 2013 9:30 AM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, LucasArts made adventure games, because it couldn't make Star Wars.

    Ron Gilbert says that the early days of Lucasfilms' games division made adventure titles largely because it couldn't make Star Wars games.

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      July 22, 2013 9:34 AM

      For once, I'm greatful of license shenanigans.

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      July 22, 2013 9:44 AM

      ...and then it turned around.

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      July 22, 2013 9:47 AM

      Yeah, Maniac Mansion and Monkey Island were awesome. Loom is still not Doom though, jk.

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      July 22, 2013 9:52 AM

      This is the advantage of hindsight. The real test is if Double Fine has been able to learn from this under his direction. So far I like their track record. The next few projects will be the most telling I suspect.

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        July 22, 2013 9:53 AM

        He left DF shortly after The Cave was released.

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          July 22, 2013 11:28 AM

          D'oh. I was think of Tim Schafer when I wrote that. <smack>

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      July 22, 2013 9:52 AM

      I can understand where he's coming from, but in a perfect world Lucasarts would have still made a variety of great games in addition to a couple Star Wars adventures. Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis was proof that the company could make good licensed work without becoming a franchise machine.