Return to Monkey Islands art director talks about inspirations and expectations

Return to Monkey Islands art director talks about inspirations and expectations ...

Rex Crowle has strengthened his impressive art style with games like Tearaway and Knights and Bikes. He will now be the director of Return to Monkey Island, the remake of the classic pirate-themed adventure series.

Then, I had the chance to talk with Crowle about his passion for the Monkey Island franchise and his preparation for this new entry.

What your past with the Monkey Island series as a fan in GamesBeat?

Crowle: It''s the game that made me want to make video games. I never imagined seeing the same result, nor do I see seeing the other rectangles on the screen. I cared about the characters, laughed at the jokes, put my nose against the screen to study the art, and I felt very sorry for weeks after finishing the game. A state I maintained until I opened up Deluxe Paint III on my Amiga and started making my own little adventure game graphics. It''s all the fault of that game.

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Is it possible to draw inspiration from any previous Monkey Island game? GamesBeat: Is it possible to take a look back at some previous Monkey Island game?

Crowle: There are the shades of The Secret of Monkey Island, the more painterly approach of Monkey Island 2: LeChucks Revenge, as well as some of the shaper''s more stylized shapes of The Curse of Monkey Island. Were a very small indie team, but aside from that weve taken something from all of the games, while developing something new and specifically tailored to the game youe creating, and for this adventure, a picture-book style was the appropriate fit.

Is your inspiration coming from outside the series? GamesBeat: Is it possible to get away with it?

Crowle: Some of LucasArts classics like Day of the Tentacle offer greater use. It can be challenging to select what''s required in each environment, as they are often a single screen. But Day of the Tentacle has some fantastic design solutions, which provide a lot of variety and a sense of flow as you travel from one screen to another.

We are a tight-knit little group and we are constantly adding to each other paintings each time. Every time a team member adds something to the game, it creates a fresh wave of inspiration. Oh, and having a playlist of Tom Waits and sea shanties playing in the background helps.

What is the value of trying to reinterpret classic settings from previous Monkey Island games?

Crowle: Terrifying. The Monkey Island games are so powerful to different people. It''s daunting to have that variety of hopes and desires pressing down on you. Some fans picture the previous pixel art, some remember painterly clouds, and some may have happy memories of gigantic mechanical monkey battles. However, with Ron and Dave leading the project it couldn''t be a more real Monkey Island game, and we all loved doing everything we can to make sure their vision is real. Because everyone on the team has wanted to play

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