Monkey Island Game History

Oct 15, 2020

The Video Game History Foundation is working to save the history of the making of video games.

On Oct 30th they are doing a live stream special event to help raise money and I'll be a guest talking about the making of Monkey Island where you can ask me questions (as long as it's not about the secret because after 30 years I've completely forgotten what it was).

Josejulio Oct 15, 2020
Can we ask you about the secret here? :)

I saw that they posted an unseen(?) image/room. Was that taken from your archive or Lucas Arts archive? (or maybe I have to wait the 30th to get my answer?)

Thanks for accepting being a guest on that event!

Johan Windh Oct 15, 2020
Great stuff Ron. Once again Happy Birthday Guybrush, and thanks for such a great game.

Shaya Oct 15, 2020
I'm excited! Thanks for doing this.

Ashnobe Oct 15, 2020
How does it feel to have Monkey Island in your backpack?

Thorw4ld Oct 15, 2020
Happy Birthday Mr. Thriftbert!

wysiwtf Oct 15, 2020
I know you don't like birthdays and speaking about MI every day and thats all fine and very understandable.
But Thank You Ron, you made our lives much better - with all the games you did.

Ping Oct 15, 2020
Happy anniversary, and thank you Ron for ALL the wonderful games you made.

David Oct 15, 2020
Diego Velázquez in disguise! 🤣

Not that far fetched as the actual Secret of Monkey Island is a mistery akin to "Las Meninas"

Ariel Oct 16, 2020
Got my ticket already!

Nico Oct 16, 2020
Time to nag the greedy mouse again..... give back Monkey Island to its creatorrrr.. ahhhhrrrrrggg. mortis estis vos

Dave Oct 16, 2020
Looking forward to joining you at the event Ron, I hope we will also get little info on your new adventure too :)

Thomas Oct 16, 2020
Hi Ron, I'm really looking forward to joining that event. Thank you for creating the game I enjoyed most in my early teenage days. Fun fact: Back then I didn't own a computer so I played it on a PC in my mom's school's computer room. And by doing that I carried in a computer computer virus. And had to learn of course how to remove it. And that was probably the earliest influence driving me into what became a remarkable information security career. I enjoyed also all later versions of Monkey Island, including the special edition. So thanks for all the joy :)

Andy Oct 16, 2020
Headlines in the austrian news (no kangaroos in Austria) - 30 years Monkey Island (german):

mute Oct 16, 2020

Johan Windh Oct 16, 2020
Got my ticket.

Evan Oct 16, 2020
That's awesome.  I hope there's a way to stream it after the fact...I'll be on the road pulling a camper with my wife and daughter.  They would not want to listen to this and would quickly tell me to turn it off.

Sigurd Oct 16, 2020
My heart skipped a beat..
For 1 second i tought this was an an annoncement of a new monkey island game:)

Dan Oct 17, 2020
Gonna grab a ticket just to ask Ron what was the meaning of MI2's ending :)

Guy guy Oct 17, 2020
Best game ever! Fond memories! I've learned english playing Lucas games adventures, thank you!

David 🏴‍☠️ Oct 17, 2020
My carefully crafted comment is now forever lost 😥

Ron Gilbert Oct 17, 2020
Yeah, I moved servers and nuked a bunch of recent comments. I'd appreciate it if everyone could go back and recreate them. Thanks.

Ron Gilbert Oct 17, 2020
And they are back!

Zak Phoenix McKracken Oct 18, 2020
I don't know what else to ask that I haven't already asked ...
What's the weather like?

Charlie Oct 19, 2020
After 30 years I played part 1 and 2 this weekend again and WE JUST NEED A REAL PART 3(a). Guybrush needs to be freed from the spell or my heart will never be at peace. :(

Johan Windh Oct 19, 2020

Eigendrea aka Rum Rogers Oct 19, 2020
See you there Ron! Can't wait - that cannibal village lost room is jaw-dropping. Hope to see more stuff like that.

David 🏴‍☠️ Oct 19, 2020
Actually MI would make for a great movie. And it would be a must watch for us 'geeks'.

Redbeard Oct 20, 2020
Concerning the "Secret" I always asked myself: Isn't a giant monkey head which provides an access to hell enough of a secret?

some dudey dude Oct 20, 2020
Ron, have you played/seen any vids on Beyond a Steel Sky? If the powers that be gave MI back to you and you made a new one, would it resemble its gameplay? (spoiler alert: not enough pixel hunting). I know you've talked about what you'd do and wouldn't do in other posts; I just wanted to mention BASS.

deater Oct 21, 2020
Have you seen the Apple II+ demake of Monkey Island?  Not the full game, but a look at what the intro and some of the gameplay might have looked like on an old Apple II system in lores mode.

Eric Oct 21, 2020
I forgot to ask this during the last AMA... however I was wondering how long does it take to develop a game like Thimbleweed park compared to the original Monkey Island / Maniac Mansion games?

Is it faster because we have such a solid foundation now? Or perhaps the same because we just expand more on the world/what's possible/voice work.

I'm not sure this will be covered in the upcoming Monkey Island history event so I thought I'd ask here!


frisby Oct 22, 2020
Hope they actually show the artwork in the correct aspect ratio...  So many 'game history' projects just shove everything into 16:9.

Nathan Oct 30, 2020
Hey Ron, I'm thinking you might have a legal case to get back the copyright for MI.  Check out the story about how Victor Miller reclaimed Friday the 13th.

It hinged on him proving he did not write it as a "work-made-for-hire." I know MI was developed while you were working for LucasFilm/Arts, but in your telling of it's conception, LucasArts never commissioned the game.  You came up with the idea and started making it without anyone directing you to.  

I think you could drum up some interest with lawyers for the uniqueness of being one of the first videogame creators to pursue this and also the potential feather in the cap a copyright win against Disney would be.

Johan Windh Oct 30, 2020
Thanks a lot for the talk. It was informative and fun. A top moment for 2020 for me. (Yeah I know, that's not saying much, but it was great.)

Fabio Vento Oct 31, 2020
Hi Ron, thank you a lot for the talk. I wrote a comment on my blog on the insights you gave on Monkey Island 3a and how they may actually "explain" the ending of Monkey Island 2:

Rebecca Richards Oct 31, 2020
Hey Ron, thank you so much for the talk. It was fascinating seeing the nitty gritty of how a game I loved as a kid came together and any old stories about it are fun stories. I look forward to your future work as well!

Martijn Nov 01, 2020
Hi Ron,
I really appreciate you taking the (extra!) time to talk about MI, and I enjoyed watching it. Too bad the interviewer did most of the talking, and was not leaving a lot of room for you.
Again, thanks for your time, and your insights!

Marc Nov 02, 2020
Hi, can you make a post on how you solved the compression of dithered graphics?

Jason Nov 03, 2020
I would also like the answer to Marc's question about compression of dithered graphics! Did you license out this solution to other companies that also wanted to compress dithered graphics?

Ron Gilbert Nov 03, 2020
It's probably better to ask Aric about the dither compression. He wrote it. Not sure where to contract him these days.

Graham Nov 04, 2020
Well that'll teach me not to read Grumpy Gamer more often. Happy birthday to my all time favourite video game!

Vlad Z Nov 12, 2020
Having just found out about this, i am much dissapointed to have missed it. it seems like it was recorded but only available to ticket holders? Any chance those of us who were late to the party can watch it anywhere?

Dave J Whitebeard Nov 14, 2020
I cant believe I stopped checking this website more regularly and missed this. That's my big sloppy bad. Please tell me how I can watch it back! Secrets are for keeping, but my gods, I cant let M.I. go, even after 30 odd years!

joe Nov 19, 2020
i would definitely pay money to get my hands on a vod of that talk!

Simon Nov 25, 2020
For everyone who missed it, the stream is now freely available on YouTube:

Martin Freij Apr 09, 2021
The secret was "Guybrush in hell" for the third installment, just like the never released Ghostbusters 3 followup "Hellbent" that never came into fruition. Who would you say are the Venkman, Egon, Ray and Winston within your team at the time? (thinking of you, Dave, Schafer, Purcell and the rest of your team mates) :)