In honour of us covering Day of the Tentacle (and by extension Maniac Mansion) this month, I thought it would be fun to reach out to a bunch of ex-Lucas people, hoping they would be willing to talk to us about how these games came together, and how things were like at Lucas in general.
Among the people I contacted are Dave Grossman (co-designer of DOTT), Gary Winnick (co-designer and artist on Maniac Mansion), Ron Gilbert (you know what he did) and Aric Willmunder (SCUMM system programmer, one of the few people who worked on both MM and DOTT).
But you’ve guessed it from the title, the one responding with a resounding yes is David Fox! He’s one of the founding members of the Lucas games division and played a critical role in many of Lucas’ early games, such as Rescue on Fractalus!, Labyrinth, Zak McKracken and Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade. According to Wikipedia he’s the main script programmer for Maniac Mansion, so we’ll ask him what that actually means.
We’d love to hear your questions however! If you have anything to ask David, drop it down here. Once we do the interview, I’ll go through the questions from this thread and see what he has to say. So don’t be shy and get typing!
How does it feel to know that a game you worked on (Maniac Mansion) ended up shaping an entire industry of graphic adventure games in its shape and form of with its usage of predefined verbs and a cursor driven interface?
What was game industry culture (not sure on the wording) like during the development of these games? Was crunch even a thing back then? I guess what I’m asking is how it felt to be part of what was a major studio, and how different (or similar!) it was to working at a AAA studio today.
@LunarLoony: Thumbs up for the “crunch” question, I would have asked that too!
Besides that I’d like to know whether he is still in contact with old Lucasfilm Games colleagues and (obviously) if he is still following the current game- and especially adventure scene.
Also: How exactly was he involved in the development of “Thimbleweed Park” and can you imagine it like a nerd version of “Space Cowboys” in which a crew of veterans is called (by Tim Schafer) to compete with the young guns and to save the world from evil things (bad games)?