Train2Game News: Ron Gilbert on game design “For me, it almost always starts with the world”

Game design begins with building a world before adding characters and then a story. At least that’s the case for Maniac Mansion and The Secret of Monkey Island co-creator Ron Gilbert.

“For me, it almost always starts with the world.” he told The Guardian in an interview about The Cave, the adventure game he’s developing with Tim Schafer’s Double Fine Productions.

“Maniac Mansion is really all about that mansion, that was the genesis of it. The Secret of Monkey Island all started for me because I loved the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney – I wanted to live in that world.”

“It’s the same thing with The Cave; it started with the setting and the characters kind of get built up from that – I think, okay, now I have the world, who would live there? Who would want to adventure in that place?” Gilbert continued, before going into a little bit about game design in adventure games.

“So the characters come about, then the story starts to form, and very quickly after that I start to figure out the major puzzle beats – because in an adventure game it’s the puzzles that drive the narrative forward.”

“ I start with that over-arching narrative then, I go, ‘okay, I need a big puzzle here, another one here, and one there’, and I start building backwards from all those big puzzles to all the little ones that lead up to them.” he added.

Ron Gilbert’s The Cave involves taking three of seven adventures into a cave, battling monsters, solving puzzles and stealing loot. It’s scheduled for release by SEGA on PC, Xbox Live and PlayStation Network early next year.

There’s more from Ron Gilbert here on The Train2Game Blog in this video where he discusses game design with Tim Schafer

What are your thoughts on game design? Does the world form the base of the games you’re building?

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog or on The Train2Game forum.

Train2Game news: Double Fine’s Tim Schafer and Ron Gilbert discuss game design

Train2Game students should find the contents of this post rather interesting. It’s a video featuring Double Fine’s Tim Schafer and Ron Gilbert in discussion about adventure games.

In the 35 minute long video, the creators of the Monkey Island series talk about the adventure genre as a whole, look at what they did right and what they did wrong, and dissect game design as a whole.

The video from Two Player Productions should give Train2Game students a fascinating insight into the minds of two legendary figures in the games industry. You can watch it below.

The Train2Game Blog recently posted about Double Fine’s Kickstarter project, which is now backed with $2.24 million. Those who pledge $15 or more to the Adventure Game project will gain access to the beta.

We’ll be sure to bring you all the latest news from Tim Schafer and Double Fine.

What are your thoughts on Tim Schafer and Ron Gilbert’s discussion? Has it given you anything to think about?

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.