The Secret of Monkey Island: Had too much dialogue and had to cut it down

The Secret of Monkey Island: Had too much dialogue and had to cut it down

Technical limitations meant that around 25 percent of the dialogue texts had to be removed from The Secret of Monkey Island before publication.

In an interview with Sony Santa Monica’s Alanah Pearce, Tim Schafer revealed that the adventure was too long.

One disk too many

“We wrote to Monkey Island and we were told, ‘Guys, we can’t make it on six disks. We have to make it on five. We have too much text,” recalls Schafer. “Ron [Gilbert] said, ‘We have to cut 25 percent of the dialogue.'”

Again, it wasn’t an easy task: “I went and looked at a scene I had written and I was like, ‘No, I nailed that perfectly…'”

Game designer Hal Barwood, who was working on Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, gave him good advice.

“He told me it’s hard, but imagine your dialogues are like a spider’s web and some of the little threads of the web are loose. If you cut those, the spider’s web doesn’t weaken. It gets stronger because the other strands of the web The spider’s web is now carrying more weight. It becomes more rigid, stronger, and tighter.”

This in turn made Schafer rethink and he considered carefully whether a dialogue would advance the story or give the players more information.

Later this year, the series returns with the new Return to Monkey Island, which has been confirmed for PC and Nintendo Switch so far.

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