Sam & Max

Interview: Telltale speaks about Wii

Now that Sam & Max has finally been confirmed for Wii, the ladies and gentlemen at Telltale Games were more than happy to sit down and talk to us about bringing the crime fighters to Nintendo's console.

To find out what was in store for the duo, whether this will alter future PC releases and where the series is going, we spoke to Emily Morganti and Dave Grossman.

Now that Sam & Max are coming to Wii, is there a possibility of simultaneous releases for future episodes?

Emily Morganti: Probably not. Sam & Max was originally conceived as a game that users would download over the internet, and we made some big decisions based on what we thought would be a reasonable download size for a PC game.

Nintendo's WiiWare service is going to be great and we're excited to be making our new Strong Bad games for WiiWare, but at this point trying to shoehorn Sam & Max into the WiiWare specs would be difficult.

We're better off keeping Sam & Max as PC downloads, and then collecting the episodes into a retail package for Wii users at the end of a season.

Telltale is one of the few developers which has managed to deliver on the promise of frequent episodic content. What do you attribute your success to?

Morganti: From the very beginning, Telltale was built for episodic delivery. It's what our founders wanted the company to do, and pretty much every decision they've made has been in the interest of episodic development.

Our tools, our development processes, the licenses we've chosen - they're all what they are because we thought they would work well for episodic gaming.

Wii seems suited to adventure games, but hasn't really had a breakout title. Why do you think that is?

Morganti: The Wii is a new platform that allows for different types of gameplay than other consoles have, and it's taking time for designers to figure out how to use it best.

When the Wii first came out, there were tons of people saying it's the perfect platform for adventure games, but it was around for a year before any adventure games started coming out for it, and there have only been a few so far. I think developers need time to ramp up.

Another reason could be that most of the companies making adventure games are pretty small studios. I'm sure that impacts their ability to develop for the Wii. (Hopefully WiiWare will help change this!)

As far as Telltale goes, we got into Wii development kind of by accident. We knew we wanted to do it, but there were so many other things going on that we couldn't make it a focus yet.

Last year, we were developing CSI: Hard Evidence for the PC, and Ubisoft asked us if we could develop it for Wii and Xbox 360 as well. This led us to expand our development tools to work on those platforms, and now we have the freedom to develop our own Wii games and to bring our already-released games to the Wii platform.

Console development was always an initiative for Telltale, but we might not have moved into it when we did if not for this opportunity.

How much extra stuff (commentaries, behind-the-scenes, machinima shorts) can we expect to see in the boxed Wii release?

Morganti: We're planning to include a couple of the bonuses that were included in the retail PC version, but for this release, bonus content isn't really our focus.

We're putting our energy into making Sam & Max work really well on the Wii, because at the end of the day people are going to buy it for the game, not for the extras.

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