Costume Quest / Double Fine Interview


posted 12/10/2010 by Jeremy Duff
other articles by Jeremy Duff
One Page Platforms: 360 PS3
Double Fine’s Costume Quest (our review) is preparing to take gamers on another adventure with the release of the Grubbins on Ice DLC pack (released this week on Xbox Live and next week on the PlayStation Network). This past week, we got a chance to pick at the brains of a couple of the members of the game’s development team to find out just a little bit more about this incredible project.

Could you introduce yourself and talk about your role at Double Fine and on the Costume Quest project?
Gabe: I’m Gabe Miller, Senior Producer at Double Fine. My job is to make sure we deliver excellent games on schedule. For Costume Quest and Grubbins on Ice, I also contributed heavily to the design and writing.

Tasha: I’m Tasha Harris, Lead Animator at Double Fine and Project Lead on Costume Quest. I came up with the original concept of CQ and oversaw the team to make sure all the pieces came together and stayed true to the original vision. I also helped out with the art & animation. And naming characters…I like coming up with names.

Do you have any thoughts or comments on the positive reception that the game has garnered from both the media and the public since its release?
Gabe: Of all the games I’ve worked on, CQ has received the warmest welcome. It seemed like we struck a chord with people and their childhood Halloween nostalgia. I felt like I was in bizarro world when I saw all of the forum curmudgeons extolling CQ’s virtues with words like “cute” and “charming”.

Tasha: It’s been awesome. I especially love reading comments from people who play the game with their kids, girlfriends, or wives who aren’t normally into gaming. It seems like a lot of different types of people can relate to the game in different ways. I also love fan art! Send more fan art!

Were there any concerns in designing / making a “seasonal” game like Costume Quest? Do you feel the subject matter (Halloween) but pressure on the team in terms of the targeted completion and release date?
Gabe: A couple of people posited that we might be limiting our audience by doing a seasonal game, but we always felt that it was a strength rather than a weakness. Who doesn’t like Halloween?! It’s like saying that a game about food limits your audience! Even for countries that don’t necessarily celebrate Halloween, I think the content will be compelling. As far as time pressure goes… yeah, that was definitely there. We would have loved to cram a lot more in, but at the same time, having a firm date forces you to distill your design down to the fundamentals, so there were also some benefits.

Tasha: I don’t feel that Halloween is limited in that way- it’s a holiday with almost a cult following, and people can enjoy the themes of the holiday all year round. For example, kids love dressing up in costumes at any time of year, the only difference is on Halloween they get to wear their costumes to school without getting made fun of. I think during the fall season it will naturally be more appealing to people, but the game is still fun no matter when you play it.

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