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Old 09-01-2012, 03:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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PAX '12: Warren Spector Discusses His Fantasy DuckTales Project

Get in a room with Warren Spector, and it's hard to stay on topic. Though I sat down to interview the legendary developer about his work on the upcoming Epic Mickey 2, I had a few burning questions that I didn't have the chance to bring up during my roundtable interview at the game's unveiling back in April. So, what subject does a 30 year-old man broach when he's face-to-face with the guy responsible for Deus Ex, Thief, and System Shock? The answer, of course, is DuckTales.

For those of you who don't know, Spector's a mega-fan of the Duckburg-iverse created in the '40s by comics legend Carl Barks, and later popularized by the DuckTales television show during the late '80s. Spector even penned a four-issue revival of Uncle Scrooge and the gang in 2011, which ended in a crossover with fellow Disney Afternoon alum Darkwing Duck. Since Spector has hinted at his desire to make an Uncle Scrooge game in the past, I decided to lunch into my DuckTales-related material at the end of our chat to see if he would bite. And thankfully, he did:

BM: I'm really interested in your work with the DuckTales/Carl Barks universe; I think you've expressed in the past your desire to use that property in a video game --

WS: Hell yeah!

BM: (laughs) I want to know what your ideal DuckTales or Uncle Scrooge game would be; what history would it follow? Would it be the newer Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck? Would it be the older Carl Barks stuff? Would it be the adaptations that were seen in the cartoon? What would your ideal version of that game be?

WS: I don't want to get too specific here because I really do want to do it. But I'm a huge fan of Carl Barks and I particularly like his longer-form adventures. He was a master at one and two-page little vignettes, but he was also pretty masterful at the 24-page -- or even longer -- epic adventure. And I think that's the quality of Barks that I would want to maintain; that sense of epic adventure, that sense that anything is possible in this world, that magic exists, that dinosaurs still exist somewhere... That a duck can be Indiana Jones, basically. That's what I'd want to keep.

I think the DuckTales TV show did a pretty good job of that; I think they lost some of the adult sensibility -- there were things going on in Carl Barks' stories that clearly appeal to kids, but went right over their heads. And that sort of Looney Tunes/Carl Barks -- there's stuff for adults and kids -- I'd want to go back to that. But a lot of what Barks did I don't think would play with kids today because I think the pacing would be a little too slow. I don't think you need to update the characters; the Disney characters are timeless and classic. I think what you have to do is put them in relevant settings, things that people care about today. And so I would probably be looking for some slightly different contexts, some slightly different types of stories; faster pacing, but still going for that sense of epic adventure.

In terms what kind of game I would make -- let's just say it probably wouldn't be Like Disney Epic Mickey. I have other ideas for what you could do in a DuckTales universe. Maybe I'll get to do something.

So, 1UP readers, what would you like to see in a modern DuckTales game? Uncharted with feathers, or something far more different? Let us know in the comments!
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