The Curse of Monkey Island Retro Interview Bonanza Bill Tiller Chat Transcript

Mr. Bill Tiller was kind enough to do a follow-up chat to our exclusive interview. Here's the transcript.

Pedgey: telarium asks: Have you ever given any thought to what you'd like to see in the next Monkey Island game, personally? Where would you like see the series go?

BillT: Yes. I have given it a lot of thought, as well as you all have. I'd like to to see kids, to be perfectly honest.

BillT: Elaine and GB have been married, had a honey moon, kids are the next logicle step.

telarium: Monkey Island Jr.

Sarah--: Playable kids!

BillT: Yeah. Sort of. What would a child of elaine and Guybrush be like? Funny but asskicking?

telarium: Could Elaine stay off the grog while pregnant?

BillT: She'd ahve to I m afraid.

Mort-Hog: Do you have any thoughts on how LeChuck would evolve for the next game?

BillT: Well, I haven't quite finished EMI yet, so I don't know what happens to hims. SO basically- No Comment.

BillT: I thought for MI4 it would be funny if LC were a snow monster but as soon as he stepped out into the sun he melted.

telarium: He'd need a top hat.

Pedgey: Mort-Hog asks: Where do you get your inspiration for your artwork?

BillT: For CMI i had a ton of research material, and books of my favorite artists. The most enfluential artists were Peter DeSeve, The Hildebrandt Brothers and the designers of Disneyworld.

Pedgey: AH-HA! i knew it!

Pedgey: "right lads, another monkey island game... OFF TO DISNEYLAND!!!"

BillT: Also Larry Ahern gave me a lot of good ideas, and set me in a good direction. He wanted a more cartoon like look and so if I drew somehting too realistic he'd push me to exagerte it more.

BillT: Excuse my spelling.

BillT: NC Wyeth was another big influence as well as Peter Chan and Steve Purcell.

jake|r: (steve purcell's my daddy)

Mort-Hog: Do you ever think that some of your original ideas and drawings are better than those actually included? :)

BillT: No. Not Really. You see it is very easy to draw from a photgraph, or make a a drawing look very realistic. To come up with a consistant style that mimics reality but yet shows the veiwer a new take on the world is much harder. I spent a long time trying to get the CMI style right and I am very happy, with a few exceptions with the results.

Pedgey: DJG asks: Do you plan to sneak in random LEC game references in the games?

BillT: Maybe. Our game isn't the sort of genre that lends itself to easter eggs like that but I may. Why not? These guys are cool, it's their lawyers I worry about.

DJG: Well, for the multiplayer games, would you include characters named Guybrush or something like that?

BillT: For our game you can make any name you like. So be the first to play our game and you could be the first Guybrush.

Pedgey: Huz asks: What are your feelings on the fan artists who have emulated your work, such as the talented Paco Vink? (I'm not on his payroll either.)

BillT: I am very complimented by anyone who is inspired by my stuff. For a long time I wonder if any art I was ever going to do would have any sort of mass appeal. I am so glad CMI got the response it did. Makes me feel like I accomplishe something at LEC.

BillT: I saw his stuff it looks great!

Dom-Cubbies: And correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't emulating other styles and copying other artists' works an integral part of any visual arts training?

BillT: I think it is very much. If you copy someone for long enough eventual something new will come out of it. It is a great way to learn nay typre of art- music, dance, movies etc.

Pedgey: Squinky asks: With all the hooplah surrounding MI's move to 3-D, do you think further sequals will be done in CMI style?

BillT: I can't say. It seems to be popular with fans. And I know LEC wnats to please there fans, so all I can say is maybe. I think the EMI style though, was a lot like the CMI style. It is difficult to have a consistant style with the amount of work a game like MEI requires. For instance I drew all the backgrouds for CMI. There is no way I'd have found enough time to do all the MEI art.

BillT: EMI art that is.

BillT: I do think they will do there best with MI5 whenevr that comes out. I have no doutb. There are a lot of talnet artists at Lucas.

Pedgey: BillieJoe_86 asks: Ron Gilbert says that they could have never been married? What do you think about this?

BillT: I have to disagree with Ron. Sorry Ron. An dthe reason why is that between MI1 and MI2 they dated, even lived together if I remember correctly. And Elaine was really hurt by Guybrush's leavung her. So if they could date and live together whay not marry. Plus it seem to be the next logicle step in the maturation of their relationship. Mett Girl, Lose girl, Get girl back. Marry girl. Simple

telarium: Then kids with girl.

Sarah--: Cute. :)

Sarah--: Then comes baby carriage.

emma: Hehe.

BillT: that is right! lol

BillieJoe_86: And finally the death

BillT: Does nayone else agree?

jake|n|spaff: monkey island 5: son of guybrush

InsomniFox: billie- no we already had the death

BillT: No death. Too depressing.

telarium: I'd like to see them divorce.

Sarah--: Except in CMI, where death is funny!

BillT: Guybrina

Chariset: Elbrush

DJG: Aww

telarium: Monkey Island: Divorce Court

BillT: true!

Sarah--: Elbrush. heh.

emma: Andrew, you're mean! :)

jake|n|spaff: guylaine

Chariset: If you use it, give me credit.. =)

jake|n|spaff: or... chariset.

BillT: lol

Sarah--: oooh, a divorce! That's comedy.

Chariset: That's his sister.

Chariset: Speaking of...

telarium: A custody battle over Timmy.

BillT: ok. next question. Enough of this silliness!

Pedgey: InsomniFox asks: is the side project you mentioned once on the scramm board still happening? If so, I'd love to do the music. I'm working on plunder 3d right now and another secret commercial game...

BillT: It is sort of going. I woefully overestimated how much time I would have to work on it. I suspect I won't need any programming nor any music till around fall or Christmas even. A full time job, a wife and a baby do take up a lot of time, but it is well worth it. I highly recomend marriage and the whole baby thing. Just be prepared to ration out your free time. But if you are still interested at that time, contact me at

InsomniFox: I'm sure I will be. because i'll be at uni studying music and it'll tie in ;)

BillT: I aprecaite the offer too. i can write music. though I can sing.

InsomniFox: (was that can't write music and can sing?)

BillT: Can't write, yes.

Pedgey: PirateKing asks: What's your favorite non LEC adventure game of all time?

BillT: Blade runner. Though I hate the UI, the look is greta and it captures the feel of the movie perfectly. Legend of Kyrandia would come in second. And I liked the Zork games back when they were only text too.

Pedgey: i really like LoK, it was a nice change back then...

BillT: Graphics and humor were what attracted me to it.

Pedgey: RaptorII asks: Bill, what initially pushed you into art, in general? Gut feeling, just happened over the course of time, great insperation, something else? :)

BillT: I have been drawing since I was three. And My mother went out of her way to keep me supplied with paper and paints. She was very encourageing. Also it was very easy for me. It allowed me to draw the things I saw in my head. I love art directing, but I am truly the happiest when I am painting a picture.

BillT: I wasn't sure if I wnate to be a movie director, writer, animator or illustrator. So when I graduated from high school I took classes in all the areas I was interested in. The ones I liked the best turned out to be animation and computre art. I sort of fell in to the LEC job. I thought I was going to work for Disney the rest of my life.

RaptorII: What was the first thing you made, that you truly cherrished for years?

BillT: The art I cherish the most were pieces I thought I couldn't do. It is scary to try a nd draw something you know will suck when you are finished. But every once in a while I would actually sicceed. I had proof in front of me that I didn't suck as bad as I done before. Felt like I mad a leap forward when that happend.

Chariset: 'wnate' 'encourageing' These are the reasons I spent two hours editing that interview....... =)

RaptorII: :) Varity is fun.

BillT: sorry. Me friend said i type like a monkey on crack.

RaptorII: So I guess you fit perfectly into the MI scene. :)

Chariset: (sorry, Bill)

BillT: lol

BillT: no problem I get it all the time. I was notorious at LEC for sending the most amount of typos through all messages.

Pedgey: PirateKing asks: Bill, you said with a few exceptions you are happy with the artistic results of CMI...Could you name something you weren't happy with?

BillT: lets see. i think soem of the cut scene background are too busy and interfere with the action. I wish I had blurred them out a bit. The hsips in ship combat I thinkcould have been done better, and I mean the decks not the 3d ships. Brimstone beach club is a bit messy and the backstage area of the theatre is way too dark. There are a lot more, but I don't want to tarnish my rep too much here tonight.

BillT: my typing is doing that well enough!

PirateKing: Hey I thought the darkness in the backstage area worked well!

PirateKing: I mean it was only lit by candlelight

BillT: Things should seem dark without actually being dark. You have to be tricky about it. I think I got a little lazy on that one.

PirateKing: Nah...I thought it was great:)

Pedgey: BillieJoe_86 asks: What do you prefer 2D ot 3D?

BillT: I like 2d for my own personal art, but I love the flexibilty of 3d art. It is so easy to fix things in 3d art. #d can be a pian but it is a great way to get into a virtual world. 2d can still do that, but it is much more difficult. So I can't say I like one over the other. they both have ther uses.

BillT: How's that for side stepping a tricky question?!

Pedgey: DJG asks: How does the change from using 3d models from individual animations effect the method of creating the art for games?

BillT: good traditional 2d art has the problem of staying on character, or on model. Many animators draw the sam echaracter in different scense, and often the way they draw themchanges from animator to animator. Disney solves this by creating exstensive character modle sheet, and by having on one person animate a major character. In 3d animation the animators don't have to worry about this.

BillT: Also in CMi we had to five differnt walk animations, in 3d you animate the walk once and leave the turning to the programer. Saves a lot of time and allows the animator more time to tweak the animation.

BillT: Did you like the animation in emi?

BillieJoe_86: yes, it was awesome!

telarium: I did, personally.

BillT: I think that is due to that fact the animators just concentrated on acting, not drawing.

telarium: Yeah, 3D seems more flexible.

DJG: Yes, but sometimes with 2d it seems more seemless...

BillT: the programming has a lot to do with how seemless or seemful an animation will look. So it isn't always the animator's fault.

Chariset: 'seemful' Cute. =)

BillT: I figured it has to be a word, doesn't it?

DJG: It is now, in any case.

Huz: telarium asks: Do you think there might ever be a Monkey Island movie? And if so, would you like to be involved?

BillT: I think a MI movie would be cool. But are there enough people out there to warrant a full length feature? that is the real question. If there are, I would say it is possible.

BillT: I don't know if i would like to work on it. I have such strong feelings about the look of MI that it would be hard to take art direction from someone with a different take.

Mort-Hog: On a somewhat unrelated note, while Pedgey gets back on his feet, do you play games online much?

BillT: I play EQ and Counter Stike.

Pedgey: Chariset asks: What do you think of the MI fan-community, now that you've met us?

Sarah--: Literally met some of us. :)

BillT: My first is impression was "Wow! These guys are young!", my second one was "Wow! they must really love games to pay the $200 to get in to E3, not to mention the cost of travel and hotel. I was impressed with you dedication, andlove of games.

BillT: eveyone was real nice and had lots of energy. Enjoy the energy while you have it. Around 28 the weight of the world will suck it out of you!

BillT: The on line fans are very discrinating. I like that. I fI can impress them, then that is saying something. They also have a realy odd sense of humor. I can see why they like LEC adventure games so much

BillT: Discriminating was the word I tried to spell there.

Pedgey: DJG asks: Do you still find time to paint? Is there any published artwork up anywhere?

BillT: Nope. Not yet. i have a friend how is pitching a movie to a major studio, and he asked me to do some art for it. But othre than that I don't do much freelance work.

BillT: Should I open a on-line gallery?

BillT: I do most of my stuff on computer. I suppose I could sell prints, but they wouldn't be worth much.

Skyfox: Ok Bill... this is the last question we have... after that, would you mind if we opened up the room for open chat?

BillT: be my guest, and thanks for having me and for putting up with my typos!

Skyfox: hehehee... brilliant! Thanks Bill.. you have been a star!

Pedgey: Squinky asks: Do you think EMI measures up to the other three?

BillT: I haven't finished it yest so I can't say.

Mort-Hog: What are your opinions so far?

BillT: I'll finish it this weekend and I will post extensive notes. How is that?

Squinky: Yes!

Squinky: Do so.

BillT: I wouldn't have changed Melle Island around as much. that animation is great. I love the new elaine, though I still wish she were british.

BillT: The humor is right up there, but with a Stemmle Clark slant, that I know so well.