Appendix: Sources and Acknowledgements

It seemed appropriate to begin this appendix with a list of known Sam & Max: Freelance Police team members and what is ascertained to have been their credited titles. Though assuredly incomplete, it is the best approximation to date:

Project Lead
Michael Stemmle

Dan Connors

Assistant Producer
Nate Schaumberg

Lead Designer
Steven Chen

Programming Team
Kevin Bruner (Lead)
Nick Pavis
Randy Tudor
Karen Petersen
Richard Sun
Brendan Q. Ferguson

Art Team
Derek Sakai (Lead)
Jonathan Sgro (Art Technical Director)
Chris Voy (Lead Environment Artist)
Kim Lyons (Environment Artist)
Karen Purdy (Environment Artist)
Kathy Hsieh (Environment Concept Artist)
Eddie Del Rio (Environment Concept Artist)
Derek Becker (Character Modeler)
David Ryan Paul (Character Modeler)

Animation Team
Graham Annable (Lead)
Yojo Ballard
Mike Dacko
Joe White
Karin Nestor

Audio Team
Mark Griskey (composer)
Nick Peck (sound designer)

David Felton

Steve Purcell

May Have Joined The Team After Full Throttle II
Sean Clark

I would like to express my gratitude to the Mixnmojo staff, past and present, as their memories and contributions over the years were the slab foundation that made this undertaking possible. At minimum, the same goes for all participating members of the online communities who followed that coverage and left a record of their reactions behind. This article is a valentine to the fan base first and foremost; theirs was a perspective I wanted prioritized and a collective voice I wanted captured, and in my view this account belongs to them.

It goes without saying that deepest thanks are owed to Steve Purcell, the creator and authority of Sam & Max, who offered supportive words when I invited him to review a draft of the feature and is quoted throughout from various interviews over the years in which he gave his thoughts on the development and demise of Freelance Police.

Conferring a level of class to this article that some might call incompatible is the glorious header artwork from the legendary William Eaken, whose most recognizable work to Mojo readers is likely his cover painting for Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, in which he brilliantly imagined what Drew Struzan might have done with the assignment. The themes of our article led him, with the lampooning aid of the Freelance Police, to produce something of a companion piece in the form of Star Wars poster art, with the enlisted feedback of Purcell to ensure that the personalities of the characters were not in danger of veering too close to sanity.

Naturally, once we decided that this article had grown obnoxious enough to merit the commissioning of original, Sam & Max themed artwork, we approached Purcell first, but when availability issues precluded his ability to take the project on, he blessed Eaken as our preferred choice. I think the end result makes a rather definitive case for why that agreement came easily. And having paid good money for it, we wanted it enjoyed: click here to download the art in Eaken’s intended “one-sheet” form, at full resolution. Like options? It's also available "clean", without text. Have it framed in your home in place of those moth-eaten family portraits -- are those memories that precious, after all?

As stated in the introduction, new interviews were conducted with as many members of the team as we could get a hold of. Participants included Mike Stemmle, Dan Connors, Kevin Bruner, Graham Annable, Derek Sakai, Steven Chen, Jon Sgro, Randy Tudor, Richard Sun, Mark Griskey and Ronda Scott. All new quotes featured in the article come from these correspondences, which were a primary source. They have also been collected into an interview round-up feature here, so that portions which went unused are not unavailable to fans who would be interested. Candid or cagey, clear or fragmented, all of their memories were invaluable, and I thank them for making the time for us. And hey, who’s to say we’re finished? We consider this to be something of a living document and intend to incorporate further developer memories should any more of them make their way to our historically giant ears.

The balance of the sources relied upon were legacy ones. This included former retrospectives, but principally they consisted of contemporary coverage of the game, both of its development and demise, by online and print media, as well as fan commentary from forums and comment sections. The sources were numerous but I wanted them all accounted for; below is my attempt to organize them as adequately as I could. They are arranged by medium, and ordered by date.

Online Articles

Print Articles

  • Sam & Max Freelance Police – Preview of the game published as the cover story by magazine PC Gamer. (February 2004)
  • Sam & Max Lives – Preview of the game published by Australian magazine Hyper. (February 2004)
  • Sam & Max 2 Freelance Police – Preview of the game published by German magazine Gamestar. (April 2004)
  • Sam & Max: Freelance Police – Preview of the game published by magazine PC GamePro. (May 2004)
  • Computer Gaming World Issue 239 – The write-in section of this issue gives the cancellation of Freelance Police some acknowledgment. (June 2004)
  • Game Developer – August 2005 – The cover feature is a post-mortem of Psychonauts. It references the laying off of nearly all of Double Fine’s level designers during a dramatic transition point, calling it “the bloodiest day in company history.” Steve Chen was among these designers; he consequently returned to LucasArts and was assigned to the Freelance Police team. (August 2005)
  • Who Killed Sam & Max? – A two-page post-mortem for Freelance Police, believed to be the first, published by PC Zone in Issue 159. (Page 1, Page 2) (October 2005)
  • Computer Gaming World issue 265 – The cover feature was the first preview of Telltale’s first season of Sam & Max games. A companion video can be watched here. Interesting sidenote: These early screenshots show a blue sky above Sam and Max’s neighborhood, while the shipped game would have a yellowish, polluted-looking sky, per Steve Purcell’s suggestion. (August 2006)
  • Game Developer – March 2007 – The cover feature is a post-mortem of Telltale’s first season of Sam & Max games. (March 2007)
  • The Empire Strikes Out – A six-page feature devoted to Full Throttle 2 and Sam & Max 2, published by GamesTM in Retro Volume 3 and archived on Issuu. (Unknown 2010)

Web Miscellany



Image Credits

Header art by William Eaken.

Panel from Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis themed Sam & Max strip © 1991 Steve Purcell. The scan of The Adventurer, Issue No. 3 from which it is taken is provided by Ryan Katam.

Simon Jeffery photograph sourced from Crunchbase. Ronda Scott photograph sourced from PR Week. Mary Bihr photograph sourced from MobyGames. Randy Breen photograph sourced from Crunchbase. Michael A. Nelson photograph sourced from Legacy. Wolfgang Kierdorf photograph sourced from Twitter.

Sources of web site screenshots, magazine scans, and tweeted images can be found either in their respective captions and/or in the linked sources listed above. Company logos sourced from the official sites of those companies.

All unattributed images are sourced from pre-existing Mojo galleries that constitute circulated PR assets (game screenshots, concept art, promotional material, etc.) and legacy contributed material. All images belong to their respective owners.

Oh, and we don’t claim to own the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, probably.

  1. Page 1 Introduction/Justification
  2. Page 2 Part 1: Star Wars Interactive
  3. Page 3 Part 2: Brain Drain
  4. Page 4 Part 3: Simon Says
  5. Page 5 Part 4: A Welcome Oasis
  6. Page 6 Part 5: “The only game, really"
  7. Page 7 Part 6: Spot the Pattern
  8. Page 8 Part 7: “The smoothest project I ever worked on”
  9. Page 9 Part 8: General Shut-Uppery
  10. Page 10 Part 9: “I mean, kickass we got Slashdotted”
  11. Page 11 Part 10: Telltale Now
  12. Page 12 Parting Reflections
  13. Page 13 Appendix: Sources and Acknowledgements