In an interview with VGVisionary at the NLGD Festival of Games, Leisure Suit Larry creator Al Lowe talked about the lack of good humor in games. "I love storyline, and plot, and character development. My weakness has always been comedy. I love to laugh, I love to laugh at games, I love to make people laugh. Sadly, there's not much of that in games anymore today," he said.
He says that the difficulty in making funny games is that it's difficult to tell the order in which players are going to discover the comedy, and that it's difficult to make references because you don't know what your audience has experienced prior to playing the games you make. He believes these are among the reasons why it is difficult to make funny games.
In his time as a game developer, Al Lowe and his co-developers considered themselves to be scriptors rather than programmers. They had to be creative under severe constraints and limitations.
"My games were always confined to a small little finite area, where you could actually explore in-depth and see a lot of things in there, but the area itself was usually pretty constrained. Most of my games were 30 scenes, maybe 40."
He cited Leisure Suit Larry 5's airports as an example of how his studio managed to turn the game's limitations into a joke.
Al Lowe admits that he doesn't play a lot of games these days because they're not funny. "I used to enjoy the funny games," he said.
"What I find that there are so many games on the market today, that it's difficult to rise above the ocean of crap that's out there," he said. "When you go to that Apple Store and you see 300,000 apps, how many of those are games? Tens of thousands? A hundred thousand, maybe? How in the hell do you find something good?"
The interview ends with an announcement that a company has bought the rights to the Leisure Suit Larry intellectual property, which plans to update the graphics, the voice overs and the user interface with touch interface and modern graphics and have them playable on Android and iOS. The news is certainly something to look forward to.
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