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Ron Gilbert Has Left Double Fine

With The Cave finished and out the door, Gilbert is moving on.

“So many games left to be designed.”

That’s designer Ron Gilbert’s plan for the future, but it won’t be happening at Double Fine Productions. The longtime Tim Schafer collaborator is moving on from Schafer’s studio, weeks after the launch of The Cave, which he worked on with Double Fine the past two years.

“I want to thank all the amazing people at Double Fine for all their hard work on The Cave,” said Gilbert on his blog. “It was a true pleasure to work with every one of them over the past two years. So much fun. I will miss them all. And of course to Tim for creating the opportunity to come there and make The Cave.”

Nobody involved has elaborated much on Gilbert’s reasoning for leaving (conspiracy!), but Schafer waved goodbye on Twitter.

“Sad to say @grumpygamer feels like it's time to spread his grumpy wings and fly,” said Shafer. “Good luck, Ron! Thanks for The Cave!”

In the coming weeks, Gilbert plans to post behind-the-scenes pictures and other details on his blog.

Patrick Klepek on Google+
82 Comments
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Edited by RazielCuts

'The Cave: What Could've Been.'

Posted by jvalenti57

Curious as to what he'll do next

Posted by sado

Wonder what impact this has on the Double Fine/Ron Gilbert Kickstarter project.

Edited by Wrighteous86

@sado said:

Wonder what impact this has on the Double Fine/Ron Gilbert Kickstarter project.

They've implied that he's only had a "consulting" role on that game for a while now, so probably not much.

Edited by JazGalaxy

I guess i"m the only person who thought the cave was exactly what I wanted out of the cave.

Edited by Doomshine

He never stays in one place for long does he?

Posted by Doctorchimp

'The Cave: What Could of Been.'

Yeah right, "The Cave: you motherfuckers don't know what you're talking about (fuck Brad Muir) by Ron Gilbert"

Posted by MrGtD

I have a feeling that this was the deal all along: Ron Gilbert comes to Double Fine, they let him make the Cave, they get his opinion on all other projects, and once the Cave is out, he's free to go.

Edited by nemesisND1derboy

Looks like another E3 mystery is afoot...

Posted by Kidable

I wonder if Double Fine shoehorned too much of its own vision into Gilbert's baby "The Cave" which ended it up trying to do too many things at once (platformer, puzzle etc)

Posted by Asky314159

I was under the impression that this was the plan all along, that Ron Gilbert was at Double Fine to make The Cave and was out as soon as it was over.

Posted by Atom

I don't care.

#TeamMooEar :D

Posted by Ghost407

This is a bummer...

Posted by PistolPackinPoet

I saw this coming after how bad the Cave was

Edited by Deusx

I wonder if this has anything to do with how bad the Cave finally did... and if it does, I would love to know what he has to say about it.

Edited by rebgav

@sado said:

Wonder what impact this has on the Double Fine/Ron Gilbert Kickstarter project.

I'd imagine that there is no impact on the Double Fine/No-one Else Kickstarter project.

Posted by Phatmac

Sad to see Ron go! Thanks for The Cave though! It seems like I'm one of the few people on here that actually enjoyed it.

Edited by TournamentOfHate

The Cave is supposed to come free for PSPlus members sometime this month, I'm excited to play it.

Posted by iAmJohn

I really wish someone could explain the psychology of someone like Gilbert to me. He joins these teams, gets them to make his vision, then once it's done he's almost immediately out the door. He did the same thing with Hothead and Deathspank. It makes no sense to me, unless he's somehow going around and burning all his bridges with these middling games.

Posted by GasparNolasco

@jazgalaxy said:

I guess i"m the only person who thought the cave was exactly what I wanted out of the cave.

They hyped it a bit too much, I think. It was just a fun co-op game -- I enjoyed playing it with my friends, going trough the puzzles a 2nd (and 3rd) time was not a big deal if you bring different people along.

Edited by Aarny91

What a conspiracy.

Posted by SLowrAM

I enjoyed seeing/learning more about Gilbert at GIantbomb and honestly everywhere since his kickstarter. However I don't think he added a lot to the already crazy Double Fine group. I think they will do just as well without him and he'll hopefully enjoy working with a different set of capable developers elsewhere in future project(s). My only concern is if he leeches any of Double Fine's developers, designers, or artists down the road.

Edited by Superfriend

Shit sucks. I was actually hoping for Gilbert to work on the Doublefine Adventure after the Cave.

Guess he doesn´t want to do traditional adventures anymore? Eh, more power to him- but the Cave would have been a much better game without the jump and run. And with more adventure. And a point and click interface. And.. Lucas Arts?.. The.. 90s? I´m gonna cry now.

Edited by Swifdemon

Shits out a game and leaves, eh. Not to sound negative, just what it seems like.

Posted by hermes

Its a pity it has to be this way, and the only thing that comes out of the team up of Gilbert and Schafer in over 16 years was The Cave...

Posted by MarvinPontiac

This is more like "Ron Gilbert isn't in Double Fine's Office Space Anymore." Companies share skills and resources all the time - this isn't bleek news. He was there to work on The Cave, and the game is finished, so he's doing the next thing.

Hey, he even just tweeted: "The Cave was done. I really only came there to make that game. Sorry the reason is so boring."

Posted by Zippedbinders

It seems a lot of people either had insane expectations or had no idea what the deal was in the first place.

Y'all are nuts.

Posted by mason

@superfriend: According to the latest video update it seems the game design work is done on DFA, which is where Ron played a small role. Now it's mostly in the hands of production team, which isn't Ron's job. Perhaps he could have given some periodic feedback, but otherwise he'd just be twiddlin' his thumbs. Unless DoubleFine was going to start a new project with him as designer, he's better off leaving.

Edited by Abendlaender

Just don't start making only iOS games...please

Online
Edited by mnzy

He never seemed to be an integral part of Double Fine, so I guess this was the plan all along.

Just don't start making only iOS games...please

He already has made atleast one.

Posted by Lurkero
@iamjohn said:

I really wish someone could explain the psychology of someone like Gilbert to me. He joins these teams, gets them to make his vision, then once it's done he's almost immediately out the door. He did the same thing with Hothead and Deathspank. It makes no sense to me, unless he's somehow going around and burning all his bridges with these middling games.

It's kind of like what JJ Abrams does with a lot of his TV projects. Come up with ideas, get them going, possibly complete the first version, and then move on to other projects. Perhaps Gilbert likes having his name attached to various creative projects? I would think of it as the mindset of an individual who REALLY wants to be a producer.

Posted by notha

the kickstarter page seemed to imply that ron gilbert would have a fundamental role in the creation of the game, but with this news, and the news that he's only been consulting on the game in the background, i feel kind of mislead. but maybe i just read the kickstarter wrong. anybody else feel similar?

Posted by LarryDavis

@kidable said:

I wonder if Double Fine shoehorned too much of its own vision into Gilbert's baby "The Cave" which ended it up trying to do too many things at once (platformer, puzzle etc)

I think that was entirely Ron "Deathspank" Gilbert. Honestly, he hasn't made a good game since Monkey Island 2, and I'm starting to suspect those games weren't good because of him.

Posted by TheMasterDS

Oh well, he came into Double Fine, made one game that was sub par by Double Fine standards and left. I don't think much of him leaving.

Posted by DonutFever

Sounds like... he caved.

BAM!

Posted by haggis

I never got the impression that Gilbert was going to be a permanent part of Double Fine, so I'm not surprised. The comparison with JJ Abrams seems at least partly apt--there are definitely people out there who are more about ideas than they are about game production, and Gilbert seems to be one of those. The comparison begins to break down on quality--Gilbert's best game design days are long behind him. One might even say the same about Schafer. And I say that as someone whose favorite game of all time is Grim Fandango. The last few Schafer-run games have seriously bummed me out. That said, I am optimistic about the Double Fine Adventure. But Gilbert's apparent focus on iOS games says basically all I need to know about his future in gaming: ie., I won't be playing any of his games.

Posted by Cretaceous_Bob

STOP LOOKING AT ME GUY BEHIND RON GILBERT

Posted by Kerned

The Cave is supposed to come free for PSPlus members sometime this month, I'm excited to play it.

Perfect price for it.

Edited by CornBREDX

I figured he was just there to publish his game and move on. That seems to be what he does these days =P

I'm not implying it's malicious either, just in case it seems like that.

@sado: I'm not sure what you're referring to. If you mean Double Fine Adventure (code named Reds) Ron Gilbert is not working on that game. He helped Tim during the initial phase of figuring out what the game is (just discussing it), but that's been about it.

Posted by Warchief

Posted by FoxMulder

Meh...I honestly haven't enjoyed any of his games since his Lucasarts years.

Edited by Mumrik

@notha said:

the kickstarter page seemed to imply that ron gilbert would have a fundamental role in the creation of the game, but with this news, and the news that he's only been consulting on the game in the background, i feel kind of mislead. but maybe i just read the kickstarter wrong. anybody else feel similar?

I think you read/watched or remember it very wrong.

If you're a backer, haven't you been following the documentary? Gilbert has had no visible part in the production after it actually started. He has been busy with the cave.

Edited by BaconGames

For anyone that's watched the Double Fine Adventure documentary, Ron was always played up as "grumpy guy over there in his room" but in reality there's probably something to that (minus the grumpy sort of). Ron signed on because of his direct relationship with Tim and the opportunity to get around to making this game. He never intended or seemed to want to integrate into Double Fine in general.

Posted by mrcraggle

@notha: We must have watched a different Kickstarter. There was an offside joke about him working on the game but even then he was busy with the Cave although we didn't know that at the time as many people confused the Cave with DFA. As there is the documentary series, you get to see the creative process and I think Ron was in one episode very early on and only briefly as Tim and him went back and forth on ideas of what the game could be now they have a bigger budget. At the end of the day, he's had very little to do with the game and DFA is very much a Tim Schafer headed game.

Edited by Dberg

This isn't a spur of the moment decision or based on how the Cave fared.

I can't remember if it was a 2011 bombcast or somewhere else, but you've said here before that Gilbert was talking with Schafer when Ron mentioned brought up his ideas for the Cave. Schafer offered him a place to hang and a team to help him make the game. Almost verbatim.

I guess we didn't read a lot into it at the time, but it's clear in aftersight that their agreement was for Gilbert to borrow Double Fine horsepower and then be free to do whatever he wanted to do afterwards.

Posted by megalowho

Double Fine's probably better off utilizing their talent elsewhere than giving Gilbert another game/team. Even if it's a good surface fit this sounds like the best move for both parties, if it wasn't the outright plan from the start.

Posted by ds8k
Edited by Bummey

@razielcuts said:

'The Cave: What Could of Been.'

What could have been.

Posted by TzarStefan

Is "The Cave" really that bad?

Edited by MrGtD

Is "The Cave" really that bad?

It's pretty good. "Pretty good" did not meet expectations of "The New Maniac Mansion-like Game From The Guy What Invented Maniac Mansion".

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