Ron Gilbert is a world-renowned character in video game development and will be forever because of his main masterpieces like Maniac Mansion or Monkey Island, from his years at Lucasfilm. He is considered as the father of graphic adventure, of the point and click genre, since he was the one who managed to develop the SCUMM, a creative engine to facilitate videogame programming that includes interaction with objects and dialogue.
Ron Gilbert is a character who has been considered the master in videogame development thanks to his works Maniac Mansion and Monkey Island. He is the father of graphic adventure and the point-and-click genre.
In the early 1980s, when the Commodore 64 home computer was quite new, a young college student named Ron Gilbert discovered the potential of the C 64 BASIC programming language. A potential feature for creating games similar to those he had seen. However, exploiting the graphical power of C64 with the crude BASIC compiler was tedious work. When he finally finished his extension called Graphics Basic, he was able to move the sprites around the screen and perform other multitasking-based operations that were new territory on C 64 at the time. Gilbert quickly sold Graphics Basic to a company called Human Engineered Software and, in the meantime, received his degree in computer science, and started working there as well. He spent about half a year at HESware, programming arcade games for the C64. In search of a new job, Gilbert ended up at Lucasfilm Games. He was working at the time creating the Lucasfilm Ataris C 64 ports. Soon, tired of mere rewriting, he was eager to create and had his chance in 1985. In March 1992, Ron Gilbert co-founded a software company along with Shelley Day. They called it Humongous Entertainment and their goal was to create adventure games for children. They wanted to tell interactive stories but stick to the basic principles of adventure games.
In 1995, Humongous Entertainment was powerful enough to generate a subsidiary. Gilbert and Shelley founded Cavedog Entertainment, a company dedicated to creating mass-market games, but no longer based on adventures. He returned to Hothead Games, where he is the Creative Director working on the game Deathspank.
Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick were the creators of Maniac Mansion and were the most important pillars to achieve the development of a large number of video games of the extinct LucasArts, such as Monkey Island and Indiana Jones. In recent years, his style is based on a series of fun and rewarding graphic adventures, better known as “point and click“, created using the style of Maniac Mansion, with touches of Monkey Island humor, pixel art graphics, in which Octavi Navarro who is a brilliant Spanish artist of the noble art of “pixel art” has collaborated. The graphics he has used are of that style, but with great innovations and totally renewed without losing the old appearance. His games can be observed in third person, with a part of the screen occupied by the actions that can enhance the different characters included in the games, as well as the set of objects that accompany it. The puzzles he uses in his games also feel much more logical and organic compared to the games that existed years ago.
Some of his most important video games are mentioned below: