Tales of Monkey Island sees the first new Threepwood adventure for years, and we are so excited that we tracked down Mike Stemmle, one of the designers of Tales and designer from previous Monkey Island games to find out more. We’re publishing the interview here over the next three days, and then including it in PlayZine later this week together with some exclusive Tales of Monkey Island screens. Keep your eyes peeled.

Look out for the exclusive Tales of Monkey Island screens coming in PlayZine.

Look out for the exclusive Tales of Monkey Island screens coming in PlayZine.

GamerZines: Guybrush is finally getting a new adventure – are you aware of just how much love is coming your way from gamers at the moment? Have little gifts started arriving at the office?

Mike Stemmle: We’ve been superwhelmed by the love pouring in from the gaming community. It’s that love (and the copious consumption of mostly-legal stimulants) that’s fuelling our efforts to finish the first episode by July 7th.

GamerZines: With a well-loved franchise like Monkey Island, choosing the game’s look and feel is obviously very important. Did you always plan to go 3D for “Tales”? Did you ever consider carrying the 2D sprites from the Special Edition through, or trying something completely different?

Mike Stemmle: We’re a 3D company. The only way to make a game as complicated as Monkey Island as quickly as we do things at Telltale is to go 3D. That said, we’ve seriously bumped up the graphics a few dozen notches on Tales of Monkey Island, and think people are going to seriously jazzed by some of the results. There are a number of sets that I swear look like they were hand painted.

GamerZines: We see that you will be able to combine items to produce new ones in order to solve puzzles (a staple idea from previous Monkey Islands), what other gameplay ideas from previous MIs will return, and what new stuff do you have planned?

Mike Stemmle: I think I’ll defer this one until later in the season.

GamerZines: On that note, have you retained the interface from Sam & Max, or has this been given a tweak too?

Mike Stemmle: One nice thing about Telltale is we’re always upgrading the interface based on fan feedback, and what’s appropriate for the franchise. So, yes, the interface is getting a tweak. Or ten.

GamerZines publishes a regular, free magazine for Wii, DS and PSP gamers, called PlayZineclick here to download the latest issue for free.