Promotional artwork for DeathSpank
|Platform(s)||Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3|
|Genre(s)||Action role-playing game|
DeathSpank is an upcoming action role-playing game by game designer Ron Gilbert, who had been working on getting the game made since 2004; it was announced on January 9, 2008 that Hothead Games would publish the game. The game has been described as "Monkey Island meets Diablo". No release date has been given by either Gilbert or Hothead Games, but a piece of artwork released indicates the game is "Coming soonish." As of September 16, 2008, the website says "Soonerish". Three teaser trailers of DeathSpank were shown at Penny Arcade Expo 2008, but did not show any gameplay.  On March 30, 2009, Ron Gilbert confirmed on his blog that the game would no longer be episodic.  During the '09 Penny Arcade Expo the game was showcased at Hothead Games booth, with live gameplay being demonstrated by staff, along with examples of story elements, and dialog trees.
DeathSpank's world is cylinder shaped and is rendered without load screens as the player explores it's unique goings on. Gameplay is similar to Diablo, but with more customization, featuring hundreds of pieces of armor and weapons. Advanced dialog options, similar to LucasArts popular Monkey Island series also play a large part in unfolding the games story. The game is being designed to be comfortable to play in short segments, ideal for more casual gamers, but also boasts 15+ hours of gameplay. Players also have the options of doing many side quests, and hunting for achievments.
The character DeathSpank originated in Ron Gilbert's Grumpy Gamer comics, created by Gilbert and Clayton Kauzlaric. The character was then later developed further. Gilbert and Kauzlaric created a rough design for the game and pitched it to games publishers for over four years without any success. Previously, Gilbert had consulted for Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness at Hothead Games; he contacted them and a deal was made for the company to publish the game. A more in-depth design for DeathSpank was then produced.