Telltale Games has been churning out the episodes of their Sam & Max and Strong Bad series; GameSetWatch talked to Mike Stemmle, LucasArts veteran and current Telltale writer and designer, about the Telltale design process, the veteran-friendly atmosphere (unsurprisingly, the Telltale ranks are full of other LucasArts veterans), and the potentials for non-licensed IP. On the inner workings of Telltale, Stemmle has this to say:
I'm just flabbergasted by the level of smoothness of the production process at Telltale, while keeping the quality up. This isn't sort of "knock it out" game design production here. This is everybody coming together and making sure things get polished. It's not passing bucks around. It's just about everybody working on a project to do about three or four things. When they see something wrong, it's their responsibility to fix it or immediately get in front of somebody who can fix it.
It's great. It's full, hands-on programming and designing. I've been exercising my feeble programming chops, my choreography chops, my design chops, my writing chops night and day to get these things together and so does everybody else. Testers come in and do patches and even code on occasion. It is something can do, so we don't have to bother always. It's great.
The episodic model is an interesting one, but you get a real sense of how busy the Telltale group is with three series shipping. Though, as the interviewer notes, "Must be refreshing to go from these cancelled projects to a company where you're constantly shipping games all the time."