The lights are on
It's been a long time since we revealed South Park: The Stick of Truth on our January 2012 cover. Since then, its publisher THQ has gone belly-up and the game has been picked up by Ubisoft. Luckily for fans of the show (and comedic video games), the Obsidian-developed game is still on track for a holiday release. As we look forward to the sure-to-be ridiculous RPG, we decided to revisit an interview that I conducted with South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone for our January 2012 cover story. You can read it in its entirety below.
The concept of this game has been floating around for a while. How did it finally come together?
Trey Parker: I really loved RPGs growing up, and even now I really love them. We started kicking around the idea of a South Park RPG even a long time ago when we did an episode about Lord of the Rings. I think since then we’ve talked about how cool a big, real RPG with the kids playing a game within the game could be. We had been kicking around the idea since then.
Did you ever flirt with the idea of other genres, or was it RPG from the very beginning?
Matt Stone: We’ve been thinking about this RPG the whole time we’ve seriously thought about a game. I don’t think we’ve ever really considered anything else. It’s the best way to tell the story, we can get some real writing in there.
Trey: The other games, we just kind of found a company and were like, “Go ahead and make a game.” Whatever it was, we just weren’t super involved. The best way for us to be involved and have actual writing in it is to do an RPG.
Considering how the previous games turned out, do you feel this will be the first to really do the South Park name justice?
Trey: Hopefully it will. It’ll definitely be the first one that has us working as hard as we do on the show. We really didn’t have any big reason we’d have to do it, except that we’re both just huge gamers and it was sort of another area. Especially when the show first came out, there were video games that we weren’t super proud of and we were always like “Well, if we ever got the chance to spend the time and do it right and do it big, this is sort of what this is all about.”
Matt: We’ve done this so long that Xbox 360 and PS3 are like the new consoles considering we were doing video games before. We even did a Nintendo 64 game, I think. There was this thing that happened where we realized that even though not everyone sees the show in HD, we produce South Park in HD and we have for like three years. I watch it in HD and Trey and I both think about South Park as a 16:9, HD show. So now with both of the systems, we can finally have a character walk into the scene and it really does look like you’re in South Park. Compared to the old days where they were sort of 3D, but it didn’t look like South Park. We had to have some sort of weird 3D engine to make the game work. This is really gonna have the look of South Park. It’ll look like you’re in a show. That wasn’t possible until the new systems like Xbox 360 and PS3 came out. That was another thing that got us really excited to do a game.
Did you have developers in mind that you wanted to talk to? How detailed was the pitch?
Matt: Not as detailed as all the story we have now, but we had kind of a general concept that we were talking to people about. It’s kind of like doing a game with an existing license, and there’s always a problem because you’ve got us and all we care about. We’d like them to make a good game, and you have Comedy Central that has a license they need to sell. I think developers are somewhat hot and cold. They have a certain prejudice against licensed things, I mean. Some people do it great. Some licensed games are awesome, but some are duds. We’re hoping we can keep it in the awesome category. So that was a little bit of a sticky thing, going out and selling the game.