Mini Interview – Puzzle Agent 2: What Does Graham Annable Think?

By Marty Mulrooney

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Following the recent release of Puzzle Agent 2 (reviewed here), AMO caught up with cartoonist/animator/illustrator Graham Annable to discuss the game in an exclusive online mini interview!

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Hello Mr Annable and welcome back to AMO! How’s it going?

Thanks! It’s nice to be back. Things are going quite well, thank you.

What have you been up to since we last spoke?

I’ve been busy working as a story artist on Laika’s next stop motion animated feature, ParaNorman. And also doing numerous art shows and freelance comic work as well. 

Puzzle Agent 2 has just been released! How pleased are you with this sequel?

I’m extremely pleased. I think the team did an incredible job in an extremely short time to pull all the loose ends of Scoggins together and deliver a really fun puzzle game.

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What was it like to revisit Nelson Tethers and Scoggins?

It felt very natural to go back to Minnesota. I was stoked that we got the opportunity to revisit the town and attempt to explain some of the mysteries presented in the first game. 

Was the sequel easier to develop than the first game?

Yes and no. From a technical standpoint I think it was a bit easier because we had a lot of our pipelines in place. But creatively there were some real tricky elements that had been hinted at in the first game that needed to pay off in this one. 

Do you feel it improves on the first game in any way?

Definitely. I feel like we had a much better handle on the overall presentation and a clearer sense of what Puzzle Agent is as a game.

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Did you have the same level of input as you did with the original Puzzle Agent?

Yes. My role was nearly identical to what it was in the first game. I contributed a number of animations, most of the concepts and focused primarily on the story point/cutscene moments.

How did it feel to collaborate once again with Telltale Games?

Great, as always. There’s no other place I’d rather be making Puzzle Agent games, that’s for sure.

Do you have a favourite moment/puzzle from Puzzle Agent 2?

There’s quite a few moments I’m really proud of in it and a lot of solid puzzles. I did really like how everything came together for the astronaut dream sequence with Nelson in the hotel room. The music was perfect in that scene!

What do you think of Doug Boyd’s performance as Nelson?

Doug Boyd is Nelson. The second I heard his voice in the first game it completed the character for me. I can’t imagine any other voice for Nelson. 

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Do you have a favourite supporting character?

The Sheriff is right up there. And I was really pleased with how Korka worked in the storyline for Puzzle Agent 2.

Would it be fair to say that Puzzle Agent 1 & 2 are almost like two halves of the same story?

I think that would be fair enough, yes. They each work fine separately but I feel you get the best experience if you play both together, from start to finish. At least in terms of the story.

The ending hinted at further Nelsen Tethers adventures to come. Are you able to comment on this at all? 

There are certainly a number of adventures I’ve jotted down and talked about with Telltale for Nelson. All I can officially say is please go out and purchase Puzzle Agent and Puzzle Agent 2 if you haven’t already! That improves the chance there will be further games more than anything else! :)

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Are you still working as a story artist at Laika Entertainment?

I am indeed. As mentioned earlier I’ve been toiling away on storyboards for their next feature, ParaNorman. It’s going  to be a lot of fun!

We have previously discussed your work as an animator at LucasArts for several of their games, including The Curse Of Monkey Island. Would you like to see a special edition of that game at some point in the future?

Certainly! I’d love to be able to see a lot of that animation work again. It’d be great!

What’s next for you Mr Annable?

I’ve got a number of personal comic book projects I’ve been tinkering on and I hope some of them may see the light of day in the near future. And, of course, I also plan to continue creating animated shorts for the Grickle Channel on YouTube whenever the opportunity presents itself. Plenty of things on the horizon for sure.

Thank you for your time!

You are most welcome! Thank you for all the excellent questions!

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