Those masters of hilarious, episodic gaming at Telltale Games are revving up moviedom’s most iconic Delorean for another trip through time. “Back to the Future: The Game” takes Marty McFly and Doc Brown to computer screens everywhere just as the first “BTTF” film has recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. The five-part adventure picks up after the events of “BTTF 3” and tasks Marty to travel into the past where he must enlist the help of a 17-year-old Doc in saving the timeline again. Telltale’s making the game with the help of the films’ co-creator and co-writer Bob Gale. Gale took time to answer a few questions about the game.
What’s been the hardest part of revisiting these characters in a new medium?
Actually, it hasn’t been hard at all! Because both Marty and Doc are very active characters, the idea that both have to accomplish certain tasks in a game is an easy transition.
Where do the games fit in with regard to the events of the movies?
The game begins about 6 months after the events of the movies. We had a brief conversation about starting the game in 2011 but, as I say, it was brief because it was my opinion that the fans wanted to revisit Marty and Doc as they were in the movies, as opposed to a much older Marty.
Are you getting to fit in stuff (plot ideas or character beats) that might have been left on the cutting room floor for the movies?
You can see exactly what was left on the cutting room floor in the deleted scenes sections of the DVDs! None of that stuff belongs in the game. We are, however, meeting Doc as a 17-year-old, and that was a concept Bob Zemeckis and I considered early on as a possible focus for “BTTF 2” when we were trying to decide what the sequel would be about.
What present-day technology comes closest to something you imagined in “Back to the Future?”
Actually, we got a lot of things right! We got the Jumbotron billboard in the town square, home telephone-video conferencing, multiple TV channels on a giant screen TV at once, handheld units for sales transactions, financial transactions via computer… We’re hoping someone will get a version of the hoverboard out there by 2015, but flying cars as we imagined them don’t seem likely.
Is there anything that surprises you about how video games have evolved in the 25 years since the first “BTTF” movie?
Honestly? No! We had the scene in Cafe 80s where the two kids are trying to figure out an arcade videogame and then become dismissive of it because “you mean you have to use your hands?” Looks like Xbox Kinect is the first step along those lines — no hand held controller!
What do you think is the secret behind the lasting appeal of the “BTTF” movies?
Great identifiable characters, and a very human premise — everyone in the world wonders what their parents were really like as kids!