Getting To Know Your Developer [GTKYD] : Interview with Graham Annable

by GamingBits on August 25, 2010


in Getting To Know Your Developers [GTKYD]

Puzzle Agent screenshot, from Telltale Games

Please introduce yourself and tell us what do you do in the games industry.

My name is Graham Annable, I’ve worked mostly as a animator and lead animator in the games industry. I spent some time as the creative director at Telltale Games as well. And more recently I have actually been working full-time as a storyboard artist in the film industry.

How did you get into game development?

I was in the middle of moving to Vancouver for some television animation work when a friend of a friend informed me that LucasArts was looking for animators, even Canadian ones. So I happily detoured to California and ended up spending over a decade there.

What game have you been working on or just released?

I’ve recently completed work on Nelson Tethers: Puzzle Agent from Telltale Games. I provided the art style and general sensibility of the game, based on the comics and animation work that I do.

What other games have you worked on in the past?

I believe the first game I worked on officially was Full Throttle. Since that time I’ve contributed animation work for The Dig, Curse of Monkey Island, Outlaws, Star Wars Episode 3, Bone:Out from Boneville and a little bit on Sam & Max: Season One to name a few.

Puzzle Agent screen

Explain how Puzzle Agent came to be and what is it all about?

Puzzle Agent resulted from me pitching the idea to Telltale and having it timed nicely with their plans to initiate the new Pilot Program at the company. The previous comic book and Youtube animated shorts I had done helped provide a clear vision of what I was hoping the game could look and feel like. They were very excited about trying to create a Grickle style game, as was I.

How was working with Telltale Games on this project (how many team members, development time, etc.)?

It was a great experience for me. Challenging for sure, but great. The team stayed quite small and I worked remotely up in Portland Oregon so it was a tricky process at times. The production time was very tight for having to create a game with a whole new art style and game mechanic for the company.

What did you do on the project?

I provided the overall art style and was involved in cranking out a decent amount of the character animation in the game. My main focus was directing and animating the cutscene moments in the Puzzle Agent experience and providing feedback on the storyline and game design.

How excited are you about being the first title in Telltale’s new Pilot Program?

Extremely excited! I was really flattered to be the first one out the door for Telltale’s new program. And it was so much fun to build this strange little puzzle game that was both a tale of horror and yet quirky comedy. I could not be prouder of the efforts of everyone on the team for creating the game we made.

I know that you write comics and do other forms of animation, can you explain?

I’ve been doing comic book work in my own style for nearly ten years now. Mostly short stories that have either been collected in my own Grickle books or shown up in other indie anthologies such as Flight, Papercutter and Hickee. I was really honored to have one of my stories selected for the “Best American Comics 2008″ book a couple of years ago. I’ve also been busy creating animated shorts and posting them on the Grickle channel on Youtube. I love that we live in an age where I can create an animated idea, post it, and suddenly a million plus people have watched it.

From the “Principal Skeleton” short

What was your toughest challenge during development?

I think the toughest challenge was working remotely. It was thankfully a small team and reasonably easy to stay in touch with everyone, but it’s always tricky when you’re not physically there with everybody. The production time was so short and everything moved so fast on the project that it was difficult to stay completely abreast of key issues.

Puzzle Agent is episodic, can you say whether or not we are going to see anything more?

I certainly hope that we do but it’s still a little early to be certain. The iPhone and iPad versions of the game will be releasing soon and I think they will play a large part in whether we get to continue the adventures of Nelson Tethers.

Anything else you want to say to GamingBits readers about yourself and Puzzle Agent?

Nothing more than to say thank you so much for allowing me to do this interview and to thank you for your time! Perhaps you’ll ask me back once there’s a full season of Puzzle Agent to talk about! 😉


Thanks to Graham Annable and Telltale Games for making this interview possible! For more on Puzzle Agent, visit To see Graham’s Grickle animations, visit the Grickle Channel here on YouTube.

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