Duke Grabowski

A comic adventure game about the biggest, roughest pirate in the Azurbbean and his struggle to become a noble swashbuckler.

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About Us

Who we are

Let us introduce ourselves

Bill “Curse of Monkey Island” Tiller designed the game and is painting the backgrounds as you read this, so you know it’s going to look great and be a lot of fun. He has a long history with point-and-click adventures.

Gene Mocsy will contribute design and dialog. He was the author of 1954: Alcatraz and in-game writer for Perils of Man and Ghost Pirates of Vooju Island. He’s also doing 3D work because he used to do that at EA.

Jeremiah Grant, veteran of games like The Force Unleashed II and Rime, and films like The Avengers and Pacific Rim, will handle tech and rigging. He’s also crunching data to keep us on an achievable schedule.

Also joining us

LucasArts alumni Alyssa Clark will help with our dialog. She comes to us from Hollywood, where she writes for the popular MTV werewolf show, Teen Wolf. Update #12.

LucasArts alumni Dave Grossman is advising on our gameplay and puzzle design. His credits include Monkey Island 1 & 2, co-project lead on Day of the Tentacle, writer/designer of Sam and Max at Telltale, and Director of Design for Tales of Monkey Island. Update #12.

LucasArts alumni Larry Ahern will appear with Dave in a cameo. Larry was animation lead for Monkey Island 2, Day of the Tentacle and Full Throttle, and Co-Project Lead onThe Curse of Monkey Island, among other notable projects. Update #12.

Influential storyboard artist Mike Cachuela will help Bill design Duke Grabowski’s cutscenes. Mike is known for his terrific work on The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Coraline, and more. Update #14.

Marketing and crowdfunding expert Sarah “Burra” Burrough joined us mid-campaign and helped make this project a success.

What Is Duke Grabowski?

The Gameplay

The gameplay is classic point-and-click goodness that you know and love from games like The Curse of Monkey Island and our own Ghost Pirates of Vooju Island. Enjoy tropical locations, solve amusing inventory and dialog puzzles, and revel in comic pirate mischief.

Characters and Story

To become captain of the pirate ship Brazen Blade, Duke is given a challenge by his crew: to win the love of three women. Or, more precisely, to “sea-deuce” them, as old Slewface says with a leer.

Slewface is the villain, and the challenge is sexist, and Duke has to realize it over the course of the game. When Duke gets to shore and meets actual women, everything changes. He has to relate to them as actual human beings.

As Bill said in a recent interview,

“He slowly learns through trial and error, and a lot of pain, what’s the right thing to do. He starts realizing, ‘Hey, maybe what I originally wanted — maybe I don’t want it after all. Y’know? Maybe this crew is a bunch of jerks and I don’t really need ’em.'”

Bill goes into more detail in Update #2:

“The story is really about peer pressure, the dangers of following the herd, and about watching a character change and mature.”

Duke Grabowski, Mighty Swashbuckler


The Villanous Slewface

  • LucasArts’ Monkey Island series, of course, is an inspiration. Bill is well known for his work as lead background artist on The Curse of Monkey Island.
  • Mongo from Blazing Saddles.
  • The Hulk.
  • Brian Urlacher of the Chicago Bears. (“Grabowski” is a nickname for fans of the Chicago Bears. For more, see Update #1.)
  • We all love the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland, even after they put in Johnny Depp.
  • And we’re studying the classic swashbuckling movies of Errol Flynn and Douglas Fairbanks. (Not pictured.)


Sheriff Nancy Steele watches the town

Ron Gilbert

Back this or risk my fury! Or just my continued grumpiness.

via Twitter

Tim Schafer

I think the whole thing sounds awesome.


“Some of the greatest videogame art of all time has come from the hand of Bill Tiller.” — Jack Allin

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