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SDCC ’13: SOUTH PARK – THE STICK OF TRUTH Panel Live Blog

South Park aficionados take note: we’ll be live-blogging the SDCC panel featuring SP creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone talking about the long journey of the much-anticipated video game South Park: The Stick of Truth.

The game is an action RPG that’s been compared to Nintendo’s Paper Mario series. After missing its release date due to publisher THQ’s recent bankruptcy, the game is now slated to (hopefully) come out later this year via Ubisoft. Fans are eagerly awaiting the finished product, which looks to be a strong contender for the title of “Best Licensed Game Ever.”

Stay tuned to this page for the latest news and surprises from the Q&A!

Greg Miller of IGN.com is moderating. Tries to pull our leg by saying Matt and Trey aren’t here – it fails.

They showed a cool behind-the-scenes video. It was hard to get the janky look of the animation just right, but it REALLY looks like an episode of the show. You start off as a “new kid” in town caught in a conflict between Cartman and the team of Stan and Kyle.

I hope the fart-based combat system becomes the new trend in video games…

How long ago did you get the idea for the game?
Matt – About 8 years ago, when PS3 and XBox 360 came out. They finally had the horsepower to make a game that looked exactly like the show.

south-park-stick-of-truth

Why an RPG?
Matt – Trey loves RPGs, and some of the most popular South Park episodes are parodies of well-known genres and archetypes (detectives, LOTR, etc.)

Trey is (humorously) refusing to answer any questions about The Stick of Truth. Says he’d rather talk about a sequel to BASEketball!

From Twitter: what keeps you interested in these characters and this show?
Trey – Cash. And necessity. He’s going crazy during the current hiatus. Matt concurs, says he needs an “endorphin release” from making dick jokes.

Did any special cameos from past characters make it into the game?
Trey – The original game script was about 800 pages long and nearly every character from the South Park universe was in it. The need to release the game in a timely fashion made them edit it down. But he also says “Fuck DLC” and hopes that all their ideas will eventually make it into the game’s “episodes.”

Who was your favorite person to make fun of on the show?
Trey – Jennifer Lopez, because after “Fat Butt and Pancake Head” he heard stories from friends working on J.Lo’s movies that people couldn’t resist doing Cartman’s “J.Lo” voice in her presence.

Fun fact: Trey and Matt didn’t see the first South Park game on Nintendo 64 until it was finished and they hated it, vowed to someday make a game where they were full participants. (Author’s opinion: the N64 SP game ain’t too bad; it’s a silly little shooter.)

Trey’s range of unacceptable question topics has expanded to include Cannibal! The Musical

Where did you get the idea for [Episode X]?
Trey – Everybody thinks we just get high and think of this stuff, but it’s really us getting up at 8 AM with some coffee and coming up with it in the writers room. But “Smug Alert” was actually inspired by the rapid ascent of the Prius and Trey saying “Good for you!” to a Prius owner at a gas station.

Trey says there’s more and more Randy in the show since he increasingly identifies with him (makes sense, as the character is based on his own father).

How was the process of writing the game?
Matt – We quickly found out that writing a TV show and writing a game are very different. The experience is very different: people are playing a video game for several hours over many days or weeks. Will people remember certain jokes or callbacks?
Trey – It’s like the “Six Days to Air” documentary stretched over three years, having to solve problems and break stories over and over again.

How have you been splitting your time between the game and the show?
Trey – Since The Book of Mormon was done, the game became priority number one in between South Park season cycles.
Matt – In a week or two we’ll put the game down for a bit to start the next South Park season.

Trey revealed that Bill Hader will be a full-time writer on the upcoming season of South Park!

Will Orgazmo or Team America be hidden characters in the game?
Trey (under his breath) – Oh hey, that’s a great idea…we should do that.

Trey wants to make a movie adaptation of Dan Brown’s Inferno called “Infino” that “comes out the same week as the Ron Howard version.”

Will we see Mysterion again?
Trey – I don’t know…but I do enjoy those episodes because I get to make stuff that looks like a comic book panel. Allows him to flex his artistic muscles instead of just “drawing circles.”

A question from a Canadian! – When THQ shut down, were you afraid the game would be cancelled?
Matt – Fear wasn’t the response…it was hope.
Trey – Oh, finally this will get done! But to be positive, we read about the bankruptcy and that Ubisoft was buying the rights, and were excited to get the momentum going again. But it was a bummer to have another setback.

Are there any games that inspired Stick of Truth?
Trey – Crash Bandicoot 2 (laughter). Actually, what inspired the game was much more lofty than what we could pull off. One thing that inspired us was Earthbound. Something about being a little kid in a house with your mom, it starts off feeling very real and relatable…and then bigger and bigger things start to happen.
Matt – We talked about the Zelda games, Paper Mario because it’s “2D 3D”, we wanted to immerse players in the show and make it look like an episode.

An autograph request prompts Trey to promise five autographs for everyone in attendance.

Where does Stick of Truth take place in the South Park timeline? (Like, what gender is Mr. Garrison at this point?)
Trey – Like it fucking matters? (laughter) I mean, we kill a kid every week. We do still have a delusion of incorporating a game into an entire season, but that sounds like a bitch. We made it so it could fit in anywhere and kind of make sense.

Are either of you planning a political career?
Trey – There’s no way…we’d be so fucked. They do those ads where they’re like “He might have gotten high once!”
Matt – No one’s going to vote for us…and nobody should vote for us.

Any plans to bring back Chef?
Trey – Chef makes an appearance in the game. It’s true!

A request to sing “Kyle’s Mom is a Bitch” causes Trey to wonder why “Jackin’ It In San Diego” isn’t the official Comic-Con anthem. “It’s kind of what we’re all doing here…”

Will you be able to have a female avatar in the game?
Pregnant pause from the panelists…
Trey – It’s kind of complicated. When you complete the abortion clinic level, you get the female skin. (Groans) Hey, the game’s never coming out! Who cares?

Will you be making fun of Paula Deen?
Matt – We already did Honey Boo Boo so…
Trey – And we did the thing with Randy about saying the n-word.

How did you map out the world of South Park geographically?
Trey – That was actually the fun part, thinking about “Hey where is Cartman’s house in relation to Stan’s house?”
Matt – Yeah, we made the first full map of South Park. It’s one of the good memories we have from the process of making the game.

How did you go from Kenny dying all the time to Kenny achieving immortality?
Trey – We decided that we had to go in some sort of direction. And actually, when we did the first “The Coon” episode, we had no idea who Mysterion would be. The more we talked about it, the more it made sense for Kenny to be Mysterion with the fake deaths, etc.

Any truth to rumors about a Book of Mormon movie?
Trey – As soon as we finish “Infino.” At first, we weren’t sure whether it would be a movie first or a stage thing. But people seem to be liking it as a musical, so we’ll just do the Les Mis thing and come back 20 years later to make even more money.

Do you ever just get to be two guys, hanging out?
Trey – No, because of this fucking game! Nah, we do hang out. Just last week I went to Red Robin.

Trey signs a few bars of the “Let’s Fighting Love” song to cheers.

Last question – how would the South Park cast react to raining frogs?
Trey – We did that, where Cartman was a Jew in Egypt. So we already did it, ha ha!

AND that’s a wrap on this live blog! Clearly, Trey and Matt are quick-witted and know exactly what their fans want, so anyone looking forward to the game should be reassured…even though the conversation touched on many, many different topics.

“South Park: The Stick of Truth” is scheduled for a Holiday 2013 release via Ubisoft, and the seventeenth(!) season of South Park premieres on Comedy Central on September 25.

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Eric Ambler

Eric Ambler

Eric Ambler is a film critic and correspondent for Screen Invasion, as well as the founder of Ambler Amblog (http://ambleramblog.blogspot.com/). His parents named him after a Welsh spy novelist they found in a reference book. Someday he will get around to watching all the VHS tapes he bought at Goodwill.