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In South Park: The Stick of Truth, you, the player, second from left, join the kids from the show. Credit Ubisoft
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Since the premiere of “South Park” in 1997, fans of the show have wanted to play a quintessential companion video game. But early licensed attempts were deemed failures by game critics and players and by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the show’s creators. This time, they say, will be different.

On Tuesday, Mr. Parker and Mr. Stone, along with Obsidian Entertainment and Ubisoft, will release South Park: The Stick of Truth, a game for Windows PC, the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3 devised to make players feel as if they were part of a “South Park” episode. The two-dimensional, construction-paper aesthetic of the series and a staggering number of characters and references have been transferred to the game.

Mr. Parker and Mr. Stone’s original premise was to make a role-playing game, a genre that they have enjoyed since they were young. They wanted the player to take on the role of the new kid in town.

“Trey and I had approached this video game like a big, long movie,” Mr. Stone said in an interview in New York. “We thought that was a really smart way to approach it. Turns out that wasn’t a supersmart way.”

Sure enough, the path to The Stick of Truth’s release has been long, with several delays. Really, the story starts in 1998, when the first video game based on “South Park” was released.

“We did a few games right when the show first came out, and it was the typical thing where someone just licensed ‘South Park,’ ” Mr. Parker said by phone. Then they would play and quickly agree that it was an awful gaming experience.

Negative reaction to those early efforts caused Mr. Parker and Mr. Stone to be more protective of their property, a decision that led to their increased involvement in The Stick of Truth.

“We don’t want anyone making a ‘South Park’ thing,” Mr. Parker said. “We have to do ‘South Park’ ourselves, all the time.”

So, after years of turning down more offers to license “South Park” for games, Mr. Parker and Mr. Stone decided the time was right to try it themselves when the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3 were released in 2005 and 2006. They concluded that the hardware would be powerful enough to recreate the look of show. So the creators got to work.

“My first ambition for the game was for it to be a ‘South Park’ version of Skyrim,” Mr. Parker said, referring to The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, a huge fantasy video game released in 2011. “I think the first script I actually handed over was 500 pages long.”

In June 2012, a presentation at the E3 video game convention gave fans a sneak peek at The Stick of Truth. A March 2013 release date was set by the game’s publisher at the time, THQ. Then it was delayed to April. To complicate matters, THQ sought bankruptcy protection in December 2012, which led to an auction of the company’s assets. Even after Ubisoft picked up the license, the game was delayed twice more, leading to more frustration among the show’s vocal fan base.

“If anybody’s frustrated with the delays to ‘South Park,’ nobody’s more frustrated than us,” Mr. Stone said. “We have to do it our way, and it’s pretty inefficient.”

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Mr. Parker and Mr. Stone eventually realized that their original vision would take too long and cost too much to produce. Work progressed more smoothly from that point, thanks to their new outlook and the help of Jordan Thomas, a creative consultant brought on by Ubisoft. Mr. Thomas’s credits include work on a number of games like BioShock and Thief: Deadly Shadows. Mr. Stone described him, with a laugh, as a “therapist,” and in early meetings, he gave the “South Park” pair a crash course, a Video Games 101.

While Skyrim served as the inspiration for The Stick of Truth, the finished game was also heavily influenced by Earthbound, a role-playing game released in North America in 1995 by Nintendo. In that game, the player took control of Ness, a 13-year-old boy who goes on an adventure with his dog and fights creatures like snakes and crows with a baseball bat and a yo-yo.

“I loved the realness of it,” Mr. Parker said. “You’re just in a home, and you go outside, and the first thing you fight is a cricket or something. You start from a real place.”

That desire to use real-world elements plays a large role throughout The Stick of Truth, from its combat to the map of the town and its environs. Characters also use baseball bats when they fight, along with items like golf clubs and hammers. After one battle, the “South Park” character Cartman lies defeated, with a small amount of what appears to be blood dripping from his mouth. But then he eats a packet of ketchup and coughs it out to create more blood.

In the end, The Stick of Truth became so similar to “South Park” that an unintended, familiar problem arose: pressure to censor content. Because of different standards around the world, editing requests have come in for parts of the game.

“It’s just hilarious,” Mr. Parker said. “The first thing we got back was you can’t have Nazis in Germany. You’ve got these Nazi zombies, and you can’t show Nazis in Germany. And I’m like, ‘Well, I’m pretty sure they did it first.’ ”

The demands for changes, though, were proof to Mr. Parker and Mr. Stone that they were on the right track.

“At least now it’s authentically a ‘South Park’ thing,” Mr. Stone said. “If we didn’t get censored, it wouldn’t be ‘South Park.’ ”