18 Minutes of Thimbleweed Park

by Ron Gilbert
Dec 22, 2015

I recently sat down with Ryan McCaffrey of IGN and we played through the first 18 minutes of Thimbleweed Park.

There isn't anything in here you won't see in your first 20 minutes of playing the game. There are some mild puzzle spoilers, but no real plot spoilers. If you're the kind of person that doesn't want to see anything about the game before playing it, I highly recommended avoiding the video (and probably this entire blog).

If you want to see the video on IGN use the following link: FOLLOWING LINK

- Ron

Natalija - Dec 22, 2015 at 13:01
Best post ever! Can't wait to play the game!
P.S. The wrench looks like a dinosaur toy :-) .

Christopher Rice - Dec 22, 2015 at 13:04
uh oh...
playable preview.
ign says "hot games of 2016"
looks like we're tracking for a release in 2020...   ;-)

AP - Dec 22, 2015 at 13:06
Beautiful! Can't wait to play it! You guys really outdid yourselves!

P.S.: Please don't let Ray walk over the grass in front of the town hall. She's a FBI agent.

Antoine - Dec 22, 2015 at 13:06
<SPOILER™>That seems really cool ! i cannot wait to play it !  </SPOILER™>

entropy - Dec 23, 2015 at 10:34
That's the kind of spoilers I actually like!

Peter Campbell - Dec 22, 2015 at 13:06
Watching this is like opening a Christmas present before it's actually Christmas (or even the night of Christmas Eve).  I want to do it, but I don't know if I should lol.  Actually, there's no way I'm going to be able to keep myself from watching this between now and when the game is released so I might as well do it now lol.........    ::clicks on IGN link::

Peter - Dec 22, 2015 at 13:53
Simply fantastic! Super!

T.M. - Dec 22, 2015 at 13:58
Good God that looks great, thanks for early Christmas present.

LichiMan - Dec 22, 2015 at 13:58
Another chance to be sexually desirable wasted.
Thanks Ron.

Mario - Dec 22, 2015 at 14:08
Made my Day for a Month!

Jaap - Dec 22, 2015 at 14:21
Holy crap it just looks amazing!

Lennart - Dec 22, 2015 at 14:37
Oh god, it's just like I hoped it would be.
Cutscenes, amazing graphics, dialogue, different characters to solve the same puzzles with...

I can't wait... Only 6 more months...

You guys are doing a fantastic job!!!

Big Red Button - Dec 22, 2015 at 14:39
Thank you for this amazing insight!

PS: I'd suggest to make the road markings half as wide. It then might look a bit more suitable for this angle of view.

Snader - Dec 22, 2015 at 14:45
That's looking really awesome!

Paulup - Dec 22, 2015 at 14:58
Looks amazing!

Also, JUST managed to turn the toilet light on before the end of the video, close call...

Diego - Dec 22, 2015 at 15:27
Hi Ron... I was wondering if You need some help translating the game into spanish... if so, how can I help?

Greetings from Argentina!

Soren Ladegaard - Dec 22, 2015 at 16:29
I soooo don't want any spoilers!

......and I soooooo cannot resist to watch the movie!

Ricardo Marichal - Dec 22, 2015 at 16:43
The Sheriff looks like David Fox :D

Christian - Dec 22, 2015 at 16:47
Amazing! Wow! Good work, team! I am so looking forward to this.

Helge Frisenette - Dec 22, 2015 at 16:50
The fireflys look a little off. They seem to move too smooth, like they move a lot higher resolution than the pixel grid they are drawn on. It looks wrong. Also they look like they are using way more color gradations for the light effect than the rest of the characthers, which also looks odd.

Otherwise it looks like you struck a very nice balance between homage to low res low color graphics, but not being stupid or fanatic about it.
I can only echo the sentiment of the other posts.

Carlo Valenti - Dec 22, 2015 at 17:12
Why can't I watch it? Is this some sort of punishment for me being too cute?
It says "This video is not available."
What does "not available" mean? ...What does "video" mean?? What does "." mean!!!
Oh boy...

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Dec 22, 2015 at 17:45
It seems this site doesn't like us Italians.
But we use youtube to watch it!

Marco Lizza - Dec 22, 2015 at 17:13
The video seems not to be available, at the moment (at least here in Italy).. I used this one


Awesome job, however.

Definitely it seems a 1987 pixel-adventure on steroids, 'tough... ;)

Carlo Valenti - Dec 22, 2015 at 17:37
Marco, you saved my night. I owe you one. Beer.

Marco Lizza - Dec 22, 2015 at 18:07
Glad to help... and I accept the beer, too... ;)

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Dec 22, 2015 at 17:42
I confirm too. Clicking on the video from this site, the message "video not available" appears.
Now I'm going to try the youtube link.

Marco Lizza - Dec 22, 2015 at 18:06
To be honest, they are both YouTube links... but the first. for some reason. is not accessibile to me/us.

Oh, well...

Carlo Valenti - Dec 22, 2015 at 17:36
Nice game! What's the name? :)

Olmek Joe - Dec 22, 2015 at 17:45
Yeah.... that looks awesome.

The only though I had: Are there really only 80 people in Thimbleweed Park, when all those backers also will be in the phonebook? Or does the phonebook cover the whole county or state, in which Thimbleweed Park is in?

Arto - Dec 22, 2015 at 17:46
This was like Christmas. In December.

Steffen - Dec 22, 2015 at 18:14
Wonderful! Fantastic work for now.

Two questions:
1. Will you implement the automatic-use of use/give when items from the inventory are drawn on the action-screen?
2. Will you implement the easy-get-out from communications by right-click and/or left-clicking on the action-screen? (by automatic choose the get-out-answer...)

Ron Gilbert - Dec 22, 2015 at 18:20
I don't understand #1, can you explain it? As for #2, probably. We need to see how playtesters deal with it.

Mario - Dec 23, 2015 at 07:28
Maybe he means: if you select an icon in the inventory, that automaticly chooses the command Use or Give or Look at to the command-sentence.

Francesco Favia - Dec 22, 2015 at 18:21
Im wondering if this is the final graphic or if a lot is going to change or polished

Francesco Favia - Dec 22, 2015 at 18:24
anyway the previous one was a question..
Anyway, personally? I prefer the old style animation, don' t get me wrong, it is beautifull, but my brain can' t adapt to see an old style graphic, to extremly fluid animation..
now plwase guys, don't insult me...

Marco Lizza - Dec 22, 2015 at 18:48
Frankly speaking, that's an issue I've been struggling with since the very beginning of the project.

I simply cannot "accept" at a subconscious level such a nice low-fi graphics with those peculiar hi-end effects and fluidness.

It just seems... incoherent in some way, to me. Not in a bad way, don't get me wrong. It seems out of place. Guess it's just a matter of getting used to it.

Ron Gilbert - Dec 22, 2015 at 18:54
It will be an option to turn off, then everything is rendered at pixel bounties. But trust me, you'll turn it off, then turn it back on. It's so much better like it is now. Everything just feels better.

Francesco Favia - Dec 22, 2015 at 19:09
thanks, good idea to switch off special effects and fluidness
We will see how people like me and Marco are going to feel about it
I played the remstered version of MI and MI2 , and old style animation on a new graphic did not bother me at all.

Marco Lizza - Dec 23, 2015 at 15:58
The remastered version of MI1 and MI2 features a low-fi switch... that honestly I simply didn't triggered at all (with the single exception to get the single PS Trophy related). The remasterd graphics and effects just felt right on their place...

Ron Gilbert - Dec 23, 2015 at 16:04
I only played the special editions in low-res.  Those graphics are the "real" graphics to me, but I liked the speech, otherwise I would have just played them in SCUMMVM.

P.S. Except Elaine. I did not like her voice. She was not the Elaine I imagined.

Marco Lizza - Dec 23, 2015 at 16:32
Given that I periodically play the whole MM, ZMKATAM, MI, MI2, and INDY3 games on ScummVM, when I played MI and MI2 on the PS3 I was curious (brave?) enough to play just the "remastered" incarnation.

I'm not a big fan of voice-overs in old-class adventures games, so I'm not a great judge of the quality of it. However, I didn't liked Elaine either (although your observation is from a different perspective being one of the "fathers" of the game itself)...

LogicDeLuxe - Dec 24, 2015 at 09:52
You can convert the Special Edition to a DOS talkie playable in ScummVM with the Ultimate Talkie Edition Builder: http://www.gratissaugen.de/ultimatetalkies/

Marco Lizza - Dec 23, 2015 at 15:59
Thanks for the clarification, Ron. I'm looking forward to try and see that "plain-old-style" version, too.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Dec 22, 2015 at 18:24
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Médames et Monsieurs,
Signore e Signori....
Notice the care in the details, the scrolling, gradient colors, the fireflies, the switching between characters and the color verbs, the face from one sentence to another, the references to old games, the humor, David Fox starring the sheriff, the pleasure in playing, the non-playable characters that creepy appears like Nurse Edna in Maniac Mansion....
You have realised THE perfect mix of nostalgia and up-to-date techniques.
No other to add!

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Dec 22, 2015 at 18:30
I wrote many grammatical errors, hope you can understand what I meant. With a bit of imagination...
Color verbs = verb colors
Face = fade
Beg your pardon (it's also half past midnight here in Italy)

Franklin - Dec 22, 2015 at 18:31
Isn't the Sheriff black? I don't think David is black.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Dec 22, 2015 at 18:47
Because he's tanned!

Dor Hajaj - Dec 22, 2015 at 18:32
I feel like a child again.
It just like you said, it feels like I've found an old LucasArts adventure i didn't know.
The graphics are excellent to me, and please don't change the item pictures!
I stopped in the pigeon/bird brothers scene, i couldn't ruin the surprise...
Keep up the great work.
Long live pixels!

Damian - Dec 22, 2015 at 18:47
Ok, I have to ask: how is the fireflies movement handled? Do they follow a fixed path or a movement algorithm? I always wanted to know a simple swarm algorithm to animate fireflies (or any flying insect), but don't know how to find one.

Ron Gilbert - Dec 22, 2015 at 18:49
Super simple. There are around 6 different firefly sprites and the firefly is offset from the center and all that happens is the sprite is rotated while it fades in and out. Props to David for figuring that one out.

Bogdan Barbu - Dec 26, 2015 at 20:07
Sounds like a bad idea because actors might end up walking through the fireflies. Always drawing the firefly sprites in front or behind the actor sprites won't do the trick because as soon as there is a third layer involved, everything can go wrong. For instance, consider the case where there is a firefly in front of an actor but behind a bush. If the actor quickly walks in front of the bush, the firefly must have the correct depth with respect to both the actor and the bush but without having gone *through* the actor, like a ghost. Besides, think of the Oculus port. :P

PS: I've noticed that a lot of the times, the Sekrit Question is verified incorrectly. The first few times it happened, I thought I typed the answer wrong but then I started paying attention and it happens quite often.

Ron Gilbert - Dec 26, 2015 at 21:45
The fireflies are sorted correctly. It's looks fine.

Yes, the secret questions fails if it's been up to long and expires, this is to prevent spammers from reusing old pages to post comments. It's on my list to fix, but I have more important things to do right now. :-)

Bogdan Barbu - Dec 27, 2015 at 07:23
You just worry about the game. We're okay with thinking we're stupid and can't do simple additions. :)

Iron Curtain - Dec 22, 2015 at 18:52
Good god, am I excited to play this. I feel like my Kickstarter dollars have been put to good use!

Mattias Cedervall - Dec 22, 2015 at 19:04
Thank you for the Christmas gift! :-)

Ron, when will you know if you have the time to implement some fog that reacts to the character's movement?

prbalbontin - Dec 22, 2015 at 19:41
Thanks for this Christmas present, Ron. It looks gorgeous.

One question, though:

Back in the day I don't remember any option to just call character B to the room you are with character A. I don't know if you have considered a feature like that. When you switch to Ray it seems like you will be clicking a whole lot just to get to Reyes, not to mention the time you will spend just to get certain characters together.

The same way that there is an option to switch among characters, there could be also one to call them. You press a given key and the character you called just shows up after some seconds. If that character cannot get there (because there is no path for him/her, or because he/she is busy), then you switch a moment to that character so he/she can tell you "I can't get there."

Ron Gilbert - Dec 22, 2015 at 19:51
"If that character cannot get there"

And that is a very non-trivial problem. A lot can happen in all the rooms between the two characters and to fully simulate it, we would have to find all the right doors and move them from room to room and make sure no condition was met.

It's actually very complicated and prone to a lot of bugs. It's much safer to just let players move them. I'm sure modern players will bitch about the lack of this feature. It seems like a lot of players just want everything to be simple and one click away. The game isn't a UI. It's a world to explore and travel around. If players should just teleport around, there is no chance to reward them with surprise.  You get things for wondering around, looking and paying attention.

There are very few situation in the game where you want the two agents together. Most likely you'll want Ray at the Bank and Reyes at the Mansion (as a spoiler free made-up example).

Poppy - Dec 23, 2015 at 07:45
In DoTT there was a shortcut feature where you could give items to other players via their face icons.. at first it would trigger a cutscene where they'd go through the motions, but after a couple of times that would be skipped. I'm guessing TP will not have that feature? Seems like it is tied to the ability for players to be able to automagically find each other. Correct?

Big Red Button - Dec 23, 2015 at 09:08
I presume that Ron's answer to your question is identical to his previous answer.

Jacksp - Dec 24, 2015 at 10:54
Was this an intended feature or a hidden one or even a bug?

Flurn Greebitz - Dec 27, 2015 at 06:07
Wadjet Eye managed to implement it for the more recent Blackwell games, and they only use AGS.  You wouldn't let that *other* Gilbert one-up you, now would you?

Just kidding, just kidding.  They use a narrative fix to sidestep the problem, anyway: one character is physically incapable of being more than 30 feet away from the other, so can never get more than two or three screens away to begin with.

Besides, having to manually bring the characters together will give us more opportunities to enjoy all of the background art.

Mike McP - Dec 22, 2015 at 19:50
I've never been so excited to not watch something.  I will resist, but I did like a 5 second preview of skipping through the youtube video, and looks great!

Iron Curtain - Dec 22, 2015 at 21:20
IGN blocked the video on © grounds. What are we gonna do?

Iron Curtain - Dec 22, 2015 at 21:22
Hey Ron! Why don't you embed the video straight from IGN, and not from the YouTube vid which IGN blocked?

Zombocast - Dec 22, 2015 at 23:10

Johnny - Dec 23, 2015 at 00:04
Wow! I am really excited for this game. It looks great so far! August cannot come soon enough, ha ha!

Soong - Dec 23, 2015 at 04:24
Wow!  I didn't watch the whole video to avoid spoilers, but I love the fireflies in the beginning.  That is so pretty!

One thing struck me as odd.  Why does the agent not go around the water by stepping onto the street.  Or are there other lines that explain that behavior and I just haven't seen those?

Droygon - Jan 26, 2016 at 12:55
I loved the video and it very much made me want to play it... NOW :)

But I second what Soong said above... I really don't want to sound like an a-hole but I also don't want to just be a "yes man" because I want this game to be the best it could (in my eyes).

I found the fire hydrant "mini puzzle" was awkward and a bit forced and it might be better solved by one of the following:

1) Dismiss the water thingy completely

2) If the main idea was to introduce the pigeon brothers - I think it would be better if there was just a small scripted scene (few seconds) of them almost running the agent off the road, dropping the wrench and her cussing them out and then have them meeting along the road with the pigeon brothers having stopped because:
2a) They stopped because they almost ran her off the road and wanted to make sure she is OK.
2b) They stopped because they crashed into the fire hydrant after almost running her down and are totally blocking the road+water leaking.
2c) They stopped because of the signals and are in some weird frenzy with their hand on their heads running around complaining about the signals.

3) If the main idea was for a callback to these kinds of puzzles from the old-school then it might be better to have it play out similarly but:
3a) When she states that she can't get through - have the pigeon brothers shout out from their car something like "why can't you just go around it?" or something funnier and even more blatantly nodding to the old-school way of thought. that way it would be more obvious what that seemingly "forced" hurdle is all about.
3b) Make the hydrant leak REALLY catastrophic, and maybe add an animation of her actually trying to get through in vain (slipping\washed back to where she started from). also maybe just make the background be more supportive of the idea that she can't get through.
3c) Make her take out the FBI manual and check what an agent should do in such a case and have her follow the manual and not get wet.
3d) Make her a wiccan... and seriously afraid of water :)

Really don't want to step on your toes or be an a-hole because you guys rule and are doing a really great job and this really wets my appetite for this game regardless - I just wanted to give you my 2 cents (I ain't rich... would have given more).

Droygon - Jan 26, 2016 at 13:11
...Yeah... it's him (me) again... sorry...

I just want to emphasize that this thing happens near the beginning of the game so it might be more important because of the attention it will probably get from the players - if it were to happen in the middle or end I would probably not write what I did. First impressions will probably set a precedent in the mind of the player for all that will follow (even if it is a false one).

...I will shut up now... sorry

Dirk - Dec 23, 2015 at 06:15
Sorry, I but couldn't see any preview of the game. There was only an advertisement that I cancelled after 19 seconds. Wonder what you guys were looking at. ;)

peterszky - Dec 23, 2015 at 07:59
Great stuff, thanks!

Andy Roberts - Dec 23, 2015 at 08:29
The truck suddenly veering off the road seems a little odd - are they screeching to a halt because they can see the busted hydrant? Or do they veer off and *hit* the hydrant?

Christopher Griffin - Dec 23, 2015 at 12:52
The "signals" cause them to lose control of the vehicle and they hit the hydrant.  It's vaguely explained during the video.

weird and mysterious plant - Dec 23, 2015 at 09:06
looks amazing, are the conversations different when playing with different characters?

lsga - Dec 23, 2015 at 11:46
YEAH !!!!

Leandro Pelorosso - Dec 23, 2015 at 12:27
It looks amazing! :D

Geoffrey Paulsen - Dec 23, 2015 at 12:56
LOVE the Crosshairs adding an arrow to an "exit" point of a room!   LOVE IT!!!!!



Soong - Dec 23, 2015 at 13:45
I just also noticed how the two detectives blink completely independently.  I bet it's some simply, but good trick to make it look like that but I love those little details.  I bet it's based on a  Fourier series to make it appear random. ;-)

Carlo Valenti - Dec 23, 2015 at 18:18
At least, Often Wrong would have made it like that ;)

Soong - Dec 25, 2015 at 14:18

Thimbleweedster - Dec 23, 2015 at 13:56
Ron, will you add a screen transition for character and room switches? Star Wars scene transitions come to mind..

Soong - Dec 23, 2015 at 14:03
I made a comparison of the Kickstarter pitch and what the game looks like now.  I like the progress!  The new look is still really close to 256.  I would never have guessed that.


Laserschwert - Dec 23, 2015 at 15:34
I hope you'll implement the "right-click uses the most common verb on the hotspot" function, like a door getting opened/closed on right-click, a person getting talked to or most object getting used on right-click. Was it MI2 that used this feature first?

smartypants - Dec 23, 2015 at 15:44
If you watch the video (e.g. at 10:25) you can see that this is already implemented.

Ron Gilbert - Dec 23, 2015 at 15:59
Yep, already implemented.

Big Red Button - Dec 23, 2015 at 16:12
Just a little nitpicking once again: Once Ray had left the town hall we see her approaching quickly until she is on the sidewalk again. But although she approaches drastically in this scene, we see her animation for walking to the right. I think her movement would look much more spatial if she was directed towards the street instead. Maybe the engine should better take the actor scaling into account whenever it has to decide which direction we see the character heading to.

Ron Gilbert - Dec 23, 2015 at 16:26
Yes, you are nitpicking. :-)

It's a hard line to follow when you have only side and front frames. You adjust it and it looks good for some angles and then looks wrong for others. I spent weeks fine tuning it. It's something I will go back to at some point, but it's a pretty low priority item given everything else that needs to be done. This (and others) is an good example of where having more programmers on the project can really help.

It's low priority to me because it doesn't effect the game and it's not holding up production. One trap I've seen a lot of devs fall into the spending time tweaking stuff like this way to early and not getting more important tasks done.


Big Red Button - Dec 23, 2015 at 21:14
You're absolutely right. It's not very important. In a pinch you can even patch such details after the game's release. Besides it's actually not as simple as it seems to be.

I'm sure that you know more about how to solve such issues than me. Nevertheless I thought about it a bit: I suppose that the main difficulty is to estimate how fast the actor's distance changes. I don't know which data are available for your algorithm, but as a first approximation you could describe the proportionality between an actor's distance and her/his sprite's scaling factor approximately by using a simple tangent function as follows:
*distance = constant1 / tan(constant2 x scaling_factor)*
*constant1* would just be a linear factor (probably not bigger than 10) in order to scale the calculated distance.
*constant2* would depend on how large the sprite is displayed on the screen without using any scaling. Anyway constant2 must have a rather small value (for instance 20 degree <-> about 0,3 radian)!
Unfortunately it might be pretty time-consuming to find out the most proper values for the constants. You would need to get a feeling for their influences first.
If you used the above equation and you got too big results at all distances in the game you would need to *decrease constant1*.
If only the farther distances, which this equation gives you, were too big, you would need to carefully *increase* the value of *constant2* instead.

I'm not sure if this would help you. Just follow both your gut instinct and your experiences! They are proven!

Geoffrey Paulsen - Dec 24, 2015 at 20:49
Agreed.  Too low of a priority to make it... Please do ANYTHING else.

Jammet - Dec 23, 2015 at 17:21
Nope. Not going to watch this. Not. Nope. No. These are the first 20 Minutes of Star Wars VII. You'll see the same there. XD Yeah, that still doesn't make sense. Heh.

Arto - Dec 23, 2015 at 18:34
If you skip the intro of Star Wars VIII, there's really nothing that spoilerious in the first 20 minutes, I think. First 18 minutes of this video might be more spoilery, but nothing major. I watched it twice. Wasn't spoiled.

Arto - Dec 23, 2015 at 18:38
Oh, sorry. My time traveling habits got the best of me, but the same applies also to Star Wars VII, The Force Awakens.
I am not going to answer any questions regarding the Star Wars VIII. But it's a good film, you should go see it.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Dec 23, 2015 at 18:50
OK please... I still have to watch it, and I'll do only on Friday, January 22th!
I'll give you a glass of root beer...

Grafekvic - Dec 23, 2015 at 18:04
I really like how Agent Ray can't get past the water. It's silly and old school at the same time.

Carlo Valenti - Dec 23, 2015 at 18:57
Just how many Italian followers has this blog? This is the reason you introduced the pizza character. Wise choice.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Dec 24, 2015 at 19:15
Here I am. Near Brescia.

Trond - Dec 23, 2015 at 19:19
Awsome preview. Thanks :-)

Zombocast - Dec 24, 2015 at 00:32
At 5:10 We hear the Tires screech, but are left clueless to why there's a crash sound.

1. Did they respond to broken a fire hydrant in a hurry?
2.Did they almost hit Agent Ray and swerve off the road and crash into the hydrant?
3.Did they hit a Pot Hole and crash into the hydrant?

Number 1 makes sense to why they are there.
Number 2 explains the crash sound.
Number 3 explains why the Wrench fell off and why the tires screeched.

Can you put a Pot Hole in the road at 5:10?

Zombocast - Dec 24, 2015 at 02:02
Can you make an 18+ erotic sequel to Thimbleweed Park?
Where "we" call EDNA for a good time..
How Willy, the town bum got his hole in his pocket..
What the Blood, Finger, Facetron machines really do!
... kidding.

Note: Inside the "Town Hall" the "Sheriffs" door is misspelled, "SHERRIF"

Sushi - Dec 24, 2015 at 02:55
David FOX has had previous experiences to starring as the sheriff.
He's one of the aliens on the box of Zak, and I found these nice pictures of him and Gary promoting ball blazer (as featured in the video).

Demetris Thoupis - Dec 24, 2015 at 05:11
Hi Ron,
Great playthrough and gives people an idea what they paid for! Very pleased with the result.

One question. The cross cursor seems not to have the feature of the SCUMM engine which had the cursor blinking in and out from a light gray to a white back and forth but is solid white in your playthrough (by the way I loved the way the cursor shows a direction when you go near an exit/enter walk area on the screen). Is this how it will be or will you make the cursor blinking?



p.s if you need greek translation assistance I will be very happy!

chris_staedtler - Dec 24, 2015 at 06:18
Hi Ron
Great work.

chris_staedtler - Dec 24, 2015 at 06:35
I have a question for you Ron

Why creating a game engine was so important in the old days?

I mean, you created the SCUMM engine for the Maniac Mansion game. Why you did that?

The previous adventure game of Lucasfilm, "Labyrinth", didn't make use of a game engine, as far as I know.

What you were thinking this time?
1] The ease of porting to other platforms of the era (Commodore 64, Apple II, Amiga, Atari, IBM PC etc.)?
2] The ease of programming your next adventure games?
All of the above plus something more?
None of the above but something else?

I've read in "The Adventurer" issue #2, were in one of your early interviews, you say that creating SCUMM was "to get us out of the hole that we had dug ourselves with Maniac Mansion"...... I am unaware of programming (even BASIC), so can you explain me -with simple english and terminology- WHY you did invent SCUMM, if not for the above two mentioned reasons? What are the other advantage of using an engine versus completely writing the game from the bottom-up, using Assembly 6502 or C?

(I am sorry for my bad english)

and Merry Christmas!!!


Thanks in advance for your answer!!!!!

Paul - Jan 05, 2016 at 00:37
Hey, since you didn't get a response to that yet, I can tell you some generic advantages of such an engine (not speaking for Ron, of course, just as a developer myself):

- you only have to port the engine to different platforms, and all your games will automatically work. This is much faster and easier than porting each game to each new platform. For example, the exact same Monkey Island script that was used on the Amiga can now be run on modern PC's because there is a SCUMM port. No need to re-write the game.

- it can make it easier for non-progrraming members of the team (like artists) to present ideas for art, dialog, jokes, stories etc.

- makes it easier for programmers to do some rapid prototyping.

- helps enforce a "brand style" e.g. the verb list in Lucasarts games.

- makes it much faster to develop new games (common tech stuff is already handled by the engine)

- in theory, a whole game could be written by somebody with very little or no programming knowledge

Those are just a few, I'm sure Ron could list many more!

Gv - Dec 24, 2015 at 09:43
Congratulations, it looks good. I was skeptical about the art, but it goes well with the game. I think nonetheless an EGA version could be made for us the nostalgic ones :)

LogicDeLuxe - Dec 24, 2015 at 09:56
The typewriter needs an animation. Other than that, I find the art style very pleasing so far.

Carlo Valenti - Dec 24, 2015 at 13:11
Merry Christmas to everyone!

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Dec 24, 2015 at 19:20
Merry Christmas to you and everyone.
Of course in Italy it's already December 25.... Santa Claus is traveling near here. He has a lot of work tonight....

tomimt - Dec 24, 2015 at 14:31
It really does look brilliant. And it will turn into even more brilliant with added voice acting and a sound track.

Tommy - Dec 27, 2015 at 02:22
Hi Ron.
You said that you have build a new engine from scratch if I understood correctly? how much of your job with the game was to build the game engine? you will license it and you will use it to make more games?

Rene - Jan 02, 2016 at 17:16
Lets hope that they themselves will use it for more point n click games. But also license it out for others to use. It could make it easier for people to make adventure pnc games.

Gffp - Dec 27, 2015 at 09:07
The sunset on the crime scene in the beginning of the game reminds me of the sunset over the docks of Melée Island from the original EGA version of The Secret of Monkey Island, that was lost when grafic art was updated to VGA. Thank you Mark Ferrari!

teilzeitshowmaster - Dec 30, 2015 at 11:48
mister gilbert when the game Thimbleweed Park is ready we must then also let's playen in German?

Ron Gilbert - Dec 30, 2015 at 11:51
The game will be translated into German (at least the text will). The voice will probably only be in English.

Pedro - Dec 30, 2015 at 22:47
Stupid, minor, pedantic nitpick, and probably one you are correcting anyway: In the scene where Ray is in the office picking up the microfilm (which you correctly call "microfilm" in the audio), the text-over says "microfiche." The icon is definitely one of microfilm, though (microfiche being flat card transparencies, and microfilm being the stuff on a reel.) Way too many hours at the library in the late 80s, early 90s for me.....

Ron Gilbert - Dec 30, 2015 at 23:30
Actually, this is very interesting. I did not know that. I think we were calling it the incorrect thing in the game and I called it the incorrect thing in the VO, which then turned it into the correct thing.

Paul - Dec 31, 2015 at 05:24
Wonderful! Would love to see a satirical pause for loading between rooms (just once!) with the Amiga floppy wrenching sound! :) Or maybe an "Insert disk 7 (just kidding!)" prompt!

Ah, the memories!

René - Jan 02, 2016 at 14:46
Could only watch small parts here and there, since i REALLY dont wanna spoil anymore than i have too.

But it looks and feels like. This is absolutely just how i wanted the game to be like :) cannot wait to play this. Im so excited.

Bogdan Barbu - Jan 05, 2016 at 12:16
Bug report: I was showing this video to a friend when I noticed that "sheriff" is spelled with a "z" on the door when read from the inside of the office.

Ron Gilbert - Jan 05, 2016 at 12:36
It's not a bug. It's misspelled for a reason

Bogdan Barbu - Jan 05, 2016 at 23:29
Your face is misspelled for a reason.

Bogdan Barbu - Jan 05, 2016 at 23:31
Oh, who am I kidding? Your face has perfect orthography.

urielz - Jan 05, 2016 at 14:43
In my opinion characters are way too close to each other when interacting (see 2:51, 9:27 and 9:43). Is this on purpose? Perhaps to hide the object they’re exchanging?

JSH - Jan 05, 2016 at 17:19
I find it odd how Agent Reyes thought they were dressed as chickens instead of pidgeons... it makes her look a bit dumb. It says pidgeon plumbers in big writing on the van & they clearly look like pidgeons. Another thing that feels a bit weird is when you ask them "What signals?" after he brings up the signals & that they're "really strong tonight", he answers your question with "The signals" again, but the weird part is that you chose a different dialogue branch afterwards ("Why are you dressed like giant pidgeons") & he responded with "We're not giant chicken, we're pidgeons", & then you went back to the 'signal' dialogue branch & Reye said "Yes, you already said that, but what signal?". It just doesnt flow as well because it's supposed to be referring to the signal but the last thing he say's is not about the signal, it's "Dressing up like a giant chicken would be silly." It just look weird if you're able to follow up with "Yes, you already said that..."

Ron Gilbert - Jan 05, 2016 at 17:24
Welcome to adventure game dialog puzzles. Flow is really hard. We had this problem in Monkey Island all the time, you just have to deal with it. Players will keep two conversation going, popping back and forth. It is a unrealistic amount of writing to catch them all.

As for chickens, once gain, you're looking a really early dialog. Don't get too attached to any of it.

JSH - Jan 06, 2016 at 08:39
Thanks for the reply, Ron. Ah, I see. Either way, this game is looking fantastic; I can't wait to play this.