Exploring Delores

by Gary Winnick
May 25, 2015

I know what you're thinking: Ron and Gary obviously have everything completely figured out, especially when it comes to being hip and knowing everything about the style of what all the cool kids are doing and wearing in the 80s. If only... I doubt Ron or I were ever called one of the cool kids.

There comes a time in any project where you realize something isn't working, so we've decided to make a design change to the background story regarding one of our major playable characters; Delores Edmund who has returned to Thimbleweed Park for the reading of her uncle's will.

Originally, Delores was conceived as likely being a middle-aged character, possibly a professional woman. Here's how she appeared in the original kickstarter:

As we got down to the detail of designing the backstory for each of the playable characters, we quickly settled on their appropriate appearance and attire.

Ray and Reyes are federal agents who wear pretty straight laced suits, Ransome's a somewhat creepy clown, so he pretty much designs himself and Franklin.... well Franklin's a ghost, so however he's dressed it'll be in shades of blue and semi-transparent like the rest of him.

Dolores however, as a character, underwent the most significant change during the design process and we decided to make her younger, in her early twenties, on top of that she would become an aspiring game designer and programmer, likely working for a well known computer games company.

Here is her new character description:

Delores - Delores is in her early 20s and had been programming and taking apart computers since she was 10. She was self-taught with the help and encouragement of her uncle who has a (somewhat dated) technology background from building his fully automated Pillow Factory in the 1950s. Delores spent much of her free time hanging around the Thimbleweed Park Arcade and even got a part time job fixing the game machines. A year ago she got an internship at the prestigious and well known game company, MucusFlem Games, which turned into a full time job programming and designing games. Delores is a nerd, but she is far from the stereotypical anti-social geek. She has a lot of friends and isn't afraid to have fun on a Saturday night. She has attended every ThimbleCon since it started 4 years ago. Her favorite TV shows are classic Star Trek (she has a small crush on Kirk), Remington Steele and MacGyver. Like many people her age, Star Wars was very influential. Contrary to the wishes of her uncle, she has no desire to live in Thimbleweed Park and take over the family Pillow Factory business. She was happy to move away last year and enjoy the life of the big city. This has always been a sore spot for the rest of the family. Delores has an older sister, Margie, that is also in town for the reading of the will. Delores and Margie don't get along, but are polite to each other.

So at this point we want to develop a relevant (to the mid 1980's) and interesting look for her, her outfit and overall style and we'd like your help.

When creating characters, the way we usually work is to gather a lot of reference material from the internet and do quick sketches, exploring a lot of different directions at once. We just go wide and don't do a lot of self-censorship. There are no bad ideas during brainstorming.

We started to explore the new Delores, but thought it would be fun to open it up to all of you and have a little fun with it and step through the whole creative process.

So, please lend us a hand in figuring out the look of the new Delores. Your contributions could be through a written description, links to photos and other visual reference or even your own sketches.

Once we've gathered everything, we'll do another post putting it all together and then start exploring some tighter concepts. We'll go through the whole messy process step by step.

At the end, half of you will love her and the other half will hate her. Welcome to the world of game design.

Our lawyer (actually, he's just Ron's know-it-all barber) wants us to remind you that you are granting us complete rights to use, in any way we see fit, any original art, materials, works, or ideas you submit for this undertaking. Imagine this paragraph written in completely unintelligible legalese for the full effect.

- Gary

vegetaman - May 25, 2015 at 12:54
Hmmm.... For a mid-aged lady in the 1980s, a women's suit with shoulder pads would've been perfect, I think. However, not sure that was a big trend for women in their 20s.... But maybe? Also, probably would have more somewhat long, big, poofy, curly hair? I don't remember much of the 80s besides suits with shoulder pads and big hair (usually curled/permed) for females. Unless she was counter-culture, then dyed hair and maybe dressed more like Razor from Maniac Mansion?

Prof. Marvel - May 25, 2015 at 13:05
The only real geek girl of the 80’s for me was an actress named Michelle Meyrink.  She played both Jordan in Real Genius AND Judy in Revenge of the Nerds.  You check here IMDB here:


Some combination of the two characters may be cool and fit the era really well.  I bet you could even get her to do the voice over work which would be a very cool callback to those characters and get some publicity around it.

Joost - May 28, 2015 at 06:57
LOL!  ^^^ This!!! ^^^
Pretty Please her to do Dolores' voice :) :)

Iron Curtain - May 25, 2015 at 13:13
Why not model her look after Roberta Williams as an homage, without copying Ms. Williams' likeness so as to avoid likeness infringement?

Marco Lizza - May 25, 2015 at 17:16
I honestly think that Daria is way too "grunge" in several ways and don't fit the Eighties timeframe for that reason...

Ozric - May 25, 2015 at 13:29
First of all I want to say thanks for a great blog!

I am starting work on an adventure game myself and have gotten to the point where I need to plan out the puzzle structure and the acts and areas. Do you have any good tips for how to start thinking about puzzle flow and how the structure of the game revolves around it? Not being experienced in it I am getting major writer's block coming up with things.

Guy The Man - May 25, 2015 at 13:51
A couple of 80s girls/women comes to mind, for you to model her after

Molly Ringwald in The Breakfast Club. (cool).
Ally Sheedy also in The Breakfest Club. (weird but relatable).
Ally Sheedy in War Games. (relatable, kind and funny).
That teenager from that seires ALF also had grace and was a nice and intelligent too.

Also Velma from Scooby Doo could be a good model for her.... since she already reminds me of her for some reason. Just give some more 80s like clothe. Like Molly Ringwalds from Breakfest Club.

Guy The Man - May 25, 2015 at 14:05
Also there is much inspiration to be found on: http://imgur.com/r/OldSchoolCool
(it's the imgur-thingee associated with the subreddit "oldschoolcool", where people submit picture of people who were cool in their day.)

And I just hope that you will find some way to give one character really stereotypical 80s hair:

A third thing that also could inspire you is IMDB's list of their top-100 80s teen movies:

MarcusG - May 26, 2015 at 05:01
I like the idea of Ringwald / Sheedy from TBC. Nice examples of 80ies style and weirdness.

Paul Jacobson - May 26, 2015 at 12:05
Good list =) I thought I was the only one listing Velma, I was also going to add Ally Sheedy from Breakfast club too =)

Damian - May 26, 2015 at 12:24
I thought of Molly Ringwald too reading the description. But Molly's character was supposed to be "the princess", a popular character, but it lacks that "nerd" vibe. But she's a great reference.

A (real) person that fits the description completely to me is Jeri Ellsworth. She's a popular woman of the nerdy type. :D
Another real person could be Limor Fried (Lady Ada). Both are great references to me.

But maybe what represents the 1980s nerdy girl is Cheers' Rebecca Prout character: http://cheers.wikia.com/wiki/Rebecca_Prout?file=S1rebecca.png

Hope it helps. ;)

Mattias Cedervall - May 25, 2015 at 14:01
I will let you know if I come up with any ideas.

OJ (not that one) - May 25, 2015 at 14:03
My mind immediately went to Linda McFly, Marty's older sister from the first movie. I know she's a bit younger and not at all a geek, but somehow she represents 'mid-80s young woman' to me. Looking her up (e.g. http://backtothefuture.wikia.com/wiki/Linda_McFly) she basically looks like Michelle Meyrink in her IMDb photos which Prof. Marvel linked to above, all pastel colors, granny blouses and small gold chains. That is kinda sad (since I remember finding women attractive in the 80s) but there you go.

hdort - May 25, 2015 at 14:30
Perhaps base her around Margaret Hamilton? http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Hamilton_(scientist)

Mike - May 25, 2015 at 14:33
Kelly Bundy from Married with Children!
OK, not exactly smart, but she has that quintessential look!

Mattias Cedervall - May 28, 2015 at 07:18
I love "Married with children"!

Derrick Reisdorf - May 25, 2015 at 14:43
Not sure about the exact look, but if she's going to be working on arcade cabinets I would have to expect her in something comfortable like jeans (likely those of the stonewashed or acid-washed variety).

Derrick Reisdorf - May 25, 2015 at 14:49
Jeans- practical/comfortable and still can put together an outfit that's fashionable.  The black dress thing she could do to, but might be reserved for going out to certain clubs.

Max - May 25, 2015 at 14:44
Considering I can't draw to save my life it's astonishing how much fun mucking about with big pixels can be. Anyway, here's my botched attempt at a humble suggestion: http://oi60.tinypic.com/95n8rk.jpg

MrPinsky - May 25, 2015 at 15:29
Nice, I like it!

Giskarrrd - May 27, 2015 at 22:10
Hey, that's really cool!

Thomas Oger - May 25, 2015 at 14:55
This thread could easily become the collection of the worst hair cut in history. Seems that 80s witnessed the invention of hairspray.
To stay in a decent look I would suggest Doris from Fame: http://www.independent.co.uk/incoming/article8679326.ece/alternates/w620/5577996.jpg

and as internet is wonder I found this testimonial: http://mycrazyadoption.org/going-on-16-13-and-2/

Ian STanway - May 27, 2015 at 10:47
I always picture a big perm for mid-'80s women.

Petruza - May 25, 2015 at 15:00
Ha! I get it! MucusFlem is a clear reference to Sierra OnLine, right?

Soong - May 26, 2015 at 05:59
Haha, you're being ironic, right?  MucusFlem Games = LucasFilm Games

Joost - May 28, 2015 at 06:55
yeah, say it out loud:
MucusFlem <==> LucasFilm
I wonder if "LoogieMovie" passed the drawing board as well :)

Stefano - May 25, 2015 at 15:15
Have you watched Halt and Catch Fire?

Christopher Griffin - May 27, 2015 at 15:05
I'm only on the 2nd episode of the 1st season, but so far, it's awesome!  One of the most realistic portrayals of computing on television, hands down!

henry - May 25, 2015 at 15:20
Which is her correct name Dolores or Delores? Or are they both correct names?

Ron Gilbert - May 25, 2015 at 16:03

Nor Treblig - May 26, 2015 at 03:39
And it's easy to remember too: it's like DeLore-an.

Dominik - May 26, 2015 at 09:40
A DeLorean in the game CONFIRMED! :-)

Etuan - May 28, 2015 at 00:47
De lo-res

Jammet - May 25, 2015 at 15:28
The young woman looks a little like Razor, from Maniac Mansion from afar. She has dyed her hair deep blonde, and has a half-mohawk haircut.

Imagine her like this, with her hair otherwise a little longer on the other side of her face, hiding her left eye sometimes.

She's wearing two gleaming polished silver earrings on her right ear.  She has a friendly face, with high, arching eyebrows. Around her neck, she's wearing a studded, fine collar, with a small metallic floppy diskette dangling from it. She's wearing a tank top, or a short black shirt. On the back of which is written something like maybe .. "BYTE ME" / "PLAYER TWO" / "GAME START" or there could be the stylized image of an ESC key. She's wearing finger-less gloves, and a black/red checkered skirt above her trainers, and she's wearing street sports shoes.

Jammet - May 25, 2015 at 15:30
Trainers = Track pants

Huxi - May 25, 2015 at 15:45
I assume her look in your original image are mourning garments because of her uncle. They are perfect for a funeral or the reading of his will.

I'd go for a casual t-shirt/jeans style, i.e. she's just not too obsessed about her looks.

http://www.independent.co.uk/incoming/article8679326.ece/alternates/w620/5577996.jpg is a very fitting 80s hairstyle indeed but probably too stylish.

How about getting rid of her glasses? Glasses are so very much geek/nerd stereotype (even more so in the 80s) that it's a bit dull. And Delores is a real nerd, not a fictional stereotype. Uhm... OK... She's non-fictional in the world of Thimbleweed Park, if you know what I mean.

I think huge, round earrings were a thing in the 80s... but be prepared that the GameGaters will immediately accuse you of some sinister, hidden, secret, conspiratorial connection to Anita Sarkeesian if you use earrings like that.


Margaret Hamilton is definitely an ubernerd. In the most positive way possible.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - May 25, 2015 at 16:24
I approve this one!

Guy The Man - May 25, 2015 at 16:37
I thought of it, and I really think Lynn Tanner from "ALF" would be a great candidate to mold Dolores after. I tried to mimic the style in MS Paint:
But it didnt turn out as i wanted it to, as I picutred her in my head. But you can see my point: Happy and with grace.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - May 25, 2015 at 16:39
Here is how I imagine Delores... http://www.cinemapioxi.it/zak/Delores.gif

Dan - May 25, 2015 at 16:59
Maybe Bonnie from Knight Rider would be a suitable role model for Delores. She has a voluminous hairspray cut that becomes her and she doesn't need glasses for her notorious sharp-sightedness.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - May 25, 2015 at 17:54
Yeah, actress Patricia McPherson!! Unforgettable!

Mario - May 25, 2015 at 17:13
i want Heather Thomas!!! Someone else who wants her too?

Jade - May 25, 2015 at 18:01
Your description paints the picture if a young Jade Raymond

Peter Campbell - May 25, 2015 at 18:15
So going by the original sketch, and then going by the newly detailed character description, her original sketch of black helmet hair, generic black dress, black shoes, cokebottle glasses, yeah that doesn't work at all with her new description lol.  If she's into technology, into computers, into Star Trek and such, I imagine too that she's into 80's post-modern Punk/New Wave stuff like New Order, The Cure, Duran Duran, 'Til Tuesday,  Echo and the Bunnymen, Rush, Depeche Mode, Oingo Boingo (Danny Elfman's band), The Eurythmics, etc. etc, bands that incorporate a lot of synthesizers and other different types of instruments into their sound.

The big question for me is when she first appears in the game, is she dressed for the reading of her Uncle's will or just wearing her casual clothes while in town?  Because I don't think she would dress quite the same for both occassions, but I'm thinking either way though that she would look like a more hip version of Janine from Ghostbusters with slightly longer hair.  Glasses yes, but not the librarian style glasses with the chain that Janine wore.  If Janine went to see a band play at a bar, that's how I think Delores would look.

Ron Gilbert - May 25, 2015 at 23:46
She first appears in the game during a playable flashback and this is before the reading of the will.

Peter Campbell - May 26, 2015 at 04:30

(don't be alarmed by the name of the site, it's a nightclub in Sydney, Australia lol)

Pictured in the link is a 80's inspired singer/songwriter/guitarist from Greece named Kristine who has some awesome throwback 80's style synthpop songs on youtube, namely "The Deepest Blue" and "Modern Love".  I'm thinking Delores looks something like this but since the game takes place mostly at night, no sunglasses obviously,  instead hipster-ish blackrim style glasses but not the Vietnam era military-issued cokebottle style.  Earrings seem kinda out of character for Delores given her new description, put a MucusFlem logo or some other geeky related thing on the front of her T-shirt to make her more nerd-ish and there ya go.  

And to very shamelessly plug one of Kristine's songs here's "Modern Love"

Btw, if Delores did work in the Park Arcade as stated in her new description, the chances of that room getting cut out of the final game as discussed a few weeks ago seem to have slimmed dramatically in recent days which is good to hear =)  If you guys do make some of the arcade cabinets playable, instead of just being standalone games you should incorporate them into the main game where you have to be like Fred Savage in "The Wizard" and hustle some other gamers and get the higher score in the arcade game for some sort of object that you need.

Mattias Cedervall - May 29, 2015 at 14:01
I've listened to Kristine's songs now and they are good. Thank you for the link. I want to tell you about the band Fire Tiger that make great songs with the sound of the 80's. Energy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4A--GBLkzk

JGable1 - May 25, 2015 at 23:29
This is my take on Delores, I basically created her over the original that was supplied. Thanks hope this can help!


JGable1 - May 25, 2015 at 23:43

Mattias Cedervall - May 26, 2015 at 06:09
Not bad.

Peter Campbell - May 25, 2015 at 23:44
Scary looking lol, even Steve Urkel dresses better 0_0

Zak Phoenix McKracken - May 26, 2015 at 03:29
...and the image following Delores says: "You... shall me pass..."

Joel Dorsey - May 26, 2015 at 00:17
She's the girl version of Bernard. Maybe it's he's girlfriend???

B. Bernoulli - May 26, 2015 at 01:21
That's part of the problem for Gary: how would a girly version of Bernard or the girlfriend of Bernard look like? As he's such a geek, that is very hard to imagine. :)

Marco Lizza - May 26, 2015 at 04:11
Well, Amy Farrah Fowler from "The Big Bang Theory" come certainly to mind... but maybe it's way too old-fashioned in her look. :)

Tomimt - May 26, 2015 at 03:00
Shoulder padded, a bit above waste line jean jacket, puffy hair, preferably with a streak neon hair dye. White sneakers. Neon green t-shirt, tight legged light blue jeans, whit preferably a bit of ripping on the other knee. Round eye glasses.

Tomimt - May 26, 2015 at 04:12
As a continuation to my previous post, a quick sketch. Not propably you had in mind, but here's how I see it:


Mattias Cedervall - May 26, 2015 at 06:08
I like it.

Soong - May 26, 2015 at 06:56
I like this! I think she either needs to show some skin or have big boobs or something, though.  Someone who likes Star Trek in the 80s was a nerd/geek before it became cool to be one.  So even if you were good at communicating with others, chances were you were not popular because of your interest in nerdy things (believe me - I've been there).  The description says she has many friends which means she has to get people interested with her looks.

Someone suggested Kelly from Married with Children and I guess a blend of your suggestion and the character from the show might be the way to go.

Tomimt - May 26, 2015 at 09:43
I actually intentionally steered away from 80's bombshell looks with her. I didn't want her to look like she's getting her fashion tips from a Madonna video more than I wanted to get sort of a rock'n'roll attire for her.

Though the cheesy leather jacket/mini skirt combo from Who's That Girl could work well.

McP - May 27, 2015 at 07:06
I like this.  I tend to think of alot of accessories when I think 80's, but that's going to be tough to render in the graphic style of TP.

My other suggestion would be something gothy/geeky.  Think sensible grey trench coat, fingerless gloves, and jeans.  She's practical, hence the coat and fingerless gloves.  There's a Star Trek pin on her jacket, which is about the most recognizable flair you can do in a couple pixels...maybe an additional round pin of a band that was popular in the era.

Roberto Cano - May 26, 2015 at 05:21
Mmm, cannot draw. My drawing skills are NULL. However, I can search. What about something like Bernadette from Big Bang Theory?
Small, smart pants, intelligent, nerd, pretty :)


Geoff Paulsen - May 26, 2015 at 12:04
I don't have much feedback, other than the hair is important, and I'd suggest a layered shirt with the top shirt falling over the shoulder like these.  Perhaps chewing bubble gum.


Paul Jacobson - May 26, 2015 at 12:04
Wow!! I am so pleased to see a couple of people already suggest Michelle Meyrink from Real Genius (definitely taking that movie into space if we have to escape the earth =) ) But also looking a the pic above I also thought of Velma from Scooby Doo. To be honest more from the movie than the cartoons but that general area.

Tuhnsoo - May 26, 2015 at 14:46
Here is exactly what you are looking for :


Mattias Cedervall - May 26, 2015 at 17:10
I disagree.

Nacho Fernandez - May 26, 2015 at 17:16
Although I am no illustrator, I've tried to draw what I had in mind. Here it is:

As I see her, she wears high waist pants, possibly jeans, a t-shirt under an open plaid shirt and sneakers (I tried to draw Reebok Pump, but I've seen they come from the future, from 1989). Her hair is a ponytail worn one side and a big lock of hair half hiding the oposite side of the face. She is sort of pretty, not spectacular. She wears simple leather bracelet and necklace, a black casio watch and a Star Trek insignia as belt buckle. Geek but not extra-geek.

I am not sure if it is a look 100% late 80s compatible, but please let me know what you think.

Nacho Fernandez - May 27, 2015 at 03:39
(I dropped the glasses, I think that is a bit too obvious, maybe because I am a geek programmer with glasses myself)

Mattias Cedervall - May 27, 2015 at 06:02
It could work. I think she could also wear 3D glasses (blue and red).

Man with the golden gun - May 27, 2015 at 09:29
Well she does have personality. I like it.

Augusto - May 26, 2015 at 19:00

Erik - May 27, 2015 at 03:57
I'm was directly thinking about someone who looks like the character Jennifer in Back to the Future.


Franz - May 27, 2015 at 05:53
At some point of the story, why not dressed like Princess Leia, just out of ThimbleCon?

PrinzJohnny99 - May 27, 2015 at 06:16
Doesn't sound like the character you described lives in OUR universe. So she could as well look like Chuck the plant.

DZ-Jay - May 27, 2015 at 06:21
Wow, so many comments here suggest that many people in this forum were not even around in the '80s. :O

Anyway, there are really four ways to go for an archetypical mid-1980s young girl look:
1. Madonna/Lauper - If she's a regular mainstream girl who listens to pop and follows the chic trends at school.  This includes puffy teased hair with possibly a lace ribbon, mesh/lace top with a contrasting tank top, a short skirt, and heeled boots.

2. Emo/Goth - For the moody or sullen young woman that feels like an outcast and hangs out with others of her kind, listens to dark and gloomy songs from the Cure or Joy Division.  The look would require all black clothes and thick eye make-up with straight down hair dyed blue-black.

3. New Wave/Punk - This look fits on girls that pride themselves on being outcasts and iconoclasts, don't mind the shock-factor vibe they send, and generally don't care about much anything else but themselves.  It includes ripped jeans with combat boots, tank top or old t-shirt covered with an oversized ripped pullover, longish hair "punked up" with perhaps one side of the head shaved short; some funky coloured strips in the hair, like light blue, pink, or neon green; bright-coloured eye make-up; and maybe some safety-pins for good measure.

4. Freestyle/Tomboy - For the free-spirited young girl that does not really follow trends, listens to an eclectic set of music (some progressive and alternative rock, and a hint of jazz and classical), hangs out by herself or with her one and only friend, and generally marches to her own beat.  She doesn't buy clothes at the department store, but picks them up either second hand or from whatever hand-me-downs she finds around the house (including dad's and bro's closets).  She assembles them together in unusual ways that highlight her individuality.  Her look is sorta "hip," sorta "cool," decidedly unusual; and although she doesn't do it to provoke controversy, it still pisses her grandmother off when she comes to visit.  This look includes old jeans (naturally faded and possibly torn), repurposed pants cut-off at the knee, or dad's oversized slacks tied up tight with a garrison belt; any old t-shirt, perhaps covered by a plaid/patterned dress shirt (open of course, or maybe with just the collar button closed); no make-up, that would be too prissy; naturally long hair, loose or in pig tails (just to keep them off the face, you know); maybe a baseball cap; and finally sneakers or old men's shoes.

From the description of the character, the fact that it sounds like a nerd that doesn't fit the nerd stereotype, she sounds to me more of a #4 above.


Chris - May 27, 2015 at 07:44
I'm thinking Clair Danes, my sister thought she was great in 'My So-called life' - I'd go for a look that imagined Claire Danes a few years after that show.

Nacho Fernandez - May 27, 2015 at 09:45
Great point! Very good idea, in my proposal there's a bit of her, hair color could be Danes' weird red

Man with a cat - May 27, 2015 at 13:02
How about model Delores after how Annie Lennox from Eurythmics looked back in the 80s.

Zombocast - May 27, 2015 at 13:39
I find the machine automated pillow factory the most interesting piece of the article. As for Delores, People relate to stereotypes, the "strong independent, intouch with  technology female"  you discribed did not work. Make her a sci~fi book worm and the coordinator of the ThimbleCon convention. She's read every startrek/starwars book released and even some unpublished scripts that never made it to the tv show. She has friends, but they're all geeks. She try"s to seperate herself during ThimbleCon because she invisions somone famous will be there.

James - May 27, 2015 at 14:14
I want to say that I'm from Spain, and for us the name is "Dolores", never, never, never "Delores".

Zak Phoenix McKracken - May 27, 2015 at 14:22
Is this Thimbleweed Park character a Spanish one?

Ron Gilbert - May 27, 2015 at 23:07
No, she is not.

Tim - Jun 07, 2015 at 17:30
Hahahaha, now there's a great setup for a joke. The whole interaction between the three of you ... instant Gold!

Sushi - May 27, 2015 at 17:36
Being a kid in the 80's myself, any woman in her early twenties was just "old"! I read a lot of (true) stereotypes above on what teenagers looked like: flashy colours, big hair, ... But keep in mind that back then Madonna and Cindi Lauper were marketed towards the record buying teenager audience. Same goes for all the (great) movie references to portraited teenage characters. If my math is all right, Delores was born between 1963 and 1966, so her defining years should be from 1979 to 1982, which was still a lot more seventies style. (Just as the early 90's still had a lot of typical 80s quality in all respects)
Perhaps more importantly, keep in mind that she is one of the main characters, so we will have to spend hours watching her on the screen. So she shouldn't be too unpleasant to look at either.
Taking all that into account, I wouldn't mind her looking like Donna from "That '70s Show".
With a t-shirt of an Atari 2600 joystick thrown in for good fun.
Just my two cents of course.

Peter Campbell - May 27, 2015 at 18:14
You say that Delores shouldn't be unpleasant to look at, but then you say you wouldn't mind if she looked like Donna from That 70's Show......yikes

Sushi - May 29, 2015 at 14:38
Thanks for telling me what to like or not.

kokoberi - May 27, 2015 at 20:59
The description is kind of vague about her actual personality, so since what you tell us about her sounds pretty similar to me (female programmer, kinda geeky but still likes to go out), I tried to think about what I would have been wearing if I had been that age in the mid-80's. I was about 10 at the time but what I remember was big hair, big accessories (and lots of them), loud colors and big geometric shapes.  Big shapeless tops and tight pants/skirts, etc.

Here are 3 versions I did since the description was loose:

1. Toned down a little, since she has a job. Big oxford shirt (collar could also be flipped up), tight jeans, high tops, scrunchy tube socks
2. Off the shoulder hot pink sweatshirt, big hoop earrings, side pony, jeans
3. Big collared shirt with geo print, black leggings, leg warmers (I do remember people mixing colors and prints that didn't match, so this is somewhat accurate :) )

Mattias Cedervall - May 28, 2015 at 07:16
Well done.

Man with a dog - May 28, 2015 at 09:21
It is between #1 or #2 for me. #3 has to much fashion-stuff on her = distracting.

But #1 I would prefer over #2, because #1 is more subtle and has the grace that I think Delores has (or what i pictured in my head, reading the description).

But good work of course.

kokoberi - May 29, 2015 at 06:25
Thank you!  From a straight fashion perspective I agree with you, I only made that version because that's what I recall from the 80's: girls wearing a ridiculous amount of accessories, makeup, jewelry, you name it.  (My yearbooks look hilarious.)  But maybe that was more what the teenagers wore, so not appropriate for Delores? As a "Delores" myself, I can say I would be most likely to wear the oxford shirt and jeans (albeit not so tight) version.

mr. T - May 28, 2015 at 03:26
What a great excuse to finally actually trying out some of this black sorcery. Nice to see people putting in some ideas here too. I went straight from reference images to pixel scale, but I guess they can be seen a bit sketchy. The concepts can actually be seen from the reference images, if one takes a look. I just clicked them together in characters and made up some stuff.

Reference images from the internet, all collected together in one image:

Here are the concepts with some additional backstory, just for fun & clarity:

I made some crude 2 frame animations just to see some movement. I like movement.

Delores #1 gif animation:

Delores #2 gif animation:

Delores #3 gif animation:

Any comments, suggestions or ideas? I really liked the challenge of how to squeeze in information with only a few rectangles and the idea of how a couple of pixels can change the feel of something. Definitely not something you come across when playing around with pencil or the usual wacom appendages. Really fascinating, when you start thinking about it. Anyone remember Lemmings? Those things had character and were made up like from 10 pixels. That's pretty crazy. Now I'm tempted to try out some more, maybe a simple scene even. Thanks Gary, this was great fun.

Hopefully you guys have a great brainstorming session!

Nacho Fernandez - May 28, 2015 at 07:00
I like quite a lot your #1 variant, a nice balance between hip (but not glamorous) and geek.

Mattias Cedervall - May 28, 2015 at 07:14
Great work! They should hire you to help Gary out!

Man with a dog - May 28, 2015 at 09:18
For me it is either animation 1 or 2. Animation 3 dosent appeal to me as a main character.
Number one is less geeky and fits more with the description. But two is nice too, but fits more with a side-character...... or if delores is under cover at trek-con 87.  

but good work

Prof. Marvel - May 28, 2015 at 14:21
Really good work!  Quirky and very 80's looking.  Some combination of 1 & 3 would be cool, I think.

Brian S - May 28, 2015 at 17:25
Nicely done.

mr. T - May 29, 2015 at 15:28
Thanks! I have to admit I hadn't much steam left for the 3rd character but wanted to put up a trio of options regardless. Two would be bad luck!

Mattias Cedervall - May 29, 2015 at 17:24
Yes, and you starred in the third Rocky movie. :-)

Dada - May 28, 2015 at 07:52
This is my take on Delores. I’m afraid I made her look a little too adolescent and also not sure how it would translate into the pixel art version (I just posterised it and quickly ran over it with pencil tool).
Well at least it maybe will help you to see which road not to take.


Prof. Marvel - May 28, 2015 at 14:18
This is what Delores should look like 30 years after the events of Thimbleweed Park.  Sorta like what they're doing with Twin Peaks.

Dada - May 28, 2015 at 17:20
Haha, I’m afraid you’re right. The dress felt a little too teenage to me and I wanted to give her some characteristic sort of nerdy not exactly supermodel features, so I guess I somehow pushed her face into the middle ages.

So this was made for her comeback in 30 years or so.

kokoberi - May 29, 2015 at 06:30
Nice! Good balance of accuracy and avoidance of insulting stereotypes. :)

Dada - May 30, 2015 at 03:21
Thanks! I'm glad someone liked it :)

juli - Jun 04, 2015 at 16:16
super cool! I realy liked this one :D

Dada - Jun 05, 2015 at 04:02
Thanks! Very much appreciated!!

Ralph Upton - May 28, 2015 at 21:36
The game needs to be SEXY. Make her SEXY like Razor. Razor was the SEX in Maniac.

Mattias Cedervall - May 29, 2015 at 17:22
I think I saw that hot minifigure in Playboy! ;P

Zombocast - May 29, 2015 at 00:11
1. Red headed Geek theme: "mechanic, that looks sexy getting dirty"
MythBusters "Kari Byron": http://bit.ly/1HzluGE ,  http://gph.is/1eBmjYr
World of Warcrafts, "Scholomance staring heads": http://bit.ly/1HzlyGn
Maniac Mansion's "Razor"  http://bit.ly/1ABbRtN , http://bit.ly/1JYbLP7
Full Throttle's "Maureen": http://gph.is/1QefdEO

2. Smart Realist theme: "sometimes looks into the camera and speaks to the audience" like MTV's Daria.
Janeane Garofalo: http://bit.ly/1pWmjUE , http://gph.is/1KsADfZ

Sushi - May 29, 2015 at 14:47
Kudos for the red headed geek theme!

Mcloud the Cowboy - May 29, 2015 at 17:10
Gentlemen prefer redheads.... I know I certainly do.

lemonCurd - May 29, 2015 at 09:08
Sounds a lot like Kaylee Frye - and even looks a little bit like Jewel Staite. Aren't we all missing Firefly?

lemonCurd - May 30, 2015 at 11:19
Okay, so all but one are missing Firefly. :-)

Mattias Cedervall - May 29, 2015 at 13:38
Gary, I hope that you will show a Kung Fury movie poster in Thimbleweed Park! :-) I'm sure David Sandberg would approve!

Steffeny Messinger - Jun 03, 2015 at 02:34
As a woman that grew up in the 1980's, and an adult that still uses a few styles from said decade, I think she needs more color and more accessories. Make her frames a different color, like blue, or mint or purple. Give her colorful hanging earrings to match the colored frames, and give her a belt. Oh and some bracelets. I made a mockup of a similar character, maybe this will help.



Tim - Jun 04, 2015 at 19:10
Thinking of 80's fashion for women immediately shoulder padded jackets and legwarmers came to mind. Those jackets however better fit in with the upper-class soon to be business woman kind of girl. The legwarmers where likely be worn by the hipster types back then. Delores doesn't  sound like any of those. She has to wear typical geeky, over-sized 80's glasses like these https://img1.etsystatic.com/009/1/5517865/il_570xN.460500705_itg3.jpg And I think she would have a dark colored semi-short haircut like the woman on the left of this picture http://www.fashionandhairstyles.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/1980s-hairstyles-Women.jpg. She could wear one of those horrible over-sized knitted sweaters with triangles, stripes and such, like this http://www.rustyzipper.com/full/179726-M48292.jpg but in (typical 80's) fluorescent green and pink. Beneath that bomb of figures and colors, I would give her pretty basic high waisted pants like these https://img1.etsystatic.com/055/0/5727341/il_570xN.764680229_euge.jpg but dark-colored and matching short boots like these https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/58/87/65/588765b4996bc2192f183bcf808f22d7.jpg I wish I could combine all my suggestions into an  8-bit sketch in Aseprite, but as I'm writing my thesis at the moment, I don't have enough spare time to compensate my lack of skills.  Hopefully my contribution to this open brainstorm session is of any use. It was great to get a change to think along with you guys.

Tim - Jun 04, 2015 at 19:21
I couldn't resist adding that I tried to imagine what (your former colleague from Lucasfilm Games?) Khris Brown could have looked like when she was as old as Delores is in the game.

Hoerspiegel - Jun 06, 2015 at 17:56
I'd love to see her dressed in a t-shirt with a green tentacle, a two-headed squirrel, three-headed monkey or other kind of adventure related artworks. Maybe she appears in different scene outfits with changing artworks? Or, maybe the shirt artwork style could be randomized. Play her with 1 out of 10 different styles. Next time you restore and play on, she'll wear another shirt. Keeps it interesting.

Tim - Jun 06, 2015 at 20:15
Hahaha, hoer spiegel, serieus? Dat kun je echt niet maken hoor.

Hoerspiegel - Jun 07, 2015 at 18:26
Try it in German, you flying Dutchman! :D Greetings to Maaskantje, jonge!

Toria - Jun 08, 2015 at 05:20
Late to the party but had to have a go.
Here's young Delores, with her big hair & hoop earrings & big white sneakers & huge socks & high-waisted tight acidwash jeans.
Didn't know if she should be in a big blouse for work or a crop denim jacket for casual so I did both (plus the singlet for when she takes the jacket off ;) Based it off the old Delores for basic dimensions, face etc. (It has too many colours, I know.)
Hope you like it.