Happy Birthday Thimbleweed Park

by Ron Gilbert
Nov 18, 2015

One year ago today Gary and I launched our Kickstarter for Thimbleweed Park!

So... Happy Birthday Thimbleweed Park!

In lieu of presents, please click on the Support Us link at the top of the page and buy yourself a collectors edition boxed copy. You're worth it.

As our present to you, here is some new art. Nothing says Happy Birthday more than a gorgeous piece of adventure game art. Or in this case, a horribly disgusting bathroom.

This weeks post is a few days late because we're all scrambling to get ready for the first playtest by a non-Thimbleweed Park team member. We're all giddy with excitement. I'll do a post next week talking about how it was conducted, how it went and what we learned (spoiler free, of course).

OK, back to the salt mines.

- Ron

Patrik Spacek - Nov 18, 2015 at 14:17
Happy Birthday...

Brian Ruff - Nov 18, 2015 at 14:20
Here's Douglas Crockford's story about Nintendo not wanting us to call Edna: http://www.crockford.com/wrrrld/maniac.html

Brian Small - Nov 18, 2015 at 14:20
Happy Birthday, Thimbleweed Park.   Wow, has it already been a year?

MattM - Nov 18, 2015 at 14:21
Pretty mature for a 1 year old! You all must be very proud. Side note: Whenever I put my phone number in a seedy bathroom it reads: "For an adequate time call -". That way expectations are more manageable.

Robert McGovern - Nov 18, 2015 at 14:21
Happy Birthday. I'm shocked it's a year already!

Nicolas Rivas - Nov 18, 2015 at 14:22
Happy birthday! Art looks so cool! And what a huge toilet and trashcan!

Albert Bundy - Nov 18, 2015 at 17:06
Not just a toilet... a FERGUSON. The King of bowls!

Michael Hoffmann - Nov 18, 2015 at 14:25
That is the greatest disgusting bath room I have ever seen! :-) Phantastic art as always! And the icons have been revised, too!

Happy birthday, Thimbleweed Park!

Kimmo Sakko - Nov 18, 2015 at 14:27

I did that couple a weeks ago:Supported You and bought myself a collectors edition via your page. Will it be signed ? :) Thanks!

CaliMonk - Nov 18, 2015 at 14:36
Awesome, time flies! Really like the progress you've made last year and -really- look forward to playing this, I've been waiting to play a classic looking adventure game for ages :-)

Paulup - Nov 18, 2015 at 14:37
That's some of the best artwork yet!
I'm going to guess this one was done by Octavi... some of the single-pixel-wide lines of liquid remind me of his work...

Also the icons are looking real nice too...

Ron Gilbert - Nov 18, 2015 at 14:45
This was done by Mark. We haven't shown any of Octavi's rooms yet. He did do the characters.

Andy Roberts - Nov 18, 2015 at 14:39
Is that toilet huge or are the characters off-scale?

Paulup - Nov 18, 2015 at 14:42
Maybe it's the entrance to the sewers?

David Fox - Nov 18, 2015 at 14:42
It's a huge toilet. I think it may be the only one in town, so it has to be big. :-)

Ron Gilbert - Nov 18, 2015 at 14:44
It's a tip-of-the-hat to the Maniac Mansion toilet, which was huge as well.

Falko - Nov 18, 2015 at 15:11
So the Edna reference obviously means that Thimbleweed takes place in the Maniac Mansion universe. Yes? YES? :)

Valdir - Nov 18, 2015 at 16:13
That's the second biggest toilet I've ever seen!

Sorry... Couldn't miss the joke.

Derrick Reisdorf - Nov 18, 2015 at 20:25
I hope it has a hilariously fitting name. No spoilers, please.  :)

zaskar - Nov 18, 2015 at 14:51
This looks awesome!!! as if all the "pixels of the day" winners were compiled together in one glorious shot.

Cazzeris - Nov 18, 2015 at 14:53
Hah, I've looked at the screenshot and immediately thought: is there anything different with the verbs? Then I take a look closely and notice that there's a small "outline" effect applied on the words. This is pretty much what I meant with my question on a previous "Friday Questions" podcast. Looking nice!

Dan - Nov 18, 2015 at 15:02
Happy Birthday! It has been an impressive progress!

If DOTT had been a little bit more geared to its predecessor MM, it would have looked very similar to this for sure.

Brian Baker - Nov 18, 2015 at 15:06
I'm trying to figure out what that is in the upper right hand corner...

TWfromSWD - Nov 18, 2015 at 15:10
Has it been a year already? Time flies! Happy Birthday Timbleweed Park! :)

Roberto Cano - Nov 18, 2015 at 15:16
Happy kickstartday!! Adventure day!! Miner's day!!! Happy finally-got-out-of-the-womb day!!

Roberto Cano - Nov 18, 2015 at 15:17
Sorry for double posting.....is it just me of the guys look A LOT like Mulder and Scully??

Kevin Drum - Nov 18, 2015 at 15:22
Happy Birthday, Pimplewood Pork.

Michael - Nov 18, 2015 at 15:25
Looks like a regular 7-11 bathroom to me. xD
Happy Birthday TWP! \o/

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Nov 18, 2015 at 15:27
Great!! It was only Feb 11 when a hand made drawing of this bathroom was published here...

...and now, here is the final art! Big Applause to Mark Ferrari!!!

mr. T - Nov 18, 2015 at 15:34
Happy birthday Thimby!

Rum Rogers - Nov 18, 2015 at 15:36
Plus, inventory icons are getting cool!
Happy birthday, Maniac Monkey!

Mattias Cedervall - Nov 18, 2015 at 15:42

Will you change the verbs so they start from the left instead of being centered?
It looks a bit messy now.

I will now call Edna! <3

Rosenblatt - Nov 18, 2015 at 15:49
Its great that the background art is getting so much detail!

One of the reasons why I want to advance in adventure games is to see new backgrounds. (For example: the great winterly backgrounds in Blackwell Epiphany)

The strongest part of Thimbleweed Park is imho the great "blue hour" atmosphere.  I hope the whole game will use this lighting!

Chris - Nov 18, 2015 at 15:51
Happy birthday guys!!!

btw, wtf are these stains on the mirror????

Peter Campbell - Nov 18, 2015 at 17:24
Hand soap of course!  I mean what else could they possibly be?    :D

Gffp - Nov 18, 2015 at 15:59
She reminds me of Susan Sarandon. A lot.

Valdir - Nov 18, 2015 at 16:06
Happy one year!

Haven't you figured out about the character switching?

Are you going for mini icons between the verbs and the inventory? Or for an inventory item for each character?

Congratulations on the art! Very nice room, icons and feeling. It reminds me somehow of Monkey Island 2 underground, just before the park at the end. Great!

wedge - Nov 18, 2015 at 16:17
Happy Birthday to the project, really glad to see it is going quite well :) Looking forward to the next news :)

vegetaman - Nov 18, 2015 at 16:24
Wow, two Maniac Mansion references -- the Edna writing and a random radio tube on top of the toilet!?

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Nov 19, 2015 at 08:57
...you can't pick that up. It's for a different game! ;-)

Arto - Nov 18, 2015 at 16:41
Happy birthday Thimbleweed Park.

There should be a phone on the wall.

entropy - Nov 18, 2015 at 17:10
The graphics style just got perfect for this project.
Way better than I ever hoped it will.

It clearly looks more Monkey-Island-2-ish than Maniac Mansion
but wasn't that what many were asking for? :)

Chances are good this will be my coup-de-coeur game of the new millennium!

Harold - Nov 18, 2015 at 17:12
I’m missing her cigarette a lot. Will it return before release?

Zarbulonian - Nov 18, 2015 at 17:48
AFAIK, smoking is part of her idle animations.

Guy with too much money - Nov 18, 2015 at 17:25
Hey Ron,
I would like to update my Kickstarter Collector’s Edition ($150) to include poster and T-shirt ($350). This won’t do with the current method, will it?

Peter Campbell - Nov 18, 2015 at 17:27
Is it me or does the one icon look like a bloody (!!!!) piece of toilet paper?  Maybe it's a bloody note but if so it's ironic that it's right below the roll of toilet paper on the screen lol.

Ron Gilbert - Nov 18, 2015 at 17:30
The game isn't even out yet and you're already trying to solve adventure game puzzles.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Nov 19, 2015 at 09:00
Because... it's in our blood!

Big Red Button - Nov 18, 2015 at 18:02
Another great piece of pixel art!

But the pipe installation of the toilet looks a bit curious. As you know, the pipe below the toilet tank is usually connected with the bowl and moreover the siphon on the back side of the toilet bowl typically opens out into a down pipe in the wall.

Gins - Nov 18, 2015 at 18:32
Amazing how far the game has come in that year!
Look at the image in the site's header and then the screenshots we got in recent blog posts! Can't wait for it to be finished. Congratulations and keep up the good work!

Laoena - Nov 18, 2015 at 18:38
I can deal with the characters being out-of-size compared to the rest-(of the)-room, all the furniture is oversized similar to the toilet. What bugs me is the way the toilet paper is hanging ... if the roll is tilted to one side, there is no way the paper would be dangling at an opposite angle so close to the roll.

Mattias Cedervall - Nov 18, 2015 at 19:00
I agree! They should fix the toilet paper. It should be hanging from the other way.

Ron Gilbert - Nov 18, 2015 at 19:03
Nope. It's supposed to be like that. One sheet is dangling down.

Derrick Reisdorf - Nov 18, 2015 at 20:30
Of course we could bring up the whole argument of whether it should be hanging on the inside or outside from the roll...

Mattias Cedervall - Nov 19, 2015 at 04:08
But the sheet should be hanging from the outside! Thanks for your reply regarding this important matter, Ron! :-)

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Nov 19, 2015 at 09:05
OMG... japanese people are always one step forward!!!

Mattias Cedervall - Nov 19, 2015 at 14:49
Yes, we should all learn from the Japanese people! :-)

Farooq - Nov 23, 2015 at 03:56
I think upon closer look the "roll" is actually the container. metal or plastic whatever. Similar colors are confusing it into just a tissue roll.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Nov 19, 2015 at 09:04
Users are like customers: they are always right. :-D
It is a fact, the patent of the toilet paper says that the sheet must be outside.

Zarbulonian - Nov 19, 2015 at 09:26
It is partly detached, on the right.

skarsson - Nov 18, 2015 at 18:54
Happy birthday! :D

How peculiar though... As this game gets older, its beauty increases!

Paulup - Nov 18, 2015 at 19:04
Surprising number of toilet experts in here today.

Sushi - Nov 19, 2015 at 14:29
How appropriate! A toilet expert = someone who's full of shit.

Please don't flush me, now.

Derrick Reisdorf - Nov 18, 2015 at 20:34
I think the bathroom needs a bit of trash littered about...Some crumpled up paper towels around the waste basket at the least.

Derrick Reisdorf - Nov 18, 2015 at 20:35
Wait.  There's no paper towel dispenser.  Well, some other trash then.

Ron Gilbert - Nov 18, 2015 at 20:51
So you can clutter your inventory with pieces of paper? That's the kind of stuff we think about them designing a room.

Rule #27: Don't put useless stuff in rooms people will want to pick up.
Rule #28: Ignore Rule #27 if it's really funny.

Biggus Dickus - Nov 19, 2015 at 06:03
I loved the mails by Herman Toothrush™ and the cannibals™ on Monkey Island and the papers piling up in your inventory. I hope you do something similar in TP™ like a red thread or running gag throughout the game.

Derrick Reisdorf - Nov 19, 2015 at 22:49
I wouldn't necessarily let the player pick up trash unless there was a puzzle designed for it.

If a player tried to pick it up, the player would reply, "No way am I touching that.  Who knows what that was used for."  Or something like that.

Hunter - Nov 18, 2015 at 21:01
I wish we could see a time lapse video of how one of those great backgrounds is created,  as a graphic enthusiast that would be awesome.

Helge Frisenette - Nov 18, 2015 at 23:09
Love how every piece of technology in the town, including the toilets, seem to involve valves.
Soviet by the look of it too. Guess they where the only source in 87..?

Jens Ådne J. Rydland - Nov 19, 2015 at 02:19
Happy birthday!

And I'm not sure if advertising other kickstarters here is okay (please feel free to delete this post if it isn't), but I guess at least some here would find https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/nicepixel/the-masters-of-pixel-art/ interesting, it's a kickstarter to make a book showcasing great pixel art, with comments and background information from the artists etc. :-)

Søren B Bojesen - Nov 19, 2015 at 02:32
Happy Birthday then. Have  been reading along since day one on this fantastic site.
Can't wait to point and click.

SunDancer - Nov 19, 2015 at 03:03
EDNA! Happy thingywhatever... IS IT OUT YET?!

Soong - Nov 19, 2015 at 03:12
I love the art and of course the writing on the wall!  Keep up the good work!

peterszky - Nov 19, 2015 at 03:19
Use chainsaw on huge toilet.

e - Nov 19, 2015 at 04:03
A thought about the inventory: the tight grid behind the objects makes it look a bit cramped and claustrophobic to me. I'm sure it would be just as easy to see the boundaries between objects even with a less prominent blue outline and background?

Right now the inventory feels like it's visually the most underlined element on the screen. It's sort of eating away some of the punch of the backgrounds and the characters. The muted colors of the room seem to clash with the bright blues of the interface a bit. Maybe it's just me? And I know that the interface is probably still far from final, but the inventory has stayed the same in screenshots for a long time now. So. Just a thought.

Ps. That's a great looking toilet.

DZ-Jay - Nov 19, 2015 at 05:25
I have one question, Mr. Gilbert:  Are those the final inventory icons?

(Just kidding!! Please don't ban me from the forum!)

It looks very nice.  I do have one comment, though.  The characters now have smaller heads which looks more proportionate to their bodies, but because they look more realistic, now they look disproportionately smaller than the background.  That's what piecemeal "realism" on only certain aspects buy you; it's a double-edged sword.


Marcel Taeumel - Nov 19, 2015 at 07:06
Will this background in the inventory go away until the final release? :) It is for debugging purposes only, right?


Big Red Button - Nov 19, 2015 at 08:01
How appropriate: Today is 'World Toilet Day'.

Hugo - Nov 19, 2015 at 08:09
<challenge> The mirror should reflect the characters. </challenge>

Marco Lizza - Nov 19, 2015 at 08:33
How could a forgot-in-the-drawer late '80s game feature realtime mirror reflections it's far beyond my understanding...

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Nov 19, 2015 at 09:09
Nice, but it was a peculiarity of Monkey Island 2. But I agree, it would be nice.

Marcel Taeumel - Nov 19, 2015 at 11:16
Way too dirty to reflect any light. :)


Andreas - Nov 19, 2015 at 08:35
Looks amazing!

A small question:
Do light source positions contain information in which z plane they are located? If yes, would it be possible to render a faint shadow (for each light source) where the characters touch the ground?

Loftcraft - Nov 19, 2015 at 10:44
Character shadows would be great! At the moment the characters do somehow look "out of place". Especially when the lighting of the backrounds is so well done...

Franklin - Nov 19, 2015 at 10:49
I'm sure you could do better. Please show us.

Not Bogdan Barbu - Nov 20, 2015 at 17:47
Never understood what the logic behind that reasoning.

Cole Trickle - Nov 19, 2015 at 11:26
Do the agents follow each other automatically, or do you have to move each one seperately like in Maniac Mansion?

Ron Gilbert - Nov 19, 2015 at 11:51
The agents don't follow each other, but except for a few multi-character puzzles, there is no reason to keep them together. We figure players will pick their favorite character (might be Delores or Ransome) and stick with them for most of the game. There are places where a specific character is needed, but that doesn't happen enough to be annoying.

Marco Lizza - Nov 20, 2015 at 07:33
Which is pretty much like was done in Maniac Mansion...

Derrick Reisdorf - Nov 20, 2015 at 17:03
Do you think there'd be any reason to add some kind of indicator to let the player know who he/she is controlling when there are more than 1 playable characters on the screen?

If you can switch between characters, how will that be done?  Will it be displayed on the interface somehow?

Not Bogdan Barbu - Nov 20, 2015 at 21:35
At some point, they mentioned having different verb and inventory colors based on the selected character. But even if they turn out to not do it that way, the inventory items should be a gvieaway. Seems like an extra indicator just to avoid one click in the super rare situation where two characters with identical inventories are next to one another might be going a bit overboard.

Disclaimer: I don't know what the duck I'm talking about.

Sushi - Nov 19, 2015 at 14:32
I love the way those clothes "breath"!
Nice bell bottom jeans on Reyes.

dada - Nov 19, 2015 at 15:39
I'm just glad there's no one to stop you from saying things like shithead anymore :)

Geoffrey Paulsen - Nov 20, 2015 at 10:20

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Nov 20, 2015 at 11:07
...I can translate it in Italian, if can help... :-)

pilouuuu - Nov 20, 2015 at 13:58
Happy Birthday! Feliz Cumpleaños! I can't wait for the game. :-)

Not Bogdan Barbu - Nov 20, 2015 at 17:33
Woah, there should be a ladder to help any characters who want to climb on that giant toilet.

Actually Bogdan Barbu - Nov 20, 2015 at 21:39
Nevermind. I've talked to Ron and Gary and have official information that everyone in Thimbleweed Park is a midget.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Nov 21, 2015 at 14:56
a ladder or a stepladder?

Bogdan Barbu - Nov 25, 2015 at 04:18
A stepladder. My real ladder walked out on me.

Wetzer - Nov 21, 2015 at 01:28
I think the persons on the picture has to be a bit taller (now the toilett looks like a bit heavy).

PS: Thanks for making this Game :)