Last Week To Become A Backer

by Ron Gilbert
Jul 28, 2016

We're going to be cutting off the ability to back Thimbleweed Park on August 7th, so if you want to help support the game and (maybe) get some cool stuff (or just feel awesome about yourself), time is quickly running out.

A huge huge round of thanks to everyone who backed Thimbleweed Park during the Kickstarter and after. The extra money really has made the game better.

But, as we're getting closer to shipping, it's time to end the fun, wrap the game up, and release it for everyone to play in early 2017.  It seems like forever, but it's only a few months of panic, fear, and stress away.

We want to reiterate, backing is not a pre-order. If all you want is to pre-order the game, then we suggest waiting. We have not set the final price for the game and it might be less than our lowest backing tier. What backer support does is help make the game be the best it can be, by giving us extra money to throw at art, music, animation and programming.

Thanks again to everyone who supported and made Thimbleweed Park possible. Even if you couldn't or can't afford to back the game, your enthusiasm has also been invaluable.

- Ron

Brian Small - Jul 28, 2016 at 13:43
It's been a pleasure to be involved with the blog and to support the game.  Best Kickastarter experience, by far - and that's without even receiving the final product yet.

Michael - Jul 28, 2016 at 13:47
Thank you for making this happen. The way you have handled this Kickstarter thingis beyond awesome to me. So cool to be a small part of this.

Josejulio Martínez - Jul 28, 2016 at 13:56
Thank you! I'm not a backer (yet) but will surely be before times runs out!

Ivan Braidi - Jul 28, 2016 at 14:06
Hi Ron,

how many pages will have the 'making of' pdf and what infos will be put in there?

Thank you very much, I can't wait to enjoy TP™!! ;)

Randy Hofbauer - Jul 28, 2016 at 14:08
Ron, in an age when transparency is more important (and yet not-so-utilized) than ever in everything from food to politics, you have been incredibly open with your backers and fans. This blog should stand as a testament (hell, even go in marketing textbooks) to show anyone considering a Kickstarter the rulebook on keeping in touch with your backers.

So excited for the game! I remember when I was in first grade and bought MI1 when it just came out, after having played Maniac Mansion and Zak McKracken (and not understanding half of the jokes in them), I dreamed of being an AG developer and helping to work on a game with or for you one day. I can now say that as a backer, that dream has kinda now come true.

Brian Ruff - Jul 28, 2016 at 14:09
Link to become a backer?. Typing is so much effort.

Charles - Jul 28, 2016 at 14:14
It's at the top of this page as "Support Us"

Ema - Jul 29, 2016 at 11:26
Scrolling is so much effort, too.

Charles - Jul 28, 2016 at 14:13
Is getting my name in Ransom's swear jar still a possibility?

Jenn Sandercock - Jul 28, 2016 at 15:29
Yep! It should be in the "Add on" section when you're going through completing your order.

Big Red Button - Jul 28, 2016 at 14:13
I thank you as well, for providing us interesting insights into the development process of a classic point & click adventure game!
It feels great to have supported this project.
Honestly, I had dreamed of your return to this genre for so many years, since the whole point & click genre declined bit by bit after you guys had left LFL in the 90s - and who'd have had thunk that you'd eventually make this dream come true - especially with our involvement? It's still unbelievable!

Alejandro - Jul 28, 2016 at 14:17
Why not add the link to backer on the text? Now i need to type :(

(Oh the irony, i'm typing this comment and not wanting to add the address to back jejeje)

Regards from Argentina

Diego - Jul 29, 2016 at 08:54
Alejandro, fijate que dice SUPPORT US en la parte superior...

Saludos desde Capital Federal

Kim Jørgensen - Jul 28, 2016 at 14:25
Thank you for the amazing Kickstarter!
I just received my Thimbleweed Park t-shirt today :-). It was a delayed due to high demand, how many did you sell of these?

Stefan - Jul 28, 2016 at 14:28
Clan't await to play the game 😁🖖🏻

Antonio - Jul 28, 2016 at 15:02

please please please, add the blinking to the mouse cursor just like on MM / Zak etc!



vincent - Jul 28, 2016 at 15:06
En France, nous attendons aussi avec impatience la sortie de ce super jeu !
Ce sera un plaisir d aider pour les tests de la version française.
PnC Fantastic French Gamer ☺

Mattias Cedervall - Jul 28, 2016 at 15:20
We should rename Kickstarter to Parkstarter. :P I will now upgrade my pledge to get the soundtrack and I hope the extra money will be used to implement fog that reacts to the playable character's movement!

Jenn Sandercock - Jul 28, 2016 at 15:32
Upgrading's been a bit cut off at the moment, since the phone book was shut down. So if you have any issues upgrading, let us know at and we can help you out.

Mattias Cedervall - Jul 28, 2016 at 16:06
Thank you, Jenn. I just tried to upgrade to include the soundtrack, but it didn't work.

Bogdan Barbu - Jul 28, 2016 at 16:56
Care to plug your edible board game? Sounded interesting.

Mattias Cedervall - Jul 28, 2016 at 17:06
I bought a Chess game with edible pieces. It was quite nice.

Mattias Cedervall - Jul 28, 2016 at 16:04
Ron, I still know too little about Ransome's swear jar! Therefore I have to skip it unfortunately. :-(

Max - Jul 28, 2016 at 16:50
This has been one of the (if not THE) most pleasant and enjoyable Kickstarters to be involved in*, not to mention it delivered (well, at least it will, by the way things are looking) what a certain other high-profile campaign promised but arguably kinda failed to...

*10/10 great campaign owner, would back again

Jaap - Jul 28, 2016 at 16:50
The best of luck in finishing the game. Following this has been amazing. Got me and a friend to build a point 'n click adventure game engine ourselves, but had to stop (for now) because we can't animate stuff to save our lives (anyway not an easy skill to learn next to a fulltime job).
The engine works pretty ok actually (using Lua to interface/script with it). Also got a neat story written for a big part.

Still hope to finish our game some time (probably/hopefully when I finally have nothing else to do in the old people's home and I still remember the concept of point 'n click after years of life replacing/enhancing/sucking/pimpin' VR and augmented reality).

Anyway, can't wait to see the game and thanks for the inspiration!

Nor Treblig - Jul 29, 2016 at 21:19
It's an interesting read about dialogs and pathfinding, thanks!

Jaap - Jul 31, 2016 at 02:50
Thanks & you're welcome!

Part 3 of dialogue with the dialogue engine code I hope to put up in... well hopefully this year

Bogdan Barbu - Jul 28, 2016 at 16:54
We really appreciate the effort of making us part of it with Friday Questions, the contests, etc. Also, it's good to know that any future games will be less expensive to develop because you'll have an engine to work with (even if there's still maintenance to do and extra features to implement---e.g., I remember you once mentioned that you might want to move lighting support there).

vegetaman - Jul 28, 2016 at 18:43
Proud PayPal backer here; the dev blog by itself has been well worth the money I ponied up! :D

Zombocast - Jul 29, 2016 at 00:06
The end is near. Here are some greats posts from our backers

Daniel Wolf - Feb 21, 2016 at 15:08
The official repo is here:

Michael Hoffmann - Oct 07, 2015 at 17:03

Bogdan Barbu - Jul 29, 2016 at 08:45
Hey, that lip sync is really good (even though I haven't tested it on recordings with less correct diction).

Dan S. - Jul 29, 2016 at 00:44
What would make a sequel more likely--x dollars of new backer money or x dollars of sales from the game after it releases? Could the game end up being a financial failure because too many potential customers chose to acquire the game by backing rather than purchasing? Probably not likely, I guess, but it's something I've been wondering about in regards to crowd-sourcing in general.

Ron Gilbert - Jul 29, 2016 at 00:59
Sales will dwarf the backer numbers. We have around 18,000 backers. Those would be really bad sales numbers. If there are to be future point and click games from us, it's going to need to sell very well.  Going back to Kickstarter is fraught with problems.  We got a good deal of money, but it's still been very tight getting the game done to the quality level we expect and Gary and I have been working for next to nothing, and other key team members are working for way below that they need to live.  That is not sustainable and I don't see another Kickstarter fixing that.  But good sales will.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Jul 29, 2016 at 03:08
Well, let me tell a tale.

6 years ago today, an unknown japanese software house, published his first game.
A game of a new genre: a visual novel with an horror plot, but with scientific notions, puzzles, multiple bad endings and a good ending.
The player gets involved, his decisions determine the course of the story.
The game sells a few units in the first week. Then it sells a lot in the next 4 weeks, in Japan. Then it sells hundredfold all around the world, it becomes popular, fans all around the world starts to translate it in their language, independently and for free. It's a success, within one year.

So, on the wave of that success, the author started to plan the sequel.
Two years after, he published the game. More innovation, better graphics, 3D support, more interactive puzzles.
But it sells less than expected, especially in North America and Europe, while in Japan is still a bestseller.

At that point, the author (who had in mind to make a trilogy), stops.

But. The game was incomplete. It left many open points. Many people expected a third sequel!
And here comes the magic.
Many fans, all around the world, started a forum where asked aloud to produce a sequel.
They where from Japan, America, Europe and other parts of the world.

In 2015,  in response to high demand from the series' fan base, the author decided to produce the third chapter of the novel.
And in June 2016, the game was released, at the same time, in japanese (voice, text and graphics) and in english (voice, text and graphics).

One month has passed, and as far as I know, selling of the first week are good, worldwide.

It's a true story, I can tell you the name of the author, the software house, the game trilogy and the discussion forum name, made by fans.

What I am going to tell you, is to listen to your fans.
They are the thermometer that could let you decide to make an investment or not, aside the previuos selling datas.
If there are a lot of requests, you have a high probability to make a lot of selling.

Bogdan Barbu - Jul 29, 2016 at 08:35
The answer to your reply is precisely the thing you've answered to.

Meuti - Jul 30, 2016 at 03:00
offtopic... are you Romanian, Bogdan?

Bogdan Barbu - Jul 30, 2016 at 04:42
You little stalker :p Yes, you've found me out.

Meuti - Jul 31, 2016 at 09:10
:D Your name made me wonder, because I just met a couple of Romanian friends and two of them are "Bogdans" as well. A sunt așa deștept... :D

Leak - Aug 03, 2016 at 11:11
Well, there is the example of Grim Dawn, the spiritual successor to the action RPG Titan Quest where an actual sequel was doomed due to the fact that it's developer and publisher both shut down. For a few years it was just the game designer and IIRC a coder of the original game working at a new game in their spare time, with a few artists also doing art for the game now and then on the side.

Then they launched a successful Kickstarter campaign and released the game on Steam Early Access which allowed them to hire a few more full-time employees. All that time, they ran a forum and kept in touch with the fans of the original game and the backers (like me) of the Kickstarter.

The biggest difference, of course, was that with an ARPG there wasn't too much worry about giving the story away, so they released the game in incremental updates that expanded the world bit by bit and gave people stuff to kill - which is of course something that's probably prohibitive for a narrative-driven adventure game... :/

I guess what I'm trying to say is that some types of game are easier to run Kickstarter campaigns for than others...

Someone - Jul 29, 2016 at 04:57
"That is not sustainable and I don't see another Kickstarter fixing that.  But good sales will."

I won't say that. It depends on how much people know about such Kickstarter. From what I see, there were a lot of people not knowing that you are making a new game and doing the Kickstarter. And there are enough potential backers for a (big) adventure game out there - look i.e. at the Double Fine Kickstarter. :) And if the people see that you are able to build a realy good adventure game, they are willing to throw more money at you. ;)

Another way is a mixture of financing a new adventure from the sales of the existing game and a kickstarter. The Makers of "The Book Of Unwritten Tales 2" and "Broken Sword 5" did that: The money from their Kickstarter was "just" used to made the game bigger and better.

btw: Thanks for the kickstarter, the game and the blog post. Even the latter one was/is the money worth. :)

Mattias Cedervall - Jul 29, 2016 at 19:08
That's true! I didn't know about the Kickstarter campaign until it was too late. :-(

Big Red Button - Jul 29, 2016 at 07:07
I'm pretty sure that TP will sell well. So, you'll probably be able to finance a sequel at your own expense. I would be happy for you, if your company paid for itself in the future!
But, if the game doesn't sell well, you shall use Kickstarter again and just try to enforce higher prices there. Your team is worthy of an adequate salary!

Big Red Button - Jul 29, 2016 at 09:44
Your team and yourselves are worthy, of course. ;)

Jammet - Jul 29, 2016 at 13:19
I don't believe TP is going to sell as well as it should. But of course I hope it does. The problem is that even most of my old schoolyard buddies who loved Lucasfilm and LucasArts games back then -- most of them surely don't even have a clue this exists! And there is nothing I can do about it, because we're simply not in touch.

If the game grips you emotionally like Tale of Two Sons, or Undertale, that's going to get your game famous in these days. A lower price, helps, too. Now I do not mean to say that you should undersell.

To me this is a triple A title, you see. If this game were sent back through time, you'd never see the end of fans trying to have your babies. To replicate this today, your game needs to stand out. It does, to me. I hope it sells SOOOO much more, but fingers crossed!

Nor Treblig - Jul 29, 2016 at 14:13
I'm sure TWP will sell less than I would hope, but this is because I care so much for this game and not for most other ones (especially those big sellers), and I will be also disappointed in everyone with another (i.e. bad) taste :-)

But it has potential, the production quality is high and it will be released on many platforms, including consoles. It's also a type of game which should work well on mobile platforms.
Visibility on the market with all those indie games out there is of course a problem.

This is NOT a triple A game since the only definition of triple A is having piles of money to put into production values and incredible huge marketing. It has nothing to do with the quality of the actual game.

Big Red Button - Jul 29, 2016 at 16:37
There may be a lot of indie games and pixel-art games, but, as you mentioned, the quality matters. I hope for a positive media response. And you should never underestimate the power of word-of-mouth advertising.
Also, I think, it's important to advertise the game at the same time when it gets released - not only before the release, because consumers tend to forget about advance notices.
It might be difficult to establish the selling price. If I remember correctly, the DOTT Remaster and the MI Special Editions were sold for less than $ 20 when they were released, while TP is an all new game, not any Special Edition. The puzzles, characters and rooms need to get created, tested and improved, which costs time and money. Therefore, in my opinion, TP shouldn't cost less than $ 20. Though, I barely know the present game market.

Most important for supporting the game: Don't pirate the game, not even for your best pal!

Nor Treblig - Jul 29, 2016 at 21:01
Even if he is a pirate pal? All the time he is talking about Loom, he should really play something else from time to time...

I do hope it sells well. But even then I wouldn't mind a Kickstarter even at a later state of production to just add some more money to the budget (like The Book Of Unwritten Tales 2 or Giana Sisters did).

Jammet - Jul 30, 2016 at 21:47
You bet I would want to see this game top the game charts. Sales and everything. Like they always did, back in the eighties and nineties. For months and months. When I say "this is a triple A title to me", I do mean that it feels like one. This could literally be the one game to stand at my personal top, right next to Monkey Island.

That enthusiasm of old, it's still with me,  and I hope it spreads like wildfire when the game is out. The adventure! A genre many haven't looked at in far too long!

Big Red Button - Jul 31, 2016 at 08:11
I agree. It's a great game for mobile devices!
I've already played some of the old SCUMM games with the ScummVM app for Android. It works fine. Though, I've thought about the control. I may have been okay with playing such games on a touchscreen, but there are also some bluetooth gamepads for smartphones on the market. Therefore, seeing that TP will be optimized for gamepads anyway, it might be a good idea if it supported gamepads on smartphones as well.

By the way, as you know, digital distribution services use to impose a comparatively high percentage of the volume of sales for transaction fees. For all I know, Apple and Google are the biggest profiteers on the Pokémon Go hype. The software distribution market is actually an oligopoly nowadays. In my opinion, you should pass on these costs to the customers. That is to say that the price should vary, depending on the fee of the particular store. I'm not a marketing expert, but, of course, you need to get a reasonable amount of yield.

CuriousNoob - Jul 31, 2016 at 05:50
What's numbers will be good sales making possible doing new point and click? - Jul 29, 2016 at 01:24
@dont back,  if you just want to pre-order.  I think nobody ever said it that plainly.  Thanks for the clearance.   I guess this will also prevent a hatestorm when it really get's sold for less then the lowest backer entry.  Can't wait to play it,  it looks so damn awesome.  Every single Screenshot and character. GlHf  even if it is work :)  Take your time

Poison Medusa - Jul 29, 2016 at 04:44
Thank you very much to you !!! Thank you to making such great point&click games, they are rare nowadays.

Loftcraft - Jul 29, 2016 at 04:46
How will the "COLLECTORS BOX" look?

$160 is quite a lot. If I would know how it looks (cover art)  I would probably buy one... :)

Jammet - Jul 29, 2016 at 13:21
That brings up another question.

Will Thimbleweed Park have retail copies? And will THAT have a collections box as well? Because yeah --  do want! Can't afford the kickstarter one, but if it is going to have a RETAIL collectors box .... I'm all over it. I'll be the standard retail version too.

Jammet - Jul 29, 2016 at 13:23
Also, I really hope that any retail copy has the full game in it, that can be played in some way, shape or form without online activation. I like the purity of a game box, and a game, that I can play just like that.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Jul 29, 2016 at 09:56
Oh, it's the end of July!
Will there be a Friday Questions podcast, this month?

Mattias Cedervall - Jul 29, 2016 at 12:12
I could ask you the same thing...! :-)

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Jul 29, 2016 at 13:18
Ahah no no, i stopped!
My coworker quitted and I am without a partner...

Christopher Griffin - Jul 29, 2016 at 15:51
I've backed other games that have seen the light of day, and none had the promise or transparency that this one had.  Enough rambling, I came to make a specific statement.

We're now entering an age where game designers are garnering a following -- I'm not saying it didn't happen before, but rather that the intensity of fandom is increasing as information is flowing at a faster pace and the publishers are receiving less credit for being a loan shark (ahem... investor).  Until crowd funding started, there wasn't a direct way to "support the artist".  Only games put out by publishing houses were economically viable previously.

Similar to the struggling musician's plight.  For the musician to earn any money, a record deal wasn't enough, as the RIAA and record labels had too much power and too great of an interest in the earnings.  An artist needed to take the show on the road, and sell a LOT of records to be successful.  Millions of albums had to be sold to pay off the label and start earning a positive income.  Similar to how individuals have to pay down the interest on their mortgage before ever making a dent in the principle.

All of that was a long-winded roundabout way of saying I'm glad we got to support Ron and team on this project, and I hope that we will continue to be offered other opportunities to support the artist in the future.

Albert - Jul 29, 2016 at 22:03
I just found out (by pure random chance) about the game so I looked around the web and when I saw the guilt absolution thing I laughted so hard I almost cried, so I had to help you. Today I will sleep with my conscience clean after 25 years...
If you happen to need voiceover in English with Spanish accent (or directly in Spanish or Catalan) let me know. I'd do it for free just to be in this awesome project.
Looking forward to getting stuck in the game!

Stefano - Jul 30, 2016 at 16:18
Ron, I was curious about a couple of things:

1) are you enjoying this direct channel with thevusers? I remember reading in your blog that if you ever made another MI, you would have been MIA for certain periods of time during development

2) Why not asking more money in a future kickstarter? I assume now you have a better idea on what should be needed for a game with the quality of Thimbleweed Park - or would you prefer a conventional publisher?

Ron Gilbert - Jul 30, 2016 at 16:53
1) I am enjoying it, but if I made MI3a, I would not do it this way. I would do that in complete secrecy.  
2) Think about it like this: If the Thimbleweed Park does really well, we'll just fund a new game with the profits. If the game doesn't do well, it's hard to convince a lot of people to back another game. If Thimbleweed Park does well, you'll probably see another point and click from me, if it doesn't, it's unlikely I will make another one. They are a ton of work. I will never do a game for a publisher.

Sorry to be blunt.  But them the facts. Just like everyone else, I need to pay my rent and eat. Both Gary and I took a huge risk making this game, it's not something we can afford to do again.

Someone - Jul 30, 2016 at 17:40
"If Thimbleweed Park does well, you'll probably see another point and click from me, if it doesn't, it's unlikely I will make another one."

The second part of that sentence makes me a little bit sad.

From my point of view the Kickstarter was a huge success: You got $626,250 from 15,600 Backers - for an adventure game that looks less good than the current version.

I bet: If you are doing another Kickstarter with a higher goal, you would still be succesful. And what would you lose? If a Kickstarter with a higher goal fails, the game won't be made. If it is a success, you have the money.

Ron Gilbert - Jul 30, 2016 at 18:18
Kickstarters aren't free. They take a huge amount of time. If the Kickstarter fails, you've invested months of time even before it launches.  If I was rich and could work for free, I'd make point&click games for the rest of my life. But I'm not. Making Thimbleweed Park has exhausted every penny I have. I (literally) can't afford to make another game, even with a $500K Kickstarter. Like many (most) indie devs, this is not a sustainable life for me.

But, I don't expect Thimbleweed Park to be a failure. I don't make games to fail, I make them to succeed. We've raised additional money from angel investors to do sales, marketing and PR. This isn't a game we're just going to throw up on Steam and hope it does well. "Build it and they will come" is naive and not our plan.  Expect Thimbleweed Park to be marketed and promoted like a "real" game.

Someone - Jul 30, 2016 at 19:29
"Kickstarters aren't free. They take a huge amount of time."

Yes, that's true. But it's "only" time. And you have already a community. I assume that at least 2/3 of the people who backed Thimbleweed Park will back another game by Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick *instantly*. :)

"If the Kickstarter fails, you've invested months of time even before it launches."

I will pay your rent in these month.

"Expect Thimbleweed Park to be marketed and promoted like a "real" game."

Ok, that makes me a little less sad. :)

D. Ioannidis - Aug 03, 2016 at 05:40
Ever thought to release Thimbleweed Park on Playstation 4 too? there are aprox. 40 million consoles out there and that isn't negligible to overlook.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Aug 03, 2016 at 08:51
Hi, as far as I know, the staff has signed a 3-months-exclusive with Microsoft, for the Xbox.
After that period, everything is possible...

Stefano - Jul 31, 2016 at 23:47
Thanks for the answers! I was (mostly) curious about your take on sales vs future kickstarter. I didn't really realize that a kickstarter doesn't come for free.

I do really hope that this game will become a new classic, and there will be another adventure from you and Gary, with a dev blog as awesome as this one!

Joakim - Feb 06, 2017 at 10:39
I sure hope it will sell well. Games like these makes the world a better place :)
I can't wait spending my money on it and doing my part that you and Gary can go on.