Mark Ferrari™ Joins Team Thimbleweed™

by Gary Winnick
Jun 01, 2015

So my dream team on the art development side of Thimbleweed Park is a reasonably short list, consisting mainly of people we've worked with in the past on a number of our graphic adventures, in particular artists who were instrumental in making the SCUMM games around the time we created Maniac Mansion, Loom and Monkey Island.

At the very top of the list is Mark Ferrari and we're amazingly excited to announce that he is now part of Team Thimbleweed and will be doing most of the backgrounds. Mark was the background artist for the incomparable Loom and was also responsible for the stunning backgrounds on Monkey Island 1. Mark might truly be the most talented background artist I've ever worked with.

It's hard to contain our excitement of having Mark on board.

Here is one of the tests he did for the entrance to the circus Ransome lives in. It's a long way from being done, but you can see where he is going with it.

Keep in mind that this is just a initial samples he did for us and (although they might not look like it) are still wireframes. Ron and I are still working to determine the final nuances of the graphics and although we'll be showing off a number of examples, most are still placeholder art, we'll let you know when something's actually final, we promise!

As one of the premier environmental artists in the gaming industry, during our tenure at Lucasfilm/Lucasarts Mark's early work with us is considered legendary. In the 80's he managed to stretch the look of 8 bit color palettes with innovative dither techniques, lighting and layout. Mark also developed a truly unique approach to color cycling/palette shifting unlike anything seen before or since.

Remember, this isn't animation in the traditional sense, rather it's all being done by just organizing and changing palette registers in sequence. At that time we didn't have the computing power necessary to just make it an animated .gif... This was mind blowing stuff!

I first met Mark at, of all things, a science fiction and fantasy convention being held at the San Jose Red Lion Inn (shades of ThimbleCon). Everyone was talking about some guy in the art show who drew amazing stuff in colored pencils... I took a look at Mark's work and was amazed, they practically looked like oil paintings done in prismacolor pencil.

Being the art director of Lucasfilm Games at the time had its perks and I was immediately introduced to Mark. My memory's a bit fuzzy, but I don't think Mark really had any computer experience at the time. In those days I invited candidates out to Skywalker Ranch for lunch and an art test working on an IBM PC in dpaint.

To say Mark was a natural at computer graphics would be an understatement, he was constantly breaking new ground, first on Loom and then on Monkey Island. As with most of the art staff from those days, Mark remained friends with Ron and I over the years.

Having Mark on the team will move the art more in the direction that will end up being half way between Maniac Mansion and Monkey island as he'll be taking over finalizing most of Thimbleweed Park's background art development. We haven't completely finalized the look, and this is a little different from the Kickstarter art, but we like where this is going.

In any case... welcome to the team Mark, it's great to be working with you again!

Head on over to Geekscape for interview with Ron and I.

- Gary

Michael Specht - Jun 01, 2015 at 13:05
Wow! Can't wait to explore the circus! Even though it's not finished yet, it's looking awesome already!

Iron Curtain - Jun 01, 2015 at 13:11
Whoa, I hope you have enough in your budget to accommodate David, Jenn and now Mark! Still, it looks like we're gonna have a great game on our hands, so I'm thrilled!

Ron Gilbert - Jun 01, 2015 at 13:12
There roles were already budgeted for. Fear not.

Iron Curtain - Jun 01, 2015 at 13:14
Phew! That makes me feel a lot better! It's just that Kickstarter budgets only portray a fraction of the actual budget, but if anyone should get the budgets right, it's you guys!

Ron Gilbert - Jun 01, 2015 at 13:20
We were very carful about our budget, we asked for what we needed, not less.

AJ - Jun 01, 2015 at 13:13
Awesome! Mark's work has always been fantastic, and I'm excited to hear he's on the team!

Matt - Jun 01, 2015 at 13:13
Wow, Mark's quite a talented guy. Welcome to the team, Mark! REALLY looking forward to this game. :)

Bosca - Jun 01, 2015 at 13:14
"It's a long way from being done"

Really? It already looks awesome!

Man from Peru in a oak tree - Jun 01, 2015 at 13:20
Okay. This is awesome. Nuff said.

longuist - Jun 01, 2015 at 13:22
Truly great news. Art-wise both loom™ an mi1 are my favorites. Can't get any better...

Tomimt - Jun 01, 2015 at 13:24
I was silently hoping for Mark Ferrari to join the art team so this announcement made me smirk smugly.  His stuff is among the best pixel art I've seen.

Derrick Reisdorf - Jun 01, 2015 at 13:28
I love Mark's art on the effectgames' demo page about color cycling!  I want to play an adventure game set inside those scenes; Maybe your next project could be some kind of fantasy adventure based on Mark's art?

Also, can you maybe modify/update the Thimbleweed site to include a page that includes all the people currently involved in the project and what their roles are?  And, also provide links to their personal websites as well?

Dominik - Jun 01, 2015 at 15:21
I absolutely agree: The color cycling demo images are simply amazing. I spent the last 30 minutes just watching...

I also support the idea of having a "Team" page.

Christopher Griffin - Jun 01, 2015 at 15:50
Thirding the idea of a Team Page.

Ron Gilbert - Jun 01, 2015 at 16:00
Team page is a good idea. I'll add that next week. Busy moving back to Seattle this week.

Tom - Jun 04, 2015 at 04:59
Please add something like a press page or something, where links to interviews, previews, etc are linked. That would be neat.

Jesper - Jun 01, 2015 at 13:32
Thank you Gary for a great update. I never knew who Mark Ferrari was but since he was responsible for the look of MI1, and is now onboard Thimbleweed, I couldn't be any happier.

IMO the look of MM always was a bit like high school dioramas (I know it was early days and things wasn't advanced). That all changed with MI1. I still remember the opening of that game, going down the port, past the bar and into town. Wow.. Just wow. Suddenly there where lots of details and depth to all the backgrounds.

Here's one hoping to see some of that again :)

Juan Ferreyra - Jun 01, 2015 at 13:42
So good! great addition t the team!, those examples of palette animation is awesome! I remmeber using Deluxe Paint on the Amiga to do animations, so fun!

This is getting better and better guys!!

Iiro - Jun 01, 2015 at 13:58
Oh, so pretty! This is definitely the direction to take the art.

I took a quick look at the picture of the carnival before I read about it and really really hoped it was for Thimbleweed, but I was afraid that it's for some another project Ferrari was working on.

It was for Thimbleweed! Yay! Let me in there already! =)

David Fox - Jun 01, 2015 at 14:10
So excited to be working with Mark Ferrari on TP! I actually never got to work with him directly on a game... just jealously admired his background work on parallel projects. And of course, I no longer need to keep my excitement secret (after seeing several of his "wireframe" rooms). You all are in for a treat.

jfrisby - Jun 01, 2015 at 14:10
Earth shattering adventure game news!!   Mark is back!!   ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Frank - Jun 01, 2015 at 14:35
It's like a Pink Floyd Comeback Tour! :D

Vincent - Jun 01, 2015 at 14:11
Welcome Mark ! Really pleased to see you on the deck. I love your previous work and i'm sure i'll love your work for Thimblewwed. Encouragements from France !

Paul - Jun 01, 2015 at 14:12
Funny, I'd seen those (amazing) colour shifting pixel art painting before but I never made the connection that it was the guy behind a lot of Lucasarts background.

Hope this means there will be colour cycling in the game itself, I love that stuff.

nibble - Jun 01, 2015 at 14:19
Ooooh! A circus. I love a circus.

Frank - Jun 01, 2015 at 14:35
Ask me about Loom!!! :D

Frank - Jun 01, 2015 at 14:22
Wow! This looks amazing and reminds me what I loved about the early Lucasfilm Games! Just include Steve Purcell and Tim Schafer and it will be come a truly amazing, amazing, amazing legendary Game!!! COOOOOOOL! :)

Frank - Jun 01, 2015 at 14:34
I always loved Mark Ferraris Art and it was a part of my childhood and I can't tell you how happy I'm that it happened that he is in the team again. Ron Gilbert/ Gary Winnick and Mark Ferrari is like John Lennon/ Paul Mc Cartney... Like you're favourit band has a comeback Tour!

Dominik - Jun 01, 2015 at 15:54
I am pretty happy that Tim Schafer is not involved in this project. Don't get me wrong: I really like his work. In fact I have pretty much every one of his games and like almost every single one. But:

1. This project is what I wish Borken Age would have become. Therefore I think that Ron and Tim have pretty different opinions about how a classic adeventure game looks like and they don't seem to be compatible. I like Ron's approach a thousand times better than Broken Age. That is why I'm happy that there is no involvement of Schafer on this project.

2. I'm still wondering why Ron has left DoubleFine only to start his own classic adventure a few months (?) later. The only reasons I can think of are that Ron either doesn't want to work with Tim on a project like this or that he thinks the project wouldn't benefit from that.

Bottom line: The humour, design, art and project management on Thimbleweed Park are (at the moment, as Ron constantly keeps repeating: It could still go to hell ;-)) pretty much spot on. So I am more than happy with the direction the project is going. If Ron would've thought Tim Schafer would make the project better he probably woud have started it while he was still at Double Fine or would have asked him already for a collaboration.

Peter Campbell - Jun 01, 2015 at 17:50
Well, let's compare owning your own game company vs working for someone else's game company:

Owning your own game company, you own the rights to the games that you make.

Owning your own game company and being a game developer, you get to have 100% creative control over the games you make.

Owning your own game company, you get to decide who you want on your team.

Owning your own game company, you get to reap the benefits of the success a game has whereas working for another company you are basically just getting paid for a gig and that's it.

What Ron and Gary are doing makes perfect sense with forming their own company, they are being their own bosses and the owners of their own games.

Iiro - Jun 02, 2015 at 00:00
I agree.
Also if I compare The Cave and Broken Age, I think Cave got closer to the feel of classic adventure games. The humor and puzzles are suitable for both young and older audience, when Broken Age looks and feels like it was a game designed for children. In both Cave and Thimbleweed park the atmosphere feels more mature which I really like.

Diduz - Jun 01, 2015 at 14:24
Welcome aboard, Mark! I will never forget how cool Melee Island looked!

Jonathan - Jun 01, 2015 at 14:38
"Keep in mind that this is just a initial samples he did for us and (although they might not look like it) are still wireframes."

*Jaw drops to the ground.*

Patrik Spacek - Jun 01, 2015 at 14:46
Mark is a great guy! I am happy he enjoyed you.

Mattias Cedervall - Jun 01, 2015 at 14:58
Welcome, Mark da Vinci! :-)

Peter - Jun 01, 2015 at 15:09
I never saw such a beautiful game Art like the backgrounds of Ferrari! This guy is a big genius!!!

Dominik - Jun 01, 2015 at 15:18
This project is pretty much becoming the gaming version of "The Expandables" in every good way :-)
@Ron: It is simply incredible how (at least seemingly) easily you can get real talents to work on Thimbleweed Park!
@Gary: From reading your post alone one gets a really good grasp on how much you appreciate working with Mark again. The details on how got him to work for Lucasfilms were really intersting. I'm more than exicted to see what this will mean for the graphical style overall.

Mark Ferrari - Jun 01, 2015 at 15:47
Hey all, thanks for such a warm welcome. I am all over blushing. This project has already been the funnest thing I've gotten to do in years--and promises to just get funner and funner. I am delighted, honored, and grateful to be a part of it.! :]

Christopher Griffin - Jun 01, 2015 at 15:54
We're glad you're here!  The project is like the gift that keeps on giving -- as time progresses, more and more awesome things come of it, and this round it's your turn in the spotlight. :-)

Frank - Jun 01, 2015 at 15:59
Ask me about LOOM!

Dominik - Jun 01, 2015 at 16:02
"Is this really you....?" (squinting one eye together in a sketpical manner)
"There is no check mark behind your name... Hmmm."
"Quick! Prove it by drawing another aweseome background art for Thimbleweed Park!"

I guess alle the people in the comment section of this blog know by now just how much this project is packed with awesomeness, talent and simply brilliant people. It would be EXTREMLY hard not to get excited about it!

One thing I wanted to add: The graphics in Monkey Island 1 were the reason I convinced my father to buy a VGA graphics adapter (we had a Hercules card with amber/black display before). And man: That thing was expensive back in the day! :-)

Lloydy Lloydson - Jun 01, 2015 at 16:08
Best news ever!
While I was fine with the Maniac Mansion style, the pinnacle of classic adventure game art to me was always Monkey Island, Loom, etc., so this news is amazing, as it pushes the game to the next level of awesomeness.

It also addresses the only minor criticism I ever heard about this game from people, which was that they wished the art style was more like Monkey Island, so it's cool that that has now been sorted!

Peter Campbell - Jun 01, 2015 at 16:09
The art for the entrance to the circus reminds me a bit of the front cover drawings for R.L. Stine's Goosebumps books, which were always awesome and usually more interesting than the stories themselves lol.  Looks like the people of Thimbleweed Park really hate Ransome for some reason, not just from the graffiti but the hanging doll of him too.  I wonder what he did to piss off an entire town of people?  I can't wait to play his sidestory =)

Mike - Jun 01, 2015 at 16:26

mr. T - Jun 01, 2015 at 16:28
Wow. Mark's work is amazing. The term 'force of nature' comes to mind. I can see why you guys are so thrilled. I am too! I hope we get to see Mark posting something about his approach & process to art and perhaps some stories from the past even. Yes, that was a shameless request.

Huxi - Jun 01, 2015 at 16:45
Woah! That's amazing!

I already knew that color cycling page but I never had the connection to LucasArts/Loom/MI1!
*happy dance*

Hey Mark, you wouldn't have a Twitter account by any chance?

Geoff Paulsen - Jun 01, 2015 at 16:46
Love it!  Looks amazing!  This art style is one of the big reasons I Love old adventure games!

Julio - Jun 01, 2015 at 16:52
Uooo. What a great news!!! The moment I've seen the picture my mind has come back to those times where I was able to do anything for getting a game.
You all are in the right way.
Thank you all for making this dream come true.

fox - Jun 01, 2015 at 17:00
Wow, that's awesome! :) Loved monkey island art.
This game is getting better and better.

Jammet - Jun 01, 2015 at 17:20
Gary, that is such amazing news! I am so in love with the backgrounds for Monkey Island, this is making me want to do incredibly insane looking dancing moves in the middle of my living room!

I've always adored color cycling! And I've been on the very page you've linked to, time and time again over the recent years. Some of these animations are so astounding! They not only remind me of Monkey Island, where color cycling was used under the big monkey head for the lava pools, but also for waterfalls in Monkey Island 2, Indiana Jones 4, and a lot of more water and lava effects from Indiana Jones 4.

Please, if there is some way to bring back color cycling, please be encouraged to do it! These effects are a form of art that's almost completely lost, otherwise!

Lots of smiles,

Dada - Jun 01, 2015 at 17:20
Absolutely love it!! At first I thought that the only thing that just very slightly disturbed my immersive moment of whimsical bliss were some of those (for my taste) little too prominent black out-lines, but then I read that it is considered a wip.
Just absolutely love it!! And the waterfall is just stunningly mesmerizingly brilliant!

I guess now you set the bar high for adequately cool and immersive music. :)

Kathrin - Jun 01, 2015 at 17:25
Well you did it, my husband an I want to throw more money at you.

We pledged for the 50$ version, and will debate in the next couple days to what reward level we want to go.
But my question, and I am sure I read it somewhere but cannot find it anymore: How can I raise my pledge? Say that if I wanted to go with the boxed game + signed poster + shirt for 350$, and substract the already paid money, where do I enter the remaining 300$?
And how would you know that the two payments are connected?

Peter Campbell - Jun 01, 2015 at 21:19
I'm just a commenter here on this blog so don't take anything I say as final, but I logged onto my kickstarter account and clicked on projects I've backed, then clicked on Thimbleweed Park, and it displayed my pledge and reward information which was the $150 signed boxed copy tier.  I looked to see if there was any way I could Tier up, or another words see if I could pay even more money towards the project for a higher tier reward but there was no such option.  Now, I think when a project's kickstarter campaign ends but before a backer finalizes their payment, the backer has the option to change their pledge/reward tier before finalizing payment but because that all happened back at the end of December, I don't think on the kickstarter page itself at least that you can do anything like what you're hoping to.

BUT, obviously here on this blog under the "Support Us" tab there are the physical rewards that you are referring to for $350, but it's kind of a strange situation because the $350 Tier here on this site is not the same as it was on the kickstarter page because that $350 tier included the phone book,  pdf version of the "Making of Thimbleweed Park" diary and the boxed copy was going to be signed which was kind of a special deal for those who put that much while the kickstarter campaign was happening.  It's just one of those things where people who put a lot of money towards a kickstarter campaign get better rewarded then what they might be able to get after a campaign ends because kickstarter rewards are often like limited-time special deals.

If I was in your situation, what I would do is click the "CONTACT" tab at the very top of this blog, and send them an e-mail copying exactly what you've asked about in your post and see what happens.  Good luck!

Jammet - Jun 02, 2015 at 07:19
And then publish it here for all of us, 'cause I am a backer who used Paypal. My kickstarter account doesn't know that I paid for projects left and right, just because it never supported paypal.

I'd like raise my pledge too, but not if I lose the perk of being in the phone book with my recorded message. :).

Kathrin - Jun 02, 2015 at 13:13
this is the reply I got:

"We are looking into a way to allow backers to increase their pledges. I’m gone all this week while I move back to Seattle, but we’ll look into it first thing Monday."

so I guess we will know more next week :-)

Jammet - Jun 03, 2015 at 01:55
Thanks so much! When this gets sorted out ...

Moonnnnneeeeeeeeeeh! ;)

Gv - Jun 01, 2015 at 17:51
Wonderful!, and now do it in EGA! Mark is the MASTER of EGA!

James - Jun 01, 2015 at 18:12
Most beautiful game graphic, I ever see... reminds me a lot about the old Lucas Arts Adventures, specially Loom and Monkey Island. The circus is also some kind of reminiscence to Monkey Island ? It would be cool, if you can add a moment in the game, where the characters suddenly open a door and found themselve on meele island or before the maniac mansion house or in zaks appartment. There where some of those moments, for example in Monkey2, where you could be for a moment in Monkey1 on Meele... Mark's Art is 100 % perfect for a Adventure Game. It couldn't be better

Bill - Jun 01, 2015 at 18:12
This is amazing. I'd go further to say Mark Ferrari is one of the best 2D computer artists of all time. His work over the years has been nothing short of stunning. There are many, many people out there that have his background images permanently implanted in their minds.

Frank - Jun 01, 2015 at 18:16
What about Steve Purcell and Michael Land ???

sushi - Jun 01, 2015 at 18:58
Let's hope for lots of water in thimbleweed!
And rain!! I don't think I have ever seen random weather or weather changes in any classic adventure game. Perhaps an idea , like iMuse: iWeather.

Avis - Jun 01, 2015 at 22:33
I also fell for Mark's artwork in a Boskone SF convention art show - loved the Prismacolor pieces! Loom's gorgeous colors are still vivid in my memory (loved that game)! I'm thrilled that he is on this team. This is going to be the best game ever!

Strawberry - Jun 01, 2015 at 23:01
I was already pumped to see Thimbleweed Park, having Mark Ferrari on the team is sending my excitement levels through the roof.

Roberto Cano - Jun 02, 2015 at 03:45
Oh my!! (please, be read with George Takei voice and face). Really astounding art. What can I say that nobody has said yet?? Congrats to Mark and to the team for including him, and for bringing all us in this retro-trip to our childhood! As somebody has said already, I'm really happy with the direction of the project and, as a developer, I value enormously the posts and podcasts. It let you see the process from inside.

@Ron, @Gary: About Mark's backgrounds, have you considered including minimal dynamic lightning for the characters? Those street lamps are asking for it!! :)

Shawn Swift - Jun 02, 2015 at 04:06
Even understanding how it works, those animations are still mind blowing.

Gareth Wiscombe - Jun 02, 2015 at 04:42
This made me grin like a cheshire cat! My expectations have consequently gone sky high for some stunning scenery now.

On a side note, I'm really enjoying this development diary. I've never seen game development before and the closest thing I've seen is fiction story development but I'm really enjoying the parallels. The puzzle dependency charts especially look like they could be adapted to track parallel plotlines or characters across a story.

Simon - Jun 02, 2015 at 05:40
Wow, I am so impressed! Congratulations on uniting all the most legendary persons known in adventure game design. I am looking forward to your wonderful art, Gary and Mark.
I really enjoyed the blog up to now,  but I am even more excited since this announcement. If your time allows, tiny blog posts about your drawing workflow would be super-cool! The web-page about canvas-cycling mentions the graphics of the HTML5 demo were drawn using DeluxePaint... What software do you use now, Mark?
By the way, will Thimbleweed Park graphics be based on true 8-bit-color graphics with color palettes  - or use 3-channel RGB images that just do not make use of more than 256 colors per scene? (Convenient palette handling does not seem to be the strength of most modern graphic editors, if I am not mistaken?)
The "wireframe art" looks really excellent! Kudos to you.

Simon - Jun 02, 2015 at 06:05
To answer some bits myself, in the interview "Q&A with Mark J. Ferrari" ( ) Mark mentions that the "Pro Motion" software by Cosmigo has some capabilities that are required for creating images with cycling palettes.

mr. T - Jun 05, 2015 at 03:37
Thanks! This was a good read.

Tim Lammert - Jun 02, 2015 at 06:07
This allready looks amazing. I´m much more excited then ever since knowing this game becomes true.
I´m just a huge, old (36) Fan of the Lucas Adventures and never knew who Mark was. Unfortunatelly.
Seeeing this Circus sample and of course the amazing 8bit animations, together with that fantastic looking Final Puzzle Dependency Charts, makes me fell this game will become a true sucsessor.
Not only for fans like me as I thought before. I think most of the kickstarter Backers are like me.

I´m really amazed.

regards Tim

Tim Lammert - Jun 02, 2015 at 06:13
Need to start to remember which email I used for Gravatar :)
Ah, now it works :D

Mattias Cedervall - Jun 02, 2015 at 07:24
I must add that I prefer the graphics in Maniac Mansion (NES version) over the graphics in Monkey Island. Maniac Mansion's graphic is simpler and that triggers my imagination more.

Gv - Jun 02, 2015 at 22:11
Maybe that's according to our own gaming experience? I played first Maniac Mansion, but when I saw Monkey Island EGA I was amazed, the same with Loom EGA. Later Lucasarts games didn't make that great impression on me.

Dan - Jun 03, 2015 at 11:32
I myself prefer the MI style. So I'm pleased with this news. But if MM fans pass too much criticism on this more realistic style, TP could get equipped with a 16 color mode in addition to this 256 color style that resembles the MM scenery. So both crowds would be sated.

hippy dave - Jun 02, 2015 at 07:31
Fantastic news. I didn't remember his name, but what a resumé...

Dan - Jun 02, 2015 at 07:44
Wow! It looks very atmospheric! I love those details (though I have to note at this point that the Quickie Pal store was already very detailed and neat, too). In addition I'm happy that there will be seemingly a nocturnal setting.

It's really a middle course between MM and MI. The only methodic differences to Monkey Island that I have noticed are the use of black contour lines and the abdication of dithering. Moreover both the starry sky and the ground are looking completely different from MI.

I hope that no backer is missing a visual reference to MM from now on. But according to all these euphoric comments here it doesn't seem so.

Bt519 - Jun 02, 2015 at 08:18
Awesome!  Mark Ferrari is amazing and produces incredible art - all while maintaining the spirit and integrity of this games aims!  I'm very excited.  Thanks for the update!


Alessander - Jun 02, 2015 at 11:22
These are great news :-)

Tim - Jun 02, 2015 at 11:28
It looks exactly like the beautiful old background pictures, that I know (and love) for years from the legendary LucasArts Adventures. I think it is 100 % the right decision to choose Mark Ferrari and his beautiful art! Bravo!

Cazzeris - Jun 02, 2015 at 11:46
Ron, I must say that Mark Ferrari is perhaps the best pixel artist you could have hired, so props to you for knowing what people can benefit your project the most.

Gins - Jun 02, 2015 at 12:06
Woah, that's awesome!
Can't wait to see more of Mark!

Denis - Jun 02, 2015 at 13:56

Will - Jun 02, 2015 at 14:58
That is some truly incredible art on that portfolio site, and the circus already looks really cool as well.  Monkey Island may be the game I remember most fondly from my childhood, and the art there was incredible as well.  I have a harder time remembering Loom because I only played through it once (maybe it's time for another go at it!) but I do remember it being a visually appealing game.  While I'm perfectly okay with the original Kickstarter advertised art style in the vein of Maniac Mansion, I'm incredibly excited that such talent has joined the team and will be pushing it a bit further toward Monkey Island in style and detail.

Lennart - Jun 02, 2015 at 18:33
Mark is the kind oft artist who mixes a great concept with fantastic lighting and a little bit of brilliant execution.
But it's Monkey Island style graphics now. I cannot (yet) see the Maniac style charakters in those backgrounds.
As I love both art styles I'm not complaining, but I shed a little tear for the simplistic Maniac style backgrounds. Imho they are equally great.

Carl - Jun 02, 2015 at 19:27
Excellent news! I love the look of that background. It's so atmospheric. Really draws you into the world.

Matt Lacey - Jun 02, 2015 at 19:53
"the incomparable Loom"

One of the best statements I've ever read. 100% true.

some guy - Jun 02, 2015 at 23:05
Tests? Wireframes? Gee, this man is talented indeed.

AK - Jun 03, 2015 at 02:24
> move the art more in the direction that will end up being half way between Maniac Mansion and Monkey island
Please let this be more like Monkey Island and Loom than Maniac Mansion!

I know the kickstarter was presented with maniac-mansion-like art, and animation/background tests so far have been on that direction, but I personally consider that style too 'blocky' and a bit distasteful.

I backed the project because I'm super excited for a new classic adventure from you guys, but the art direction was not something that excited me; I mainly was content to accept that I will enjoy the game despite it looking like Maniac Mansion and Zak McCracken.

Now looking at the circus sample, my jaw has dropped, and I have to speak up. Please let us enjoy the game with amazing pixel art that we won't be able to take our eyes off, don't artificially restrict yourselves to blocky-maniac-mansion-like art and animations.

Jaume - Jun 03, 2015 at 03:30
Please, never stop doing games like this again!!

Just ask in Kickstarter and we will give you the money for a new "Loom", a new "Monkey Island", etc... (just change the characters if you do not own the franchise, but please never stop doing this again!)

You can keep doing games like this and we will keep you funding. But it's got to be like this, not "modern adventures"! (like Broken Age)...

Marco Lizza - Jun 03, 2015 at 05:37
I honestly find BrokenAge to be quite a neat adventure game, albeit with a modern look-and-feel that spoils the "retro-fashioned games "magic"...

cornholio1980 - Jun 03, 2015 at 04:38
That. Looks. Awesome! No reason to change anything about that background art IMHO, it looks perfect the way it is. I was already very excited about this game, but with this kind of background graphics, I'm now more ecstatic than ever! :-)

mike - Jun 03, 2015 at 08:11
Bloody Genius! Loveit!

Leonard - Jun 03, 2015 at 08:49
Great team! Hope for more Gilbert/Winnick/Fox/Ferrari Games in the future! Hope also for Michael Land and Steve Purcell (dreamteam)!

Dr. J reloaded - Jun 03, 2015 at 09:51
Yes! It already appeals to me like one of the old good games I loved playing, hmm, the smell of floppy disks.

Ricardo Marichal - Jun 03, 2015 at 09:54
Next announcement: Steve Purcell illustrating the cover art of the game :)

Lloydy Lloyd - Jun 03, 2015 at 10:11
I'm getting a very "Stephen King's It" vibe from Ransome and his circus... which is awesome.

Mark Ferrari - Jun 03, 2015 at 11:25
Hi again, and thanks for all the amazing encouragement you guys are sending our way! I have been so busy generating new 'wire-frame' art for the game that I have not had a chance to come see what you've been saying for a couple days, but wow! I am blown away by your excitement--and by the challenge of doing my part to see your confidence in us justified. :]

A few quick responses to things I've seen come up here:

Any art work you're seeing now IS just experimental mock-up of the actual scenes. The 'black outline' you're seeing in everything now will almost certainly not be there in the finished art, and LOTS of other things may change as well on our way to an established visual style for this game. So don't read too much into the specific details of any mock-up art getting posted at this point--though you can rest assured that all of us will be doing the best we can to make sure this game is as cool looking and atmospheric as any adventure game we've done. :] I too think that Ron and Gary's decision to do this project was brilliant. And I too have mourned the relative absence of such games for so many years. You can bet I'm as stoked as anyone to be a part of making this one.

I am intrigued by all the discussion here of Maniac Mansion art style vs. Loom and Monkey Island style. This seems to be an issue very much in play on our end too--and I have some ideas about how we might address that--which l will discuss with Ron and Gary before saying any more here. But it's definitely being explored. Stay tuned.

Lastly, just a reminder that will be posting an 'interview' with me today--which may address some of your other musings about me and/or my involvement with this marvelous project!

Ciao for now. :]

Paulup - Jun 03, 2015 at 14:40
I had assumed that the Maniac Mansion art style was chosen initially because it was less time consuming and not as labor-intensive to do. I thought that Monkey Island style art was the ideal, but basically beyond the budget, scope, and schedule of the project.

But man, if you guys can get it anywhere near to that Monkey Island style, please do, it would be incredible.

I think when most people think classic adventure games, that's the style that comes to mind, so many of the golden age adventure games use that amazing combination of being both pixelated/old-school, but also like a painting...

These are classic games that spring to mind in that style -
Monkey Island, Monkey Island 2, Loom, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, The Dig, Day of the Tentacle, Full Throttle, Sam & Max Hit the Road, Simon the Sorcerer, Simon the Sorcerer 2, The Legend of Kyrandia, Beneath a Steel Sky, Space Quest 4, King's Quest 6...

LichiMan - Jun 04, 2015 at 03:51
Wow!! Now I'm excited!!!
Can I say "excited" on the Internet? Hi mom!

Tim - Jun 04, 2015 at 19:46
That circus entrance is amazing

Rob Carlson - Jun 06, 2015 at 22:05
Oh, yes!! It really is a dream team now! Loom wouldn't have been Loom and SoMI wouldn't have been SoMI without Mark Ferrari. What an incredible talent he is and what a thrill to hear he's on the team!!!

Juan ill - Jun 08, 2015 at 05:02
Noah Falstein, Hal Barwood, Brian Moriarty...

And team complete, right?

Onno Scheffers - Jun 08, 2015 at 07:09
Wow, dreamteam!

I've been lurking out here, reading everything but never commenting myself. I just had to say how very impressed I am with these graphics. I backed this project at the $150 level because I really wanted to see another Ron Gilbert adventure. I did not really like the old skool graphics too much, but I understood the budget constraints. Looking at these graphics by Mark Ferrari, I want to up my pledge. This game needs to get done!

You guys seem to do everything right and this blog is amazing. Please keep it up.

Assaf - Jun 09, 2015 at 02:30
Wow! This background is AMAZING! Really happy to see it! Congrats for Mark and the team, good luck.

sven - Jun 09, 2015 at 15:50
greatest news of all the good news yet! The look from kickstarter was the one thing I didn't like about the project. Now it seams to be looking great!

Joshua Witt - Jul 13, 2015 at 22:43
Wow! those two images instantly sucked me in and I want to play the game now. Very cool I can't wait to see what you have in store for us.

Shigawire - Sep 30, 2015 at 13:53
Mark Ferrari - you are literally a pixel-artist ferrari! :D The work you did on those games long ago... has stayed with me for decades. That's how beautiful it is. And you're proving yourself yet again... you sir, are an example of a very rare breed. An artist capable of putting a lot of art and love into a very few pixels. This game is going to be so much better thanks to you (and all the others of course)