No Podcast This Week

by Ron Gilbert
Oct 15, 2016

I hope everyone remembers where they kept their pitchforks, tar and feathers, because there is going to be no podcast this week.

As I mention in the last action-packed Thimbleweed Park dev blog update, we are heading for content complete today (in reality, we'll have tomorrow), and everyone is completely slammed.

Content complete is looking good, I think we'll make it, but not without a little fudging.  Some tasks are being pushed out because, "yeah, we could ship without that", in reality, it would pain us to do so. We'll quickly scramble to hit those post CC, because, yeah, we could ship without it.

As I mention in the last post, deadlines like content complete are important because it keep everyone laser focused.  If you hit 90% of the milestone, you're doing good. If you didn't have the milestone and the laser focus, you'd never get anything done.

If we had a publisher, there would be payments tied to the milestone. Until the milestone was met, we wouldn't get the next check and couldn't pay people. That's always a big motivator.

We don't have a publisher, so there are no payments tied to the milestone, but we have a very limited (and at this point, tight) budget. We can't just keep going, because we'll run out of money to pay people.  Same thing, really.

But honestly, even if we had a ton of money left, we'd still be pushing for these milestones. We want to get the game done as much as you want to play it.

Anyway... no podcast this week.

- Ron

Iron Curtain - Oct 15, 2016 at 10:37
That's a good reason not to have podcasts. Better keep your nose to the grindstone!

Farooq - Oct 15, 2016 at 10:43

Glorious Muffin - Oct 15, 2016 at 10:45
How about you just leave the microphone on while you work: tapping, clicking, cursing, somewhere a dog barks.

Geoffrey Paulsen - Oct 15, 2016 at 11:10

Daniel Wolf - Oct 15, 2016 at 10:55
So what will the next few months look like for you? Will it be just Ron squashing bugs, the rest of the team gone? What are the kind of tasks left to do once the game is content-complete?

Someone - Oct 15, 2016 at 11:21
Is it still useful/sensible to produce these podasts? As far as I understand, the game is in a state, where nothing interesting is happening: Ron and David are squashing bugs, Gary is in a stand-by mode. So wouldn't it be better if you skip the podcasts except the friday questions? Instead write some more blog posts. I think for the backers it is more interesting to read about the progress as to hear every two weeks "last week I removed bugs and next week I will remove more bugs"...

Derrick Reisdorf - Oct 15, 2016 at 22:15
Oh.  I'm needy.  There's still lots of stuff you could cover in the podcast or blog:

"Perhaps we can get some insight on (maybe a few more videos):
Music composition and sound design (we hadn't seen too much on this so far),
debugging.  Maybe with some code.  Or pseudocode?  I miss code.
the voice recording sessions,
curating/reviewing/importing all the crowd-sourced content,
additional marketing/advertising/promotions (how do you find opportunities and make the deals?),
advertising/marketing art (U.S. and international?),
porting the game (wooing investors, hiring devs to do the port),
going "gold"-physical production and distribution (physical and digital),
the design of the physical copy- art/box design, manufacturing/production, ideas and design/production of the "feelie".  If you want to keep the "feelie" a surprise- if you think it's exceptionally cool- that'd be fine by me.
Oh.  And also, afterwards, a retrospective."

-from a previous blog comment of mine  :)

Jammet - Oct 16, 2016 at 21:26
True. Many of us greatly enjoyed Land's music in older games, and it was recognisable. To be honest, I know absolutely nothing about TP's music. Who is the composer, and what work went into composing the new pieces?

Let's not have a disconnect between the music and the rest of the game.

Big Red Button - Oct 17, 2016 at 13:56
The composer is Steve Kirk. There have already been (two?) excerpts from the score in some of the recent podcasts.

Big Red Button - Oct 17, 2016 at 15:03
Well, there actually have been 4 pieces of music in the podcasts. Let me summarize the latest Thimbleweed Park Soundtrack Collection™:
- The Podcast Intro Song (title song from the podcasts)
- Jazzy Elevator Music (Podcast 58a at 39:45)
- Presumed Circus Music (Podcast 59 at 17:08)
- Thrilling Music (Podcast 60 at 10:53)

Collection (hopefully) to be continued.

Mikee - Oct 15, 2016 at 11:24
No more podcasts, get the game done!

Soren Ladegaard - Oct 15, 2016 at 12:02
Set up a Paypal account where backers can transfer any amount they desire to keep you going. I wouldn't mind paying a little extra.

Søren Ladegaard - Oct 15, 2016 at 12:10
I backed at the "I pirated Monkey Island"-level and paid 25 dollars. That was 2 years ago.

I'd gladly pay 25 dollars again!

Soren Ladegaard - Oct 16, 2016 at 12:47
They could probably make an extra 10.000 dollars in a few days.

Chris T - Oct 15, 2016 at 12:41
Almost to the finish line! Can't wait to see the final product

Mirko - Oct 15, 2016 at 13:30
Pssst! Everybody quiet! We want the game done as soon as possible 🙆 😉

Someone - Oct 15, 2016 at 14:06
Maybe we could send the team some snacks like chocolate bar, marshmallows or similar things, that raises the blood sugar and keeps the brain awake. :-)

2nd guy - Oct 15, 2016 at 14:41
The best thing is that the game gets made. So it is good that all focus goes to this.

That being said, these podcasts really helped me to keep being mentally invested in this game.

Peter - Oct 15, 2016 at 14:41
No more podcasts? I am going to sue you! I'm gonna make game-playing great again! Terrific!

Nor Treblig - Oct 15, 2016 at 15:05

Mattias Cedervall - Oct 15, 2016 at 18:06
Sir Pitchfork is now standing outside your house, Ron!

Jammet - Oct 15, 2016 at 18:48
I've got my broom alien at the ready. It's eager to complain and whine, and very hungry ;).

Sure I'd love a "release podcast" at some point.

Are you going to self-publish the game?

Zombocast - Oct 15, 2016 at 19:59
Clintrump is displeased at the lack of podcasts this week.

Make America great again by releasing one next week.

Derrick Reisdorf - Oct 15, 2016 at 22:10

Nor Treblig - Oct 16, 2016 at 01:38
Dude, add a warning when posting such a picture, children could be watching!
(btw. my link is Not Safe For Kids too, beware...)

Zombocast - Oct 16, 2016 at 02:42
If you really want to scare the kids this year, you should make a Trumpkin

Nor Treblig - Oct 16, 2016 at 09:36

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Oct 16, 2016 at 01:59
... I hope to have played and finished Thimbleweed Park before Italy disappears from the face of the Earth because of WW III...

Guga - Oct 18, 2016 at 01:46
Or its government :D

Alfred - Oct 16, 2016 at 11:29
So exciting! Good luck with your milestone, and make sure you get enough rest!

Bogdan Barbu - Oct 16, 2016 at 21:17

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Oct 17, 2016 at 04:18
Good Monday, beautiful people!

Demetris Thoupis - Oct 17, 2016 at 11:31

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Oct 17, 2016 at 12:55
The best game I have ever seen using AGS is Maniac Mansion Deluxe. It's IDENTICAL 100% to the original one!

Dieter - Oct 17, 2016 at 13:53
No. Not to the original C64 version of Maniac Mansion. :)

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Oct 17, 2016 at 16:52
Eheh, well, graphic apart...

Dieter - Oct 17, 2016 at 17:39
No. There are other changes. AFAIR you have to use the brush with the paint remover and then the brush on the paint. That is not necessary in the C64 version. There you are able to use the paint remover on the paint.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Oct 17, 2016 at 17:58
I well know that, it was a bug where I was really stuck at, when I played it on C64.
I amend my previous statement, Your Honor.
...well, graphics AND BUGS apart...

Dieter - Oct 18, 2016 at 04:57
But then it's not 100% identical to the C64 version. :-) They changed at least one whole puzzle(!). (btw: Even in real life you can splash the paint remover on the wall so I won't consider it a bug.) Or in other words: You can't use the solutions for the C64 version anymore.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Oct 18, 2016 at 05:40
... me cojoni! (= Good Heavens)
OK, it's 99%

Nor Treblig - Oct 18, 2016 at 17:43
In real life you wouldn't need to remove paint to see that there is a door! :-)

Dieter - Oct 19, 2016 at 16:37
Depends on the paint(ing). ;-) There are artists who are able to create paintings where you can't see the real surrounding. Here are some examples:

Ema - Oct 21, 2016 at 05:45
Maybe you meant:
There are some artists able to create paintings in which you can see the doors, but you can't see the art.


Enzo Strongoli - Oct 17, 2016 at 13:59
Hi Ron!

It's there a place where we can see if we are included on the phonebook? or if something is missing?  ( data or audio )


Zak Phoenix McKracken - Oct 17, 2016 at 16:55
Ciao Enzo,

there will be something like these:

Names in *bold* are entries with a voicemail.
We know from Ron Gilbert there there will be something (a checkmark?) to let you know if you have already listened to that entry.

Dieter - Oct 17, 2016 at 17:42
I think Enzo means, if the data was uploaded correctly. And Ron said, that they have to sort some of the voicemails out. But the backers don't know at the moment, if their voice mail is affected.

Ron Gilbert - Oct 17, 2016 at 19:22
Your VM link sent in the email still works. You can follow that, look at your info and if you can hear your VM, it is fine.

Ron Gilbert - Oct 17, 2016 at 17:54
Only a handful of VMs were rejected. If yours was, you would have gotten an email.

Tim Lammert - Oct 17, 2016 at 19:40
I really hope there will be more Podcasts and a lot more Blog entrys. It´s great to see the progress and to hear whats happening.

Big Red Button - Oct 18, 2016 at 13:43
Ah, Boris has started to translate the game:
What a Bahnfahrt! I wish I had sat behind him. :)

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Oct 18, 2016 at 14:10
Very well!
Who are the translators of the other languages?

Tim Lammert - Oct 18, 2016 at 17:27

Brian Small - Oct 19, 2016 at 18:44
Nice gravatar image, Tim.  Is that your own work?

Jammet - Oct 18, 2016 at 22:47
Oh yes, it has begun! :] Oh my gosh, how time flies!

Jammet - Oct 18, 2016 at 22:44
Trying to imagine what an IBM/DOS version of TP would look like, if time had not progressed from, say, 1995 or so. Obviously all the lighting effects that are made via an overlay would be either missing or extremely simplified. The animation would the the pride and joy, still, because we have CD-ROM now. Music and talkie would also be there, but the music might be MIDI/Adlib/Sound-Blaster/Roland instead of digital tracks. We'd be restricted to vanilla VGA. Scrolling would be quite choppy. There would be zero fullscreen animation going on, ever. If you only have 2MB of Ram, you get no voices. If your VGA card only has 256kb ram, all animations would be very slow or replaced with mostly static representations. We'd have the largest MONSTER.SOU file, yet!

I'd love it every bit as much!! Retro Option, here I come!

Nor Treblig - Oct 19, 2016 at 10:53
Maybe it's because of my nostalgia glasses but I remember DOTT (1993) and FT (1995) already having fluid scrolling, fullscreen animations and also great sound and music? I may be biased though.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Oct 19, 2016 at 11:15
Yes, and THE DIG, too, but it was 1996. Too future.

Nor Treblig - Oct 19, 2016 at 16:07
Too much future!
But Sam&Max was 1993, wasn't too shabby too.

I remember complains about MI:SE because of choppy animation (it needed to have the same frame count as the original).
Which I can understand looking at the HD graphics. With pixel graphics I think you can still get away with a much lower frame count.

Dieter - Oct 19, 2016 at 16:52
The Dig isn't a good example, because the development started in 1989. (The release was 1995 btw.) According to the ScummVM Wiki The Dig uses a resolution of 320x200 in 256 colors - similar to DOTT or MI1 VGA. It's interesting that The Dig uses the SCUMM engine 7 like Full Throttle and not an earlier version...

Nor Treblig - Oct 19, 2016 at 18:18
Oh yes, I've read about The Dig and that long bumpy road to its final release.
But I wouldn't have guessed it when playing the game back then!

Dieter - Oct 19, 2016 at 17:03
If you go back to the year 1995 there was already DOOM - with smooth 3D. :-) Adventures were sold on CD: Loom, Indy 4, MI 1 VGA, Sam and Max, Full Throttle. In the mid-1990s digital music was already common, especially on the CD versions. Even if you go back to 1990 you could have smooth scrolling too. (Think about Wing Commander that was released on PC that year. :-) )

Jammet - Oct 19, 2016 at 19:27
Oh, that wasn't supposed to be a precise list of all issues or features enriching or plagueing the game. I was listing typical SCUMM tidbits. Scrolling was always choppy in them. Unless you played on the Amiga. I guess then it was fine, at least I remember MI2 smooth as butter on that.

Dieter - Oct 20, 2016 at 05:41
Hm... Are you sure with the Amiga version? As far as I remeber Indy III was choppy ... Not sure about Loom and MI...

(btw: Great discussion. Now I would like to play those old games again ... ;-))

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Oct 20, 2016 at 06:45
Loom on the Amiga was very slow/scatty. Better on PC.
Indy 3 was good on Amiga.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Oct 19, 2016 at 05:50
I don't remeber if it's a significant question or not...
... the XBOX version of Thimbleweed Park, can run on both XBOX 360 and XBOX One?

Big Red Button - Oct 19, 2016 at 06:18
If I remember correctly, it will not run on the Xbox 360, but only on the Xbox One.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Oct 19, 2016 at 07:16
Ah, thank you.
I'm not an expert of Xbox, so I wonder why... maybe for different architecture or performances?
Or just for marketing reasons?

Big Red Button - Oct 19, 2016 at 13:33
They are probably too different.
The team would need an Xbox 360 developer's kit, in addition to their Xbox One kit. And, Microsoft would commit them to run through a certification process for the Xbox 360 version as well. Moreover, it would increase the effort of bugfixing.
So, it's absolutely reasonable to concentrate on the latest console generation.

longuist - Oct 19, 2016 at 06:48
I just discovered on twitter (i visit rarely) @thimbleweedpark #TeamTuesday, which featured small interviews with Jenn and Lauren so far (?). It links to facebook (which i try not to visit at all). May it be possible to post the interviews on this blog also? Thats content which bridges "no podcast this week" phases perfectly :)

Dieter - Oct 19, 2016 at 10:15
I wonder what's the average playtime. :-)

Robert Megone on Twitter: "I just completed a speedrun of @thimbleweedpark in slightly under nine hours!"

Wluut - Oct 19, 2016 at 13:36
For me, 6-9 months ;-)

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Oct 19, 2016 at 11:23
Question with an obvious answer:
- Is pixel hunting needed in some locations, in TWP?

(the obvious answer should be NO WAY!)

Dieter - Oct 19, 2016 at 12:29
What about the "dust"? :)

Brian Small - Oct 19, 2016 at 12:52
The "dust" is optional for an achievement only, and it looks like it's more like "pixel noticing" than "pixel hunting".

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Oct 19, 2016 at 13:24
Well, I mean items 1 pixel wide, needed to go further into the adventure.
Like the blowtorch in Future Wars, hidden in the lower corner of the rubble of the ruined city!

Brian Small - Oct 19, 2016 at 13:31
To quote Ron from this article:   "Pixel-hunting is horrible and you should never do that," he states. "We don't do pixel-hunting."

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Oct 19, 2016 at 14:00
Thank you Brian! You are a real Ron Gilbert Articles Hunter! :-)

Nor Treblig - Oct 19, 2016 at 16:06
Tsts, how can you tell anyone you have completed the game when you didn't even get all those simple achievements!
So yes: Dussst!

Dieter - Oct 19, 2016 at 16:53
+1 :-)

Ron Gilbert - Oct 19, 2016 at 23:43
There are NO puzzles that require pixel hunting.  The specks of dust are 100% optional, as are reading the books in the bookstore.

Dieter - Oct 20, 2016 at 05:43
As Nor Treblig said: The real adventure fan wants to solve *all* puzzles. :-)

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Oct 19, 2016 at 14:04
I apologise for my too many posts. I think I have developed an obsessive compulsive disorder on this Dev blog :-)
I promise you all, that I will limit my posts to a maximum of 10 per day.

Rod - Oct 20, 2016 at 06:54
Hi Ron,  why do I have the feeling that too many of us are ready to invest more in the project and we are not being given the chance to?
I now want a t-shirt, a making-off pdf and probably more! I understand if you want to get the game done. We probably just don't want money to be in the way...

Dieter - Oct 20, 2016 at 07:19
If you open up backing again, you have to manage/maintain the incoming money. That's additional and time consuming work. But I think Ron could easily install a (PayPal-)"Donate" button for those who just want to donate someting to the project.

btw: You can buy a shirt and a mousepad (can't find the link at the moment...)

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Oct 20, 2016 at 07:27
If you are interested in, I'm selling these fine cotton t-shirts...

Nor Treblig - Oct 20, 2016 at 09:51

Nor Treblig - Oct 20, 2016 at 09:51
are written on them, I suppose.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Oct 20, 2016 at 22:18

...even, too...

Big Red Button - Oct 20, 2016 at 09:18
I think, we had enough time to upgrade our pledges. And, every project needs to have deadlines, as Ron explained in the "Content Complete" blog entry.
But, if you would like to support the team, you can still buy a non-backers t-shirt or a mousepad, as Dieter wrote:
I assume that there is a chance for more fan articles to be offered, if the game sells well.
Furthermore, you will be able to order a non-backers cardboard box with the game, several months after the shipping of the collector's box for the backers, as Ron announced in a recent comment.

Nor Treblig - Oct 20, 2016 at 09:48
I remember him saying something about a boxed version. But I wouldn't be too sure about being it a cardboard one or not (for non-backers)., or was he specific about that?

Big Red Button - Oct 20, 2016 at 09:59
Oh, sorry, you're right. Let's wait and see.

Dieter - Oct 20, 2016 at 10:27
In an older blog post Ron said, that everyone will be able to buy a boxed version after the release of TWP. Ah, got it, cite:

"The boxed version will be available for everyone to buy, but it won't include a feelie or some other KS extra. It won't be for sale for several months after the KS box is shipped."


So all potential buyers have just to wait a little bit. :-)

But there were other people who just want to support TWP with some money as a donation, so that Ron and David can buy dog food. :-)

Nor Treblig - Oct 20, 2016 at 16:07
I wouldn't necessarily imply from this that it will be also a big box / cardboard box. But we will see.

Carlo Valenti - Oct 20, 2016 at 15:00
Now, question is: is content complete?

Carlo Valenti - Oct 20, 2016 at 15:06
And: are you content with the content? Or can't any contain his contempt?

Brian Small - Oct 20, 2016 at 16:06
Very contentious questions.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Oct 20, 2016 at 22:22
Even Andrea Bocelli is content:
- "Con teeeeent, party raaaaaaw...."

Carlo Valenti - Oct 21, 2016 at 19:03
Ahahahaha! Una volta che passo da Bresssia, birretta! Ormai è d'uopo

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Oct 21, 2016 at 20:16
With pleasure, just let me know when.

Ema - Oct 21, 2016 at 05:50
Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.

Now, Google it.

Arto - Oct 21, 2016 at 14:02
How many Buffalo buffalo would Buffalo buffalo buffalo, if Buffalo buffalo would buffalo Buffalo buffalo?

Arto - Oct 21, 2016 at 14:20
Buffalo buffalo wouldn’t buffalo any Buffalo buffalo since Buffalo buffalo can’t buffalo Buffalo buffalo.

Arto - Oct 21, 2016 at 14:21
But if Buffalo buffalo could buffalo Buffalo buffalo and would buffalo Buffalo buffalo, how many Buffalo buffalo would Buffalo buffalo buffalo?

Arto - Oct 21, 2016 at 14:21
Even if Buffalo buffalo could buffalo Buffalo buffalo and even if Buffalo buffalo would buffalo Buffalo buffalo, should Buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo?

Arto - Oct 21, 2016 at 14:22
Buffalo buffalo should buffalo Buffalo buffalo if Buffalo buffalo could buffalo Buffalo buffalo, as long as Buffalo buffalo would buffalo Buffalo buffalo.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Oct 22, 2016 at 02:15 the woodsmith said:
- "oh, shut up!"

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Oct 21, 2016 at 06:31
But how many nor you know!
(now, Google Translate that...)

[English users: the above sentence is grammatically incorrect, but when it's translated in italian, the result makes perfectly sense for an italian user. This technique is called "forced translation"]

Ema - Oct 21, 2016 at 06:57
There's an entire song by Elio e Le Stroie Tese in which James Taylor (yes, THAT James Taylor) sings a grammatically incorrect lyric, which makes sense when "forced translated" in italian....

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Oct 21, 2016 at 07:37
ZLORFIK! I missed it! Do you remember the song's title?

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Oct 21, 2016 at 11:23
Found it!
It's "SECOND ME", ahahah!

Ema - Oct 21, 2016 at 19:15
...but how many nor I know... I stay too much inside it.

Ema - Oct 21, 2016 at 05:46
No, he's complaining with the waiter because his steak isn't well done inside:

"content partly raw"

Monkey Maniac - Oct 21, 2016 at 06:08
A talking monkey .. well i want tot know when is the game going to released i thought it was going to get released in june 2016 well we are in october and still nothing

Big Red Button - Oct 21, 2016 at 07:08
They cannot tell the exact  month, but it will not be released before 2017.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Oct 21, 2016 at 07:40
The game is on its final testing phase, as well as translation phase.
Latest news from the Creators say it will be released "early 2017".
Our waiting is going to an end!

Big Red Button - Oct 21, 2016 at 08:55
They will also take a look at the release dates of other games, so that the release of Thimbleweed Park won't collide with a box office hit, which may take the wind out of this game's sails.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Oct 21, 2016 at 09:20
(That's the Scurvy Scallywags influence... I have installed it a few days ago, and I like it!)

Big Red Button - Oct 22, 2016 at 08:19
I wish I had enough time to play The Cave until we get TWP. Nevertheless, I'm optimistic about being able to play it afterwards.

Brian Small - Oct 22, 2016 at 18:20
I agree - I got it when it was first released despite my general distaste for games in that genre.  But I was surprised how much I enjoyed it.  I got addicted for a couple of weeks.  The RPG element and pirate theme, and well, let's be honest - because Ron and his team made it - put it in a whole different league than other match-3 games.