Not A Postmortem

by Ron Gilbert
Feb 01, 2015

It's important to keep in mind that the Thimbleweed Park blog is not a postmortem.  We're posting stuff as we think of it and as we try it out. It's not vetted or the product of a carefully thought out decision. It's just stuff we're thinking of.

As with any project, much of it will be wrong, not always 100% wrong, but wrong and we'll adjust it. That's part of the process. This goes not only for the design and art, but also the tech.  You try things and then you adjust.

It's easy to look at game like Maniac Mansion, Monkey Island, or insert your favorite game here and imagine it came out fully formed. It's not the way creativity works. I've seen "design documents" online for shipped games that I know were the product of revisions and adjustments throughout development. They do not represent what the design doc looked like when the project was started, they are the design doc when the game finished.

Publishers often require a design doc always be kept "up to date", and that is a good thing, but it's easy to lose where everything came from. It's important to remember how screwed up everything was at the beginning. It's normal. It's good.

What you're going to see on this blog is the process from crappy idea through (hopefully) a fun game.

Please keep that in mind when you see our crappy ideas (or our good ideas that never make it into the game).

- Ron

Nice Reminder - Feb 01, 2015 at 13:38
This is a nice reminder. I'm really glad you're sharing the creative process with us. I'm sure it would be much easier to simply do it behind closed doors and avoid all the hassle of educating and informing people like this. This is one of the things I love about this project.

Iron Curtain - Feb 01, 2015 at 14:07
It's important to keep in mind what P.J. Harvey said about creativity:

"A work of art is never finished; only abandoned."

Bobe - Feb 01, 2015 at 14:28
On a somewhat related note, every time I see someone ask why you aren't using SCUMM or why you don't, "just buy the rights to Monkey Island using Kickstarter", I scream at my monitor.

Hey Ron, when are we going to get a sequel to Grim Fandango?

Sushi in fishbowl - Feb 01, 2015 at 15:34
Grimm Fandago is a game by Tim Schafer...
So I would say, as likely as a Leisure Suite Larry sequel by Ron ;-)

Bobe - Feb 01, 2015 at 15:56
Sorry, I didn't know that.  You know...a Leisure Suit Larry remake was funded on Kickstarter recently.  Maybe since Disney acquired the Sierra Arts IP they will give Monkey Island back to him?  I'd like to see Ron remaster one of his previous games like Full Throttle or Psychonauts.  Maybe we'd finally get to learn the Secret of the Day of the Tentacle.

MacFrog - Feb 01, 2015 at 16:28
Ouch... :-)

Nuno S. - Feb 01, 2015 at 16:26
Monkey Island 1 and 2 already have a remaster (special edition) and DOT remastered is confirmed ( :)

Santos - Feb 01, 2015 at 16:28
I think Bobo was joking.

Bobe - Feb 01, 2015 at 17:20
Ron left LucasArts to found Double Fine.  He didn't have anything to do with Day of the Tentacle besides coming up with the time travel mechanic.  I still can't believe they wasted $3.3 million from Kickstarter making The Cave.

Jim - Feb 02, 2015 at 06:21
No, that was Tim Schafer. Ron founded Humongous Entertainment and Cavedog. :)

Peter Campbell - Feb 01, 2015 at 20:30
If Ron and Gary disagree with one another over adding/excluding something from the game, do they play a game of air hockey to determine who's opinion wins?

MarcusG - Feb 02, 2015 at 02:14
There is really only one way for veteran game designers to settle a disagreement: Insult debating.
It probably looks something like this:

Gary: People fall at my feet when they see my design concepts!
Ron: Even BEFORE they smell your breath?

Ron: I once owned a dog that designed smarter games than you.
Gary: He must have taught you everything you know.

pumbaa - Feb 02, 2015 at 04:22
Hi Folks, i guess i made the FIRST FAN PRODUCT of thimbleweedproject.

I proudly present: Detectiv A (or is it B?)

Christopher Griffin - Feb 02, 2015 at 10:13
Nice!  I've seen things made with those beads before, what is the product called that you use?  Is it something like Pix-Os or something like that?

pumbaa - Feb 03, 2015 at 08:15
It's called "Hama Bügelperlen" in german.  And that's where i am from :)

Iron Beads in english.... i think

A Brand would be Perler... I dont know PixOx....

I hope Ron or Gary saw them,. I get frustrated if i dont get my credits from the makers of the heroes of my childhood... ;o)

pumbba - Feb 03, 2015 at 08:16
...or at least get sued by the,m...

Gary Winnick - Feb 05, 2015 at 11:58
This is very cool!

Schala - Feb 17, 2015 at 20:12
Pumbaa: Very nice! I've made quite a few beadsprites myself but not a rectangular "scene" like you did. I like yours a lot. :)

Christopher: I don't know if the beads have any generic name; we usually just call them Perler beads because that's the brand name, and it's generally understood what they are. The brand most common in Europe seems to be Hama -- I've used beads from them on occasion because the brands have different colors.

pumbaa - Feb 27, 2015 at 02:29
I made some smaller ones with rectagularizing(?) one-color-background: One with guybrush, one with leChuck. at least 3 of my friends didn't say "cool", they wanted them. Preferably both :)

Brian S - Feb 02, 2015 at 14:17
Nicely done.

Ron Gilbert - Feb 03, 2015 at 10:45

Jacky - Feb 02, 2015 at 05:22
I thank you a lot for making this blog.
I think it is nice nothing is written in stone yet, for me it is very interesting to see how the game and the ideas are developing.
Gives me a better insight in how games are really done.
I check out the blog everyday and I am looking forward to the finished product.

Thanks a lot for taking the time to let your fans know what is happening in your minds and with the game!
When the blog started I thought you would update it only once a month or so, I really appreciate you taking so much time to keep us up to date with your newest concepts and ideas.

Christopher Griffin - Feb 02, 2015 at 10:24
I love everything about this blog, so I hope you guys (Ron and Gary) don't feel like you need to omit information because of criticisms or complaints that may surface in the comments.  I come here to read:

Thimbleweed Park™ Blog: Uncensored [The version your momma warned you about]

Chris Subagio - Feb 02, 2015 at 12:51
I don't care what it is... just keep it coming. What a thrill to watch you guys work.

As cheesy as it sounds, Monkey Island and Fate of Atlantis are solid reasons why I have the career I have today. Stumbling into insult-swordfighting is still one of my fondest gaming memories. Thanks guys, and best of luck knocking it out of the park with this one.

LichiMan - Feb 02, 2015 at 13:10
Is the PDF of the “Making Of Thimbleweed Park” art and game design book from Kickstarter going to be a Postmortem or some kind of a pack of all this posts...?
Will the full Puzzle Dependency Graph and all the design documents be included?

Gary Winnick - Feb 02, 2015 at 17:55
The .PDF and the book will include some of the material from these posts (as makes sense)-
But plans to be more of a 'Making Of'-book in the classic sense- and will showcase most all the concept
art development and screens (locations, character development, etc.) - as well as final production visuals
(a good deal of this material likely won't be posted on the blog). The final content and format will evolve
from our game design and production process ,  much of which is still TBD. AT this time I really don't see it that
much as a Postmortem.


Gary Winnick - Feb 02, 2015 at 17:58
P.S. - I 'd expect the puzzle dependency charts and design docs to be included as well

LichiMan - Feb 03, 2015 at 05:53
Great! Thanks Gary :)

Demetris Thoupis - Feb 03, 2015 at 06:56
Hi Ron,
Great work and love the "storyline" type of script as you mentioned many times in your blog when you/your team were creating Scumm you wanted it to be more like a movie script (not exactly in those lines but still)..
One thing only bothered me in the video and don't know if it bothered me in a good or bad way still trying to figure it out. At 00.06 seconds when you make the first stop as the camera scrolls , at the stop point it continues smoothly to scroll just a bit more and then stops. This was not achievable in Scumm I suppose but with this engine it works or doesn't work. I am confused about how I feel about it. I am not sure whether it removes the retroness of the game or not. It is such a smooth move for a game this old! :) What do you and Gary feel about it?




Soong - Feb 04, 2015 at 05:04
I hope you didn't need to point this out because of any comments here or on Kickstarter or because of any grief you got via email.  I myself try to comment on ideas if I think I have input that might be useful.  It is never meant as criticism, especially not on a personal level.  So I truly hope nobody gave you guys a hard time about anything here.

Jura Snodtball - Feb 05, 2015 at 09:59
I wish Ron and Gary would do a "Where are they now?" document on the characters from Maniac Mansion...

Ron Gilbert - Feb 05, 2015 at 10:36
That's a funny idea. I wish we had the time to do that.

Just Maybe - Feb 06, 2015 at 23:43
Just maybe there's a way to work it into the game, without violating intellectual property rights?