Occult Bookstore

by Ron Gilbert
Sep 28, 2015

Behold the Thimbleweed Park Occult Bookstore, serving all your Occult book and Ouija Board needs since 1948. If you're looking for a Rubber Chicken with Pulley in the Middle, please visit our sister location on Mêlée Island.

A few months ago, we asked readers to submit names of books for the Occult Bookstore, figuring we'd get a few hundred titles. Crap were we wrong! We got over 3000 submissions! What we didn't plan on was having to copy all those names from the website and into the game.

Mark finished the first pass of the art last week and he built the room so it could be easily extended up since we didn't know exactly how tall it needed to be.

All the book titles were put into a spreadsheet and were sorted and dups removed. The spreadsheet was then copied to a text file the game reads and builds all the book objects at run-time.

We haven't gone through the list and pulled out titles that are too long, offensive, or objectionable for other (legal) reasons, but our first culling says that is less than 50 titles.

There is a puzzle where you need to find a specific book, but you don't do it by trial and error and searching, there is another "object" that allows you to locate it quickly.

Huge thanks goes out to everyone who contributed a book title, this could mean the difference between a "Game of the Year" and "Bargain bin discount."

- Ron

Ricardo Marichal - Sep 28, 2015 at 14:22
Nice icons !!!

Ron Gilbert - Sep 28, 2015 at 14:29
You've been banned from the site.

Roberto Cano - Sep 29, 2015 at 04:20
Hahahaha. BBD of the Year coming out!!

Dominik - Sep 28, 2015 at 14:30
Nice! Very cool looking location and great art. Also thanks for a look a the new character art. I like it!

Although I have to comment on two things:

First: Something seems wrong with some of the art to me. Have a look at 0:50 and at the left balcony. It seems weirdly scaled?!

Second: I had hoped the book store would be comically tall and somewhat self-aware. Like birds nesting in the upper half or something. I mean it's still huge but it doesn't look IMPOSSIBLY huge to me and that is what I had hoped it would be like.(Agent: "How hard can it be to find this one book?" - Screen scrolls up for 15 seconds....)

Anyway thanks for the post and update!

Dominik - Sep 28, 2015 at 14:32
Also: I love how everything is cursed in the store ;-)

Mattias Cedervall - Sep 29, 2015 at 13:56
Yes, it's funny. :-)

Brian S - Sep 28, 2015 at 14:36
It looks pretty impossibly huge to me.  The artwork and lighting is incredible!  Great work.

Love the spider/cobweb in the foreground as you make your way up the ladder.  Nice touch.

Dominik - Sep 29, 2015 at 01:02
Yes, it's huge. But if you don't know about the backstory and the 3000 books (aka a new player) will you be like "WHAT THE HELL?!!!!!" or more like "Okay, that is a lot of books".

And I would love it if it was the first reaction :-)

Derrick Reisdorf - Sep 28, 2015 at 15:51
I'm sure they could add some humor like that in here.

They could also add some dialogue when the player nears the top, like:
"Man, I'm way up here...my ears just popped."
Or have a book at the very top shelf about Acrophobia.

Mattias Cedervall - Sep 28, 2015 at 17:12
Having a book at the very top shelf about acrophobia is a perfect idea! :-)

RCM - Sep 28, 2015 at 21:29
I second this!

Bogdan Barbu - Sep 28, 2015 at 21:57
I second both ideas.

entropy - Sep 28, 2015 at 14:31
Did I already mention how beautiful that game looks?

PS. Maybe you want to check your second last paragraph.

Draxton - Sep 28, 2015 at 14:31
Now you need "Welcome to Thimbleweed Park - home of the world's tallest occult bookstore" sign somewhere ...

Mattias Cedervall - Sep 29, 2015 at 06:10
I agree! Good idea!

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Sep 29, 2015 at 10:56
Even bigger than the one in Skywalker Ranch!

Conradson - Sep 28, 2015 at 14:32
The art is beautifull ! The blog and the podcast are awesome, already exceeding the money I invested. Thanks for doing this, cheers from France

Franzy - Sep 28, 2015 at 15:58
Second cheer from France!!!!

RandomGuy - Sep 28, 2015 at 14:32
Really love the artwork!
The light effects are subtle and look amazing. Love it!

Is this the final character art? (or as close as can be)

Robert Megone - Sep 28, 2015 at 14:33
That's the second biggest occult bookstore I've ever seen.

Bogdan Barbu - Sep 28, 2015 at 22:01

Ricardo Marichal - Sep 28, 2015 at 14:36
Now, seriously. The game looks A-MA-ZING. Love it !!!!

LichiMan - Sep 28, 2015 at 14:52
Too late. You've been banned :)

entropy - Sep 28, 2015 at 15:13
FAQ: Rule #5

You'll be banned for replying to a banned person.

Phaze - Sep 28, 2015 at 15:21
And now YOU did it too! MWHAhahahaahaa...ha...h... oh no.

entropy - Sep 29, 2015 at 04:18
Last one in this thread wins!

LichiMan - Sep 28, 2015 at 14:46
How am I going to convince to my girlfriend that what I'm doing is really important when she sees me watching during weeks the same screen? And who is going to pay the psychologist when I realize that my books are not in the bookstore?
Oh, by the way... it looks amazing!

GrumpyFan - Sep 28, 2015 at 14:52
I will spend 2 hours to see if one of mine is in. :-D That's evilish. Was a bad game design choice. :-P

Phaze - Sep 28, 2015 at 15:24
They seem to be in alphabetical order.

Ron Gilbert - Sep 28, 2015 at 15:27
That is true right now, but they won't be in the final game. They will be in the order submitted on the website so multiple books with a running gags will still make sense.

Franzy - Sep 28, 2015 at 16:00
Oh! Awesome!!!

Ashley B - Sep 29, 2015 at 15:54
Awesome, so if I find one of my books, I find all of them.  :)

Rmn - Sep 30, 2015 at 13:45
You'd want to go for reversed submission order, right?
So the first submissions are the first books you are likely to find.

bobble - Sep 28, 2015 at 14:53
What are the consequences on the translation and voice acting budgets?

LogicDeLuxe - Sep 28, 2015 at 18:27
I guess, the book titles are for object names only and not part of the voiced dialog. If they were, that would be really insane.
Still, they all need to be translated.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Sep 29, 2015 at 11:02
It would be almost impossible to translate the puns hidden in the book titles.
For Example: "The Imperial March, by J. Caesar"... it refers to the Imperial March song in Star Wars™ and to the third month of the year in the Roman Empire, when Julius Caesar died.
The word "March" has double meaning only in english.

Ron Gilbert - Sep 29, 2015 at 11:07
The book titles won't be translated. They are submissions from backers and blog readers, so they will stay as submitted. They also won't be voice recorded because they only show up on the sentence line, the characters never say the titles.

Michele Giardi - Sep 30, 2015 at 06:47
Wouldn't that be weird to have an english-only part in a fully translated game?

Why don't translate the ones that are... translatable and leave the others in english?

Sebastian - Sep 30, 2015 at 08:35
I agree with Michele,

I really like the classic Lucasarts adventures both in English and my mother tongue, German. Boris Schneider did a great job back in the days and now that he'll provide a German version, I expected that he'd produce (once again) top-notch quality "translations" of these book titles. Please, Ron, tell us that Boris and his fellow translators *will* create funny titles and keep us from having small bits of English in an otherwise German (or whatever language) adventure game.



Grafekovic - Sep 30, 2015 at 09:08
It surly would be nice for the ones who don't speak or read english to get a translation, but as for the library in MI2 (which I also just played with the german verison), I always did reverse translation into english book titles, to get the joke of some of the books. So leave them in english is the better option for me.

Mike McP - Oct 01, 2015 at 07:33
Hmm...this is an interesting problem.  I'm inclined to say that the set pieces in the game (signage, etc) are English, so it makes sense for the books to be English, despite the language of the characters.

I'm not sure what languages this will be officially translated to, but how about a Google doc out there of the spreadsheet that backers who are multilingual could collaborate on?  Then, folks like Sebastian could go and do some of the translations.  It would be security through obscurity for the Google doc, as a blog post would let people opt-into helping translate, and then Ron could distribute the link to those users on the honor system.  If some titles don't get translated, no biggie...I imagine European bookstores have varied language books mixed in occasionally.

Michael Stum - Oct 01, 2015 at 01:24
In translations, the Occult Book Store becomes an "Import Occult Book Store" :)

Wolfgang Dollinger - Sep 28, 2015 at 14:59
Greets from Brasil:

Show de Bola

Kim Jørgensen - Sep 28, 2015 at 15:10
Wow nice art ...and vertical scrolling!

Damian - Sep 28, 2015 at 15:26
Epic! :D
It would be fun just looking at the titles.

Mafti - Sep 28, 2015 at 15:26
Haha, awesome :)

Paulup - Sep 28, 2015 at 15:34
The character art and animation looks really great! Love the details on the clothes and hair... and of course the background art is incredible too, it all nicely fits together now.

Is there some way to automatically go through the book titles and capitalize the first letter of each word? Some of them look a bit odd as titles, the ones written in mostly lower case...

Estranged2 - Sep 28, 2015 at 15:37
Typo at 2:02 - "The world is acutally in 3D" - should be "actually".

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Sep 29, 2015 at 11:05
Nope, I am sure that Ron whanted to write  acutally = perspicaciously. :-)

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Sep 29, 2015 at 11:06
... and I wanted to write "wanted" !!

Michael Hoffmann - Sep 28, 2015 at 15:42
Phantastic art - thanks for sharing! :-)

But who is going to proofread all of this? I already found several mistakes ("upgade to Windows 10", "bildeberg group" etc.). And poor Boris for having to translate 3000 titles into German... ;-)

Michael Hoffmann - Sep 28, 2015 at 15:49
Uhm, speaking of proofreading: phantastic -> fantastic. Boy, we really need an edit button here. ;-)

fido - Sep 28, 2015 at 16:10
He agreed to work for $1, so this should be no problem.

Herbert - Sep 29, 2015 at 06:27
Boris will do it for free, actually. He is not allowed by his employer (Microsoft) to earn any money.

Mattias Cedervall - Sep 29, 2015 at 13:54
This game will come to Xbox so I think that Boris might be allowed to earn money on this game.

Snarky - Sep 28, 2015 at 16:39
How about crowdsourcing the proofreading too? Just post the list with a text field next to each entry, and people could submit their corrections.

Ron Gilbert - Sep 28, 2015 at 16:45
All the titles are exactly how they were submitted. They will go through a proof reading and capitalization phase, but probably not for a while.

Jammet - Sep 29, 2015 at 06:06
Boris cannot possible know all these references. Everything is in there, from other games, to comics, to movies! He might be able to translate my "We are ready to believe you!" or "Who you gonna call?" from Ghostbusters, but probably will use other and different words and phrasing than in the German dub of the Ghostbusters movie. So german people will absolutely not be able to get the reference, unless they know both the english *and* german version, or they've got very good intuition, e.g. "This could've been the line from Ghostbusters, but..."

Zarbulonian - Sep 28, 2015 at 15:42
Beside the background, the new character rendering and animation is awesome. Walking on ladders is eerily reminiscent of Zak and Maniac :-)

After some digging I also recently realized that the earlier wireframe animations were possibly a throwback to Labyrinth, which I didn't play... Nice touch ;-)

goodidea82 - Sep 28, 2015 at 15:52
The submission of booktitles was perhpas the best idea on this forum. That was a lot of fun. Perhaphs this will be the most iconic moment of the game too. Everyone is excited to go to the bookstore and search for their titles.:)

Nibbles - Sep 28, 2015 at 15:56
It would look a lot better if she actually climbed the ladder.

Mattias Cedervall - Sep 28, 2015 at 16:00
I thought I saw one of my suggestions, but I'm not sure. I have to download the video and view it frame by frame. It would make me very proud if one of my books is in the game!

Ron Gilbert - Sep 28, 2015 at 16:35
We're only removing book titles that are horribly offensive or present grave legal issues, so if you title didn't violate either of those, it's in the game.

Mattias Cedervall - Sep 28, 2015 at 17:06
Oh, I thought that you also removed book titles you think are not funny. Thank you very much for your reply, Ron! :-)

Derrick Reisdorf - Sep 29, 2015 at 06:38
There would be 10 books left, then.

Mattias Cedervall - Sep 29, 2015 at 08:30
:-( No!

Gv - Sep 29, 2015 at 07:12
I saw your book, something about eulogies it's even your name there. You are famous now.

Sewa-o-matic - Sep 29, 2015 at 16:02
Yes I saw one and also cites you as the author! Cool

Nibbles - Sep 28, 2015 at 16:02
An additional nice touch would be if the player could read them with actual content.

Nibbles - Sep 28, 2015 at 16:06
Disk space should be no problem in 2015.

LogicDeLuxe - Sep 28, 2015 at 18:27
Please insert Blu-Ray 22 and press any key!

Mattias Cedervall - Sep 28, 2015 at 16:04
YES! I could now see "Autopsies and picnics" that I suggested. I hope it stays in the game! <3 It's a classic book for children. ;-)

EdoBvd - Sep 28, 2015 at 16:05
Do you use some sort of compression algorithm for the books titles? Otherwise I don't think it will fit in my five hundred and twelve kilo bytes random access memory.

e - Sep 28, 2015 at 16:06
Looking good! A few notes:

The lightning looks a bit flat towards the top of the room, perhaps? A bluish tint cast by the moonlight through the window might give the scene an extra helping of atmosphere. But that's a rather small detail, of course. And so are the lights at ground level. Would it be technically possible for them to flicker? Just a little bit, to breathe some more occult (possibly cursed) life into the scene.

The walking animation looks very nice, especially when the character is facing towards or away from the player. I love the way the seam of the jacket moves, giving the character some depth. The background and character graphics seem to sit together quite nicely now.

a - Sep 28, 2015 at 20:11
I had the same thought about flickering lights. Not too much though.

Patrik Spacek - Sep 28, 2015 at 16:08
Hi Guys, ...  because I am artist I have to tell you there is a pixel missed out on 1:30min of the video. There is a grey book on the left side of the bookshelve, which needs to be moved one pixel down.  I am sure Mark has got a headache from copying all those books over and over again... not a surprise :o)  and its a first pass...just helping out :)
BTW:  if this is going to be random system for finding a correct book name, its gonna be the most annoying part of the game :o)))  hopefully there wont shuffle every time I run the game :o)

Indy - Sep 28, 2015 at 16:14
That's the book which opens the secret door.

Patrik Spacek - Sep 28, 2015 at 16:20
Damn...I spoiled it :))

Spiffy - Sep 28, 2015 at 16:51
Haha, it'll make the entire bookcase rotate!

Mattias Cedervall - Sep 28, 2015 at 17:08
Or it will make the entire book store rotate!

T.M. - Sep 29, 2015 at 01:53
Or the whole town.

Herbert - Sep 29, 2015 at 06:34
By 360 degrees!

Patrik Spacek - Sep 29, 2015 at 07:55
It will defenitely rotate my head 360' ... :)

urielz - Sep 28, 2015 at 16:39
Holy crap it looks so beautiful!

Paulie Skylo Wilkinson - Sep 28, 2015 at 16:57
There's a jarring perspective missmatch at the top of the window. You can see it as Ron climbs the ladder up to where Mark has looped the scene to accomodate the book name submissions.

Paulie Skylo Wilkinson - Sep 28, 2015 at 17:09
...the "bottom" of the window, rather.

Ron Gilbert - Sep 28, 2015 at 17:11
As I mentioned above, it's not final art. We quickly replicated the shelves to accommodate all the books, then during our polish phase (months from now), Mark will go in and fix everything. It's not worth spending time fixing these issues right now.

Mattias Cedervall - Sep 29, 2015 at 08:16
Imagine a book with the title "Final art". :P

Andreas - Sep 28, 2015 at 17:38
Looking truly amazing! Stepped through the video Frame by Frame and even found two of my Book titles! Wow.

So, now over to the nitpicking part (I know, this is an early version etc. pp.): I'm not so sure whether it is such a good idea to sort the book alphabetically: Some books were probably supposed to be placed next to each other or would be more funny at specific locations in the shelves. Furthermore, the alphabetic sorting creates some kind of redundancy in the book titles for neighboring books (look at all those "50 Shades of ..." books).

And as already mentioned further above: It would be so cool to have the lights flicker just a little, and probably have some dust particles in the air where the moon gleams through the window.

Ron Gilbert - Sep 28, 2015 at 17:53
See my pervious comment about sorting the books.

Andreas - Sep 28, 2015 at 19:24
Thanks for the answer!

Ashley B - Sep 29, 2015 at 23:34
lol, a pervious comment sounds like what I said to the girl I saw at the supermarket, shortly before she punched me...

Thomas Molby - Sep 28, 2015 at 17:43
The look of this game makes me so happy.

Steffen - Sep 28, 2015 at 17:52
I can't wait to spend 5 hours on reading all the book titles and looking up every gag I don't understand :-D

Guy Banister - Sep 28, 2015 at 18:08
I like the character animation. Now the persons really fit well into mark's backgrounds.

Also; there was a spelling error in the guide to ghostbusting. It just said "guid".

Try running the stuff through microsoft word.

Derrick Reisdorf - Sep 29, 2015 at 06:45
He's not going to proofread anything right now.

Vectorferret - Sep 28, 2015 at 18:35
Did anyone catch the title of the book that mentioned GNU? I've been trying to manually parse through the video for it.

Vectorferret - Sep 28, 2015 at 18:39
I mean it's full title. I want to see the joke and only caught a glance of it.

Sarah - Sep 28, 2015 at 18:41
"GNU Emacs Manual"

Steffen - Sep 28, 2015 at 18:49
Hej Ron. At first: nice game example - looks great. But what are the 'line' (from lower left to upper right) in the upper book store? Is it a 'trick' to give orientation about the height? What about using cobweb instead which gets more if one get higher. Would be more 'natural' and more spooky... best with a green eye spider in the roof top!  :-)

Brian S - Sep 28, 2015 at 19:41
That line is a spiderweb / cobweb.  Does it not look like one?  There is more to it at the top, as well - which makes it more obvious.

Steffen - Sep 29, 2015 at 09:23
Oh. Sorry, I haven't seen the "more obvious at the top". May I suggest some more complete web at/around the books? Not only one loose in foreground than more looking like some really old seldom used obscure books in a dusty corner??? And I really miss a funky spooky spider somewhere!  ;-)

tomimt - Sep 28, 2015 at 19:53
Oh wow, the bookstore looks absolutely amazing. I love the ridiculously tall bookshelf and I even saw on of my titles in there, so that's a plus. The character art is stating to look really good as well.

On the side note though, translating these will be a fun task for people, considering the amont of puns in there.

azucar - Sep 28, 2015 at 19:57
Some book titles are very anachronistic for 1987. Were they copied from crystal balls?

racecar - Sep 28, 2015 at 20:07
Well, it *is* an *occult* book store...

Derrick Reisdorf - Sep 29, 2015 at 06:49
I agree. I think their inclusion should be scrutinized for consideration.

LogicDeLuxe - Oct 01, 2015 at 06:19
I love anachronism stew. Frequently, it's part of the joke.
We got that sort of thing throughout the Monkey Islands series, so why not here?

<3 - Sep 28, 2015 at 20:12
This is amazing and I love you

Bobe - Sep 28, 2015 at 20:55
I like her bosom when she's walking.  It looks 3D.

Sarah - Sep 28, 2015 at 22:34
I don't know how I missed this KIckstarter. I liked Broken Age, but this... this is what I wanted it to be.

Mario - Sep 29, 2015 at 02:01
lol: 0:2:08 - Thimbleweedguide by R.Gilbert.
GFX is awesome.

Andreas Stahl - Sep 29, 2015 at 02:14
((@Gary / @Ron / @Mark: Please read and comment))

The room looks great, even if it isn't final, yet. The art and setting are prefect. If the rest of the atmosphere (story/sound/music) supports this even further, you are going to get midnight zombies of all ages (young to way past adult) hanging in front of their devices (PC!!!! ... xbox etc.) sucking in your game and replaying it multiple times, if not just for the old times sake.

The important part:

I know you had poster tiers in your Kickstarter (which I can't afford at all) and I know you probably didn't count on Mark producing this kind of quality graphics, however my wish would be the following:

4-6 panoramic posters of Marks art (best locations, definitely *this* bookstore) with a small Thimbleweed Park logo in the corner for the real viewing pleasure (i.e. no characters, no big logos etc, just panoramas) to an affordable price. I don't want to diminish the value of your art, but I would like a copy so 10-20 USD depending on the production costs plus what you want for yourself would be nice. If you'd have that with affordable international shipping (*waving from germany*), sign me up for a couple!

...if and when available, I would love to hang one on the wall in my office.

@everyone else: Who's with me?

Kind Regards,

Andreas Stahl - Sep 30, 2015 at 03:39
...I was ignored...

seems like nobody wants panoramic posters....

Roman - Sep 29, 2015 at 02:42
Hurry...I've spotted my book title on your mouse-hover action...that makes me somehow..erm...immortal...like LeChuck

Roman - Sep 29, 2015 at 02:53
it's of course "hurray" ;-) Damn where is the edit button...

Roman - Sep 29, 2015 at 02:47
By the way...what's the size of the building when you look at it from outside.....if it's an occult store it must be small from outside ;-)

and of course there are 2 titles missing: "3 fine potions that make beta icons look great" and "how to get unbanned from forums"

Justin - Sep 29, 2015 at 03:04
Will it be okay if you find the book you're looking for manually? Or is the other object to find it required?
Even though it would be foolish to try, it would be very cool if you'd manage to find it "the hard way".

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Sep 29, 2015 at 04:08
I can figure his mind. You can find it by yourself. That's the reason why they populated the library with so many books... to get you discuraged by searching it manually.

Bogdan Barbu - Sep 29, 2015 at 03:35
The new character art is a HUGE improvement. Good job!

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Sep 29, 2015 at 04:06
Cursed mummy... cursed ladder...
I wonder if in the library there is also three Cursed Monkeys and three Cursed Islands, or a single "Curse of Monkey Island" box??

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Sep 29, 2015 at 04:14
This remark is just to remark how cool this game is growing. I am impressed, and really really happy for it! Great job!!!

jchrist00 - Sep 29, 2015 at 04:24
Has Anyone mentioned "The King in Yellow" by Robert W. Chambers

too late for a title???



Pieter - Sep 29, 2015 at 04:40
Yeah my suggestion (Voodoo for Dummies made it in). Maybe not the funniest....but still :-)

Derrick Reisdorf - Sep 29, 2015 at 06:55
I think "Voodoo Dolls: Acupuncture for Dummies" is a little funnier, but alas, it is too long.

Pieter - Sep 29, 2015 at 08:30
Hahaha nice one

Steffen - Sep 29, 2015 at 09:32
Nice one indeed!

Roberto Cano - Sep 29, 2015 at 04:52
I spotted 7 of my entries!!!!!! :) Yes, I've gone frame by frame over the entire video.......Yes, I'm THAT obsessed.....Yes, nothing better to do......deal with it!

Dominik - Sep 29, 2015 at 04:57
Can't stop watching this - it looks absolutely brilliant. I really love the new character art, thanks Gary!

I wonder. Would it be possible to make the lights "flicker" slightly? They very static to me and some variation could make the place feel more alive.

Jammet - Sep 29, 2015 at 05:09
What have you *done*, now I have to frame-by-frame this for the next few hours! God I love this! :D

Helge Frisenette - Sep 29, 2015 at 05:43
And guys, stop it with the flickering lights! Those are lightbulbs!

Big Red Button - Sep 29, 2015 at 05:59
It looks very good!

What about some additional occult junk in the upper area on the balconies or maybe on the wall? Maybe a dowsing rod or the mortal remains of a magician within an urn?

Regarding the light bulbs within the lanterns: There are also flickering electric lamps on the market, which I think would have been a bit more creepy (if they were already available in 1987 - elsewise I would have chosen oil lamps and candles).

If the bright flares in the fields of the lanterns are seperate layers, you could just make these layers flicker.

PS: The display cabinets in the foreground have not the same vanishing points as the rest of the room. Okay, you could argue that they are simply standing misaligned in the room.

Bogdan Barbu - Sep 29, 2015 at 06:54
Flickering would indeed be occulty but I don't think the game necessarily takes place in 1987. I think they only meant the game is in the style of 1987-ish adventure games in their pitch. Originally, the game was supposed to be much more similar to Maniac Mansion, which came out that year. From the outside, it seems to have evolved quite a bit beyond that (and I couldn't be any more excited about its current direction).

Derrick Reisdorf - Sep 29, 2015 at 06:59
I believe it is still their intention. I haven't heard otherwise.

Bogdan Barbu - Sep 29, 2015 at 07:16
Well, they don't have to state it explicitly. As far as the graphics goes,it's obvious and they also mentioned dialogue trees similar to those in Monkey Island. How the game "feels" we don't know yet.

Smartypants - Sep 29, 2015 at 13:34
The story takes place in 1987. It's ThimbleCon '87: http://blog.thimbleweedpark.com/thimblecon87
and Delores' character design is explicitly mid-80s: http://blog.thimbleweedpark.com/exploring_delores

Big Red Button - Sep 29, 2015 at 07:22
Addition: I think that red light would be even more occult that such a yellow light.

mr. T - Sep 29, 2015 at 06:59
This is truly amazing... I have to set a date on my calendar to visit this room on a weekend when TP is live.

Now, maybe the submitters could supply an additional "highlights paragraph" per title submission? The character could pick up one of the 3000 (or a subset of 3000) titles and read the paragraph without VO. I guess that would drive some people insane though. On the other hand I can't help but imagine how cool it would be if the character would crack a joke about some funny title or reading few lines from a book and reacting to it.

BTW, I always loved how funny the indy ladder climbing animation was on The Last Crusade.

BTW2 & off-topic, Just learned today that Disney cancelled another potential classic game in the 90s by artist&programmer genious Jim Sachs (Defender of the Crown - Amiga): http://www.pcmuseum.ca/sachs1.asp.

"For years I had been in talks with Disney regarding my doing a game based on 20,000 Leagues. Finally, they agreed, which is why I dropped Saucer attack. After I worked about a year on the project, they decided not to fund it after all, which sent me into a deep depression. I'm still convinced that it would have been the ultimate computer game of all time."

This is the last (jaw dropping) demo from the game (on Jim's Youtube channel): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVnOAy_9VMU.

mr. T - Sep 29, 2015 at 07:04
Addendum: Jim was also a master of color cycling techniques which is probably obvious after watching the demo.

Mattias Cedervall - Sep 29, 2015 at 08:14
It looks like he's Mark Ferrari's dad! :-)

Mario F. - Sep 29, 2015 at 07:06
i like the way she always has a hand on her hips. very nice detail. and reminds me somehow at guybrush.
i know its not final, thats just a hint: at 1:36 two book rows at the middle lefthand look to much the same.

Still amazing what you can do with just a few colors for the characters look.

Gv - Sep 29, 2015 at 07:15
I have an idea for a book name, but is too late now, I know: 50 shades of grey aliens. See if Mark can draw an extra book there :)

Peter - Sep 29, 2015 at 07:27
It is quite difficult to give some comments, advices to the people, who are involved in that project, because everything seems to go in the right direction: You give a pleasure for us "old" Adventure Game Fans. It's simply wonderful. Maybe the only thing that I would change is to bring in some other old Lucasfilm Guys, like ... (forgotten the names, but you all know them for sure :D). Great Work!

Gffp - Sep 29, 2015 at 09:18
I always appreciated the realistic design of building and places, in adventure titles like Maniac Mansion and Monkey Island.  If you start as realistic, you can build humour by exaggerating some things and by contrasts .  But that time it seems that the beautiful library is too much high to be even an exaggerated wooden building.  How it is supposed to be explorated by those poor ancient magicians!?

Gffp - Sep 29, 2015 at 09:35
The library is so beautiful in its original shape as seen in the artwork submitted in july, 27. Maybe there is enough space for all the books at the sides... Or just doubling the height as an exaggerating effect...

Davide - Sep 29, 2015 at 09:36
I don't know why, but the art style here (which is £$%"£$% awesome, both character and environment)
reminds me of Indiana Jones and the fate of Atlantis, alongwith its good feelings.

Mario F. - Sep 29, 2015 at 09:47
exactly. copy that.

Mario F. - Sep 29, 2015 at 09:52
Who did the insertion of the book names? Ron and David, or Ron alone? ah now i know why its like a broken record, gary did it all alone. lol
And how long did that copy / paste thing take?

Ron Gilbert - Sep 29, 2015 at 10:04
David wrote the code to turn the books into objects and Jenn copied them all from the website into a spreadsheet.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Sep 29, 2015 at 10:50

Mario F. - Sep 29, 2015 at 12:18
how long did that take? i mean 3000 titles isn't just a number.

Bogdan Barbu - Sep 29, 2015 at 11:14
Hey, where are those silly bead things hanging from the right door top, from the wireframe? They were a nice touch.

T.M. - Sep 29, 2015 at 11:42
The character-animation of the agent looks amazing at the moment. But for some reason I hoped she was a chain smoker, like those old hardboiled film-noir detectives.

Mattias Cedervall - Sep 29, 2015 at 17:08
:-( Why?! Smoking is very bad for your health! - Nurse Edna.

Zarbulonian - Sep 29, 2015 at 18:28
That was a fair assumption given how often we see her hold that cigarette in the web site header...

Ron Gilbert - Sep 29, 2015 at 18:42
She still smokes. It's a B animation.

Big Red Button - Sep 30, 2015 at 05:14
In a bookstore there should be a ban on smoking, I think.

Patrik Spacek - Sep 29, 2015 at 12:08
Gary, i was looking around and i can see moving red eyes on the right side next to the cashier. What creatures are in there? I can also see the ragdoll toy behind the crow on the left...seems ro familiar.  This is spooky library with random personnal stuff. It could be public library, but its very homie.

Darkstorm - Sep 29, 2015 at 12:53
I love Derrick's suggestion of a book about Acrophobia being the topmost book.

Also regarding making the store seem super, super absurdly tall, there could be another ladder at the top of the bookshelves which you can't use because the character doesn't want to go that high without a good reason, and then whenever you get the object that lets you find the book, it could trigger ascending up that extra ladder, with a cutscene where the screen goes dark with a *1 hour later* message, then comes back to the character climbing a ladder through some clouds or something before finally getting to the right book.

Grafekovic - Sep 30, 2015 at 09:14
Ha! That "1 hour later" joke never gets old!
Well, it does....

eMaze - Sep 29, 2015 at 13:54
Hello guys,

I know I'm way too late but recently this came to my mind:

"When Mary met Shelley" by Frank N. Stein

Best regards

Ashley B - Sep 29, 2015 at 15:49
"Help I'm trapped in a book" is absolutely hilarious.

I missed that one in the original thread.

Im going to have to find a way of watching this in slo mo to see if one of my entries comes up by fluke :)

Zarbulonian - Sep 29, 2015 at 18:47
I had hoped that the game would use low resolution graphics, upscaled after the fact, but it looks more and more like it will be a high res game with blocky graphics (with agent Reyes (or is it Ray?) being scaled in the native resolution).

Seeing how gorgeous the result is, I realize now that I don't care much about pixels, anyway :-).

Ron Gilbert - Sep 29, 2015 at 18:56
We have a build that does native scaling and it will be an option in the shipped game, but quite frankly, it looks like crap. The scaling in Monkey Island looked like crap, but it was amazing for the time so we were all dazzled with it. But these days, it just looks like crap.  There will be an option in the game, so you can play like that if you want.

Zarbulonian - Sep 29, 2015 at 20:19
That was my guess :-)

I used to be attached to the pixel purity of the graphics, but I'm at peace with it now...

For fun, I've been pondering today how to make pixellated sprites scale nicely, and my conclusion was that you couldn't do it with a single layer per character.

The main problems being smudged faces and manually dithered gradients (like in Reyes' hair) that end up looking like lines because of moiré patterns.

You'd probably need to put the eyes and mouth on a separate layer with a different scaling logic, and, for the moiré, you could have smooth gradients on the art and dither them live after scaling (using a shader, for example). Sampling from higher resolution images may help too...

All of that would however be highly unpractical for the artists (well, Gary right now), more complicated, and for little gain, so I'm all for you not caring about it at all :-)

Bogdan Barbu - Sep 30, 2015 at 04:30
There are some algorithms that can do a decent job (e.g., see http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/people/kopf/pixelart/ ) but it's extremely difficult to come up with a great general-purpose solution because pixel art is more of a limited medium (i.e., a low-resolution canvas) than it is a style, where artists hand-place pixels while taking into account human perception to encode more information than there is in the image. It's not unlike mozaic art; of you wanted a high-rezolution one, you should probably draw it from scratch.

Bogdan Barbu - Sep 30, 2015 at 04:31

Bogdan Barbu - Sep 30, 2015 at 04:33
The artist knew how to redraw the high definition version because they understood the original artist's intent. But he used more information than was available in the image. A great algorithm has to do the same, so it's difficult.

Zarbulonian - Sep 30, 2015 at 07:39
These are algorithms for scaling up, I was thinking ways to make sprites that scale down nicely. Rather than tweaking the source pixels, the artists would have to take the scaling/dithering algorithm into account while drawing the higher resolution images that would be down-sampled.

That's basically an art form to be invented.

Andy - Oct 01, 2015 at 02:21
I for one completely understand this attitude toward character scaling, for locations where the characters are distinctly "further away than usual."

But... I feel like there's a separate issue of alignment, which matters a lot more to me. In the video above, where the character seems to be at full scale — i.e. the room feels intuitively like a "1 : 1" room, and her pixels look basically the same size as the background pixels — she's still not aligned to the background grid. For example when at 0:20 she walks and stands over at the left, a much-narrower-than-a-pixel sliver of the background is visible just in front of her mouth. That kind of thing catches my eye and looks yucky — and that's only the very very mildest example of the kind of slivery yuckiness that's possible.

Isn't there some way that you can lock the bounding box of the character to the background grid so that as long the character-to-background scaling is designated as 1 : 1, pixel-to-pixel scale and alignment will always be maintained? Does the "native scaling" option encompass this, too? I can't see why you wouldn't want it in place for everyone.

Sorry to be a crazy obsessive.

P.S. Thanks for putting my dumb book titles in your cool game!

DZ-Jay - Oct 02, 2015 at 06:33
One man's crap looking graphics, is another one's key to reliving his childhood. ;)

I'm glad you will include both versions, Ron.  Like I've said before, Mark's graphics are absolutely stunning, but they do not spark in me the fires of nostalgia as seeing blocky Maniac Mansion-style graphics do.  :)

     - j.

Charles - Sep 29, 2015 at 21:20
I know I'm a day late to this VERY long list of comments and this probably going to get lost at this point, but I have to ask:

What a about mobile? I see how a mouse could cursor over all of those teeny-tiny few pixels of each book, but watching this video on my phone it seems that amount of accuracy would be impossible on a touch based interface...?

Bogdan Barbu - Sep 30, 2015 at 06:09
If the screen is too tiny (it won't be on a tablets, phablets, or even on many smartphones), the character could read several book titles at once for a given area of the bookshelf, in sequence.

urielz - Sep 29, 2015 at 22:59
As far as I know there are no plans (yet) to release the game on mobile platforms...

Iron Curtain - Sep 30, 2015 at 01:15
Having backed the game on Kickstarter, that is *dead* wrong. There are plans for iOS and Android: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/thimbleweedpark/thimbleweed-park-a-new-classic-point-and-click-adv/description

Psst: look at the stretch goals…

Pablo - Sep 30, 2015 at 02:28
I really hope you have a generic response,
otherwise, the voice actors will literally die.

Ricardo Marichal - Sep 30, 2015 at 04:36
Ffffffffiuu... Ron certainly forgot ban me....
By the way, my book appears at the minute 1:04, "Commodore 666, Programmers Reference Guide" :D

Woodleg Gonzo - Sep 30, 2015 at 07:24
The game looks absolutely amazing

Natalija - Sep 30, 2015 at 07:53
No way! You have got to be kidding me- you really put all those book names!? Wow.. Is there any way ( I know that there isn't) to put this book too : How to become a pirate by Natalija R

Natalija - Sep 30, 2015 at 07:54
Please! You have no idea how happy I would be if you do that!   ;-(

IndianaTheDog - Sep 30, 2015 at 11:22
Pause-skipped through as many as I could and spotted two of my own! Firm favourite of anyone's is 'What to Expect when you're Expectorating". Genius

Matt - Sep 30, 2015 at 12:44
I am loving how this is coming together! The parallax cobweb in the corner is a nice touch. Keep up the great work!

Paul - Sep 30, 2015 at 19:36
I hope someone submitted Tobin's Spirit Guide as a subtle Ghostbusters reference. If they haven't I do so now!

Michael Stum - Oct 01, 2015 at 01:27
I noticed that the moon scrolls differently that the background. It's these details (and the superb work with the light/shadow) that makes the art look so good. So much Pixel "Art" out there gets this wrong, which makes so many "Indie" games not look retro, but plain bad.

You (and all of us) are blessed that you got Mark Ferrari on the team, it really adds a lot of quality.

kon - Oct 01, 2015 at 08:23
Happy translating!

Flowo1974 - Oct 02, 2015 at 02:39
As Ron stated a few posts above, the titles won't be translated :P

Steffen - Oct 01, 2015 at 10:01
Late entry (sorry): Can you standardize the book names with single quotes and naming of authors (if given) always with "by"? This way it would make reading easier: Walk to 'book name' by Author. Naming seems to be mixed up a lot at the moment. Many thanks.

CAPITAN CATARRO - Oct 02, 2015 at 11:09
Hey Ron sorry for asking but.. why in monkey 2 the verbs in scumm is reversed in Thimbleweed?

Ron Gilbert - Oct 02, 2015 at 11:12
Because the game is a year away from shipping and it's not something we care about right now. When we start testing, we'll look at verb placement and how players are using them.

CAPITAN CATARRO - Oct 02, 2015 at 11:19
I'm rubber, you're glue!

Thx for answer! :)

ac - Oct 02, 2015 at 15:05
Bit of an overkill. Might've been preferable to have some of the best titles in the shelf and the other 3000 in some catalog you could view, or maybe have the ones in the shelf randomly switch while keeping few good ones in stock always.

Fredrik Sjöborg - Oct 03, 2015 at 19:29
I spent every summer playing Monkey Island 1 & 2 on my a laptop in our summer house during the 90'ties and I can't believe how good this game looks.

Is the crow is a fate of Atlantis reference?

Geoff Paulsen - Oct 04, 2015 at 05:34
It looks like many of the suggestions were longer than the 34 character maximum.  I hope a human reads the "too long" entries before auto-culling.  It should be possible to fix, and still maintain much of the humor on many of these.

Soong - Oct 05, 2015 at 02:43
Wow!  This looks absolutely stunning.  When I saw this library, I went right back to that Monkey Island 2 or Fate of Atlantis feeling.  I understand it's not final art, but if it stayed the way it is right now, I would be completely happy.

I think your approach of doing a "rough" pass first and then doing polishing works out nicely, especially if you should run into any problems along the way.  It looks like there's plenty of polishing you could skip if necessary.

ost - Oct 05, 2015 at 12:41
I've found my '101 transubstantiation recipes for vegans' on 0:38!
Now I can swag till the end of times.

Bt519 - Oct 08, 2015 at 11:49
I love the way the Parallax Scrolling works in this engine.  Everything looks great on this; I'm very excited for this game!