Thimbleweed Park @ PAXAus

by Ron Gilbert
Nov 06, 2016

We had a great time at the Thimbleweed Park community event in Melbourne.  We didn't have a booth (apologies to those of you who wondered around the floor looking for us), but opted instead for a open event that anyone could come to and enjoy a nice drink.  We didn't have the budget to ship our whole booth the Australia, or pay for booth space.

Instead, we took over a corner in a bar close to the convention center and set up a station for anyone to play.

It's hard to say how many people came, there was another PAX event there, and it was still open to the public, but a lot of people came by to say hi and we had some great conversation about adventure games, pixels, Thimbleweed Park, Maniac Mansion, and Monkey Island.

Great fun all around!

We're planning on a trip to Europe in January.  I don't know where we'll stop, budget is pretty limited, but we'll do a few community events.

- Ron

Farooq - Nov 06, 2016 at 01:00
So far so good, right?

RC - Nov 06, 2016 at 01:08
Thanks Ron, I would have liked to be there, but even seeing all your efforts from afar is very much appreciated!

Steve Williams - Nov 06, 2016 at 01:25
It was fantastic to play the demo. The entire team has done a great job. Many thanks for bringing the game to us down under.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Nov 06, 2016 at 01:42
A corner in a bar, sounds very 'piratesque', Eheheh!
Glad to see that everyone enjoyed the event!

The odds to meet you or any other TWP team member are increasing in January for me, that's a good news to start this Sunday morning. Have a nice day.

Vragec - Nov 06, 2016 at 02:27
Come to croatia!!☺️☺️
There is a gaming convention 8-13 november in Zagreb, infogamer

manoflowmoralfiber - Nov 06, 2016 at 03:08
Pleeeaaase stop by in Germany. I'll buy a round of Grog or two!

Ralf - Nov 06, 2016 at 03:08
And who is the one in the "nerd"-shirt? (And where do I get one of these?)

Ralf - looking forward to play the game!

Tim - Nov 06, 2016 at 16:45
Hi Ralf, I got the T-Shirt from when I was back in Germany for a holiday last year.

Dieter - Nov 07, 2016 at 04:54
A german shop is selling an alternative:

MacFrog - Nov 06, 2016 at 03:29
I was wondering: Does Willie's pixel count include the bottle, i.e. is it an integral body part?

Andy - Nov 06, 2016 at 04:23
It was great to meet you Ron! I didn't say much but I had a good time and the demo was interesting.

Can't wait for the game to come out 😃

Damian - Nov 06, 2016 at 06:44
Which countries? Cities?
I hope you can come to Madrid, Spain.
You can crash at my place any time you want (as long as you're not allergic to cats XXXXXD )

Isaac - Nov 11, 2016 at 01:42
+Madrid, Spain.

Ron, my house is yours too :-p  I'll can show you my Monkey Island collection in perfect state :-D

Alex - Nov 06, 2016 at 07:17

Guga - Nov 07, 2016 at 02:54
I second that, as a fellow Röstigrabener :D

The problem is, Zurich is one of the most expensive cities in the world :P it can be heavy on the budget.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Nov 07, 2016 at 04:57
I have found only the Ticino Games Week, but it's in April. Is there an event in January, da quelle parti lì?

Gffp - Nov 07, 2016 at 05:40 ?

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Nov 07, 2016 at 05:52
"January 26 to 29, 2017, we hope to see you there."

Sounds very, very good!!

Derrick Reisdorf - Nov 06, 2016 at 07:41
Man.  Look at that case of Thimbleweed swag.  Those trading cards would be cool to have!
That made me think...What is the "feelie" that's being included with the boxed edition of the game?  Even though the cards would be cool to have, it wouldn't seem like one of the typical feelies you would find in a LucasArts game.  Whatever it is needs to be a real-world item seemingly lifted out of the Thimbleweed universe.  And, it should also be very representative of the late 80s.  At first, I thought of a circus poster with Ransome (I think he has a circus background, yes?), but I don't think you can make a circus poster seem like it's from the 80s, can you?

I'm sure it'll be good whatever it is.

Derrick Reisdorf - Nov 06, 2016 at 07:56
Then, I was thinking it should have aomething to do with ALL the man characters in the game.
Naturally, I first thought "newspaper" because that's so easy or traditional.  But, a newspaper for the feelie seems a tad boring.
I always thought a 5 1/4" floppy of Thimbleweed park would be cool.  Maybe with the current sophisticated graphics it should actually be on a 3.5" floppy.  Of course the disk wouldn't work, but it would be kind of funny.  I don't know though, a floppy disk seems a little boring, too.  I mean, there wouldn't be much to read or investigate.  I think it would have to be some kind of reading material.  Then, I thought some travel brochures would be PERFECT.  A bit more fun that just a newspaper.  If Thimbleweed at one time was likened to Hollywood, maybe one of the pamphlets could be a "Map to the Stars".  I wonder if Ron has something fun and clever in mind already.

Derrick Reisdorf - Nov 06, 2016 at 08:00
Stupid uneditable typos.

and "MAIN characters"- not "man characters".  I swear I am not sexist.

Jammet - Nov 06, 2016 at 10:52
A rubber 3.5" disk with a pulley in the middle.

Chris T. - Nov 06, 2016 at 10:50
Nice! Hope you guys can make it to Colorado someday.  There are quite a few indie studios out here.  Is there any way for the huddled masses (that can't afford the flight to Aus.) to get hold of one of those sweet mouse pads??

Jammet - Nov 06, 2016 at 10:51
Just what must a man do, to get some of this delicious swag, if he can't travel much? :D

Mattias Cedervall - Nov 06, 2016 at 10:52
I too hope that we will get to buy the character cards with Willie and the others!

Randy Hofbauer - Nov 06, 2016 at 12:32
I figure we'll start seeing some serious merch on -- it already has a Pinny Arcade pin and a shirt, I believe.

Mattias Cedervall - Nov 06, 2016 at 19:18
That sounds promising.

Brian Small - Nov 06, 2016 at 15:49
That sounds like a great solution for any and all conferences.  Who wouldn't rather come chat with developers and play a demo in a pub around the corner.  I suppose a challenge with that approach is getting the word out to people, but that didn't seem to be a problem for you  I looked up the Australian beers & ciders advertised on the wall, and was pretty impressed with the website for that ginger beer.   I'm thirsty now.

Derrick Reisdorf - Nov 06, 2016 at 18:01
Ginger beer is a non-alcoholic beverage.  Weird because I just had some Jamaican-style ginger beer this past week.  Is what you're talking about some kind of ginger-infused beer?

Nina - Nov 06, 2016 at 15:57
So inventive! I like it!

Marcin N. - Nov 06, 2016 at 16:33
Ohh I want such a mouse pad, and I want it NOW!
Please come to Poland, we have a lot of retrogaming fans here.
Check out Pixel Heaven Festival

Dieter - Nov 06, 2016 at 17:57

Ben Slinger - Nov 06, 2016 at 17:26
It was great to meet you and Jenn at this event, Ron! You were both incredibly welcoming and engaging, I had a great time. (And I made it into one of the photos! Well, the back of me 😀)

Wish I'd stuck around to try to get one of those mouse pads though!

Dieter - Nov 06, 2016 at 17:57

Zombocast - Nov 06, 2016 at 21:17
I converted that guys T-shirt from Binary to Text. Well played internet stranger, well played.
01101110 = N
01100101 = E
01110010 =  R
01100100 = D

Tobias R. - Nov 07, 2016 at 01:45
Actually, it is “nerd”, not “NERD”.

Stef - Nov 07, 2016 at 04:02
Exactly, I could have easily decoded just by reading it if it was uppercase, but i can never remember the code for the lowercase 'a'... ok i'm going to check it now.

Just a reminder for everybody, when you want to be cool and write in binary, use UPPERCASE letters.

Dieter - Nov 07, 2016 at 04:48
Well, the correct "decoding" depends on the character encoding / character map and the endianess (little endian, big endian, middle endian, ...). So these numbers on the shirt could mean anything.

Stef - Nov 09, 2016 at 09:04
Just to be extremely pedantic and annoying. Actually codes between 0-127 are the same in all codepages and in utf8 as well. Also, the point is there is no "correct" decoding, it just happens that it can be "translated" to an existing word by interpreting it as the binary form of an ascii string, and given the context it's pretty clear that THAT was the intended meaning of that matrix of bits, in the intentions of both the designer of the tshirt and the guy wearing it.

MrKii - Nov 11, 2016 at 16:03
Just to be even more pedantic and annoying, Dieter is right. What the designer meant is irrelevant, encoding must always be specified.
EBCDIC encodings do not have codes compatible with ASCII. Nor extraterrestial culture encodings. Nor other-dimension encodings. ;)

MrKii - Nov 11, 2016 at 16:09
On the bright side, as no encodings are specified, the message means everything you want to mean. Like Herman Toothrot's MI2 tree on the forest.

Stef - Nov 14, 2016 at 10:16
Sure, but by this logic you can't even be sure that tomorrow the sun will rise. Just because today it did, it doesn't mean it will do it again tomorrow. If you are willing to ignore any clue you are given, I don't really understand what you should you care about adventure games in the first place.

MrKii - Nov 11, 2016 at 15:51
flip the bit 5 to switch between lowercase and uppercase. Or in other words, difference between both is adding/substracting 32

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Nov 06, 2016 at 23:34
I bet my old C64 Maniac Mansion cracked by Eagle Software Incorporated copy, that the next TWP event in January will be in the UK...

Guga - Nov 07, 2016 at 03:02
UK is unreachable. Way too north-west to be fair.

Zurich is the midpoint of Europe, and I'm saying that TOTALLY unselfish, it's for everyone's interest that they choose Zurich as one of their tour stops.


Gffp - Nov 07, 2016 at 04:39
Yes Guga, I thought the same thing. Switzerland is between France, Italy, Austria and Germany (the south of it, since there was an event in the north in Koln if I'm not wrong), not so far away from the eastern republics like Czech republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Swiss people speak many languages (Italian, German, French and English)... So it would be the most "open" choice for many people all around. It could be Geneve, Bern, Lugano or Zurich, it doesn't make a great difference.
But if I had to follow my heart, come to Italy or Spain! :-p

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Nov 07, 2016 at 05:01
Gffp, aren't you from Naples?
So why Spain?

Gffp - Nov 07, 2016 at 05:37
Yes, but the language is similar, the weather too, people are nice and I've never been there! So... I would get two pigeons (brothers) with one fava bean! Ahahah

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Nov 07, 2016 at 05:54
Sounds like a very good plan :-D

Guga - Nov 07, 2016 at 06:16
I tend to avoid plans that involve fava beans since I have an enzyme deficiency that make fava beans kill me, even if I'm no pigeon. Not to mention I had a supervisor from Tuscany and since then I associate the word "fava" with something else.

Anyway, Switzerland would be great, but I couldn't move (small baby at home, no time for trips) so even if it were Luzern I doubt I could make it. So let's hope for Zurich :P

Nor Treblig - Nov 07, 2016 at 15:16
Isn't Switzerland quite expensive?
I think one of the countries around it would be better, at least they use the same currency like most of EU.

And in case you want to come by car: Be careful with your speed, the don't *beep* around!

Gffp - Nov 07, 2016 at 17:46
More expensive than Euro? No way. With this damn currency we pay everything doubled in Italy (while salaries are still the same) and look at that poor Greece sister (Euro was the worst choice for southern countries, hope will be dismantled soon).
Anyway I was in Switzerland years ago and a pigeon (ahah) pooped on my shoulders and I bought a  beautiful new t-shirt with a few francs.

Arto - Nov 08, 2016 at 16:19
I have found that prices in Switzerland are about the same as in Finland. Then again, Finland is an expensive country... All countries I have visited around Switzerland has been less expensive.

Guga - Nov 09, 2016 at 08:46
Trust me, you have NO IDEA how expensive Switzerland is.

I pay more than 3000 euros per month just for rent.

A pizza margherita costs 14 euros AT LEAST.

Gffp - Nov 09, 2016 at 09:12
Ok ok I surrender, you Arto and Guga are probably right, and the fact about pizza convinced me above all eheh.
Guga, do you live in a villa with a private spa and swimming pool?

Guga - Nov 10, 2016 at 01:20
Although I do live in a quite big apartment (five rooms, 150 squared meters), I pay less than the average. I saw apartments of the same size at more than 4000 euros per month. And I saw a villa with private swimming pool in Ticino, which is cheaper than Zurich, and it cost 7000 euros per month :P

In fact, every time I go back to Italy for vacation, I feel rich as f**k. Once you get used to live in the most expensive city in the world, everywhere else is cheap! Going to Italy and paying a third of the price for a pizza... and a REAL pizza, not the sad imitation they do here, it's priceless.

Or, well, by definition it's priced, but you know what I mean

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Nov 09, 2016 at 10:00
Sti ca...
the average price for a pizza margherita is 4 euros. Here. I hope for 14 euros it is a 12-inch pizza and 1 inch thick , at least!

Guga - Nov 10, 2016 at 01:23
It must be said that the average salary is high.

In fact, I once made the mistake to tell my parents how much I earn. They were convinced I was rich, like, Serie A low-tier football player rich.

Then they came here to visit us, went to a grocery store, saw that peppers cost 7 euros per kilogram instead of 1 like in Cagliari, and they were convinced I was poor.

It was fun.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Nov 08, 2016 at 03:39
If you came in Northern Italy, by car, be careful of roundabouts... they are frequently, there is even one in less than 1 km, on national routes!

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Nov 08, 2016 at 03:47

Ema - Nov 09, 2016 at 16:15

Carlo Valenti - Nov 12, 2016 at 07:14

Arto - Nov 12, 2016 at 13:37
Oh yeah, those mini roundabouts... If you can calculate the quantum three-body masses in head, you ace the mini roundabouts.

Vlado - Nov 16, 2016 at 08:49
Yes, Zurich sound good, one more supporter ! Greetings from Basel

Deckard - Nov 07, 2016 at 03:12
Come to Maribor, Slovenia!  :)

Patrik Rak - Nov 07, 2016 at 04:29
Come to Prague. Lovely city in the center of Europe, not to mention it has some of the best yet cheapest beer in the world. :)

Nacho Fernandez - Nov 07, 2016 at 06:24
I encourage you to couch-surf Spain for sure!!! Then spend the budget on really nice food and drink(s). Wink wink nudge nudge.

Big Red Button - Nov 07, 2016 at 14:32
Is Chuck a shrub of thimble weed?

Arto - Nov 07, 2016 at 15:23
The Grand Tour (Amazon's new show with Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond) just visited north of Finland. They seemed to like it. Maybe Thimbleweed Park team should visit too :)

d ǝsɹǝʌuᴉ - Nov 07, 2016 at 18:41
Stay away from MUC.

Ema - Nov 09, 2016 at 13:59
Yeah, come to Europe.


Better for you, from now on.... :-(

riot - Nov 10, 2016 at 15:06
If you come to Berlin, i'd suggest doing the things you do at the nice crashed space station c-base - i'd vouch for you, there and would also help organize this on location.
It is not only a spacestation, it also houses the world's oldest hackerspace and consequently a lot of pixel-lovin' nerds ;D

Huge <3, riot

linkstrop - Nov 11, 2016 at 10:10
Come to germany, we have good burgers.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Nov 11, 2016 at 10:15
I'm missing Friday Questions... do you?

Steffen - Nov 11, 2016 at 15:07
I need a blog update to safely survive the time until game release... please Ron!

Gffp - Nov 11, 2016 at 16:26
Talkin' about pigeon brothers before, I searched the internet for them and I found that... they do actually exist! I wonder if they come around dressed in pigeon's suits... (oh my head...:-P)

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Nov 11, 2016 at 17:17

Gamer1337 - Nov 12, 2016 at 18:43
Come to Zurich, then I'll visit you.
I grew up with your adventure games, should be fun to meet.

Guga - Nov 14, 2016 at 00:36
Yay! Another Zürcher! I feel less alone now!

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Nov 13, 2016 at 02:29
"Game devs should be stick to games and not talk politics"
"Parental experts should be stick to education and not talk politics"
"Zak Phoenix McKracken should not spam the TWP Dev Blog"

Seriously, some people thinks that the world is only theirs?!

Gffp - Nov 13, 2016 at 05:59
Yeah, game developers like Gilbert should not talk politics, they should go into politics! Ron for president (and not literally anyone else...)

I have to say that, if it's true that every media content is capable of express a political significance (political in a wide meaning, concerning the aspects of our social life of communities), some games from Gilbert have much more awareness of this role, compared to other titles. That's one of the things that kept me interested in them over the years, as they mantain a significance in my adult age, as well as I ever appreciated strictly political opinions from this blog.

Ema - Nov 13, 2016 at 06:18
I always say I don't like to talk politics. Because people simply doesn't know how to do that. People usually, or:

1) discuss politics as if they were discussing football support
2) just say a lot of populist commonplaces without knowing anything of what they're saying
3) just say a lot of populist and racist things without having any cultural substrate to understand they are saying a lot of nonsense. And they think that people who doesn't think the same is people who doesn't have the guts to say things as they really are.

maybe points 2 and 3 could sound similar... :-)

Conversely, the world could be better if people were instructed better to politics and to history, and on how to discuss and face the problems of the society.

Gffp - Nov 13, 2016 at 06:51
Are you saying that we're a bunch of illiterate talkers? How you dare you! Prepare to fight! ahahahaah

I agree with you, if you mean that it is not good to take a point of view for granted, without thinking about it, without catching the opportunity of really listen to others. If I think of the future, you're right, it would be better if everyone is educated about history, social sciences and politics (and also english language, not like me! ahahah).
But since we have to consider the moment in which we live, and the persons that we have in front of us, talking without prejudice is the best thing we could do (IMHO), if we want to talk.

Ema - Nov 13, 2016 at 09:14
I mean that too many people, and obviusly I'm not referring to you, my illiterate bunch of friends ;-) , makes a lot of confusion between the freedom of speech and the possibility of saying stupid, wrong and offensive things.

There was one time when people who had cruel, racist or fascist thoughts, used to hide them. To feel guilty about them.
And used to milden them, to make their position acceptable to other people. And used to think that expressing those thoughts in a gross way, could have lead people to dispprove.

Now we're in the "I can tell whatever I want" era. No matter if what I say is offensive, cruel, stupid, or even simply wrong.
People doesn't understand that if they have the right to talk, they should also have the duty to think about others before saying bullshit.
And that if they have the right to talk, I should have the right not to hear words that are offensive to me.

And if those people could be more educated to the respect of others, and if that people studied history, law, social sciences they would think twice before opening their mouth.

But nowadays, no matter what you say. It matters how much loud you say it.

Chi vusa pussee, la vaca l'è sua.

(The one who claims it louder, is the one who gets the cow).

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Nov 13, 2016 at 14:57
Well, I think you got the point.
'Respect' is the key, and it is not taught in our schools anymore.
The other key is 'awareness', about people surrounding us.
A clever teacher, speaking about bullism in a non-italian school, 5 months ago said the following words:
"The tongue has no bones, but is strong enough to break a heart. So be careful with your words."

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Nov 13, 2016 at 08:17
When ths Skolarian on Mars talked to me, Zak McKracken, he said that with the knowledge we could save the world.
Half population in USA didn't play Zak McKracken, I suppose.

Nor Treblig - Nov 13, 2016 at 10:12
You are seeing it much too negative. Only 18% of population in USA didn't play Zak McKracken.
That's about a quarter of those allowed to vote (note that is seems like in many states people convicted of felonies aren't allowed to vote, wtf!?).

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Nov 13, 2016 at 15:00
Eheh, I fear to ask you, but... that percentage where did it came up from?!

Nor Treblig - Nov 13, 2016 at 16:04
Total population (~325M) and votes for Trump/Hillary (~60M) are easy to look up.
They didn't specify a source for eligible and registered voters so I'm not sure how accurate they are.

On the Wikipedia article is says 251M Voting Age Population while the original article says 219 eligible voters.
The difference is probably because of: "residents without citizenship, and, in most states, people convicted of felonies".

Gv - Nov 13, 2016 at 11:20
We're sick in Argentina of politics and talking about politics. There's a lot of division here. By the way I voted the right candidate (not the left candidate ;)

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Nov 13, 2016 at 15:04
Left, right, center... Monkey Island tought us a simpler thing:
"When there's only one candidate, there's only one choice!" :-D

Gv - Nov 13, 2016 at 15:11
I used to work on a Sindicate where that proverb would fit perfectly. They only had one candidate every election.

Ema - Nov 13, 2016 at 06:08
I couldn't find your quotes.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Nov 13, 2016 at 08:12
1) tweet from Ron Gilbert:
2) tweet from Mrs. Annie Fox:
3) User comments on a recent post on Thimbleweed Park page (comment has been deleted by now, can't find anymore)

Ema - Nov 13, 2016 at 09:15
Thank you :-)

Guga - Nov 14, 2016 at 00:38
Not to mention that I like your comments :P you usally write things I would write, so I just wait and let you spam

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Nov 14, 2016 at 05:47
Thanks everybody.

Ninja - Nov 15, 2016 at 12:39
Ah, please come to Mexico :) you will hace a really good time, the food is great

Cole Trickle - Nov 15, 2016 at 17:07
When it's your goal to get 100 commentaries before you publish the next blog entry, then be my guest! Here it is!

Carlo Valenti - Nov 15, 2016 at 18:02
Keep your stinky blog posts for yourself, ThimbleTeam. See who cares.

Carlo Valenti - Nov 15, 2016 at 18:05
Blog here anything, post a recipe, draw in ascii art, write random characters.... But we neeeeeeed a blog post!

Ron Gilbert - Nov 15, 2016 at 18:45
Tomorrow. I just got back from Australia. I'm not on this tone zone yet.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Nov 16, 2016 at 02:58
Try to fly 19+ hours through the Pacific Ocean without any stop, and then if you are able to walk on your legs or swing your fingers, call me, Carlo! :-)

Carlo Valenti - Nov 16, 2016 at 15:23
But I'd be able to walk on my fingers, dear; or eat dark chocolate ;)

Astro - Nov 18, 2016 at 02:35
If you guys don't mind, I would be glad to invite you to stay at my place. It is near to Frankfurt (Main), Germany. I bet, you will find a suitable location for the presentation there (and an international airport).

keppie - Nov 18, 2016 at 06:14
Jihaa, Europe coming up ? Sweet ! Crossing finger's it'll be Brussels, although i also highly recommend against it :-) Would love to chat though