Thimbleweed Park Podcast #19

by Ron Gilbert
Aug 28, 2015

In a podcast that would be unthinkable 25 years ago, we answer reader questions from the Internet and David explains why if your not using a VAX 750 and Emacs to make games, you're doing it all wrong.

You can also subscribe to the Thimbleweed Park Podcast RSS feed if that's 'your thing'.

- Ron

vegetaman - Aug 28, 2015 at 20:02
This reminds me that my coworker has a sign in his office that says "all the worlds a VAX".

Pesky pointers.

Brian Ruff - Aug 28, 2015 at 20:11
I personally really enjoyed this. I would love to hear you guys answer questions like this again. I especially enjoy the old Lucas Ranch stories. Thank you

Peter Campbell - Aug 28, 2015 at 20:39
Yes, this was fun to listen to, can't wait for Round 2!

Peter - Aug 29, 2015 at 06:05
Cool Podcast!

Ben Henson - Aug 28, 2015 at 21:00
Good stuff! More please.

Mattias Cedervall - Aug 28, 2015 at 21:10
I think it was nice to hear you answer questions.

urielz - Aug 28, 2015 at 21:17
Great stuff! Would love to hear more.

Dan - Aug 28, 2015 at 21:43
Wow. Thank you for your interesting and pleasing replies!

Michael Hansen - Aug 28, 2015 at 21:43
How about a MicroVAX 3100/10 with the 12 MB RAM upgrade and SCSI expansion chassis?  Great for VMS 7.3!

Soong - Aug 31, 2015 at 01:10
It's more about Emacs, The One True Editor™.

Dr.J. - Aug 29, 2015 at 00:28
I'm so happy THX

Sushi - Aug 29, 2015 at 02:31
The first part felt a bit rushed to get to the Q&A.  I really enjoyed the standup meeting podcasts in the design and preproduction phases. But since that is past, Q&A is a great addition when there isn't a lot to report on during production other than "same as last week; more of the same next week".
Keep it up! We'll try to keep thinking up interesting questions.

tomimt - Aug 29, 2015 at 04:16
This was an enjoyable little podcast. I hope there will be more of this kind of Q&A things, though not necessarily every week.

Matrus - Aug 29, 2015 at 04:52
Just wanted to tell you that the Q&A section was great.

Bogdan Barbu - Aug 29, 2015 at 04:59
My only complaint is that, having read State Of The Game #2, I realize this probably took up valuable development time.

Mister T - Aug 29, 2015 at 06:05
I really enjoyed it. I prefer questions concerning the actual game and the production and philosophies behind it more than historical questions (although there isn't really a sharp line when it comes to talking about experiences in the past which affect the current game), as they have more making-of character. And there is little "making-of" games found so far, especially the kind which deals with the actual craft of designing and producing the game rather than some promotinal feature.

I kind of look forward to the problems, which somehow managed to slip under the radar and you might run in during production, and the creative decisions which arise from that. Or maybe just to see that the planning was so watertight, that this won't happen (which I don't think is possible for a project more elaborate than cooking a pot of tea, and even with that I failed today).

Herbert - Aug 29, 2015 at 06:12
I’m a bit sad to hear that the people will nod when talking. I even hated that in the old games with the “realistic” proportions. I can’t imagine it would even fit the bobble heads at all.
Since it is your game, you have every right to decide for yourself. Just please have a look at it before release whether it really makes sense or just looks ridiculous. I fully trust you in this.
Thanks, guys, for making this game.

Dan - Aug 29, 2015 at 14:11
I had asked that, because I always loved the nodding. Perhaps a few people use to call it ridiculous but I rather consider it for being lively and funny. So I totally agree with Gary's point of view.

Besides I think it's impossible to let the motion of the head look significantly more realistic, due to the low resolution. But maybe the bigger size/resolution of the heads will soften the motion a little.

Dan - Aug 30, 2015 at 03:53
I mean "consider TO be", sorry.

mr. T - Aug 29, 2015 at 07:57
Great addition to the podcast. Interesting questions and it's also nice to get several perspectives on some topics.

Michael Hoffmann - Aug 29, 2015 at 08:33
Thanks a lot for answering my question! This was a very interesting and fun podcast episode. Please do that again soon!

I have to say in my 30 years of gaming I have never looked forward to a game remotely as much a I do with Thimbleweed Park, but hey, no pressure here! :-)

Are you still planning on letting users update their Kickstarter pledges? I would shell out another couple of bucks within an instant!

Mattias Cedervall - Aug 29, 2015 at 10:34
You know they would never hassle the Hoff! :-)

Paulup - Aug 29, 2015 at 09:08
This was awesome! Thanks for answering my question...
I think you should definitely keep doing the Q&A section, as long as there are enough interesting, fresh questions each week...

I do also really like the stand-up meeting parts too though - I don't think you need to rush through those parts to get to the questions, as I like hearing the little details in meeting part, like, "I did a dialog tree for a contest in the game" and "I worked on making the heads move and finalized the rendering look,", and "I added music to the opening, "etc... those bits really help to keep us involved in the development, IMO.

KJL3000 - Aug 29, 2015 at 12:09
Can't wait for the Amiga port of Thimbleweed!

hippy dave - Sep 11, 2015 at 07:53
on 97 double-density floppies?

Milo Casagrande - Aug 29, 2015 at 12:55
Yes  please, do more "Community Q&A" sessions, really enjoyed it! (and we get to know you better!)

Jaap - Aug 29, 2015 at 14:25
Thanks for answering! It was really great to hear your interesting (and reassuring) replies and of course your pronunciation of my (Dutch) name, which I'll (kinda) transliterate for you here (into English):


(this should sound about 87% ok :) )

As to the whole Q&A: It's really enjoyable and a nice way to get some new perspectives on things.

Jaap - Sep 01, 2015 at 01:24
Hehe, Suske & Wiske FTW! Goed spul, die nieuwe vind ik alleen niet zo. Tot +- nr. 230 ofzo zijn ze old skool en meestal goed.

Augusto - Aug 29, 2015 at 19:38
Great podcast!!!

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Aug 30, 2015 at 09:04
Good Idea!
I have a question about a man, involved (directly or indirectly) in: Maniac Mansion, Zak McKracken, Loom, Monkey Island 1, 2, 3,  Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis... I can say, he's a milestone in programming classic adventure games, like the four of you (Ron, Gary, David, Mark). But he is absent in Thimbleweed Park project.

I wonder if anyone has figured out who I'm talking about?
Anyway... on Friday's post I'll write my precise question!

Have a nice weekend!

Orcan Ogetbil - Aug 30, 2015 at 17:53
I think Tim has his own company now and he has his own obligations. That said, I cannot imagine him having zero input during the Thimbleweed preproduction period. Maybe we can hear more about the backstory some day.

Helge Frisebnette - Aug 31, 2015 at 09:11

Franklin - Aug 31, 2015 at 10:24
Tim was not involved in Loom, Zak, Maniac Mansion or any of Indy games. Why is it that everyone gives Tim credit for stuff he didn't do. Thimbleweed Park will be a far better game without his involvement. Tim is a master of self promotion. Ron is a master at adventure game design.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Aug 31, 2015 at 11:48
Tim Schafer did not partecipate to games prior to Monkey Island.
The person in question is another one.
You can see his name in the opening credits of Maniac Mansion, Zak McKracken, and the other Lucas games I mentioned before.

Derrick Reisdorf - Aug 31, 2015 at 16:56
Noah Falstein?  If that's who you're talking about, I'm sure he's busy at Google making the big bucks.

Andreas - Aug 30, 2015 at 09:29
Really enjoyed the part about the old development environment! When I was young and never heard about anything else but MS DOS I always wondered how the professional guys ever got anything developed with that. Short answer: they didn't.

Bogdan Barbu - Aug 30, 2015 at 16:29
It's so short it's wrong. :)

Andreas - Aug 30, 2015 at 18:17
Well, let's allow a bit of shallow oversimplification, shall we? ;-)

However, even Microsoft itself used a surprisingly large amount of Unix tools for the development of their software. Just have a look at the build scripts and tools in the Word source code (, folder Opus/tools/dos

Mike McP - Aug 30, 2015 at 20:20
Thanks, guys...enjoyable, as always!

Helge Frisenette - Aug 31, 2015 at 09:20
Schafer was not involved in some of the games he mentioned. Frankly I have no clue who he is referring too.

Tim is a terrific comic writer and collaborator, but frankly I dont think much of the games where he was the lead.

His adventures are not bad per se, but not at all up to the standard of the other Lucasfilm games. I don't like any of the Double fine games other than the Cave.

Franklin - Aug 31, 2015 at 10:27
Aric Wilmunder.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Aug 31, 2015 at 11:51

Helge Frisenette - Aug 31, 2015 at 13:18
Might as well have been Chip Morningstar then or Farmer or Falstein etc.

Helge Frisenette - Aug 31, 2015 at 09:24
Look further up for the question to my answer. :-) God, this site needs an edit option.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Aug 31, 2015 at 11:53
Eheh yes... but never mind, we'll keep more attention pefore bressing the "Add comment" button!

Mattias Cedervall - Aug 31, 2015 at 18:05
I must add that "p" is pretty far from "b" on the keyboard...

Arto - Aug 31, 2015 at 16:27
Edit option would be good.

Which reminds me of 1993 or 1994, when I edited Monkey Island 2 Amiga version partly Finnish (no one sue me, it was only for me). That was easy :)

Bogdan Barbu - Aug 31, 2015 at 17:24
The word "edit" reminds you of something you edited over 20 years ago?

Bill Jackson III - Aug 31, 2015 at 22:10
I love the new segment, especially how it led to the discussion of game development history. Fascinating stuff! I could listen to (or read about) that all day long!

Tyler - Sep 01, 2015 at 01:10
This podwas was just great. You asked for feedback if we'd like to hear more like it, and I don't know about other people, but I sure would. I have to admit I was skeptical when you guys decided to bring console/xbox/microsoft into the fold, but it seems like you know what you're doing. Hope all goes well. Will purchase day 1 and continue listening to these podcasts weekly.