Thimbleweed Park Podcast #26

by Ron Gilbert
Oct 17, 2015

In this episode we spend way too much time talking about our dogs.

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

- Ron

Natalija - Oct 17, 2015 at 14:09
Ron, did you buy new microphone?

Big Red Button - Oct 17, 2015 at 14:25
The RSS feed is not updated, yet.

Mattias Cedervall - Oct 17, 2015 at 15:30
Ron, I am glad your mother is okay!

Jaap - Oct 17, 2015 at 16:29
Just started wondering if anyone's dog ever ate somebody's punch cards back in the day.

Or maybe fixed a bug by biting into a punch card.

Or not.

Grafekovic - Oct 17, 2015 at 16:58
Since dogs always ate the most important documents in the history of mankind (e.g homework, game manuals...), thus interfering humans progress, it is very unlikely that they accidently fixed a bug.

Darkstorm - Oct 17, 2015 at 18:19
By "close-up" do you mean the kind where you'd occasionally see just a characters face when talking to them, like in SOMI and LOOM?

Ron Gilbert - Oct 17, 2015 at 18:48

Darkstorm - Oct 17, 2015 at 19:06

Darkstorm - Oct 17, 2015 at 19:08
(For where Gary's talking about cluse-up screens in his part of the podcast)

Ron Gilbert - Oct 17, 2015 at 20:11
Ah. He was referring to close-ups on stuff like using a phone, looking at a newspapers, etc. There are not character close-ups in the game.

Darkstorm - Oct 17, 2015 at 20:24
I see.  Thanks, I should have twigged that.

Ema - Oct 18, 2015 at 03:50
Dear Ron,

I noticed that you progressively abandoned characters close-ups. Why did you make this decision? It's not that I don't agree, I just wondered why. I noticed, as a kid, that the first scenes in MI are full of face close-ups, they become more and more rare during the game, just to disappear completely by the end of part one. And there are no such close-ups in MI2. Was it a decision made during MI development? And why? Hope you won't find this off-topic.

...well, to return somehow in-topic, since you talk about dogs, I could ask about the dog face close-up which were cut from the Scumm Bar room :-)

I'm sorry, maybe I posted the same question on this blog somewhere, but I can no longer find it.... Sorry.

Phlegm Master - Oct 18, 2015 at 04:47

Estranged2 - Oct 19, 2015 at 05:32
These were more like gimmicks at the time. "Let's do the highest detail, highest resolution art that we can, even though we can't do much with it".

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Oct 18, 2015 at 03:39
Good Sunday!
Oh David, I missed you too!
I'm sure that the savegame system will work 100%.
Every week you makes big steps forward in every areas... great!
Oh... and be sure to listen to the podcast beyond the final jingle, eheheh!

Mario F. - Oct 18, 2015 at 10:20
everytime i hear a Podcast it brings me a tear in the eye, to know, the heros of p'n'c are together for making this game we waited years for.

T.M. - Oct 18, 2015 at 14:23
”Ransom… is creepy, obnoxious and a dick”, that could be the advertising slogan of this game.

But on the more serious note, I’m hoping to hear more about Steve Kirk’s work. Is there any chance to get him also to write a blog post? I’ve been fan of the game composers since the days of C64, many of those games are unforgettable because of the work of geniuses like Hubbard, Daglish, Hülsbeck, Tel, Gray, Norman, Galway and many others.

Dan - Oct 18, 2015 at 15:46
We must not forget Michael Land.

Dan - Oct 18, 2015 at 15:56
I would be very interested in Steve Kirk's work, too. I hope, it will be possible to deliver insight into his work, without spoiling too much of the soundtrack.

Carlo Valenti - Oct 18, 2015 at 16:03
One question for Ron Gilbert: do you manage to make the savegame process solely a part of the game engine, fully independent by the game itself, or there is actually some dependency from the specific game? I mean: if you were to develop another game based on the same game engine/architecture, will it work just fine as it is, or is it going to need some game-specific adaptation? Thank you

Mario F. - Oct 18, 2015 at 17:58
@DAVID: BTW, is Annie Larris, Melissa China & Leslie Bennett also copyright protected? i think names can not be copyright protected. So, after TP, what could keep you from doing "Annie, Melissa & Leslie seeking for taken Zakary" ;-) Mindbenders strike back.

Big Red Button - Oct 19, 2015 at 02:13
I've read that the story of Zak McKracken takes place in 1997. So that would be ten years later.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Oct 19, 2015 at 04:02
Hello! Zak McKracken And The Alien Mindbenders™ is my favourite game ever...
For aught I know, all the characters names are real people.
Melissa China was the woman of one of the programmers (don't know who :-) )
Leslie Bennett was Leslie Edwards, girlfriend of Matthew Alan Kane (designer / tester / writer / composer of the game)
Annie Larris was the girlfriend of David Fox (now she currently his wife, for real).
...and Zak McKracken was a name choosen randomly on a public phone catalog, it's a real person name. (Well, to complete the story, Zak McKracken *is* David Fox).

Since I am writing in the Author's blog, I could by proved wrong by themselves. I have collected those information during my recent 15 years...


Big Red Button - Oct 19, 2015 at 08:24
Such a cool name just chosen randomly?

Could this be the reason, why LucasArts/Disney has tolerated the unofficial fan made sequel? I mean, does Disney really have the absolute rights for the title, even though anyone could carry this name?

Mario F. - Oct 19, 2015 at 09:25
take a close look at this link:

This Term is registered in Germany:
"ZAK McKRACKEN AND THE ALIEN MINDBENDERS" <- this is a TM in germany an hold by:
Lucasfilm Entertainment Company Ltd. LLC, San Francisco Calif., US

this TM still lasts until 30.09.2019.
if you would use: "Mr. McKracken is back" shouldn't void this TM and could be used.

Maniac Mansion:




Zak Phoenix McKracken - Oct 19, 2015 at 11:34
WOW, interesting!
I just did a research in the italian database of trademarks, but there is no entry for old Lucas videogames.
So, I can use their names as I please ;-)
Thank you Mario F.

Zuckerberg - Oct 19, 2015 at 17:52
I think - being no lawyer - either 1) being smart and using a similar name instead of the exact name or 2) looking up markets where Lucasfilm missed out locking the intellectual name (!) property 100% doesn't make that much sense. In a way, that would be twisting Lucasfilm's/Disney's arm, and still there's so much IP left, which is copyrighted, although not formally, that you'll trip over this way or another... Yes, it's sad that the original creators don't own the IP, really sad, ...but: would anyone really like to make a game against former business partners, even from the "suits" side? As much as I would love seeing another Zak, let's respect the corporation's part in it - at the least to give back for green-lighting and financing the original game back then. ...just my 2 cents.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Oct 19, 2015 at 11:38
I think Disney tolerated it also because the project ZMKBTAS started 7 years ago, and at that time, Disney did not own any Lucas Games.

Zuckerberg - Oct 19, 2015 at 17:38
The podcast mentions the bug-tracker again - it's the first thing at least David and Ron look into each day. "Call for screenshots" guys, I'd really like to see what Ron's custom bug-tracker looks like... Is it the dizzy feature bloat of Bugzilla or the Zen-like emptiness of github's issues..?
Nerd mode off, at least for today ;)

Francesco Favia - Oct 20, 2015 at 08:51
Of course, my fault,  
But when I encounter such technical posts that I understand at the 50% ....
I always feel the need to ask what The Secret of Monkey Island is... O_O

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Oct 20, 2015 at 09:10
...Lo vuoi sapere davvero? :-)

monika - Dec 10, 2015 at 02:54
This is useful podcast and just be very effective Island .