Thimbleweed Park Podcast #27

by Ron Gilbert
Oct 24, 2015

Today we talk about our play-through of the beginning of the game and Gary won't stop slamming his desk drawer.

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

- Ron

Mattias Cedervall - Oct 24, 2015 at 13:44
Gary forgot to say that IKEA is the game's new sponsor. :-)

T.M. - Oct 24, 2015 at 13:50
Nice podcast, thanks. About those sound fx, how much can you use from your earlier games and how much you still have to make by yourselves? One would think that you already have a vast library considering your remarkable collective experience of making games.

Big Red Button - Oct 24, 2015 at 13:57
Are you actually going to record sound FX yourselves, or do you commission someone with this job, or are there commercial sound FX databases, you can resort to?

urielz - Oct 25, 2015 at 14:56
curious about this as well....

Carlo Valenti - Oct 24, 2015 at 15:27
I like you being so enthusiast of how the game is growing. I loved Monkey 1&2, but I am glad that TP is going to be a classic on its own.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Oct 24, 2015 at 18:35
Very good! Bug fixes, polish phase, and translations approach for the next week!
The game is at a really good point of development, I'm so excited for this!

Michael Hansen - Oct 25, 2015 at 04:26
I'd be happy to take care of the long pauses and drawer slams in Pro Tools, as an in-kind contribution to this project. I'll even apply some processing to give your voices more of an EV-RE20-through-an-Arrakis-broadcast-console-mic-pre sort of sound, if you'd like. mmh at r53sound dot com

tomimt - Oct 25, 2015 at 11:46
Now you have to put that drawer sound in the game.

Sushi - Oct 25, 2015 at 14:39
The pauses and the whole "Let's do that ending again" and then not editing it out was funny!

On another note, I just read double fine are doing a DOTT remastering... I can't help but feel it's an easy cash-in compared to the effort being put in TP. And I do wonder/hope that you guys will still get some royalties out of it (MM inclusion, characters, SCUMM,...)?

urielz - Oct 25, 2015 at 15:06
I won't complain, not everybody can do original stuff at that quality :)  I hope they do a better job than Grim Fandango remastered though, I feel they didn't put much effort there...

Big Red Button - Oct 25, 2015 at 16:53
They have publicized some screenshots yesterday. It comes along with a much higher screen resolution and a better sound quality. But the graphics don't seem to be more detailed at all. The remaster remains extremely true to the original game.

Ron Gilbert - Oct 25, 2015 at 15:12
Nope, no royalties or anything. We didn't even know it was happening until it was announced publicly.

Big Red Button - Oct 25, 2015 at 18:57
It's a pity that you won't even carry in the remaster's commentary track, as you co-developed the storyline of DOTT. I'll miss your voice there! The more so as MM will be included again.
I really enjoyed to listen to your informative commentaries in the Special Edition of Monkey Island 2.

By the way: Do you plan on adding a commentary track to TP?

jonathan - Oct 26, 2015 at 00:01
he didn't work on DOTT, he left to make humongous entertainment. DOTT was designed by tim schafer and dave grossman.

jonathan - Oct 26, 2015 at 00:07
i am wrong according to wikipedia. gilbert and winnick were involved with "initial planning and writing" according to wikipedia. i'm not sure exactly what the sequence of events with humongous entertainment is.

Ron Gilbert - Oct 26, 2015 at 09:51
Wikipedia is often wrong. So much about Monkey island on Wikipedia is just bad information. Please don't trust anything you read on here.

Gary and I came up with the idea of doing time travel and how solving puzzles in one time would change the future. That's all we did. We had nothing to do with the story or the design.  And of course, Dr. Fred, Bernard, Green Tentacle and Purple Tentacle were our creations from the original. A fact that is often forgotten by some.

mat - Oct 26, 2015 at 07:12
Hi Ron!

Do you get any royalties from the older LucasArts Games?

Other Question: Have you seen the screens from DOTT remastered?
IMHO they look basically like the older ones but just in high-resolution without loosing the Spirit (tm) of the original game.

If someone would offer you $$$$ (a lot of Gold) to make ThimbleWeed HD would you be interested?

Grafekovic - Oct 26, 2015 at 07:57
I didn't like the MI 1+2 high-res-upgrades, and I don't like what I saw so far from DOTT.
When you have low res graphics there is a lot of space of interpretation e.g. of a facial expression where the player can bring their own input. When you have these high res graphics, this space is much smaller or it isn't there at all.
I just looked at the new screen shots and thought "No, thats not the way they looked 20 years ago."

That's also the reason I like the 8bit or 16bit graphical style. The developers do 80% of the visual work, but the other 20% are left to the player.

mat - Oct 26, 2015 at 08:55
The new MI 1 & 2 had a different art-style than the original ones.

But DOTT looks the same



Its basically the same, just higher resolution

Grafekovic - Oct 26, 2015 at 18:12
Have you noticed tat they flattened the top of Bernhards glasses? That gives him a mixture of an angry-smartass expression, that wasn't there in the original game. It changes the character completely.

Pygy - Oct 26, 2015 at 19:31
Indeeed. I raised your point on the DF forums.

Ron Gilbert - Oct 26, 2015 at 09:47
No, none of us got any royalties from the Lucas games. I made nothing from Maniac Mansion or Monkey Island beyond my salary ($25K/year for Maniac Mansion and $65K/year when I left after Monkey Island 2).

And no, there will never for a "hires" or "special edition" of thimbleweed park We're making it the way we are, because that's they way we want it to be.

I am not a fan of games getting hires remakes. It's not true to what they were. I'm fine with rereleasing them to run on new platforms and making any changes need for that, but don't change the way they look. It's just as shameful as colorizing classic BW movies.

The only exception is 3D games when all your doing is increasing the texture resolution, but nothing more.

Arto - Oct 26, 2015 at 12:26
This is off-topic, but why did you decide to leave LucasArts? Or was it your choice in the first place?

Same question to Gary, David and Mark.

Feel free to just skip this question if you find it inappropriate :)

Martin Wendt - Oct 26, 2015 at 12:33
I soo second that (not the part about the money made from MM). Also if you openly go for a fixed resolution, it will never age.
'high res' will always look dated at some point, not to speak of shameful 3D things.That's why most games afther Gameboy Advance era dont look adequate 10 years afterwards (or 3 years...).
When I replay Maniac Mansion, I do that on the C64. Same with Zak McKracken. Seeing things as just as important as not seeing them.

Big Red Button - Oct 26, 2015 at 14:07
I agree. Strictly speaking, remakes even distract the player from the charm of the original version, due to the differences.

Octavi Navarro - Oct 26, 2015 at 12:31
High resolution is so overrated! Every game from the last two decades should be remade in pixel art ;)

Mattias Cedervall - Oct 26, 2015 at 17:24
I totally agree with you, Octavi! :-) A guy has been working on a 2D pixel-version of Zelda - Ocarina of time. :-)

Mattias Cedervall - Oct 26, 2015 at 17:26
Thimbleweed Park is HD since Mark joined the team...

jonathan - Oct 25, 2015 at 23:53
why would they get royalties for something disney owns the copyright to? disney simply licensed doublefine to remaster the original game and make it available on modern platforms for old fans as well as new. it's not a new game just like how the remastered versions of monkey island weren't new games. not to mention that ron didn't even work at lucas when they made DOTT, which barely had anything to do with MM.

jonathan - Oct 26, 2015 at 00:00
do you think ford should pay royalties to the designer whom they payed to design the first generation mustang everytime they come up with a new generation?

Sushi - Oct 26, 2015 at 12:25
Well luckily they didn't demand any royalties back then or Ron & co would be sitting on such a huge pile of cash today that they wouldn't feel the need to make TP today... (Ok, a bit exaggerated, but still)
I'm no legal expert, but the issue is that the work was commissioned with Lucasfilm games owning the complete IP. Mr. Schafer also doesn't own that IP, still he found an "easy/less creative " way to cash in.through licensing. But I'm sure TP (+engine...) is now fully owned by terrible toy box and it's named owners. Hooray!!

Mattias Cedervall - Oct 26, 2015 at 17:28
I know for a fact that Ford pays a lot of money to the guy that invented the weel!

Mattias Cedervall - Oct 26, 2015 at 17:29

Brian R. - Oct 26, 2015 at 03:23
I heard the drawer slam with headphones on and thought my wife fell. True story

Uli Kusterer - Oct 26, 2015 at 12:45
It just occurred to me you should call this "standup meeting AND podcast" so it sounds more like one of those bureaucratic things that tries to jam disparate pieces together. :-D

Paulup - Oct 26, 2015 at 13:22
The problem with high res graphics, like with the new DOTT remaster and the MI special editions, is it makes everything look "flat" and shiny and disconnected... it looks like the characters and objects are just floating on top of the backgrounds as separate pieces of art...

Pixel art ties everything together and makes it all feel like one complete moving art work... it creates consistency across all the parts.

A similar thing happens in music, in hip-hop sampling - people often prefer the 80s samplers because they sampled everything at 12 bit and it ties all the different sounds together so they feel like they all came from the same place and belong together.

Mattias Cedervall - Oct 26, 2015 at 17:22
I know what you mean.

Big Red Button - Oct 26, 2015 at 18:06
I think that pixel-art is an impressionistic art form to the core. It stimulates your imagination, unlike hi-res graphics.

Moreover it provides nostalgia, of course!

Carlo Valenti - Oct 27, 2015 at 16:50
Art for sure is not depending on fine-grain resolution.
Also, hi-res must face the uncanny valley. The more you substract to imagination, (the more)² you must add to imaging.
I usually love low-res; hi-res usually has hard time to convince me.