Thimbleweed Park Podcast #37

by Ron Gilbert
Jan 19, 2016

Sorry we were late last week. David, Gary and I continue to chat about the development of Thimbleweed park and what movies we saw this week.

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

- Ron

David Fox - Jan 19, 2016 at 19:14
One thing I didn't get to say at the end of the podcast was that The Revenant is my favorite movie of the year. Awesome film. Just make sure you bring warm clothes and something to drink while watching it.

Christopher Griffin - Jan 19, 2016 at 19:31
It's not one of those winter survivalist movies, is it?  I hate those!  (I'm trying to escape cold bleak realities!)

Arto - Jan 20, 2016 at 15:56
It's -30°C / -22°F here now (well, not right now, but will be in the morning when I have to bike to work), so it might add a sense of realism if I'd watch Revenant outside. I don't think a TV would survive the cold though, so would have to watch it through the window.

iaco - Jan 19, 2016 at 19:39
I commented this with impecable timing like 10 seconds ago in the previous post. Sorry for the repetition.

Hi, all!

I've been following the blog since forever and there has always been someone who asks the right questions so I've never needed to comment... UNTIL NOW.

My question is in particular for the dev team and I hope it wasn't answered before (need to avoid a fantastical questioning failure):
How do you handle the inventory combination of objects scriptwise?

I'm asking specifically because if you combine object A with object B it should be the same as object B with object A, so  who's responsible for knowing the combination? Do both objects have repeated code for handling it or there's another third element which knows the combination? Or is it done some other way which my mortal imagination cannot grasp and is only reserved for the gods?

Cheers and congrats! The game is looking awesome!

David Fox - Jan 27, 2016 at 18:39
Usually the code is one one object (say it's A), and in the other (object B), we might do a check to see if it's object A you're intereacting with. Then just have it execute the code in object A.

There are also some cases where it can't be bi-directional that way... For example, maybe I have a handkerchief, so Use Handkerchief would work. But say I have a Gold Ring that I want to polish on the Handkerchief. In that case Use Gold Ring on Handkerchief would work but I couldn't say Use Handkerchief on Gold Ring because there's no "on" preposition attached to Handkerchief, though there is one attached to the Gold Ring. Make sense?

Lee Allan Sanders - Jan 19, 2016 at 20:03
Oh Woe! I Suffer! Life was so simple until 8 days ago! A good friend bought me a new Xbox One, which would normally, you'd expect, be a fully positive experience, which is was, except for: I CANNOT YET PLAY THIMBLEWEED PARK ON IT :-( AGHHHHH. Now I must wait, and wait, and wait, until at least June of this year to dive into the murky waters of your new game. The pain! Heh. I shall live, no worries, but you get the message :-)

Mattias Cedervall - Jan 19, 2016 at 20:22
I saw "Creed" and I think it was a good movie. It's true that it's based on a story.

Orcan Ogetbil - Jan 20, 2016 at 01:21
I love the front page on the website. It would be cool if some of the fireflies flew behind the characters, I think. But I am sure that's a lot of work.

Big Red Button - Jan 20, 2016 at 05:34
Now I know how they abruptly leave the virtual reality in the novel "Simulacron-3" when they are standing in the phone box, or how Trinity does at the beginning of "Matrix" (in order to pay homage to "Simulacron-3").

Big Red Button - Jan 20, 2016 at 06:48
Did it possibly happen on *the thirteenth floor* of the Edmund Hotel?

Gffp - Jan 20, 2016 at 06:04
Hi guys. I know that for everyone of us that follow this blog this is a useless question but....are you going to release a demo for Thimbleweed Park?

Nor Treblig - Jan 20, 2016 at 06:15
About the icons: Isn't it more like 16^(32*16) (assuming 16 different colours)?
Which are about ~3.2*10^616 combinations, so quite a lot... maybe we shouldn't send the artists into retirement yet.

Andreas - Jan 20, 2016 at 07:12
I thought the same, so my guess is that Ron is taking some C64 sprite/tile drawing restrictions into account that lead to his number.

Or he bluffed and you called.

Sushi - Jan 20, 2016 at 15:34
(yes there is a point to the joke, but you'll have to bear until the end)

and as  there are almost 3.2*10^7 seconds per year (3.15 to be more precise, but you can take some time off)
That leaves 10^609 years needed to draw or review them all at a rate of 1 per second.

And the universe is like 10^10 years old.

So that is like 10^599 times the time elapsed from big bang to now

Considering a small monkey weighing 1 kg.
The total mass of the observable universe is around 10^52 kg or 10^53 kg. Let's even say it is 10^60 kg - I am in a forgiving mood today -
That is the equivalent mass of 10^539 universes in monkeys

That can only lead to one conclusion: THIS is the Secret of Monkey Island !
(either that or Gary must be  a divine entity, but that seems a bit far-fetched, doesn't it?)

Nor Treblig - Jan 20, 2016 at 17:17
Sooo, what you are saying is that we should start with breeding a lot of monkeys right away?

Arto - Jan 20, 2016 at 19:02
Not enough monkeys, we need more as there's bound to be a lot of repetition.

Andreas - Jan 21, 2016 at 05:54
You might be onto something here!
Maybe the 3-headed monkey was a failed attempt at creating a quantum entangled super monkey for faster icon drawing?

Natalija - Jan 20, 2016 at 06:19
Ron and Gary, what are your favourite movies?

Jammet - Jan 20, 2016 at 10:44
Is being able to upgrade pledges from paypal AND kickstarter still on the map? Last time it was talked about, I believe it was to be here around January. :)

Ron Gilbert - Jan 20, 2016 at 11:08
Yes, it is still the plan. We're just having a hard time finding a good solution. Several companies do this, but they all take a ridiculous amount of money to do it.  We're working on a solution now that should work. One company wants 5% of your original KS budget or 20% of the money collected. That's outrageous. Kickstarter and Humble only take 5%, they just don't have a way to upgrade.

Big Red Options - Jan 20, 2016 at 12:27
What do you think about the idea of adding a few more stretch goals, but this time with some additional pledge options for backers, which could both stand alone and meet demand for upgrades? For example, you could provide the soundtrack seperately at 10 $, and a full size poster or a t-shirt at 125 $ for each. You even could offer a collector's edition boxed copy of the game at 125 $, without the digital copy.

Mattias Cedervall - Jan 20, 2016 at 18:12
Yes, I would be happy if I could just buy the soundtrack separately for 10 dollars. I bought the game before they included the option of buying the game with the soundtrack. I missed the Kickstarter campaign unfortunately.

Derrick Reisdorf - Jan 20, 2016 at 12:52
Make your checks out to "Ron Gilbert".  Write "Thimbleweed Park" in the memo line.
Just like the good ol' days of 1987.
Problem solved.  :)

Darkstorm - Jan 20, 2016 at 13:07
Bit of a kludge, but you could always make it an extension of your backer page

Have another heading for kickstarter/paypal backer upgrades, a dropdown for original pledge amount, a dropdown for the package you want to upgrade to, and a field for your kickstarter/paypal email address, and then have either the form check against a database which has the email addresses and pledge amounts and calculate a price to send on to paypal (easier but then requires the info to be secure) or just submitted for someone to manually check (which may or may not be feasible depending on how many people you're expecting to upgrade :/ ).

Jammet - Jan 20, 2016 at 20:50
Wow. These just take that money right off you, don't they. But I believe that when you find some solution, it'll be worth it. One other option that would at least work for paypal backers like me, would be to simply provide a paypal address where we backers send you the money, and include the email that was used to make the previous paypal backer pledge. The big downside is that this would be handled completely manually. It would depend on if you're expecting hundreds or thousands of upgrades.

tomimt - Jan 20, 2016 at 11:46
I like the redesigned web page, I find it very atmospheric. The parallax effect is very neat.

Nor Treblig - Jan 20, 2016 at 14:32
I agree that it looks nice, but I have to criticise the fireflys which need about 60% CPU on my tablet (draining the battery...). Also I don't like static headers, but that's a subjective preference.

tomimt - Jan 21, 2016 at 03:43
It ain't working nicely in my tablet either, though I'm using Galaxy Tab2 with Cyanogenmod. So despite it's a bit faster than what it was originally with vanilla Samsung installation, it still is pretty much a relic in what comes to tablets.

longuist - Jan 21, 2016 at 11:56
My old computer is gasping for air too. 90%CPU, hence the name fireflies :/
Btw, I suggest to place a link at the bottom of the front page "support us" section to the real deal..

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Jan 20, 2016 at 17:41
I liked the part where Gary was talking about The Martian by Ridley Scott. I have  seen this movie, too... even if there are atmospheric events a bit unreal, don't forget the Star Wars explosions... they can't be possible in the space, there is no oxygen!
But, as David Fox said, if someone wearing a wetsuit, a ducted fish bowl and an oxygen tank can survive on Mars, then... everything is possible!

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Jan 20, 2016 at 22:45
I have just received, by dream, the exact date of my death. Day, month, year.
It's the second time in a few days, the first one I had received only the day and month.
I don't know the people which, in my dream, told me the date, but I was together with my relatives and friends.
It's 4:45 AM... I am awake since 4:00...
The good news is that I can live enough to play Thimbleweed Park!
But this channel of communication, in perfect Zak McKracken style, scared me a bit...
Any suggestions?
Have I to play Lotto? (Uhm, even better than a Lotto-o-Matic!)

Ema - Jan 21, 2016 at 06:39
I can give plenty of suggestions, but they depend on when IT will  Happen. When will be it?

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Jan 21, 2016 at 07:54
I prefer not to reveal when it will be, neither if sooner or later. But I will write a note, then I'll seal it up inside an envelop, and put the envelop in a safe place.
If I will die before or at that date, the envelop will be found for sure, else I myself will reveal it.
Today I am going to play the numbers on local Lotto... :-D

Ema - Jan 23, 2016 at 10:01
Are you satisfied by the date, at least? Or you would have preferred to die sooner/later?

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Jan 24, 2016 at 04:59
Well... I don't know to say.
I can live every day as if it was the last one or take it easy.
My rational part tells me not to listen to this kind of dreams, it's just fantasy.
The emotional and gamer part of me, tells me to believe in dreams :-)
Actually the balance among reason and emotion is pending towards the reason.... 80/20

Big Red Button - Jan 24, 2016 at 06:26
I don't want to advertise any site here, but if you are interested in a statistical evaluation in terms of the certainty level of your vision, you can take a look at this site, which harks back to an American Cause of Death database:

Gffp - Jan 21, 2016 at 06:28
Hahah yesterday an old woman at the post office gave me numbers to play lotto by her friend's dream... play let's see what appens. Scary dream you had.

peterszky - Jan 22, 2016 at 06:43
It's OFF, but I have to tell this to Ron!

After so many years of playing first Monkey Island 2, I got the Capesize-joke... :-D About two minutes before I saw an article about a giant cargo ship, and the author wrote about the Capesize-class. Kate immediately flashed into my mind and I laughed out loudly thinking about Guybrush's comments of the ship size.

It's a little similar to the monkey wrench, I'm hungarian.

Arto - Jan 22, 2016 at 13:02
Haven't thought of that... I always thought it just referred to capsizing:

Ron Gilbert - Jan 22, 2016 at 13:04
It was referring to Kate Capshaw, Steven Spielberg wife. The Capsize also worked, which made it even better.

Mario F. - Jan 22, 2016 at 08:02
@RON : Regarding the voicemail, do we also need to add Sound FX like On-Hook and Off-Hook , ringing etc. or just the plain Voice? And does it have to be in english or also other languages? could be hard to verify other languages than english.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Jan 22, 2016 at 10:36
Hi Mario,
as far as I know, there is no need to add special effects to the voice, they will be added later.
When you'll upload your voice file to the site, you will select in which language the voice is, and the possible choices should be one of the 5 languages of the game (English, Spanish, French, German and Italian).
Then, you have to write the text of the spoken langage, and its english translation.
But let's wait for the official Ron response!

Zarbulonian - Jan 22, 2016 at 21:09
If it turns out that the fireflies are problematic on mobile, rather than the parallax planes, you may want to give this a try:

5 FPS, and it respects the fat pixel alignment (which IMO meshes better with the smoke animation).

Nor Treblig - Jan 23, 2016 at 19:01
That's nice, practically no CPU utilisation!

ac - Jan 22, 2016 at 22:17

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Jan 25, 2016 at 18:19
Seven days have passed since the last post... is everything OK?

Carlo Valenti - Jan 25, 2016 at 19:21
I was actually getting the same feeling... I think that the deadlines are coming closet

Ron Gilbert - Jan 25, 2016 at 19:25
We've recorded the podcast, but I'm trying to find the time to edit it. It's been a very busy few days. The good news: The game is exciting. The bad news: Podcast is late.

Carlo Valenti - Jan 25, 2016 at 19:28
closer, and they need to focus. We'll have them back, however.
Thank you everybody at Terrible Toybox for  your dedication. We  intend to work seriously as well, to do our part of the job, to get a better world for everyone.
(cries, claps, the crowd going crazy)

Carlo Valenti - Jan 25, 2016 at 19:37
By the way: it's only my 36th birthday. How would
I dare to ask them for special Thimbleweed Cheers™ while they're working so hard? They'd never have the time.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Jan 26, 2016 at 02:59
"Oh, the doorbell! I wonder if that's my package?"
Yes, Carlo, yes... it's for you!!!
Happy Birthday!

Carlo Valenti - Jan 26, 2016 at 08:27
OOOH! THANK YOU! (Nice package, by the way)

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Jan 26, 2016 at 07:09
Tonight, on FOX channel in Italy, the first episode of the 10th season of X-Files.
I loved and watched all the past seasons... this time, it will looks more like playing Thimbleweed Park :-)

Carlo Valenti - Jan 26, 2016 at 17:54
Was the episode worthy?

Mister T - Jan 26, 2016 at 17:56
After the last two seasons, that bar should be rather low.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Jan 27, 2016 at 04:23
IMHO yes.
Episode 1: "The first UFO sighting happened on Mt. Rainier in 1947". Write it up too.... oops, that's another story!

Carlo Valenti - Jan 26, 2016 at 17:56
What is currently on, Ron? Sprint? Runaway from lawyers? Running a zombie mall?

Arto - Jan 27, 2016 at 11:32
"Where the heck did I save the project... Honey, have you used my computer again?"

Zombocast - Jan 26, 2016 at 19:25
It"s Friday, Friday, gotta big a frown on Friday.  Everybody's waiting for the weekend, weekend Podcast. ~Rebecca Black

longuist - Jan 27, 2016 at 11:23
You have a über süperb taste. Now humming till release of podcast