Thimbleweed Park Podcast #38

by Ron Gilbert
Jan 27, 2016

The new podcast is here! The new podcast is here! The new podcast is here! The new podcast is here!

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

- Ron

Patrik Spacek - Jan 27, 2016 at 15:05
I wanna see Mark's new room!!!

Grafekovic - Jan 27, 2016 at 15:39
Did he move?

Mattias Cedervall - Jan 27, 2016 at 15:56
No, "Mark" doesn't exist. His voice actor is now "Jenn".

Patrik Spacek - Jan 27, 2016 at 16:43
What do you mean?

Estranged2 - Jan 27, 2016 at 17:04
The running joke that Mark Ferrari doesn't exist. Perpetuated by fans that have too much time on their hands to notice that stuff. This may jog your memory.

Arto - Jan 27, 2016 at 18:07
Boy: Do not try to find Mark. That's impossible. Instead... only try to realize the truth.
Neo: What truth?
Boy: There is no Mark.
Neo: There is no Mark?
Boy: Then you'll see, that it is not Mark who creates the art, it is only you.

Estranged2 - Jan 28, 2016 at 19:20
Haha, that was the best one so far :D

Mattias Cedervall - Jan 27, 2016 at 18:10
Did he ask me? It looks like he asked Grafekovic.

Grafekovic - Jan 27, 2016 at 15:39
Thanks for the clearification according the seckrit question. I really thought it was my bad maths.

On question according to the game design, and I really hope it's not too late. I really love to play Freecell lately, so maybe you can do a Freecell reference in TeePee so I love it even more? It would be a really nice mixup like those JRPGs that got mixed up with Bejewled. Think about it, no royalties wanted.

Derrick Reisdorf - Jan 27, 2016 at 15:48
I think the issue with the Seckrit Question is that it times out.

Mattias Cedervall - Jan 27, 2016 at 15:54
I have the same theory.

Sushi - Jan 29, 2016 at 14:38
I am also pretty sure that is the logical explanation
But I laughed my ass off at the idea that it would be Ron on the other side checking the results with his own sucking math skills!
And it does make sense that you would not trust correct answers, as after all a bot can be expected to be perfect at elementary math (even when it is spelled out). So a correct answer means you're a bot, a wrong one means you're human!

Dan - Jan 27, 2016 at 15:50
Act 1 seems to be extremely labor-intensive, seeing how long your work on it takes! But nevertheless there might be some synergy effects, since a lot of artwork you are doing for act 1 is also relevant for the two subsequent acts, or isn't it?

Ron Gilbert - Jan 27, 2016 at 15:52
Yes, there is a lot of cross over. ACT II doesn't take place in 100% new rooms, so there us a lot of work already done. We're also a lot faster now.

Mattias Cedervall - Jan 27, 2016 at 15:52
It was nice to hear Jenn! I love Crocodile Dundee 1 & 2!

It was bothersome to use the NES-gamepad to play Maniac Mansion! It would have been so much easier using a mouse!

Andreas - Jan 27, 2016 at 16:45
I like Gary.

Arto - Jan 27, 2016 at 16:50
Funny coincidence. Earlier today I posted a comment, and as I submitted it, I realised the Seckrit question has passed on first try for past two months or so. I was certain it just has been deactivated.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Jan 27, 2016 at 17:26
I was thinking about what David said: he took 3 days to finish the game.
And he knew what to do, of course... therefore, for an average skilled Lucas adventure gamer, how could it take to finish the game?

I remember my experience:
1) Maniac Mansion: started, interrupted, resumed, interrupted. After a couple of years: resumed and completed (with help). After more years: completed with all characters and endings.
2) Zak McKracken And The Alien Mindbenders™: started and completed in 3 months without any help.
3) Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade: started and completed in 2 months with a little peek at the hints, in only 2 situations.
4) Loom: started and completed in 2 weeks. This one was more a fantasy story than a puzzle game, I liked it that way.
5) Monkey Island: started, and completed in about one month. With some hints.
6) Monkey Island 2: started and completed in 2 months, together with a friend. We used to exchange our progresses. How fun it was!
... then, the other adventure games were completed when I was no more a student, so... less time to play... they do not count.

David Fox - Jan 27, 2016 at 18:32
Zak, I meant 'finish scripting the game'... to play it it should take at least a week :-)

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Jan 28, 2016 at 06:17
Whoops, OK, misunderstanding! Thank you!

David Fox - Jan 28, 2016 at 13:30
Actually, I have no idea how long it will take someone to play through the game the first time... will know in a few months!

Ema - Jan 29, 2016 at 09:35
Not sure if you realized it, but you're a Zack fan, and zack's creator himself calls you "Zack". Please, show some  respectful awe... :-)

Ema - Jan 29, 2016 at 09:37
Typo... Zak. Not Zack.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Jan 29, 2016 at 10:51
Ema, more fan than you can imagine :-)
I played Zak McKracken And The Alien Mindbenders™ as a teen. I liked it so much that after I had finished the game, I choosed "Zak McKracken" as my nickname. Year after year, my friends (human beings) started to call me Zak. And so on... even on the Internet...
...and last year, I found this blog, and "my" creator, David Fox.
I started to call him by "Mr. David Fox", with utmost respect.
Now I drop "Mr." and call him only by his name, but the respect is always... the greatest!

Ema - Jan 29, 2016 at 15:48

Carlo Valenti - Jan 27, 2016 at 18:25
Loom was pretty easy... I remember playing half game in one Sunday.
But that was perfect.
The other games: tried to do the most by myself, but usually needed help in several steps. This never ruined the game to me. On the contrary I began to get nervous/annoyed when I realized to be stuck on one puzzle for more than some hours. For instance: Day of the Tentacle: I completed it by myself in three days, lot of fun, but I lost several hours because there was a bunch of keys  I could not find anywhere, until I just closed the door of the sleeping fat man, and found the keys in the back of the door. THAT made me nervous, since it was no puzzle, I just could not find them, they were just hidden in a place I could not find!
Loved these games, guys.

Paulup - Jan 27, 2016 at 21:04
I like the nonlinearity the podcasts are moving towards, how Saturday's Friday podcast has moved to Wednesday...
I hope we next move to podcasts which are out of sequence and that reference podcasts that have not happened yet or that are missing from the sequence, etc.
I think that would fit the whole mysterious Thimbleweed Park vibe...

Iron Curtain - Jan 28, 2016 at 06:46
I think Ron forgot to mention that the new Podcast is here… :-P

Jack - Jan 28, 2016 at 08:43
No, he wrote it down in the description, several times actually.

Jack - Feb 02, 2016 at 19:15
Oh, nice joke then

Jammet - Jan 28, 2016 at 09:01
Podcast ... where we talk about what we did, next week. :D

David Fox - Jan 28, 2016 at 13:32
We actually recorded this podcast tomorrow.

Arto - Jan 29, 2016 at 14:42
I once uploaded some files to a server in United States. Server showed that one of my files was modified "Tomorrow 00:12". At that point I was able to say that I did it tomorrow.

longuist - Jan 28, 2016 at 09:19
How do you check that everyone is standing while recording the stand-up meeting podcast?

David Fox - Jan 28, 2016 at 13:31
You can tell by the quality of our voices... definitely standing voices, not sitting voices.

Carlo Valenti - Jan 28, 2016 at 16:29
Thus, you are NOT David Fox. I can tell from the quantity and quality of your writing: definitely sitting writing. If you were standing, it would have been shorter, and with lots of typos.

longuist - Jan 28, 2016 at 19:03
Sometimes it sounds more like some of you are laying on the floor or planking with heads down :)

Sushi - Jan 29, 2016 at 15:05
I remember the joystick controls on Maniac Mansion adding somehow to the thrill of trying to escape from Edna in the kitchen. Because you're walking right, unknowingly, and then you had to move the cursor very fast to the left. Which is even more of a challenge when you're using an airplane-type joystick ( with auto-fire!!).
Also in Zak, trying to stay clear of the Caponians, trying not to fall down from outer space, running from the stewardess (sorry, flight attendant): all much more exciting with a clumsy and slow joystick than with a super fast and accurate mouse.
Ah! Good times!
Although the more objective observation is probably that these games were so good that they could withstand the technical limitations of that era.
Hearing now that Gary was also doing a physical work-out to place those pixels with a joystick (and analog magnifying glass-on a CRT screen I assume ??!!) makes the effort you put into these games even more appreciated.
Really: thanks, guys! I can't wait to explore Thimbleweed Park!

Gffp - Jan 30, 2016 at 03:49
Hey Ron, look at this article : Thimbleweed Park’s Ron Gilbert feels modern adventure games “get too lost in story”.

Don't you think Stephany Nunneley shifted your words too much towards puzzle solving? Is TP poor in storytelling? I don't expect so. I think you still want a good balance between a well written involving story, and challenging puzzles that make sense. Don't you?

Ron Gilbert - Jan 30, 2016 at 10:18
I meant what I said, I think some adventures games focus too much on story and not enough on GOOD puzzles. They get caught up in telling a story and forget that puzzles are what drives adventure games forward. I think story is very important (it's the reason I make them). An adventure game without a good story is just as bad as an adventure game without good puzzles. One is not more important than the other, it just seems some adventure game forget that.

Gffp - Jan 30, 2016 at 20:53
Thank you Ron. I was pretty sure of it but I'm glad to read it written by your hand. It is not so clear in the article but... you know what you do, even if you don't know, ehehe :-P
Timbleweed Park seems to have a great potential in his story (we fear what we don't know, like something different from our habits and culture, or just changes even if they led us to be better, an so on...), a fantastic setting with a lot of allusions, while puzzles mean always to me an exercise of "insight" as the ability to use something you have in a way completely new to you, never experienced or thought before, or not in a conventional manner, and also by using your speech and irony, that are substantial characteristic of human beings, and they can remember how to reach a goal and to avoid violence the more we can as a way to solve problems (which to me has always been the "secret" of Monkey Island, or it was the ghost ship of LeChuck, or Disney theme park? or the need and fascination for mistery itself? ahah). And all of this with a lot of fun!

Gffp - Jan 30, 2016 at 04:02
Look at this comment to the article: "In other words, these guys must have little time for imagination. Maybe they should just make a sequel to Tetris. Sorry, but without the context of a good story to back it up, a puzzle means nothing to me." I totally agree with him, but I just don't think you're doing so. Or is it? I prefer Monkey Island on Maniac Mansion because the first one has a more defined story and a beautiful parodistic-comic setting. But Maniac Mansion is really the first Survival Horror game (before Alone in the Dark and Resident Evil that copied the Mansion and evolved the mad scientist)  and the parody of it in one time.

mr. T - Jan 31, 2016 at 04:32
Gary's note about "drawing" with the joystick just still blows my mind. I remember my first try outs with Deluxe Paint on A500 with a mouse and felt that it was rediculously hard to accomplish anything on screen. I always thought back then that the artists used some fancy light pens, at least. And using an actual magnifying glass...speechless :)

Geoffrey Paulsen - Feb 02, 2016 at 06:07
Painting with your fist!  HA!