Thimbleweed Park Podcast #42

by Ron Gilbert
Feb 20, 2016

This week we talk about how damn sexy Lieutenant Commander William Riker is.

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

You can also get the podcast directly from iTunes.

- Ron

Mattias Cedervall - Feb 20, 2016 at 16:00
Ron, would you consider having a contest for your blog readers and let the winner join one of your podcasts?

Man who jumps on dirt - Feb 20, 2016 at 16:04
Sexy Riker...... im looking forward to it.

But since Star Trek is TM..... will it then me Space Trek instead?

Also I am looking forward to Dark Vader from Space Wars.

Man who jumps on dirt - Feb 20, 2016 at 16:08
* be

voice in Garys head - Feb 20, 2016 at 16:29
Hmm. Thimblecon '87 ?

- Sergeant Bosco Albert B.A. Baracus
- Michael Edward Knight
- Angus MacGyver (but I think in 1987 his first name was not revealed yet)
- Thomas Magnum

Herbert - Feb 21, 2016 at 03:59
His name is Thomas Sullivan Magnum III.

Didn’t know about Baracus and Knight, though. Thanks for the information.

Kenneth - Feb 20, 2016 at 16:51
Would love to see a Casual Suit Cory somewhere at Thimblecon

Dominik - Feb 20, 2016 at 18:33
I know it's not a games convention but Movies and stuff - but it would be so much fun to see certain game developers in a crappy booth trying to get people to like their new game called "Mansion of Maniacs" and you could Talk to them and suggest other titles or other games.

Are you trying to get people to do cameos for ThimbleCon? Like voice acting and stuff? Like Jonatan Frakes voicing sexy riker?

Ron Gilbert - Feb 20, 2016 at 18:38
"Like Jonatan Frakes voicing sexy riker?"

Wow, that would be the coolest. Ever.

Carlo Valenti - Feb 20, 2016 at 18:55
He would certainly do. Please also make him say "Mr. Work... FIRE. (pause) That's an episode to come."

Carlo Valenti - Feb 20, 2016 at 19:02

RC - Feb 21, 2016 at 13:48
I could have sworn Mr. Work was on purpose. :D

Dominik - Feb 21, 2016 at 06:17

Carlo Valenti - Feb 20, 2016 at 18:51
The Marshmallow Man
Hokuto no Ken
Automan (in his shining uniform)
Knight Rider's Michael Knight
Dragon's lair's Dirk the daring
Lieutenant Commander Data
Marty McFly
Short Circuit's Number Five
Carlo Valenti

hoerry - Feb 20, 2016 at 19:38
My hilarious spoof ideas : Hairdevil, The Humanflashlight, Gnatman, Dr. Borderline-Creepy and Aunt-Man. Also, The Six Million Zimbabwe Dollar Man.

Big Red Button - Feb 20, 2016 at 20:05
There could be Howard the Duck at Thimblecon, being constantly confused with Donald Duck.

Other suggestions:
- Marty McFly
- Skeletor
- Geordi La Forge wearing his VISOR (though, TNG only started on September 28, 1987)
- Indiana Jones
- one of the Ghostbusters

Lake Wobegon - Feb 21, 2016 at 04:22
+1 for Alf... If Alf doesn't make an appearance I'll eat Gary's cat.

Zombocast - Feb 21, 2016 at 01:40
I'd love for the surfer dude from "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" to be at Thimble Con.
Thimble Con:   Surfer Dude:   Video of the skit:

Scenario: Just as someone starts talking on the microphone, The Pizza guy asks if someone ordered a pizza
Dude, theirs a giant pizza dude!  
whoa.. you mean theirs no weed in Thimbleweed Park™? Bummer.
Thimble On Thimble Con!

tomimt - Feb 21, 2016 at 04:30
Character suggestions for Thimble Con:

King Graham obviously.
Michael Knight
Gil Gerard's Buck Rockers and Erin Gray's Wilma Deering. And obvously Twiki.
Cylons from original Galactiga.
Lord British
Deckard, Pris, Rachel and Roy (from Blade Runner)
Alien from Alien
The Terminator

Councilman Hitchcock - Feb 21, 2016 at 04:34
Will many of the game characters be in the in-game phonebook? It would be fun to leave messages for them.

Actually.. on that note: will Ron, Gary, David et al be in the phonebook? Can we play as Ronsome and leave abusive tirades for you (constructed from an elaborate dialog tree).

P.S. David, as a joke you should have the game email/sms Ron with the transcript every time someone creates a nasty Ransome message for him.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Feb 21, 2016 at 06:51
Characters in Thimble Con I would like:
- K.I.T.T. from knight rider (that is, a person wearing a black Pontiac costume, with red leds moving back and forth)
- Alf
- mr. Spock

Carlo Valenti - Feb 21, 2016 at 16:55
I strongly support the idea of the K.I.T.T. black costume with the red scanner moving back and forward. Please do it. It's really fun.

Sushi - Feb 21, 2016 at 08:31
Suggestion: three computer nerds having a stand-up meeting at the convention?
Or another way to include yourselves as cameos (including voice acting, of course) like Gary the coroner, who comments with things like "I am going to sound like a broken record, but this corpse is dead" "I have been doing the same stuff for the last days/years, and will be for the next days/years"
And of course he intersperses every other sentence with either "I'm gonna say..." Or "I'm (not) gonna use the word .... here (but)..."
And David is already the sherif, so...
Not criticising anyone's speech pattern here, I find it endearing!

Big Red Button - Feb 21, 2016 at 08:37
Allan Quatermain

Carlo Valenti - Feb 21, 2016 at 08:56
@Gary Winnick: maybe I misunderstood what you were asking for? Maybe you are asking more for archetypes of '80s than specific characters?
"the sexy spaceman" more than "Will T.  Riker"?

Paul - Feb 21, 2016 at 10:26
I'd like to see King Graham, Roger Wilco, and Leisure Suit Larry chatting to Guybrush, tentacle, and Indy...
Maybe an Alien and a Predator having a drink together, etc.

Also... wasn't there talk long ago of us seeing cover artwork and logo artwork or "work in progress" versions of those?

Herbert - Feb 21, 2016 at 12:32
About the tentacle costume: This was’t (yet) popular in 1987.

But I’d like to see Dave and maybe a friend or two as visitors – in original 160×200 resolution with no more than 4 colors, of course. And should you be able to talk to them, they will naturally answer text-only!

longuist - Feb 22, 2016 at 11:05
Hah thats a funny idea. Even it does not make any sense :)

Daniel Wolf - Feb 21, 2016 at 15:08
Hi Ron,

in the last podcast, you mentioned you might drop character lip-sync after all. Which is a pity, because for the last few months, I've been writing an open-source tool that does lip-sync automatically.

Here's a short demo video based on character art you once posted:

The animation is far from perfect; I still have work ahead of me. Still I think it shows that lip-sync does make sense even at VGA resolution.

Let me know what you think -- I'd like to make sure my tool fits your needs.

The official repo is here:

Zombocast - Feb 21, 2016 at 16:01
Amazing Work Daniel,

Add this guys code and the option to enable" Eye" tracking to the mouse courser and I will officially have nightmares for years!

Mattias Cedervall - Feb 21, 2016 at 17:39
Splendid work, Daniel-san! ^_^

Big Red Button - Feb 22, 2016 at 04:14
I agree, it looks great! Good work!

David Fox - Feb 21, 2016 at 19:29
I love it! Great work!

Ron Gilbert - Feb 21, 2016 at 20:29
That's pretty impressive. In the next few weeks, I'll be putting the fist batch of speech files in the game and will run them through your tool and see how it works.

Daniel Wolf - Feb 22, 2016 at 02:51
Let me know if I can be of any help -- especially regarding mouth shapes and their mapping.

urielz - Feb 21, 2016 at 22:12
Looks great! Thanks for sharing this code. Hope it gets used in TP!

longuist - Feb 22, 2016 at 11:30
That is looking very good already , even not all mouth shapes are used. Keep up the good work! (I pity Gary and Octavio a litlle bit, they would have to add more mouth shapes. But maybe its not so hard after all, as most could be used with little alteration for all characters.)
To Ron, do you consider to make it possible to add own soundfiles/text and thus mouth shape files.? I know that Sphinx (the voice recognition software used here) does not work very well with other languages. But I'm pretty sure that over the years good translations and fan dubs will arise.

Daniel Wolf - Feb 22, 2016 at 14:07
@linguist: I purposefully only used six mouth shapes for the animation I posted. Depending on what mouth shapes they're currently using, lip sync should require only one or two additional mouth shapes if any.

Daniel Wolf - Feb 22, 2016 at 14:08
Sorry, longuist, not linguist!

longuist - Feb 22, 2016 at 16:25
Thx for reply. Watched it again, and now i realize that there really might be 6 distinct mouth shapes :)
And what i meant was that the art evolved and new mouth animations are needed. In a short weak moment i assumed because lip syncing was about to be ditched there will be no mouth movements at all. I know, stupid :)
I wonder if the basic vowel movements Ron mentioned are comparable to the Hannah Barbera mouth shapes you use.

Daniel Wolf - Feb 26, 2016 at 16:33
In an early blog post, they had a mouth chart with 5 positions that looked just like the original 6 Hanna-Barbera shapes, omitting B:

That's where I took the images for my video, adding a B drawing myself.

Looking at the latest videos, they seem to have changed their mouth shapes since, though.

Sushi - Feb 22, 2016 at 14:55
Wow Daniel,
reading back the old post:
it seems you immediately heeded my suggestion to "screw it, I'll just write my own lip-sync tool"

Daniel Wolf - Feb 26, 2016 at 16:35
That was the idea! :-)

Patricio Martinotti - Feb 22, 2016 at 03:24
I hope a deluxe edition of the game with a second disc (a DVD) with all the audio podcasts and a documentary about the making of the game. I would love to purchase this game phisycally!!!

Mattias Cedervall - Feb 22, 2016 at 06:27
Same here!

Big Red Button - Feb 22, 2016 at 11:27
Provided that this dev blog even remains online after the game is finished, the podcast, which is already a documentary itself, would probably be going to remain online as well.
I assume that any documentary would be very labor-intensive. It would be more reasonable to use both the time and the effort for the next game.
Nevertheless, there might be several art works that were not used in the game eventually. It would be interesting to see them, unless they are dedicated for a sequel of TP!

Henri - Feb 22, 2016 at 13:25
Hi! Any more news about upgrading our Kickstarter pledges? :D Thanks in advance! Great stuff here on the blog.

wysiwtf - Feb 24, 2016 at 19:06
Roger Wilco SO has to be there.

Peter - Feb 25, 2016 at 07:08
Hi Ron,

how's your budget plan working? Maybe you find the time and give us an update.


Carlo Valenti - Feb 25, 2016 at 14:28
I'd really like an update too! Thank you!

Ron Gilbert - Feb 25, 2016 at 14:49
I was planning doing that for the next blog post (or maybe the one after that).

Carlo Valenti - Feb 25, 2016 at 17:15
Was an actual TIME budget done before laying out the money budget? I am actively interested in time planning, which should be realistic, human, and efficient at the same time.

Dan Sorensen - Feb 25, 2016 at 16:24
Hasselhoff would be another fun one to get for a voice cameo. I suspect the cost for voice cameos would be prohibitive, but it could be fun.

Would there be an action hero costumes at a Con? There were so many in the 80s: Rambo, Ahnold, Norris, aka "Unfairly Wronged Army Dude Action Man"... Could be a Tron type too... i.e. "Programmer stuck in computer man". or Ace Navy Pilots? "Hot Shot and Moose"?

Dan Sorensen - Feb 25, 2016 at 16:31
HAHAHAhaa... by the way, I loved David's cliffhanger ending. I want to know what cool idea was cut now. ;-)

mr. T - Feb 27, 2016 at 08:55
I wouldn't suggest a character per se but a couple of FBI agents "undercover" standing at a corner. One would use the old two-holes-in-a-newspaper surveillance technology and the other would be selling hot dogs/be disquised as a lamp or something equally ridiculous. And if you'd have a dialoque with them they would try to entrap you for video game piracy (and put you in jail if you'd fail the questions). Or alternatively they would be some colleagues and you could snap some witty quips at them, if you'd be controlling an agent character at the time.

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