Thimbleweed Park Podcast #59

by Ron Gilbert
Aug 22, 2016

Sorry for the delay in this week's podcast, I was up hiking at Mount Rainier this weekend.

P.S. If you're thinking about making a Zak McKracken joke, you'll be the 537th person to do that.

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

Carlo Valenti - Aug 22, 2016 at 14:03
Joke? ...What's Zac Mac Cracker, by the way?

Nor Treblig - Aug 22, 2016 at 14:38
It seems to be a different mountain anyway: I've looked up the Wikipedia article and there wasn't a "in popular culture" section mentioning Zak!

Nor Treblig - Aug 22, 2016 at 14:41
Obligatory xkcd comic:

Mattias Cedervall - Aug 22, 2016 at 19:58
I'm not sure I understand the humor...

Christopher Griffin - Aug 23, 2016 at 09:17
I think the humor stems from the "In Pop Culture" references on Wikipedia.  The effort they exert to include the section is sometimes ridiculous.

Mattias Cedervall - Aug 25, 2016 at 22:08
I guess you could be right.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Aug 22, 2016 at 14:50
Ironically, I didn't made one! :-D

Arto - Aug 22, 2016 at 16:30
Any UFO sightings up there?

Did you have a yellow crayon with you? Or a remote control? Peanuts? I understand they might be handy on Mt Rainier.

Have you used your blue crystal on Pep yet?

Look behind you, a two-headed squirrel!

... dang, can't think of anything else right now ...

Mattias Cedervall - Aug 22, 2016 at 17:00
Ron, I hope it was nice hiking!

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Aug 22, 2016 at 17:13
Oh oh oh, another gift from the staff!
A new piece of music, at the end of the podcast!
Closing my eyes, I imagine this music in background in the circus room, outdoor.
Have I guessed?

Mattias Cedervall - Aug 22, 2016 at 18:12
I think it would be pennywise to assume It has something to do with the circus...

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Aug 23, 2016 at 03:34
OK... got "IT" !

Daniel - Aug 22, 2016 at 17:38
HAHAH! loved David's work this week and the required bleeping... He worked on a whole lot of elevator music this week.

Mattias Cedervall - Aug 22, 2016 at 18:14
I think David von Spoiler was in an elevator when they recorded.

Big Red Button - Aug 22, 2016 at 19:43
"Main street" animations sounds interesting!

I've already been at a lot of trade fairs, but, albeit the eye-catching (replaceable) hostesses who're only paid for posing and distributing flyers, I noticed rather seldom when the staff at a booth is from the development team behind the exhibits. It becomes more interesting once you know about this fact.

Emmanuel - Aug 22, 2016 at 19:53

Milo Casagrande - Aug 23, 2016 at 03:04
Wow, love the soundtrack at the end of the podcast, the bass guitar is lovely! Hope it really is in-game soundtrack!
Can you share more details about that? The composing process...


ZakMcKracken - Aug 23, 2016 at 04:07
Hello, my name is Zak McKracken. By chance, I have become aware of you're website. I lost my glasses, my hat and my moustache. One question: Is the house in Monkey Island inspired by Rothenburg in Germany and: Ron - are you doing a new Monkey Island game when you buy the rights? One question to David Fox: What is the name of the wife of Zak McKracken. All the best, Zak McKracken

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Aug 23, 2016 at 06:09
Hi, nice to meet you.
I think I have seen you accidentally on Twitter, in one of the recent posts.
I will answer the question about the location of Monkey Island: we have talked about it here and there in the blog. There are many similarities between Melee Island and Rothenburg, and this picture is self-explaining:
But it was not inspired by that town.

I could and would answer your other two questions, but I'll wait for Ron and David to answer you.
Meanwhile, welcome here on the blog, please take a look at the archive section to read previous posts.

Big Red Button - Aug 23, 2016 at 12:04
I assume that it's such a crooked alley on Mêlée Island because of the limitations in terms of the size of the room screens, due to the restricted disk space on the floppy disks. It's the counterpart to the extensive side views of the streets in TP.

Nevertheless, it's a nice town! In my opinion, Ron's next game shall take place in a town like Rothenburg - maybe with a spooky castle.

Nor Treblig - Aug 23, 2016 at 21:00
Also it was their first game featuring actor scaling and this was the perfect room layout for showing off!
It's like 3D!

Big Red Button - Aug 28, 2016 at 05:03
Another old flatiron house from the reality, though there is neither an arch nor a clock tower:

Dieter - Aug 23, 2016 at 10:59
"are you doing a new Monkey Island game when you buy the rights?"

Ron answered that question several times. In podcasts and here in the blog. Short answer: Yes.

"What is the name of the wife of Zak McKracken. All the best, Zak McKracken"

If you are Zak, you should know that. :) If you are just some other guy with that name: Play through Zak. He has no wife but a girlfriend namend *Spoiler*.

longuist - Aug 23, 2016 at 16:43
This compilation of constantly asked questions sounds fishy. One thing was missing though:

"Ron, thank you for making DOTT !!1"

Big Red Button - Aug 23, 2016 at 17:14
"What's the secret of Monkey Island?"
"How much wood could a woodchuck chuck, if ...?"

Someone - Aug 24, 2016 at 13:27
Ron should write a FAQ on his own website.

David Fox - Aug 24, 2016 at 17:17
Everything you wanted to know about Zak McKracken at

Tom - Aug 23, 2016 at 12:09
Thimbleweed Park reminds me of Stranger Things. I hope the game is as cool as the TV show. The '80s were awesome!

Max - Aug 23, 2016 at 12:21
Do you ever regret having to do voice? I assume it's a large investment and somewhat limits the kind of dialogue you can do. Plus, if the voice acting turns people off, it can be worse than just showing text. But on the other hand, maybe text only is just a no go for lots of potential buyers. Maybe you don't feel you can be frank about it at this point but I would be curious if this is something you wrestle with.

Ron Gilbert - Aug 23, 2016 at 12:32
Voice is great. I can't imagine doing a game without it.  For a lot of modern gamers, it's a requirement.

Zombocast - Aug 23, 2016 at 14:57
Thimbleweedpark at the xoxo convention in Portland, count me there!

Do you know if you will be doing a speech or presentation of the game?

The xoxo site is complete rubbish i cant buy tickets online, i cant see which speakers will be for what days.

I'll continue to research it tonight.

Ron Gilbert - Aug 23, 2016 at 15:04
XOXO is sold out. It's one of those shows that sells out in an hour. We're showing on Friday night. I'm not doing a talk.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Aug 24, 2016 at 01:56
[Off topic]
Big earthquake in central Italy a few hours ago.
I'm safe.
Hope other friend here are safe; too.

Tim Lammert - Aug 24, 2016 at 06:39
[Off topic]
It´s in the news all day in germany, hopefully everyone is ok, at least here.
Was a heavy earthquake I could read an see. Whole Villages are gone.
[On topic]
I postet a link to the Gamescom pictures in the comments for "Meet Dolores" yesterday

hmm feel bad to combine this two posts

Brian Small - Aug 24, 2016 at 12:38
My wife shared some photos with my regarding that earthquake and the devastation it caused.  I'm glad you are OK, and my thoughts are with those affected.

Zuckerberg - Aug 24, 2016 at 12:42
I know, numbers are top secret, but I'm astonished by the amount of travel + booth costs you're actually able to put up. From what I know, trade shows usually bill hundreds to thousands per booth per day. And then there's travel to Europe, or across the country on top. Can you talk about this a little, at least? Or are game shows usually "for free", or do some even invite you over, with booth paid up, and all, for free?

BTW: You guys know that your weekly podcast is now covering "what you did the last *two* weeks", right. Just being a wisecrack...

David Fox - Aug 24, 2016 at 17:15
We actually take the week off when we don't have a podcast, so it's still "what we did last week"...


Derrick Reisdorf - Aug 25, 2016 at 00:12
Didn't Microsoft throw some cash their way?

Ron Gilbert - Aug 25, 2016 at 00:41
All the money we got from MS is going towards the port. Going to shows like GamesCom is extra. Rob lives in the UK, so it wasn't too expensive to send and lodge him for GamesCom. We maybe spent $1000. PAX is a different story.  We'll probably spend $6000 to go to PAX West.  It's cheaper than PAX East due to three team members living in Seattle.  It can get pricy, but it's worth it and part of what you need to spend on marketing/pr to launch a successful game. Build it and they will come is a fantasy.

Zuckerberg - Aug 26, 2016 at 10:58

Derrick Reisdorf - Aug 24, 2016 at 17:48
I'm glad to hear a close-up puzzle exists in the game.  I wonder how many will be in the game...

Variety IS the spice of life, they say!

Ron Gilbert - Aug 25, 2016 at 00:41
So far, there is one. :-)

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Aug 25, 2016 at 01:57
It's a hyposodic game!  ;-D

Derrick Reisdorf - Aug 25, 2016 at 14:58
Hmm...Ron briefly mentioned some subject topic/sections in which they are lacking for story submissions.  If he specifically requests more submissions for particular topic/sections, I'm sure we could oblige.  :)

Benjamin - Sep 06, 2016 at 22:35
I think the boxes under the inventory icons need to go. The game looks absolutely AMAZING by the way! :)

Ron Gilbert - Sep 06, 2016 at 22:43
I've tried it both ways, it looks a lot better with the boxes.  It looks OK with large inventory items, but when the items get small (or are missing), it creates these gaps that create a lot of unbalance.