Thimbleweed Park Podcast #63

by Ron Gilbert
Nov 19, 2016

Join us as we discuss the beeping beepers and beeping in general.

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

Arto - Nov 19, 2016 at 13:16
Beeping: I believe actors have to do the real swear words, as they give punch to whole sentence. If they do beeping lines, I think it waters the line down.
Turorial: please add it only for easy mode so that I don't have to go through it. But I actually think that for this kind of a game, if one needs a tutorial, won't be able to finish the game...
The ending: WTF?

Rodrifra - Nov 19, 2016 at 13:55
I've heard in the podcast you're going to start recording voices and then a cold shiver run through my back. I think voices will only be in english. Am I right? So no worries about that, but then text came and the question arose. Who is going to make the spanish translation? Is it going to be European or South American? I'm asking this because there is a huge difference from one to another, even between south american. I remember when my cousin went to live to the US (Florida/Miami) he had the chance to choose between english and spanish to take his driving license test. He choosed english since it was more difficult for him to understand the spanish in which the tests were translated.

Ron Gilbert - Nov 19, 2016 at 13:58
The Spanish is European Spanish, but we're looking into maybe doing South American Spanish, but there are a lot of difference between the countries that speak Spanish. I need to learn more about it.

Juan Martín - Nov 19, 2016 at 17:12
All american spanish in general differs from Spain's spanish (or Spain's main spanish).

In america in general we pronounce za- zo- zu // ce - ci the same way we pronounce sa - se - si - so - su

But there are also differences in america.

The informal verbs of the second person (singular) is different for argentineans, people from uruguay and maybe a country from central america. In fact the second person informal for argentinians is "vos" (you)  most other countries including spain is "tu".

Chile has its own thing for verbs of the second person (singular).

Ecuador, Colombia, Perú, Venezuela, México have differences (expressions, certain words that come from the civilizations previous to the arrival of europeans) but grosso modo are similar.

When we use formal language we tend to be more similar though slight pronunciación variations exist  (intonation still varies).

I don't know if any of this is helpful.

But cool characters // mischievous and savy salesmen or womanizers  should speak in argentinean accent   (trust me on that)

Iron Curtain - Nov 19, 2016 at 22:28
There are also other differences, e.g.

-You (plural):
Spain - Vosotros
Latin America - Ustedes

Spain - Zumo
Latin America - Jugo

Iron Curtain
Spain - Telón de Acero
Latin America - Cortina de Hierro

etc. etc.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Nov 20, 2016 at 01:12
Iron = Acero?
Curious,  acero in italian is the tree took as national plant of Canada

Rodrifra - Nov 20, 2016 at 03:47
Nah, iron means hierro. But someone translated it as acero, the same happens with a lot of movies where the tranlations are far from accurate. The thing is that "telón de acero" sounds way better than "cortina de hierro" to me, but most probably that is because I've been listening it my whole life.

Iron Curtain - Nov 20, 2016 at 06:22
No, "Acero" is Spanish for "Steel".

Gffp - Nov 20, 2016 at 06:47
One moment, please make a step backward: "ferrum aciarum". "Ferrum" is the elemental matter (iron), while "aciarum" (from "acies" that means properly axe intended as cutting edge) is an adjective that means iron hardened to cut (in english is steel).

lat. ferrum                      --->         ita.  ferro                                                                span. hierro                       eng. iron
lat. ferrum aciarum   --->         ita.  acciaro (old) or acciaio                          span. acero                        eng. steel

lat. acer                           --->         ita. acero                                                               span. arce                          eng. acer

Gffp - Nov 20, 2016 at 07:12
Sorry I mean latin acer, english maple

Rodrifra - Nov 19, 2016 at 17:18
Great news (at least for European Spanish speakers like me) it's not that we can't understand each other, but you may need to clarify things while talking or just make everybody laugh by just introducing someone. For instance Conchita which is a name in European for an Argentinian means pussy 😄

Ricardo Marichal - Nov 20, 2016 at 06:20
Even in Spain, there is so much differences. For example, not only the accent in The Canary Islands if different, we have many different words. And we are European. So, is hard to tell which is the "Authentic European Spanish"...

Johnny Walker - Nov 27, 2016 at 09:46
Pretty sure there's no need for a separate version. European Spanish speakers frequently watch South American Spanish films and vice versa (my girlfriend is Spanish, and she regularly watches SA shows and films).

Big Red Button - Nov 19, 2016 at 14:02
Does the back face bob up whenever the syllable contains an "a", or how is it done?

Nor Treblig - Nov 19, 2016 at 14:03
It was always fun to breeze through easy mode (MI2, also MI3) seeing what differences there were.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Nov 20, 2016 at 01:15
I agree, but only after having completed the game in normal mode.

Rodrifra - Nov 20, 2016 at 04:09
I'm a little dumb so MI2 was impossible to finish for me in the difficult mode. Even having finished it in the easy mode before, But I really liked having the two levels available, it was like having two different games in one like IJ2 (3 games in one). I was able to finish MI3 & 4 by myself though, as well as DOTT, IJ2 theFate of Atlantis, Sam&Max, The Dig, Loom, Full Throttle. I am afraid I didn't played MM even though I had the oportunity in DOTT, but at that time graphics turned me down. Now I bought the remastered edition and curiously I,ve started to play it, we'll see where I end up this time😊. The thing is that for me those were the best games ever created, and I've started tons of other adventure games but none were even near to those LucasArts (read the people who made them instead the logo) masterpieces.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Nov 20, 2016 at 05:53
Yeah, that's the reason why I have backed this project, because I trust all the people involved in Lucas*.* adventure games.
If they did an excellent job during these past years, I am sure I won't be disapponted.

Big Red Button - Nov 20, 2016 at 08:14
I agree. But, I think that some of their games were better than others of them. In short, I prefer the more humorous ones (except Sam & Max and the 3D games).
I'm extremely happy that this team creates a new game of this kind!

Nor Treblig - Nov 20, 2016 at 22:50
That's a perfectly good example for having those two modes!
If you get stuck in normal mode you can play again with easy mode. And maybe it even helps you solving that particular puzzle.

Johnny Walker - Nov 27, 2016 at 09:50
You're not dumb, the "Normal" mode of MI2 was extremely difficult due to the fact (and I guess Ron can confirm or deny this) that there was originally supposed to be three difficulty levels: Easy, Normal and Hard. When they had to chop it down to two, they went with Easy and Hard. (New players would want to play "Easy" and regular players would want to play "Hard" is, I presume, the logic.)

In retrospect it was a big mistake, as nobody wanted to play an adventure game on Easy! (Literally: "I've never played an adventure game before, I'm scared!"

Curse of Monkey Island fixed this by offering a perfectly solid Normal and Hard mode instead.

Ron Gilbert - Nov 27, 2016 at 10:12
It was always 2 modes.  I do believe people wanted to play on Easy mode, it was quite common back then and I think it will be even more common today.  I have come across a lot (and I mean a lot) of people, who hear Thimbleweed Park is a 10+ hour game and they are disappointed. They want to a 3 or 4 hour experience.  Easy mode is for them.  The final mode won't be called "easy", we're still figuring out what best to call it.  Maybe "casual" as that fits the player type today.

Big Red Button - Nov 27, 2016 at 13:08
How about "tuna head" mode?

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Nov 27, 2016 at 15:58
That's beyond my comprehension.
Talking about adventure games, longer is better.
Recently, I have played some visual novel games (the closest type to what "adventure game" means I have found for Nintendo 3DS), and I have finished them in 25 to 30 hours. This is simply... satisfactory!
And in a visual novel, you have to follow a linear plot, there is no room for too many mistakes.
Welcome Thimbleweed Park, with all those puzzles, giving us a lot (and I mean a lot™) of hours of funny and unforgettable playing!!

Big Red Button - Nov 27, 2016 at 17:58
I agree. When an adventure games has been fun, I use to be sad once it's over.
On the other hand, let's wait an see if I'll be able to play the game as successfully as I would like to and satisfy my own ambitions. Elsewise, I would also try the easy mode after all.
Of course, it's not easy to make the game difficult enough but not too difficult. So, it's good to have two different modes.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Nov 28, 2016 at 03:06
Yes, my concern wasn't on the two different difficulties of the game, but on the attitude of "a lot" of players stating that an adventure game should be kept short.

Ron Gilbert - Nov 28, 2016 at 09:38
For what it's worth, I am in the shorter camp when playing other people's games. I have too much to do, I don't want to spend 1-15 hours playing a game.   I enjoy designing long adventure games, I just don't enjoy playing them. There are a lot of people out there like me. There is so much media to consume these days. I will typically play a game for 4 or 5 hours and stop, even if I'm not done.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Nov 28, 2016 at 10:53
True, nowadays it's not like in the 90's: at that time I had more spare time, free afternoons, no work, only amusement.
But even in these days, where the work takes 1/3 of my day life, the collateral activites take a good slice of time and the spare time is reduced to about 1 or 2 hours before sleeping, playing a good adventure game is always a funny thing, like reading a book.
A 30-hours adventure game could be completed in 20 days. Excluding holydays or evenings with friends and so on, it could take a good month.
I take my time, I'm in no hurry.
Longer is better :-)

Anyway I agree with Ron when he talks about so much media to consume on these days. Didn't think about it.

Nor Treblig - Nov 28, 2016 at 22:12
This is what I like about point'n'click adventure games and other mainly story based media (movies, books):
They have (hopefully) a great story and they end eventually.
The time of consumption can range e.g. from 0.5 hours to 20 hours.

Then there are other games which are great to play just for having a short distraction (especially mobile games, e.g. 3-in-a-row types, Angry Bird etc.).

But with large RPGs and MMORPGS... it just never ends. It's a humongous time sink. And some day I'm bored of the game and just stop playing. There is no real satisfying ending.

Big Red Button - Nov 29, 2016 at 06:18
When I was younger I loved to spend lots of hours with longer games as well as I liked to try other games for very few hours. Though I used to have more spare time back then. Nowadays, I rather play only few games, but each preferentially over a longer period. It's probably because I like detailled characters and complex stories.
Nonetheless, I understand Ron's point of view.  Since he is a game designer, it's highly recommendable for him to check out new games.

Geoffrey Paulsen - Nov 19, 2016 at 14:41
Any thoughts about a "movie mode", for folks who don't want to think at all, but just want to watch the game played?  I've wanted that feature years later when I didn't want to think, but wanted to watch the game played through again.  Of course now with you-tube 'lets plays', that pretty much satisfies that itch.

Nor Treblig - Nov 19, 2016 at 15:37
For the achievement press Ctrl + W. Otherwise like you said: Let's Plays.

spiffy - Nov 19, 2016 at 14:47
For the German translation of *beep* Boris could use character sequences like @*&#$!! as it is known from classic comic books like Asterix.

Big Red Button - Nov 19, 2016 at 14:57
Or some **.

Nor Treblig - Nov 19, 2016 at 15:38
Two wimpy asterisks? I would have written at least six!

Big Red Button - Nov 19, 2016 at 16:49
I actually wrote a few more. I wonder what happened to them. Maybe they united to the first one, so that it became bold.

Anyway, I associate censorship not least with asterisks. Asterisks remind me of legendary game titles such as Q**, D* N*** or D*.

Big Red Button - Nov 19, 2016 at 16:53
Well, it seems as if my censored game titles were censored. :D

I think that this is not the right blog for censorships. So, let's keep on talking straight to each other!

Nor Treblig - Nov 19, 2016 at 19:35
That's quite an aggressive censorship-censorship-filter on this blog!
Was it necessary to also censor the game titles in Germany?
Games like Quake, Duke Nukem, Dick.

Big Red Button - Nov 20, 2016 at 13:08
Exactly, games magazines always wrote these titles by using asterisks. Due to a decision by these people:
I'm not sure if this is still the case. However, I'm convinced that it made these games even more attractive for younger consumers in Germany, even though there was no legal way there to get a copy. However, in Germany, first person shooters have been as popular as they have been in every other country.

Dieter - Nov 20, 2016 at 16:26
Doom is available again. Not sure about the others.

Nor Treblig - Nov 20, 2016 at 22:24
Oh, they have an English name too?

Many of those games which got on the Index wouldn't be a problem with today's standards.
But I've heard that since they are now on it it's not so easy to remove them. E.g. GOG got into trouble with selling such games in Germany.

Nor Treblig - Nov 20, 2016 at 22:25
@Dieter: Oh right, Doom it was. I couldn't guess it, I blame his wrong, non-chronological order!

Big Red Button - Nov 26, 2016 at 12:24
For all I can remember, these prohibitions are limited to dealings with these games. But, what would happen if you bought such a game on GOG or Steam before it gets unavailable for german GOG users? Would this game suddenly be disabled?

Nor Treblig - Nov 26, 2016 at 17:15
Don't know about Steam (they definitely CAN remove games if they want to), but regarding GOG: apart from you downloading and keeping the game forever it also stays in your game library forever ("forever").

Sometimes games need to be removed from the store because the publisher wants to or rights were transferred to another publisher or GOG needing to comply to some stupid national laws...

For example: I still own all Duke Nukem games on GOG (all means up to DN3D + Manhatten Project) which sadly were removed from the store some time ago (Gearbox bought it, now it's Steam only and we've finally got the masterpiece called DNF).
Here's the old store page:

Big Red Button - Nov 27, 2016 at 05:41
Sounds fair. Thank you!

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Nov 20, 2016 at 05:55
word surrounded by asterisks: *bold*
word surrounded by underscors: ___italic___

I hope it works again, because sometimes it didn't...

Nor Treblig - Nov 20, 2016 at 22:27
The original logic was single asterisks but he changed it later to double asterisks.
Sadly it also applies to our old, handcrafted comments :-(

nikola - Nov 19, 2016 at 15:06
In Europe there is great low-cost flying infrastructure if You are more anxious about getting to more places vs. full comfort. That would involve logistics to travel light and have the community organize the gear, but could widen the coverage.

Dieter - Nov 19, 2016 at 18:01
I'm sure here are several backers that would pay Ron, Gary and David the flight to europe, a hotel suite, lunch, dinner and champagne. Am I right, Zak et. al? ;-)

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Nov 20, 2016 at 01:19
Quite right. I would pay lunch, dinner and Spumante, Grana Padano Cheese and Pizza without pineapple :-)

Dieter - Nov 20, 2016 at 06:53
Spumante? For Ron? THE Ron Gilbert? Only champagne and oisters will fit!

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Nov 20, 2016 at 09:14
Spumante is italian, champagne is French. And believe me, there's an area near Brescia, in northern Italy, called "Franciacorta" (little France) where they produce excellent wines. The best of the best I could offer,  for Thimbleweed Team!

Dieter - Nov 20, 2016 at 10:20
Yes, the italian wines are very good and well-known (at least in germany).

Regarding "Spumante": If you say "Spumante" in germany, you will get a cheap (sweet) sparcling wine in terms of a Prosecco, far away from champagne. I think it's the fault of the sweet "Asti Spumante":

Though I didn't know that's the italian word for champagne. :)

Ema - Nov 20, 2016 at 13:15
Actually, I have to say the truth: even if I like italian wines more than french ones, I have to admit that usually the average Champagne is far better than the average Spumante. Said that, there are some exceptions, with some excellent Spumante which can be very good and very expensive.
Anyway, I think that -when possible- one should aim for the best using products of the territory. The territory is important. When I'm in Paris and I want to party, I ask for Oysters and Champagne.
In Italy, I ask for a bottle of Barolo, or Amarone. But, Zak, if you want you can offer them even Sassicaia.... but please, in that case, call me. :-)

I don't know if one bottle of Sassicaia will convince the whole team to come to your place. Surely it will convince me.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Nov 20, 2016 at 18:10
Ema, the Sassicaia wine is from Tuscany, one of the most expensive wines I know. I have tasted it only once, during a wedding party.
Unfortunately I couldn't find it easily :-)

Ema - Nov 27, 2016 at 13:01
Yes, I didn't make myself clear, sorry... I just wanted to say that a stranger in Italy should drink italian wines and in France french wines...
I know that Sassicaia is not produced in Franciacorta! :-)

But anyway, I've never tasted Sassicaia, so if you want to make an investment, you can take advantage of the discounts of this week on online wine shops :-) I will surely come to your place to taste your wine, and if TWP dev team will be present, even better ;-)

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Nov 20, 2016 at 18:13
Yes, I meant Asti Spumante. The Prosecco is very different, usually served during the appetisers.

Davide - Nov 22, 2016 at 20:47
Spumante is a kind of wine: it just means that the wine produces "Spuma" (foam) when you open it.
Prosecco is a kind of Spumante, produced in Italy (native of Veneto/Friuli regions).
Champagne is a kind of Spumante, produced in the Champagne-Ardenne region of France.

Nor Treblig - Nov 20, 2016 at 22:30
I like Sprudelwasser. Only the best Sprudelwasser.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Nov 21, 2016 at 08:48
If I come to Germany, would you like to let me taste it?

Nor Treblig - Nov 21, 2016 at 09:50
But you need to tell me beforehand so I can come to Germany too :-)

Dieter - Nov 21, 2016 at 10:38
He is kidding. "Sprudelwasser" is simply soda water (mineral water with CO2).

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Nov 21, 2016 at 11:06
Ahahahah! :-)
I googled it now! In that case, a Perrier would be fine!

Nor Treblig - Nov 21, 2016 at 15:57
Yes it was a joke. I actually don't really like Sprudelwasser. I prefer still water.

Rodrifra - Nov 20, 2016 at 04:10
I wouldn't risk my life flying in one of those 😕

hoerry - Nov 19, 2016 at 16:14
Don't know if this has been suggested before but maybe you should use multiple funny sounds for censorship bleeps such as bird noises and old timey car horns like David Letterman used to do his show, because I would think that using only standard television bleep might get annoying after playing for while.

Carlo Valenti - Nov 19, 2016 at 18:21
Easy questions about the soundtrack:
Is there a Thimbleweed Park main theme (hopefully memorable) ? Are there several recurring themes (hopefully memorable)? Is the intro theme used in  the podcasts also used in the game?
Thank you!

Ron Gilbert - Nov 19, 2016 at 18:29
A version of the podcast opening is the main theme for the game, or at least it's the music that plays over the opening. Each area of the game has it's own style of music, but there are no "character themes". The world is the only truly important character.

Carlo Valenti - Nov 19, 2016 at 18:36
Got it, thanks.
I am really talking very well and with much expectation to friends about the game. Let's hope that word-of-mouth is going to help.
By the way, I really appreciate your work.

Someone - Nov 20, 2016 at 07:02
I guess it's too late, but you should think about a theme as a (very!) geat marketing instrument: If you choose a theme that is highly remarkable and catchy, the players will remember the tune and spread the theme - which keeps the talking about the game alive.

A good example is the Monkey Island theme. It's an earworm / catchy tune that remains in the head of the players for years. Even now there are new videos on YouTube where even street musicians(!) play the monkey island theme.

So a good theme could keep the game in discussion over years.

Big Red Button - Nov 20, 2016 at 18:09
I've loved LeChuck's theme. So, it's a little bit disappointing for me that there won't be a memorable villain theme - but this is only a detail.
The pieces of music from the podcasts and videos are very promising.

Someone - Nov 21, 2016 at 05:06
Yes, I think it's more important that the music fits to / supports the game. If a background music annoys you while playing then the music is crap. :-) In the best case you won't notice the music - but you miss it, when you turn the music off. :)

Rodrifra - Nov 20, 2016 at 04:13
IMuse, I relly loved that invention.

retroactive - Nov 19, 2016 at 18:31
which lip syncing tool did you use in the end? is it free and/or open source?

Ron Gilbert - Nov 19, 2016 at 18:40
We're using this:

We've only tested with a handful of lines, once the real dialog starts to roll in we'll give it a better test to make and final decision, but so far, it is very nice.

Ema - Nov 19, 2016 at 18:54
I remember one fan suggesting you to use this utility. Did you choose this because of the suggestion, or by yourself?

Thank you.

Ron Gilbert - Nov 19, 2016 at 18:57
The suggestion led us to investigate it.

Geoffrey Paulsen - Nov 20, 2016 at 09:02
Very cool!  Does it actually take sound files, and do FFTs on them to figure out the phonemes to trigger animations?  WoW, we're not in the 80s anymore!

Daniel Wolf - Nov 20, 2016 at 15:44
It's actually a two-step process. First, Rhubarb Lip-Sync performs regular voice recognition to determine the spoken words and -- more importantly -- the individual phones these words consist of. For instance, the text "Hi there!" will result in the phones "HH AY DH EH R".

If the user knows the dialog text, they can provide it when calling the tool. It will then use this text as a guide to get more reliable voice recognition. (My guess is that Ron has all recordings and the matching dialog strings in some huge database, making it easy to pass along the correct text line.)

The second step takes the recognized phones and animates them. At first, I thought I could get away with a simple 1:1 mapping between phones and mouth shapes. My first proof-of-concept animation actually uses this approach. Turns out, however, that the way we say most phones depends heavily on the phones around them. For instance, you can say the HH sound with just about any mouth shape, as long as your mouth isn't completely closed. Saying "Hi" looks exactly like saying "I", so the HH phone gets dropped in animation. The AY sound that follows, on the other hand, actually consists of two sounds: The AA as in "father" sound, followed by EE as in "bee". So accordingly, it gets animated using two consecutive mouth shapes.

I'm not the first person to realize this, though. Traditional animators have known these things for almost a century. So I studied about two dozen books on traditional animation, trying to understand how professional animators work. What Rhubarb Lip-Sync does is try to emulate this traditional approach in software.

Big Red Button - Nov 20, 2016 at 18:26
Thank you for this interesting insight and also for providing this software for free!

Johnny Walker - Nov 27, 2016 at 09:44
Oh cool! Well done, Daniel!

urielz - Nov 20, 2016 at 11:34
And here's in action, very cool:

Ema - Nov 19, 2016 at 19:11
Thank you. So, was the Thimbleweed Park demo video for the lip-synch utility made after you adopted it, or was it just a coincidence that the developers choose your charachters for it?

Ron Gilbert - Nov 19, 2016 at 19:13
The developer reads this blog, so maybe he will chime in. I don't know the full background.

Geoffrey Paulsen - Nov 20, 2016 at 09:03
I hope so!  I'd love to hear the story, behind the story.

Nor Treblig - Nov 19, 2016 at 19:28
Purre coincidence :-)

...I don't think so:
Search for Daniel Wolf.

Big Red Button - Nov 19, 2016 at 22:38
By the way, Ron mentioned the possibility of lip-syncing and his interest in it for the first time in this blog entry:
There was a discussion in the comments about different lip-sync tools.

urielz - Nov 20, 2016 at 11:36
If I recall correctly, I think the developer started the whole lip sync project because of TP!

Daniel Wolf - Nov 20, 2016 at 15:01
That's right! Over a year ago, in the blog post mentioned by Big Red Button, Ron asked if anybody knew a good tool for automated lip-sync. I replied that the only decent tool cost $3000 per game, which was way over his budget. Being a software developer, I figured that writing such a tool myself couldn't be too hard. Was I ever wrong! I started work on Rhubarb Lip-Sync in September 2015, and it has taken most of my spare time for over a year to arrive at a version that I consider ready for production.

Way before that, Ron gave me a nasty shock when he mentioned on a podcast that he was no longer planning to do lip-sync. With those tiny, pixellated characters, he argued, no-one would notice the difference anyway. To prove otherwise, I used Rhubarb Lip-Sync to create two animations using original Thimbleweed Park artwork: one early proof-on-concept video featuring agent Reyes, and later a more polished video where agent Ray delivers a variation of the voice-over from the teaser.

Now that I've got Ron convinced, there are still a few things I'm planning in order to make the animation even better. @Ron: Can you give me a rough estimate regarding how much time I have for backwards-compatible improvements so that they still make it into the game?

Ema - Nov 20, 2016 at 17:20

That's exactly the kind of story I wished to read when I asked. Thanks to you and Ron for sharing it.

Mario F. - Nov 21, 2016 at 13:26
thank you for investigating your free and spare time to improve this game in any way that is possible.
i think the improvement with lip-sync is great.

Mattias Cedervall - Nov 19, 2016 at 20:16
Ron, when will Kirk write about composing the music?

I hope there will be no beeping censorship!

Nor Treblig - Nov 20, 2016 at 00:10
I hope they've put corresponding terms in all of their contracts: "deliver >= x blog entries"

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Nov 20, 2016 at 01:33
At 9'34" Ron says (if I have understood correctly):
"Probably next week I'll get the translated started in the other languages".
That means that translations in other languages are already running and you are waiting to receive the first translated lines, or that you are choosing the translators and the work will start from next week?
Thank you

Nor Treblig - Nov 20, 2016 at 22:54
He said: "Probably next week I'll get the translators started on the other languages."
So they haven't started yet. He then said he wanted to test out the process with Boris first.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Nov 21, 2016 at 08:49
Thank you very much!

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Nov 20, 2016 at 03:33
If I may be helpful, to search for cheaper flies to Europe, try:
And, if your final destination will be Italy,  I suggest you to book your fly after January 8th, that is after all the holidays.
Or, if you want to launch a kickstarter campaign with $4000 as a stretch goal.......

Dieter - Nov 20, 2016 at 06:51
Regarding the holidays: Same here in germany. But within the holidays a lot of people have a holiday. ;) So more people can get to your event/meeting.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Nov 20, 2016 at 09:16
Correct, I didn't think about it!

Nor Treblig - Nov 20, 2016 at 22:43
Can some native speaker tell me if you can actually use fly (instead of flight) in this context?
While reading it the first time I had another meaning in mind :-)

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Nov 21, 2016 at 08:55
I'm not a native english speaker, but I am confident that "fly" means both the black insect and the synonym of "flight".

Brian Small - Nov 21, 2016 at 13:28
"Fly" is used as the verb when you are taking a "flight" (noun).  "I plan to fly to Las Vegas this weekend".  "I am flying to Boston in August".  Where flight would be used when you are referring to the noun form.  "There are no available flights to Amsterdam next week".  Or "The cost of airplane flights to Africa has become prohibitive.".

Zombocast - Nov 20, 2016 at 05:30
One proposed issue is:
The lip-sync tool picks up the beep audio and messes up the lipsync.

Recommend recording the actual cussword, so we get the correct sync.

Zombocast - Nov 20, 2016 at 05:52
Also, I could not figure out how you could legally use the Rhubarb-lip-sync tool in your game.
But you Answered that question.
You pre-generate the animation and match it with the audio clip.

The program never gets integrated or used in runtime.

Someone - Nov 20, 2016 at 10:25
Which license does not allow the (commercial) use?

The tool uses only MIT-, BSD- or whatever-you-want-licenses. So you can use the tool in commercial products too.

Zombocast - Nov 20, 2016 at 13:46
You're right, he used the MIT license. it's safe for production.

1. The "Rhubarb-lip-sync" license file.

2.The explanation to the MIT license.

I still doubt they will put the actual code in the game.
Ron did say it was voice moding friendly, perhaps include it in a seperate SDK for modding the voices.

longuist - Nov 22, 2016 at 08:24

"When you run Rhubarb Lip-Sync on an audio file, the resulting lip-sync data belongs to you alone. This means that if you use Rhubarb Lip-Sync in the production process of a video game, an animated cartoon, or a similar product that doesn't ship with lip-sync functionality, you don't even have to care about the MIT license."

And you guessed right, there will be no rhubarb code in TP. Only functions to read and interpret the text files, thus matching the timing with the corresponding mouth shapes. (and optionally transitions)

I wonder how long it takes people will manually iron out the rare occasions where lips are not synced perfectly :)

Soong - Nov 22, 2016 at 03:04
All Free Software licenses allow commercial use.  Some commercial vendors choose not to use code under certain (copyleft) licenses because they don't want to pass on the four freedoms to the users of their software.  That is a choice the developer can make and many do choose to make their software non-free.  However, commercial use is not the distinctive feature here and is allowed by all Free Software licenses.

Someone - Nov 23, 2016 at 04:47
"All Free Software licenses allow commercial use."


Soong - Nov 25, 2016 at 02:55
Would you care to elaborate a bit?  I gave a detailed explanation, provided links, and I can even give you another link to the official Free Software definition which very clearly states:

“Free software” does not mean “noncommercial”. A free program must be available for commercial use, commercial development, and commercial distribution.

It's fine if you want to contradict me, but please provide a little bit more than just "no".

Big Red Button - Nov 20, 2016 at 07:45
They could also overlay the mouth of the swearing character with a red rectangle containing the word "censored".

Daniel Wolf - Nov 20, 2016 at 16:37
I agree. If you record the voice actor saying "beep", then run Rhubarb Lip-Sync, Ransome's mouth will form the word "beep" during each electronic beep, making it obvious he isn't really saying a swearword.

Likewise, beeping the recording *before* running Rhubarb will result in a strange frozen mouth every time Rhubarb hears the electronic beeping sound.

So -- provided you want an electronic beep -- the best technical approach is this:

1. Record with full swearwords
2. Run Rhubarb Lip-Sync on the original recordings. This will give you realistic lip-sync.
3. Beep the recordings *afterwards*.

Regarding the question of whether to do electronic beeping at all: In one of my favorite Sierra adventures, Leisure Suit Larry 7, the character Peggy curses all the time. I know from a post by Al Lowe that they used the approach above. Here's a game play video -- skip to 7:40:

Big Red Button - Nov 22, 2016 at 13:46
If they implemented an automatic beep detection, they could fill the beeps with randomized mouth movements.

Nor Treblig - Nov 22, 2016 at 17:18
With Automatic Beep Detection™ (but also known as text parser) we could also automatically fill in swear words from an extensive list (handcrafted by Internet experts) and just do regular lipsync!

Voilà, TWP Uncensored Edition!

Big Red Button - Nov 22, 2016 at 20:12
What about showing special mouth animations, which would look even more aggressive, whenever the Automatic Beep Detection™recognizes a beep?

Nor Treblig - Nov 22, 2016 at 20:52
I think the mouth would not be enough, the face (eyes!) need to be aggressive too. But then we are talking about Ransome who looks aggressive all the time anyway...

Maybe something similar what American TV does: The mouth could be pixelated during sweari..., no, wait...

Rob Carlson - Nov 20, 2016 at 12:40
Why not censor Ransome's swears with various clown noises, like horns and stuff? You might avoid the repetitiveness of constant censor-beeps.

Geoffrey Paulsen - Nov 20, 2016 at 16:09
And if you do the horn, kazoo, whatever while recording, you won't have to edit.

Ema - Nov 20, 2016 at 17:24
You have to, anyway. It is almost impossibile to give the correct timing, live.

Gffp - Nov 21, 2016 at 16:35
That's an amazing idea!

Thimbleweedster - Nov 21, 2016 at 06:11

It's not too late to rename the game to Thimblebeep Park. Beeping is for precious snowflakes who can't handle the fucking truth that is Ransome. I mean beeping truth. I'm European, I'm allowed to swear on the internet :-)) .

Cheeseness - Nov 21, 2016 at 06:27
Another perspective on tutorials - if they have any kind of in-fiction content, then I feel like most players will want to at least check them out even if it's just to read a little more dialogue, hear a little more voice acting or see a little more art.

If the tutorial is only present in easy mode (and I knew that it existed at all), I'd probably start an easy game play the tutorial, then quit and start a hard game.

Bogdan Barbu - Nov 25, 2016 at 01:50
I had the exact same thought.

Johnny Walker - Nov 22, 2016 at 17:17
Ron, I just saw the Double Fine Adventure Documentary deleted scene where you talk about the importance of having the "world" of the game be interesting. In fact, you (I think, quite rightly) point out that the central character of an adventure game is really the world.

So tell me, what's so cool about the world of TP? :)


Paulup - Nov 22, 2016 at 20:45
Idea: create a bot that searches twitter for mentions of "Ron Gilbert" and "Day of the Tentacle" in the same sentence and then automatically replies with "Ron did not make DotT".

Zombocast - Nov 23, 2016 at 19:48
DoT fan here.

Zombocast - Nov 23, 2016 at 19:56
Bought the original floppies twice because the first set went bad. The copy-protection poster with the beaker levels was neat but i lost both of those.

Socrates Medina - Nov 24, 2016 at 21:03
Would it be possible for you to share how do you guys handle lip sync in Thimbleweed Park?

Dieter - Nov 25, 2016 at 05:00
You have read the comments in this blog post? They are using this tool:

Rod - Nov 25, 2016 at 10:52
Beeping: I'd rather have the word muted instead of the actual cursing.  You know, like a low frequency-low volume-short bump sound that helps you realize the word has been muted and then just silence replacing the word. I guess that would be way less annoying than a beep sound let alone beeping or saying "beep".

Dieter - Nov 25, 2016 at 11:07
Well, the muting annoys me more than the beeping. Don't know why, but I would prefer the "beeping" with normal beeps. An exception is Ransom with his "multi beeps". For him I prefer funny noises, so there wouldn't be a  beep by beep.

Nor Treblig - Nov 25, 2016 at 13:30
OK. We need another subsection in the option management system allowing specifying a list of sounds per character. Also allowing off, mute and normal beeps but with possibility to override properties like frequency and waveform.

Big Red Button - Nov 25, 2016 at 17:11
At least you are going to be able to choose between five characters. So, we can simply play on with another character if Ransome's beeps get too annoying.
Though, I wonder how the beeps would accord with the soundtrack.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Nov 25, 2016 at 17:42
@Carlo Valenti: are you OK?

Carlo Valenti - Nov 25, 2016 at 18:34
Thank you Zak for your concern, everything is fine this time.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Nov 26, 2016 at 02:51
Good. Hope the weather will change soon.

Gffp - Nov 25, 2016 at 18:32
Guys, go to a cinema to see Nocturnal Animals. Best movie I've seen in a while. So much to write about, so poor my expression in english (better this way).

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Nov 26, 2016 at 16:18
How many options do you think there will be in the game?
A) <5
B) >4 and <50
C) >49 and <78
D) >77 to infinity and beyond

Nor Treblig - Nov 26, 2016 at 17:31
Do you mean with "in the game" really in the game or just in the game?

The configuration file will be 150 KB in size, minimum. And that's only the normal game configuration not including VR settings. :-)

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Nov 26, 2016 at 17:34
I mean, in the game options :-D
Including the (in)famous "TWP Dev Blog User Options"

Gffp - Nov 27, 2016 at 19:02
I will be surprised if they are more than fifty but, even if they were, to me there's no problem, I will remember all the funny comments of the blog and smile about it! Generally speaking, many options are more likely to confuse the newbye player, and I think that it's a good idea to sum up the options into two bigger "styles"  (old school purism and old school renaissance). But I don't know if all the single options will be available in a game menu, or you have to edit a configuration file (nerd paradise here! :-P)

Ron Gilbert - Nov 27, 2016 at 19:06
There are only 10 (or so) options that are available via the UI. Most of the other options need to be set in a .prefs file.  Once the game is out, I'll publish a list of the interesting ones. Many of which will make the game stupid or ugly.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Nov 28, 2016 at 04:01
Funny, I'm forecasting future Friday Podcasts, once the game is out:
..."Every week, we talk about the option we leaked last week, and what we are going to leak next week."

Someone - Nov 28, 2016 at 04:51
"Many of which will make the game stupid or ugly."

That could be very funny. ;-)

Big Red Button - Nov 28, 2016 at 08:55
Can't wait for the discussions about these hidden options!

longuist - Nov 28, 2016 at 10:29
I suppose they will have simple and meaningful names?!?

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Nov 28, 2016 at 11:01
Nor Trebling: could you please program a script that crawls the Dev Blog searching for all the options that the users left?
Pretty Please?
Please with sugar on it?

longuist - Nov 28, 2016 at 18:43
This list is made possible by semi-manual automatic hand picking and some amount of procrastination. Automatic crawling is not an option :)
Not claiming to be complete, posts with same sounding options are left out randomly.. and you also have to guess the context..
developersdevelopersdevelopers .. ehm optionsoptionsoptions or developeroptions?

As it seems i was the first who "demanded" an option, at least naming it "option"?! Luckily there are other option-connoisseurs out there. Eventually it developed into a running gag.

I want to thank Ron and the whole Thimbleweed Park Team to listen to our "concerns" (or at least not banning our IP) and adding options to suit our retro-needs. Also talking about changes makes me (or us?) want to play it in modern-without-options-enabled-which-renders-it-stupid-or-ugly-in-short-how-it-was-intended-to-play-mode rather than sharpening our pitchforks. Chapeau!

p.s. after re-reading all this stuff, is the "[X] Commodore 64 load times" mode implemented?

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Nov 29, 2016 at 03:28
Very good, boy! Thank you!

longuist - Nov 29, 2016 at 04:35
Woof woof arf aruff youre welcome! Worf A-OOOOOO

Gffp - Nov 29, 2016 at 09:00
Wow, that's devotion, on both sides, programmers and followers!

Then I can say, with reasonable reason, that "the game will be ugly and a huge failure"! (That's a NAOMI™ spell, Neapolitan Apotropaism Of Magic Inversion).

Arto - Dec 17, 2016 at 18:16
Yes, loads of options to choose from!

I think I'll go vanilla.

Mario F. - Nov 27, 2016 at 12:13
Ron is changing the title to:

Thimble*BEEP* Park

Ema - Nov 27, 2016 at 13:02
Nice. I got it. :-)

Orcan Ogetbil - Nov 29, 2016 at 22:28
About the beeps, I think Ransome can do it both ways, i.e. sometimes says the actual swearword (which is beeped or silenced) and other times says "beep" explicitly.
Another idea is, he starts saying the "beep"s during the beginning of the game. At some point during the game when he becomes really upset, he gets pissed at the beeps as well, he swears at the beeps and switches pronouncing the actual swearwords from then on. Of course, this might be hard to do at this point,since there's a string freeze in the production.