Thimbleweed Park Podcast #66

by Ron Gilbert
Mar 04, 2017

The podcast hailed by critics and historians as pointless and of no real value, it's Friday questions!

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

Brian Bagnall - Mar 04, 2017 at 14:57
Awesome! I hope this site gets a forum or something so the fans can keep this going after the game is released.

Sushi - Mar 04, 2017 at 15:22
66 minutes! Wow, either we had a LOT of questions, or you had really long answers. Not complaining, though...

Arto - Mar 04, 2017 at 15:53
Is it possible that Microsoft could postpone the release?

Ron Gilbert - Mar 04, 2017 at 15:56
If something went horribly wrong... but a lot of things can go horribly wrong. There is no reason to think cert is any more likely than anything else to go horribly wrong.

Arto - Mar 04, 2017 at 16:31
But... everything always goes horribly wrong if there is a possibility for something to go horribly wrong. Should I reschedule my vacation? Oh man, life is so uncertain.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 04, 2017 at 19:22
Come on,  he's not Murphy: for him, the Murphy's laws are not applicable!

Osyris - Mar 06, 2017 at 10:11
What if Murphy's Law goes wrong? *sound of mind blown*

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 06, 2017 at 10:49
I don't dare think....

Patrik Spacek - Mar 04, 2017 at 15:54
Thanks for answering my question:  99 Backgrounds (no close ups), 52 Characters (47 speaking characters) ... nice job!

David Fox - Mar 04, 2017 at 16:00
99 backgrounds not including the closeups...

Ron Gilbert - Mar 04, 2017 at 16:02
Including close-ups, it's 1.3 million backgrounds.

Martin Wendt - Mar 05, 2017 at 04:46
Around 100ish seems to be number for most biggish Point-and-clicks of that Lucasfilm era. So might indeed be a universal law beyond which us humans lose track and orientation.
I will add that to my Voight-Kampff test list.

spiffy - Mar 05, 2017 at 07:39
And how many inventory items?

Derrick Reisdorf - Mar 04, 2017 at 16:08
Nooooo! I missed submitting questions!  :(

Gffp - Mar 04, 2017 at 16:31
Thank you very much for answering, your playful mood is always contagious.

So... given my sloth-like speed in playing these games, it will be a long time until I know who made translations and all the stuff in the credits... ahah

But this time I will not ask for any help!

Ahem...Zak have you added my adress?

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 04, 2017 at 19:24
Saved! :-)

oscarwiley - Mar 04, 2017 at 17:30
sweet ill finally get to use that chainsaw!

Big Red Button - Mar 04, 2017 at 18:06
I'm going to solve all the puzzles just by using the chainsaw. Can't wait for it! :-)

Mattias Cedervall - Mar 04, 2017 at 17:58
Thank you for not answering my questions! :P

Nor Treblig - Mar 04, 2017 at 21:21
"Part of a series on Emotions" :D

Karl - Mar 04, 2017 at 18:50
Hey Dave, et al., I missed the Friday questions window for this, but I recently watched the Eurogamer 1-hour playthrough of TWP and noticed that the sentence line above the verbs and inventory has returned instead of sentences being composed at the pointer. Did you end up deciding against that then, and if so, I'm curious as to why? You seemed pretty excited by it when you released the tech demo.

I gotta say, the game looks great based off the video. Looking forward to release day!

Ron Gilbert - Mar 04, 2017 at 18:51
It's an option, and the guy at Eurogamer had it turned on.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 04, 2017 at 19:32
Hi, it's 1:25 AM here, but I don't care: I have just finished to listen to the podcast!
The longest one, but it's worth it.

Gffp: there's a little hope for you: maybe the translators names are in the opening credits ;-)

I laughed at the answer about the David's mustaches and his influence, ahahah!

OK, time to sleep for me.
Have a nice Sunday to everybody!


Nor Treblig - Mar 04, 2017 at 21:28
Fact check: It's the longest of the RELEASED podcasts.
Rumours say he is still editing that... one...

Nor Treblig - Mar 04, 2017 at 21:30
Hey Ron, have you heard of 'Star Wars Trilogy Despecialized Edition' by Harmy? (see Google docs link).

Nor Treblig - Mar 04, 2017 at 21:32
So, my understanding is that we now get a new adventure game from Terrible Toybox every 1.5 years? Yay!
Well, at least that's what I've heard :-)

You can also do it every 2 years with 6 months vacation, what a life!

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 05, 2017 at 01:27
Yeah, I have understood that if they will do another point'n'click adventure game,  it may took from 6 to 9 months less than Thimbleweed Park.
Overall time can be 1 year and half.
..... if the game would be as complex and long as Thimbleweed Park!

Nor Treblig - Mar 04, 2017 at 21:36
One other thing: When I've seen the question about the largest inventory item I've had to think about this:

It's always convenient having magic as fallback to explain everything in your game world :-)

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 05, 2017 at 01:18
Back to the 90s, I regret not to having played Simon the sorcerer.
Ir seems I missed an important adventure game.
Do you think I could play and finish it before the 30th?

Nor Treblig - Mar 05, 2017 at 08:19
No problem, you can play StS 1&2 after finishing TWP while waiting ~2 years for the next Terrible Toybox game!

You could play it before but only with use of walkthroughs I guess.

tomimt - Mar 05, 2017 at 19:56
Not really. Simon 1 and 2 are fun games, but I do think people often exaggerate their quality, Out of often remembered 90's adventure games they certainly belong among ones I don't personally really care of.

Big Red Button - Mar 05, 2017 at 20:22
I agree. I've owned StS 1 & 2 since the 90s, but, back then, I started to play them and lost my interest very quickly. A few months ago, I re-started to play StS 1 and I'll probably continue it when I've finished TWP and some other games. Of course it's fun, but I don't bemoan that I haven't played it earlier. It's a good game, but it's not brilliant.

Arto - Mar 05, 2017 at 06:20
This came to my mind:

No magic there, just big pockets.

Big Red Button - Mar 05, 2017 at 07:03
Use your pockets for the best possible weight distribution. I like those workaday tricks!

Here is another one:

But the oldest example I know (maybe the inspiration for all of that) is this one:

LogicDeLuxe - Mar 05, 2017 at 07:13
That's still nothing. In Minecraft you can carry 2304 blocks with you, 1 cubic meter each, even gold. And you can still run, jump, swim, drive a boot, a minecart, or ride a horse with all that weight.

Big Red Button - Mar 05, 2017 at 07:23
Such bulky blocks? Wow, that's really impressive!

Nor Treblig - Mar 05, 2017 at 08:20
But, but it's using voxels which is cheating! Those aren't even real pixels! Those are fake pixels without any substance!

Nor Treblig - Mar 05, 2017 at 08:21
Too bad there is no special animation for the banana picker!

Big Red Button - Mar 05, 2017 at 15:17
On the other hand, the lack of a special case animation fires the player's imagination.

Nor Treblig - Mar 05, 2017 at 08:21
That must be Voodoo!

LogicDeLuxe - Mar 05, 2017 at 07:02
And Indy took a similar ladder in Fate of Atlantis, without magic.

Nor Treblig - Mar 05, 2017 at 08:27
I think I've found what you were referencing:

Too bad there is no special animation but I'm sure he is deploying some Atlantian magic tricks here :-)

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 05, 2017 at 11:55
In Curse of Monkey Island, there was a special case animation for picking up the ramrod:
It fit inside the trousers and then... it disappears :-D

Big Red Button - Mar 05, 2017 at 15:52
Yes, I remember this one! :-D
Back in 1997, CMI featured great artworks, even though the style differed extremely from the predecessors. It's a pity that the color depth and the resolution are so low, though.

LogicDeLuxe - Mar 05, 2017 at 15:59
Very similar to the monkey head key in Monkey 1, but in reverse.
Guybrush really seems to have timelord pockets.
The list of items which wouldn't fit in real life is pretty long in the Monkey Island games. Also fire and liquids in open mugs are no issue. And quite a few animals too.

Big Red Button - Mar 06, 2017 at 06:26
Seeing the monkey wrench puzzle, it's even a philosophical question whether that monkey is supposed to be an animal. :-D

DJ MAGA - Mar 04, 2017 at 22:24

Bigsnack - Mar 04, 2017 at 23:16
Will the game be released for the PS4?

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 05, 2017 at 01:21
According to previous answers to this very question: maybe, after the release, there could be porting to other consolles. But at the moment, the game will be released for win, Mac, Linux, xbox one.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 05, 2017 at 01:37
On the 29th, everything is ready and Ok.
Microsoft cert has been acquired; Steam and GrOG are ready to open the download.

What do you do?

1) stick to the monitors waiting for the first download statistics, eating your nails.
2) pizza, beer, and free burps, among the team members
3) a travel on Katmandu, in isolation, to relax and purify your Karma

Guy Man 43 - Mar 05, 2017 at 02:25
I have always been afraid of David´s moustache.

David Fox - Mar 05, 2017 at 04:05
Watch it, or I'll sic it on you.

hoerry - Mar 05, 2017 at 16:29
I more afraid of head cheese than of David's moustache.

JP Krax - Mar 05, 2017 at 03:57
Check this out, from GDC, "Mark Ferrari, artist for Lucasfilm Games and Thimbleweed Park, demonstrates 8-bit pixel art.":

Gffp - Mar 05, 2017 at 04:24
Yeah, really interesting stuff during GDC 2016 from a guy who is reasonably reknowned as one of the best pixel artist out there (for what I know, he's the best).

Andreas - Mar 05, 2017 at 04:51
If you ignore everything they told you in the podcast, you'll realize that David's mustache is the secret mastermind behind thimbleweed park... It's obvious!

Filippo in the bowl - Mar 05, 2017 at 04:54
Sorry, for those who do not know English ... There are some interesting innovations that emerge from the podcast?

Gffp - Mar 05, 2017 at 05:32
Hi, they confirmed that there will be a russian translation (probably released with the first patch), and the possibility to do fan translations and fan dubs.
The title is pretty long, to be a nowadays adventure game. So I wouldn' t worry about its lenght being short, Filippo. And if I can read a meaning between the lines, there's the will to make a new game after this one. After more that two years of working together, they have better efficiency now to create such a product, so a new point & click adventure would take less time, probably a year and a half. For now let's wait for TWP, and hope it goes well :-)

Filippo in the bowl - Mar 05, 2017 at 11:50
Grazie Gffp!!!

Marco - Mar 05, 2017 at 06:13
What made the Lucasfilm Games so special? Just listen to the podcasts - it's the sense of humour and the collaboration of these people. It's like band members who are all good by themselves but the combination of them makes them something really special. So team TWP is the Beatles of Adventure Games so to speak :-)

I found an interview with David Fox on YT today where he talks about Zak and that the game did way better in Germany than in the United States whereas Sierra ruled big time in the US. Being from Germany I can say I never warmed to Sierra adventures myself nor my friends - we found them terribly frustrating and not funny at all but we loved all of the SCUMM Adventures.. The stories and the humour definitely point-and-clicked with us so to speak. A lot of times my friends and I spent the weekends at my place and played Zak, Indy 3 or Monkey Island and had a terribly good time. Today none of my friends nor even me actually play computer games anymore - I tried some but it just never worked with me like the SCUMM games did. I can tell you that 10 copies of the game will sell to my friends who learned about TWP by me and are as excited as I am to revisit this kind of game. I wish you all this is becomes a common pattern and the game will sell very good - at least to my impression you will be able to reach people who aren't regular gamers.

David Fox - Mar 06, 2017 at 22:20
At least it will in Germany...

Gotta tell you, it was really frustrating back in the 80s to know we were making (what we thought were) superior games to Sierra's and they never sold anywhere as many copies in the US as Sierra's did. Maybe people who started playing them just felt comfortable with their style of gameplay, just like people in Europe felt comfortable with our style. Who knows?

Daniel Wolf - Mar 07, 2017 at 03:21
I've been puzzled by that, too. @David: Do you remember how much Sierra and LucasArts each spent on advertising? I remember seeing a TV ad for an early King's Quest game on YouTube. Did LucasArts spend as much on marketing?

To be fair to Sierra, they made some excellent adventures later on. But on the whole, most Sierra adventures made me feel uneasy, like I had to do everything exactly right.

A little parallel timeline:

1987: Larry I -- Maniac Mansion (both full of dead ends)
1988: King's Quest IV -- Zak McKracken (still very dead-endy)
1989: Larry III -- Indy 3 (by this time, LucasArts has got the hang of it)
1990: King's Quest V -- Monkey Island I (need I comment?)
1992: King's Quest VI -- Indy 4 (both superb -- Sierra is learning)
1996: Larry VII -- Monkey Island III (finally, Sierra has learned how to avoid dead ends)

So it took Sierra seven years longer to learn how to avoid unwinnable states.

Paul - Mar 07, 2017 at 15:12
That's a great breakdown... I find it's easier to play Sierra games today because with the internet you can look up the handful of actions that make the game unwinnable and make a note of them before you begin, then you can get on with the playing the game more comfortably. It may spoil a couple of puzzles, but I find it's worth it!

With the sales, I think Sierra had simpler, more focused marketing and aimed at very specific and large audiences/markets that already existed...
Like "King's Quest" was for the general adventure/fantasy fans, "Space Quest" for sci-fi/parody fans, "Police Quest" for the cop/detective fans, Leisure Suit Larry for the perverts, etc.
And they usually had very simple, self-explanatory names and artwork you "got" straight away.

While LucasArts was sometimes a bit more out there, with odder names and more niche audiences... like naming a game "Grim Fandango" and aiming it at the Aztec/film-noir fans. Or "Loom" aimed at fans of distaffs that use music to create magic.  Or "The Dig" that was so mysterious that you didn't even know if it was a game.

The longest running LucasArts game series with the most sequels was the one that followed the Sierra formula the best, Monkey Island... i.e. Pirate Quest 1-5.

It felt like Sierra asked "what might sell well?" and made games around that, while LA made amazing games first, and then asked "how do we sell this?"

Victor Von Doom - Mar 07, 2017 at 17:24
Very interesting topic, and I think you guys nailed it. Sierra just did a better marketing job and promoted titles that had a broader appeal, the quality of their games notwithstanding. I do celebrate the SQ, PQ, and KQ series, though.

It's like comparing the Beatles and the Beach Boys...they provided each other creative stimulus, but in the end The Beatles were the better band, and so was LucasFilm/Arts the better studio ;-)

LogicDeLuxe - Mar 07, 2017 at 19:02
There are quite different kinds of dead ends. Larry 1 doesn't even have that many besides just dying. I think the worst case is not having the knife when tied on the bed. Maniac Mansion is indeed comparable as there are quite a few ways to die, and the worst case of getting stuck is carelessly ripping the envelope.

I wouldn't really compare Zak McKracken with the Sierra games of the time. While Zak McKracken has only obvious dead ends, Sierra became very mean with Larry 2 and 3, which have many dead ends the game doesn't even tell you about in any way. Missing some minor detail at the beginning can lead you into a dead end at the end of the game, so you played for hours and no way to know you're playing and unbeatable game. That is the worst kind of dead end a game can have. LucasArts never did such a mean thing.

Almost. Indy 3 is actually the worst designed LucasArts adventure, imho. While there are no mean dead ends like in Sierra games of the time, there are a number of things to miss which makes progress in the game much harder, sometimes to a point where a wild guess is the only option.

Larry 6 didn't have dead ends either. Even dying doesn't count anymore, since you can always continue, just like the death (or humiliation in some cases, which presumably leads him to suicide) never happened. Full Throttle took a similar approach, ie. dying possible, but not ending the game there.

It is also worth mentioning that Indy 4 has quite a few ways to die, which do lead to a premature game over.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 08, 2017 at 04:34
I respect your opinion about Indy 3, but I kindly disagree.
For the same reasons you wrote: if you miss something, the game become harder to finish, but not impossible.
Besides, you can choose an "adventure way" or a "Fighting way".
It was an innovation, at that time.

Nor Treblig - Mar 08, 2017 at 08:56
I agree with both of you:
If you didn't explore enough early you have to pay the price and e.g. have to fight later more, which is great IMHO.
What's bad about the design of Indy3 is that there is a lot of save scumming involved when trying to beat the bad guys the intelligent way (e.g. guards in castle or soldiers at borders, it's a lot of guesswork!).

longuist - Mar 08, 2017 at 14:41
"[..] Zak McKracken has only obvious dead ends, [..]"
Thats a(n alternative) fact :P

Guga - Mar 09, 2017 at 09:13
"Zak McKracken has only obvious dead ends"

I'm sorry, but Zak McKracken has an ENORMOUS dead end where "[m]issing some minor detail at the beginning can lead you into a dead end at the end of the game" which you said might be a prerogative of Sierra games.

In the intro you dream about a map. You wake up and you say "I should make a map of the drawing I saw". Well, I never took it as a hint, just random commentary, so quite late in the game, when you are told you can teleport but you need some kind of map to focus on, I had no way of drawing that map. I had to start from the very beginning, quite frustrating.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 09, 2017 at 11:05
You could frequently run out of money, unless you were able to discover how to refill your CashCard.

Oh, and the most difficult puzzle was the one on Kinshasa, (ex) Zaire, were the three men make the strange "dance to open the head". The difficulty is that the dance is performed only once. And if you don't figure out that the dance is important to open the Mars face, you are lost.
Well, unless you have a big memory or write down the movements order...

Nor Treblig - Mar 09, 2017 at 16:34

Use CashCard with Shaman.

Nor Treblig - Mar 09, 2017 at 16:35

Give CashCard to Shaman.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 09, 2017 at 17:25
Giving the CashCard to the shaman, starts the dance. But only once, if I remember correctly.
Am I wrong?

Nor Treblig - Mar 09, 2017 at 21:48
I've tried it now:
1. You cannot give him the CashCard the first time (he wants to trade).
2. Afterwards you can pay him as often as you like and they will dance. It just costs measly $1000 (vs. $75 club) per dance, lap dance not included

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 10, 2017 at 04:27
Oooohhhh!!! Now I remember: I only gave him the golf club, and never paid him with the CashCard because it was expensive!
Well, I've learned a new piece of information about Zak McKracken... thank you!

Nor Treblig - Mar 09, 2017 at 16:31
Couldn't you just draw the map at that later point in the game? Or did you burn all your stuff? :-)

Guga - Mar 10, 2017 at 02:10
I don't remember, actually. I think I sold my crayon and/or burned my piece of wallpaper.

But I'm also the one who burned his instructions to build the navigator in Monkey Island, so when I got to the cannibals I had nothing to offer them. I remember being totally stuck, and my friends were giving me hints more and more explicit until one of them said "give them the recipe you found in the ship!", and I said "I don't have it, I burned it while in the ship!" and they were surprised you could actually do that.

Fortunately they corrected that one in later versions :P

Nor Treblig - Mar 10, 2017 at 09:59
Pyromaniac anyone? :-)

(btw. you can always buy back what you have sold, e.g. you can sell the blue crystal for $250 and then buy it back for $550; what a bargain!)

Mister T - Mar 08, 2017 at 06:36
Sierra got a gazillion titles released at a fast pace. There is simply and infrastructure which gets built that way. People have journalists in their phonebooks, talking to them every few months and not just every few years. People can just pick another game of the kind they knew. The step between the different Quest series is easier made than getting a completly new game with a different interface. That is why it took me quite some time to get from Lucas to Sierra as well and why I prefered even some mediocre indie adventures of that time, which adapted the verb-interface, to much better produced mainstream output, which made the one-click-for-everything step.
Maybe it is also the delay in development. Europe trailed a bit behind and the C64 got gaming out of the hardcore geeky subculture over here, where home video gaming probably was already more diverse in the USA. The C64 was the first gaming device for a lot of people, who would not have access to PCs for a long time.

Gffp - Mar 05, 2017 at 06:28
"What made the Lucasfilm Games so special? Just listen [...] So team TWP is the Beatles of Adventure Games so to speak :-)"

"Today none of my friends nor even me actually play computer games anymore - I tried some but it just never worked with me like the SCUMM games did."

"At least to my impression you will be able to reach people who aren't regular gamers."

I second all you wrote, and in particular identify in those three paragraphs. You really took the words right out of my mouth there.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 05, 2017 at 06:57
Yes, me too.
Furthermore, I promise to promote Thimbleweed Park among children and teens, in order to let a new spark born into themselves, the spark of the Real Adventure Games, Again (RAGA) !

Guga - Mar 06, 2017 at 05:11
"Among children".

I'm planning to play it with my 3yo daughter for two reasons. The first one is, I want her to get hooked to adventure games. The second, but most important one, is that I won't have time to play it otherwise :P I'll have to translate her whatever they say, but we'll see how it works. I can't wait until she learns to read so she can play Monkey Island by herself.

Big Red Button - Mar 06, 2017 at 06:13
I hope that the game is appropriate for 3 yo children. Maybe a child would not necessarily have to be older than 10 years, but an age of 6 years would probably be a lot better. For example, the game begins with a dead body in a river.

Guga - Mar 06, 2017 at 08:36
I'm pretty nihilist when it comes to parenting :P I try to teach my daughter that death exists and that sometimes shit happens.

I mean, The Lion King? Bambi? Those were quite traumatic, I don't think a pixelated dead body can be worse :D

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 06, 2017 at 08:40
There are no realistic images in the game, it's only a matter of comprehension.
For that reason, I really think that the game is suitable for every age.

Big Red Button - Mar 06, 2017 at 20:15
However, I doubt that a 3 years old child would understand the story of TWP.

I agree with you in terms of Disney movies. The earlier ones have relatively tolerant age ratings and might have traumatized many many children over all these decades. That's the reason why I won't show my children any Disney movie before they are at least 6 years old. In my opinion, Disney movies (and fairy tales in general) are unpedagogical anyway.
I watched Star Wars for the first time when I was about 8 years old. It wasn't any problem for me back then. I even liked it, but nonetheless I'm glad that I wasn't even younger back then.

By the way, back in the 19th century, german children were educated with the Shockheaded Peter (German: Struwwelpeter). It's hard to believe this nowadays, seeing the brutal contents of this book! This happens to the thumb-sucker, for example:
And the boy who refuses to eat any soup dies of starvation, eventually:
Fortunately, this kind of education is classified as outdated nowadays!

miguelbaptista - Mar 07, 2017 at 00:23
Sorry for these 3 cents.
One thing I got from hearing older people tell their stories, and how they perceived their own childhood, something that MANY people nowadays don't have knowledge of I'm afraid, reveals that many of these stories were tongue and cheek anyways, and most importantly, kids got it as tongue in cheek.
They were told in a way to scare people about the dangers of conforming to ones self indulgences, and giving insight and learning the value of some things in life, like hard work, being truthful, eating well, whatever.
And least not forget, the frailness of life in yesteryear, given the diminished commodities, technological and medical improvements, and all around threats to life in general resulting in first hand consequence if one was not careful in some ways, lead to people creating these stories in the first place, since ancient times. "Kids" were treated with more maturity and they learned these lessons knowing the difference between the inherent lesson and the horror elements. I highly doubt that there were many cases of people cutting off young kids limbs in germany for the sake of stopping thumb sucking...

Of course, we can context the lessons in there, or the validity of such lessons, but we now have our own, and I believe future generations will view ours also as ancient and "socially inadequate".
But, I guess we sometimes fail to give credit, and see the "humanity" in which these lessons were passed on, because they take them for full face value. So, in our eyes, what used to be laughed about due to the horror nature of it all, yet at the same time respected because of the lesson, is now seen as taboo. I can only imagine what a future generation will think about how we view porn, religious and political intolerence, sexual intolerence, etc etc.
And yet, kids are even more exposed to porn, unrelenting violence. and all around lack of human value and empathy towards each other, no matter how many pixar movies they are fed while growing up.
For me, and I might be wrong, its a case of parents over-protect their kids, something the kids themselves are REALLY aware of, and take advantage of in many cases, so grown ups can feel good about themselves, yet the kids have access to every sort of misinformation about life and how to treat one self and others in general.
It is in fact a paradox, and one that I believe many people aren't fully aware they are participating in.
I might be wrong, who knows, but this is something I often think about, specially dealing with students of young age, and how i see their behaviour change in front of their parents, in order not to "shock" them.

Bottom line is, it is not the horror stories that i think we should protect our children from, but the lack of insight to understand what these stories, or any story, can teach, as a lesson in life, specially the hard ones.  Because, protecting them or not, life happens anyway to each and every one.
Back to the topic of gaming, what I love about adventure games is also that, how they taught me empathy through the dialogue and interaction in a story that I was taking part in, and of coarse, the more "real" to me and less contrived, be it nihilistic sometimes, and heartfelt in others, the better I would get involved in a story.
Sorry for the long rant.

Guga - Mar 07, 2017 at 02:57
Well, my mother-in-law avoids to tell her niece the story of Little Red Riding Hood as it should be because "the wolf that eats her might scare her". Come on.

Anyway, I know my daughter won't understand all of the story, but for her it's just watching something happen. We hear stories and watch movies together and she tries to follow, she might not get all, but she's very interested in how stories develop, so... I'll play TWP with her.

Big Red Button - Mar 07, 2017 at 05:19
@ miguelbaptista & Guga:
I agree with both of you. At the end of all days, it depends on the way how you confront your child with a book or a movie, and, how the child deals with it. Of course, it's part of education to let the child gain experience. I didn't mean that a child should be packed into wool and be protected from any exterior influence. But, I still think that a child can be too immature for some books or movies. And, as a parent you have to make sure that your child doesn't become angst-ridden.
For example: If your child isn't aware of the differences between movies and the reality, it can over-interpret fantasy elements which are neither realistic nor pedagogical, such as ghosts or zombies. I don't see any pedagogical reason for telling your child a ghost story. And, a child doesn't benefit at all from being afraid of ghosts or zombies.

Ema - Mar 11, 2017 at 04:47
"A fairy tale which is not gory doesn't exist. All fairy tales come from the deepness of blood and anxiety. And fairy tales are intended to attrat mankind's attention on Truth".

- Franz Kafka

(sorry for mistakes and inaccuracy, I'm writing by heart and translating into english)

Nina - Mar 05, 2017 at 08:51
A long one! I need some quiet time to listen to it! Reading the comments and thinking about it! Thanks for sharing!

Peter - Mar 05, 2017 at 10:12
I really, really, really miss the best of  all time characters. Maybe put him into you're next game:

Big Red Button - Mar 05, 2017 at 10:37
The pizza guy from TWP seems to have similar habits.

Alexander - Mar 05, 2017 at 14:46
Found an incorrectness in the german translation (currently visible on your steam page picture portfolio)

It says "Nehme" for take, but it should be "Nimm". I compared with online screenshots from DOTT and there you have a very good reference of the 9 verb translation,


Alexander - Mar 05, 2017 at 14:49
Same for "Gebe"... should be "Gib".... the others are slightly off too, but not totally unheard.

Arto - Mar 05, 2017 at 15:12
Please check the comments in this page:

Search for Boris.

Alexander - Mar 05, 2017 at 15:22
Thanks. He replied that the verbs will stay that way as it will be correct when building phrases. I still do not see the point here as many lucasfilm games had the same issue before. Hope it will not disturb to many people.

Nor Treblig - Mar 05, 2017 at 17:10
He said there is an actual in-game reason. Well, we have to wait until 30th of March to find out!

Gv - Mar 05, 2017 at 15:30
Thanks for answering my question!! I love that there are coincidences between Monkey Island and Thimbleweed Park, it's not a criticism. I found another one: the library, and another: the ghost.

Nor Treblig - Mar 05, 2017 at 17:13
So, how do you say your name?

Gv - Mar 05, 2017 at 17:23
It is Gee Vee, my initials.

Victor Von Doom - Mar 05, 2017 at 17:04
David Fox has a peculiar accent, but I can't quite place it. Where is it from? :-D

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 06, 2017 at 03:54
According to one of his recent written posts (not on this blog), David Fox is originally from Los Angeles, living in Marin County for the past 42 years.

David Fox - Mar 06, 2017 at 22:24
From a star system far far away. English is my second language.

David Fox - Mar 06, 2017 at 22:28
and unfortunately, I agreed to wipe my memory of my first language as a condition to coming here.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 07, 2017 at 02:38
I bet you born with your mustaches on!

Victor Von Doom - Mar 07, 2017 at 18:15

Diego Barros - Mar 05, 2017 at 20:57
Hi guys,

Really looking forward to March 30!

Unfortunately, I missed out on the questions podcast, but I thought I'd try my luck now anyway:

- Do you guys use an engine like Unity when writing the game?
- What is the predominant language used?
- Is the scripting language used in the game one you devised yourselves or some public product?


longuist - Mar 06, 2017 at 02:01
Read the whole blog (RTFB). Its all there. Only 21317 comments (as of 28.02). :p
Just kidding.

Engine is custom, written in c/c++
(HINT: There are other interesting blog posts showing some evolution of engine and tools)

Scripting language is
AFAIK it has been mildly extended to suit Agent Ray's needs.

Would you like to know more?
Check this out:

Nor Treblig - Mar 06, 2017 at 02:13
Yes I want more!
No wait, that's not what I meant :-(

Nor Treblig - Mar 06, 2017 at 14:44
It can only get better...

Diego - Mar 06, 2017 at 04:23
Thanks for the links and info, Longuist. Much appreciated.

longuist - Mar 06, 2017 at 14:01
You are welcome (also to the blog :)

And if you haven't already, i recommend to install this script by the famous nor treblig™ to keep up with all comments:

Amb - Mar 05, 2017 at 23:21
You think by now I'd have come up with an interesting question to post, that will get picked.  I'm guessing I have one more chance, maybe!

Simon Simon - Mar 06, 2017 at 17:26
Serious question, also for this blog community:

I want to buy ten copies of the game (ok, maybe five). Having no experience with Steam, GOG or similar, do those platforms somehow support to buy multiple copies, or even peovide a way to donate games to other people? The last time I bought a game was still in the era of physical discs. What is nowadays the easiest way to actually buy multiple copies? Is buying boxed versions the only option?

Arto - Mar 06, 2017 at 17:34
At least in GOG you can gift an order. You just check the Gift box in checkout, and fill in recipients email. You can also write a personal note to recipient if you want to.

Nor Treblig - Mar 06, 2017 at 19:01
What Arto said. It also works the same with Steam.

You can send such gifts to email addresses and then the recipients can redeem those games via links on their account (they will be prompted to create an account on GOG/Steam if they don't have one already).

You can also add such gifts to your Steam account if you don't want to gift them immediately. On GOG you can send them to your email address first and resend them later to your desired recipients.

Big Red Button - Mar 06, 2017 at 20:23
I'm glad to read this! Just buy it once at Steam, once at GOG, once at the Xbox Store, once at Google Play and once at the Apple Store. After that, you can buy five boxed copies. Also, you can wait for the PS4 port and the Nintendo Switch port, as the case may be.
Have a good time! ;-)

Simon Simon - Mar 07, 2017 at 09:57
Thanks for your answers! Good to know that Steam & GOG actually support donations. However what about multiple copies on one account? Well I think I will stick to one GOG version and then go for multiple boxed copies to fill up my stash...

Nor Treblig - Mar 07, 2017 at 12:43
You can only redeem one game per account but you can have multiple gifts of the same game purchased on one account.
Only problem is that you have to buy them one after another, i.e. you cannot buy multiple copies in the same transaction.

Gabarts - Mar 07, 2017 at 03:17
Kickstarter for a Monkey sequel coming out in... just dreaming... :)

Mario F. - Mar 07, 2017 at 10:18
Cmon david tell us, who are the Characters based on the 5k backers?

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 07, 2017 at 10:52
I was arguing with some friends about Thimbleweed Park.
One of the topic was: "The pixel-style graphic. It might not appeal to young people."
My answer: "The high-quality graphic DOES NOT make a high-quality game. If so, Minecraft would not have had the success it has. And since 2010, it entertains children and young people, despite of its pixel graphic. Because it has a winning concept, the ability to create whatever everywhere. That's make the game so appealing among children.
In Thimbleweed Park, is the overall game that will be winning: the humor, the adventure, the problem-solving method that encourages the player to resolve the puzzles."

Victor Von Doom - Mar 07, 2017 at 11:46
I agree. I first played Monkey 2, Indy 4, Space Quest 4, and King's Quest 5. I was so mesmerized that I eagerly worked my way through the back catalog for those series, despite the older graphics.

Hey, we should organize a petition for Disney to sell back the IP rights for Monkey Island back to Ron (if he can afford it!)

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 07, 2017 at 11:52
Hey, your idea is very very very very very very very original! :-P

Victor Von Doom - Mar 07, 2017 at 13:29
As original as your command of the English language?

Ema - Mar 07, 2017 at 16:39
Don't be rude.

Victor Von Doom - Mar 07, 2017 at 17:11
I think you misplaced your reply, Ema ;-)

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 08, 2017 at 04:39
I didn't mean to be rude in my answer.
I just wanted to point up that such a petition for Disney has already been made, more than once.
I apologize if I offended you, it wasn't my intention.

Victor Von Doom - Mar 15, 2017 at 18:04
Apology accepted :-)
I guess I should be more laid back about sarcasm...perhaps it was a bad day ;-)
Thanks for extending an olive takes a noble person to do that!

Ema - Mar 09, 2017 at 16:27
...or maybe YOU did. :-)

Victor Von Doom - Mar 15, 2017 at 18:06
I've spoken with apes more polite than you! ;-)

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 08, 2017 at 04:41
You write like a dairy farmer!

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 08, 2017 at 04:45
Anyway, you are right about my english: I have re-read my post and it's full of grammar mistakes.
I will pay more attention in the future, promised! :-)

michel - Mar 08, 2017 at 19:50
even less.

Guga - Mar 09, 2017 at 02:44
Quite rude answer, especially for a clearly tongue-in-cheek joke like Zak's.

Before commenting on someone else's English skills I'd like to see how you perform in Italian.

Victor Von Doom - Mar 15, 2017 at 18:02
Posso parlare italiano, anche se la mia lingua madre è il portoghese;-)

Also, tongue-in-cheek does not always translate well in writing. In any case, Zak was a decent man and clarified his tone, and for this I commend him ;-)

David Fox - Mar 07, 2017 at 12:33
Good point! I also think that once you're immersed in the game, the number of pixels on the screen vanishes into the experience. On the other end of the resolution/reality spectrum, when I go to a 3D movie, or even 3D IMAX movie, it's cool for the first 5 minutes, and then I don't notice it at all (as long it's a great story).

Simon Simon - Mar 08, 2017 at 05:30
Completely agree. The only film where I had a different perception of the 3D effect was Tron: Legacy, where only the digital world was shown 3D. This created a really interesting effect, and I had the impression that the 3D effect did indeed serve an "art purpose" . However I assume that the TWP flashbacks are have still the same graphic style and are not even more retro (I.e. Maniac Mansion style graphics flashback in between Mark Ferrari graphics)?

Nor Treblig - Mar 08, 2017 at 08:56
I agree that 3D in movies gets dull very fast, I mean I'm seeing like that every day, it doesn't impress me that much.
But having this effect in Tron only in special places was a great artistic choice!

longuist - Mar 08, 2017 at 15:05
Even if it does not add much, it would be great to see TWP on the 3DS (beside Switch, don't care). Paralaxing in 3D, yay. But i see lots of problems for a port:
- Assets are low res in 3 different modi, but designed to fit well in 720p. The lowres 3DS screen may force some corrections to the display window.
- No powerful HW, only 96MiB usable RAM
- Probably low overall sales compared to other platforms
- Pointless to write about that, but since i already typed it i could push the "add comment"button instead of just closing the tab.

Big Red Button - Mar 08, 2017 at 15:28
Only 96MiB of usable RAM? Okay, I guess that a 3DS port is out of the question then.

Nor Treblig - Mar 08, 2017 at 16:05
Yeah, it may not make a lot of sense or being nearly impossible.

But Ron stated at the beginning of this project it would be interesting to try TWP with VR!

Big Red Button - Mar 08, 2017 at 18:05
Sounds interesting, but I would rather suggest a patch for 3D support, because there are only few people who own a VR headset, whereas a lot of people have a 3D monitor or a 3D TV. Also, this would enable to play the game stereoscopically together with your friends or with your family.
Also, TWP is not a first person game. First person games are most suitable for VR. Perhaps Terrible Toybox will release a first persion adventure game one day. Let's wait and see!

longuist - Mar 08, 2017 at 18:14
But only nearly. Call it a challenge. Backports from 16 to 8bit machines were pretty common back in the days.

Ok, it also needs a lot more effort than back in the days :) I guess asset loading must be altered heavily. And the shaders have to be cut/rewritten to comply to OpenGL ES 1.1. And lots of other magic i don't want to think of. Ron will not pay anyone for that. And that's pretty reasonable.

Only option: open source the engine and someone™ will port it eventually (also to your washing machine). Like ScummVM or doom, it would be the new benchmark for backporting wizardry ^^

Nor Treblig - Mar 08, 2017 at 19:54
Although ScummVM being quite the opposite of backporting someone™ will try it...

There is already a prototype: :-)

longuist - Mar 09, 2017 at 12:47
Yeah you are right, backporting is the wrong term in this case.

Really nice prototype!

Guga - Mar 08, 2017 at 02:01
I also disagree. I mean, there are people who focus just on the graphics for games. But that's not what the game is offering.

I mean, if you're competing in the football (soccer) simulation or shoot-em-up market, you just can't release a 3D game with low-polygon models. OF COURSE you're gonna be compared to the latest games and fail.
But if you're offering a football game whose focus is shifted from simulation to pure fun, like Kopanito All-Star Soccer, then who cares if it's not realistic 3D. You cited Minecraft as an example, that's the same deal - it's a completely new gameplay that doesn't need realistic graphics to work, and it was a success for that reason.

So, a game like TWP will have its appeal anyway, not to mention that retro-style is quite fashionable these days.

And let's talk about children. My daughter doesn't care at all if it's just a bunch of pixels, that guy there is Aladdin and she's guiding Aladdin and that's all she needs, she loves when I fire up my RetroPie and let her play SNES. Does it care, for her, that she can see the "real" Aladdin in all his 1080p glory when we watch the movie? Not at all.

So, saying that pixel art will be a problem for TWP would be like saying "a black and white movie won't appeal to anyone". Tell that to Clerks!

Gffp - Mar 08, 2017 at 06:37
Tell that to Wim Wenders in 1987, while he was shooting Die Himmel uber Berlin (Wings of Desire).

Anyway I don't find this b/w - color analogy really fitting. Colors in Winnick-Ferrari-Navarro art is splendorous, and color range can count on all the 16 millions of colors and beyond (shading effects...)

It's like all the modern figurative art when it was staring at the reached boundaries of the imitation of real. Then the subjective elements of re-presentation become more important than they were in the past.

Tim Wright - Mar 07, 2017 at 12:01
I am curious about your troubles with the sound.  I remember something about using OpenAL way back in development.  Did you guys use that and still have trouble, or did you switch to something else?  Was the trouble just general stuff like mixing, sync, or were there compatibility problems with Windows, Mac, Linux, etc.

Someone - Mar 07, 2017 at 19:06
Audacity is open source: the software is released under the GNU GPLv2, all other content under a Creative Commons:

Just the name "Audacity" is a trademark.

Mister T - Mar 08, 2017 at 06:10
They had the audacity to register that word as a trademark?

Gabarts - Mar 08, 2017 at 06:16
All these comparisons... to me is such a privilege to play a game like this, the same quality, emotions of the very first time I heard those blu floppy disks loading, waiting for the next cutscene to appear. I'm aged a bit but I bet in 22 days will be a very cool WOW again! :)
Thanks to kickstarter, thanks to the adventure genre, thanks to these amazing guys doing their job at top level. I wish I had the opportunity to attend the 1976 madison square garden Led Zeppelin concert or a Queen concert but I think i got lucky enough to play lucasfilm games when they came out, yes!

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 08, 2017 at 09:36
by clicking on my name's link, you'll find a Thimbleweed Park web site page, for italian normal users, and a nice countdown for OCD users (like me).
The purpose is to spread the word.

Gffp - Mar 08, 2017 at 10:10
Bravo, bravissimo!!!

Arto - Mar 08, 2017 at 14:30
That's fantastic! If only there was similar page for English speaking audience.

Oh, wait...

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 09, 2017 at 04:59
It's a single HTML file. Every part (except for the screenshots in italian) references remote files.
If you like, I can give you the file, so you can translate it in your primary language, and spread the word in your world's corner.

herculeo - Mar 09, 2017 at 05:09
Guarda che il tizio (peraltro molto "simpa") ti sta perculando. Lascia perdere è solo gente malata, poverina... btw 20 days left...

Gffp - Mar 09, 2017 at 05:22
Ciao Herculeo, qui noi sia me, Arto, Zak e tanti altri da tutto il mondo sono parecchi mesi, addirittura qualche anno che frequentiamo il blog, scherziamo tra di noi, l'amico finlandese scherzava sul fatto che la pagina è una traduzione della versione originale (con in più un bellissimo/ansiogeno contatore :-) Assolutamente non c'è cattiveria. Credo che neanche Victor intendesse essere offensivo.

Tr. Hi Herculeo, it's been a long time, several months and years since me Arto, Zak and many others from all over the world come here on the blog, we are just kidding among ourselves. Our finnish friend was kidding about the fact that the page done by Zak is a translation of the original one (with a wonderful/anxiogenic counter) :-) There's no malice. I think that also Victor himself didn't want to be offensive.

Arto - Mar 09, 2017 at 08:12
Thank you Gffp.
Yep, nothing malice, only trying (obviously failing) to be funny.

Gffp - Mar 09, 2017 at 11:42
You failed at being funny? I really don't think so. You're substantial part of "one of the nicest corners to hang out on the internet in the last 2 years!" as Sushi said (and I love this definition).

So, even if we don't like the game, we would never complain 'cause we have had enough fun here :-P

Gffp - Mar 09, 2017 at 12:16
Look at that! Gog page is online!

Nor Treblig - Mar 09, 2017 at 16:37
@Gffp: Nice! I can finally stop linking to the Steam page and start linking to the GOG page!

Arto - Mar 11, 2017 at 09:23
Aw shucks, I like you too *blush*.

herculeo - Mar 09, 2017 at 08:37
Per me non ci sono problemi; figuriamoci se mi metto a fare polemica/discussioni con persone che non conosco. Fate conto che non abbia detto niente; chiedo scusa a tutti per il malinteso.

Gffp - Mar 10, 2017 at 04:46
Piacciavi, generosa Erculea prole
d'Orlando il sito e de' suoi bravi amici
sviluppatori già d'una gran mole
d'opre d'ingegno belle ed efficaci,
di personaggi lieti e con parole
che fanno assai sorridere ed audaci.
Di non capire può accadere a ognuno
il contesto in cui una battuta è scritta
basta una frase nel tono opportuno
ed ecco qui svanita la maretta!

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 10, 2017 at 05:38
Now, translate it to English! It's a good challenge!

Gffp - Mar 10, 2017 at 06:10
Sorry, it took me just five minutes to write it in italian, I was inspired by the Raging Roland (Orlando Furioso) poem by Ludovico Ariosto. If I had to translate it in english...oh well probably five hours wouldn't be enough, but at least I would have an excuse for my very "original" english ahahah

Gffp - Mar 10, 2017 at 07:08
May you like it, generous descendant of Hercules,
the site by Roland and his capable friends
developers yet of a large group
of good and beautiful works of wit
with funny and brave characters
that speak words that make us smile.
To not understand the context of a joke
it can happen to everyone:
a line with the right tone it's just enough
to let the bad mood slip away!

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 10, 2017 at 10:30
Great! For me, it's YES!

Gffp - Mar 11, 2017 at 06:01
n. b. Ronald and Roland are completely different names, with different meanings and different origin.

Daniel Wolf - Mar 09, 2017 at 06:29
That countdown is so cool! It would make a great addition to the official site, too!

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 09, 2017 at 08:50
Thanks, Daniel.
Besides addition, it would add a great addi**c**tion, too! :-D

Brian Small - Mar 09, 2017 at 14:39
Nice - Maybe Nor could be convinced to integrate it somehow into his TamperMonkey script...

Simon Simon - Mar 08, 2017 at 12:21
Is there any information out there which characters were drawn by Gary and which by Octavi?

Ransome is drawn by Octavi iirc - but are there more characters not drawn by Gary ? (what about the man in the post office ("George") and Madame Morena?)

Gabarts - Mar 09, 2017 at 07:24
Nice countdown! I remember I used one for the LOST season 6 final episode, in my blog, LOL :)
One of the reviews says TWP will be the best adventure ever... maybe. If you consider that among gamers/magazines and historians "The Secret of Monkey Island" is considered the best game ever,  it has all the elements and potential. Plus (I already told that anyway) the fact that Twin Peak 3 is coming too, what a year come on... memorable.

Filippo nella boccia - Mar 09, 2017 at 15:58
TWP è sbarcato anche su GOG!

bobdeniro - Mar 10, 2017 at 01:24
Yes, and I immediately wishlisted it! :)

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 10, 2017 at 04:42
I've updated my web page.

Ricardo Marichal - Mar 10, 2017 at 08:49
Any news about the Compatibility Test™ ??

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 10, 2017 at 10:37
So far, no.
On this weekend, they are in Boston, for PAX East.
Maybe, on next week, the team will choose some testers.

Ron Gilbert - Mar 10, 2017 at 11:02
It's been going on for the past week and we're are slowly rolling it out to people.  We'll do a new batch today or tomorrow. We don't want to add too many people at once, or we get 100 reports of the same issue.

Ricardo Marichal - Mar 10, 2017 at 12:41
Thanks !

Big Red Button - Mar 10, 2017 at 15:02
How is it possible to fix a reported compatibility issue, when you don't have the same hardware? How can you test the fix? Do you send a new build to the same tester, so that he can repeat the test?

Ron Gilbert - Mar 10, 2017 at 15:09
Most of the time, the crash tells us what the problem is and we fix it blind. Mot of them are straight forward, or the tester has an odd option set, so we set that as well.

Big Red Button - Mar 10, 2017 at 17:24
I see! Thank you!

MMM - Mar 11, 2017 at 08:01

Will the game sell on "hard" formats (like DVD)? I'd like to offer it as a present. Also, not sure if you can really do such a thing on Steam (that is, buy it for someone elst to download without knowing their Steam account name)


Arto - Mar 11, 2017 at 09:25
You can gift a game both on GOG and Steam. It is not required for the receiver to have an existing account.

Big Red Button - Mar 11, 2017 at 10:04
A few months after the release there will be a boxed edition.

McDrake - Mar 13, 2017 at 12:48
I'm geting to feel sad about the end of this project.
I'll miss the podcast terribly.

Will it be possible to ask some questions later in the year.
I missed most of the date, 'cause i've no PC at work.
Well we got some, but not for privat use ;)

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 15, 2017 at 07:26
Nobody, actually, know if this blog will be closed or will continue to live.
Maybe it will be transformed in a sort of forum, who knows.

Mister T - Mar 15, 2017 at 10:47
Not sure how much forum one needs for a single point and click adventure... After all, Ron Gilbert has his own blog and at some point all will be said about this game.
So far this has been an incredible additional value, but I don't take this kind of direct communication with the creators for granted. When done right, it is an extra both sides benefit from in the creation process, but at some point the game has to move out and stand on its own.

If there were another project however...

Nor Treblig - Mar 15, 2017 at 12:18
No problem, I'm fine with using his blog too :-)

BUT he needs to update it first:
- It doesn't show comment timestamps.
- No comment counts on archive page.
- Commenting seems to be completely disabled at the moment.

Mister T - Mar 17, 2017 at 11:31
Shhhh! Don't distract him from Thimbleweed Park on the last meters!