Friday Questions

by Ron Gilbert
Dec 02, 2015

Hey boys and girls, it's time for our favorite part of the show!

Friday Questions!

If you have any questions you'd like David, Gary or I to answer on Friday's podcast, post them in the comments!

Please keep the questions focused and only one question per comment!

- Ron


Tony - Dec 02, 2015 at 18:35
I'm wondering if Thimbleweed Park is the town which the original Maniac Mansion took place... and if so will the mansion be included in the background of the game?  Seems like a lot of references to the game that got me addicted to Point & Click games.

Thanks, Tony

Jammet - Dec 03, 2015 at 07:06
They say a meteor struck the hills, 24 years ago. There are inhuman noises at night. But the lights are never on, in the mansion.

inexile - Dec 02, 2015 at 18:38
What music or artists do the three of you enjoy listening to and will your personal taste influence the style of the Thimbleweed Park soundtrack?

Charles - Dec 02, 2015 at 18:40
If you're already going to be making a mobile port AND an Xbox version, could you pretty please port the controller support from the Xbox version in the mobile versions?

This way we could possibly play on Android TV, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, OUYA, etc...

ciaps - Dec 02, 2015 at 18:43
Dear Ron,

I would like to know your opinion on why do you think Broken Age kickstarter campaign raised 3.3M, while Thimbleweed less than 700K, both having the same goal. Did you expect your campaign to have this outcome?

Do you think it is related to a different marketing strategy of the kickstarter campaign? I know DoTT had a very big fan base, but Monkey Island is way more popular, and I can't get an explanation on this.

Thank you for your time, best!

Paul Jacobson - Dec 02, 2015 at 18:49
Assuming you have time what with all the working n all. What games are you playing at the moment?

Mattias Cedervall - Dec 02, 2015 at 18:52
Will Mark Ferrari™ write a blog post any time soon?

Mike - Dec 02, 2015 at 20:58
We want more Mark!

EdoBvd - Dec 03, 2015 at 05:20
Mark! Mark! Mark!
Grog! Grog! Grog!
Mark! Mark! Mark!

urielz - Dec 03, 2015 at 12:58
Give us Mark or face the army of backers arm with pitchforks!

Marcelo Ellmann - Dec 02, 2015 at 19:02
Out of curiosity but, since they will be mandatory for the Xbox One version, have you guys gave any deeper thought into the achievements? Are you planning for any nasty/secret/hard to attain ones?

inexile - Dec 03, 2015 at 02:59
They already answered that question in the last Friday Questions podcast...

vegetaman - Dec 02, 2015 at 19:16
What is everybody on the team's opinion about the verbs using "left hand" grid versus action name (ie. 'u' for use and 'o' for open)? And what are your thoughts/have they changed after the feedback from earlier this week it?

Marco Lizza - Dec 02, 2015 at 19:16
This question in mainly for Ron, although ti can be transposed to everyone involved in the development (as long as we adapt to the context).

How much do you found easier developing an old-fashioned point-and-click adventure using nowadays tools and concept? Wasn't easier back in the days when you could (needed to) cut some corner and got for a quick-and-dirty solution, rather than adopting proper "modern" programming and development patterns/approaches?

From time to time I suspect that modern programmers then to complicate things in abstracting too much the software model/engine.

Valdir - Dec 02, 2015 at 19:44
I think this is for you all.
What are your expectations for after the game release in terms of copies or licences sold if any? In other words, what will make you consider the game a success?

Paulup - Dec 02, 2015 at 20:02
Would you guys ever make a sci-fi themed adventure game, or do you think that has been done too much already?

urielz - Dec 02, 2015 at 20:05
Since everybody is making DLCs , would you consider making one? For example, a DLC that lets you re-play the story but from another character's point of view. New puzzles but the same rooms, assets, animations, etc.. Is this a stupid idea?

Mattias Cedervall - Dec 03, 2015 at 05:24
Ron actually answered my question about DLC a long time ago and he said there won't be DLC in Thimbleweed Park.

Marky - Dec 02, 2015 at 20:57
Do you guys see yourselves making any more point and click adventure games, once Thimbleweed Park is finished?

Huxi - Dec 03, 2015 at 05:02
And if the answer to this is "Yes", would you consider doing it in a similarly open fashion like this one, with another Kickstarter campaign?

Mike - Dec 02, 2015 at 21:10
Kids today love crafting systems! Is there a crafting system in Thimbleweed Park? Can you harvest wood and ore to rebuild the park?

Kai - Dec 02, 2015 at 21:58
I hope crafting will be offered as DLC which I can buy via in-app purchases, and I want achievements when I build something, or solve a puzzle, or enter a new room. And I want to be able to buy in-game diamonds that allow me to skip waiting times. And savegames in the cloud and Facebook and Twitter integration.

Oh wait. I don't want any of the above! How I look forward to a game without all this shit.

Biggus Dickus - Dec 02, 2015 at 23:14
Kids also love microtransactions. So the idea to have a cooldown everytime you use a verb is so obvious. Of course you can reduce the cooldown timer with some gold coins which can be bought in the ingame store! Ka-ching!

Marco Lizza - Dec 03, 2015 at 14:47
I hate games with convoluted crafting systems with a passion...

Brian Ruff - Dec 02, 2015 at 21:15
If money was not an object who would your dream voice actors be for Thimbleweed Park?

Peter Campbell - Dec 02, 2015 at 22:34
With the year almost over, which game do you think deserves to be awarded 2015 Game of the Year?

Orcan Ogetbil - Dec 02, 2015 at 22:45
What were your favorite C64 games other than the ones you made, and what made them your favorite?

Cole Trickle - Dec 02, 2015 at 23:03
Why is it always night in your games? At least at the beginning.

Mattias Cedervall - Dec 03, 2015 at 05:22
So we can't see the bugs.

Carlo Valenti - Dec 03, 2015 at 07:31
GREAT :))))))))))))

nom - Dec 03, 2015 at 14:21
I saw lightning bugs at the radio station in the ThimbleTrailer 2.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Dec 03, 2015 at 12:57
Because black pretty much goes with everything!

Brad Peron - Dec 02, 2015 at 23:11
After just replaying Maniac Mansion Deluxe edition, I kept thinking how great it would be if I could use my mouse scroll wheel to change the right click default highlighted verb/action. I read the discussion about shortcut mapping, but I rarely use them as I prefer to kick back and be a one handed mouse only player.

Thanks for bringing this form of gaming back. Any chance this can be an ongoing series?

Nick Tashiro - Dec 02, 2015 at 23:20
Making a video game can be a grueling task, both mentally and physically. How do you keep yourselves healthy and sane throughout the brutal gauntlet of development, or don't you?

Sushi - Dec 03, 2015 at 01:54
Did you plan for a C64 version when you started working on MI or Indy3? Put differently, why did you abandon the C64 platform for SCUMM based games in just months after releasing Zak? (My inner child is still crying over that - here's your chance to do some healing)

Wamutombomutombo Smith - Dec 03, 2015 at 01:59
Gary, have you faced an inventory icon that was just too hard to draw, or looked so bad as a handful of pixels that it had to be nixed from the game completely and a puzzle reworked? I.e. what is your icon nemeses?

Barry Chime - Dec 03, 2015 at 12:51
Sub-question: do the others have their own art/programming/etc nemeses?

Drew Brown - Dec 03, 2015 at 02:04
For everyone: is Kickstarter like having ten-thousand bosses/publishers/mothers-in-law, or is it the complete opposite? Perhaps so much freedom that you don't even wear shoes and pants anymore?

NobStar - Dec 03, 2015 at 02:22
How many listeners does your famous, nearly weekly podcast have? 1, 100, 1000000? (I realy like to hear it on monday mornig before work, its like having a nice talk to collegues to get in the right groove :-) )

Soren Ladegaard - Dec 03, 2015 at 02:22
Do you take non-English speaking people into consideration when writing dialogue and designing puzzles that relates more to the story than "item and inventory puzzles"?

Below is a copy of a post I did regarding the same issue in the "I am just going to write" thread.


Regarding overly long dialogues.

If the dialogues seem overly long to native English speaking people they most certainly are to non-English speaking people.

I live in Denmark. I prefer puzzles that are mainly item/inventory based. Of course we need dialogue to move the story forward. But if the story is complex with lots of dialogue with many of the puzzles "hidden" in the story they "vanish" due to the language barrier.

Danish is a small language so we never get to see movies in the cinema with dubbed sound. It's all original audio and Danish subtitles. That makes us rather good at speaking English.

Many people would say "I can easily watch an american film and not read the subtitles". But it often turns out that if you actually do watch a movie without subtitles you loose a lot of info if the plot is just a little complicated.

Yes, there are subtitles in Thimbleweed Park but they are English too. That's fine. I really like them and they make sure I understand the voiceover completely. But still. It's a foreign language.

Please make sure not to do overly long dialogues.

Can't wait to play the game. It's going to be THE game of the year!

Farge-TV - Dec 03, 2015 at 02:39
Now that you're past the middle of the project, and the work is shifting more and more towards fixing bugs, polishing, planning and handling distribution, and other "mundane" tasks - do you ever feel, if only for a few seconds, an urge to just abandon the project? Just leave everything and go into the creative phase of another project?

XØRDÅZ - Dec 03, 2015 at 02:41
Is it true that David Fox was the 6th original member of "The Beatles"?   (i've read it on an occult website)

Roman - Dec 03, 2015 at 03:35
actually I think he's one of the aliens from ZakMcKracken ;-)

Roberto Sosa Cano - Dec 03, 2015 at 02:45
Currently I find myself replaying Maniac Mansion after a plethora of years. Yay! I had forgotten the dead-end possibility in the game, when you misused an item for example and you couldn't end the game anymore, but you could continue playing without noticing it. Are you planning something similar for TP?

Spoiled Spooner - Dec 03, 2015 at 03:04
It just occurred to me that Maniac Mansion is the only adventure game I've played that I've never completed, most likely because of that reason. I've played it three times with about ten years between each playing and always end up getting hopelessly stuck (presumably a dead-end), get bored and give up. Next time I play it I'll have to save my progress at different stages so I can backtrack.

Uli Kusterer - Dec 03, 2015 at 10:51
Go back to some older podcasts. AFAIR it was mentioned there that they consider dead-ends bugs and won't put any in the new game.

Roman - Dec 03, 2015 at 03:40
Since everybody is doing XMas specials....will there be a Thimbleweed Park XMas special...
Do we see the characters dancing around the xmas tree...or a tentacle as Santa....Does Ed get a new wait..that's a different story...
Enjoy the holidays...

Mattias Cedervall - Dec 03, 2015 at 08:18
That's a nice idea. :-)

Loftcraft - Dec 03, 2015 at 04:03

Tyler - Dec 03, 2015 at 04:12
This isn't related to the game, but more for fun, what do you guys like to drink ? Microbrews ? Tequila ? Need to know if I ever see you when I'm out and about.   :)

Christian - Dec 03, 2015 at 04:22
Will the assets of the game be compressed? How? Or do you have enough discipline to net waste hours on implementing that?

Felix - Dec 03, 2015 at 04:53
Were the classic adventures also developed using the 'sprint' method
and if yes, what did the respective sprints consist of? For example, was
MI1  created by finalizing one island completely before starting work on
the next one?

Thiezn - Dec 03, 2015 at 05:40
Hi Ron,

Would you be able to talk a bit about the architecture of the engine? What components you have and how they interface together?


Thiezn - Dec 03, 2015 at 05:43
Hey Ron,

You mentioned earlier on you suck at math. Did this hinder you in any way during your career and/or game development? Do you think all game developers should invest their time into developing their math skills?


Thiezn - Dec 03, 2015 at 05:44
Hey Ron,

Any thoughts about the new Apple TV platform in regards to adventure games? It seems to me the remote would fit the genre quite well


Peter - Dec 03, 2015 at 05:56
Perhaps a dull question but I am curious, What tv shows are you guys watching at the moment?

Jammet - Dec 03, 2015 at 07:03
Are there any animal characters in the game? Like the dog, sea gull, or monkeys from Monkey Island, or the hamster from Maniac Mansion, and so forth?

Is there going to be an option to disable the graphical inventory, and instead have the classic text inventory mode? Not that I dislike these AWESOME icons ;D.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Dec 03, 2015 at 13:08
Hello Jammet,
I liked the idea, because it reminds me to Zak McKracken: you could use the blue crystal on animals, and your mind was "linked" to that animal. That was one of the most funny parts I ever liked of the game!

Petruza - Dec 03, 2015 at 07:06
Why not?

Andreas - Dec 03, 2015 at 07:19
When the character moves further away from the camera, its sprite size needs to change at some point to reflect the distance.
How do you determine how many (and which) smaller versions of a character you need?

(Or in other words: "Is there an ideal sprite_height(distance) function in the world of pixel art?")

Carlo Valenti - Dec 03, 2015 at 07:46
Are you going to answer THIS question?

R.C.M. - Dec 03, 2015 at 07:48
There's a bit in Monkey Island 2 where Guybrush asks why adventure games cost so much, to which LeChuck replies 'scanned VGA art is very expensive". Was this actually true, or was it just a joke?

catnip - Dec 03, 2015 at 14:04
Also, when Guybrush asks "Where do babies come from?" LeChuck responds "In your case, the orphanage." Is this actually true, or was LeChuck just joking?

Jean-Baptiste - Dec 03, 2015 at 07:58
Are you coming to AdventureX next week?

Andreas - Dec 03, 2015 at 08:04
Could you reveal a bit more about your development setup?

How do you handle version control? Do you have automated tests? Are you using continuous Integration or something like this?

Przemek - Dec 03, 2015 at 08:19
Dear Santa,

We probably will not play Thimbleweed Park this X-mas, but maybe you can convince Ron to show us some more jaw-dropping screenshots or prepare some awesome wallpapers to cheer our desktops and minds up during that short and dark winter days...


Tobias - Dec 03, 2015 at 08:22
How much time per day/week do you actually spend on the game? I usually get caught up in my work (because it is fun and i actually like what id do) and then i put way more hours than i should.

Martin Wendt - Dec 03, 2015 at 08:25
If something in a 'room' dramatically changed after certain events (elsewhere), do you so to speak "branch" early on in the room-script for the alternative or do you opt for a second realization (from the perspective of the engine) of the whole room?
For our C64 game I will do the latter and was wondering if you face such situations?

Dong - Dec 03, 2015 at 09:18
@ ron
why  Max was replaced by Tantacle in ME2SE?

FloWo - Dec 03, 2015 at 11:49
LA didn't own the rights anymore.

Sam'n Max were replaced in the M1:SE too (idols in front of the Monkey Head (tm) )

... - Dec 03, 2015 at 13:25
They also replaced Pillsbury Doughboy in the kitchen, because the didn't own the rights anymore.

Simon Simon - Dec 03, 2015 at 10:05
Back in the old days, there were lots of -mostly technical- limitations, like disk size, graphics, memory issues etc.

Do you -nowadays- experience limitations of any kind, that actually inspire you or stimulate your creativity?

Steffen - Dec 03, 2015 at 15:47
That's an interesting question. In advance thanks for answering!  :-)

Cazzeris - Dec 03, 2015 at 10:10
Will TP have more 'special case animations' than LeChuck's Revenge?

Topper - Dec 03, 2015 at 10:28
Thimbleweed Park is a journey into the past of graphical adventure gaming, but the genre has not really changed a great deal in recent times. How do you think adventure game creators can bring innovation to the adventure game experience (rather than just through new storylines)?

Joe - Dec 03, 2015 at 10:34
Sooo at what point after or during development will the engine be released as free software? The adventure game community needs a new adventure game engine because AGS is aging pretty badly - have a chat with Dave Gilbert about why it sucks and why yours will save his life!

dada - Dec 03, 2015 at 14:18
where did he say that?

Uli Kusterer - Dec 03, 2015 at 10:42
You said you wanted Achievements to reflect some actual achievements. I respect that, but would like to beg you politely to add some basic achievements anyway, like "finished the game" or "finished part 1". Having a base set of achievements that help you track your progress through the game is very helpful. Also, since your friends get to see your achievements (and you theirs), it encourages people who were interrupted in playing the game to pick it back up when they see their friends advancing in it.

So puhleeeeeeze? :-)

Arto - Dec 03, 2015 at 10:50
Did you ever consider the game music and sound effects could resemble the C64/Amiga sounds?

RedPhantom - Dec 03, 2015 at 11:07
Was there ever a room that the library staircase in Maniac Mansion led to? I've always wondered what could have been up there.

Arto - Dec 03, 2015 at 11:40
Don't know if it was ever planned (probably not), but there would be empty space for a room. If one would do a 3D model of the mansion, it would show there is no room above the library. But then again, the mansion is not accurate that way anyhow. For example, the paint room and the medical room would occupy the same space, as well as the dining hall and the garage.

Sushi - Dec 03, 2015 at 14:31
How I tried to "fix broken staircase" with every single kid over and over again :)
I finally succeeded, but it just leads to a small attic with a big old empty chest. When you close that chest there is a warning sign reading  "DO NOT OPEN UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE OR THE SECRET INSIDE WILL BE LOST FOREVER! Return to G.P. LeChuck if found."

Timothy Wright - Dec 03, 2015 at 12:48
League of Legends or DOTA 2?

Markus - Dec 03, 2015 at 13:03
Did you ever successfully hunt the wumpus?

Simon Simon - Dec 03, 2015 at 14:24
I feel a draft

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Dec 03, 2015 at 13:06
Question about "The Greatest Game of all times", Zak McKracken And The Alien Mindbenders™ :
I had discovered some easter eggs, for example:
- if you used the blue crystal on yak and "Chew" 20 times, a new verb appear ("Poop")
- if you got the Exit VISA Code wrong too many times, you ended your game in jail
- if you pulled one of the rug corners in my room, there was a hidden trapdoor to go down into the rear room of the TPC
Do you remember other easter eggs I could have missed during these years?
Thank you

King Graham Scan - Dec 03, 2015 at 13:48
Are walk boxes exclusively trapezoids with two horizontal line segments and can walk boxes only connect at these horizontal line segments? That's what it looks like in the video. If not, how do you determine if and where two walk boxes are connected?

Malcolm - Dec 03, 2015 at 13:51
I will be writing a walk box blog post soon. It's half done, I've just been side tracked getting actual work done 😀

Mason Powers - Dec 03, 2015 at 13:48
@ Ron Gilbert
Would you go to make a MonkeyIsland-adventure game containing just the spirit of Monkey Island without the brandname "Monkey Island"? You could name it "Rat of the Pirate", "Captain Banana " or "#uck the Chuck" for example...

Simon the Sorcerer - Dec 03, 2015 at 13:54
are you serious? The next ME-game should be called "MOON-key Highland"

Paul Gulacy - Dec 03, 2015 at 14:01
maybe Pete the Pirate, it is at least less ridiculous

Dr. Scurvy - Dec 03, 2015 at 14:10

Jura Snodtball - Dec 03, 2015 at 13:50
Question for Gary

Can you be commissioned to do an album cover and how much do you charge?

Peter - Dec 03, 2015 at 14:16
What is Art in Games?

Andreas - Dec 03, 2015 at 14:27
Will you offer glossy posters to buy with motives like i.e. the bookstore with just a small logo in the corner?  If so,  please offer affordable shipping and sign me up for a few.

Andreas - Dec 03, 2015 at 14:30
You are such a great team and your results look so very good so far. Will you make another game together after this?

Andreas - Dec 03, 2015 at 14:33
What will the money be used for which you earn from selling the "final" product and how much do you expect to sell due to the current feedback? Btw greetings from Germany to all of you! :)

badde - Dec 03, 2015 at 14:36
Are there only 8 Icons in the inventory? Will be there a Scroll-Bar?

Bob - Dec 03, 2015 at 14:44

Marc - Dec 03, 2015 at 14:41
Will there be snow this winter?

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Dec 03, 2015 at 15:01
It depends on where you live! :-)

Arto - Dec 03, 2015 at 15:09
I looked out. There is.

Zombocast - Dec 03, 2015 at 16:21
I noticed you put a thumbnail of Rays head in the corner of the screen. That answered my previous weeks qauestion if you were going to add a ui element to switch beween characters. Consider this weeks question answered.

Ps: You're not not a tuna head.

Matthew Sutcliffe - Dec 03, 2015 at 16:24
I'm not sure of your plans following Thimbleweed Park, but if it leads to future point and click adventures, would you ever implement the time travel feature of Day of the Tentacle again? The ability to control three characters in three respective time zones, though still linked via the Chron-O-John, allowed for some amazing and unique puzzles which I haven't seen anywhere else.

Note that when I state to 'the time travel feature', I refer to the ability to elements such as the ability to change the environment in the past, resulting in an altered environment in the future, and transferring items between time periods for some interesting solutions.

longuist - Dec 03, 2015 at 18:21
Not sure if i should write this. Probably not...

Are the icons final yet?

meep meep and away

Ema - Dec 03, 2015 at 18:25
Did Guybrush T. had any extramarital affair? Did Elaine M. discover it?
Do these count as two questions?