State Of The Game #4

by Ron Gilbert
Jan 12, 2017

It's time for another action packed State of the Game post!  Gather around the radio, turn up the volume, get grandma in the rocking chair, and let's begin.

A lot has changed since Gary and I sat across from each other at lunch and joking said "Let's do a Kickstarter", followed by an awkward moment of silence where we both realized it wasn't a joke.

Would anyone want to play a point-and-click adventure? Would they appreciate the classic nine-verb SCUMM interface? Could we build a game that was how you remember those old game, not how they actually were?  Could we grab a new generation of gamers and shed them of their misgivings about what a point-and-click adventure is?

Well, we were a mere months away from finding out.  It's been a long journey, one that you have shared with us, encouraged us, and held us honest throughout.  I can honestly say, Thimbleweed Park is a better game for having you all here.  And I'm not just blowing smoke up your *beep*.  I'm not that kind of person.

Since our last State of the Game post, we've gone into content lock, meaning all the art is done, all the sound and music is done, and all the puzzles wired up.

We still continue to test and an occasional bug is found where we have to tweak one of the above, but we're not making any more changes or adding any new content.

We've set a date of January 27 as an engine lock for Mac, Windows, Linux and Xbox.  At that point the engine is done and we're adding no new engine code.  We will continue to test and if showstopper bugs are found, they will be fixed, but we're done with the engine.

That is also the version we will submit to Microsoft for Xbox cert, which can take a month.

We're in the process of getting our coming soon Steam page set up, so hopefully that will go live in the near future.

Thimbleweed Park runs on iOS and Android, but we're not actively working on them, there is just too much to do to get the game done on the core platforms.  They will probably come out a few months later.

We haven't announced anything with PS4, but our intentions are to release there was well. As I've mentioned in the past, Microsoft has a three month exclusive, so it will be at least three months after the core platforms.  Our Microsoft deal also specifies that we can't release on any other platform before the Xbox, so Mac, Windows, Linux and Xbox will all release at the same time.   It's not really holding anything back, it's actually giving us breathing room on for getting the Steam builds tight.

The big news over the past few months is the voice acting.  I could write a whole book about the the voice acting (henceforth known as Clusterfuck #1). It has nothing to do with the voice actors, they were all marvelous.  As much as I'd love to shift blame to someone else (I'm taking volunteers), it rests solely on my shoulders.

I contemplated writing about this earlier, but decided to wait and see how it all panned out. Writing about clusterfucks while they are happening invites too much second-guessing (on everyone's part).

We did our first casting back in March, when we did the trailer for Ray.  It's important to remember that Thimbleweed Park has 47 speaking roles, and that is a lot to cast for.  My goal was to cast here in Seattle and use local actors.

We did the casting for Ray and then I planned on doing a full casting in June and the first recording session in time to have voice in for the demo we showed at Seattle PAX.  June came and I was overwhelmed with work, and June became July, we did a first pass at casting, but just weren't finding the talent, then I became overwhelmed with everything else and pretended none of this was happening.  Oh yeah, and a shit-bag was elected president and that didn't help (note to self: get the Russian translations done ASAP).

So now June has become late October and we still don't have the game cast. Panic is at DEFCON 1.

We eventually decided to cast in Vancouver Canada (also known as TV America) and within a few weeks had the game cast and were ready to roll.   The actor who plays Delores is in Seattle, so we recorded her at Bad Animals in Seattle (fun fact: after casting her, she became the Thimbleweed Park sound designer and so is basically the real life Delores).

There is a character in the game who is German and no one we auditioned could do a German accent that didn't sound like something out of Hogan's Heroes.  I contacted Tom Kerstin at Daedalic to see if he could help, and he got in touch with an actor and studio in Germany. Many thanks for that.

In Vancouver we recorded at Studio X Labs, which coincidentally is the same place we recorded DeathSpank.  I went up to Vancouver for a week and we record everyday for 8 hours.  Union actors work in 4 hour stints, so we couldn't record (for example) Reyes for 8 hours each day, we had to split it with other actors and the other roles.

Only the five keys roles needed more than 4 hours, we got everyone else in one 4 hour session.

To record, we'd run though the script and the actor would read each line twice and I'd mark the take I liked, or marked it for pickup. We'd go through around 30 lines, then go back and grab anything anything I'd mark.  Ransome's voice was hard on the actor who played him, so after the first session we had him do each line once, rather than twice. He was amazing, so I rarely needed a retake.

That's the thing about working with pro-actors. They are really good at reading a script and can do 95% of their lines in one take.

All the actors on Thimbleweed Park was a pleasure to work with.

After my week in Vancouver, I came home and we spent the next 3 weeks recording with me calling in on Skype.  All in all, it took 5 weeks to record over 16,000 lines.

Which gets me to the other clusterfuck on my part.  Lauren, David, Jenn and myself wrote way way too much.  I was mentally keeping track of the lines in my head, and I completely misestimated by a factor of 2.  When I first pulled the text and saw how many lines where were, I was shocked and mortified.

Initially, there were more than 16,000 lines (with a third of them needing to be recorded 5 times), so we went through the whole game and blocked characters from going into specific areas they didn't need to go, mostly to save recording.  I don't think players will really notice it. We always gave charaters a good reason for not going somewhere and made sure it wouldn't make a puzzle frustrating.

An example is keeping Ransome out of the Cemetery. There is no puzzle reason for him to go there and we gave him a plausible excuse for not wanting to go in there, so it seems natural.

So, lessons learned (that I already knew but didn't follow):

    1 - Cast early and set a deadline and stick to it.
    2 - Pull a script early and often so you have a real line count.

After recording was done, it's taken another two weeks to go through and cut, clip and process all the dialogue. It's in the game now and it's been transformational. It is so amazing to hear everyone speak.

W00T!

Boris has started the German translation a month ago and a few weeks later we hired the translators for French, Italian and Spanish. They are all on our Slack, so it's fun to chat about odd issues that come up. Each of them has a copy of the game they can debug jump to any room and hot load their translation as they write them.  The translations are all scheduled to be done by the 27th.

We are now fully into the final stages setting up all the marketing and PR. Do not underestimate the importance of these two things, they are just as important as building a great game. But those will have to wait for another post.

So, the bottom line is our evil plan is finally coming together to make a point-and-click adventure game that feels fresh and modern without running from anything that made those games so great.

Thanks for being a part of it.

- Ron



Sam - Jan 12, 2017 at 12:14
Im so excited for this game to come out.  I was a massive fan of the Monkey Island games (first 3)
Really appreciate you guys putting so much hard work into this project and cant wait for the Steam release in the near future.  Happy 2017 :)

Christian - Jan 12, 2017 at 12:19
Why only one week in Vancouver and not more? Did you meet everyone in that week and the main actors continued with you being on Skype?

Also what was with the voice actor strike? Did you have to recast? I think you mentioned something on Twitter

Patrik Spacek - Jan 12, 2017 at 12:23
Making a game is damn hard work, we all know that and this is just a 2D point&click....talking about lines, you have got over all LucasArts adventure games:  Fate of Atlantis 9900 lines, Monkey Island 1 4500 lines, Monkey Island 2 6500 lines, Loom 1500 lines, Dott 6500 lines...etc.

Nor Treblig - Jan 13, 2017 at 07:07
Interesting!

I would have thought MI2 has much more dialog compared to MI1.

Daniel Wolf - Jan 13, 2017 at 07:45
Wow, that's interesting. So Fate of Atlantis has over 50% more lines than DOTT and more than twice as many lines as SMI. Makes sense -- it always felt large to me back then.

Nor Treblig - Jan 13, 2017 at 10:04
Indy4/FoA even felt large in one playthrough, not considering playing it the other two ways!

Paul Jacobson - Jan 12, 2017 at 12:23
aah man, I've been waiting for an update I was going cold turkey man!! thanks for the Fix! =)

Ben - Jan 12, 2017 at 12:26
speaking of Pro-actors, you need to check out Orson Welles' voice acting for a commercial regarding frozen pees.  It's a fantastic use of four minutes, especially if you have experience in the area.

https://youtu.be/V14PfDDwxlE (feel free to google "Orson Welles frozen pees" if you would prefer to avoid my link)

cui bono - Jan 12, 2017 at 12:34
I really would be interested in a screen of the option screen. I like the branch in front of the moon of the old screen. It's good that the camera is more far away now.

Now that an engine is available (you can build on), you're familiar with a production process (things vary) ... How much of the dev time could be saved if you make another adventure? If the budget isn't too much of a limiting factor, would you rather go for a longer/more detailed game or produce the adventure in a shorter time?

George - Jan 12, 2017 at 12:36
Excelsior! Can't wait to see that Steam page show up. :)

Emilie - Jan 12, 2017 at 12:36
So excited for this game! Wish I could have auditioned for this.

urielz - Jan 12, 2017 at 12:39
very amusing update, thank you Ron. I am going to miss this blog... hey!, to late to immortalize these entries as books in the game I suppose? :)

Steffen - Jan 12, 2017 at 18:27
I thought about that too. Would be nice to have this blog as well as the twitter posts in or as an extra to the game...

But probably the blog still lives when the game gets finished, so maybe it's easier to give the blog etc. as booklet (pdf or something) within the game download.

@Ron: Any possibility to get a dev-(b)log with that game?

Ariel - Jan 12, 2017 at 12:45
I really wish this game all the sucess it'll deserve. It's been decades since I expected a game as anxious as I'm waiting for TP. It's gonna be great to play it but it'll be sad to face the fact that we might have to wait maybe more decades until another graphic adventure such as this one or the ones you created before to be released.

Brian Ruff - Jan 12, 2017 at 12:56
For post game discussion we set up a subreddit at /r/thimbleweedpark
Hope to keep the dialog(ue) going with everyone. It's been a lot of fun.

Dieter - Jan 12, 2017 at 12:56
What the *beep* is a rocking chair? Could some native speaker explain that? (I've heard this for the first time ...) :-)

Kai - Jan 12, 2017 at 13:08
Schaukelstuhl.

Kroesi - Jan 12, 2017 at 13:13
Yeah, had the same thought...And by the way, what exactly is a "cluster fuck"?
"shit bag" seems to be exactly clear to me :-)

Kevin Drum - Jan 12, 2017 at 14:19
When everything goes wrong.

Kohakuchuu - Jan 12, 2017 at 13:14
Google translate is your friend ;) Assuming from your username that you're german (like me), a rocking chair is a Schaukelstuhl :)))

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Jan 12, 2017 at 13:28
You can download and install Rube Works game (by Electric Eggplant ==> David Fox). In one level there is a rocking chair :-)

Brian Ruff - Jan 12, 2017 at 15:29
It's a chair that RULES!
Example: "That chair totally ROCKS!"
/s

Nor Treblig - Jan 13, 2017 at 07:08
No no, now you are confusing a lot of things: https://goo.gl/Plt228

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Jan 13, 2017 at 08:14
Here... from Rube Works game (there is always something to learn from videogames):
http://www.cinemapioxi.it/zak/RockingChair.jpg

Bobby-jo - Jan 12, 2017 at 12:59
Thanx for this post and good luck to finish the game.

So excited to play this.

Miguel - Jan 12, 2017 at 13:01
Great update! Really looking forward to finally boot the game and discover what you guys have been preparing. But, to be honest, I think for us backers the attention that the team has put on the blog is as rewarding as the game itself.

Eduardo - Jan 12, 2017 at 13:08
Dieter, I'm not a native, but rocking chairs are those chairs with curved wood bars below the legs, so you can swing back and forth.

Juan - Jan 12, 2017 at 13:10
YEAAH! In Argentina we are excited and waiting for the realese. Thanks for the great work!

Martin Wendt - Jan 12, 2017 at 13:10
Congratulations already for keeping (?) your sanity through all this!

Ricardo Marichal - Jan 12, 2017 at 13:21
The Spanish translation is being translated in Spain ? ( I mean the way of speaking Spanish from Spain... )

Ron Gilbert - Jan 12, 2017 at 13:23
Yes.

Ricardo Marichal - Jan 12, 2017 at 15:25
Ok, thanks !! :)

Juan - Jan 13, 2017 at 13:24
It´s not the same in Latin America! it is ok anyway

Guilherme - Jan 15, 2017 at 21:28
What about a portuguese translation, Ron?

michel - Jan 12, 2017 at 13:22
Frankly, it would piss me off not to send a spooky Clown in a cemetery rather than an oddly mounted toilet paper. Exploring nu places, even if not instrumental, was the most rewarding part of playing a LucasArts game. I hope that at least the opportunity to solve puzzles in different ways is saved. That was one of the best part in Zak (knock on the bus with a wrench, the baguette,  or play the kazoo)

Gaston Blanco - Jan 12, 2017 at 13:30
Playing adventure games, usually when a character does not want to enter a place, we would think there is something needed to be done in order to do it.

It comes to my mind Bernard getting past green tentacle.

How will you handle avoiding players looping around trying to get in those places, how to know when they dont need to, to when it's actually a puzzle

Ron Gilbert - Jan 12, 2017 at 13:35
That was an issue we talked about. we just try and make what they say be very blunt and somewhat bland.  "I don't want to do there." vs. "I don't want to do there, it's too scary with the big spider on the gate."

Gaston Luis Blanco - Jan 12, 2017 at 13:38
great, thanks for the answer

longuist - Jan 12, 2017 at 14:27
Hmm, is there something in the inventory i can mix to make a "big spider repellent bat spray"? Blunt and bland speech don't stop me trying :)

16000 lines, so much to explore. Wohooo, i feel like a kid again. Grrrmpfh :/ Resisted my whole life to become a fanboy. Team TP & me = <3

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Jan 12, 2017 at 13:31
Well the game is in its final phase.
We have to wait for translations to be completed, microsoft certification to be done and talk about TWP all around the world!

Hey, is there a trip in Europe scheduled or not?

Averell - Jan 12, 2017 at 13:32
Great Job,

I can't stand it no more! :-)

Big Red Button - Jan 12, 2017 at 13:33
What a thrilling report! It renews my impatience. :-D
47 is an impressive number of speaking roles!
I'm glad to read that you have contact with Daedalic and that they are not only a bare competitor for you. I'm looking forward to the german accent.

Katie Parsons - Jan 12, 2017 at 13:39
Great update - so much work has gone into this game and can't wait to check it out.

On a side note, what is that on the chair in the first photo? At first glance it looks like someone's snake shed its skin!

Cole Trickle - Jan 12, 2017 at 13:44
I wrote it before and I write it again. This will be the game I hoped Broken Age would be (which boxed version I still miss after almost five years). I humbly thank you all for that great work and this excellent blog, that kept us informed without spoiling something.
But after reading your update, I fear that I will pay attention when I can't go to a specific area and blame the expensive voice over, which I personally don't need.

Nor Treblig - Jan 13, 2017 at 07:09
If think most boxes have been sent out. Maybe sent an email to Fangamer and ask about yours.

Milo - Jan 12, 2017 at 13:45
Wow! Amazing! Simply amazing!

Great job and thank you for the ride along with the Thimbleteam while you guys were working on it!
It has been a great experience seeing how a game is pulled together, from concept to final touches.

BTW, at the end of February in Cannes (France, you know, French Riviera) there is the International Games Show ("Festival International des Jeux" as the locals call it)... just saying...

Ciao.

BoTToX - Jan 12, 2017 at 13:57
release, release, release, release, release, release, release, release, release, release, release, release, release, release, release, release, release, release, RELEASE, RELEASE, RELEASE, RELEASE, RELEASE, RELEASE, RELEASE, RELEASE, RELEASE, RELEASE, RELEASE, RELEASE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I want to play a good game !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

entropy - Jan 12, 2017 at 14:38
Release early, release often! :D

Gffp - Jan 12, 2017 at 14:20
Thanks for the italian screenshot. I think it's the best version I've seen so far of the verb interface in this language. Because it has the same disposition of the english one, it has also elegance in words proportions, it uses "Raccogli" instead of "Prendi" which is a more accurate traduction and also less similar to "Premi" (Push) that can get you in confusion between two similar words the one near the other (and the two verbs also have different initial words that way). Very well!

One thing: the verb parlare (to talk) it's exactly like in English. It's intransitive, so you have to use a preposition to direct the action at someone.

eng. We need to              talk.                                  
ita.   Dobbiamo                parlare.

eng. I'll talk TO                             her later.
ita.   Parlerò CON                         lei dopo.

The italian preposition "con" luckily works exactly like english preposition "to", when you need to you use the verb "Talk" to direct action at someone. So you can build every sentence just by putting together "Parla con" (Talk to) and every possible object without any change.

Said this, there are two ways:
1)the verb on italian interface remain "Parla", and the engine automatically adds "con" preposition before every object when building a sentence;
2)the verb becomes "Parla con" (Talk to), and there's literally no need to to anything else.

The second option is more correct on the plane of grammar, and also more natural.

P. S. Probably this change has been already done, but Ron please don't stop posting WIP images just for that reason :-P

longuist - Jan 12, 2017 at 14:35
I think there is no space left to fit in "con"+ whitespace without looking overfilled

I bet its already done the way you described in 1)

Gffp - Jan 12, 2017 at 15:28
Guys that's an example with "Parla con", probably the last use (the better in my opinion ) of nine verb interface with SCUMM by LucasArts, in Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis.
Devs had the chance to move separation lines between columns of verbs as to fit every language.

eng. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indiana_Jones_and_the_Fate_of_Atlantis#/media/File:Indy_foa_screenshot.png

ita. https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indiana_Jones_and_the_Fate_of_Atlantis#/media/File:Indyfate.png

longuist - Jan 12, 2017 at 18:16
If i understood it correctly i agree with you with regards to content. I was just saying that with the used verb font (which is fixed in size) you may get problems with the available space. The font used in indy was smaller.

Gffp - Jan 12, 2017 at 20:12
Yes, I got your point :-) If it's as you said, option 1), that's exactly how they handled back in Monkey Island 2 times, which was a very good solution after all! So I will really be pleased in that case, especially if this means less stress for our beloved developers!

michel - Jan 12, 2017 at 21:01
So, to sum up, toilet paper AND transitive verb. (What if there were puzzles involving monologues?)

Gffp - Jan 12, 2017 at 21:36
Aaaaah, could you imagine Hamlet with a toilet paper roll in his hand sayin':

"Over, or under - that is the question!
Whether this nobler in the mind to suffer
the high annoyance of outrageous hanging
or to take arms against the toilet papers
and by inverting, fix them?"

Kevin Drum - Jan 12, 2017 at 14:24
I think it's great that you'll be able to release this game in the same year as the new season of Twin Peaks.

Katie Parsons - Jan 12, 2017 at 14:58
I totally hadn't thought of that! Perfect timing indeed.

Michael - Jan 12, 2017 at 14:26
Thanks for the State of the Game update. I can´t wait to play this Game i played as a Child all LucasArts Adventures. :-) Even Zak Mckracken where i got several Times blocked on the Airports ;-)


Thanks a lot for giving us this great Game :-)

Vainamoinen - Jan 12, 2017 at 14:36
Who... ARE... the voice actors??? :) :)

Abby - Jan 12, 2017 at 14:43
I'm so glad that you have been giving us these updates! However I'm slightly disappointed that you chose this as a forum for your political views. I get enough of it on Facebook, the news and from Meryl Streep. I didn't expect to hear it from here too.

Mister T - Jan 13, 2017 at 02:37
It is not a political view but part of a list what factors increased the pressure on him. No sane person with humanistic background would have to explicitly state his political views at this point to know where they are standing.

Nor Treblig - Jan 13, 2017 at 07:10
T is for Truth, I guess :-)

Sushi - Jan 12, 2017 at 14:44
@Ron, Gary, David & the whole TP team
I'm not gonna blow smoke up any body cavities either, but thank YOU for creating this game and its wonderful blog that allowed us to be a part of the creation process somehow. It is one of the few bright lights we can hold on to in the harsh reality of the world we live in today - with childhood heroes dying every other day and *beep*-for-brains monkeys getting elected to 'rule' an ever crazier world.  History teaches us that in times of war, discomfort, whatever... the arts provide solace and creativity sparks. Here's hoping!

Gffp - Jan 12, 2017 at 15:13
Sushi, I think I've already posted it but, hey! It fits perfectly in this context!

http://andrewscaife.tumblr.com/post/144707057440/the-4th-and-last-of-the-prints-for-the-gallery

Gffp - Jan 12, 2017 at 15:17
Sorry, I wanted to reply to the comment by Kevin Drum about Twin Peaks!

Sébastien Frippiat - Jan 12, 2017 at 14:49
Glad that the game is coming well. All those posts were very interesting. I can't wait to play it !

Aubrey Alexander - Jan 12, 2017 at 15:09
Would love to see a video soon with some in-game voice and lip sync!

Luca - Jan 12, 2017 at 15:25
Since you are releasing also on Xbox / Playstation, are you going to make console-specific controls (e.g. direct character control + action shortcuts, not mouse emulation)?
As you know, mouse emulation on console is always a bad experience...

Ron Gilbert - Jan 12, 2017 at 15:27

Luca - Jan 12, 2017 at 17:45
That's amazing, that's a great explanation, and exactly what I expected from you, Ron! :)

Another question:
Will Xbox Play Anywhere be supported on this title? (I would like to play both on PC and Xbox, with synchronized savegames,  without having to purchase it twice...)
http://www.xbox.com/en-US/games/xbox-play-anywhere

L - Jan 12, 2017 at 15:42
Oh what a coincidence. We were reading through some text files for The Cave.this morning to use them in a test for new candidates. The translators still remember it as one of the best projects we've worked on. How I envy those translators working on Thimbleweek now. :)

Terryble - Jan 12, 2017 at 16:19
How many floppy disks would you need to store the game on  (C64, both sides, so MM would be 1)?

Ron Gilbert - Jan 12, 2017 at 16:26
Around 500

Ron Gilbert - Jan 12, 2017 at 16:28
That would be in the 1.4M floppies (MI), if you want C64 disk, that would be 1,900

Terryble - Jan 12, 2017 at 16:39
So, assuming that it's system friendly disk usage, about $268 MEGAbytes?

Ron Gilbert - Jan 12, 2017 at 16:45
The game is currently 776,795,552 bytes.

Terryble - Jan 12, 2017 at 16:52
Thanks, ahh, this is gonna be awesome (hopefully no Nibble is left behind).

Barton Lynch - Jan 13, 2017 at 14:50
Any clue about the overall minimum system requirements? Would be cool to know the Mac minimum specs, though. Thank you.

Rhyming Dictionary - Jan 12, 2017 at 18:48
But how many disk drives (assuming they would be 3.5) could you to store on a desk (the size would be grotesque) to be able to play with floppies and immerge in this park of Poppies (sorry I meant Thimbleweed) and make my life rich and complete?

Gv - Jan 13, 2017 at 08:43
Or just one and swap disks. At one point the game will ask for, let's say, disk 291.

Gv - Jan 13, 2017 at 14:57
Maybe in that disk are the sewers of Thimbleweed Park. ;)

Mister T - Jan 13, 2017 at 01:48
Maybe the voice recordings should just be on the CD version then.

Steffen - Jan 12, 2017 at 18:00
May be you should release a text only version on less floppy disks for PR reasons... I imagine this could be a funny news post in times where kids think a disk as a 3D print of a save symbol...

Marcel Taeumel - Jan 13, 2017 at 04:13
Is there still some code for resource-checking in the engine? Or will the game just crash if one of the resource files is missing?

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Jan 13, 2017 at 04:43
There is a puzzle for that.
You have to find the missing resource file in order to continue the game.

Ron Gilbert - Jan 13, 2017 at 09:36
Yes, there are scri[ts I run before building the checks that all assets are there, also TesterTron™ has a mode where it jumps into every room  in the game, which finds lot of these.

Derrick Reisdorf - Jan 12, 2017 at 16:40
Although it sounds as if we share the same sentiment regarding our President-Elect, I think it's advisable to refrain from expressing any hint of political opinion.  It's funny because it doesn't really have anything to do with politics...Donald Trump IS a tactless halfwit (among other things).  It doesn't have anything to do with him being affiliated with any political party- it just is what it is.  It's perplexing to know there are so many Americans who apparently will go to bat to support and defend the idea that Donald Trump may be fit to lead this country and make sensible affecting decisions.
(I think it's funny how we now know Donald Trump as Donald *J.* Trump- much like Homer Simpson occasionally would go by Homer J. Simpson- to seem more distinguished, astute, presidential, or whatever).

Anyway, I know you've kind of went down this road before...

ne0n - Jan 12, 2017 at 16:41
AWESOME update, this blog is so down to earth, so likeable, so enjoyable to read.
And you are making a dream come true along the way. Actually, I now realize - though still playing through all the LA classics every year or so - I didn´t really have the chance to enjoy and explore them on my own, back in the time.

We would rather sit with a group of friends, puzzling through Monkey Island, Fate of Atlantis, Zak McKracken, ... which was great fun. But often I wouldn´t be the first to figure out a puzzle, I am rather slow at it. :D And the computer was a friend´s, so I ´d miss parts of the games when I was not there to play.

So, now finally, a real classic point and click adventure I can go explore and enjoy all by myself, THANK YOU. I missed the kickstarter, also Broken Age and Dreamfall Chapters made me rather sceptical. So I am buying this on GOG and Steam as soon as its possible (and who knows maybe a box will be also released). Can´t wait!

Juan Pablo - Jan 12, 2017 at 16:48
Please! When translating to Spanish make sure it's NEUTRAL (Latin american) Spanish, not "Antonio Banderas Spanish"

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Jan 12, 2017 at 17:32
What's wrong with Antonio Banderas? He's so funny!!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFuL3Qxc8Tg

Jammet - Jan 12, 2017 at 17:01
Not sure if I understand right, does this mean as a player on PC I'm going to have to try my best to avoid story spoilers from xbox gamers and their news coverage?

In any case. Thank you. All the love in the world to you! <3

Ron Gilbert - Jan 12, 2017 at 17:04
No more then you'll have to avoid spoilers from PC games. Mac, Win, Linux and Xbox all release at the same time.

Martijn - Jan 13, 2017 at 06:22
Is it UWP or Win32? As one of the three people who has a Lumia it would be cool for bragging rights if there's finally a game I could play on it before there is an iOS or Android version.

Michael Mai - Jan 12, 2017 at 17:07
I'm so stoked to be a small part of this. I have said it before and will say it again, thank you so very much for making this happen. Maniac Mansion, Monkey Island, Zak Mckracken, Indy 3 has already mortified you guys and made you one of the most amazing game developers of all time in my mind. It's been a great journey for all us backers, as well thanks to your podcasts and blog articles.

Evan - Jan 13, 2017 at 00:48
I think you mean "immortalized" ("mortified" = "so embarrassed I could die".  :)

Michael Mai - Jan 13, 2017 at 10:48
Oops. Yeah.

Ron, I hope you still got what I had meant. :)

Geoffrey Paulsen - Jan 12, 2017 at 17:47
Yeah!  The tone of this blog post is so different from the rest.  It really read like you feel like you've put all of the hard stuff behind you and just have the i's and t's to dot and cross.  That's great!  Congrats!   Go drink some champagne!  Or better yet, some of the fruity bubbly stuff that doesn't taste like piss.

Mattias Cedervall - Jan 12, 2017 at 17:55
Ron, why didn't you cast Boris as the German character?!

I dislike that you keep Ransome out of the cemetery for example! :-(

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Jan 12, 2017 at 18:06
Maybe you have to kill Ransome... who knows?

Steffen - Jan 12, 2017 at 18:13
I don't believe so but had a big laugh about you comment!

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Jan 13, 2017 at 03:11
...or like this...
(Do you know where this picture comes from?)

Mattias Cedervall - Jan 14, 2017 at 11:48
I guess it's from the new episodes in 3D.

Big Red Button - Jan 12, 2017 at 18:07
The verbs are darker now, aren't they? I think, it looks very harmonious now! :-)

Here is an older screenshot for a comparison: https://twitter.com/grumpygamer/status/814262751899963392

Ron Gilbert - Jan 12, 2017 at 18:10
There is option to invert the normal and highlight colors, I am playing with that on.  Still not sure on the default, leaning towards this.

Big Red Button - Jan 12, 2017 at 18:14
I see. That's great!

Stefano E. - Jan 12, 2017 at 18:19
That's great! I never thought going berserk on the font change like other people felt, but I thought it was definitely too bright for the UI. I'm glad you thought about it! It has been amazing following the development of this game, from the legendary first engine post with the players bouncing around - I do hope this is going to be a new dawn for point & click adventure and you guys become millionaires , I'll do my best to promote the game among the people I know.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Jan 13, 2017 at 03:13
__"There is an option to..."__
Yes, I never doubted that! :-D

Big Red Button - Jan 12, 2017 at 18:14
As I see, from now on the unselected verbs are darker than the selected verb, just as it has been in the old days. Very nice!

Nor Treblig - Jan 15, 2017 at 04:11
Btw., Dave is a creep... https://goo.gl/zXSB5J

Also note that there is some strange tilting of the notebook going on.
It seems like rotation is applied, in BOTH images actually!

Big Red Button - Jan 15, 2017 at 12:12
Indeed. What a strange visual effect on the notebook! I think, pixel perfect mode seems to be turned off.

Nor Treblig - Jan 15, 2017 at 18:16
Seems to be a regression, there are older screenshots where this particular inventory item is OK:
http://cdn3.dualshockers.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/04thimbleweed.png

Now I've also noticed another thing: All the flies are at the exact same position in the GIF (/ˈɡɪf/). Strange. This makes Dave's move even creepier...

Big Red Button - Jan 16, 2017 at 10:30
That's interesting indeed.
I assume that the notebook is wobbling for a special reason in that particular scene.
The speck of dust has moved as well. In my opinion, they should put it onto a bright floor tile, so that it would be even less noticeable. Or, maybe they should put it into a completely different room, now that I have noticed it. Distributing specks of dust into several hotel rooms would be cruel. :-D
The mobile phone has a green button now.

Nor Treblig - Jan 16, 2017 at 17:38
Afaik the speck of dust is always randomly placed in a walk box when you enter (or reenter) a room. I first wondered that it's at the exact same height, but this walk box seems to be very small height-wise (note: the place below is meant for the sentence line).

Indeed, it looks like a green call button (+ red hang up button). But did phones from that time actually already have it like that? :-)

Big Red Button - Jan 16, 2017 at 21:58
Well, a placement by random explains the different position, of course. It's a good idea, even though this speck of dust is very obvious on that floor. They could make it transparent so that its color would approximate the coor of the floor wherever it's placed.

As far as I remember, a green and a red button were already common on phones back then. At least no one will confuse that phone with a walkie-talkie. :-)

Big Red Button - Jan 16, 2017 at 22:00
Sorry! I meant "approximate the COLOR of the floor" of course.

Nor Treblig - Jan 17, 2017 at 03:20
Making speck of dusts (semi-)transparent is quite an good (=evil) idea...

At least an option where we can specify its opacity would be nice!
I hope Ron is reading this :-)

Steffen - Jan 12, 2017 at 18:10
Another big thanks from me!
Not only its enjoyable to read your posts, it's also great to be (a tiny) part of the game as you (the hole team!) always stay close to the community here. I really love to see/read the way this game develops.

Trump Train - Jan 12, 2017 at 18:11
Too bad your Hag-Bag lost.  Why bring politics into this?
If I want an opinion on the election, I'll watch the Cackling Hens on "The View"
Is it too late to rescind my pledge?

Steffen - Jan 12, 2017 at 18:15
Donate your game than...

Ron Gilbert - Jan 12, 2017 at 18:19
Because I have very strong political options. All art is political. If you can't handle that, then don't come here. It's all pretty simple.  If this thread gets ugly, I'm going to delete it, so feel free to voice opinions, but do it was respect. Hag-Bag is not respectful.

Jonas - Jan 12, 2017 at 20:21
Considering that you are the one who brought up "the Donald" in the first place you were asking for it Mr. Gilbert. I myself detest the man however, what kind of businessman wants to shoot himself in the foot by bringing up a touchy subject like this in this type of forum and then turning around and challenging those who oppose his own beliefs? It would have been wiser to stay silent all together on the subject and sell your game. Now you could just loose money. Granted not as much as you might believe, but every user matters in this field doesn't it?
Respectfully.

Ron Gilbert - Jan 12, 2017 at 20:30
Did I tell him he couldn't post a political comment?  Just the opposite, I'm happy for him to do that, just be respectful and don't hijack the blog. And no, I will not hide from my political views to "sell units".  If someone hates my political views so much that they don't want to buy the game, that is their right and I support it. There are companies I won't buy from for that very reason.  All I ask is you be respectful, polite, argue intelligently and be willing to change your mind when you need to. I have been swayed many times by people I didn't agree with, but do now.

Brian Wood - Jan 12, 2017 at 22:32
Many of us aren't American, not affected and couldn't care less on the politics of the matter. However, we have eyes and can see you calling one a Shit Bag and then requesting "respect" at the use of "hag bag" in reply?

From what I've seen here and on twitter you've been far from respectful, polite or all that intelligent with your comments on the topic.

Guga - Jan 13, 2017 at 00:59
I think there is a significant difference between insulting a public figure that's not involved in the topic (like Ron did) and directly insulting your interlocutor.

That being said, I think you all should learn to get over it: some people have strong political opinions, that's it. If Ron says "Trump is an idiot", why should Trump fans care and get upset?

That's something I never understood from Berlusconi fans and now from the Five Star Movement's fans. They all tried to respond by insulting the opposing parties, hoping to make me mad. Why should I? I don't follow that kind of cult of personality that makes me rage up if someone dislikes my idols. I won't even argue if you tell me Geddy Lee is an idiot, and I love Geddy Lee. I'd probably get upset only if you insult my family.

Mister T - Jan 13, 2017 at 02:27
"If Ron says "Trump is an idiot", why should Trump fans care and get upset?" Because they think it is like a football match where you pick your team and are on the winning side when those guys on the field score, they expect you to do it the same way. It is essentially a different game they play. Which will make democracy in the future rather difficult, as there is one way the game is meant to play and one way they play it. We are thrown back a century in time and approaching 1914.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Jan 13, 2017 at 03:24
Exactly, Guga.
The fans for each italian party seem to fight over each vs other.
But we know what is the truth, the day after the elections...
https://youtu.be/XkInkNMpI1Q?t=2m7s

IS - Jan 13, 2017 at 01:03
I think it affects the whole world not just the US. Living in Germany I think it does have affects on the relationship not just from Germany to the US but from other contries as well. I still can't believe that a person like Trump is even considered a politician. A person like that would have no chance here in the EU or the rest of the world.

But the US surprises me every time. After having a second term of office for Bush, I had the fear that Trumps wins the election. And he did. I hope he will not leave too much trouble in the US and the rest of the world.

Azrapse - Jan 13, 2017 at 02:43
Please, do not believe that Europe is above Trump. We have had, or still have here Berlusconi, Le Penn, the Brexit blokes, the True Finns in Finland, the Demokraterna in Sweden, Golden Dawn in Greece... Should we count Putin in?
Trump isn't an American-only phenomenon. Everywhere there are more and more pseudo-politicians that appeal to people's emotions rather than intellect, and that tell them what they wanna hear by pushing the blame for all their problems to someone else, rather than to their own mistakes.

Everywhere there are individuals promising to make their country great again by kicking minorities, isolating themselves from their neighbors, and selling them a future that is basically just like the "old good days". People don't want to accept that the future is uncertain and scary, and they want someone to tell them they are right.

Brace yourselves, everywhere.

IS - Jan 13, 2017 at 03:02
Azrapse, you're 100% right. But Trump is an example acting like an offended child most of the time. He doesn't know anything about political behaviour. Thats the difference to the politicians you talk about. And you've forgot Erdogan...

Mister T - Jan 13, 2017 at 03:22
So true...
And the establishment of filter bubbles aka non-mainstream media just add to that. People have the option only to hear what they want to hear, but still get it in a technical quality limited to serious sources a decade ago. Something has to break before they realize that. Last time Europe had to burn to make them understand, but the people who witnessed that are dead by now, so it probably will have to burn again.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Jan 13, 2017 at 03:27
..."Shoud we count Putin in"?
Putin or Putout, that's the question.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-wFKNy0MZQ

S. - Jan 13, 2017 at 04:02
You shouldn't be afraid of Trump in the first place. You should be afraid of why people voted for him. Don't blame the result, the rules (which you should change) for being elected were known before. Don't blame Russia. Remember the real fake news about the alleged nuclear bombs in Iraq? The USA is probably the biggest aggressor in recent history. Did it came as a surprise? Not really. A country voting four times for Bushs already with Hillary Clinton as the alternative.

Germany is in a miserable situation (and might be part of the puzzle why he got elected): uncontrolled immigration with all the problems arising from this, increasing crime rate, terrorism, propaganda media, inhuman religion replacing rational elucidation, a regained observation state, extremists showing up on the left and right, Brexit ... No one caring about the real problems we were facing before anymore. It's messed up by the system, globalism/capitalism, politicians being incapable, serving their lobbies and other countries interests (like the USA's) whilst harming Germany.

If you don't want to get into trouble, don't talk about politics. It's unfortunate when you're trying to force it into a discussion but when you get into it, try to do it in a reasonable way, regardless of which position you're coming from. In the end it's an important part for most peoples' lives (at least it should be as long as things aren't the way they could be) and it can feel unnatural beeing silent all the time. I just wish there would be more common sense.

IS - Jan 13, 2017 at 04:10
Since when is germany in a miserable situation? Living there I don't see it. Where are the stats for this?

Hans - Jan 13, 2017 at 04:51
Sorry, but germany is NOT in a miserable situation (as IS said already): All the things you said aren't true. In fact, the (overall) crime rate is going down. There is no inhuman religion replacing something. And the chances to die in a car accident are significant higher then to get hurt by a terrorist. There isn't even uncontrolled immigration (and never was).

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Jan 13, 2017 at 04:54
I'm from Italy, talk about immigration...
Everyday there are thousands of people entering from Southern Italy.
There are people escaping from Syria, but also criminals or people who thinks that in Italy there is the Heaven.
The facilities are collapsing, the EU seems to think: "Oh, that's your problem" and some of the EU members raise walls against immigration.
That's not good.

... but at least here, in this blog, let's keep those problems away...

Big Red Button - Jan 13, 2017 at 05:01
@ IS: Germany is still a secure and peaceful country, but the reporting has changed within a short period of time due to some certain occurrences.
For example the sexual assault on New Year's Eve. I still remember when Ron wrote about his visit at Gamescom. He added a picture of the cathedral ( https://blog.thimbleweedpark.com/gamescom_debrief ). The subsequent New Year's Eve put this place into a completely different context, which was sickening and which we hadn't experienced before, followed by a public outcry. It's interesting how quickly the focus of reporting can move. If there was another chancellor, such occurences may have had even a much bigger influence on german politics.

Big Red Button - Jan 13, 2017 at 05:06
I agree with Zak that we should stop talking about politics. This is not the right place for this. It isn't very useful.

S. - Jan 13, 2017 at 06:45
@IS & Hans
Sadly it's true. Our government shows a lack of clever and lasting policy in most departments since years.

Our renewable energy policy is a joke, atomic waste disposal back to the state for a laughable amount of money, infrastructure issues with streets and trains, no lasting family policy (poverty trap for families having children, ignoring the demographic factor [baby boomers facing the pension scheme]), no reasonable home/foreign/economic policy [led to Brexit, dept trap for Greece, CETA, our arms export selling weapons as well as prosthesis into countries which also make usage of them, ignoring Lampedusa].

Our policy for the Middle East is dishonest and naive. The way we're dealing with Turkey is embarassing. The immigration started by breaking EU law, it is largely uncontrolled, political asylum and subsidiary shelter turned rather quickly into integration (due to the local job market and fixing issues they didn't address for years). Rejected or dangerous people don't get deported. A surplus on uneducated young african males, integration problems due to different culture/ideological backgrounds, infiltration of Salafis, children which need special treatment in schools are some of the problems we created on our own.

Financial shortcomings for municipalities, higher costs for the general public, a downgrade in quality of life for the inhabitants, strained residential markets. Frustrations for true refugees and immigrants due to long processing times. Rape and murder in Freiburg, sexual harassment in Cologne, gunfire in Munich, assassination in Berlin, attacks with axes in trains, organized beggars, the increase of crime ... Inform yourself on your own. If you're living in Germany, in a capital city, you should know about these changes.

I won't comment on this further because this isn't the purpose of this thread.

Hans - Jan 13, 2017 at 10:42
> @IS & Hans
> Sadly it's true.

No, it's not.

I agree that it's not perfect, but there isn't any country in the world that is "perfect". You see (in your posts) only the negative things and not the positives. And in addition you list some individual cases. I.e. the immigration is *not* uncontrolled: the german police knew the terrorist of berlin. And (sadly) we had terrorism since the world war 2. Think about the RAF in the 1970th. Think about munic 1972. Think of 9/11.

Another example: if you think our engery politic is miserable have a look at belgium. There is a very old rotten atomic plant and they do not plan to shut it down! Even the conservative(!) party in germany wants to switch from atom energy to renewable.

I don't say that everything is fine. But it is not worse or miserable! We live in peace in europe, i feel save, we have a working health insurance system where poor people get a doctor for free (hello, america!), etc.

S. - Jan 13, 2017 at 12:49
I knew i would regert the 'I won't ...'

It is true.

Apart from a lack of substance your argument is that other countries are doing worse? This shouldn't be our benchmark because we should try to enhance our situtation instead of appeasing ourselves that relative to worse countries we're still doing somehow fine.

That's not an attitude towards life I want to teach my children. At some point (and in a number of aspects it already happened [education, poverty, low-pay sector, broadband ...]) you will wake up with a headache looking at the world from the end of the line.

What's your definition of controlled immigration? Having no control about people coming into our country (or the modern trafficking in human beings) with fake/no ids/passports where you don't know what they are doing? Do you know how many identities the terrorist(s) in Berlin had? The multiple times he received social benefits. That they let him go. That's not control, that's an illusion of having control. Do you think he's the only one? So, we now will spend more money on spying on our own to sustain some level of security. The cold war felt a lot safer because it was predictable. A weak EU, an almost collapsing financial market, more complicate interests groups in the world. All these things don't push a safe world.

The Germany we're living in today is more brutal than it was two years ago. The things i wrote about all happened since the immigration and a lot of them also happen on a smaller scale but you only witness them if you're living in the right places. Maybe you want to read some police reports. The number of burglary, theft ... it increased. You don't read about these things in the mainstream media this much because they're owned by a few billionaires who support the government, benefiting from this climate. The normal people, they don't benefit, they pay the bills and now they also pay with blood for such a irresponsible policy.

A policy which has no benefit for Germany, no goal and no direction. We're not shaping our future or are even involved in the solution (thinking of Syria), we're trying to react limiting the damage happening to us in a dumb way because we're not talking honest about the situation and are unable to differentiate. We're facing global problems which need a totally different treatment instead of acting as we could solve these things on our own. We're not acting like a sovereign country.

Take a look at the predicted climate change and what this will do to Africa. How large their population is, how they are structured, what kind of problems they are facing. Try to think of what you would do if you were one of them. Try to extrapolate what will happen to the oil countries once the production won't be profitable anymore for a longer period ... We need global solutions for these changes, not a single country trying to save the world. 'Am deutschen Wesen mag die Welt genesen.' didn't work out the last two times, I suggest to learn from history.

gzurl - Jan 13, 2017 at 04:39
Dude, calling "shit bag" to someone who wants to build a wall between USA and Mexico seems a compliment to me. Trumps deserves all kind of other bad qualifiers just for that.

Do not forget he will represent all USA citizens, and he is going to f*beep* up the external relation with many other countries. Honestly, I'm really sad for the people who really thought this is the best option for the USA...

Being said that, pretending not to play this awesome and really-seriously developed game just because of politics is a very stupid reasoning... Be water my friend!

Brian Wood - Jan 14, 2017 at 06:16
Israel's pretty keen on border walls, they seem to be popular with the left., I joke but don't fret I am actually a socialist leaning lefty (socialism doesn't have such a bad rap in my countr)

I think, from my island he will have exactly zero effect on my life.. But I'm old enough to have seen American liberal push towards globalism and what that has wrought all around the world. I  lived through that here at home and traveling/working abroad as a bigger blight to the world than a border fence half a world away attempting to stop some drug running ( I believe in their legalisation/treatment as a health issue which would negate a wall anyway)

However to his credit, Trump is actually anti globalism,  he wont sign the TPP, an important issue to most of the Asia/Pacific area where our government are rail roading us with little consultation,  Our conservative government here  (that I don't agree with but don't waste time name calling) is keen as mustard on the TPP because it was written by the corporate interests they represent.

I think Americans don't realise that their "business as usual" politics that Hillary represented was detrimental to many people all around the world, and has been for a long long time now, its not her personally, the DNC biasing of your primary etc, its the system, i know

Having an isolationist US president for once in 50+ years, would be a relief to many of us. Aheadache for you, but you really do need someone who pays a bit more attention at what you're doing at home rather than worrying about regime change all over the world one after another when it suits them as you have since the 60's then cry like babies when Russia apparently attempts to  "hack" your election  

The hypocrisy is over the top when Americans start on politics talking to a global audience that knows a little history.  I guess thats why the little point of Ron insulting Trump then requesting "respect" just grinded my gears to a degree that I had to reply depite not even being a conservative or a Trump supporter.

As i said, I am a left leaning pinko, but the virtue signalling from American progressives is just unbarable atm. We know your candidate lost, we agree American conservatism can a loony place. But you will survive, the last conservative US president started a decade+ long war that cost you trillions and oversaw the an almost depression side financial system collapse and you all just shrug your shoulders. I honestly doubt Trump could do any worse, wall or no wall.

Mister T - Jan 14, 2017 at 14:53
"Having an isolationist US president for once in 50+ years, would be a relief to many of us" The last time a president said he had no horse in the race was Bush sr. when Hussein asked about the US' opinion about Kuwait. Which then lead to desert storm and thousands of killed soldiers and civilians. The world has become so much more complicated than in the times of the cold war.
As bold as Putin may seem, he is also a chess player. Combine the same boldness with the narcissism of Trump and his complete inability to see the connections, and it becomes clear that there is more at stake than one single nation.

Also at some point one has to see that "globalism" has been happening for ages. By not taking control of the negotiations the progressive forces have left all instruments to the industry. I have nothing against globalizing production standards and the rights of workers. But somehow the illusion that hiding in some corner each nation on its own would make things better has gained traction and we are heading back towards the situation before the First World War.

Brian Wood - Jan 14, 2017 at 15:54
I'm pretty sure Saddam had a good idea what "no position" meant, he'd just had Iran/Iraq war, in which you also took "no position" (except for all the weapons you snuck in, or the anthrax you supplied, then later used it as an excuse to invade the country AGAIN) And one comment in 60 years of policy doesnt change it.

And globalism is about a whole lot more than workers rights and production standards, its basically western colonialism by another name. We dont need a one world government to achieve peace and stability. America need to stop sticking it's our nose into other peoples business accept not all people aspire to live like you,  but you make this assumption and run around the world spreading your version democracy and capitalism and think everyone's overjoyed about it. Trust me, they aren't. There are plenty of democratic and free capitalistic nations doing just fine without you and would appreciate if you'd just take a break from 'helping' us. We don't all live in fear of the dark, nor do we want your military bases in our countries.

Mister T - Jan 14, 2017 at 20:46
!I'm pretty sure Saddam had a good idea what "no position" meant" Apparently: invade on, we don't care. There are situations in which "Oh, by the way, we are about to station an air craft carrier fleet next to Kuwait" is the better answer, which in the end allows everyone to get along. Or in other words: the idea that neutrality leads to peace is utter nonsense.

"except for all the weapons you snuck in, or the anthrax you supplied, then later used it as an excuse to invade the country AGAIN" Who is "you" in that case? As far as I know I've never been to Iraq.

"We dont need a one world government to achieve peace and stability." Nobody talks about a world government, except perhaps right-winged fear mongers. But there is no way of establishing world-wide rules without creating some kind of organisation which can go through the process of negotiating them. And as economy is the best foundation for mutual understanding, as both side have the interest to achieve a positive outcome, it makes sense to connect those rules to trade agreements.

Just take a look at Brexit. No matter whether you think the general idea is ood or bad, one thing already clear is: the UK has to lower taxes to stay interesting for investments. This means they get less money for the same service. Other parts of Europe now will lower their taxes in order to keep enterprises from moving. And surprise: they get also less money. So it is a race to the bottom, and the only one who will have any advantage of that are the investors of the enterprises which now have much stronger leverage. The same is true for the banks: a united europe would have leverage to reduce wild speculations at the stock market, but on a national level, it would be suicide to try that.
That is what you get when you think that mini-nations have a future. They get eaten by industrial behemoths. There is even less democratic control, as all politicans can do is reacting to reality at that point.

The direction is locked, it is impossible to lower the speed, the choice is simple whether you want to steer or just wait and see where the car will take you. Deciding about the advantages and disadvantages of moving slighty left or right might seem tedious, but in the end, that is the only way to have influence. The idea that a weakling like Trump, who can be played like a violin due to his deficits in character, could exercise any control in that situation, is ludicrous.

Johnny Walker - Jan 15, 2017 at 17:35
I don't know if you've forgotten that this is Ron's blog. He can do with it what he likes. He can spout political rhetoric if he pleases, and he ban others for doing the same, should he choose. He's completely free to act as he pleases. We, on the other hand, are only guests.

Marcel Taeumel - Jan 13, 2017 at 04:14
Thank you, Ron.

David - Jan 14, 2017 at 05:51
> All I ask is you be respectful, polite, argue intelligently and be
> willing to change your mind when you need to.

Starting off the discussion with "shit bag" is impolite and itself leads the way to more impolite discussion. It's also leading the way in black-and-white thinking along the lines of Hillary The Heroine vs Donald The Hitler, which is simply not representative of reality... a reality where Hillary happens to be a war hawk that helped the Iraq mess with her vote for Bush's move, a mess which ultimately cost over 100,000 civilian lives and the emergence of Isis.

Looking forward to fall in love with Thimbleweed Park!

Trump Train - Jan 13, 2017 at 13:19
Hag-Bag not respectful... but Shit-Bag is?

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Jan 13, 2017 at 03:29
Has everyone noticed the toilet paper in this cartoon??
It is oriented OVER :-D

Stefano E. - Jan 12, 2017 at 18:32
I think they should make an exception and let him rescind his pledge, also adding some in-game protection so he can't play the game. Like never.

longuist - Jan 12, 2017 at 19:07
The second suggestion would be a bad idea, not to say a childish overreaction like *beep* use to do

Stefano E. - Jan 12, 2017 at 19:29
I was trying to be half sarcastic :)

longuist - Jan 15, 2017 at 10:22
Everyone should know by now that detecting sarcasm is none of my strengths :)

To be honest i have read it like you intended. But when it comes to discussions about politics a lot of people lose their ability to sense sarcasm. Thats a lesson i had to learn :/ So you have to choose your words as precise as possible. Or go full sarcastic :)

Big Red Button - Jan 12, 2017 at 19:21
Usually I avoid political discussions, because mostly they aren't advantageous and often they make you discontented, but I think that the president-elect doesn't leave any sane person cold. You don't need to be a Clinton supporter for criticizing Trump. Moreover, I think we should rather be grateful that it's allowed to say one's own opinion about politicians.

Sushi - Jan 13, 2017 at 15:44
Unfortunately, that's not true in a lot of countries like Turkey and Russia for example. Hence my comment above referring to certain elected leaders as beep-for-brains, was not limited to any country in particular... or sadly not even reflecting the current state with elections coming up in some EU countries that try to ride the same wave of [fill in your opinion here]. Anyway, the world seems to go belly-up or whatever the expression is  (it's f*** ed up) a bit more every day, which makes this revival of a true point and click adventure game all the more welcome. Just think of it... these games never divide people ...; except on MI3 being any good; ok perhaps on whether it should be 1987 style or 1991... and perhaps if the eyes should stay static or track the cursor.. oh yeah, and on all things relating to that cursor... but other than that, we are a peaceful and respectful bunch of P&C affecionados... except perhaps on the different font resolutions... or the... Ah, I give up, we're just a bunch of ruthless opinionated politically narrow-minded tuna-heads!! :))

Victor Van Helsing - Jan 12, 2017 at 20:01
Can you use the chainsaw with the dog-shaped balloon? :-D

Paulup - Jan 12, 2017 at 20:07
I don't know if you have an advertising budget on top of publicity, but I can recommend Facebook ads as being effective if used correctly.... you can get really specific with the targeting, eg. males 20-24, who live in Denver and like Monkey Island AND Grim Fandango but who DON'T like Neil Diamond, etc.
Then you tailor the ad image to appeal to their pro-adventure game, anti-Neil Diamond sensibilities.

Sushi - Jan 13, 2017 at 15:55
You mean like putting Neil Diamonds face on top of the floating body in the river?

Paulup - Jan 13, 2017 at 19:25
EXACTLY.
I'm promoting you to Chief Marketing Integration Facebook Strategist Manager™ of the Ad Image Consultation Department™, effective immediately. We're all very proud of your work and look forward to seeing you align with the company's existing synergies with a view towards developing new paradigms in the future.

Sushi - Jan 17, 2017 at 16:45
Yay! I'm a happy goldfish.

Noah - Jan 12, 2017 at 20:48
Great to hear that the Steam page is coming soon. I can't even tell you guys how excited I am to play this game. I'm itching to preorder it. Best of wishes. ;)

Dom - Jan 12, 2017 at 21:09
Congratulations on reaching the final stretch!

Once it's on sale, will you be doing a follow up post to https://blog.thimbleweedpark.com/roadmap1

That gives a breakdown of how the engine progressed in the end and a breakdown of where the budget went?

IS - Jan 13, 2017 at 03:42
Hey Ron,

http://www.macrumors.com/2017/01/12/maximum-tvos-app-size-now-4gb/

maybe an Apple TV Version later since the 200MB Download limit is no more?

Dester - Jan 13, 2017 at 04:13
Can't wait to see after release, when it turns out how many combinations you did not think of during testing, even the automated ones. Like the one in Day of the Tentacle, where there is actually an achievement in the remastered version when you try to talk to the Great American Leaders and it does not have a transcript. :)
Or I could mention every bug in games which eventually became game-specific features and caused unrealistic speedruns. :)
Players are evil. :)

Jonas Nordlund - Jan 13, 2017 at 04:20
As I earlier wrote on Twitter, going to play this on my soon to arrive new mechanical keyboard for maximum nostalgia, from the days when hardware was quality and keyboards like the classic IBM Model M ubiquitous. This post also gave me the idea of kick up my Fedora install and get Steam going on it! Playing adventure games on Linux just feels so strangely... right.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Jan 13, 2017 at 04:56
Can you please give us an example of mechanical keyboard?

Hans - Jan 13, 2017 at 05:35
The only one:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Model_M_keyboard

If you want a new "mechanical" keyboard have a look at keyboards for gamers. I.e. from Razer. In the most cases they use switches from Cherry:

http://www.cherry.de/cid/Mechanical_keyboards.htm?

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Jan 13, 2017 at 05:48
Thanks. The first one is the one I'm currently using as a programmer, I thought it was a standard keyboard.
I don't like those flat keyboards, they are beautiful but not practical.
To program, a "mechanical" keyboard is a MUST!

Hans - Jan 13, 2017 at 06:09
Gamers and authors love mechanical keyboards too. :-) Cherry offers different switches in different colours with different behaviours. So if you are going to buy a new keyboard, i recommend to test several keyboards. If you like the Model M, keyboards with the "blue" switches should be similar afair.

Big Red Button - Jan 13, 2017 at 07:35
That's interesting!
I've been using the Cherry Stream since about 10 years. Thanks to its flat keys, I can type on it much faster. I love it for this reason. But, maybe it's simply a matter of habit.
Though, flat keys are not as nostalgic as "mechanical" keys.

However, when I play a point & click game, I solely use my mouse.

Big Red Button - Jan 13, 2017 at 06:42
I had the bright version of that CHERRY MX BOARD SILENT back in the 90s - without the Windows keys. What a pity that I handed it over to someone else.
Well, I still have another beige keyboard from the 90s though. And, fortunately I still have a PC with PS/2 connectors.

Big Red Button - Jan 13, 2017 at 06:46
Wait. Seeing the descriptions on that page, it could have been the bright version of the G80-3000 as well.

Big Red Button - Jan 13, 2017 at 06:51
I'm currently thinking of a nostalgic ball mouse. My silly self disposed of my old mice.

Matt Campbell - Jan 13, 2017 at 05:13
Thank you all for your hard work so far. We are really grateful and enjoy the updates.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Jan 13, 2017 at 05:17
NEWS
Nintendo Switch specification released.
- No regional block
- 6.2" touchscreen (capacitive)
- resolution 1280×720 (16:9) (720p)
- 32GB internal memory (expandible with microSDXC)
- the sides are detachable and:
  - the right one has a built-in camera able to calculate the distance of the other hand
  - the left one has a capture button, to get screenshots
- the announced price is $300 in U.S. (€ 329 in Europe)
- upcoming games: Arms, Splatoon 2, Super Mario Odyssey
...
- To Be Announced third party games: FIFA18, PES18, N2K18, TWP18

Nor Treblig - Jan 13, 2017 at 07:11
No regional block?
Expandable storage?

Nice!

Thomas Mølby - Jan 13, 2017 at 06:16
Thanks for the update.  Following the development has been super fun and inspiring.

Ricardo Marichal - Jan 13, 2017 at 08:03
Ahá, there is another Speck of Dust™ in the Bar screenshot !! :D

Thimbleweedster - Jan 13, 2017 at 11:41
Will you make Thimbleweed Park great again?  ;-)

frisby - Jan 13, 2017 at 12:27
Always think its a mistake to delay Steam...  since a lot of backers will play it before its out there, you'll get less of a bump on there, maybe?  (And thats the core audience)  Guess thats the deal though.

Katie Parsons - Jan 13, 2017 at 12:54
I'm confused about some of the comments re release on different platforms...

Ron said in the post: 'so Mac, Windows, Linux and Xbox will all release at the same time' - so Steam and Xbox at the same time, right?

Or do you mean you'd rather Steam came out *before* Xbox?

frisby - Jan 14, 2017 at 11:49
I'm pretty sure what Ron is saying is that the Windows release will be non-Steam for 3 months (since Steam is considered a rival platform to xbox).   Probably a Humble Bundle download or something.  So most Windows fans will be playing without achievements and whatnot unless they wait for the Steam version.

Ron Gilbert - Jan 14, 2017 at 11:53
No, that is not what I'm saying.  Microsoft has a "console exclusive", so it can't go on Nintendo or Playstation for 3 months.  We also can't release on any other platform before the Xbox. It will be on Steam the same day it's on Xbox.

Vainamoinen - Jan 13, 2017 at 13:37
Good hustle. :

But the basic premise was wrong to begin with.

Mentioning climate change, a phenomenon we've known about for 150+ years? Suddenly it's political.
Some bum seeking food or shelter? A hamfisted attempt to inject emotionality into the refugee debate.
Some game character can't pay for medical aid? It's an ignorant critique of PEOTUS' plans for the ACA.  
Is someone bullying the main characters or making up conspiracy theories? That's a clear cut ridicule of Trump's legit election strategies.
Some fictional state is invading another? Come on, we need to be FRIENDS with the Russian emperor now.

EVERYTHING is political, but only when it looks like you criticise Trump with it. I mean, taking a quick look at all those games in which guns are the only way to resolve conflict... aren't these infinitely political? Ever thought of that? Why don't we discuss authorial intent and political teachings in Battlefield 1? It's not like shooter scenarios/stories aren't evolving.

The truth is, this new and massive trauma of the American people and this dissolution of the American values needs an expression in art, and I do hope that Ron isn't holding back one inch. I hope that after November, certain lines were changed to allude and condemn the US descent into what I personally consider a new and deeply scary fascist plutocracy.

Mister T - Jan 16, 2017 at 17:59
"EVERYTHING is political, but only when it looks like you criticise Trump with it. I mean, taking a quick look at all those games in which guns are the only way to resolve conflict... aren't these infinitely political?" That is a very good point. I always wondered about creators who said that their work is not political, as even if they try very hard, the elements they but together will imply something. And if they don't take control of what it is, they might propagate something they have never intended to say, but they are still responsible.

Interestingly games designers are starting to accept that when it comes to story elements, but still have no clue that the mechanics of their game already make a statement, often much stronger than anything they put in the cut scenes.

Sebastian - Jan 13, 2017 at 13:54
I'm hope, it will be soon finished. Ron, as long as you code PnC-Adventures, I'll buy and play them. Thank you and Gary for beeing so .. strange. :-)

Regards,
Sebastian

Barton Lynch - Jan 13, 2017 at 13:58
I'm happy that this game is coming together nicely at the end after so much stress, broken Macs and "clusterfucks". I've been following since the beginning of the kickstarter announcement and I'll be even happier when it's time to finally play it. Congrats Ron and Gary.

Vainamoinen - Jan 13, 2017 at 15:02
Just one addition to my post above: Maybe remove potty humor and especially any pee jokes. Those are VERY political now. :)

Martin Wendt - Jan 13, 2017 at 15:14
Awww, come on. Why are people so afraid of politics and opinions nowadays?
We need quite the contrary.

Vainamoinen - Jan 13, 2017 at 15:55
Read my comment above. I'm just funnin' with this last part. :)

Filippo - Jan 13, 2017 at 16:37
Hello!

I am an Italian fan of the game and I am very glad to see the last screen that you have published it in Italian. But I wanted to tell you "Raccogli" is not a good translation of the verb "Pick up", it would be much better "Prendi" ...

Thanks for your attention and good work!

Iron Curtain - Jan 13, 2017 at 17:10
I think that's what is going to be in the game because LucasArts adventure games typically have that translation in Italian. See here: https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Indyfate.png and here: https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monkey_Island_2:_LeChuck%27s_Revenge#/media/File:MI2.jpg

Ema - Jan 14, 2017 at 09:06
Your observation is right, but it applies to "premi" for "push".
They translated it like so because in the past it has always beeen translated like this, even the corecct translation would have bee "spingi", like somebody stated earlier.

However, I have to say that "raccogli" is actually the most proper translation for "pick up".

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Jan 13, 2017 at 18:37
Ciao Filippo!
Alla fine sono sinonimi, dai...

Filippo - Jan 14, 2017 at 05:09
Ciao Zak!!! Ti chiami come il mio videogioco preferito! ;) Non vedo l'ora di provare questo Thimbleweed Park, speriamo non sia una delusione...

Ema - Jan 14, 2017 at 09:03
Filippo, I can't agree with you.

"Raccogli" is a proper translation for "pick up".
"Prendi" is a proper translation for "take"

They are almost synonims, but thy are not fully interchangeable.

It's the  same with "spingi", which is a proper translation for "push" and "premi" which is a proper translation for "press".
Even if the two words are, in some contexts, nearly synonims.

Gffp - Jan 15, 2017 at 15:31
You make me think that, if devs choose "Spingi" instead of "Premi" for Push, we'll have nine verbs all with different initial letters (and a better translation). That would be great in using the keyboard shortcuts.
And this make me think that, now the screen is totally painted, you could play without the nine verb grid (except for the inventory)!
One thing Thimbleweed Team should explore for the second installement is THE-MOTHER-OF-ALL-THE-OPTIONS: enable/disable verb interface! I think it would be a WISER choice, capable of attracting the WIDEST audience possible! (The disabled verb mode could be handled in several good ways, keeping the same gameplay of a "nine actions interaction").
It was a precise intent in "If I made another Monkey Island" precursor manifesto, afterall, to lose the verb interface, even if Ron was not so sure (and what we learned? make it an option! eheheh)

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Jan 17, 2017 at 03:51
...but when, in the game, the character is in the toilet, sitting on the throne, mumbling at the toilet paper orientation...
...
... would be more appropriated to use the word "SPINGI", don't you agree?

Gffp - Jan 17, 2017 at 05:18
Yes, I totally agree: another point in favour for "Spingi" instead of "Premi" as a translation for "Push". Eheheh

Ema - Jan 18, 2017 at 10:31
Just to explain to non-italian people.... "spingi" is used unformally to describe the act of straining to defecate.

Arto - Jan 20, 2017 at 18:17
It's a good word for that, since if I (who speak no Italian at all) would be asked what that word means, and I would probably describe exactly that.

Joukahainen - Jan 14, 2017 at 07:36
A Linux gamer here. Impatiently looking forward for the release of this marvel! Been following the development of Thimbleweed Park with enthusiasm and shared info about it.

dionysos01 - Jan 14, 2017 at 15:47
omg ! i feel pretty excite to know it's almost complete. What an evolution when you compare before and after. It's a good evolution of the art of the game. I'll wait patiently the release so i can finally have my hands on it ,contemplate it , play it, feel the game. Good Work !

mr. T - Jan 14, 2017 at 16:56
"...so we went through the whole game and blocked characters from going into specific areas they didn't need to go..."

Player: Walk to expensive looking brown box
Character: "Not interested."

Player: Walk to expensive looking brown box which clearly looks like a treasure chest
Character: "I can't."

Player: Walk to treasure chest which seems to have an intriguing note beside it
Character: "Na ah."

Player: Walk to treasure chest which seems to have a very intriguing note beside it and also gently hums a strange but familiar tune
Character: "Quit it."

:(

Couldn't resist :) Can't wait to play the game!

Johnny Walker - Jan 15, 2017 at 12:27
You should have just hired Khris Brown!

Ron Gilbert - Jan 15, 2017 at 13:43
Ah... we did.

Nor Treblig - Jan 15, 2017 at 18:07
Awesome!

Meeg - Jan 15, 2017 at 15:19
Great job, guys. Things always take longer than you think they will, so don't get discouraged by that. Just so long as you keep at it.

Franz - Jan 17, 2017 at 06:56
Can't wait for the android version (yes I am a PC gamer but nothing beats cozying up with my tablet for slow-paced games)

Gromish - Jan 17, 2017 at 10:53
Hi,
all that is very interesting,
btw I'll like to know when you plan to start the Kickstarter for Thimbleweed Park 2...
Reading your blog is so hilarious...
Thanks for sharing your experience!

Redenhalter - Jan 19, 2017 at 10:10
How it work on the german version? Did we hear the english speech, but have german text on the screen? Or will there a german dub of the speech?

Gffp - Jan 19, 2017 at 12:41
Voice acting is English-only. Official translations include German, and will work exactly like you said (English speech, translated text on screen). The interesting thing is that Thimbleweed devs will release instruction (presumably after they've done with all the ports and other final things) on how to insert a new voice acting in the game. Then it will be possible for fans to do a voice acting in a different language and use it in the game. Isn't it great?

Big Red Button - Jan 19, 2017 at 14:26
I think, it might take a few years until such fans are done.

Big Red Button - Jan 19, 2017 at 14:19
Voice-acting will be in English only. But, seeing the fact that the classic point & click adventure games had no voice-acting at all, you might get over it. Elsewise, you can still turn on english voice-acting. If you prefer German, you can combine german subtitles with english voice-acting, in order to make the game seem a bit more animate.
Adding german voice-acting would necessitate a huge amount of work and money, of course, and it would be difficult for the developers to check the quality of voice-acting in foreign languages. So, in my opinion, the dev team ought to focus on more important things.

Gffp - Jan 19, 2017 at 16:41
All the translations in other languages but the five officials, the other voice acting but the English one, they will be all and only a work from fans. By now I haven't heard of a supervision by devs. I remember a  statement by Ron which sayd, more or less: "I predict chaos" ehehe, and if you consider also the editable options of the configuration file... It is a lovable decision of making an "open" game, if I can use this word.

Gffp - Jan 19, 2017 at 16:27
I agree with you, that the developers have things far more important to do for the good result of the game, my pushable friend!
I gave this information about the voice acting especially for fans like us! I also think that only a good acting can be attractive, and fans will be helped by the existing English version, which has been done under the strict supervision of the creators of the game. In my opinion the most important thing is quality of acting, way more than quality of recording instruments. Probably it is like you said, it will takes months if not years to listen the first good voice acting in other languages. But this could help in the longevity of the title also in the selling market.

Big Red Button - Jan 19, 2017 at 16:47
That's true, voice-acting in foreign languages would be a sales-promotional addition, even if it was fan made, provided that it's well done. This is not the first time that someone asked for voice-acting in a foreign language on this blog. Once there are some acceptable fan made voice-actings, Ron shall mention it within the description on Steam, of course!

TuberViejuner - Jan 23, 2017 at 07:02
Hello,

Have you thought about release a physical limited edition msdos like retro city rampage 486 for DOS?

Kind regards,
TuberViejuner

Kantiran - Jan 25, 2017 at 07:01
"We're in the process of getting our coming soon Steam page set up, so hopefully that will go live in the near future."

Is something similar planned for the release on GOG?  I'm really looking forward to TP and would like to buy it on GOG.
The Clown-Trailer is really awesome and I can't wait to play the final game!

Cheers - Feb 05, 2017 at 15:33
Nice screenshot. I am curious how we will get the gas from mars! People are trying for 30 years now to get gas and chainsaw together in one inventory ^^ Cheers :)

Cletus Hawthorne - Feb 07, 2017 at 02:45
Its a sad commentary that you can call president trump a shitbag and receive almost no blowback, feel no shame, and ludicrously tell one poster above that "hag bag" was not respectful to Hillary. Imagine what would have happened had you called obama or Hillary A shitbag in your blog. We both know the response would have been swift and terrible. Think for a moment about the environment that you leftists have created and whether that might have something to do with trump being elected.

Patrick Libuda - Feb 15, 2017 at 19:14
Hi Ron,

Despite of the fact that, if I read your according posts in the past correctly, Thimbleweed Park is cruising towards a Steam-only release as far the digital side of things is concerned, I would be very grateful indeed if there still were enough time to beg / persuade you also to release Thimbleweed Park via GOG as well! I just am not all that fond of Steam and if I were able to choose my code it would definitely be a GOG code rather than a Steam code.

Anyway, all the best.


Cheers
Patrick


P.S.: Am already chewing my fingernails - at least that what is left of them...

Ron Gilbert - Feb 15, 2017 at 19:16
Thimbleweed Park will be on GOG day one and the DRM free versions will come from them.
what is three + two?