Thimbleweed Park Gameplay

by Ron Gilbert
Oct 12, 2015

There might be some small spoilers in this video. Nothing big. No puzzles or plot information revealed, but I know some people don't like spoilers of any kind, so we're disclaimering this one.

It's a five minute walkthrough of the Thimbleweed Nickel Newspaper, a little of one of the streets and the Post Office, all featuring some new art from Mark and a couple of characters from Octavi.

As with anything we post here, this is not final art and animation. There are a lot of little issues we'll be addressing during the various polish phases.

Please, sit back and enjoy my soft, emotionless narration as I take you through a bit of the game.

- Ron

Patrik Spacek - Oct 12, 2015 at 14:10
Excellent work on the artworks ...  as I said many times...  Mark is the best!     Ron, did you write all the dialogues by yourself? it seems to me like there is a huge knowledge of everything. Did you have to learn lots of new things during developing such a detective story?

Brian S - Oct 12, 2015 at 15:16
I think Ron is just a genius, jack-of-all-trades, Renaissance man.  Or he's good with Google.

Mattias Cedervall - Oct 12, 2015 at 16:18
Ron IS Google and he just became self-aware. He will find your car keys and your passion for tango.

Movie Bob - Oct 12, 2015 at 14:12
I am so happy right now. It feels like Christmas twenty years ago. I can't wait!

Great job!

Natalija - Oct 12, 2015 at 14:14
Thanks for sharing it with us! The art is awesome, Gary and Mark did a great job!

Bogdan Barbu - Oct 12, 2015 at 14:56
Don't forget to credit Octavi for the three characters we've seen in the video.

Martin -enthusi- Wendt - Oct 12, 2015 at 14:15
I wonder if you write up the dialogues in-a-flow?
Even for our short point-and-click adventure I often found it hard to write a script to let the main actor do this or react on that and then always break and wonder 'what could she say to this?'.

Ron Gilbert - Oct 13, 2015 at 11:10
I don't have a system for writing dialogs like I do for designing puzzles. I usually just start writing. I do have a general idea of the information that needs to come out of the dialog, but dialogs are much more then just the information the player needs. They are helping to define the characters, so you often want threads that are funny, interesting and help define the characters.

Martin Wendt - Oct 14, 2015 at 09:12
Thanks. I guess in the end this is one major ingredient directly related to YOU (including David Fox) that made all those games so special.
Douglas Adams would have suited your team as well I believe :)

Phaze - Oct 12, 2015 at 14:16
Nice work!! Really like the art and those laconic chats already gave a few laughs. :)

The post-office guy somehow seems a giant when he is further or perhaps higher, but maybe thats just me.

Barry duncan - Oct 12, 2015 at 14:16
Looks amazing :) Really pleased with everything so far!

Michael Specht - Oct 12, 2015 at 14:16
Oh, the lighting! Can't wait for this beautiful gem.

Mattias Cedervall - Oct 12, 2015 at 15:42
How come your avatar is so big?

Michael Specht - Oct 12, 2015 at 16:13
Is it?

Mattias Cedervall - Oct 12, 2015 at 16:16
Yes, every other avatar is much smaller. Is your avatar on steroids? I hope not!

urielz - Oct 12, 2015 at 14:22
Great ambience! Tiny creepy town where everybody seems to be working at night... oh man, so much potential! I can't wait to see what you guys come up with. Thanks for sharing this.

M. Night ShalalaNomNom - Oct 12, 2015 at 20:47
Twist Spoiler: They're all vampires!

urielz - Oct 13, 2015 at 00:41
They did say that Twin Peaks is one of the sources of inspiration. An apparently the upcoming Twin Peaks might have some vampires involved in the plot... so who knows! :p

prbalbontin - Oct 12, 2015 at 14:26
Wow! That badge icon in the inventory looks a-m-a-z-i-n-g.

Also, what a dream come true this game is. Oh, boy.

Arto - Oct 12, 2015 at 14:26
Looking good. Could all articles of every newspaper be readable? I'm sure there's a way to get 3000 articles quite quickly ;)

Chol - Oct 12, 2015 at 14:29
I like the typewriter noise! :-D
But the outside scene needs some chirping sounds like in Maniac Mansion. ;-)

Jammet - Oct 12, 2015 at 19:08
You mean crickets? :) Might be nice. From a distance. They'll probably be louder on grassy areas, but a nice ambiance effect.
I love the scene *very* much. It's hilarious how the coffee shop closed - and now the post office is selling coffee, too!

Farooq Jamal - Oct 12, 2015 at 14:30
And suddenly im a 6 year old again. Mark's art style is phenomenal.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Oct 13, 2015 at 10:58
I LOVE this style. IT IS A MUST. I have pledged this game because of this (and the Verb Interface, too)

urielz - Oct 12, 2015 at 14:31
Neither Nathalie or the mailman have head movement. Is this final? Honestly it looks pretty good as it is...

Octavi Navarro - Oct 12, 2015 at 17:29
Nothing is final yet. There are still some idle animations missing that will make them feel more alive, and there's a lot of polishing to do once we finish all the characters.

urielz - Oct 12, 2015 at 17:54
Awesome! Thanks for the update. Looks really good already, looking forward to see the finished version.

Uli Kusterer - Oct 12, 2015 at 14:36
Thanks! This looks awesome! IMO the bullets next to the dialog could be smaller, but then I'm not a professional artist :-) And that's really the only nit I could pick about this, great work.

I *love* the winding path through the newspaper rows.

Arto - Oct 12, 2015 at 14:36
Hey, you got rid of the black box behind the text? That's good.

Bogdan Barbu - Oct 12, 2015 at 15:03
They said they probably would but we can't know that for sure. For dialogues, the verbs and inventory can disappear. That won't happen for other actions, like looking at something.

Sarah - Oct 12, 2015 at 15:38
Wow! When did they add you to the team? I didn't see the announcement. You seem to be making a lot of very definitive statements. Give it a rest Bog. You jump into every question and don't even give Ron and Gary any chance to give a better or more in depth answer. Give it a rest. Why do you feel you need to be the person that tells everyone the say it is.

Bogdan Barbu - Oct 12, 2015 at 16:44
I'm not sure how "we can't know yet" could be interpreted as a definitive answer, how I somehow strip away from Ron or Gary the opportunity to answer, or what is wrong with answering questions that might otherwise be left unanswered. I'm sure you've noticed they don't have time to answer everyone. Some of us have some of the answers sometimes because we've been around so we do try to contribute in whatever way we can. Some people do appreciate it, as they express gratitude or engage in conversation. How do you contribute other than by calling people jerks, beging continually disruptive, trying to impose community rules of your own, and being off-topic? Please consider whether this attitude is helpful before answering.

urielz - Oct 12, 2015 at 16:56
I'm not against anyone answering questions here, but I can see how people can get frustrated. This for some of us could be a way to interact, as a fan, with the developers. On some level, getting a (perfectly good) answer from another fan invalidates the whole process. Just my two cents. Maybe we can all chip in a send you another cat ;) -cheers

Bogdan Barbu - Oct 12, 2015 at 17:05
Fine, I'll just go away. This place is totally unfriendly so I'd rather wait for the game to come out without any of this fuss.

PS: The boxes do seem to be gone, now that I took a closer look.

urielz - Oct 12, 2015 at 17:18
Sorry If I that came out unfriendly (English is not my first language). I for one do appreciate your answers, just saying I can see why some can get frustrated.

Jammet - Oct 12, 2015 at 19:18
It would be nice if people could just get along. If there's someone whose messages you don't want to read, then just don't read them. It's really rude to tell others to go away, or tell them not to be part of the ongoing discussions.

Honestly, I do not understand why some here seem to single you out for typing +1 (informative) posts. I understand it's more fun to get these tidbits of information directly from the roots, but it's not like you could give away any information that hasn't been dispensed before. At this point you are merely helping like a FAQ would, and you participate in the blog with just as much speculation on what might or might not happen.

Derrick Reisdorf - Oct 13, 2015 at 10:59
I don't think anyone explicitly asked Bagdu to leave.  They just asked him to stop trying to comment on the intentions of the designers/developers, when he doesn't know for sure.  Take the previous example:
Someone said "Ooh.  They removed the black box behind the text."
Then Bagdu responds "They said they probably would but we can't know that for sure. For dialogues, the verbs and inventory can disappear. That won't happen for other actions, like looking at something."


They.  Removed.  The.  Black.  Box.  Behind.  The.  Text.
Someone was making a simple observation.
And then Bagdu basically says "Umm...I don't know about that.  I question your observations."
Okay, we all pretty much know that this was a case of Bagdu misreading what Arto wrote.  But, I guess that's just a case of him needing to read a little more carefully.
I don't have an issue with him posting as much as he wants.  He often provides pertinent information.  Sure, sometimes he doesn't, or provides us a bit too much conjecture, but I hope he sticks around.
The only issue I have is during the developer questions posts- I just think it would be good to refrain from trying to answer these questions when you might #1 interpret the question wrong or #2 not know which developer will want to answer the question and how s/he would want to answer it.  I think it would be nice if they can read the comment thread free of clutter.  But, hey, I'm being Bagdu.  One of the developers said they didn't mind it, so who am I to say.  :)

I think we all want you to stick around and participate in the forums, Bagdu, but we're just asking that you read a bit more carefully and try not to speak on behalf of the devs.  When we see someone new to the forums who is asking about information that is clearly in the FAQ, we can kindly point them in that direction.  Cheers!  Peace, love, and furry animals.

deanobob - Oct 12, 2015 at 19:42
I do enjoy seeing your responses to everyone's questions. I imagine it's helpful to the developers if they don't have to respond to the same questions multiple times :D

I would like to see a character in the game called Bogdan who provides a similar service, perhaps providing recaps of previous conversations or hints from what you have learned previously :D

Keep up the good work Bogdan and ignore the unfriendly comments!

Derrick Reisdorf - Oct 13, 2015 at 11:23
Well that's the thing.  The devs won't respond to all the questions- especially questions where the answers exist in the FAQ or are considered common knowledge.  I wish people would at least read the FAQ before they participate in the forums, but they don't.  Bogdan is trying to be helpful, maybe too helpful by trying to answer questions based on conjecture.

I think it would be kind of funny if, in the game,  there was an information kiosk in the Thimbleweed Mall, and the was a guy standing next to it, let's say, eating a ridiculously oversized pretzel.  A mall patron asks the worker in the kiosk where the bathrooms are and before the kiosk worker can reply, the pretzel-eater answers the question.  "They're down the escalator right next to the pet store."

The kiosk worker interjects, "but, those bathrooms are being remodeled today.  You'll have to use the bathrooms upstairs at the west end of the mall, by Razor's Records and Tapes."

The patron glances at the pretzel man, then back to the kiosk worker.  "Uh.  Thank you."  He briefly looks back at the pretzel man, then leaves.

I kid.  I kid.  Let's stay together and all be friends.  :)

Bogdan Barbu - Oct 12, 2015 at 19:55
Thanks, you're very kind guys but I'd like to ask everyone to cut it. I'm not leaving because I'm looking for attention or trying to be the victim (of an INTERNET CRIME!!!1). I'm leaving because I already caused some distress and people don't come here to have their moods ruined by reading this crap; they come to have their moods ruined by Thimbleweed Park. Also, because the TP dev team has better things to do than to moderate these discussions. I know myself well enough to know that if I continue following this blog, I'll be tempted to get involved and will eventually break the silence.

Can't wait for the game. :D

elena - Oct 12, 2015 at 21:10
sarah is just another angry person on the internet with no intelligent way to substantiate her demands. she really provided no arguments. only attacks because she lives by (crazy) social rules that she thinks are universal and she takes for granted without questioning, understanding, argumenting.

hihp - Oct 12, 2015 at 18:27
I wanna chime in - please, Bogdan, stoppit. Just comment on SOME things, like everybody else - and leave the rest of the things alone.

Ron Gilbert - Oct 13, 2015 at 11:14
The black box behind the text is a option players will be able to turn on and off. Once we've done some play testing, we'll decide if it's on or off by default. Early feedback from friends is split. Some people really like it for readability, others don't. We're also going to make the text size adjustable by the player.

DZ-Jay - Oct 14, 2015 at 05:27
I vote to keep it on by default.  Can I be a "friend" now? :)

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Oct 15, 2015 at 03:21
I know this isn't a poll, but... I vote for keep the black box (improves readibility and looks like more '80 and '90 style!)

Dan - Oct 15, 2015 at 06:00
I like the idea with the box, but only as an option. It may improve the readability, but in my opinion the first look of the game should be as similar as possible to the SCUMM games. So I would recommend to you warmly to abdicate the box by default.

Dan - Oct 15, 2015 at 10:12
The text itself always used to have a black contour. That's already half the battle, if you want readability.

Matt - Oct 12, 2015 at 14:39
I was mesmerized by the paper in the typewriter. My eyes were so focused on it moving I completely missed the dialogue spoilers. :D

peterszky - Oct 13, 2015 at 07:53
Me too!

"The devil lies in the details."

Marcelo Ellmann - Oct 12, 2015 at 14:56
Hmmmm no opening doors before entering places with closed doors or just no animations ready for that yet? Just curious.

Ron Gilbert - Oct 13, 2015 at 11:15
All the doors will animate and you'll have to open them (at least once). That work gets saved until the end when the art is 100% locked down.

Derrick Reisdorf - Oct 14, 2015 at 12:19
If the player is having to open/close doors, will there be at least one instance in the game where opening and closing doors would be needed to solve a puzzle?  Perhaps there's a notice on the inside of a door (à la Maniac Mansion) that you can only discover by closing a door from inside a room; maybe by leaving a door open to the outside, an old grumpy character feels the need to get up and close it "Close that door!  Were you born in a barn?"  "You're letting all the cold in!  You want me to catch my death?"; or whatever.  If there aren't any puzzles that really need you to open or close doors, I wonder if Ron likes them simply for immersion/interaction sake.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Oct 15, 2015 at 03:23
...did you mean... "à la Monkey Island" ?
The ticket for laundry sticked on the inner part of Largo LaGrande room door?

Derrick Reisdorf - Oct 15, 2015 at 13:46
For some reason, I thought there was a similar puzzle in Maniac Mansion.

jonathan - Oct 17, 2015 at 01:36
i thought the laundry ticket was unfair.

Kevin Drum - Oct 12, 2015 at 14:58
Gorgeous lighting.  Do you hear those typewriter sounds in your dreams?

ciaps - Oct 12, 2015 at 15:11
Those backgrounds are SO awesome. The light is just incredible!

-- is it just me, or the post-office-man looks a bit like Ron ?

urielz - Oct 12, 2015 at 16:34
Now that you mention it.. yes. Ron should do the voice acting for the mailman :D

Ema - Oct 14, 2015 at 07:50
NIce idea. I suggested somewhere a cameo for every member of the crew: everyone has an 8-bit avatar, and they can lend their voice if needed.

Big Red Button - Oct 14, 2015 at 08:41
This would be a good idea for an *in-game hotline* - similar to the telephone call in Monkey Island 2.

Cazzeris - Oct 12, 2015 at 15:15
Octavi and Mark's art is so good that I hadn't even noticed that the paper in the typewriter doesn't move horizontally. Keep up the good work.

laihanen - Oct 12, 2015 at 15:19
I bet that map is important ;)

Gins - Oct 12, 2015 at 15:21
Ron, I would pay money for an audio book with your "soft, emotionless narration". It has a very calming effect when I listen to it.
So, if you ever need some money on the side, or it turns out game development just isn't "your thing", there is another career to pursue :)

Mattias Cedervall - Oct 12, 2015 at 20:06
I also like Ron's voice. I hope he will voice a character in Thimbleweed Park! It would be good and save money. :-)

Derrick Reisdorf - Oct 13, 2015 at 11:31
I'm a Cubs fans and can't help to think of how Ron Gilbert's voice has similar qualities to that of Ron Coomer's.

Tell me I'm not crazy.

Mattias Cedervall - Oct 13, 2015 at 15:22
I don't think they sound very similar.

Derrick Reisdorf - Oct 13, 2015 at 17:04
It's settled then...I'm crazy.

Mattias Cedervall - Oct 16, 2015 at 05:59
You should be proud!

the drisk - Oct 12, 2015 at 15:26
Great vid exactly what i was looking for with adventure games.   One slight note in the newspaper building have her stop typing when talking as that repetitive sound is painful.  Apart from that really cool and cant wait to see more :-)

Randy - Oct 12, 2015 at 17:52
+1 for the typing to stop :)

R.C.M. - Oct 12, 2015 at 19:09
It would be amusing to see a 'Could you please stop that annoying typing' dialog question, similar to when Guybrush asks Wally to 'stop that annoying swinging'!

Conradson - Oct 12, 2015 at 15:26
Wow, this is so much more than I expected !

Kim Jørgensen - Oct 12, 2015 at 15:26
Very nice indeed :-)
Are you planning to adjust the font sizes? The spoken text seems very small compared to the verbs.

Marcel - Oct 12, 2015 at 15:35
Fear not, we know you americans have numbered amendments. Although we never quite understand what they are.

Ron Gilbert - Oct 13, 2015 at 11:16
Either do we. I actually found it very educational to have to look them all up for this dialog.

Ashley B - Oct 13, 2015 at 17:35
Us non americans find the whole 'Amendment' thing quite bizarre.  I'd struggle to even tell you even what was being amended in the first place.  (Google will tell me no doubt)

DZ-Jay - Oct 14, 2015 at 05:25
It's quite simple: Our constitution incomes provisions on how the government should be composed and run, but does not define any citizen protections or rights at all.  This was considered a problem by some of the original states and refused to signed it until the original constitution was amended to stipulate expressly the citizen's rights.

The first 10 amendments of the U.S. Constitution are then called "The Bill of Rights," and they are a pretty big deal to us Americans. :)


Zak Phoenix McKracken - Oct 15, 2015 at 03:27
It's similar to the Italian Constitution, where the first 12 "amendements" ("articoli" in italian) are the fundamental principles of the republic.
I think it is educational, too.

Mattias Cedervall - Oct 12, 2015 at 15:40
I ate candy while eagerly devouring the delicious spoilers.

Robert Megone - Oct 16, 2015 at 02:16

noname - Oct 12, 2015 at 15:45
Where is Thimbleweed Park?

noname - Oct 12, 2015 at 15:50
I'm thinking of giving the map piece on the wall to Wally.

Arto - Oct 16, 2015 at 13:48
I think it might be a neighbor to Springfield.

Christian - Oct 12, 2015 at 15:46
Can I just say: I love the look of the rooms and environments, especially the lights and the moon. It looks great already!

w steve - Oct 12, 2015 at 16:00
That looks so lovely. I had to punch a wall to get back my manliness. That typewriter sound makes me crazy though.

Estranged2 - Oct 12, 2015 at 16:24
Feels very nice. But the more time passes, the more the lack of idle animations for the main characters (blinking etc.) is apparent.

Marco Lizza - Oct 13, 2015 at 08:41
Idle animations were not invented in the eighties... ;)

( for the record, I'm really just kidding )

Ron Gilbert - Oct 13, 2015 at 11:24
There will be idle animations, most of that waits until the end and we just fill free art time with them.

berlincount - Oct 12, 2015 at 16:28
Sweeeet! :) .. but quickness of the room changes took me aback .. will you do some fadeout/fadein? :)

Davide - Oct 12, 2015 at 16:32
it's like my inner child is having sex with Dana Scully right now.

w steve - Oct 12, 2015 at 20:53
I awas thinking the same. Both look  familiar. Are both main characters inspired by Scully and Mulder?

Steffen - Oct 12, 2015 at 16:51
Will the mouse cursor be smoothly blinking in the final game like in Monkey Island?

El chapucero - Oct 12, 2015 at 16:52

Zarbulonian - Oct 12, 2015 at 16:53
Many thanks for the spoiler warning :-)

entropy - Oct 12, 2015 at 17:08
Thanks for hinting the potential spoilers, Ron.
That's very appreciated! I will skip this one.

Btw, I never got the point when people pay for early access to an adventure game.
Call it alpha or beta. To me that would massively spoil the fun of the final game.
I'd even say it just makes no sense for this type of genre.

But that's another story... :)

Oh - just my 2 cents.

Derrick Reisdorf - Oct 13, 2015 at 11:43
I'm still on the fence about watching the entire video.  I probably will end up watching it.  I've already read through most of this thread, so what do I have to lose?
I agree that part of the reward of playing through an adventure game is wonderment of entering a new room.

Hoerspiegel - Oct 12, 2015 at 17:09
Very nice. Is that a tentacle's silhouette on one of the tiny pictures hanging above the Copytron 3000?

Hoerspiegel - Oct 12, 2015 at 17:09
Very nice. Is that a tentacle's silhouette on one of the tiny pictures hanging above the Copytron 3000?

lobopampeano - Oct 12, 2015 at 17:16
Looks great! Is it just me or some of the character movements seem a little too fast?

Grafekovic - Oct 12, 2015 at 17:22
I really love the graphical style and especially the sound of the typewriter gives the scene a retro feeling (also that the voiceover is still missing. I will turn it off in the final game). Very well done.

But I miss the annoying activity of opening the doors. Will that be added to the final game The changing of scenes is too fast as it is right now.

Lennart - Oct 12, 2015 at 17:26
The ceaselessly typing reporter hit's just the stop. Ron Gilbert's famous Adventure Game comedy formula. Such a subtle thing. Keep it exactly like it is!

Stefan - Oct 12, 2015 at 17:45
Looking at your adventures with your fabulous 8-bit artwork, I wonder why the screen resolution has ever been increased?
Only eagles need retina displays ;-)

hihp - Oct 12, 2015 at 18:31
One thing I strangely seem to miss is - the slowness of walking and side-scrolling...

Thimbleweedpark Team: would it be possible to add a game setting (potentially a slider) for walking speed?

Ashley B - Oct 12, 2015 at 18:48
Time for us to suggest newspaper headings?  No?  Oh well, I'll do it anyway

Barn collapses on man. In a stable condition.
Olympic runner declared to be racist.
Honest Politician discovered in Olduvai.
Sue Sues Suez over missing shih tzu.

Mattias Cedervall - Oct 13, 2015 at 15:25
Very good, Ashley! :-) Does the "B" stand for brilliant?

Ashley B - Oct 13, 2015 at 17:32
Other headlines:

"Zombie apocalypse unexpectedly defeated by garden plants."
"Shipwrecked Rastafarian found in forbidden parallelogram."
"Twelve new Kardashians discovered on Moon."
"Medium accused of being average after failing to win at the horses."
"Author facing long sentence."
"Lottery cheat arrested in San Francisco"
"Suicidal twin kills sister by mistake"*
"Homicide victim admits case was overstated"
"Statistics prove teen suicide rate drops off after 20"
"Bear Grylls' Cola sponsorship fails to entice market.  Yellow colored can blamed."

"B stands for Brilliant" :)

* Blatantly stole that one :)

Ashley B - Oct 13, 2015 at 17:33
(lol, caught by the stupid asterisk thing again....)

Jammet - Oct 12, 2015 at 19:10
Wouldn't it be hilarious if the woman typing away would keep adjusting her glasses every time the wants to emphasize on a point *STILL* typing away all the time?

Damian - Oct 12, 2015 at 19:16
It looks fantastic!
Best investment I've made in a long time. Just these updates are worth every penny.
Great work guys!

Wluut - Oct 13, 2015 at 04:13

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Oct 16, 2015 at 10:10
Indeed, I think the Team will deserve an additional reward, a "Yearly bonus". I'll wait for another video of the state-of-the-art, and on January 2016 I'll evaluate the amount of my additional donation :-)

Peter Campbell - Oct 12, 2015 at 20:58
I've said it before, but the art style is PERFECT and really captures what the game is going for.  It's also great to see dialogues included in the game, as they really help to expand the story, the character's personalities, the information/clues, etc. etc.  

One question for Ron:  Are there any plans to have the screen "fade in" and "fade out" when entering/leaving a different building/room, or is the room transition always going to happen completely instantaneously?

Ema - Oct 14, 2015 at 07:42
The "room tansition affair" is the new "inventory icon thing" :-D

By the way: Ron, I explicitly ask to keep at least THIS badge design in the final game :-D please...

Iron Curtain - Oct 15, 2015 at 10:07
I agree! And I was that person who "complained" that Mark Ferrari's Quickie Pal artwork was "too good".

The artwork here, however, aside from some anachronisms, does *not* look "too good" IMHO. It looks perfect!

Peter Campbell - Oct 12, 2015 at 21:15
Oh, one more question:  For spoken dialogue of characters, or even descriptions of things when you "look at" them, does the on-screen text automatically disappear after so many seconds or does the text stay on screen, and the character doesn't say the next line until the player presses a button, whether on their mouse or keyboard to then proceed with the next line of text/end the current line of text?  The time the text was displayed on-screen seemed a bit too fast imo.

I know there's going to be voice acting added to the game later in development but yeah, just wondering if there'll be an option to let the player toggle a "next" or "proceed" button to go to the next line of dialogue/on screen text and/or end it.  Hope that makes sense lol.

Hanon Ondricek - Oct 25, 2015 at 18:41
I'm so glad an old-school SCUMM-type game is in production!

I almost kind of wish that the game didn't have voice acting.  I know I can turn it off, but...

I think the comic timing in Monkey Island 1 and 2 was always spot on.  It always (just as in this video) reads exactly as fast as I want it to without having to skip forward.  When you get voice performances, the comedy timing suffers, no matter how good the acting is.  Plus it means they need to limit some of the text in the game because it's got to be recorded and stored which jacks up the filesize.

I'd take no voice performances if it meant twice as much text and dialogue.

Ron Gilbert - Oct 25, 2015 at 18:49
I've never limited dialog due to voice recording and it's never been a problem, and we won't do it here either.

skarsson - Oct 12, 2015 at 22:15
Looking good! :D

Alessander - Oct 12, 2015 at 22:57
Ron, I really liked the newspaper headlines that appeared from time to time in Day of the Tentacle: "Meanwhile blablabla". Those headlines were funny and useful in providing contextual information on what was happening outside (plus the fact that they substitute expensive animations). I would love such a feature in Thimbleweed Park. For instance:

Oh, and thanks for the post, the graphics and animation are great :-)

Michael Leybas - Oct 13, 2015 at 00:55
That looks great.  I can't wait for the finished product.

Gianmichele - Oct 13, 2015 at 02:18
It looks super tight. I love the graphic look and yet it feels like a classic.

I know it might have been asked a tons of time, but what is the original resolution of background and characters?

AJ - Oct 13, 2015 at 02:26
This looks exactly like how I imagined it!! I absolutely cannot wait to play the final product! Keep up the incredible work, Team Thimbleweed!! =D

Milo Casagrande - Oct 13, 2015 at 02:52
Really impressive! Awesome work guys!

One question: I might be a slow reader (English is not my mother tongue), but will the text speed be adjustable? The long text sequence I could barely get to the end of the sentence (not sure if the video was sped up, or if you were skipping quickly through the dialog).

Zuckerberg - Oct 13, 2015 at 07:04
I second that: please make text speed adjustable.
BTW: does display time and text amount correlate, in this demo?

Ron Gilbert - Oct 13, 2015 at 11:22
The speed of the text is fully adjustable. I have it set pretty fast for dev reasons, I should remember that next time I make a video.  The text can go even faster, or it can be slowed to a halt requiring a click/key to proceed.  When speech is turned on, the text speed will match the audio. It's looks too goofy if the text stays on longer then then the audio, but maybe we'll make that an option.

Dominik - Oct 13, 2015 at 11:56
Not having a problem with the text speed myself I think some people would like it if they can still adjust the text speed even though speech is turned on.

Think of people that don't have a native audio translation and will have to deal with secondary language audio. They might not understand every spoken word (perhaps a speaker has too strong of an accent or mumbles or what-not) and they would be glad if the text stays on somewhat longer so that they won't feel pressured by the game.

Also: The game really looks amazing! I love all the xxx-tron's 3000 :-)

Derrick Reisdorf - Oct 13, 2015 at 12:07
I think it would be kind of funnier if the machines were named WHATEVER 2000.  It emphasizes that this game is set prior to the year 2000, during a time where we thought we'd be driving flying cars come the year 2000.

Ema - Oct 14, 2015 at 07:47
This makes sense


Mancombe - Oct 15, 2015 at 06:58
I thought exactly the same, Derrick: Why not 2000?

Big Red Button - Oct 15, 2015 at 12:09
... and it would recall Video 2000.

Derrick Reisdorf - Oct 13, 2015 at 12:00
So, I decided to watch the video...minor spoilers, and all.

How is the dialogue invoked?  It looks like right now it is invoked as soon as TALK is selected.  Which is weird.  You start chatting before you get over to the character you want to talk to.  I guess some situations this would be okay.  What if you controlled a loud-talking character that because the TALK action was invoked on a character way across the room, the player would have different dialogue?  Hmm...Distance-dependent dialogue.  If invoked at a distance, the player would yell, "Hey you over there!," for example.  If near, the player would say, "Hey."  Of course, no need to even consider this unless you designed a puzzle (or puzzles) around it.

Anyways.  How would you move the dialogue to invoke after the walk path is completed (the player stops in front of a character/object)?
I guess you save the talk string, temporarily, and if the player completes his walk to the object uninterrupted, you evoke the dialogue with the chosen talk string parameters/variables?

Derrick Reisdorf - Oct 13, 2015 at 12:42
There I go, not paying attention.  It appears as dialogue can be invoked at any time.  In one instance, it is invoked when the player enters another area of the room and is greeted before the player actually walks up to the character.  Not weird at all.
In the post office, it is invoked after the player walks up to the postal worker.
I think I'm just going through code withdrawals.  :)

Ron Gilbert - Oct 13, 2015 at 12:51
In most cases, the character will walk up to the other character before invoking the Talk To verb. In the case of Natalie, that was triggered by a trigger box in the room because we wanted to force the player to talk to her at that point in the game.  That will happen every now and then, but it's not the norm.

Dominik - Oct 14, 2015 at 02:57
Good to know! So in these instances when the game forces me to talk I can throw my fist into the air and cry "GIIIIIILBERT!" :-)

longuist - Oct 14, 2015 at 18:52
Fast text speed is good imho for video. One could watch it again or pause if it was too fast

Tobias R. - Oct 15, 2015 at 07:11
About text speed when audio is used:

I think the faster of the two (audio or text) should “wait” for the other to finish before going to the next sentence. I don’t think this would look/sound ridiculous. An option would be best, naturally.

Carsten Jensen - Oct 13, 2015 at 02:53
Absolutely classic :-)

Danish person - Oct 13, 2015 at 03:49
It looks great.

I only have one point of criticism: the text is on screen for to0 quick a time period, for a non-native english speaker like me. And also I am a slow reader.
I hope the spacebar will serve as a pause-button, as it was in Monkey Island. Because that really saved me back then during conversations between characters.

Mario F. - Oct 13, 2015 at 03:54
OMG. this video is teasing me to much. @RON: you can't do that to me continuously. ;-)

Alex - Oct 13, 2015 at 04:30
Looks amazing already. Can't wait to play it. :D
At the post office I accidentally read "Please nail something" due to the small letters.

tomimt - Oct 13, 2015 at 05:04
Despite sounding like a broken record, this is looking fantastic, as always. Those backgrounds are so atmospheric and I really like the way the character animation and look is heading.

Carlo Valenti - Oct 13, 2015 at 08:09
thank you for posting this video!

Stan - Oct 13, 2015 at 08:26
This is looking absolutely stellar. I truly think you guys made the best decision to keep the visual style true to the era. I can't tell you how much I missed it. Keep up the good work team.

Also. If Disney don't give you guys the rights to Monkey Island, I think you should start thinking about making a 'spiritual successor' something like Ape Archipelago (you can keep the name) Starring Guidowood Thorpebrush.

Let the idea marinate for a while.

Farooq Jamal - Oct 13, 2015 at 08:32
I saw Octavi's some artworks before. I love your stuff mate!

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Oct 13, 2015 at 09:29
AHAHAHA, please... please!!!
Add "Tum de Dum" sentence to the post office man!! This post office really reminds me The Phone Company in Zak McKracken™ and his "representetive" !!

Really really nice job you did so far! I am very proud of all of you!!

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Oct 13, 2015 at 10:55
... and the "dot" at the beginning of a dialog line reminds me the "Shift Q" character of a Commodore 64 keyboard :-) Nice touch!

Karim - Oct 13, 2015 at 09:46
Lovely. Though I'd fix the strange grammatical errors:

"We're investigating the murder. Know anything?" (The earlier comma was ugly, and didn't 'sound' right.)

Also: "Not much—just what I heard over the police scanner."

(I'd be happy to go through the text fixing these little details, actually.)

Ah good luck either way. So excited.

Karim - Oct 13, 2015 at 09:47
Also: "What's the deal with your sheriff? Seems kind of odd-a-reno."

You know, that sort of thing.

Bill Jackson III - Oct 13, 2015 at 12:59
To paraphrase Howard Wolowitz: where is your sense of whimsy, you muggle?
I, for one, appreciate these touches that humanize what could otherwise be quite robotic,plodding dialogue by exposing some quirks in characters' speech style; you know, how people actually talk. These are the kinds of things you might take for granted (not notice) in a film or televison show, but I think they really make a difference in the storytelling.
When I read something like that, I immediately get a sense for the personality of the character and kind of imagine a known actor/actress saying those lines. My go-to imaginary setting for this game is "The X-Files". Just imagine Mulder saying that line when interviewing/questioning  a witness or suspect. Or, gore more fun and laughs, imagine Ned Flanders portraying Fox Mulder, in the same scene.
I expect it will bother you less --or again, you will not even notice -- with the lines read by skilled voice actors. Seemingly minor storytelling flourishes like this, plus a wicked sense of humor, make a huge difference between a mediocre game and a great one...

Karim - Oct 21, 2015 at 03:07
Which is fair! I guess I'm a stickler for dialogue, though. I'm the guy who spends a lot of time frowning at the alternatives between:

"Hi," he said. "It's nice to meet you."

"Hi, he said, "it's nice to meet you."

"Hi, it's nice to meet you," he said.

All of which sound and are delivered differently.

Bill Jackson III - Oct 13, 2015 at 12:37
Thank you so much for sharing this video! Made me feel  kind of like I was stepping back into my childhood for a few moments it actually caused me to experience several flashbacks of specific images from Maniac Mansion and Day of the Tentacle, as well as some unrelated classic CGA/EGA/VGA [wow, have not thought about those acronyms for years...] Sierra adventures  (King's Quest, Police Quest, Space Quest, Leisure Suit Larry). This is why I was so excited by the Kickstarter campaign, back in the beginning! Can't wait for more!

Geoff Paulsen - Oct 13, 2015 at 14:01

Big Red Button - Oct 13, 2015 at 15:16
It looks great! I like the way the art work has evolved.

Excuse me for any splitting hairs, please, but I recognized that the street slightly appears to have smaller pixels. Will the backgrounds really have different resolutions?

Ron Gilbert - Oct 13, 2015 at 16:08
Yes, the screens are in two different resolutions. 320px wide and 480px wide depending on the view. There is also a 640px wide for far views, but we might drop those.

longuist - Oct 13, 2015 at 16:45
Sir, you have very good eyes!
@Ron, what is the reason for this?
(I can think of: to get a more detailed/zoomed out impression without the need for different character sizes(to reduce scaling artifacts.) Is this it or are there other benefits?)

Big Red Button - Oct 13, 2015 at 18:35
@ longuist: Thank you! But as I'm a wearer of glasses, I assume that it's rather them. :-)

These are two advantages. I understand that on principle, since 320px has always seemed a little coarse for far views.

Though, at the end, the pixels of the cursor and the GUI at the bottom might be not less than 50 % bigger than the pixels of the background, since they are probably designed for 320px. That's open to dispute, I think, albeit it's not crucial.
For instance another option would have been a resolution of 320px with vertical zoom for the higher shop signs.

longuist - Oct 14, 2015 at 19:11
So your eyes are retinarded. Sorry, really bad joke ☺.  If you haven't mentioned it i wouldn't have seen it, despite my eagle eyes. 🍒you have to read the pixel between the pixel. Now Team Thimbleweed Parkemoon have to generate more zip codes to adress them all.

Big Red Button - Oct 15, 2015 at 02:53
Don't worry! It's not worth mentioning. I'm not in the slightest miffed about it. ;-)

Mario F. - Oct 14, 2015 at 02:54
@DEVS: will the game scenario be at night/late afternoon? i wonder cause we saw moon and dark backgrounds so far. or do you have a time change in mind where the scenario swaps to daylight also? i guess maybe to much work to redesign the rooms to daylight version,right?

Big Red Button - Oct 14, 2015 at 04:57
The game will take place during sunset in the evening. So the sky will look partly nocturnal. But for all I know, some flashbacks will take place on differing times of day.

Daniel Knowles - Oct 14, 2015 at 06:33
Hi Ron, love what you're doing here, I'm a huge fan of Adventure Games to the point its all I've been thinking about since Monkey Island and Zak McKracken (David Fox I know).

I am a graphic designer and I focus mainly on the aesthetics and atmosphere adventure games tell the player, they play such an important role. Imagine if Monkey Island had Kings Quest graphics, I don't think story alone could have garnished the success it got, games are a package of talent.

Anyway, I've been wanting to ask you a question (I only just stumbled upon this website this week!). In a lot of your games, you revolve most of the story at night time. I don't know if anyone else has picked up on this - but as a designer I certainly have. So I'm curious, why night time?

Longuist - Oct 14, 2015 at 18:48
Try to google on this blog about blue hour. I remember Ron said sth about it

Zombocast - Oct 14, 2015 at 20:50
Congratulations Mark Ferrari, it seems your work is becoming quite popular!
Your 8 bit art made it to 9gag's hot page!

"For a brief moment, my two obsessions collided and a universe was created"

e - Oct 15, 2015 at 03:58
Mark's palette cycling animations are amazing. They're not "8-bit", though.

Brian Ruff - Oct 14, 2015 at 20:53
I like the fact you don't have to click "open" on doors. It's the little things...

Ron Gilbert - Oct 14, 2015 at 20:59
In the final game, you will have to open doors, but we're using the "default verb" system that Monkey Island used, so it's a simple right-click to open or close a door (assuming there isn't a puzzle).

tomimt - Oct 16, 2015 at 07:17
Oh please, leave the default action verb for opening doors in there. Same with look at.

Arto - Oct 16, 2015 at 13:40
If this would be a "puzzle game" instead of "adventure game", every door opening would be a puzzle.
Did I just create a perfect distinction between puzzle and adventure genres? Well, no.

Marco Lizza - Oct 19, 2015 at 11:58
I'm scared into opening doors (in games, at least) since 1989, thanks to Edna... :)

( nevertheless I do feel doors need to be opened to enter rooms )

stderr - Oct 15, 2015 at 01:20
At 02:35-02:40: Clark Kent? Where's the "Zak McKracken?" option?!

T.M. - Oct 15, 2015 at 04:54
Well it's 1987, Zak was just ordinary tabloid reporter, not the world saving hero. We don't know about him yet.

Arto - Oct 16, 2015 at 14:02
Maybe he wasn't a reporter... Zak McKracken and The Alien Mindbenders was set in 1997. I think we don't exactly know how old Zak was in Alien Mindbenders, but given his position, looks and the lack of cynicism and alcoholism of a long time reporter, I'd say he is maybe 25 years old. So in 1987 he would have been 15.

He could be a reporter of a Thimbleweed school paper ;)

T.M. - Oct 17, 2015 at 01:17
Hmm, you are quite right, sir. Which emphasizes further that non-local feds wouldn’t have any knowledge about him whatsoever.

Cazzeris - Oct 15, 2015 at 14:53
Heh, that'd certainly improve the joke!

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Oct 15, 2015 at 03:47
Eheheh I thought it, too!
We have to keep in mind that every character of old Lucas adventures is now copyright of Disney.
That's incredible, but that's real...

Mattias Cedervall - Oct 15, 2015 at 08:48
The character Clark Kent belongs to DC so Zak McKracken should also be possible to mention in the game!

stderr - Oct 15, 2015 at 09:24
If it were just a question of copyright, "Clark Kent" would be problematic too, since DC Comics has the copyright to Superman.

But copyright doesn't mean you can't even mention a characters name. Fair usage does allow some exceptions, including parody and criticism.

Just saying "Zak McKracken?" would be allowed as far as I can tell, but to be extra sure, the reporter from the Thimbleweed Nickel Newspaper could say "WHAT?! Zak McKracken is the worst reporter even!", then it's clearly criticism, which is allowed under fair use. :-)

(IANAL, TINLA and all that jazz...)

Michael - Oct 16, 2015 at 07:23
I also vote for an (additional) option with “Zak McKracken”.

Answer should be a plain and short“Who?”, though. Zak wasn’t known to anybody in 1987.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Oct 15, 2015 at 10:46
mumble mumble... you have a point.

dionysos01 - Oct 15, 2015 at 17:57
Hey Ron, I watched a little bit your video without spoiling me too much and i wanted to say that i LOVE the graphics ! It's really great ! I encourage you and your team to finish this game.
When i can, i'll buy it for sure ;).
Take care and good luck.

Francesco Favia - Oct 15, 2015 at 19:29
Maniac Mansion, Monkey Island, and now Thimbleweed Park...
Did somebody noticed all of them started during night?

Marco Lizza - Oct 16, 2015 at 05:01
... it has been clearly stated and noticed in the past, yep... :)

francesco favia - Oct 16, 2015 at 08:22
Thank you!

Did somebody in the past figured out aby?

Starksher - Oct 15, 2015 at 20:23
I'm very happy, a new game by Ron Gilbert, the creator of Monkey Island !
It's amazing... and thank you for that =)

Zomobcast - Oct 16, 2015 at 01:09
No, Ron was in Portland..
I would have bought you a pumpkin spice latte if i'd known!

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Oct 16, 2015 at 04:39
Good Morning, people!
It's friday already, and I can't wait to listen to the next podcast! :-)

pumbaa - Oct 16, 2015 at 06:28
for me, i love this blog, i hate podcasts.
I am always disappointed about the information i miss.
Who volunteers for a transcript?

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Oct 16, 2015 at 07:28
For us not used to listen to spoken English it could be difficult to understand everything. That's the reason why I always listen to it on Sunday morning (saturday evening in Pacific time), in my bed, alone and in peace. It request a little concentration, but it's beautiful.

JohnnyW2001 - Oct 16, 2015 at 13:06
LOVE the background artwork. Can't wait to play this!

(Inevitable) minor nitpicking: The font doesn't look so nice and crisp when the characters talk.

Otherwise, this looks even better than I'd hoped. Very atmospheric and beautiful. Can't wait!

Ron Gilbert - Oct 16, 2015 at 13:28
It's perfectly crisp and looks great. Remember you're seeing a compressed video, not the actual image as it would be on the computer.

zombocast - Oct 16, 2015 at 14:46
Few people understand the importance of working with original uncompressed images and maintaining the quality of the source content. All it takes is one person to put the wrong dementions or copy a  copy. You have a good team Ron and we thank you for your high quality standards.

Edu - Oct 19, 2015 at 17:24
Hey, Ron, don't lose your time changing the references to the amendments in translated versions. They're OK. Thimbleweed it's an american town isn't it? It'll give realism.


Roberto - Oct 24, 2015 at 16:41
The game just looks amazing!! Can't wait anymore!!

Erik - Mar 21, 2017 at 11:29
Ohh man! I didn´t know about this, then my friend started talk about it and I check the vid.. Freaking awesome, looks so good and in my opinon its very crisp!