Tracking Talkies

by Ron Gilbert
Mar 11, 2017

With over 16,000 record lines of dialog, someone on Twitter asked for a blog entry how how we keep it all organized.  "Ha ha, we don't", Ron said laughing.

OK, not really, but kind of.

A quick refresher on how we enter and extract dialog from the Thimbleweed Park.

During early stages of development, we embed the dialog in the source code.

sayLine(delores, "George the postman will never pick it up without stamps on it.")

Every time I bring this up, someone pipes in and says it's stupid to keep text in source code and I should have my game dev license suspended.  I don't disagree. Keeping text embedded in source code is a crazy, dangerous and a rookie move.  And we don't. Hear me out.

All the text in the game stays embedded in the source code for a good 3/4 of the project. It's just easier that way.

I've seen game dev code that looks like this

sayLine(delores, TEXT_27243)

And that's fine if you have a few dozen lines of text, but becomes a creative nightmare when you have a tens of thousands and you're trying to write and iterate. Remember, our source code isn't just programming, it's also our script and the implementation of the game's expression.

We need to iterate and iterate fast. Having to look up, or enter lines of text in a "text table" would slow things down, so we just stick it in the source code.

About 5 months ago, I ran a fancy python tool over all the source code and it was turned into this...

sayLine(delores, DELORES(27243,"George the postman will never pick it up without stamps on it."))

...and emitted a spreadsheet that looked like this...

DELORES    27243    George the postman will never pick it up without stamps on it.

The spreadsheet served a secondary function, and that was to do the translations. The translators would go though and add a new column for their translation. The original English was saved as ThimbleweedText_en.tsv and the Spanish was ThimbleweedText_es.tsv. We can keep adding translation files as we add translations. When we open the game up to fan translation, this is how it will work.

DELORES    27243    George el cartero no se la va a llevar si no tiene sellos.

Anytime we changed a line, we changed it in the source code and then re-ran the python tool and it would update the spreadsheet.  The spreadsheets were readonly. We never edited them directly.

This went on for several months, then it came time to record.

Each line of text got tagged with these MACROS that told us who had to say each line.

DELORES if only Delores said it, RAY if only Ray said it, or AGENT if both Ray and Reyes said the line.

Then it got a little trickier.

PLAYER_AD if the Agents and Delores said the line, or PLAYER_DR if Delores and Ransome said the line, etc, etc.

sayLine(PLAYER_ADR(29971,"There are no drawers to close."))

The preceding line needed to be recorded by Delores, Ray, Reyes and Ransome.

The preprocessor macro looked like this...

#macro PLAYER_ADR($a,$b) "@$a:"

The actual text string is compiled out of the final code, leaving just the line ID. See, there is no text is the code.

<insert smilie face here>

Ultimately, this was needed to emit the scripts for the actors. If there was no voice, we could have used one tag (PLAYER) and be done with it.

When it came time to print the script for Reyes, we need to grab all the lines he needed to record (REYES) and the lines both he and Ray said (AGENT), plus any lines he, Ray and Delores, and Ransome needed to record (PLAYER_ADR).

It was tricky business to make sure all the lines were correctly tagged and we made a few mistakes. Some lines didn't get recorded and when that happened, we'd have to find another line that worked as well, or did some clever wav file editing.

We could have done a pick-up session, but so few lines were missed, that it wasn't worth the cost.

OK, so once the script was exported, we would go into the studio, record the dialog and then it would be cut up into .wav files.

You'll notice when the script is exported for Delores, lines tagged with PLAYER_AD get shown as DELORES, this is so when the editor cuts up the dialog, it gets save as DELORES_28938.wav, not PLAYER_AD_28938.wav.  From that one line, we're get 3 .wav files (DELORES_28938.wav, RAY_28938.wav and REYES_28938.wav).  It one line of text that's read by three different actors and needs to appear in the game assets three different times. They all have the same text ID because, as you recall, the text is striped and all that is left is the ID. When an character in the game says a line, the engine knows to prepend the name (RAY/REYES/DELORES/etc) to look up the .wav file.

The marks you see in the third column are the take-marks I did while recording to indicate the take I wanted.  The /1 was the first take and I liked the A read, not the b read (the actor read each line twice). The fs means the actor had a false start and didn't read the whole line. The /4 means after they read one section of the script, we went back and did a fourth take.

When the recording was done, we had 16,000 .wav files and each was put into a folder named for the character.


It's around 6GB of .wav files and we needed to compress them for inclusion in the game.  We used .ogg files due to it being free of the patent and licensing issues that .mp3 has, although either would have worked.

I have a bash script that takes all the .wav files and compresses them into .ogg files, ready for the game to load.

Any editing we do is always done on the high quality .wav files so we can compress into any format we need.  For example, we might need to compress the voice more for mobile and it's just an automated process.

We also have a script that runs each line though the lip-sync tool and produces .lip files, which are small text files with timing and mouth data. This process takes around 16 hours to run.

Of course, it gets more complex with Ransome and his foul mouth.

When the actor playing Ransome recorded his lines, he swore, then each of those .wav files had to be beeped.  We kept all the original lines for two reasons. The first is we want to release an uncensored pack at some point and the second is Ransome needed to be lip-synced against the non-beeped lines, so when the lip-sync process was run, we need to point it at the original Ransome lines, not the beeped ones.

In the case where we had to hand edit a Ransome line, we had to edit the original, then edit the beeped version then make sure each got to the correct folder. It was nerve racking.

There you have it. Making games is easy.

- Ron

Patrik Spacek - Mar 11, 2017 at 21:59
Will you guys make a tool for extracting and importing text files?  It would be great for fans translations.

In the past, I was using and later updating this great tool! It exports text and also make audio lines for recorded voices.

That way I made voice overs and translations for all Lucasfilm point&click games. Great stuff and easy to use.

Martin - Mar 11, 2017 at 22:09
Look behind you -- a two-headed agent!

Jonny Bergström - Mar 11, 2017 at 23:23
I'd definitely buy the In App Purchase. Which gives me 100% authentic nonbeeped foul language. If it's not too expensive.

JD - Mar 11, 2017 at 23:49
I second that. Make it an opt-in DLC at a few $ (I suggest $5 or so)

Christian - Mar 12, 2017 at 03:07
That amount reminds of the swear jar. By the way: What happened to the swear jar?

Sushi - Mar 12, 2017 at 07:58
Please don't release the uncensored audio as a *paying* DLC... that's almost as evil as micro-transactions. I just want to buy the game and that's it. I bought it, I own it!  Paying for patches, updates, remasters, director's cuts and other BS is just a f*beep*ing rip-off! I trust Ron will agree. (It's already debatable if the uncensored version will ever be regarded as "canonical". Let's make it an option with some age-test to be allowed to enable it :) )

Ron Gilbert - Mar 12, 2017 at 11:07
I hate to disappoint you, but we will charge for it, but it's likely to be only buck or two.  There is a fair amount of work to build and release even something like this.

Nor Treblig - Mar 12, 2017 at 11:47
DLCs generally suck, paying a buck or two for like a costume change sucks.

But I have no problem paying for this kind of DLC.
Also I don't see so much of a problem paying for something like remastered versions (depending on the case, but they put enough work into MI/FD/DOTT Remastered etc. IMHO).

Alessander - Mar 12, 2017 at 12:55
I didn't like the beeps and would prefer to play the uncensored version. Do you have release dates for the uncensored DLC?

Sushi - Mar 12, 2017 at 15:41
Well, I appreciate that. Still I prefer paying a few bucks more from the start. Call me old-fashioned.
Side-note: yes I did purchase the special editions of MI, despite owning the originals which still ran fine on my PC. Hell, I even had to buy another PC, as my OS was too old and refused to launch the Special editions. Talk about a macro-transaction...

Nor Treblig - Mar 12, 2017 at 15:57
> Still I prefer paying a few bucks more from the start.
I agree but I can also see this is economically not easy possible. I'm sure having the game even more complete and also all (mobile!) ports ready at first launch would be much more preferable but oh well...

Btw. Sushi is finally back!

Big Red Button - Mar 12, 2017 at 16:09
To my knowledge, Ron wants to keep the standard version of the game PG-13, which would be debatable if the uncensored voices were integrated by default.

Nor Treblig - Mar 12, 2017 at 16:36
You are right!
(But you could also pay base game + DLC at once at lauch (=from the start) if available :-)

Sushi - Mar 15, 2017 at 16:09
I was never gone. I only had such a backlog of comments to weed through on earlier posts, that I didn't chime in so often (also the amount of comments is way more the last 9 months than in the beginning of the blog). Your Thimbleblog greasemonkey plugin is such a cursed  blessing!

Nor Treblig - Mar 15, 2017 at 16:33
Yes, a cursed blessing :-)
But your gravatar picture is working again!

Big Red Button - Mar 16, 2017 at 03:49
Indeed. The traffic here seems to have increased. That's a good sign! :-)

Big Red Button - Mar 16, 2017 at 13:55
On the other hand, the majority of these comments seems to be posted by the same people - our group of regulars. :-/

Nor Treblig - Mar 16, 2017 at 17:37
Did someone ask for statistics by month? No? Whatever:

Month   CommentCount AuthorCount NewAuthorCount
2015-01          845         407            407
2015-02          465         195            123
2015-03          684         246            126
2015-04          482         164             66
2015-05          424         147             57
2015-06          708         227            108
2015-07         2025         740            476
2015-08          822         287            102
2015-09          904         272             92
2015-10          921         251             68
2015-11          665         262             93
2015-12          781         281             94
2016-01          445         147             29
2016-02          777         284            109
2016-03          936         277             99
2016-04          745         208             69
2016-05          906         236             71
2016-06         1586         681            378
2016-07          513         154             27
2016-08         1143         324            104
2016-09          724         212             51
2016-10          739         159             39
2016-11          590         152             43
2016-12          400         121             34
2017-01         1071         288             93
2017-02         1129         269             90
2017-03          825         214             68

Brian Small - Mar 16, 2017 at 18:39
Interesting numbers, Nor.  Is "NewAuthorCount" new since the beginning of the list, or new since the previous month.  That's a lot of new people every month!  Also, have we always not been able to reply below a certain thread depth?  I could not reply to Nor Treblig's post so I needed to reply one post higher.

Nor Treblig - Mar 16, 2017 at 19:12
@Brian Small:
- NewAuthorCount are people posting the first time since ever (e.g. in first month everyone was new).
- Yes, there is quite a steady influx of new people every month.
- Depth limit was always there.

Big Red Button - Mar 17, 2017 at 03:30
Interesting statistics! The numbers show that the number of new authors increased every time when Ron did something special ( e.g. "Occult Books" in 2015-07 and "Win! Win! Win!" in 2016-06). Also, the number of comments depends significantly on the number of blog entries in that particular month.
Of course, there may be people who have commented so seldom that they forgot their previous nickname and chose a new one.
Well, I wouldn't say that the number of new authors had increased during the recent months.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 17, 2017 at 09:24
Nor Treblig, I love your scripts! :-)

Brian Bagnall - Mar 13, 2017 at 12:53
I kind of like how some micro-transactions are done if they are bonus content that not everyone will necessarily want. That way the people who want it pay a bit more, the people who don't are fine. The swearing version would be to slightly change the second play-through, which I'm bound to do at some point. It's like those extra levels/expansion packs they used to sell in the 1990's, only digitally distributed. A few other micro-transactions I'd like to see for Thimbleweed are:
- commentary track (second play-through)
- Gear VR version with true depth perception of characters/parallaxing backgrounds.
- bonus 2-3 hour mini-adventure with tangential characters (Dave and Sandy? Zak comes to Thimbleweed?) scripted by David Fox using existing art assets. No voice-over.

Yeah I'm probably dreaming in technicolor about those.

Big Red Button - Mar 12, 2017 at 16:05
It sounds appropriate, seeing the amount of work. As long as the prize is fair, I'm okay with DLCs. Though I'm not sure yet whether or not I'll prefer the uncensored version.

Sometimes I'm even happy about such additional contents. For example, if they extend a great game which may not be followed by a sequel (e.g. Alien: Isolation).
Though I dislike games which appear to be designed exclusively for DLCs - for example: Whenever I buy a racing game, I don't want to have to buy an additional car package or additional race tracks just to have some fun. I would expect a satisfying basis for what I payed. But in terms of TWP, I don't worry about this at all.

Jammet - Mar 13, 2017 at 20:49
I'll absolutely get the uncensored version if it's *really* a thing. I can't stand having to listen to these beeps all the time. I know they're supposed to be part of the dialog as much as every other word, but just listening to Ransome talking in the trailer had my hair standing up. I just. Can't. Stand. The Beeping. I just can't.

Soong - Mar 13, 2017 at 11:37
I think paying for DLC is fine as long as it is actuall additional content.  Sometimes studios develop a whole game and then disable parts in the code just to sell those as add-ons.  I think that is a bad idea.  In this case here, Ron always had the beeps in mind and we kind of asked for an uncensored version.  So I think paying for that is perfectly fine.

hihp - Mar 12, 2017 at 00:32
I am astonished that editing the recordings to alter the text actually worked, in my experience editing spoken text is a lot of hassle. Probably you're just that good! :-)

You get an extra thumbs-up for using Ogg Vorbis. Ever since its release I have been a fan of this format/codec, and my entire personal music library is encoded in Ogg. Thanks :-)

David Fox - Mar 12, 2017 at 01:37
Often we might edit the text to more closely match the voice. Or in some cases I could edit the audio without issues (there was enough of a pause between words or sentences that it was easy). Other times I might have to add special case code that if a specific actor said the line, to have him/her reuse an alternate line we already had. There were maybe a dozen or so cases like this.

Fortatus - Mar 12, 2017 at 01:25
Woohoo, another developer-code-containing post. Time for my first answer for months. Would have loved to see more of those. And I was also a little bit disappointed that you haven't been at GamesCom '16, Ron. Sadly I couldn't come to Munich/Berlin.

Whatever, as for the audio codec: Did you use the old Ogg Vorbis or the new Ogg Opus? Opus is also completely free and much more efficient, especially when encoding speech. As example you can look at 24kBit/s still sounds good for speech. You may want to give it a try.

Miguel - Mar 12, 2017 at 03:24
Great post! Keeping track of so much information is never easy. I haven't found much information online about his, so I guess each team has different tools, probably custom.

Were other codecs taken into consideration? Apparently OPUS is super versatile and it compresses speech great, as well as high bitrate audio.

Two and a half weeks!!!

Colin - Mar 12, 2017 at 04:13
Great post - love the detail.

I'm a bit fascinated by the lip-sync tool. When you say you "run each line though the lip-sync tool and produce .lip files", is this a tool that analyses the recorded audio input or the written text dialogue? In the example output, shown above, is the letter code a reference to the letter the character appears to be speaking at that particular time sample? I could only imagine this would lead to a huge amount of variation if you had to then take this output and send it to your animators.... (e.g. Okay, at 0.03s animate her saying 'F', at 0.10s animate her saying 'B'...)  Is this a tool you guys designed yourselves, or if not what third party tool did you use?  

Questions questions questions... Love your work, all.

Nor Treblig - Mar 12, 2017 at 05:53
They have used an open source tool called Rhubarb Lip-Sync created by Daniel Wolf, a fan and commenter on this blog.
You will find all your ansers here:

Colin - Mar 12, 2017 at 07:12
Interesting! Thanks.

Nor Treblig - Mar 12, 2017 at 08:25
It's also notable that this was a free time project solely created with the hope in mind it will be used in TWP. And we are all happy it is!

lancelot - Mar 12, 2017 at 06:01
Typically a lip sync tool takes a sound file and identifies the phonemes. It might be enough to just identify classes like rounded/spread vowels, and then the engine will render the rounded vowel animation at the specified time mark (perhaps also adding transitions between the animations). Not even Ron has a squad of trained monkeys to do it by hand.

Colin - Mar 12, 2017 at 07:37
> Not even Ron has a squad of trained monkeys to do it by hand.

Can't blame him. I've heard that training a three-headed monkey is fairly involved.

Thanks for the info about lip-sync tools. That's interesting.

Ron Gilbert - Mar 12, 2017 at 10:16
As a poster below stated, we use a tool written by Daniel Wolf, a reader of this blog.  It analyses both the .wav audio and the text we feed it.  Artists are not hand animating the mouth positions, it's all done at run-time.

bigbelly - Mar 12, 2017 at 05:01
Dude. Where's my game?

... 2 weeks later...

also, great to hear about these tricks you have done to keep the code and text both readable and maintainable. always a big challenge in all software (for me anyways).. maybe i should go through these years of posts to see what others i missed..

Kim Jørgensen - Mar 12, 2017 at 05:21
Nice job. I have one question though. If you have code like this
sayLine(PLAYER_ADR(29971,"There are no drawers to close."))
How does the engine know which  character should speak?

Nor Treblig - Mar 12, 2017 at 05:59
The currently active PLAYER is talking (ADR is describing which players this could be which is/was needed for voicing the lines, i.e. other player characters should not be able to reach this line of code / room / part of the game at all).

Kim Jørgensen - Mar 12, 2017 at 07:15
Is this guesswork or do you know this somehow?

Guga - Mar 12, 2017 at 08:02
The "sayLine" command takes either a character and a line, or a line. In the first case, the line will be spoken by the character given as a parameter, in the second case it will be spoken by the current player character. See at the sayLine command.

In that example, the only parameter is the line (the macro is just for indexing), so the engine will always take the current player :)

Someone - Mar 12, 2017 at 08:10
No, have a look how the macro is defined:

#macro PLAYER_ADR($a,$b) "$a:"

In the code remains only the ID. As Ron said above: "The actual text string is compiled out of the final code, leaving just the line ID."

Nor Treblig - Mar 12, 2017 at 08:22
Seems like the documentation wasn't updated reflecting this change.
I guess "line" will now be treated depending on its type (string -> use as text or number -> lookup text by ID).

Kim Jørgensen - Mar 12, 2017 at 08:11
Nice, thank you for the link

Someone - Mar 12, 2017 at 08:07
The ID remains the same. If you search this ID in the table ...

DELORES    27243    George the postman will never pick it up without stamps on it.

... you'll find the name.

Nor Treblig - Mar 12, 2017 at 08:18
This table is used for recording the voices. In this case (ADR) the same ID ended up in the sheets for Ray, Reyes, Delores and Ransome (and subsequently there are voice files with same IDs for different actors).

Someone - Mar 12, 2017 at 08:34
But then you would mess up with the table for the translations. :) In the code remains (after applying the macro):


So the 29971 has to be the same in the table for the translations and in the table for the voice recordings ...

Nor Treblig - Mar 12, 2017 at 08:44
There is only one table per language mapping IDs to text with every ID being unique in there (e.g. ThimbleweedText_en.tsv).

But you can have multiple voice files of the same ID when this text is said by multiple actors, e.g. DELORES_29971.wav and RANSOME_29971.wav etc.

Nor Treblig - Mar 12, 2017 at 08:46
Also note that someone (not you :-) wrote "REYES/RAYES_28938.wav" :D

Someone - Mar 12, 2017 at 09:02
First, "REYES/RAYES_28938.wav" isn't a valid filename. :) (Ok, ok, you could use it in some filesystems but in terms of cross platform you would get problems.) Where do you have found it?

"There is only one table per language mapping IDs to text with every ID being unique in there (e.g. ThimbleweedText_en.tsv). But you can have multiple voice files of the same ID when this text is said by multiple actors, ..."

If we assume that the final code in the game is:


How should the game choose the correct sentence in the ThimbleweedText_en.tsv and the correct wav file? The IDs have to be consistent.

Nor Treblig - Mar 12, 2017 at 09:52
ad filename:
It's a relative file path but that's not what I meant. Just search on this page for its origin, someone hasn't fixed it yet.
And take a closer look at the name(s)...

ad sayLine:
In ThimbleweedText_en.tsv there is only one entry with ID 29971, i.e. only one sentence the system has to choose from.
With sayLine(29971) (no specific actor specified) the current actor will say the line. If one line can be said by different playable characters it can still be the same ID, i.e. the same text will be shown.
BUT what will be different is for instance in which colour it will be shown and which audio file will be looked up. Both will depend on the currently selected character.

Ron Gilbert - Mar 12, 2017 at 10:07
It'a perfectly valid filename, even on Windows.

Someone - Mar 12, 2017 at 11:08
Ron wrote: "It'a perfectly valid filename, even on Windows."

Then try to use it - especially on Linux. ;-)

"REYES/RAYES_28938.wav" is at least on Linux a relative file path as Nor said. I thought that he meant a single filename and not the path.

Nor wrote: "With sayLine(29971) (no specific actor specified) the current actor will say the line."

Yes, that was another possibility. :) But Ron didn't mentioned in this blog post that PLAYER_AD referenced to the current character (or I've misread something). Beside that, Ron said: "... leaving just the line ID". So I thought this was the case for all "say-lines".

Ron Gilbert - Mar 12, 2017 at 11:19
It works fine on Linux... what is the issue? For the sake of brevity, I didn't include the entire path.  In reality it would be:


But what's the point of that. It's a relative path.

Someone - Mar 12, 2017 at 11:27
Yes, as I and Nor said it's a relative path. If you try to use "/" as part of a *filename* you could get into trouble. You can use the character "/" in the filename but you have to be very careful. I.e. don't forget the escape sequences in the bash. :)

And I thought Nor meant that this: "REYES/REYES_28938.wav" is (only) the filename and not the relative path. That was my fault (it's sunday ;)).

Ron Gilbert - Mar 12, 2017 at 11:12
Yes, Ron Gilbert spelled backwards is right. When an actor is not specified in the sayLine(), the engine uses currently selected actor.  We could also write:

sayLine(currentActor, PLAYER_ADR(29971,"There are no drawers to close."))

Someone - Mar 12, 2017 at 11:22
Ah, thanks! Then I was wrong. :) (And it makes more sense now. :))

Nor Treblig - Mar 12, 2017 at 11:51
It's actually gilberT roN.
Yes, a lot of nitpickers here :-)

Amb - Mar 12, 2017 at 23:03
I dare you guys to release a version just for treblig nor, in which all Text is back to front.  And as an added bonus, all the wav files are played backwards too.  Just don't accidentally release it as your German version.

Amb - Mar 12, 2017 at 23:04
Though this could accidentally reveal any Satanic messages hidden in the game.   That could be entertaining.... :D

Nor Treblig - Mar 13, 2017 at 04:46
Fan mod coming in 3 .. 2 .. 1 ..

Arto - Mar 13, 2017 at 15:28
You know, this reminded me of Memento (one of my favorite movies). Would be very interesting to play an adventure game that has a storytelling similar to Memento.

Also, as this game is already Twinpeakish, I think the backward thing would work.

Nor Treblig - Mar 12, 2017 at 06:01
> When the recording was done, we had 16,000 .wav files
See, game development IS easy.

Jens - Mar 12, 2017 at 06:03
Are you adding any markup for emphasis or context for the actors, or do you provide that during reading? Have you used placeholder audio from text to speech, or by reading text yourself?

Ron Gilbert - Mar 12, 2017 at 10:11
We can add direction by doing this:

sayLine(delores, "(angry)I'm so sick of you two fighting").  The (angry) is stripped out when the text is displayed.  We didn't do enough of it, but fortunately I was there for all the recording sessions.  We did record a few wrong, and in the future, we'll add a lot more of them.

Nor Treblig - Mar 12, 2017 at 11:44
Also see this blog post:
And specifically these comments regarding your question:

Mattias Cedervall - Mar 12, 2017 at 06:42
I'm very picky so I would have done a pick-up session no matter the cost!

Ron Gilbert - Mar 12, 2017 at 10:12
Pickup sessions with union actors are expensive.  If we had been picky, pickup sessions would have cost around $10,000.

Thimbleweedster - Mar 12, 2017 at 10:33
Fuck unions. And unicorns. Fuck them all to hell!

- Ransome the clown

Someone - Mar 12, 2017 at 11:12
Yes, Ransom. And now we go back and have a look at what actors earn per hour and then we are going to find out how they could still pay their rent.

Ron Gilbert - Mar 12, 2017 at 11:16
Actors earn a lot per hour, but they don't get paid 8 hour each days or 40 hour weeks and they don't get paid for all the time they spend auditioning and never get the job. I am more then happy to pay for good actors, I've worked with enough crappy actors to really value the good ones.  Until you've work with both, don't judge.

Someone - Mar 12, 2017 at 11:33
I have serveral friends that are actors - good ones and bad ones. :) And I have worked with actors on voice recording. At least in germany they earn only very little money if they aren't famous and well-known from TV or film. From what I heard it should be the same in the U.S. - but please correct me if I'm wrong. :)

Thimbleweedster - Mar 12, 2017 at 11:26
Like I care how they pay their rent. It's their personal choice being an actor, isn't it? What I mean is that the unions represent a highly inefficient and expensive admin overhead. I'm more than happy paying a good actor the good money they deserve, make no mistake! Perhaps there is a different way of handling this, is all.

Nor Treblig - Mar 12, 2017 at 11:53
I can see you've paid for the DLC.

So, what's your position regarding alicorns?

Thimbleweedster - Mar 12, 2017 at 12:21
The same as for acorns and French horns *wink* .

Mattias Cedervall - Mar 12, 2017 at 11:54
Oh, that's crazy expensive, but I would've paid for it if I had a lot of money! Thank you for the information, Ron!

Ron Gilbert - Mar 12, 2017 at 11:59
"if I had a lot of money!"

Yes, this is true for me as well, but that's not the case.

Fact is, it's unlikely anyone will even notice the lines we would have done pickups on.

Thimbleweedster - Mar 12, 2017 at 12:13

Is $10'000 the defined minimum contract sum these days?

Ron Gilbert - Mar 12, 2017 at 12:22
No, it's just a guess at the cost for actors, studio time and editing based on us being really picky. If we were just picky and not really picky, it would probably be $4000-$5000 for pickups, but I don't think we even need that. We got around everything with some coding and finding alt lines.  No one but us will even notice.

Thimbleweedster - Mar 12, 2017 at 12:28

Thank you very much for clarifying! All looking good for the release day?

Ron Gilbert - Mar 12, 2017 at 12:31
Yep. It's looking "too good". That worries me. :-)

Nor Treblig - Mar 12, 2017 at 12:50
@Ron Gilbert:
Sorry to bother you but since it looks so good: Did you / do you have time to implement GOG Galaxy (achievements)?

Mattias Cedervall - Mar 12, 2017 at 12:26
I know people that have money, but they aren't into games unfortunately. Thank you for your second comment, Ron! ^_^ I might notice the lines... We should rob the banks while some of them still use cash!

Ron Gilbert - Mar 12, 2017 at 12:29
" I might notice the lines..."

You won't. I don't even notice them anymore. We just found a new line out of the 16,000 recorded that worked just as well and we changed the text to match.

Mattias Cedervall - Mar 12, 2017 at 12:32
Do I get an achievement if I still notice the lines? :P Thank you for your third comment, Ron! :D

Brian Bagnall - Mar 13, 2017 at 13:05
New meta-game: try to spot the pickup lines.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 12, 2017 at 06:58
Great post! Thank you for sharing.

Mattias Cedervall - Mar 12, 2017 at 07:22
That's a nice countdown! :-)

Arto - Mar 12, 2017 at 08:27
I go there quite often :) It is a great countdown.

Nor Treblig - Mar 12, 2017 at 08:49
It is! But I do have to smirk every time when I hear lightyears but it actually just being a fraction of it (some measly lightminutes) :-)

Mattias Cedervall - Mar 12, 2017 at 11:52
Hyvä! :-)

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 13, 2017 at 05:21
Does it means "well done" in Finnish?

Arto - Mar 13, 2017 at 15:30
It means "Good". "Well done" would be "hyvin tehty".

Nor Treblig - Mar 12, 2017 at 08:51
I wonder if it will work embedding your page with the counter embedded to prevent the demo marker...

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 12, 2017 at 18:12
The demo marker is covered with another <div> of the same background color.
You can place it anywhere, they are two HTML lines: one for the countdown and one for the demo-cover panel.

Rob Noah - Mar 12, 2017 at 11:01
Dont release an uncensored Ransome version, it will totally destroy it, it would be a childish move in my opinion.

Mattias Cedervall - Mar 12, 2017 at 11:46
:-( You don't have to use it if you don't want to! You're the one being childish who wants to censor! :-(

Ema - Mar 12, 2017 at 14:50
Too bad the idea of the uncensored version is new...

I mean, in the earlier stages of development (when the swear jar was introduced for backers) it would have been fantastic to introduce a $10 pledge (just to say a number) for getting the possibility of unlocking the uncensored version.

You know.... something exclusive... Just for the guys of the blog.

It would have had a different flavour, compared to a DLC every noob can get for one buck..... :-(
Anyway, I'll get it, too, when it'll come out. :-)

Nor Treblig - Mar 12, 2017 at 15:23
I don't remember being it that new, I think the idea came up as soon as we've learned that Ransome is swearing/beeping all the time.

But I am generally against such exclusive special content unless it's only for a certain period of time or very minor (like a special backers bow for Ransome :-).
It should be possible for everyone to get the best version of a game even at a later point in time.

Big Red Button - Mar 13, 2017 at 14:44
That's true. Several people appreciated the announcement of an uncensored version (By the way, the popular German Youtuber Gronkh did as well, when Ron visited him).

Ema - Mar 16, 2017 at 19:35
I don't know if the uncensored version is "the best version" in the mind of the devs.

You know, swearing, when it's too much, gets annoying, too.
And after some bad words, it quits being funny.

Beeping is fun because you can IMAGINE, and wonder "what the BEEP is he swearing right now??"
I think I'd prefer the uncensored version, but I don't think people would prefer it.

Nor Treblig - Mar 12, 2017 at 15:27
Oh and it's still a possibility that swear jar backers will get this particular DLC for free as a thank you.
Although it wouldn't be an economic decision since those are mostly people who will pay even more for TWP without a second though.

Mattias Cedervall - Mar 12, 2017 at 12:38
Ron, since you seem to be in the mood to answer questions: How about that dynamic fog that react to the playable characters movements? Were you able to implement it? Did you please correct my book before content lock? Now I'm gonna pray to Shigeru Miyamoto (God) for answers... ^_^

Peter Brodersen - Mar 12, 2017 at 13:32
Are there any awards for guessing Ransome's censored swear words based on the lip sync and the six possible mouth positions?

It's not uncommon to hear an actor saying "Oh shit" even though their mouth clearly reads "Oh fuck".

Nicola Ken Barozzi - Mar 12, 2017 at 15:45
Since the voices are only in English but there are subtitles, what about optionally using speech synthesis for these languages?
Dyslexics find it difficult to follow subtitles.

Mattias Cedervall - Mar 12, 2017 at 17:08
I hope that speech synthesis would work for Spanish for example. There's also a free (for commercial and personal use) open font for dyslexics that Ron might be able to use in Thimbleweed Park:

Nor Treblig - Mar 12, 2017 at 17:49
Beside fan translations also voices by fans (which could also be speech synthesis) should be possible, at least after some time (when the script is extracted from the resources... I mean officially released here).

Ron Gilbert - Mar 12, 2017 at 17:55
After a month or so, we'll open it up to fan translations and also fan voice overs. All the tech exists, but I need to figure out a way to let people bundle it together so they can distribute it easily.  The big unknown is the main verbs, Those are not fonts, they are images and currently they are embedded in with other images. I need to pull them out.  I also need to figure out a good UI for selecting fan translations.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 12, 2017 at 18:22
Are the main verbs changing during the game (like in Zak McKracken)? That question is in my mind since Boris wrote about a (presumed) misspelling in German language, a few posts ago.
If so, it could be more difficult to draw the verb images.
Oh, well, unless we have discovered everything...

Ron Gilbert - Mar 12, 2017 at 18:29
Anyone doing a fan translation is going to have the game completely spoiled for them.

Nor Treblig - Mar 12, 2017 at 18:33
Spoiler alert! At least wait 17 days, will ya? :-)

But this is an advantage of text-rendered verbs, you can more easily swap them out for jokes etc. (Buy, Sell, Drown...)

Ron Gilbert - Mar 12, 2017 at 18:55
Yeah, but they look like shit. We tried that. The translations required so many little art tweaks to get words to fit, we never would have been able to do that with a font. Like I've said before, no one of these issues is hard, it's just there are 100 of them and you have to pick and choose. If I would have dealt with this one, everyone would just complain about the other one I didn't get to do. It's easy to sit on the sidelines and complain about one feature (not that I'm saying you are) and not realize all the tradeoffs that would be needed to do it. If I posted a list of the 100 things we needed to do and told everyone to pick 25, there would be little consensus. There never is, even within a team. Do you want verbs rendered as fonts or cloud saves? Pick one.

The SCUMM engine when though years of small refinements. Each and every version had tradeoffs and features we didn't get to do.

Nor Treblig - Mar 12, 2017 at 20:15
No complaining here, just talking about interesting (for me anyways) stuff.

I was just recently reminded of Simon the Sorcerer and its UI (they used verbs in a non-grid layout):
Hebrew (easy):
German (snugly fit):
French (OMG!):

Indy4 devs made their life harder by clearly enforcing a grid layout with buttons (but using a simple font):

Surely there are some French magicians out there bending time and space with their words. Especially space.

Someone - Mar 13, 2017 at 05:44
"they used verbs in a non-grid layout"

Hm... Is this really a non-grid layout?

Nor Treblig - Mar 13, 2017 at 05:57
Maybe. But what I meant was that they didn't use the same column width in those three rows so they can make it as compact as possible (see StS1 German and French versions).
In Indy4 this would have looked awkward because the button-look wouldn't line-up anymore.

Someone - Mar 13, 2017 at 07:46
They did this in some LucasArts adventures too, i.e. in Monkey Island 2:

At the position of "Pick up" ...

... is in the german version "Benutze" (= "use"):

Geoffrey Paulsen - Mar 12, 2017 at 18:54
Once Fan Translations are available, do you expect to release a tool to re-do the lip-syncing per new fan language?  Do you expect the lip syncing tool to even work on foreign languages?  I'd expect it would since it should breakdown the wav files to a phoneme, and then emit the appropriate lip position to make that phoneme.  There, language independent! .

Ron Gilbert - Mar 12, 2017 at 18:56
You can just run the same tool we do and produce the .lip files and fan voice translations will be lip-synced.

longuist - Mar 13, 2017 at 02:39
Unfortunately the tool
is English only.
If new speech models ( are mature enough this may (or may not) change?!!

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 13, 2017 at 04:25
I think that Daniel Wolf, after a good beer  offered in a Munich pub, could resolve this issue ;-)

Nor Treblig - Mar 13, 2017 at 04:47
Rhubarb supports optionally specifying the dialog script per command line.
For non-English languages it would be better to only pass the Wave files and maybe the results won't be that bad even without modifications? That's something we could test by just passing German, Italian etc. sound files to it and checking the results.

Someone - Mar 13, 2017 at 05:39
Interesting question(s). I hope that Daniel reads this. :) Daniel? :)

Regarding Sphinx there are models for a lot of languages:

But the quality varies from language to language (the the note in this news about spanish):

Daniel Wolf - Mar 13, 2017 at 13:06
As longuist mentions, Rhubarb only supports English dialog right now. That's not just because of missing acoustic and language models. Other parts of Rhubarb are also language-dependent, such as the dialog option Nor Treblig mentions.

Some weeks ago, I wrote a detailed list of things that are currently preventing full multi-language support. If anybody's interested, you can find it here:

That being said, there may be ways of achieving minimal lip-sync in other languages. Here are two ideas:

* As Nor Treblig says, we could simply feed a German recording to Rhubarb, pretending it's English. I actually never tried it, but I suppose a line like "Der frühe Vogel fängt den Wurm" might be recognized as something like "Dear friar fougere fang den woodrum", resulting in sufficiently similar mouth animation. Might be worth trying.
* In the early days of Rhubarb, the speech recognition wasn't word-based, but phone-based. I dropped that approach because the results were pretty unreliable. Still, it might yield good-enough results for other languages. If there is demand, I might add that back as an option.

Big Red Button - Mar 13, 2017 at 14:10
"phone-based" sounds great, even if it's less reliable! At least, it's way better than doing it by hand.

Daniel Wolf - Mar 14, 2017 at 16:14
After discussing various ways of handling non-English dialog, I was rather curious to see how Rhubarb Lip-Sync would react to a German recording. So I recorded a few lines of me talking in German, then gave it to Rhubarb. You can watch the result here:

It's certainly not perfect, but much better than I had thought!

Steffen - Mar 14, 2017 at 17:19
In der Tat gar nicht so schlecht...
Das Hauptproblem scheint mir aber sowieso Personen zu finden, SO viel Text zu lesen (ohne mit der Zeit gelangweilt zu wirken).

Unabhängig davon: tolle Arbeit mit Rhubarb und danke dafür!

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 14, 2017 at 17:20
That's really good, 8/10 !
Italian should be very easier to decode, because every character is pronunced "as is", with a very few exceptions.
95% of italian words are "as is". The remaining 5% are diphthongs (ch = " tʃ " or "k" depending on which vowel follows; gn = "ɲ"; sc = " ʃ "; gl = "ʎ").
So, basically:
APRI = "a p r i"   [open]
CHIUDI = "k j u d i"  [close]
DAI = "d a i"  [give]
RACCOGLI = "r a k k o ʎ i"  [pick up]
ESAMINA = "e z a m i n a"  [look at]
PARLA = "p a r l a"  [talk to]
PREMI = "p r e m i"  [push]
TIRA = "t i r a"  [pull]
USA = "u z a"  [use]
... so, Daniel, do you think it could work better for italian language?

Daniel Wolf - Mar 14, 2017 at 17:35
> ... so, Daniel, do you think it could work better for italian language?

I don't think so, I'm afraid. Without any language-specific code, Rhubarb is simply trying to recognize English words in the Italian recording. If you say "chiudi", it will understand "cutie" or something similar. It doesn't matter to Rhubarb how the Italian word is spelled; after all, Rhubarb isn't even aware it's Italian.

My guess is that the quality of the result will depend on how similar a given language sounds to English.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 14, 2017 at 18:14
Oh, I thought it analyzed the voice to intercept the phonems, then it translated them into letters according to the IPA.
Instead, it tries to understand the english language, and only after that it translates into letters?

Arto - Mar 14, 2017 at 17:36
"It's certainly not perfect, but much better than I had thought!"

To my ear there's nothing wrong with your German.


Nor Treblig - Mar 14, 2017 at 18:54
I'm sure you see a lot of imperfections but it actually looks really good!

And in the end this would probably work better with every language out there than not having any synchronised mouth movements at all.

Big Red Button - Mar 15, 2017 at 02:10
I agree. With this quality, it would be absolutely sufficient for a fan-made translation of such a game.
By the way, back in Day of the Tentacle there was no lip-sync at all.

retroactive - Mar 12, 2017 at 19:02
if you have duplicates like "OK" or something like this, do you handle this as one text or do you record it separately.
i mean the intonation could be diffrent, like "(angry)OK" and "(sad)OK)"

Ron Gilbert - Mar 12, 2017 at 19:05
Typically, if there was voice of five "Okay" lines, they got recorded 5 times.  If it was just text, then dups were removed. This was mostly to keep the line order roughly in order for the actors.  The number of dup lines was small, so not a lot of time was wasted.

Geoffrey Paulsen - Mar 12, 2017 at 21:27
You SURE you don't want to release on April 1st?  I know how you love that day!  It'd be a very Ron Gilberty thing to do.
Of course making US wait an additional few days for a stupid day, would NOT be a very Ron Gilberty thing to do.  So, nevermind. :)

Guga - Mar 13, 2017 at 01:28
Fan voice dubs.

The question is now: how many different voices are there?

I'm calling all the Italians here :P we NEED to provide the Italian voices. We need to know if we're enough people.

bobdeniro - Mar 13, 2017 at 02:27
Here I am, the one from Venice.
And I am REALLY good at swearing... :D

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 13, 2017 at 04:29
Eheh, That's because of the tourists?

bobdeniro - Mar 13, 2017 at 04:45
Tourists help, sure, more and more every day! :D
But I'm sure in our beloved 'boot' we all think we are REALLY good at swearing, no matter where we are from :)

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 13, 2017 at 04:28
Gffp has created a group on Telegram for that purpose. Would you like to join?

bobdeniro - Mar 13, 2017 at 04:32
Yes, sure!
...immagino voglia dire che dovrò installarmi telegram :)

bobdeniro - Mar 13, 2017 at 04:39

Guga - Mar 13, 2017 at 05:11
Ok, I'm going to install Telegram. It was about time I did

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 13, 2017 at 05:25
OK guys, search for user "Cfbb" on Telegram, and write him a message, giving him a short presentation.
He will include you in the Thimbleweed Park group.

Gffp - Mar 13, 2017 at 05:40
My username is "Cfbb98"
this is a new link to join the group:

Gffp - Mar 13, 2017 at 05:28

Big Red Button - Mar 13, 2017 at 14:20
There are 47 speaking roles (

However, you would have to voice-act 16,000 lines! Translating the subtitles would certainly be feasible, but fan-made voice-acting would cost weeks of spare time!

Gffp - Mar 13, 2017 at 15:38
Yeah, it's true. I've realized how much it is expensive in terms of time and work to do a good job, and it will never be like that one from union actors (really worth the money spent). I realized it doing the italian Ransome trailer video: first listen well to the original voice and try to emulate it, second try to understand what kind of effect he/she (and the director) wanted to obtain in terms of behaviour of the character, third make that voice, fourth make the right intonation to express the right emotions, and after that put the file into Audacity and beep the swear words (in Ransome's case). I don't know where all this will bring us, probably it will take months to do a decent job. Anyway no one wants to get stressed. A few lines a day and a year could be enough :-)
On the other hand in Italy we have a strong and capable school of voice actors. Every movie, every series, everything comes from another country is dubbed. Everything. There are great actors that play on stage, in movies and tv series, and also make voice over.
So it would be very very very appreciated by the gamers if there will be a decent voice over.

Gffp - Mar 13, 2017 at 15:55
But, to be honest, way of proceeding as a group is slightly different. We decided to play the game first until we got completely satisfied by our game sessions, and ready to have access to all the lines (also those which we may have not played). Based on his/her feelings, everyone will candidate to give his/her voice to a group of characters which he/she feels he/she could impersonate better, and he/she will do some voice test. He/she also can express his/her preferences on how he/she imagine a character should be localized. Then we all gather and confront these ideas, and then listen to the voice tests. After that we would make a bigger test with the profile or profles chosen. If everything goes well we start to distribute the work to everyone, trying to be respectful of time and needs of everyone. The other big deal is to understand how all of this works as an in-game code, but luckily Zak and Guga seem to be good at this, and also trying to implement the good lipsync tool by Daniel Wolf

Big Red Button - Mar 13, 2017 at 16:18
This Sounds like an extensive, but realistic, plan! I wish you good luck and that you'll have a good time!

Gffp - Mar 13, 2017 at 17:14
Let's see if we have numbers (females are mostly wanted) to do a decent job and have a good time (which is the first reason why we do that). In any case this will provide a deeper look in the matter of the creation of such a product that I presume will be interesting for everyone of us. The group is open, everyone can join in.

Guga - Mar 14, 2017 at 01:53
Yesterday I told my wife "wanna make voices for a videogame?" "yeah, sure".

Poor her! She doesn't know what amount of work she just accepted!

Gffp - Mar 15, 2017 at 10:20
She will be scared like a cat by your avatar.

Gffp - Mar 13, 2017 at 18:04
And thank you for your wishes! ahahah I hope we'll have a lot of fun

Ron Gilbert - Mar 13, 2017 at 16:04
I'm actually hoping fans translate the game and give it all new dialog, that still makes sense.

Big Red Button - Mar 13, 2017 at 16:30
That would be a nice idea as well! A dialect version, for instance. This way, people would be able to re-experience the game.

Guga - Mar 14, 2017 at 02:00
I think that would be the main goal for the English speaking fans. Italian, French, German and Spanish speakers will maybe try to improve some translations, mainly when it comes to jokes (I hope this time goes better, but I don't really trust Italian translators when it comes to translate jokes, it always seems like they totally miss the point). Then there will be speakers of untranslated languages who will provide the game to their fellow countrymen who don't know English.

That's why right now the Italian TWP community is looking forward to the voice-overs :P we're highly used to dubbed movies and TV series in Italy, and while this is actually a problem and we recognize it as such, we still love it that way.

Sushi - Mar 19, 2017 at 20:03
interesting idea! I was planning to create a spin-off  adventure for 1 room or 1 dialog tree or so using the fan translations (rather than just translating it so my kids can play it).
Since we cannot change the puzzles or the art/animation, there are limitations to how much of a different story can be told. It will inevitably still have to involve a creepy clown, at least one dead body, scary pigeons and vomiting

Big Red Button - Mar 20, 2017 at 04:25
In this case, maybe you should prefer AGS or Visionaire for example.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 20, 2017 at 10:22
I had tried both of them, I suggest you to use AGS (Adventure Game Studio) to start.
It's quite easy. I don't know about you, but it's easy also for people who don't know anything about programming stuff.

Big Red Button - Mar 20, 2017 at 11:24
By the way, I've seen that Wadjet Eye are currently porting their games, which were created via AGS, to Android and iOS as well. I wonder how complicated this is, because AGS is officially created for Windows only. Anyway, the mobile market might be pretty big.

Sushi - Mar 21, 2017 at 16:23
yeah, well, I barely find enough time these days to play a game - let alone create one using AGS (my programming skills should be sufficient, my drawing skills on the other hand...).
Either way, it seems to be a fun and quick(er) thing to do using the fan translation capabilities in TP. Not a full adventure game; but e.g. some dialog tree that reveals the real secret of MI.

Nor Treblig - Mar 22, 2017 at 05:30
There is nothing wrong with programmer art :-)

Ema - Mar 16, 2017 at 19:42

as I said months ago, I'm definitely in.
I have amateur experience in acting and directing.

But I'm very busy at the moment, please apologise me if I won't subscribe telegram for a while...  just wait for me, I'll come.


Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 17, 2017 at 00:54
We are waiting for you, with our arms open!

Roman - Mar 13, 2017 at 03:45
A question about the actual voice recording...
Did you prepare some additional scripts or comments about the game scenes for the voice actors?
How did they know how to put the text lines into the right emotional context? They need to know how to pronounce/emphasize words...Shout or whisper, cry or laugh....or did they have a screen in front of them with you playing the scenes live ;-)

Nor Treblig - Mar 13, 2017 at 04:49

Somone - Mar 13, 2017 at 05:49
@Nor: Did you memorized the whole blog? ;-) (Amazing how fast you come up with the correct links - and don't tell me that Google helped you! ;))

Roman - Mar 13, 2017 at 06:12

Ron Gilbert - Mar 13, 2017 at 10:41
That was my job, as the director. I would set the scene up for them.  Adventure games (or at least good ones) are not just a collection of cut-scenes. Dialogs you have with character are a jumble of conditionals, and the lines are rarely in  nice sequential order.  As the director, you have to keep all this in your head and help explain it to the actors. It's also what separates good actors you don't mind paying money for and inexperienced ones.

Someone - Mar 13, 2017 at 11:16
"Dialogs you have with character are a jumble of conditionals, and the lines are rarely in  nice sequential order."

Have you pre-sorted the/some lines for each actor (by hand) so that the lines were in a more "logical" respective "better" sequential order? Or wasn't that necessary?

Ron Gilbert - Mar 13, 2017 at 11:25
It's impossible.  Based on branches the player might take, the lines appear in odd orders. There is no way to order them, because it changes each time you play.  The scripts are ordered in how they show up in the original code or .yack file, so they are 80% ordered, the the rest is me understanding the flow and explaining it to the actor.

Someone - Mar 13, 2017 at 11:46
That's interesting, thanks! An ordering of 80% is very high, I wouldn't have guessed that.

"Based on branches the player might take, the lines appear in odd orders."

The actor could read one of those paths and then all other texts. But that would be a lot of preparation work and could be more confusing when reading the "other lines". (In the voice recordings I attended, the actors read only whole paragraphs.)

Ron Gilbert - Mar 13, 2017 at 11:54
It wouldn't be worth the time.  Good actors can run with the flow, it's one of the things that makes them good.  We had actors come in and cold read the script and never need a retake. It's amazing. It's one of the reasons that paying for union actors can be a win in the end. Most of them are really really good.

Nor Treblig - Mar 13, 2017 at 06:03
Mighty Google Search always helps, but this was a local reference anyway so Mighty Browser Search was sufficient :-)

Nor Treblig - Mar 13, 2017 at 06:04
(I'm new to this blog)

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 13, 2017 at 06:28
This is a dev blog.
We have many users.
But if you are new to this blog, I am Mickey Mouse.

Nor Treblig - Mar 13, 2017 at 06:40
I hear there a Mickey Phoenix McKracken cosplay in the works?

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 13, 2017 at 08:30
Eheheh Zak Phoenix McKracken Mickey Mouse.
I have to put two big black circles on my ears.

Herr Stirz - Mar 13, 2017 at 07:40
I know a classic movie quote when I see one, and I'm looking at one right now.

Well played, Sir.

Lord Clarence from Scottland - Mar 13, 2017 at 08:26
Why? What movie was it from?

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 13, 2017 at 09:55
Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade.
Here is the movie scene:

Ema - Mar 16, 2017 at 19:39
Hey, Zak....

Look at the name of the poster..... I think Lord Clarence is mocking at you ;-) He knows more than he says...

Nor Treblig - Mar 16, 2017 at 19:54
Oh, I didn't notice! But hey, I've played the game before I've seen the movie!

Barton Lynch - Mar 13, 2017 at 10:40
Great post! I love these deep dive into the nitty gritty of the game's behind-the-coding (scenes). Makes you appreciate the hard work even more, as it wasn't enough evidence already since the start of this blog. The wait is getting intense!

Mister T - Mar 13, 2017 at 16:55
I am already binge-playing all the point and click adventures which piled up on my Steam account to compensate. The Blackwell series has a comment track, which deals a lot with the recording of the voices, so it is even more interesting to read about the different approaches.

Mattias Cedervall - Mar 14, 2017 at 08:24
What hard work? Ron just admitted that making games is easy.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 13, 2017 at 14:18
Maybe it's just my imagination, but I feel this game will be an unprecedented success.
With the ability for everyone to make his own translation, or to dub the whole game.... I imagine that one day, the big D will ask Terrible Toybox to sell the trademark and the rights of Thimbleweed Park.
What will Ron answer? Let's continue with the imagination...
- "Let's make a deal. You can have the Thimbleweed Park rights, if I have the Monkey Island rights  (back). Deal?"
... (to be continued)

Marco Lizza - Mar 13, 2017 at 18:13
I really hope this game to be a success, but I really think that outclassing the original '80 adventures (in terms of "mood") and some famous FPSes (in terms of customization/user-extendibility) i really really difficult.

I do worship Ron, Gary, and David as developers/creative-beings but I don't think it's their ambition, either (rather than creating a solid and memorable game).

bobdeniro - Mar 14, 2017 at 05:42
Who am I to disagree?
But in the end what really counts is that the creative powers behind TP are the more or less the same behind MI, MI2, DotT...
So when TP is a success AND the same powers want to go on with a new game in the same genre, do we really need a MI5?
Yes, that would be awesome, but why not a TP2? Why not a new adventure in an entirely different universe?
I would be as thrilled as with a new MI instalment, to be honest :)

Guga - Mar 14, 2017 at 05:50
I think the problem is how the story completely diverged from the original intent in MI3.

Everyone is left asking what the hell was going on at the end of MI2 - and no answers have been given, at least no convincing answers, in the next chapter.

MI3 is just a nice adventure game set in the MI universe, but it doesn't feel at all as the follow-up to MI2.

bobdeniro - Mar 14, 2017 at 06:10
Maybe MI2 needed no answers at all, maybe the ending was supposed to mean exactly what we saw :)
...But I am very far from those creative powers, so maybe they know what was to happen next / if there was anything to happen next.

Yes, MI3 feels very disjointed from MI2, but that did not prevent me from enjoying it. As you say, a nice adventure game in itself :)

Gffp - Mar 14, 2017 at 06:22
Yes, and also Guybrush. He is a "sornione" character. Sornione=someone that, under the mask of a quiet and kindly indifference, hides his slyness, even if he's unexperienced and goofy sometimes. He's an opportunist and probably doesn't calculate the risk of his actions being also a little scornful, but in a good way at the end of the day. He has the joke ready on his mouth. He's perfect at impersonate the unexperienced young man who seeks out is fortune.
In the third installment he becomes a goofy and fearful husband to be. From a "bildungsroman" point of view the character totally ceases to be what he once was, without any reason. It's like he struggled against a cerebral aneurysm in the meantime. I still remember the PC Gamer review in the first months of 1998 that, if on a hand praises the good game, on the other hand says something like: Guybrush will be no more the one he used to be, now shy and gangly.

Marco Lizza - Mar 14, 2017 at 08:11
> He is a "sornione" character [...]

Or, more concisely and properly... "sly". ;)

Mister T - Mar 14, 2017 at 08:42
One thing I always wondered about Star Wars (until Rogue One at least) is: when there is this big universe, why do we always have to follow the same few characters. Why not just someone who is influenced by them in the plot or backstory? I loved the idea of Shadows Of The Empire, where the story is about a friend of Han Solo following his frozen body between Empire and Jedi. They could easily have done the same with MI, avoiding the awkward problem of having to use a character created for a highly pixelated adventure in a way significantly different from the first game. Why not let another pirate follow the footsteps of legendary Guybrush who disappeared surprisingly, allowing a fresh backstory and a character who has not defeated LeChuck twice and therefore would be entirely different from what made Guybrush's character interesting in the first place (which is: being sort of a pirate Luke Skywalker before becoming a full Jedi)?
There is this idiotic idea that all character should come back, but the great thing about a new game, film or book is that it allows new content. Why do creators ignore that big advantage and instead cook some thin soup out of the ingredients already cooked twice?

Guga - Mar 15, 2017 at 03:12
I always thought the same. I mean, for MI3 there was that enigmatic ending that needed to be resolved (and it wasn't) so I can see why a MI3 should have the same characters, but once a universe is defined, why stop at the main characters? Once the Hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy becomes public domain, would all derived works be about Arthur Dent? That would make no sense!

In fact, I'm pretty happy with how Day of the Tentacle reinterpreted the Maniac Mansion setup.

Mister T - Mar 15, 2017 at 10:33
True... and Discworld did this right from the start: a big universe, some recurring characters, but total freedom in choosing the story.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 14, 2017 at 08:33
One of the reasons is because we want to play the REAL Monkey Island 3, as Ron Gilbert wanted it to be...

bobdeniro - Mar 14, 2017 at 09:45
Ah well, it seems you know much more than I do, or rather... will I ever learn not to underestimate my level of ignorance?  :)

In the meantime I did my homework and found out about Ron's idea (
Which means that now I am now officially on board and would gladly pay to see MI3a done :)

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 14, 2017 at 10:04
Don't worry, we are here to live and prosp... ehm, learn!
We have never finished to learn.
Please, watch this video (in italian), where everything about Monkey Island will be revealed.
The video was made by Matteo Bini.
Once I had created also subtitles in english for this video, to be helpful for non-italian users, but he never uploaded them on youtube.


Geoffrey Paulsen - Mar 14, 2017 at 10:17
Well, if other's hadn't noticed... Ron has actually followed almost all of his idea for Monkey Island 3a (, without actually using the characters / setting.  

Pretty much all of his other dreams for MI3A, he's fulfilling in Thimbleweed Park.  So, Congrats Ron!

Big Red Button - Mar 14, 2017 at 11:19
Fortunately, he changed his mind about verbs! :-)
Though, it would have been even better if the boxed edition contained a code wheel.

Mawkee - Mar 13, 2017 at 22:41
All right... Calling out ALL Brazilian Thimbleweed fans out here! Let's make an awesome fan translation as soon as we finish the game!!!

I've set up a telegram group chat (copying our Italian buddies). Join in if you want to participate!

Gffp - Mar 15, 2017 at 13:08
Glad to be copied, and good luck for your translation!

TBone - Mar 14, 2017 at 10:33
You Americans and your fucking beeps....

At least make the uncensored version available from DAY ONE. - Mar 14, 2017 at 11:56
Wow, we're finally gonna hear a mime speak!

Pietz - Mar 14, 2017 at 13:03
We have no beeping laws in europe at all. It is called "freedom of speech" over here, too - but maybe in america this freedom is interpreted differently somehow ;-) So maybe you could release it unbeeping to europe ond only in the US with the annoying beeps? Would be great!

Ron Gilbert - Mar 14, 2017 at 13:06
We have no laws in the US either.  It's not a legal issue.  It's a ratings issue and an M rating will turn a lot of people off, especially if they have kids.  I also don't think Thimbleweed Park is a M game.  So it makes more sense to have this one thing separate.

Mario F. - Mar 14, 2017 at 17:11
Wouldnt it be better to release both versions at the same time?
so you could do censored beeping version for e.g. 29 , and uncensored for 20 more like 49.
a dlc content would be a 10 USD max. but coz of the game release, and more hype based on the release,  you could gain more margin from the start with the uncensored version.

just my thoughts.

Ron Gilbert - Mar 14, 2017 at 17:17
work. work. work. It's not time free to do this.  The DLC will probably be a few bucks.

Pietz - Mar 15, 2017 at 15:11
Hehe, I see the business man in you now, Ron ;) But that's okay for me. You should earn money for the whole effort - definately.

Mario F. - Mar 15, 2017 at 16:33
Aaaaahhhhhhh....... Okey... (as Butthead used to say) ;-)

longuist - Mar 14, 2017 at 14:30
oh, this was supposed to be somewhere else. damn!

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 14, 2017 at 13:46
in Europe TWP is rated PEGI 12: Mild Swearing, Sexual Innuendo.
So, it's the same as "T" rating for US.
"Mild" beacuse of the *beeps*, I suppose :-)
If Maniac Mansion were rated today, what PEGI would it have? 18?

Ron Gilbert - Mar 14, 2017 at 13:50
The mild swearing is becasue we say "asshole" a few times. The PEGI is due to us saying "goddamn". That's more of an issue in the EU then the US.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 14, 2017 at 17:21
Ah, ok, thanks for the clarification!

Jammet - Mar 15, 2017 at 05:13
Sometimes I wonder who keeps these mechanisms up to date. To me it just feels like getting an higher age recommendation because of the mention of a goat sacrifice, or someone in your story is planning the betrayal of the roman empire, and they don't want the slave gamers to adopt any funny business.

Big Red Button - Mar 15, 2017 at 05:46
Yes, I think that every parent uses the word "asshole" occasionally, even if she/he forbids her/his kids to use it.

But, the word "goddamn" is actually blasphemy.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 15, 2017 at 07:11
Not really, in that case, it is translated like "damn", or "blimey".
Blasphemy, still sanctioned in Italy, is when, for instance, you put the word "God" together with something that sounds bad. For instance, in association with a dog or a pig. That is considered blasphemy, and still not tolerated for the italian common decency.

Jammet - Mar 15, 2017 at 09:12
Okay, I'll cut the political spin really short. I wish "blasphemy" laws wouldn't exist, anywhere, because it only seems to exist to force everybody to respect all these invisible friends, people have in the world. But just like with fair use, for teaching/scholarship, critism and comedy, anything should be fair game. And some of this really, really begs to be be mocked and denounced. Every day.

Jammet - Mar 15, 2017 at 09:18
Sorry 'bout that, I just really dislike censorship, or soft censorship, .. all of it, really. I know this is how things work, so, guess I'll deal. :)

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 15, 2017 at 10:23
Eheh, on that topic, I well remember and interesting section of "Woodruff and the Schnibble of Azimuth", one of the weirdest, craziest and funniest adventure games, published by Sierra, programmed by the authors of Gobli(i)(i)ns.
At a certain point, Woodruff falls down on an area managed by elders, che censors. They are ruling everything, they have the power of the censorship.
It's really curious, and funny, how Woodruff could escape from that sort of prison.
If you please, watch the game's longplay, starting from that point (it made me think and laugh at the same time):

Emmanuel Velez - Mar 15, 2017 at 13:58
It's funny how so many people think making games is child's play. There are so many overwhelming tasks in the video game design process but in the end, it's all worth it. Thimble is coming.

Guga - Mar 16, 2017 at 04:06
I usually go on Kickstarter once a week to see the ending soon videogame projects that received little to no backings.

Some of them are EXTREMELY laughable, like "yeah I want to make an open world game with realistic physics and I'll publish it in three months" and in the "Risks and challenges" section they write "I'm in high school so I have time and I don't see any risks".

Good luck with that!

Filippo nella boccia - Mar 15, 2017 at 14:57
Ma ho capito male o si sta cercando di fare un doppiaggio italiano amatoriale del gioco? Nel caso posso partecipare?

Gffp - Mar 15, 2017 at 15:11
What are you waiting for? Come and join us!
Above you'll find a link to a group on telegram (you need to install the program, you'll find everything in the invite link, and you can use it on every device)

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 15, 2017 at 15:07
Yes, we are.
You can join us on this Telegram group.
Click here:

Gffp - Mar 15, 2017 at 15:15
Ahaha I was proof-reading my comment while you wrote yours! Ahahah

Nor Treblig - Mar 15, 2017 at 16:30
You need to first click on 'Reply' to answer a specific comment.
You must be new here :-)

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 15, 2017 at 18:17
Thank you for your suggestion! :-P

Diego - Mar 15, 2017 at 16:08
Sorry but... what a horrible translation.... "George el cartero no se la va a llevar si no tiene sellos." it´s wrong... it should be "George, el cartero, nunca se la llevará sin los sellos en él" we use commas in spanish you know! God.... I hope you are not paying the a guy for doing the translations...

Ted - Mar 15, 2017 at 16:16
Someone knows how to be an asshole. You could have said the same thing as a constructive comment, instead you chose to be a complete dick.

Diego - Mar 15, 2017 at 16:22
Sorry for been "a dick".... I don´t like when people gets paid for doing a horrible work. It would be a pity that after all the hard work the game is destroyed for a bad translation.
By the way... suck a lemon Ted dude!

Ron Gilbert - Mar 15, 2017 at 16:26
Why don't you phrase it as a nice question and maybe the translator will respond? Maybe she had a reason? Maybe it was just a typo? Rather than attacking someone, ask a question. We all might learn something.

Diego - Mar 15, 2017 at 16:31
Sorry for this Ron, but maybe she/he is a bad translator and you are paying for her/his job. I didnt want to be rude, but this guy Ted called me dick.
The game is awesome, but spanish and latin people are tired of horrible translations

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 15, 2017 at 18:28
Back to your tranlation issue: what, in your opinion, should be done to get a good spanish translation? Please notice that it's one of the most difficult languages, because it has many "shades" (allow me to use that word). There are European spanish, Latin american spanish...
I believe the translator had to choose one variation, maybe he/she tried to do his/her best with that variation.
I'm italian, don't know Spanish so deeply, but both languages share the same root (Latin). I have translated one game and a few apps in italian, and it's not easy.

Ron Gilbert - Mar 15, 2017 at 18:42
I asked our Spanish translator about this and she give me a very detailed explanation about why it's like it is and why Diego's is not correct for the situation. I'm not going to post it here, since I don't want to encourage people to be jerks. Condemning an entire translation and attacking someone for their work when all you have is a single line of text with no context is carless and naive. And as Zak says, this is really hard work and unless you've tried to translate 16,000 lines of a very complex story, it would be better to ask questions and not attack people.

Diego - Mar 16, 2017 at 08:42
Ok Ron... obviously she/he is not going to accept I am right.
Anyway... it´s your money not mine.

Good luck!

Breno Colom - Mar 30, 2017 at 11:03
I don't agree with Diego's suggestion of what would be the "proper Spanish" translation for this line but he does have a point about correct grammar (though not for all of his suggested translation, which I don't agree to even with proper grammar taken into account). Having said that, the Spanish translator's line looks very faithful to how most spanish people speak (I'm spanish). Given a choice between 100% proper grammar and something that feels true to life, I'll take the later anytime.

bobdeniro - Mar 16, 2017 at 04:20
Maybe one day we will fight to have Italian Italian vs.... Swiss Italian.
Obviously Italian Italian will lose the fight, because you know Switzerland have all the money :D

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 16, 2017 at 05:02
You know, every italian region has his own slang, dialect (sometimes it seems a real new language!)
We could start an insult fighting between languages.
I am pretty sure that Roman or Neapolitan could win the contest!

Diego - Mar 16, 2017 at 08:50
Greetings dear Zak! First of all, I would NOT use a native american translator but a native spanish translator. Have you played BATMAN games? WB put 2 different translations: LATIN (mexican) SPANISH and SPANISH... because they are different. It a kind of AMERICAN ENGLISH and UK ENGLISH.
It´s like the toilet paper thing... there are people who wants the paper to roll toward a side and people who wants the paper to roll toward another side.
Language is complicated and a letter can change the entire sentence.
My intention was not to get people angry but to demonstrate that the translation is not complete.

Jammet - Mar 16, 2017 at 09:12
Look, I really understand what you are saying. But maybe this isn't going to be as big a deal as you think. Since fan translations are becoming a reality, you or people who are supporting this cause will be redoing the Spanish translations much more to your liking, who knows.

I'm certain some people aren't going to like the Boris Schneider translation for some reason. There are *always* people out there who dislike translations. I don't even know, there are gazillions of Final Fantasy VI/3 translations out there! It's crazy.

Ron Gilbert - Mar 16, 2017 at 20:14
Our Spanish translator is Spanish, not American. Spanish is her native language.

Diego - Mar 17, 2017 at 13:10
It´s all ok Ron. Please forgive me if it was not the correct way to say it. Hope the game goes fine!


Guga - Mar 16, 2017 at 14:41
"We use commas".

I really don't get the point, since, you know, commas exist also in English. For this reason, even if I know nothing about the game and the context, I understand that "George the postman" has a semantic which is quite different from "George, the postman".

So, not only you are being rude, but you're probably even wrong.

You know, in Italian we say you "climb on mirrors" whenever you're trying hard to defend an obviously wrong argument. Well, from all your comments I think I can hear the sound of your nails on the glass.

Sandokan - Mar 16, 2017 at 19:56
@Guga it's the same in Spanish. Without commas is correct in this case.

This angry guy is wrong.

Asd - Mar 19, 2017 at 02:37
Diego, the original translation sounds great and is very natural. Yours sounds like the first shitty novel by an awful writer who sounds like a robot because he's pretending to be much smarter than what he really is.

Victor Von Doom - Mar 15, 2017 at 17:51
Did the graphics in the home page change a little? I seem to remember seeing animated fireflies in the "crime scene"...perhaps someone has already pointed that out, but I'm too rushed right now to read through all the comments, so apologies in advance if that's the case :-D

Ron Gilbert - Mar 15, 2017 at 17:59
Yes, I got rid of them, it was killing low-end machines and smart phones.

Victor Von Doom - Mar 15, 2017 at 18:08
I hear ya...I may or may not have zoned out staring at the fireflies, trying to identify their motion thanks for helping me stay productive! :-D

Nor Treblig - Mar 15, 2017 at 19:02
I know, got rid of them a long time ago since it was horrible on Chrome. But no performance issues on Firefox!

Zombocast - Mar 15, 2017 at 19:02
Ron, does Agent Ray still have the cigarette idle animation?

Ron Gilbert - Mar 15, 2017 at 19:04
It's not one of her idles, but there is an easter egg where you can make her smoke.

Jammet - Mar 15, 2017 at 21:28
I'd laugh so hard if this was made into a running gag of some sort. I remember in Broken Sword 2, you had that small electrode shocking device in your hand, and you could ask every character in the game if they wanted to shake. And they *all* refused, giving you the funniest, silliest and most absurd reasons why XD. You wanted to shock someone but you just don't GET TO. :]

Imagine you have a pack of cigs in the inventory, and every time you try to smoke, something absurd happens and stops you! Like a bat at the cemetery stealing it, people telling you to do that elsewhere, the wind blowing it out of your hand, or it just randomly explodes like a fake cigar ... endless possibilities, haha!

David Fox - Mar 15, 2017 at 21:57
Hah, didn't know that. Ok, found it (by cheating and looking at the code).

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 16, 2017 at 03:09
I wonder how many easter eggs are in the game. Countless is my guess. 😆

Someone - Mar 16, 2017 at 06:07
The *developers* don't know all easter eggs? :-) So they have to buy the game and play it too...? ;-)

Zombocast - Mar 15, 2017 at 20:03
Thank you, i'm not a smoker.
But i find the animation comforting, as it speaks volumes to the mood.
Maybe if Ransoms DLC ever gets released, that idle could make it's appearance again.
.. Or if weed becomes legal in more states

Bogdan Barbu - Mar 16, 2017 at 01:45
He said the animation is still in the game, just in a different context.

Big Red Button - Mar 16, 2017 at 04:07
I agree. I personally don't smoke, but it would have had some charm, if she was a chain smoker and if she was smoking often in an idle animation. Also, it would have been an opportunity for some casual jokes. For example, if she lighted up her cigarette and sneezed directly after, so the cigarette got lost or so.

Arto - Mar 17, 2017 at 06:57
For what I know about the character of Agent Ray, smoking would have suited her well. It would have been like in old crime TV shows, where the hardened older police was always smoking and drinking and had an untidy beard stubble, and there was a junior partner who was the opposite. Not saying that Ray should have a beard, though.

Cole Trickle - Mar 16, 2017 at 05:17
Two! *beeping*! weeks!

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 16, 2017 at 07:28
Will TRD(*) moment the same all over the world, or there will be a specific time (so, Eastern countries will get the game before Western ones)?

(*)TRD = The Release Date

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 16, 2017 at 08:33
I wish to make an official request to Mr. Ron Gilbert:
Could you invite, in your next podcast, all the translators of TWP, or at least some of them?
I'd like to know how much effort they put in their work, if it was boring or even funny, how much time did they take... and other related questions.
Oh, yeah, and ask how's the weather, of course...
Thank you!

Nikolai - Mar 16, 2017 at 08:44
Do you plan to make a franchise? To go to other markets where there is a language barrier. For example, Asia, CIS countries or Arab countries. I think you should think about it.

Tim Lammert - Mar 16, 2017 at 08:57
Since the release date is getting closer and closer (13 days!!)  I wanted to say something.

I will miss you all.
I really hope we will stay in touch at least through this blog, that hopefully will get a lot more updates from Ron (Yes I will miss you too),
I´m going to cancel my internet contract, my data plan, turn off my cellphone, unplug the phone and close the door as soon as I downloaded the game. As long as needed.
But they will sprout like mushrooms everywhere, starting march the 30th. I know it.
So hopefully we will "see" again after that.

Jammet - Mar 16, 2017 at 09:04
:) I'm sure many of us will still be around. Because this blog probably will be, too. It'll be the grumpy gamer blog again, perhaps, not the Thimbleweed Park blog so much anymore.

Or it might be the <Insert Title> blog for the next game. :) In any case, I'll be around.

Unless I've died. Then I'm dead. Then I'm probably a bit busy. ;D

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 16, 2017 at 09:27
Oh, and don't forget to:
- call every Phone Book number
- read every title in the Occult bookstore
- read every book in the Mansion Mansion library

Gffp - Mar 16, 2017 at 09:45
Ok, see you in 2020.
Hmmm... interesting year...

Gffp - Mar 16, 2017 at 09:41
Ron, did you (and the other writers) write Ransome's lines just with beeps, and then, only in the recording studio, the actor improvised the swear words? So many places, I don't rememeber if and where I heard about that.
If the answer is yes, it means that you have to rewrite Ransome's lines in the code with swearwords for the uncensored version.

Ron Gilbert - Mar 16, 2017 at 11:07
Ransome's line were written with *beep* in the text. We we release the uncensored versions, the text won't change. It makes it even funnier.

Big Red Button - Mar 16, 2017 at 11:49
In my opinion, you ought to clarify this in the description for the DLC, so that no one would expect uncensored subtitles.

Mattias Cedervall - Mar 18, 2017 at 18:40
I agree! I think that the subtitles should be uncensored!

Gffp - Mar 16, 2017 at 12:00
Hey, you really don't miss a trick! :-P

Nor Treblig - Mar 16, 2017 at 12:32
This would be a great opportunity to use fan translations as an educational tool, especially for non-English speaking countries.
Pupils all over the world could try to write a transcript of Ransome's dialog in their English classes. Then translate it and discuss it with their teachers, parents and grandparents.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 16, 2017 at 12:44
It is known, in fact, that the first words you learn in a foreign language, are the curse words!

Guga - Mar 16, 2017 at 14:45
It is quite true... but it wasn't true for me in German.

Six years living in Switzerland, I can speak quite a good German, but I know NO INSULTS AT ALL.

But that's ok, since I swear in Italian or Sardinian when I'm angry.

Nor Treblig - Mar 16, 2017 at 16:37
It seems like the Swiss aren't using the German language correctly.

Steffen - Mar 16, 2017 at 19:25
...that's very true cuz they don't speak German, they speak Swiss - it's as far from German as Dutch is! The Swiss just write German to confuse the rest of all German speaking people.  ;-)

Guga - Mar 17, 2017 at 03:53
Oh, don't get me started on Swiss German :P I didn't even know about that until I came here, I don't know why it isn't a well-known fact that Swiss DON'T speak German as their first language.

I mean, everyone knows standard German here, but it's really just a second language, like Italian is in the most inner villages of Sardinia, where the population speaks mainly Sardinian.

Big Red Button - Mar 17, 2017 at 06:49
Unless I'm very much mistaken, Germans understand Swiss German as well when it's written. So, it has primarily a (very) different pronunciation.

Steffen - Mar 17, 2017 at 15:16
...don't take my post to seriously! Of course Swiss is German, just with a very strong dialect.
But many (more nordish living) Germans would say it's to hard to understand and therefore it's a language of its own.

If you are interested in south-west German dialects have a look here:
You can see easily that the dialect of Swiss German is strong related to some dialects in Germany (the lake "Bodensee" is a border-triangle between Germany, Austria and Switzerland).

Guga - Mar 17, 2017 at 16:02
What I mean with "Swiss German" isn't "the standard German used in Switzerland", which is 99% the same as the German German (except for some loan words). I mean the "dialect" called Schwiitzerdütsch. It has almost no written tradition (that's why everything you read in Switzerland is in standard German) but it's spoken everywhere as the first language. It can be understood by native German speakers after some time - I too, for example, started to understand it after six years of living there - but in the beginning it sounds like a completely different language. Rules differ, words differ, pronunciation differs, syntax and sentence construction differ. It's a mess.

But I love its sound. Damn I hope my daughters will teach it to me when they get older.

Steffen - Mar 17, 2017 at 18:19
You're right with " 'Swiss German' isn't 'the standard German used in Switzerland' ".
But the dialect Schwitzerdütsch is strongly related to Alemanisch witch is spoken in the German state of Baden-Würtemberg as "home dialect". Both together have many rules and words for their own - but still are german languages, see here:
Etymology and language history is really an interesting thing. Tells one a lot of how things have developed over time and vice versa how related things are even if one can't see it anymore.
However, it's fine you like the people and their kind to speak around you!  :-)

bobdeniro - Mar 16, 2017 at 12:45
...Yes, why not, and then the same pupils could also compare notes with some of the 'alternative fact' speeches that nowadays are so trendy here and there.
To be honest I am not sure which will win 'the most hilarious lines of dialog ever' award, either Ransome's or the... other's: let the pupils decide!

Claudio - Mar 16, 2017 at 18:16
Dear Ron,
how many times did you use python during game development?

Nor Treblig - Mar 16, 2017 at 19:14
Programming language and/or meal?

Claudio - Mar 17, 2017 at 11:28
Programming language :)

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Mar 17, 2017 at 09:38
"Playing Thimbleweed Park is like spending time with an old friend I haven’t seen in 30 years – one that I can easily be around for an hour or two at a time, but am always happy to see."
Nice point of view!
Excerpt from an article at

Big Red Button - Mar 18, 2017 at 14:02
There is a new TWP T-shirt on Fangamer:
It was seemingly introduced at PAX.

Aubrey Alexander - Mar 21, 2017 at 20:18
How does this integrate into the dialog puzzles ?  Didn't you post that there is. Custom text format for these?

Facundo Clapier - Apr 06, 2017 at 21:29

The article is very interesting, but actually I'm having a problem when launching the game that is related to this.

When I launch the game I get the following error: "Packed file ThimbleweedText_en.tsv not found.", which now I know is the spreadsheet you used for the dialog.

I already contacted support to see if they can help me with this, because I made good progress in the game, but I'm smelling I will have to reinstall the game.

Just wanted yo let you guys now.

See ya!

Ron Gilbert - Apr 06, 2017 at 21:33
It sounds like corrupt files. Uninstall the game and reinstall. The savegame files won't vanish unless you specifically delete them.