Mr. Gilbert, I think you must understand that differences of opinion does not mean that one of us is wrong. As you yourself have said in the past, this is what makes this world of ours so interesting.
I completely appreciate and understand the reasons why it was done and the trade-offs at play, and they are absolutely reasonable. I also thank you for being so transparent with us in sharing so much detail.
As an actual player (and not a hard-core adventure gamer at all, just a simple dabbler), I still disagree that the finished product achieved what you wanted without any loss; and it seems, I’m not alone.
That’s it. This is not a challenge to you or your decisions. It’s expressing my opinion, for whatever that is worth. I probably couldn’t have done any better since I am not an adventure game designer, but such is life. Thimbleweed Park is just so close to greatness.
The overall experience of the game was very good, even if the ending felt a bit anti-climactic to me.
I have nothing against “it feels rushed”. As soon as you say “because they were running out of time”, you’re stating a fact without any proof (moreover - a fact that has been twice confuted by the game author).
I could also have been wrong in the interpretation no need to apologize! Anyway, I also would have liked something more to do in the factory… but I noticed there’s nothing to do only on my second run. In my first run I was so eager for an ending that I just took a look at what was happening, saw, there were no hotspots and went over. I never stopped to think “hey, why can’t I do anything here?”. Only when replaying it I noticed the oddity.
I guess my problem was also that it took me over 30 hours to complete the game, and almost 3 whole weeks in real life time. After weeks of struggling through at least a couple of hard-stuck puzzles, when I sat down with my wife one night and entered the Pillow Factory, the game just ended in what felt like no time at all.
I was so eager to enter the Pillow Factory, there was such build up throughout the game, and it just went through almost perfunctory, clicking here and there without much thought, in a very linear way.
I guess if you treat the game as a movie where all plot and dramatic cues happen at precisely the right time, the end-game needs to be tight enough to delivery the right punch. However, as I was playing for the very first time with no hints or walkthroughs, it felt like I was immersed in this world for a long time, and then the end-game came and went in a blink of an eye.
I’ll have to play it again and see if keeping a brisker pace throughout the rest of the game (no reasons to get stuck again this time around!) changes that perception.
I think you’re misunderstanding what I’m saying. You’re free to have your opinion, I am stating the “fact” of what was going though my head. From a production stand-point, the ending was not “rushed”, that is a fact. You might have felt it was “rush” from a narrative stand-point, and that’s fine. I do not, it was exactly how I wanted it. I like the ending, it wasn’t a compromise or rushed through, it was exactly how I wanted it. Reading all these comments, I still would not change a thing about it.
But you are free to dislike it. That’s art. I don’t know if you’ve ever created something like this, but I guarantee that a bunch of people will hate it (and a bunch will love it) That’s the way it goes. I’m used to that. People HATED the ending of Monkey 2 when it came out.
A lot of people like the ending to Thimbleweed Park. I’m glad some people like it, some people hate it, and some people are just confused by it. That was all be design.
And for those who are confused… there’s this forum, and it’s free!!!
I read good comments about significance of the story here, and it’s just a week that the forums are opened. I personally think that there are some criticalities too, but they are not in how the ending itself was handled, but in the significance of the whole story in relation to the computer and adventure game media (given the meta development of the story) and in relation to the irrepressible identification that we players-readers-obeservers build with a story (adventure games are not movies, and e.g. the dreamlike language cannot easily be carried from authors like Lynch) it would take me a great effort to write about it in a constructive way and with references as I’d like to do… but the final result has to be praised for the courage, not easy to find in the industry.
In extreme syntesis, and forcing a bit the definition, I could say I was able to appreciate more the product on an etic point of view, rather than an emic one.
I don’t think so. wherever you have puzzles, someone will be stuck, and the pace will be broken. it’s as simple as that.
The only workaround I can see is to have “fake” puzzles, i.e. puzzles that are so easy that nobody will ever get stuck on them. But then you have another problem: game becomes easier in the finale instead of more difficult.
Or, you could have only interactions but no puzzles. optional interactions, in other words.
I throw an idea there, perhaps having a recycling battery bin at Thimblecon where you can throw the depleted battery and Franklin can zap it - that would allow the Pizza guy (or just the flyer) being inside the pillow factory and the whole sekrit place puzzle (deemed by most one of the hardest) part of the final section.