Official Thimbleweed Park Forums

Realised after 30 years why Maniac Mansion used select hotspot THEN verb interface


Just played TP on Android without using a Bluetooth mouse and it’s clear why MM used the method picking the hotspot, then clicking the verb to activate it, because it was designed for joystick play. I guess the same could be said for controller play on consoles, but there’s at least a default verb these days, whereas on mobile it’s quite a job to “smoosh” to find a hotspot, then “poke” the verb, then manually find the hotspot again blindly. It’s never been an issue until I tried it with just a finger, but I’m guessing it was a real chore to drag the cursor across the screen the the c64 joystick, then all the way back to the verb. The last thing you’d want to do would be to go and find the verb again, especially since hover-over verb names hadn’t been added yet.

I guess the real question is why What Is was used, was it too intensive then to have a permanent hotspot hover name method back then?


The verb first, hotspot second order is also possible, and the order can be executed with a second click on the hotspot or by a click on the sentence line. It really was convenient to have all those options, since there are different situations during play.
Also there are hotkeys for the verbs, which can drastically reduce the need to move your cursor around.

The point and click adventure was just invented. Probably they just didn’t came up with the idea of a hover feedback at the time.


I’ve played the SCUMM games once on a handheld with a touchscreen and a pen. It worked very well, but I have to admit that I knew where the objects were. :slight_smile:


Yes it was!
:joystick: :arrow_up: :joystick: :arrow_lower_right: :joystick: :arrow_down: :joystick: :arrow_left: :joystick: :arrow_lower_left::muscle:

That’s also why you’d typically click the object in the screen first then the verb and then the inventory object for Use…with…
OK, the sentence looks off, but you didn’t risk having to redo it all because you clicked just next to the hotspot.
With GIVE, that didn’t work though, so it was always making sure the crosshair was nicely on the person you wanted to give something to. Come to think of it, that may be the reason it is a crosshair to start with! Add a moving target like the bum in Miami and that’s a real challenge!


I found that mildly challenging even with mouse/touchpad.


I grabbed my stupid touch pen thing to play Ace Attorney on Android. (Stupid because it’s really no smaller than a finger, only slightly more convenient in a very limited number of use cases.)