Official Thimbleweed Park Forums

TeamTuesday reports

In the last months before the game was released, there was on facebook this column written in all likelihood by Katie Postma (the social media manager for TWP) about some members of the developing team, and it included a short interview about their work on Thimbleweed Park.
I copy the posts here in case there’s someone who missed them since now they are quite hidden in the deep bosom of FB.

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October 11, 2016

Today’s Team Member is Jenn Sandercock @jenn !!

Q: What is your official title on the team?
A: Code Monkey #2

Q: Where do you live?
A: Seattle, WA

Q: Where do you work?
A: In a coworking space with other indie game developers. It’s called Indies Workshop.

Q: What are your favourite adventure games?
A. Monkey Island Series, Leisure Suit Larry Series, Ghost Trick

Q: Favourite TWP Playable Character?
A: Franklin

Q: Why are they your favourite playable character?
A: Because he’s kinda pathetic, but he’s doing his best and I admire that. Also, he’s a ghost and I get to code up the cool ghosty things he can do.

Q: Favourite Non-Playable Character?
A: Teddy, the “hotel kid”.

Q: Why are they your favourite character?
A: He rocks out to a boombox, wears terrible 80s clothes and is a try hard.

Q: What’s your background working in games?
A: I’ve been in the games industry for 7 years now. During that time I’ve worked on indie projects full time and in my spare time. I’ve also had a number of jobs as a designer and producer-type person at larger studios. I worked on a AAA game (L.A. Noire), an educational game (Knowledge Quest), hidden object games (Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Gardens of Time). I also created my own AR game that was a photo challenge game, called aglimpse: friends. Currently in my spare time (which isn’t much), I’m creating edible games where one of the core gameplay mechanics is eating. I code, but I’m really passionate about design and gameplay mechanics.

Q: What surprised you when you started working on Thimbleweed Park?
A: Two things: How sad I was to realise that I wouldn’t be able to play through the finished game without spoilers.

That I have to write a lot of the dialog for characters and objects and it’s actually going to get into the final game.

Q: What do you like about the TWP team?
A: That no one on the team cares who has more experience or less experience than others. I was worried about working with people who’ve been in the industry longer than me and who worked on games that I loved when I was younger. But it turns out that if I have an idea, people will listen to it, and if it’s a good idea, we’ll all work together to implement it.

I like that we share our inspirations for the game and sometimes we all watch the same movie so we can discuss it.

Q: What don’t you like about the TWP team?
A: That I don’t get to meet everyone on the team in person. I love living and working in Seattle and love that we have people from all over the world working on the game, but it would be nice if just once we could work out a way to all meet up somewhere.

Q: Favourite personal Easter Egg in the game? Or what do you wish was an Easter Egg?
A: Maybe not so much a personal Easter Egg, but I really like the conversation I wrote with the hotel kid where you need to prove you can talk in 80s lingo. I loved doing research on how language has changed since the 80s and trying to be authentic to that period.

Q: Any other stories you’d like to share with us?
A: Working on the support emails, I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how easy it is and how nice all of the backers and other people are. Thanks to all of you! Working on Thimbleweed Park is an amazing dream come true. My love of adventure games was why I got into the industry, so I’m so happy to be able to work on a real one.

You can follow Jenn on Twitter, @JennSandercock.

October 18, 2016

Today’s Team Member is Lauren Davidson @boosegoose !

Q: What is your official title on the team?
A: Writer

Q: Where do you live?
A: Southampton, United Kingdom

Q: Where do you work?
A: I work in a cupboard. A literal cupboard. I am basically the Harry Potter of my house.

We renovated my little closet into a work space so I could have a modicum of privacy when I worked as my partner and I live in a smallish space.

It’s fine though. Having no windows is great. Not like I’m jealous of Dave and his fancy views or anything…

Q: What are your favourite adventure games?
A: Beneath a Steel Sky, Monkey Island 2, and Simon the Sorcerer.

Q: Favourite TWP Playable Character?
A: Ransome

Q: Why are they your favourite playable character?
A: This is tough. I love Delores because I see myself in her, but Ransome is very fun to play as because he’s such an asshole. I have also had the most fun writing him because Ron gave me permission to be as offensive as possible so that he could pull me back and reign it in rather than not go far enough with his style of humour.

Q: Favourite Non-Playable Character?
A: Doug

Q: Why are they your favourite character?
A: It’s hard because I love so many of the characters after writing for them and imagining their personalities and back stories in my mind. But Doug takes the edge. His surliness, and his devotion to Sam make me very fond of him. Also it’s partly because Ron let me call him Doug to begin with.

Q: What’s your background working in games?
A: I’ve been writing and gaming for as long as I can remember, but I started learning how to make my own point and click adventures on the AGS engine when I was recovering from a bad flare up of my Crohn’s disease. Eventually my friend Sox joined in to help me with the art and animation and together we founded Dropped Monocle Games. We started entering game jams and were surprisingly successful. Our most popular titles so far are Goat Herd and the Gods, and Mess Goblins which won a game jam and a couple of AGS awards.

Q: What surprised you when you started working on Thimbleweed Park?
A: I didn’t really know what to expect when I started working on Thimbleweed Park. I think maybe I was surprised how much input we all have over slack and how connected we are. I was worried I wouldn’t make Ron laugh with my particular brand of humour, but that seems to be a non issue thus far!

Q: What do you like about the TWP team?
A: I like how chummy we are and that we all brainstorm in slack together and have a laugh about things. Like when Dave shares his desk view, just little things like that. It’s nice.

Q: Favourite personal Easter Egg in the game? Or what do you wish was an Easter Egg?
A: I like one of the special monkey island references we put in recently. That’s pretty cool. But I can’t really say much without giving it away. When I was writing the bulletin board notices I think I may have snuck a couple in. My sincere wish is that Madam Morena would sell a voodoo root beer you can use on Franklin to temporarily melt him.

Q: Any other stories you’d like to share with us?
A: When I first applied for the writers position on Thimbleweed Park I had to do a test dialog for Ransome the Clown. Ron asked us to be as offensive as possible and so I really went for it. Moments after hitting send I felt a deep sense of regret and panic realising the foulness I had just sent to my childhood game dev hero. I had to go lie down and stress eat for a while.

Then a couple of months later I found out I got the job working on Thimbleweed Park. I felt so full of panic that I wouldn’t be able to recreate that level of filth I’d managed in the test dialog I had to lie down and stress eat yet again. Now 10 months later I’ve surprised even myself with the levels of depravity to which I capable of sinking when writing for Ransome. It’s a skill I look forward to adding to my resume.

You can follow Lauren on Twitter: @boosegoose

October 25, 2016

Today’s Team Member is Octavi Navarro @OctaviNavarro !

Q. What’s your official title on the team?
A. Artist #3

Q. Where do you live?
A. Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

Q. Where do you work?
A. I work at home. All those weird Ransome animations were made while wearing my pajamas.

Q. What are your favourite adventure games?
A. Day of the Tentacle, The Secret of Monkey Island, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis

Q. Favourite TWP Playable Character?
A. Delores

Q. Why are they your favourite playable character?
A. Because she’s a computer nerd like me. When I was younger I wanted to be a programmer or a computer engineer but obviously things didn’t go as I planned (not that I complain though).

Q. Favourite Non-Playable Character?
A. Madame Morena

Q. Why are they your favourite character?
A. She’s the first thing I made for the game so I have a special affinity for her. The character design and walking animations were made as a “test” to see if my style would fit in the game. I think it worked out perfectly!

Q. What’s your background working in games?
A. I don’t have one. This is the first game I work on, which is pretty cool.

Q. What surprised you when you started working on Thimbleweed Park?
A. I didn’t expect I would have so much creative freedom to do really crazy stuff. That’s what makes working on this game so much fun and I’m really impressed of how open minded the team is in this regard.

Q. What do you like about the TWP team?
A. They are all so talented, smart and creative!! I love following everything they say in Slack when they brainstorm something about the game. I’ve never seen that many cool ideas being generated per second. I feel a bit clumsy with my English so I don’t contribute too much, but I really enjoy reading all that cool stuff.

Q. What don’t you like about the TWP team?
A. The fact that it will probably be difficult for all of us to meet in one place someday.

Q. Favourite personal Easter Egg in the game? Or what do you wish was an Easter Egg?
A. When I work on backgrounds I like to add some little things that might surprise players (or team members… David loves this kind of things). My favorite one is the first weird item I added to the game. I can only say you’ll find it somewhere in the sewers…

Q. Any other stories you’d like to share with us?
A. The fact that English is not my main language is not usually a problem but there have been a couple of times where I had to work on an animation or a game item and I ended up doing exactly the opposite thing the team was asking me to do!

You can follow Octavi on Twitter: @pixelshuh and on Facebook Pixels Huh

November 8, 2016

Today’s Team Member is Robert Megone @robert.megone !

Q. What’s your official title on the team?
A. Lead Tester

Q. Where do you live?
A. Basingstoke, Hampshire, United Kingdom

Q. Where do you work?
A. In the corner of my main living space, I’ve got all I need here!

Q. What are your favourite adventure games?
A. Zak McKracken, Secret of Monkey Island, Beneath a Steel Sky, Broken Sword, Full Throttle

Q. Favourite TWP Playable Character?
A. Ransome

Q. Why are they your favourite playable character?
A. I think there’s a lot to Ransome’s personality, he’s a major dick but everyone is waiting to see the moment he takes down the wall.

Q. Favourite Non-Playable Character?
A. Leonard

Q. Why are they your favourite character?
A. Leonard is quite similar to someone I know, I don’t think he’d like the comparison very much though!

Q. What’s your background working in games?
A. I’ve always known that I wanted to work in the games industry, my genre of choice has always been adventure games.
I spent a little time hacking about with ScummVM while I was at University, I made some good connections there. Through one of these connections, I ended up working at Revolution Software as a tester on Beneath a Steel Sky: Remastered. After that I moved on the Broken Sword series, eventually working as a designer on Broken Sword 5: The Serpent’s Curse. During this time I was also working freelance for Ron and David on their mobile projects as well as doing some voluntary testing on other great adventures. When Ron and Gary announced Thimbleweed Park I just knew I had to be part of it.

Q. What surprised you when you started working on Thimbleweed Park?
A. When I started working on the game I was impressed at just how much work had been completed already. I expected the game to be great, I just underestimated how great it really is.

Q. What do you like about the TWP team?
A. I love working with everyone on this team! Everyone involved has a great deal of talent. Every single member on the team is so passionate about the project and this really reflects in the work they do.

Q. What don’t you like about the TWP team?
A. Having a team that is so widespread has it’s downfalls, sometimes it would be great to sit down with some of the team for a beer.

Q. Favourite personal Easter Egg in the game? Or what do you wish was an Easter Egg?
A. There are so many great 80’s references, I also love all the references there are to some of the LucasFilm adventures. I don’t want to spoil any of those for the readers, take some time and find them all yourselves!

You can follow Robert on Twitter: @robertmegone

November 22, 2016

Today’s Team Member is Christer Kaitila!

Q. What’s your official title on the team?
A. Pest Control Specialist.

Q. Where do you live?
A. By the beach.

Q. Where do you work?
A. Standing up.

Q. What are your favourite adventure games?
A. King’s Quest. Space Quest. Police Quest. Okay I like quests. The Dig, Sam and Max, Grim Fandango, Sherlock Holmes, Life is Strange, you get the picture.

Q. Favourite TWP Playable Character?
A. Delores

Q. Why are they your favourite playable character?
A. I don’t trust any of those other scumbags.

Q. Favourite Non-Playable Character?
A. The flock of birds that flie above the vista.

Q. Why are they your favourite character?
A. They calm my inner turmoil and turn seething rage to tranquil zen.

Q. What’s your background working in games?
A. I’ve made dozens of tiny games for the fun of it. I now run a game jam addict support group at www.onegameamonth.com and I can stop any time, I swear.

Q. What surprised you when you started working on Thimbleweed Park?
A. I was surprised how good the music was; it instantly sets the feel, and I love it.

Q. What do you like about the TWP team?
A. Their dance moves.

Q. What don’t you like about the TWP team?
A. The stupid bow-tie everyone is forced to wear when working.

Q. Favourite personal Easter Egg in the game? Or what do you wish was an Easter Egg?
A. There are NO easter eggs in this game and all reports of them are lies.

Q. Any other stories you’d like to share with us?
A. The devs enjoy working really hard. I don’t know what’s wrong with them. It actually looks like they truly love what they’re doing. It’s pretty amazing to watch.

You can follow Christer on Twitter: @mcfunkypants

November 29, 2016

Today’s Team Member is Katerina Bergerova @Calypso !

Q. What’s your official title on the team?
A. Tester.

Q. Where do you live?
A. Prague, Czech Republic.

Q. Where do you work?
A. Currently, in a room which is also my bedroom. It overlooks a garden and when I need a break, I can stand by the window and watch our dogs and puppies play below.

Q. What are your favourite adventure games?
A. Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, Full Throttle, Grim Fandango, The Longest Journey.

Q. Favourite TWP Playable Character?
A. Delores

Q. Why are they your favourite playable character?
A. I find her quite relatable. And I like the way she can take care of stuff when other characters are absolutely clueless. Nerd power!

Q. Favourite Non-Playable Character?
A. Doug.

Q. Why are they your favourite character?
A. He’s just wacky.

Q. What’s your background working in games?
A. I’m quite new to the industry. Started out as a tester circa a year ago - helped with some freeware adventure games (mostly games made by our team member, Lauren Davidson, who I consider a friend now), then moved on to the first commercial project, Kathy Rain, where I helped with testing, proofreading, and some story/design consultation.

Q. What surprised you when you started working on Thimbleweed Park?
A. This didn’t really surprise me, but it was very nice to see the level of professionalism and dedication to the project displayed by all the team members I’ve been able to meet so far (even though only virtually).

Q. What do you like about the TWP team?
A. The team consists of very friendly and communicative people and the cooperation has been flawless so far, even though we are scattered in different parts of the globe. Special thanks to Rob, our lead tester, who’s always available to answer questions and sort out any problems. And Ron Gilbert really isn’t that grumpy. :slight_smile:

Q. What don’t you like about the TWP team?
A. I guess I’m going to answer the same as everyone else and say that it’s the fact that we’re located in many different places around the planet, so not much of a chance for a meet up. But as a hardcore introvert, I don’t really mind not being able to work together in one office - I prefer my hermit lifestyle.

Q. Favourite personal Easter Egg in the game? Or what do you wish was an Easter Egg?
A. I like the references to other adventure games, which I’m sure every adventure game aficionado is going to appreciate. As for my own personal easter egg - hmm, I definitely have to think something up.

Q. Any other stories you’d like to share with us?
A. I’m very glad to be a member of the TWP team - it has been a great experience so far and I’m looking forward to the rest of the ride. And I hope, one day, I’ll be able to bring my own adventure game (or maybe an RPG?) to fruition, which is a big dream of mine.

December 14, 2016

Today’s Team Member is Katie Postma @Khatie

Q. What’s your official title on the team?
A. Social Media Manager.

Q. Where do you live?
A. London, Canada.

Q. Where do you work?
A. From my home office, which is in transition at the moment as my daughter recently moved away to college. I’ll be taking over her room which is now the “guest room”.

Q. What are your favourite adventure games?
A. Myst, The Dig.

Q. Favourite TWP Playable Character?
A. Ransome.

Q. Why are they your favourite playable character?
A. I was playing through an early test version of the game with my children and Ransome made them giggle the most.

Q. Favourite Non-Playable Character?
A. The Pigeon Brothers.

Q. Why are they your favourite character?
A. Because they are ridiculous and I like ridiculous things. Mostly.

Q. What’s your background working in games?
A. I began work in the industry on the Myst series with Ubisoft, worked on Stargate Worlds, worked for Cartoon Network, Gazillion, Disruptor Beam, Big Viking Games and Stoic Studio. I’ve been a community manager, social media manager, events planner and player support representative (or a combination of these) for any and all of the above.

Q. What surprised you when you started working on Thimbleweed Park?
A. Not exactly surprised but very pleased at how hard the team works and how organized they are, despite being in many different locations and in many different timezones.

Q. What do you like about the TWP team?
A. How much respect everyone has for each other, and how much we all love adventure games. I also like the fact everyone uses big pixel avatars, so when I think about them that’s how I envision they look in person.

Q. What don’t you like about the TWP team?
A. Well (so far) they’re only working on one game. I think the team should make many more games together!

Q. Favourite personal Easter Egg in the game? Or what do you wish was an Easter Egg?
A. I could tell you but then I’d have to kill you. And Ron would have to kill me.

Q. Any other stories you’d like to share with us?
A. As I don’t have a proper workspace set up yet, the picture I’m sharing is of my view as I work each day, my back yard. As you can see, we just got snow in time for the holidays, which makes me very happy!

You can follow Katie on Twitter @Khatie.

January 10, 2017

Today’s Team Member is Chase Martin!

Q. What’s your official title on the team?
A. Producer.

Q. Where do you live?
A. Seattle, WA USA.

Q. Where do you work?
A. Coffee shops and my home desk “nook”.

Q. What are your favourite adventure games?
A. Secret of Monkey Island, Broken Sword, Grim Fandango.

Q. Favourite TWP Playable Character?
A. Delores.

Q. Why are they your favourite playable character?
A. Her motivations, reactions and animations.

Q. Favourite Non-Playable Character?
A. Chet.

Q. Why are they your favourite character?
A. SPOILERS

Q. What’s your background working in games?
A. I just crossed 5 years in the game industry (whooo!). I fell into games when I moved to Seattle in 2010. Coming from a background in film/television production, I found none of those jobs in the Pacific Northwest. So, my next logical step was to shift my focus to gaming, as I had grown up a passionate gamer and had experienced their growth as an entertainment medium.

I started in the industry at Valve, working the Steam platform and fulfilling various side roles (too many to stay sane!). Since then, I’ve become a “contract closer” of a sort, doing my part to help teams/projects ship their vision to the masses. My most recent studios/projects were with Warner Bros/Monolith and Bunige Studios, helping deliver content for Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and Destiny (DLC, The Taken King, and in-game Live features).

Q. What do you like about the TWP team?
A. The expertise and experience range of the whole team, collaborating together to create a unique and soulful product.

Q. What don’t you like about the TWP team?
A. Its strong opposition to a well-timed meme in Slack.

Q. Favourite personal Easter Egg in the game? Or what do you wish was an Easter Egg?
A. More grog!

You can follow Chase on Twitter: @theplayerpiano

Yeah, I remember those interviews, they were funny.
Thanks for having written them here, so they could stay forever! (*)

(*) not guaranteed

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