Thimbleweed Park cutscene tool?

I was just listening back to an early Podcast where @RonGilbert talks to @david about plans to develop “some kind of a tool for doing the larger cutscene animations”. I think I’ve listened to most of the Podcasts and read most of the blog posts, but don’t recall hearing this tool mentioned again.

Is this something you actually developed, or was there no need for it in the end? Or is it something you should have done, but didn’t have time perhaps?

Snippet from Podcast transcription:

"And next week I’m gonna look at some kind of a tool for doing the larger cutscene animations, as opposed to the small animations where people are just walking around and reaches and talks and stuff, but large cutscene animations. I think we need some kind of a tool to do those because I think if you and I, David, are scripting all those things, I think it’s gonna be a lot of work and a little bit of waste of your time. So I’m gonna look at that and more walkthroughs with the rooms and getting everything ready for production to start on the 1st of July.

(David:) So it’s more like the tool we used for Indy 6 which was kind of an overlay animation tool where you have the background of the room and you can draw to it.

(Ron:) Yeah and you can coordinate several different things, so it’s not just a single character walking around but you can take maybe four different animations and all have them animate in unison when you have a large roomwide cutscene to happen."


We never wrote one. We did some tests and without major work on a tool, it was better to just hand code them. We spent some time looking at Spine, but it’s not set up for pixel art and was too cumbersome.


Now that’s something we’re all looking forward to!


For me, I’d say the hardest animation sequence to integrate were the ones of Ransome jumping on the trampoline. One of the longer sequences, and it had to be perfectly tied in with room objects.


Spine is great but it takes a lot of getting used to. As you say it isn’t geared to pixel art, unfortunately.

It is brilliant being able to use the same animation sequence on completely different sprites though