Thimbleweed Park Podcast #2
“The second exciting Thimbleweed Park podcast.”
Released April 17, 2015
Transcribed by Sushi
[The first 10 seconds of the TWP theme song]
(Ron): Hi, I’m Ron Gilbert…
(Gary): I’m Gary Winnick…
(Ron): … and welcome to the second Stand-up Meeting Thimbleweed Park Podcast! So I think last week Gary started. Is that right, you started last week?
(Gary): Yeah, I like to talk more than you, even though you do a fine job.
(Ron): All right, then I will go first today. So what I did last week? I think last week, most of my time was spent on the engine. David started working, I think, week before last. So last week he was doing a lot of stuff, so a lot of it was just fixing bugs that he was finding. So I fixed a lot of his stuff. We had an issue with the height of the rooms. The pixel height of the rooms was inconsistent so I had to go through and kind of do a bunch of math and figure out a consistent pixel height, you know, due to kind of the widescreen nature of the rooms and stuff so… I got that done and then David and I went through and fixed all our rooms.
I added text objects to the engine, so you can display text on top of the screen now. And that’ll be important for close-ups that have text: things like when you’re leafing through the Thimbleweed Nickle newspapers, being able to render text on top of stuff completely under script control.
And I was supposed to get the Windows version compiling, but I didn’t actually get that done, so that has slipped to next week. And that’s what I did last week.
This week is finishing up the walk boxes 1 , I’m almost done with that. I hope to get the walk boxes in, probably by the end of the day tomorrow.
And we had our big brainstorming meeting yesterday, with David and we got all of the Act 3 puzzles done and so most of today I will be putting together the puzzle dependency chart for Act 3.
And one thing I wanted to do is I want to take the Act 1, Act 2 and Act 3 puzzle dependency charts and put them now into one big giant puzzle dependency chart for the game, so that’ll probably take me a while.
(Gary): Yeah, because it’s not easy enough to understand right now or hard enough to understand…
(Ron): Yeah, 'cause it’s the three different acts and they’re not completely separate, you know, there’s some puzzles that you start in Act 1 and you actually finish in Act 3 and right now there’s no real connection between those things, so I just want to get it into one big one big chart.
That’ll probably take me a while… that’ll probably take me three or four hours of just connecting everything together to get that done.
And then next week I really do want to get the Windows build working, so…
(Gary): I was watching you do the puzzle dependency charts while we were brainstorming and I was kind of interested how dynamically you were able to sort of pull things and move them around and like change arrows and stuff that’s even like… What’s the program you’re using for that?
(Ron): It’s called OmniGraffle. 2
(Gary): Yeah, it looks pretty cool. I’m gonna have to like you know try to figure out how to use it or just not use it [laughs]. I’m not sure, but it’s cool.
(Ron): Yeah, the thing I like about OmniGraffle… you know, there’s a lot of charting programs out there but the thing OmniGraffle does is when you make two connections it will redo the entire graph automatically, so you don’t spend a lot of time sorting your boxes to get them in order. You just make connections and it resorts and that’s the thing I really like about OmniGraffle for that.
All right that’s me so…
(Gary): Yeah, what I’ve been up to really is kind of more of the same. What I did last week and what I did this week, other than the fact that you and David came down for brainstorming, which was a nice diversion, but we also managed to accomplish, I think, a lot. It’s amazing to me how … when we do things over Skype, it works, but when you get everybody together in person, it goes so much faster, you know? It’s just…
(Ron): Yeah, there’s something about being in person that really helps with brainstorming.
(Gary): Yeah, I mean you can see the expression on people’s faces when they’re getting pissed off -[Ron laughs]- stuff like that. Whereas on skype it’s just like: “Are you mad?” [in a restrained angry voice:] “No, I’m not mad!”
(Gary): But anyway, so I’ve just been working primarily on wireframing 3 rooms because there’s just this long list of rooms.
I think there’s in the neighborhood of about 70 total rooms in the game…
(Ron): There’s 78.
(Gary): Okay, well, give or take a few. And so I would say we’re maybe… I’ll go out on a limb and say we’re about halfway through that or a little over halfway through that right now.
(Ron): Yeah, that that feels about right.
(Gary): Yeah, and what we’re trying to do, is sort of finish getting all of the wireframing together by the end of this month, so we can actually walk through the entire game from start to finish.
You won’t be able to do everything but you’ll be able to sort of have a contiguous continuity in terms of walking from place to place, which lets us understand how spatially the map works and whether or not players can sort of understand how they’re getting from point A to point B. I think it’s working out, I mean there’s a few things we’ll have to modify but overall it feels like it’s fairly solid.
The other thing is that, in addition to doing that - which is basically what I’m doing right now - this week I’m kind of… Last week I worked on the manor house stuff, the mansion stuff that’s like related to the house that we have in the game and then this week I’ve been working on the hotel. And the hotel is a little bit more complicated just because of the expansiveness of the scale of rooms inside of the hotel, at least in terms of things like the entryway or ballrooms where Thimblecon takes place and stuff like that. So that’s all coming together. I think it’s… actually some of it is looking pretty funny to me. I’m you know… I don’t know if we’ll post any of that I want to make sure, obviously, that everything we do is spoiler-free and just to anybody who is listening: everything we’re telling you right now is 100% spoiler-free at this point in time.
(Ron):Yeah, I got the room - I guess the hotel floor - I got that wired in and I wired in the elevator, so you can actually push the buttons [Gary: oh, cool] and the elevator doors open and you can walk in the elevator and… You can’t actually take the elevator anywhere, yet, but the elevator is actually functioning and that was pretty cool. For some reason I love elevators in adventure games, I don’t know why.
(Gary): Did you put up a more recent build that has all that in it yet or not?
(Ron): No, the build… I think the last build you had crashed…
(Gary): [it did]
(Ron): … so I need to do a new build. I’ll do a new build as soon as we’re done with the call.
(Gary): OK, cool!
And then the other thing I’m doing is: I’m looking at other resources relative to both working inside of the game but also we’re starting to look at all the ancillary materials for the games. So as we mentioned previously, Ken Macklin 4 has been working on the cover 5 . We’ve been going back and forth with him. He has a new round of layouts- we will probably post some of those. I did have a conversation with Ken and he’s willing to write a couple blog posts on ThimbleweedPark.com, so we’ll be able to have something from Ken directly about his process up there.
And then I’m going to be working with a couple of graphic designers or mainly one graphic designer I’m not gonna name names right now because I’m still working that out 6 , but we’ll be working to sort of develop the actual logos for the printed materials for the box and for the poster and things like that, as well as coming up with a logo for Terrible Toybox 7 , which is our company.
So that’s kind of what I’m doing right now.
(Ron): OK, sounds good!
(Gary): OK, all right, well I guess I will talk to you and anybody else who cares to listen next week!
(Ron): All right, see you around!
(Gary): OK, bye.
5: In the end, Ken Macklin did not create the final box artwork as he had other contractual obligations that prevented him to complete the work on TWP.
6: Who’s that graphic designer working on the game logo?
7: Did the logo of Terrible Toybox ever got used?