Thimbleweed Park Podcast #68 (part 1/2)
“The last Thimbleweed Park podcast.”
Original airdate April 2, 2018
Transcribed by Sushi
(Ron:) Hi, I’m Ron Gilbert and welcome to the Thimbleweed Park Standup Meeting Podcast! This is a very special podcast because we released almost a year ago today. I think the last podcast we did was right after or maybe right before the game shipped, so it has been quite a while 1 . And as always, I am joined by David Fox…
(David:) Hey there!
(Ron:) … and Gary Winnick.
(Gary:) Hello everyone.
(Ron:) So, it’s been a year!
(David:) It just seems like 25 years ago.
(Ron:) [laughs] We’ll do our next adventure game together in 25 years. So like every 25 years the three of us will get together and we’ll make an adventure game.
(Gary:) Yeah and then like our heads are in glass, like on Futurama, we’ll get together and do that.
(David:) As long as you can hire someone to type, I’ll probably have arthritis by then.
(Gary:) Nah, your mustache will be able to do that, David. Because the nanotechnology in your mustache before then will allow it to move freely.
(Gary:) It’ll fly off your body and attack people and stuff like that.
(Ron:) The latest adventure game from Ron Gilbert, Gary Winnick and David’s mustache!
[They all laugh]
(David:) Yes, I am planning to have it frozen in ice and saved for …
(Ron:) [laughs] Is your tombstone just going to have a big mustache on it?
(David:) We should go back and modify the game and add one.
(Gary:) Hey Ron, there should have been a checkbox for mustaches or no mustaches and then all the characters will either have mustaches or not. Maybe for next time.
(Ron:) So, this is our 1-year anniversary podcast and I’m not sure what to talk about, since we don’t actually have a game that we are working on and we’re talking about what we’re doing on the game. So I’m not sure what the topic of our 1-year anniversary podcast should really be…
(David:) Maybe… It’s an anniversary since we launched, but it’s not really a year since we stopped working on it.
(Ron:) No, that’s the downside to modern game development: I have been… I think I actually stopped working on the game when we shipped the Ransome DLC. It’s like when we shipped that, I have actually been able to relax and work on some private projects and stuff.
(Gary:) I keep saying “why does Ron keep building shit that breaks and stuff like that?” So you’ll have a job, I guess!
(Ron:) Job security.
(David:) That was just shipped, what, a month ago?
(David:) OK. So, you have been on it up until the last month.
(Ron:) Almost. It wasn’t full-time. I was probably on it pretty much full-time until we shipped the Switch version, that was the last version we released. So I was pretty much full-time until the Switch came out and then I was… I took a little bit time off and did some stuff and then started doing the Ransome stuff. I mean, the Ransome DLC should have been done a lot earlier. It just turned into a really much more complicated job than I anticipated it being. Mostly just because of the edge cases, you know, there is lots of weird places that it was just kind of breaking, so I spent a lot more time working on the Ransome flashback.
(David:) You mean you didn’t just trow all the old files in and…
(Gary:) …just push button?
(David:) …push button?
(Ron:) [laughs] Aww, now your being mean, David.
(Gary:) It’s just another problem with Ron’s engine that he couldn’t just push a button to do that. It’s Ron’s fault all the way around here.
(Ron:) Yeah, we pretty much had to charge $1.99 for it because of my sheer incompetence.
[Gary and David laugh]
(David:) I was helping for that too. I think I spent like a week reviewing all the files and make sure we had them all and there were issues were we use the same recording in a couple of places but didn’t have copies of it, so there were bugs where he’d started beeping instead of swearing in a few places.
(Ron:) We also spent a lot of time testing that too.
(David:) Yeah, it took a lot of time.
(Ron:) As well Katerina and Robert pounding on that for quite a while because there were just lots of issues. Doing that DLC was not just a matter of copying some files over.
(Gary:) Ron, I have a question for you that you may or may not answer. In any case, regarding the Limited Run games deal, is that something where they approached us or what? How did that come about?
(Ron:) Yeah, they approached us. They came to us and wanted to know whether we wanted to do the limited run stuff with them. And I think they’ve never done Switch before, so Thimbleweed Park will be the very first game that they have ever done on Switch.
(Gary:) So that means they’ll never do another one, right?
(David:) Heh heh… Or if people who have Switches out there do want more, then they’d better buy Thimbleweed Park to prove how important it is.
(Gary:) Yeah. Buy twelve copies at least. They can pre-order and I believe there is not a quantity limit on that, right?
(Ron:) I am not exactly sure how it works, since Jenn set everything up mostly, so she’s the one that most of that work. But I think there were an unlimited number of Switch pre-orders but then once that’s done, there is kind of a limited number of things after that. I don’t quite know how the whole thing works with Limited Run, I think it’s just great that we are on physical media.
(Gary:) And then in terms of the PC and big box, you can still get that from Fangamer? They will do that to as many orders as they get, I guess.
(Ron:) Yeah, I mean there’s two big box versions. There’s the Switch and the PS big box collector’s editions: those are limited. But the normal PC version of Thimbleweed Park through fangamer isn’t. If the demand is there, they’ll probably keep making those boxes.
(David:) So, are we gonna do like an iOS hard copy? Like ship an iPhone with it built in?
(Ron:) Yes! It’s a $1000 copy. You get an iPhone X, pre-installed with Thimbleweed Park. Burnt into ROM, you can’t even delete it!
[Gary and David laugh]
(Ron:) It’s kinda like their calculator. You just can’t delete Thimbleweed Park from the phone.
(David:) Have the Thimbleweed launch screen on it and background screens.
(Gary:) Oh, you mean it has like a Thimbleweed Park outer box case that has it printed on there.
(Ron:) Yeah, it’s the ThimblephoneTM!
(David:) And add a bunch of Ransome sound effects for beeps and…
(Ron:) The ring tones? So the ring tones are ALL Ransome swearing. It’s the only ringtone they offer.
(David:) “Pick up the god-damn phone!”
(Gary:) You know, there’s probably a market out there for 4 of those at least, Ron.
(Ron:) Well, Ray has that big chunky 1980s cellular phone. We should make a Thimbleweed Park one of those.
(David:) How about just an iPhone case in the shape of one of those old phones?
(Ron:) Now, that’s… that we could… That would be a big case.
(David:) Yeah [David and Ron start laughing]. The bell truck.
(Gary:) David, and people wonder why you are not like out designing products ?
(Gary:) Do we want to talk about what we are working on now or what?
(Ron:) Yeah, we could talk about that. Or what we are not working on now.
(Gary:) Assuming we are actually doing something else besides this, if you know what I mean.
(Ron:) So what are you working on, David?
(David:) Well, let’s see… I feel like I went into hibernation mode afterwards, just relaxing, sleeping more, watching more [TV], catching up on all the TV shows that I missed over the period. And also because of Apple’s iOS, they made that change where you had to ship 64-bit compatible.
(Ron:) Oh yeah.
(David:) So I had to go back to all the old apps I shipped and redo those in 64-bit and that broke something in the Rube Goldberg one and I had to find workarounds. So I was in a kind of production mini hell for a few months, trying to get them out before Apple was going to remove them from the store. So it’s old stuff, really. I had been doing editing podcasts for Annie, for my wife, and I think the last one I had done was back in July before we were in crunch mode, so I went back to things she recorded like a year ago and caught up on all those. And it’s really just catch-up mode.
(Ron:) Do your laundry, stuff like that? Stuff you didn’t do during the entire project?
(David:) I’m really good at laundry. I do that, I’m the laundry guy in the house. And the dog poop in the backyard, cleaning it up, so we are okay there.
(Ron:) [laughs] I let the rain deal with the dog poop in my backyard.
(David:) Well, unfortunately, we are downhill and the slope is uphill so it would just rain down into our front porch if we did that, so that wouldn’t be too cool.
What was the other thing… oh yeah! I’ve always been interested in Virtual Reality and all that, so I’ve been going to more meetups. I’ve not purchased equipment yet, but I’ve been researching a lot there.
I went to Universal Studios in Florida again to check out the Harry Potter thing a second time. Took Annie [with me] this time.
(Ron:) You and Harry Potter…
(David:) Yeah, I still like it. It was really fun.
(Gary:) You are one of the six people who still like that.
(David:) There’s also this place called “The Void”, which is a VR location based entertainment center, where you actually go and they have a physical space setup to match the virtual space. So like, they have a Star Wars game and if you see a bench, you can actually walk up to the bench and sit down on it. And if you see guns on the rack, there’s actually guns on the rack and you can pick them up. So it’s a melding of physical with what you see virtually. That was pretty cool. I really enjoyed it the first time. The second time I did it, right afterwards, it wasn’t as fun, because it wasn’t deep. It’s pretty much they did it for a one-off and if you went through it faster, it just ended faster.
(Ron:) Kinda like an adventure game.
(Gary:) So Ron, you still consider doing that Oculus Rift version of Thimbleweed Park maybe someday?
(Ron:) Well, I think that would be fun to do, but I just don’t know that I’m going to get around to it. I certainly don’t have the experience to go do that.
(David:) Yeah, I did the screens for the Viewmaster version, what we call the Thimble…erm… What we call that?
(Ron:) The ViewTron TM
(David:) And all these things I didn’t think of before were issues… you basically have to make sure that their feet are always hidden by foreground stuff.
(David:) Otherwise, they’d be floating. So I had to go back and add crap on the foreground so you never see their feet on the ground, since it wouldn’t look like it’s perfect. I think it is harder than we thought it would be to do.
(Ron:) Yes, that could be.
(David:) But it was fun, though.
So that’s pretty much what I’ve been doing. No new projects I’m working on yet, full-time, just kind of catching up on old stuff.
(Ron:) What about you, Gary?
(Gary:) OK. So I have been messing around with comic book stuff. Actually, it is interesting when David said he’s looking at stuff he hadn’t touched for a long time, I actually had this comic book idea when I worked at Lucasfilm, for this comic book that looked like a comic from the 1960s. It’s called “The Variants” and I actually worked on it with my friend Brent Anderson 2 , who’s a fairly known comic book guy.
(Ron:) You know that Lucasfilm owns that, and now Disney owns that idea.
(Gary:) Yeah. Sure.
(Ron:) You are going to get a cease and desist letter that you can no longer work on that comic book.
(Gary:) [laughs] Well, it’s too late. Because I finished it! But in any case, it’s something that I think Jenn might post a picture of it on one of our updates coming up, because I gave her one. And it’s a weird thing, because what I’ve decided to do is to print this comic book and have it look like an old comic book from the 1960s and sell it for a quarter. This is my great business sense at work. So I went out and printed this thing and it cost me $3 a piece to print these.
(Ron:) And you are going to sell them for a quarter?
(David:) Ha ha hah!
(Ron:) [breaks up in laughter]
(Gary:) So I have them actually in two comic book stores, because I can’t even get into the regular distribution channels with this. Because Diamond 3 I think wants to take like some percentage and they don’t want to take a percentage of something that is selling for a quarter, if you know what I mean. Because everybody’s losing money and they don’t want to lose money along with me. So I put it in two comic book stores: my friend Joe Ferrara who’s at Atlantis in Santa Cruz 4 and my other friend Alan [Bahr] who has Heroes in Campbell, California 5 . Those are the only two places you can get it. It’s called The Variants. It’s a quarter. And it looks a quarter annual comics book that came out in 1960. I will probably…
(Ron:) Have you sold any?
(Gary:) Yeah, actually! [laughs]
(Ron:) So you are rolling in the quarters.
(Gary:) Actually, I am letting those guys keep the quarters [Ron and David laugh] in order to have it compensate them for even bothering to put it on their shelf space.
(Ron:) Wow! So your business sense REALLY is bad, Gary! Not only are you charging a quarter for a three dollar comic, you’re letting them keep all the money.
(Gary:) That’s right. Because…
(David:) Support your local comic book store!
(Gary:) 'Cause I don’t know. I’ll figure out what to do about it. But like I said, it is in those two places. I’m going to do some sort of a posting about it eventually. If you guys think it makes sense, I’ll do a posting on it on our blog at some point in time.
(David:) You should just put the PDF online and then let people buy it directly to you for a quarter. And print it out themselves.
(Gary:) I might put it out through ComiXology and that way I think I’ll make a whole 13 cents a download or something. You know, there’s big money in those downloads, Ron!
(Ron:) I’ve heard that.
(Gary:) So that is what I’ve been doing.
Oh. That and we got a new puppy and unlike Ron, we do have to clean up the poop because it’s all over our house.
(Ron:) Well, you have a puppy. When Pep was a puppy, we were definitively cleaning up poop around the house.
(Gary:) So… other than that, things are going great! [laughs]
(Ron:) All right.
So, let’s see. What have I been doing? I’ve been working an a little top-down view RPG game. That’s been most of my time. I had a weird little story in mind and it’s a kind of a story that doesn’t really work as an adventure game, it works much better as a little RPG-type thing. So I’ve been screwing around with that, but mostly I just been having fun programming up the stuff. I just really enjoy programming. I don’t know if the game will ever amount to anything, but I’ll probably spend another month or so working on it. Still a little bit of Thimbleweed stuff, mostly just around getting sales and promotions and stuff like that to figure out. But that’s pretty much…
(Gary:) Are you still planning to do any shows, Ron, or any conferences?
(Ron:) No. I think we are done. I am going to some conference in May that is in Norway.
(Ron:) I’m going to that, but that’s the only thing I’ve planned. We are not going to do anything for Thimbleweed Park, like we won’t be at PAX this year or any stuff like that, so. You know, those PAX shows are a LOT of work.
(Gary:) Oh yeah.
(Ron:) I mean most of that work Jenn did, she’s really really good at that stuff. But it is just a lot of work to go to a show like that and I don’t know if it would be hugely beneficial to us to do shows with Thimbleweed Park at this point.
(Gary:) That reminds I’d like to give a shout out to Jenn and Robert and everybody on our team who’s continuing to do great stuff for us.
(Ron:) Yeah, everyone has been great. Especially Rob and Katrina have been wonderful, because stuff will come up with product support, you know someone will try and run the game on some strange Linux flavor or whatever and they both kind of jump on it and try to figure out what is going on and fix it. So the team is still working and I would imagine that we’ll probably still be working on the game for another year. Just on this low-level tech support type stuff and promotions and little low-level marketing type things. I mean, that kind of stuff never ends, right? You can’t just forget about the game, because then it really will just go to sell one or two copies a day.
(Gary:) Ron, I have question for you. Relative to things you have done in the past - because now, we are pretty much, aside from a few physical copies that are collector’s things, everything is completely digital download on all these different platforms - do you find that this feels much different to you than the last things you’ve done or when you were doing The Cave and stuff, was that still part of the way this worked or is this really a different kind of experience?
(Ron:) Certainly different than The Cave was. Because [for] The Cave, I didn’t have to deal with any of the marketing and sales issues. So once I was done with the game, I was really done with the game. Whereas this game, I am still dealing with a lot of the issues about, when it goes on sale, when it doesn’t go on sale, how much does it go on sale, should we be a part of this promotion, you know, Nintendo is doing some promotion in Spain and they want to know whether we want to be involved on that. Those are the kind of things that- you know Jenn does a lot of dealing with that stuff- but I deal with that a little bit as well. Like I said, that stuff is just going to keep going, it almost never ends.
(Gary:) And in actuality, people don’t necessarily realize, I guess, since we are an indie publisher, we actually have a real company that has to fill out real paper work and pay real taxes and all this other crap…
(Ron:) Hah! Taxes…
(Gary:) And actually Ron has handled a great deal of that stuff. I mean, we do have accountants and lawyers and crap like that, but there is just a ton of other stuff associated with that that a human being who’s responsible as “the president of the company” or “the chairman of the board” has to deal with all this stuff.
(Ron:) Well, I’ve engineered everything with taxes, so you are the one that is going to go to prison.
(Gary:) Well, like I said, I’m just gonna go “Hey look, I paid 3 dollars for this comic book and I sold it for a quarter and I let the guy who sold it keep the quarters.” So do the math, IRS!
(Ron:) I am sure you violated some tax law doing that.
(Gary:) The you-are-not-allowed-to-NOT-make-money-on-stuff ordinance that the government. The new government ordinance that came into effect recently because of…
(Ron:) But I think that is an interesting point that Gary brings up. You know, when you’re doing stuff like this, for any indie developer, it is not just about making a game. Because you probably have a little company, it might be an LLC or something that you’ve got and there’s just a lot of work that goes into that. There’s a lot of bookkeeping and there’s a lot of taxes and there’s a lot of all this kind of stuff that we have to deal with. It’s like we have a bookkeeper, you know we pay a bookkeeper just because I don’t know anything about that kind of stuff and we pay a tax accountant and we pay lawyers and all these types of things you have to do that go along with actually making a game. I think I would be much happier if all I did was just make a game, but there’s all these other things that go along with it and I think that’s where indie developers are wearing so many hats. They are business people and they’re marketing people and they’re sales people and they’re programmers or they’re artists, and they’re just all of these things at once.
(David:) Well, you have that experience with Humongous too, didn’t you?
(Ron:) Well, you know, in their early days Humongous grew fairly quickly to the point that we hired an in-house accountant and we hired sales people and hired marketing people and so I was involved in that stuff and very aware of that stuff, but I didn’t actually have to do that stuff myself. Where with Terrible Toybox, a lot of that stuff is falling on this very small team of people to do and in a lot of respects we are learning this stuff for the first time. I mean, I never dealt with Steam and sales and promotions and I am just floundering around that with everyone else.
(Gary:) I’ll say it outloud, Ron, I am impressed with the job you’ve done with all the stuff, having seen it a lot more than people who are not intimately involved in the day-to-day operation of this company, I am pretty impressed. I know that one day, you just want to have a company that’s nothing but just accountants and overhead.
(Ron:) [laughs] Yeah, that’s my dream.
(David:) Yeah, and I think that you’ve done a great job of keeping it in the forefront, between the sales and the special releases, the physical verisions of it, all the goodies people can buy - ThimbleTron stuff or whatever, the record, a lot of which I had no idea you were working on. I didn’t realize until it was anounced and it was “Oh! An LP! Well, that’s cool.”
(Gary:) Yeah, Ron are we gonna get all this crap or what?
(Ron:) Yeah, we should. You should definitely talk to Jenn if you haven’t, but I know that she has some of that stuff.
(Gary:) Well, she’ll listen to this and go “Oh!”. [Ron laughs] She’s very efficient, you know?
(David:) I still haven’t opened my box.
(Gary:) Oh, I haven’t opened mine. I’m not gonna open it!
(Ron:) Oh, the PC box?
(Gary:) I have it next to my sealed Monkey Island and sealed Maniac Mansion, just as David has it next to his sealed Zak McKracken.
(David:) Uh-huh… yeah… I should have bought a box of these. I wish I had done that back when our old games came out.
(Ron:) I don’t think I have a Zak. I’m just kinda looking at my … Oh, no I don’t have a Zak.
(David:) I don’t even know if I have sealed copies of most of those. I have a few of each game that we worked on.
(Ron:) I have a sealed Loom and I have a sealed original Monkey Island - this is like the 16-color Monkey Island.
(Gary:) OK, I have a sealed Rescue on Fractalus and a sealed Coronis Rift here, and a sealed Ballblazer, a sealed …
(Ron:) Really? You know, I don’t have any Coronis Rifts. I don’t have anything like that. I’m really the opposite of a pack rat. I hoarded a lot of Thimbleweed Park stuff because I realized that I just don’t have any of that stuff. Like I don’t own a single Humongous Entertainment game.
(Ron:) Of all of those games we made and all those different boxes, I don’t own a single one of those. So I kinda hoarded a lot of Thimbleweed Park stuff.
(Gary:) Yeah, so after you’re dead and mummified, people will be going through the storage locker and go "oh look, there’s a big box of what the hell is this?
(Ron:) No, I’m gonna be buried with it all, so I can take it into the afterlife. [Gary and David laugh]
(David:) So, I just want to talk about one of the biggest differences for me on this game and any game I’ve worked on, especially the games back in the old days - and I mentioned this before- was the immediate feedback we get and often…
(Ron:) Good and bad!
(David:) …good and bad. I’d say more good. I mean, the bad I tend to ignore it, but I spend maybe, I don’t know, half an
hour on Twitter every day still between Thimbleweed Park stuff and looking at Rube Works and just to see what people are saying [dog barking (Pep?)] and sometimes interact them and that’s really cool. And it’s really cool as I also get feedback from people who played our games way back and people who were affected by those games and how many people ended up in the game industry because they were inspired by the games we used to do, which is mostly good I think. I think they are happy about that [laughs]. But it’s kinda cool, we never got that kind of feedback before.
(Ron:) No, not at all. There was very little direct interaction with people.
(David:) Sometimes, we get sales numbers but that was so divorced from reality of actually imagining that many people sitting and playing the game. So I like that. That’s one part I’ll probably continue doing for as long as there’s people talking about it, you know, just interact with people on Twitter. So, THANK YOU ALL!
(Gary:) Yeah, certainly I will second that in saying that it’s really nice to be able to get this immediate reaction which has been for the most part positive and it’s nice to be able to see stuff. I look every day, you know? I never spent this much time looking at something every day because I never had anything come out in this [way]…you know, now the way the world is and where something comes out and for a year, every single day there’s new stuff about it on the internet, which as I said has been generally positive.
(Ron:) Mostly. Yeah, I think it’s been overwhelmingly positive, right? I don’t think it’s like 51% of the people love the game and 49% of people hate and despise it. I think it has overwhelmingly been positive. I think the negative stuff for me, and I don’t tend to go trolling forums and stuff, but the negative stuff to me it stings sometimes when people are being negative about things that they either are misunderstanding or things that are just… I don’t know what the word is… like the Ransome DLC stuff, right? We got a lot of negative shit for the Ransome DLC and it’s just everybody worked very hard to do that DLC. It was not a matter of copying some files over and to have people just accuse us of of trying to screw them out of money or trying to do this or [that] or something that should have shipped with the original game. And just stuff like that kind of stings because it’s like, well, we actually spent a lot of time on this stuff and we didn’t ship an incomplete game and now we’re trying to do DLC and you know, the fact is if you don’t want to spend $1.99 to hear a clown swear…[in unison with Gary] DON’T spend the money, right? It’s like we weren’t trying to screw anyone over with this stuff and I think we have bent over backwards with people to help out and to be open and to be honest with this game and so that stuff stings. And I realize it’s a very very small number of people. It’s not like there’s this huge number of people, but when someone posts some big ranting thing on Steam about how we’re trying to screw everybodu over with the DLC, that stuff sticks, right? It sticks on the main page of Steam and it’s like “Oh, whay is that up there?”
(Gary:) People don’t take into account we did major upgrades like the arcade and other stuff like that that we just put in, the hint system, all of that stuff.
(Ron:) Yeah and that stuff was all free.
(Gary:) Which was a ton of work.
(David:) I guess I just mostly let that stuff brush off me. It irritates me for a second and then I just have to think “OK, this person…”. I mean, whenever I’ve interacted with someone who said that stuff, they’re amazed that they were actually heard and they get really humble and maybe a little embarrassed for having sped it off. I think that is the downside for social media that you can say whatever comes into your head before you really have a chance to think whether you should say that and what the ramifications are. Actually, would you say that, would they walk up to you on the street and say that? Probably not.
(Ron:) And I think that’s a really interesting point because there have been people who have just attacked me on Twitter or other places where if I was sitting with that person face to face, they would not be that way. But there is this weird…
(Ron:) …anonymity or removement that happens that you just lash out at people with stuff, rather than treating people a little more respectfully. And again, I don’t want to reiterate it, I think the vast majority of people are incredibly respectful. We get a lot of tech support emails from people and most of these people are very polite and they’re asking questions and we help them out. And the number of people that rant at us on that stuff is really small, I think it just kinda stings sometimes when I feel like… I mean there have been people who have ranted about stuff that I kind of agree with. Like people were kind of upset when the game first came out that the characters couldn’t talk to eachother, right? And I was like that was very valid, right? That was one of those things that we discussed a lot and ultimately didn’t do and that was my call to not to and that kind of stung because it’s like “yeah, you’re right…”. And we did an update for that stuff, but the stuff that I don’t agree with and just seems very vicious is the stuff that stings a little bit for me.
(David:) Well, often I’ll see a conversation between two or three people on Twitter amd where they’re complaining about something and one or two things could happen. If I pop in, since this is an open channel - people forget that anyone can see what they’re saying - then it transforms it immediately usually into a discussion where we actually talk about what worked and what didn’t work. Or often I’ll see someone else who’s a fan of the game jump in into the conversation and defend or maybe quote something that was said on the blog from one of our blogs or whatever.
(Gary:) Certainly, we support everybody having their own opinions and everything else and by the same token, you’re not going to make everybody happy and we just do the best we can, you know? We have to make ourselves happy first I think, that’s always part of good creative development. [It] is make yourself happy and hopefully other people will like it, but you have to be your own best critic.
[END OF PART 1 - read on below]
1: The previous “The Last TWP podcast” was #67, which aired on May 1st 2017, one month after the game was released.
Source for cover picture of The Variants comic http://www.garyart.net/