Thimbleweed Park Podcast #15
“Our most boring podcast yet… or is it? Yes… yes it is.”
Original airdate July 25, 2015
Transcribed by Besmaller
(Ron:) Hi! This is Ron Gilbert and welcome to the Thimbleweed Park stand-up meeting podcast. Each week David and Gary and I talk about what we did last week and what we’re gonna do next week. And I am here with David…
(Ron:) …and Gary.
(Ron:) So, I think this week we’ll start with me, because I rarely ever get to start these things. Usually it’s one of you, so this week we’re going to start with me. So last week I did a lot of writing at dialogs. I think that was the main thing I did, I made some changes to the opening dialog you do, and I also worked on a dialog that you have when you go into the diner for the very first time. That one was a little bit tricky. I talked about this a little bit on the blog, but that was a tricky one because that’s the one that introduces one of the first playable characters as a flashback and I just kind of wanted to figure out how that those little flashback things are gonna happen. So I messed around with that one a whole bunch. It took me a little bit longer than I wanted to do.
I’ve been doing the system tweaks for Mark’s art. It is sometimes a challenge to integrate technically, because he does lots of really weird, yet cool things. One of the things we had to do is we used to have four different parallax layers that could happen but we had to bump that up to seven parallax layers because Mark was just doing a lot of stuff in his art that we had not anticipated, which is good.
I’m re-looking at the budget. I think budgets are one of those things that’s just a never-ending process, you know, you don’t do a budget at the beginning and then forget about your budget. So I just want to re-look at the budget again.
I worked with Malcolm on more lighting stuff, and he is also jumping into the DirectX code for the Windows version.
And then next week [I’m] probably gonna look at walk boxes again with Malcolm and just figure out a better way to deal with this traversal. They work but they’re not elegant 1 and I’d really like to fix those.
And also next week, I’m going to be off. Well, I guess not next week, [but the] week after that I’m going to Gamescom, so I’ll be getting ready for that trip.
(David:) Yeah. So, last week I started by removing most of the rooms that we cut. So [I] kind of put them in an archive area, but rewired the adjacent rooms so that when you walk from one to the other, either it’s not there, or you go to one where we cut one in the middle. And, the ones I didn’t do yet are the ones where it doesn’t make sense yet because we don’t have new art or there are some other issues. I took Mark’s final art for the opening scene and - well, Ron just talked about because of the number of parallax layers- and we probably could have done it with fewer layers, but it just looks so beautiful to have all those layers there that I didn’t want to waste the way he did it. So, that’s why Ron increased it. And I got to write my first dialog and I really got into it. And it’s funny when you start writing dialog for your character you start writing stuff that you didn’t know about them. And some of it we’ll probably keep, some we won’t. But it just really creates more of a relationship. This one happened to be between the two agents so I kind of get an idea of what the interplay is between them. And I way over-engineered it. I was doing all sorts of testing and trying to see how this would work and how you would do all these checks and whether you should say this line or that line. It seems to work without any bugs and I had a lot of fun doing it, so it was great.
(Ron:) Doing dialogs is fun.
(Ron:) I really, really enjoy those. I find the dialogs, at least the system that we’re using for the dialogs, it’s like half being a writer, half being a programmer. Because you’re doing all this logic that’s going on with the dialog so your left brain is engaged as much as your right brain is when you’re doing dialog. I always find that to be a lot of fun.
(David:) Yeah, and when it starts flowing and stuff starts coming out and you start laughing out loud when you write, then you know that you’ve got something that’s really fun.
(Ron:) Great. Gary?
(Gary:) Okay, so… by the way, what I’d like to do is make sure I get a current build from you guys because it’s sort of evolving every day. And since Ron - I guess - Ron and David, you guys share builds between each other pretty quickly but Ron has to build a special build for me because I’m not as engineering savvy, or some damn thing or not connected. So I’d like to get a current build of the game. That would be cool to see especially since dialog’s being written right now. I mean, is that stuff actually in the version of the game we have?
(Ron:) Yeah it should be. I’ll do your build as soon as we are off the podcast.
(Gary:) OK, great. That would be terrific. So, I’ve been working on a few things this week - mainly taking things that exist and sort of refurbishing them and doing some new versions and passes.
In case anybody hasn’t heard, the version of the icons in the game is not final at this point in time. 2
(Ron:) Oh really? I thought they were final.
(Gary:) Yeah. I don’t know, I mean, you know… And if I was to ask anybody… I was told not to ask anybody if they were final.
So anyway, working on taking icons that we had existing - [in] the wireframe, I think there’s about 120-125 icons, and that’s actually inventory icons, that’s not all the icons in the game yet- those I wanted to do in more of a Monkey Island style. I had done these flat 2D icons very quickly… relatively quickly. And now, I need to sort of take those and do a version that’s more three-dimensional and more fully rendered so it looks like it actually fits into the world. Especially the world that’s existing as we created - with Mark’s backgrounds. Additionally, regarding that, I’m taking the characters as well and going back and doing some rendering tests on them to make sure that we can get something that, once again, fits more seamlessly into the world. And that does not really mean necessarily redesigning any characters, so much as doing some rendering tests on them to add clothes that have more rendering and shading, and maybe some folds and things - that feel like they actually kind of live in the same environment. Because Mark’s stuff is very rich and lushly rendered and I want to make sure -I think we want to make sure- that this stuff meshes properly. So working on that as well. That’s pretty much it right now.
(Ron:) All right. Nice short podcast.
We’ve been trying to get Mark on, but there’s always been some kind of an issue - either technical or scheduling, that has prevented Mark from showing up. But Mark will definitely be on - I think on the 14th. 3 I think that’s all set up. So, Mark will be on on the 14th, joining us on the podcast.
(Gary:) He really does exist.
(David:) Yeah. I was gonna ask that. Are you sure he exists?
(Ron:) [laughs] Yeah, he’s just a made-up person.
(Gary:) Yeah, I mean, there are people who actually suggested that Ron is doing Mark’s work.
(Ron:) [laughs] Yeah, there’s no way I could do Mark’s job.
(David:) I was thinking, maybe there was like this co-op of artists, who all have the name Mark Ferrari, independently or together as a group, and they’re the ones who are all working together on these rooms. So it’s not really an individual.
(Gary:) One other quick thing I’ll say about Mark. I did notice on a couple of things, especially on the post regarding the Quickie Pal, people are wondering how long it takes him to do a room. (And) I think it varies but as Mark gets into production it doesn’t take him weeks to do a room. Mark can knock out a couple of those rooms a week and as we get moving even faster into production, it’ll be more then.
(David:) So, the rooms that he has already done an early version [for] in black and white - those go faster too, than the ones where he has to start from scratch.
(Ron:) Okay. Well, I guess on the 14th we will hear from Mark himself about all this stuff. All right, thanks guys.
(David:) OK, all right.
(Gary:) You take care, bye.
(David:) Bye bye.
2: https://blog.thimbleweedpark.com/inventory_icons and https://blog.thimbleweedpark.com/quickiepal
3: Mark makes his podcast debut in Episode 16, just a week later.