Nerd Alert

Apr 19, 2020

Crafting Interpreters

I hope everyone is doing well and staying safe.

As a fairly extreme introvert, all this stay-at-home social distancing isn't much change for me. Most restaurants are offering "no contact" delivery where they place the food at your door, ring the doorbell, then leave. I like this. I hope this practice continues after the apocalypse.

Eric Apr 19, 2020
Me too.. me too.

While the rest of the world is figuring out how to cope with 'not going out', I've had an advantage where it hasn't really affected me that much.

Hope you're doing well Ron.

By the way, I've been curious for a long time about things, would you ever do an AMA? (Questions)

I'd be curious to know how old you were when you first 'hit it big' (and I suppose, I'd like to know which game you'd consider was the 'making it' moment).

I'd love to know how the revenue is for you... are you retired? Do you still get income from previous titles (enough to never work again?) I might be wrong but I get the feeling that you don't need to ever create another game... but you're still thinking about it because it's something you like to do (or maybe it's just all you know how to do).

And of course, I'd love to know if you have one in progress (and how far along it is, if so).

Cheers Ron, stay safe.

- Eric

p.s. A random guy on the internet that grew up playing your games and is still a fan 2-3 decades later.

Ron Gilbert Apr 19, 2020
1) I was 22-23ish when Maniac Mansion came out. I don't know if that's considered "hitting it big".
2) Not even closes to being able to retire.  TWP is the only game I've ever received royalties on.  Never made anything on the Lucas games.  It's why I swore to never work on a game I didn't own. I am tried of making other people rich. But, even if I was rich and didn't have to work, I still would. I don't know if I'd being doing anything different.

Someone Apr 21, 2020
I feel absolutely the same! :-D So thankfully I'm not alone. We introverts seem to be a minority, sadly. So thanks Ron and Eric. 😀

Joel Apr 21, 2020
Disney's losing money fast in this apocalypse. Now's the perfect time to negotiate with them over your IP.

blombo Apr 21, 2020
Thanks for the link Ron, really interesting stuff.

I thought (and hoped) the Humoungous sale made you financially secure once and for all.
I'd swear I read you own a pilot licence and even a plane at some point, or is my memory making stuff up again?

Eric Apr 21, 2020
Thanks Ron!

So what you're saying is you peaked at 22?

heheh just kidding!

I appreciate the answers. I bet people barely understood what a computer game was back then and what kind of impact your title would have on the industry. While it sounds as if you didn't get compensated appropriately for your contributions at Lucas, you definitely build yourself up a name (and a marketable brand).

I'm looking forward to the 'next thing', whatever that may be.


- Eric

Luis F. García de Pedro Apr 22, 2020
Are you working on a new game. I just played Thimbleweed Park and it is fabulous. I think I've fallen in love with Delores. Send her kisses.

Patrick Apr 26, 2020
Dear Ron,
Having spent three years since its launch, I was wondering if Thimbleweed Park has been successful enough to justify all the work that you and your team have put into it. It is not easy to get great graphic adventures today, you can not imagine the anxiety with which I hope that new ones will be published.

wysiwtf Apr 29, 2020
Im an introvert too and I felt like you at first. Now, after aprox 6 weeks of lockdown I take any chance I get to get out a bit, just to embrace the fact that im not the only living being on the planet (and get some fresh air for a change).
Also real social contacts are important. I know thats not what you want to hear and they can be very very exhausting for us if applied in larger quantities but I think we also need to be careful to not give in to our comfort zone too much and isolate even more.
We should be good examples of how _not_ to get mad in isolation and keeping contacts and telling our friends and beloved ones how much we miss them.
This is not a competition between intro- and extroverts which just turned to our favour, we need to make it work for everyone and ourselfes as well - now and in the long run.

But its also great that we are still able to see some good in this, it sure helps at keeping sane.

Stay healthy Ron and folks. And don't eat too much Junkfood now! ;-)

Bashar May 04, 2020
Oh god, same. I sense lockdown getting to people, as they start sending me more and more Whatsapp spam, and their quality of content obviously deteriorates since they run out of good things to share.

On the other hand, this has spared me of finding excuses to go out. Having to drive my daughter daily to school. And feeling guilty when I don't want to take them out. Only thing I lost was playing football. But I'm at peace with that.

I do feel bad for those who aren't accustomed to it. It must be so painful.

Lasse May 04, 2020
I feel largely the same as an introvert.  Though as someone who works as a chef this is a very challenging time for that particular industry.

Speaking of Maniac Mansion, it kinda baffles me how incredibly ambitious design it was for the time AND for your first adventure game too.. having several characters to choose from that affected how some of the puzzles played out etc making it far more replayable than vast majority of adventure games.  
Was it a massive challenge to get it all properly working and tested or did the development go smoothly?  
Did you at times wish you would have gone for more simple and straightforward design?
How difficult was this to fit it all into the 64k of memory of the C64?
AFAIR the Sierra AGI games required 128k to just run which is partly why they never ported their stuff for C64.

My favourite adventure game is Lechuck's Revenge but Maniac Mansion is definitely something very special.

Anyway, stay safe Ron, love your work.

Fred Berry May 05, 2020
So, the time has come, my dear Ron...

Since a long time, I have been yearning to talk to you, first things first. Case of the Rose Tatoo is the best game there is. Then Noir. Nevertheless, I have been haunted by a primordial question all these years:

What are the difference between linear and non- linear adventure games?

Could you explain it to me?

Thank you.

I also have a novel to recommend, here is the link:
Maybe it will help to clear your mind.

P.D: You are Chris Farley, and I loved Beverly Hills Ninja, thank you for your work, kept me alive, but I am fonder of John Belushi.

Re P.D: I never played Maniac Mansion because I don't like to die.

Jorge May 05, 2020
Hi Ron,

The same here XD

I was 3 weeks in obligatory quarantine and didn't noticed ;) though it meant changes.
Now that it ended a couple of weeks ago, I've hardly gone out (I haven't much reason to either).

That thing of leaving the order and leave XD hasn't happened here yet. I don't know.. my wife does that part; but I suspect I'd come to like it too!

Spoke to you a kid in South America who played Maniac Mansion (and all others) on
a C64 back in the day.. (hey, if you were 22 we're not that far apart! hehe, amazing).

And amazing games.. Thanks.

Got Thimbleweed Park last year; it's been decades since I bought a game! Wonderful.. truely.
and I absolutely love the music! :P

Buzzo May 08, 2020
Whew, I finally caught up! Been in love with your games and adventure games in general for some years now (I'm 20, so I clearly wasn't there when they released) and discovered your blog a few weeks ago. Read every single post. A lot of them were great thoughts about game design that actually made me change some of my own thoughts about how to play "those pixel hunting adventures" in the modern time (And a whole other bunch of them were just some day-to-day fun-having and WoW playing. Love it). Just commenting to thank you for all that you've done, Mr. Gilbert. Greetings from Brazil! Hope you're well :)

Johnny Walker May 17, 2020
Thanks for that link. It's exactly what I've been looking for. Seems like a really well written book! Can't wait to work my way through it. When are you going to do some posts/videos on your approach to an adventure games scripting language? :)

Also, surely Humungous give you some royalties? Or the sale at least put you in a good financial place? Seems crazy that a game creator doesn't ever get royalties!