Delores AMA podcast

May 13, 2020

Succumbing to overwhelming requests, we've decide to record a special Delores podcast.

Also realizing that we're really bad at figuring out what to say, we've decided to make it a AMA podcast. But it's not just me doing it, so it more "us", so it's really a AUA podcast. And when I say "anything" I really mean anything about the new Delores game. So, I guess it's really a AUAAD podcast. Kind of rolls off the tongue, doesn't it.

Anyway...

Post your questions in the comments thread and Sat at 11am (PDT) we'll gather the best of the best and answer them and post the podcast on Monday. Please try and keep the questions about the new Delores game and not general TWP questions.

COMMENTS are now closed while I gather up all the questions.


Mat Williams May 13, 2020
Please can you release this on consoles. We need more Thimbleweed Park in these dark times.

Jack Stocking May 13, 2020
With this release, is there any chance of a full Thimbleweed Park sequel? The original TP was a joy to play from start to finish and I'd love the opportunity to jump back into that world or move into another adventure with those characters.

Sergio May 13, 2020
What were the main reasons to create a new engine from scratch? How much could you savage from the previous engine?

Greger May 13, 2020
Will you get the engine running on Linux as well? Even with the compatibility layers provided by Steam, that runs almost any game fine, it just dies. Luckily I have an old Windows machine, so I have tried it. Thanks!

Tiger May 13, 2020
- What did you expect as a response?
- You had an earlier post about camera code being hard. I suppose that is linked to this game, but what part of the coding made you specifically make this post?
- (sneaky question about TWP revenues): did Delores, even though it is free, already make you more money than TWP did?
- do you already know what your building towards, because of what you made this kind of tech demo?
- what did you learn from this game?

JP May 13, 2020
Without spoiling anything you're not comfortable spoiling, talk about your interest in stories where "reality is in doubt", eg the fourth wall breaking jokes, and the larger mysteries of the Monkey Island and Thimbleweed universes. What do you think is important to keep in mind when doing this kind of storytelling? Are there any particularly inspiring examples from games or other media you refer back to?

Francesco Favia May 13, 2020
When and how you came up with the plot for Dalores Adventure? What gave you the idea?

Zak Phoenix McKracken May 13, 2020
Interface ok, puzzles ok, and one of the best part of the games is... the ending credits! It's impossible not to read the credits until the bitter end. Who is the main responsible?? 😀

Zak Phoenix McKracken May 13, 2020
The above comment is mine (certified)

Chris Ainsley May 13, 2020
Why was the decision made to release the game for free? Was it always intended to be free or was it a late decision?

Bresus Cheezus May 14, 2020
Delores is my favorite TP character. What was your reasoning for selecting her as the protagonist for this prototype rather than one of the other TP characters? Were any others considered?  Additionally, was Delores (the character) inspired by anyone? Thank You!

Alejandro Garcia May 14, 2020
Amo el trabajo que hicieron, los aplaudo y los abrazo desde Argentina. I love the work you do, cheers and hugs from Argentina. So funny game, i love it.

Kenley Browne May 14, 2020
Love TWP and the Cave (as well as the fairly unknown Monkey series you did), and I know you have said in the past that the different verbs are super important to crafting unique and multi-faceted puzzles. In regards to the player interface in Delores, do you feel it lacks something in puzzle crafting compared to its verb based counterparts? Similar? Or just different?

Cheers! Here's to many more Kickstarter games from your corner!
- Kenley

Jim Maxwell May 14, 2020
When Delores worked for Mucasphlegm did she get to meet Mr. Mucas himself? I got to meet him when I worked at ILM. Big fan of you guys, thank you.

Mike Villasuso May 14, 2020
Is this game a gameplay test for an upcoming graphic adventure? Now that there are no action verbs, what are you looking to achieve? An easier time for touch devices users? (Right click for different verbs felt off, the wheel in the remasters from double fine felt better) Anyway, thank you for the great games!

Bo J. May 14, 2020
Whose idea was it to reveal that the sheriff and coroner were unique characters? Brilliant-areno puzzle-awho!

Shawn May 14, 2020
What did you think was  the toughest puzzle (demolition)?

When are we gonna get a TWP game centered around Ransome's origin story at Big Whoop amusement park?

Nina "Shigeako" Post May 14, 2020
I think I got most of the questions i had in mind answered in our stream already but I wondered if your new system of interacting with your surroundings that you were testing in Delores will be used like this in future games, i.e. are you happy with it or will you go back to the old system with the overlay at the bottom like it was in original TP?
Thanks again for staying for the whole stream. I guess it must have been quite painful here and there to watch me fail...errrr I mean play.  :'D

longuist May 14, 2020
How's the weather... in the new Delores game?

Mike May 14, 2020
It's wonderful to go back to Thimbleweed Park! I am curious about your thoughts about inventory. Delores's inventory was always present at the bottom of the screen and kept growing every time she took a photo. Do you think it's better to always show the inventory instead of hiding it away? How much inventory is too much? Thanks!

Eric May 14, 2020
Mind as well hog the questions (but seriously, I imagine these would be interesting to answer).

- Are you happy with the reception & coverage of the game thus far?

- What did you learn from this interface prototype experiment?

- You discussed the time it took to write the prototype interface... however how long did it take to make the entire game (from concept to release?)

- Why did you release it for free instead of charging for it?

Thanks!

p.s. Did you see the new Unreal 5 engine? Wow.

Carl May 14, 2020
How do I get the banana picker out of the cannibal's hut?

Kholoud May 14, 2020
Why every time I finished an assignment Deloris sister get back to street?! I wish I could see Franklin's new factory it will be so different than the pillow factory.

Konrad May 14, 2020
Happy to visit Thimbleweed Park again!
What`s the story with Delores's father? SInce he's been a ghost, Delores statement seems to be confusing. But...gives us hope :) Afterall it's  just a computer game, but maybe there's another explanation :)
Cheers!

Mark Zuckerberg May 14, 2020
As someone once told me... if something is free, you are the product.

As this is a technical preview of your upcoming engine: what type of metrics are you getting from people playing it? Have you learned something new other than begging for the right click to skip dialog will never die? Are you going to change anything in the UI/engine from something that emerged from this game?

Thanks,
Mark (but really not Mark)

Simon Frazer May 14, 2020
Will there ever be dinosaurs in Thimble Weed park?

Thomas Hardy May 14, 2020
Who is your favorite NPC in Thimbleweed Park? Why?

Thanks for making TP, we need more games like that.

Antonio Mazzanti May 14, 2020
Whatever new game you'll do, please get back the codewheel with the boxed version.

mcMurdok May 14, 2020
I have a 32 bits computer, but Delores run on 64 bits... sorry but its not cool...

Elena Hitomi May 14, 2020
(The comments look/sound like a rowdy press release or some haggling event in an auction lol!)
And I have questions!
1. Will you be doing the new sleek interface and functionality? Or are you open to switching from new function to classic SCUMM-ish "Push/Pull/Use" table function?
2. Can you give us hints of your up and coming projects this year?
3. Can you make a character out of me? Haha <---OPTIONAL but would love to! :D

I want to thank Ron Gilbert and the team behind TWP Delores for making me a happy gamer and person and super looking forward to your next games. Stay Safe please! <3 <3 <3

Paul Nicholas May 14, 2020
Congrats again team on the new spin-off/test game.
Looking forward to the AMA podcast - and had the following Q's for consideration...

1. What (if any) lessons learned from making Thimbleweed Park, informed the design of the new Dinky engine?
    (e.g. pain points from prev engine that are now much easier/less ball-aching - to improve the workflow?)

2. Do you know what your plans are for the new "Dinky" engine yet - or is it too soon to tell?
     (e.g. are you considering another game/sequel using it, with crowdfunding again?)

3. Are you still looking to make this engine open source?
    (I'd imagine doing so could potentially generate a nice influx of new Point+Click adventure games)

Apologies if I'm repeating already asked Q's.
Have fun on the AMA - and look forward to hearing it soon.

Stay safe & take care, all.

Gill Bates May 14, 2020
Will there be a fix to make the game run on Windows versions other than 10?

Lasse May 14, 2020
First of all great job on the game. Really enjoyed playing my way through it.

I liked how the camera played into solving some of the puzzles too beyond just getting the required shots.. e.g the job opening.
Still kind of an inventory puzzle but done in an interesting way. It felt fresh in a genre where the way you solve puzzles has not seen any big innovations for a while besides simplifying or even removing puzzles altogether.
Is new ways to solve puzzles something you're interested in exploring more in future? Is there even much room to innovate as far as puzzles go or has it all mostly been done already?

Dídac Catalán May 14, 2020
Hi from the sunny Barcelona Delores, I'm very interested to know if you are working in a new videogame, can you tell us more about it?

Antti Mikkola May 14, 2020
As you are testing out a new game engine, please tell us for future plans related that. Is there a new game in sight, any other plans?

Maxwell May 14, 2020
Spoiler warning.

- The ending of Delores alluded to the fact that savegame hacking is possible in the world of TWP. Is this a hint that it savegame hacking should be explored in the original TWP as well? I can't shake the feeling that there is an undiscovered(?) secret ending to TWP that could prevent the reboot cycle initiated at the end of the credits..
- Why was the electricity in the bathroom saved when almost everything else was reset?
- I really liked the concept of beeing in a world that reset itself periodically. In a way this meant that the player progresses by learning new things even though the game itself does not progress (except the counter, and electricity in the bathroom). I don't know why, but it felt like a nice change. Was it an intentional new mechanism, or a result of reducing the scope of the project by simplifying saving and dependancies?

Lancelot's Hangover May 14, 2020
Hey Ron! Very glad you'll record a podcast about Delores.

A few questions: Can you tell us more in details about the whole process and timeline of production? When did you start this game? When did your teammates join the adventure? Where they difficult to convince to join in? Did you work full-time on Delores? Except for the scope (Delores is obviously a smaller game), was the making of Delores different from TWP? How many weeks did you take to make Delores from getting the idea to publication on Steam?

Frederik May 14, 2020
What about future episodes of Thimbleweed Park Characters, like a TV comedy (Season 1, Episode 2,3,4, etc.)

Ritch50 May 14, 2020
Was Ron really an extra in "Ewoks: The Battle for Endor" !?

Hardy May 14, 2020
Could Dolores be a first sign fo things to come ? Is the old Band getting ready for another ride ?

Mattias Cedervall May 14, 2020
Why is Windows 10 required?! I hate that OS and I will not install it! I use Windows 7. Can you please fix it?!

Francesco Favia May 14, 2020
Why did you guys decided to let us know about the new adventure game at the beginning of Dalores mini adventure and not making a separated announcement?

Dorus May 14, 2020
Very happy that I get to listen to a podcast again from the Thimbleweed makers!

Are you still considering opening the engine to the public, paid or other wise?

All the best!
Dorus

Manuel May 14, 2020
Would it be possible to add all possible verbs in, when 'right clicking'? Currently it only shows possible verbs and not the 'wrong ones'.
I like the space you created by deleting the GUI at the bottom of the screen because you can see more of the artwork of the background and you could add more puzzles or moving space/interactable space of your character. But I feel like Adventure games that miss this GUI are sometimes too easy, when they only have the option of 'Left mouse button = look', 'Right mouse button = I don't know exactly what to do, so please do 'something''. It feels to me like a spoiler.

Anyway thanks for the free game!!!

Gon Rilbert May 14, 2020
Thanks for the games & good times!

With crowd funding successes like Broken Age and Thimbleweed Park  I had hoped for an adventure game revival. Is that happening? Are point-and-click adventures an economically viable category again?.

Matej May 14, 2020
Getting dumped out of the game after each sub-goal, then getting back with effectively a progress saved from before is an interesting concept. The way you've executed it, it actually feels fresh and intriguing rather than tedious.
I wonder, was this concept what you wanted outright, or is it an interesting side-effect of wanting to keep the progress saving simpler?

Diduz May 14, 2020
Who is Jay Bane?

Simon May 14, 2020
For how long have you been working on tje new engine?
What are the advantages of Dinky vs Squirrel?
could re-using art be an option for future games?

I really like that the tasks In Delores change each time you start the game / finish 5 photos. In future games, could you envision to cycle through a set puzzles in a similar way to enhance replay value?

Tom May 14, 2020
What IS the secret of monkey island?

Mischa Magyar May 14, 2020
Will there be a Thimble Con '88 T-Shirt at fangamer? :)
This could become a fun tradition... :)

Uran Uschmell May 14, 2020
Technical questions: Did you do anything special with the code? Tell more about your Dinky language, plz.

Mechner May 14, 2020
Is dinky a not-so subtle reference to dinky island which definitely maybe, for certain means you have been in touch with Disney, worked out a deal and all will be making Monkey Island 3a?

Ennius May 14, 2020
Hi.
Do I need a REU to test it on my C64?

Brian May 15, 2020
Any plans on licensing the Dinky engine for indie devs?  It would be something I would love to be able to use!

Nick May 15, 2020
Some open ended questions:

Has the success of thimbleweed park made more inclined or less inclined to work on future adventure games?  What direction would you like to explore in the future?  Does the new engine allow to explore these avenues?

What are your thoughts on "off the shelf" engines for adventure game programming -- like "Adventure Creator" for Unity or other similar frameworks.  Are any any good? Where do they fall down?  Why was a custom engine the direction you chose?

As a software developer, I LOVE that you go out of your way to be transparent about how the game engine works, what design related decisions you made, and what technologies you use.  But I've always been curious about why you go out of your way to share that stuff with us? Are you hoping to inspire future game developers or is there something more?

With Covid19 keeping us locked up, what games have you been playing lately? Anyone doing anything interesting that you think we should check out?

Hernan Corera May 15, 2020
Hi from Buenos Aires, Argentina!!
I read somewhere that Elon Musk is fan of Maniac Mansion.
If u ever feel that u are out of budget for a new game, dont hesitate to ask him to invest in your amazing tallent!
I am sure he will!
By the way,  Thank u for Delores! It is really beautiful!  
My question is: did u think of having daytime changes in your new engine? For example changing from day to night one scenario could make differents behaviours to characters or even puzzles solutions.
I think time could add another layer to puzzles.
Is it possible for future games?
Can't wait to see more of your art, I mean games!

Cheers!

Sven G May 15, 2020
Hello from Switzerland. I would be interested in how the process of building an engine goes. What is the starting point? What needs to be done first and what comes last? Were there any unexpected difficulties in building it? What is the challenge and the motivation for a programmer to build such an engine? And last question - is the new enginge only suitable for adventure games or could it also be used for other genres? Thanks and keep up your great work!

Vili May 15, 2020
First of all, thank you so much for the game. It was fun to have the opportunity to go back to Thimbleweed Park and poke around Ron's riddler's brain, and a lovely diversion from the reality that we currently live in.

A couple of thoughts:

- Historically, switching from typed text parsers to clickable lists of verbs made adventure games more accessible and perhaps also more fun, but it could be argued that in the process these games also became more restrictive and lost a bit of freedom, player agency and realism. Do you envision that the UI that you are testing could work so that all possible verbs in the game are always displayed, perhaps in nested menus, rather than showing only the contextually available ones as in Delores? How do you think this would affect puzzle design? And do you think there would be any benefits, other than perceived player freedom?

- Do you think that the player's inventory could be represented by a text menu just like you have done with the commands? Are there benefits in showing the inventory with icons as in Delores and how might this choice affect puzzle design?

- Will Thimblecon '87 T-shirts be back in stock at Fangamer any time soon?

Pixel Kristensen May 15, 2020
First off all, a generic thank you. I am currently 16 and I beat Secret of Monkey Island while 7 years old. Ever since then I have been a big fan of point and click adventure games. I owe to Gilbert, Schafer and Grossman for inspiring my style at humor tremendously with those first Monkey Island games. I also wanna thank Mr. Fox for being so active on Twitter and responding to fans. He inspired me greatly to continue studying to be a game developer (I have no uncle Chuck that can pester me) while going through a rough patch and I am very grateful.

So now to the question:

-What are some of the things that you could achieve in Delores/Thimbleweed Park that you would've wanted to do in those earlier point and click adventure games but couldn't because of tech- or time limitations?

Roman May 15, 2020
Hi,

since Mark Ferrari asks pixel artists on twitter what art tools they use....does this imply that a) he's working with you on something and b) it will be pixel based again...I'd love it ;-)

What is the main benefit from the new engine (besides maybe better structuring and cleaner code) over the old one?

And why can't I ask Elvis in his spaceship again for the right Lotto numbers and fill my bank account in "Delores"....

Lancelot's Hangover May 15, 2020
Hey Ron! In the TWP's blog posts, you seemed to be inspired by agile production techniques (doing (virtual) standup meetings, occasional sprints, lots of prototyping - maybe you have fancy sticky notes all over your office's walls like all the cool kids do?). Did you use an agile framework like SCRUM for Delores (or at least agile-inspired methods)? What's your opinion (or maybe tips) about agility and video game production?

seguso May 15, 2020
In a slip of the tongue you revealed there will be future games with this engine! Yayyy! :)))

But is there a chance that the setting will be an exotic location this time? Like the Caribbean, I don't know. Just to make an example. :))

Sorry this wasn't strictly about Delores.

TT May 15, 2020
The Secret of Monkey Island debuted 30 years ago - any easter eggs or secrets that have remained undiscovered/unrevealed on the internet after three decades?

Björn May 15, 2020
What a surprise. Thank you for "Delores"
Does the new engine (by the way, very good name) bring you time advantages when programming compared to Squirrel?
I'm still so proud that you posted the walk'n around cash for PAX 2017 on Twitter in 2017. I handed you the "Monkey Mark" in Berlin at Thimbleweed Park. I'll never forget Nice that you really took it with you.

https://twitter.com/grumpygamer/status/902924443814473728

Your biggest fan from Germany

Bjorn

Patricio Martinotti May 15, 2020
Greetings from Ituzaingó, Buenos Aires, Argentina. First of all, thanks for your present: May 9th it's my birthday. My question is: Gary, David and you are sharing ideas for a new game? Do you think it would took another 4 years or the TWP established a fanbase/popularity that a new game would cost less hardwork (publicity, backing, etc.)

Phillip May 15, 2020
what parts did this game dev process have (idea, creating assets, scripting etc) and how long did each take roughly.

David May 15, 2020
Are you still using OpenGL on Apple devices for your new engine, or did you move over to Metal?  If so, how did you find it?

Henry May 15, 2020
- Did you have to restrain yourselves from adding more and more to Dolores Mini Adventure or was it really planned to be the size it just has now?

- Had any of you ever believed you would be making another point n click adventure using this IP when you started with TWP years ago?

John G May 16, 2020
Thank you all for the lovely game -- certainly a bright spot in these stay-at-home times. My question:

I notice no one has yet asked about the other influence mentioned in your blog that showed up in Delores: the "roguelike" structure of restarting the game, and receiving five new photos to find in the world.

What are your thoughts on using procedural / "roguelike" elements in an adventure game? I'm guessing that the small scope of Delores is at least in part due to it being a prototype, but are you interested in exploring large world / a small number of goals you can achieve in one sitting in future games?

[I really enjoyed it!]

Sharon Popplewell May 16, 2020
The newspapers' headlines are hilarious!  Whom cooked them up, and why? Too funny lol I hadn't thought of Doug in forever! DIGGIN! (DIGGIN)!

Not Treblig May 16, 2020
Which are your favorite characters/puzzles, and did I miss something or is ransome re(bleep'n)born? Thx again for the memories :)

GameWeenie May 16, 2020
What about the process do you still love as much today as you did when you first started making games?

Peter May 16, 2020
Thinking about how you worked on Dolores compared to early adventure games: was it just a 100% improvement (nice graphics, better tools, no limitations etc.)  or is there something about how games are created that had been better  (such as reduced economic preasure)?

Howard May 16, 2020
How does the Dinky scripting language differ from Squirrel, and how did David find it to use?

Andrei May 16, 2020
Thank you so much for Delores, I am still playing the game, but I wanted to get some questions in:
• I have no doubt you are aware of simulation theory. With it gaining more widespread popularity in the last few years mostly thanks to Elon Musk, did it in any way influence you in making the game or is this something you came up with on your own? Also what is your stance on the theory?
• Have you played a recent short game (30mins max) called "The Supper". It's a short adventure game that can only be described as SCUMM Bar cooking simulator with a twist.