- Salesforce Development Posts by Matt Lacey

Thimbleweed Park: Backing a Dream

Posted 2014-11-21

TL;DR; BACK THIS NOW. In fact, do that, and THEN read this.

Update: 25/09/14

Ron and Gary hit their goal! At the time of writing they are around $15k over their target, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't back this game if you haven't done so already. Now that the main fundraising target has been hit, we're talking stretch goals, and these are more than worthy of your money, especially if English is not your first language or if you fancy playing Thimbleweed Park on your iOS or Android device using "jab & smoosh" technology. Keep up with the love people, and maybe we can all play the games we want to once again!

Original Post

While I love the never-ending evolution of computing and the systems we use, there's still a time and a place for machines, games and ideas from the past. Old does not mean defunct, even if you're not going to be using those machines to run your business. I suspect there's more than a few developers in our community, around my age, who spent the late 80s sand early 90s playing Lucasfilm (which became Lucasarts) adventure games. If you're not in that group it's never too late, but if you were I'm pretty sure you'll hold Monkey Island in the highest of regards, and you'll know it all started with the seminal Maniac Mansion.

Things Lost

This was the first screen I ever saw of Monkey Island

One thing that's always bugged me is that I'll never be able to play Monkey Island for the first time again, and if you haven't then I'm most definitely jealous of you. Extending that, for the last 15 years or so I've been gutted that I won't get to play a new Lucasfilm adventure ever again. I use the company name purely because they made, in my opinion, the greatest adventure games by far. That they did so has a whole lot to do with the fact that they had the SCUMM engine, created for Maniac Mansion by Ron Gilbert. Ron and Gary Winnick created a genre with Maniac Mansion, and then Ron went on to create Monkey Island which is game I've loved since first sight; and yes, I do remember the first time I saw it.

To me, this is a picture of perfection

New Things Found

I've been fortunate to spend a good amount of time with Ron over the last year and his passion for the things he created is evident to see, [and his blog is more evidence of the same](and his blog is more evidence of the same). A few days ago Ron and Gary announced a Kickstarter campaign to make a brand new point and click adventure and frankly it feels like ten Christmases have come at once. The Kickstarter page itself contains so much of the humour shone in those old games, and the level of support so far demonstrates perfectly the love people have for them.

I've waited around 20 years for this, so another couple isn't going to hurt at all.

Kickstarter was made for this. Publishers have always said there's no market for such games any more, and yes, while we're not talking about monster seller triple-A title numbers, there is a market. Ron and Gary want to make the game they want to make, and it's fantastic to see them have this opportunity to do so. It genuinely sucks (for want of a better word) to see that Ron's games now belong to Disney and he can't do what he wants with his own creations. He deserves this, so please, back the project and help start something wonderful.

Thimbleweed Park is a game for true lovers of adventure games. This is a Kickstarter for fans who loved Maniac Mansion, Monkey Island, and everything else that made that era great.  It strips away all the cruft built up over the years and is distilled down to what we loved about the genre.


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