Maniacs: Thimbleweed Park Kickstarter Funded In A Week

Broken Age was trapped between two posts: its need to satisfy the nostalgia of the people who funded it via Kickstarter, and its desire to be accessible and reach a modern audience. The former group seemed displeased with the results, which is maybe what’s pushed Thimbleweed Park beyond its own $375,000 Kickstarter goal in just a week. It’s from the creators of Maniac Mansion, Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick, and they’re creating a point and click adventure that feels like “opening a dusty old desk drawer and finding an undiscovered LucasArts adventure game you’ve never played before.”

Here’s the Kickstarter pitch video, unless you missed it last week:

Retromancy it may be, but the game is at the very least learning the lessons of previous Kickstarter efforts: make your goals and limits clear; if you’re selling the game based on nostalgia, deliver on that nostalgia; and keep the physical rewards to the absurdly expensive tiers.

Putting my grumpiness about rose-tinted views of the past aside for a moment, the one advantage of an old, SCUMM-style interface is the space it leaves for jokes as you push, push, talk to and pick up every damn thing you can see. There’s also plenty that remains interesting and uncommon in those old design forms, including the ability to switch between multiple player characters at any time and multiple endings.

There are still 23 days to go on the Kickstarter, with stretch goals including translations, mobile ports and full voice.

17 Comments

  1. padger says:

    People sure do love adventure games.

    (For some reason.)

    • Barchester says:

      It’s fun to have your brain teased a bit between all the shooting and stabbing.

    • Crafter says:

      Some of my best gaming memories come from games such as Monkey Island.
      I still think that making a 90′ style adventure game is a bit of a let down from a mechanics standpoint though.
      IMO, random clicking on action buttons was not really great game design.

      The writing is crucial for an adventure game, and I don’t know if these two will be able to match MI’s level in that regard.

      Still, I am very curious to see how it will turn out, so I backed it.

      • Scrobbs says:

        I’m sure you’re aware that Ron Gilbert was the guy behind MI. It was his brain child.

  2. plsgodontvisitheforums_ says:

    This better be good! Let’s not ruin this by giving them 3M dollars this time, shall we.

    • Kaben says:

      3M Dollars? Is this some type of currency shaped sticky tape?

      • Barchester says:

        Having started as an employee for 3M last month, this comment made me laugh a lot harder than it actually should have.

  3. DrManhatten says:

    I guess the stupid money is back.at kickstarter! 350k for something that looks like it has production values of 35k? Seriously where is that whole money going?

    From what they show in the kickstarter video anyone should be able to knock something out like this in AGS in far less than 18 months. The end product hopefully will look a lot better than this otherwise this smells like a major rip-off I don’t see how they can justify that amount of money. There are a lot of other adventure games on kickstarter that look far far better than this one and want a fraction of that money

    • Iain_1986 says:

      And those kickstarters looking “far far better for a fraction of the money” have *massively* underestimated the budgets and time they need to actual produce a (often cross platform) product.

      People can’t on the one hand complain about kickstarters that offer too much for too little and fail, but then on the other hand complain when one comes along with what is actually a reasonable budget.

      Plus, if it gets to 3m, thats not what they are asking for, you can’t say they are demanding huge sums in the millions, thats just what the demand is offering. Its a glorified pre-order service as all these people *won’t* be buying it when its released as they’ve already purchased.

      • DrManhatten says:

        Or maybe because these others don’t give themselves a massive salary like these folks.

  4. Iain_1986 says:

    Is that a chainsaw AND some chainsaw fuel?

  5. malkav11 says:

    FWIW, I backed Broken Age and was anything but disappointed by the result.

    • ShadowNate says:

      I liked what we got from Broken Age, but it’s still half the game, and considering the delays and the change in the distribution format (episodic two parter), I can’t help but think that a lot of decisions went terribly wrong developing that project.

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      Ninja Dodo says:

      @malkav11:
      Same. I’m much more interested in things like Broken Age or Dreamfall Chapters, which while still working within the framework of adventures try to experiment with the form or visuals a bit and don’t just go for pure nostalgia. This feels like it might have cool puzzles and fun characters, but I don’t know, I guess for me the point of classic Kickstarters is less to copy what has been done already and more to continue to build on concepts that perhaps were left unfinished or under-explored for whatever reason, and then adding to and expanding on them, like what could have been if that type of game had kept evolving.

      But what do I know. Maybe it will be amazing.

      • malkav11 says:

        Exactly. I don’t necessarily want a new 1980s/1990s game. I want styles of gameplay that were popular back then and aren’t considered sufficiently commercially viable to bother with now, with the benefit of the 20+ years of genuine improvement in game design and craft that have happened in the interim.