Thimbleweed Park—the Ron Gilbert-crafted, retro-inspired point-and-clicker than Andy billed as a "quality adventure game with challenging puzzles, oddball characters, and an intriguing, mystery-laden plot"—has been updated. Alongside "several" minor additions, as told by Mr Gilbert himself, the update brings with it two "major" ones by way of a new hint system and player character dialogues.
Taking to the above-linked and fairly thorough blog post, Gilbert notes that player character interactions were in fact something he'd planned to have in the game's final release, but that he wound up scrapping during development.
"This was something I attempted during initial production but abandoned due to me being unable to think about it as anything more than an a overly complex hint system," says Gilbert. "It always felt to me that all you'd want to do was talk to the other characters and get hints, and the early iterations of the system really showed that, so I abandoned it. Time was also getting short and there was a lot of work to be done, so it wasn't a matter of me writing player dialogs or hanging out at the beach.
"This turned out to be a mistake. I should have pressed forward and implemented this."
As for Thimbleweed's new hint system, it's designed to replicate a hints hotline—similar to what players of adventures games Way Back When would've relied upon. Judging by his words, it seems Gilbert succumbed to the need for a hints system at all through gritted teeth.
"I know this will cause the hardcore adventure gamer's blood to boil (as it does mine), but the lack of hints was widely criticized by some of the more casual press," he says. "As we move to new and more casual platforms like iOS and Android, this becomes increasingly important. I guess it's a sad fact about not only modern gamers, but older gamers that just don't have 18 hours to spend on a game.
"Thimbleweed Park already has a working phone, so it seem natural to just have a hint line number you could call and get a hint."
Read Gilbert's update post in full over here. Thimbleweed Park's latest update is live now.