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Ron Gilbert, developer of Thimbleweed Park is switching to Linux

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Ron Gilbert is a name most in the game industry will know from the likes of Thimbleweed Park, and earlier works like The Cave while at Double Fine and they were even the producer on my all-time favourite RTS Total Annihilation. More than that, Gilbert was also the creator of the classic Monkey Island and it appears they're now attempting to switch to Linux.

Terrible Toybox, the actual team behind Thimbleweed Park are working on a new game and game engine too. They released Delores: A Thimbleweed Park Mini-Adventure in May 2020, as a small standalone title that acts as a prototype for their newer game engine. They even put up the source code for the Delores game on GitHub, although it's not under an open source license. It doesn't support Linux yet but that appears to be planned.

So what's the fuss about? They're switching their development flow to Linux and they've started blogging about the adventure too with a first post about their new hardware a few days ago. Seems they've settled on a Dell XPS 13 with Ubuntu Budgie. The question is: why are they doing it? As they said in the post:

My goal is to see how far I can get developing my new game on directly on Linux and not the Mac (I haven't developed on Windows in years). Can I ditch the Mac and go 100% Linux?

For working on the "game", this shouldn't be a problem once the engine runs on Linux. The few custom tools I use (Wimpy, for example) and all built from the same code the engine is, so once it's working under Linux, they should compile as well.

It's quite interesting to see more developers try out Linux, although not too surprising with how Apple is now again moving CPU architecture. Not just that though, as Apple have been getting more hostile for indie developers, with all sorts of extras being needed now and that's on top of the "Apple tax" that forces you onto their hardware. Gilbert mentioned this as well, with Apple being 'more paranoid and authoritarian' as time goes on.

Since their initial blog post it seems it went mostly okay, and they're continuing to learn and find the software they want. Will be fun to see how it all goes. Good luck, we're here if you need us Mr Gilbert and our Forum is always open. We're always happy to help game developers on Linux.

Article taken from
Tags: Game Dev, Misc | Apps: Thimbleweed Park
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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
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NeoTheFox 27 Jul, 2020
Oooh, exciting! I wonder how well that goes, especially since coming off OSX he should feel more comfortable with a terminal already
mirv 27 Jul, 2020
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After a little time spent on GNU/Linux, I wonder how he will find it compared to Mac. Obviously there are several things to get sorted when moving to a new platform, but once that's done, development impressions would be interesting to hear/read about.
Eike 27 Jul, 2020
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Perkeleen_Vittupää 27 Jul, 2020
Quotewe're here if you need us Mr Gilbert and our Forum is always open

Oh yes! Please feel free to ask about anything and everything Mr. Ron Gilbert! You have provided us unforgettable life content

(i'm sure he knows about GOL!?)
mylka 27 Jul, 2020
why does he need a new engine? just use godot
Pit 27 Jul, 2020
Quoting: NeoTheFoxOooh, exciting! I wonder how well that goes, especially since coming off OSX he should feel more comfortable with a terminal already

I have my doubts. Looking at the astronomy forum I'm in, usually the Mac people are even more reluctant than Windowers to do anything command line / terminal....
mirv 27 Jul, 2020
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Quoting: mylkawhy does he need a new engine? just use godot

One engine does not rule them all.
Their existing tooling, setup, asset management, etc, would have to change to use a different engine, and that can be quite a hefty bit of work - if the engine is even suitable for what kind of game they want to make.
Liam Dawe 27 Jul, 2020
Quoting: mylkawhy does he need a new engine? just use godot
I like Godot but it's not the answer to everything and it doesn't fit everyone's needs. Why does anyone make their own stuff? To learn, to have full control and know exactly what it's doing. Just telling a developer to "use x game engine" isn't particularly helpful.
Solarwing 27 Jul, 2020
Hopefully terrible toybox have patience to learn how to use Linux and not let the possible setbacks to discourage them. I think all the means are there to make games using Linux. Probably it's a question of learning. Tomorrow will tell us more.Good luck to them and hopefully results are good!
Alm888 27 Jul, 2020
The fact we are starting to see Mac refugees on Linux means something truly terrible have happened there. Normally that crowd would swear by MacOS.
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