Today at Double Fine we ordered in pizza for lunch, and sushi for dinner. Tomorrow another build is going up so we will eat nothing but booze. I was out of Kleenex at my desk for a while, but now I have some. The post-it notes I get are not the normal kind but the kind that unfold accordion-style, because they go in this post-it note dispenser I took with me when I left LucasArts. Did you know that if you draw a beard on John Kerry he looks just like the dad from Family Ties?
Saddle up, pardners, it's time for the...
(semi) recent PSYCHONAUTS press ROUND UP!
|Computer Gaming World
||Coverage of our PC version in which I'm quoted saying the word "thing" about nineteen hundred zillion times. And, ladies-- it was written by Evan Shamoon!
|Computer Games Magazine
||We're in the "The most anticipated games of 2005!" Which is awesome. My goal is to have Psychonauts NOT win this award next year. Haha. Get it? Get it Majesco?
I love you, Majesco.
|Electronic Gaming Monthly
||We are one of "The New Contenders!" It's so nice to be new again!
||What? 2004? What's that? I don't remember any such time. Well, there is a rare screenshot in this magazine so get your time machine ready for travel and your eyeballs ready for pleasure.
||"Clever is the first word that comes to mind. Maybe brilliant says it better." Might I also suggest, "sexy" and "delicious?"
|Official Xbox Magazine
||We are in here, like, three times. Once in an article about how rad Psychonauts is, once in an article about how rad Double Fine is, and once in a short blurb about how rad Tom is because he picked us as a "Power Pick for 2005." If these guys wanted to change the name of the magazine to "Official Psychonauts Magazine" I totally wouldn't sue them. P.S. The word "Rad" is totally coming back. Get ready.
||Full-page preview. I forgive them for the name spelling thing because the article is big and pretty.
|Tips and Tricks
||Something about being in Tips and Tricks makes me feel super-legit. I think I'd feel more legit if they'd start sending me free copies, though.
The following publications exist only in the form of ELECTRICITY, which can be dangerous. But the upside is you can just click on the name there and read the article. Just be careful, Chaka.
||I talked WAY too much in this article about comedy in games. Hey, bro, you know what's really funny? SILENCE. Well, not really. Unless it's also... DEADLY.
||Double Fine programmer Anna Kipnis is quoted in this article about women in games, as is our own Majesco Marketeer, Liz Buckley. Psychonauts, strangely, is not mentioned, even though I am told chicks dig it.
I promise. Tomorrow: no real news.
Sent: Saturday, January 08, 2005 11:14 PM
Subject: Stop punishing us!
Okay! Enough already about the Excellent Game Psychonauts. Tell us more about the beard! Don’t you have any pictures??? What does it smell like?
This is just one of a million letters that we have received here at Double Fine that say almost exactly the same thing. I might be forced to make a f.a.q. page about my new beard! What does it smell like? It smells like a combination of my head and my lunch. As far as pictures go… well it makes me feel really funny putting up pictures of my face on line. For free, I mean. But here I go. If you must know what my beard looks like, it looks… a little something… like THIS.
So, I try to follow my new year’s resolution and post to this here high-profile, opinion-setting, internet destination every day, and now I’m getting complaints that the news items have no meaty Psychonauts news in them. Sheesh! People! You just can’t please people with the internet! And you can’t kill people with the internet either. One or the other would solve all my problems. If you want real news go to www.psychonauts.com for crying out loud! They spend money on that site! Or go to this secret destination to hear more information.
It’s 1:30 in the morning, so I’m going to have to date this post as Saturday, but really it’s still our Friday work day here at Double Fine. This day is stretching out to infinity, because we are trying to make a build of this game about which I offer no news.
Making a build of The Excellent Game Psychonauts is hard. It’s like catching a beautiful, wild stallion, that’s running free across the verdant hillside, throwing a scratchy rope around its neck and golden mane, whispering in its ear to soothe its fierce thrashing, petting its nose until it settles down, and then lifting it with a big crane into a vat of bleach because it’s covered with hundreds and hundreds of bugs.
And then eating it and selling the hooves as ashtrays. That’s what making a game is like.
Okay, after looking at some Indonesian Tsunami damage photos, I now feel really bad for complaining about our little flood yesterday. Yes, my old Adventurer magazines are a little yellow and crinkly now. But I’m alive and the shape of the landmass I live on is still the same so I guess I should just shut up.
P.S. Hey, Observer. Can you tell that one of my New Year’s Resolutions was to update the Double Fine Action News every day? Maybe you did not realize this because I failed completely on the first day of the year: January 1, 2005. No posting. And none on the second. Furthermore, on the third, we had an all-day lack of success. And one more time on the fourth—total resolution failure. But then on the fifth day my beard was long enough that it could actually reach the ground and drag my unconscious body out of the cold puddle of eggnog I was sleeping in for some reason. It pulled itself up onto my computer keyboard, and typed words! Then it dragged me over to my desk light and held my face up against the hot bulb until the burning smell woke me up. And now here I am! Typing! With no beard help whatsoever! Well, actually, it’s still helping me with the spelling. But still, my new year’s resolution airplane has left the runway, folded up its landing gear, and the people on it can use everything but their cell phones.
That’s how you can tell this is for real, baby. Because it’s starting out slow. Not with a bang, but with a soft sputtering noise, like an old radiator turning on. Sput! News! Sput!
This just in: the Double Fine Action News has been updated!
This is it! The words you are reading right now! That’s the update!
Okay, it may not be a big deal to you, but it’s a big deal to me since we are super busy here right now, putting the FINAL TOUCHES on the Excellent Game Psychonauts, and I never have time to update this page. Don’t even mention the Action News Banner. Look it’s still got George Bush and Jay Leno on it. Geeze.
Okay, this actually happened: the office suite above us leaked and dripped down and got all over my old copies of Grim Fandango, Korean Throttle, and that copy of the Adventurer with the monkey jumble in it. Now they’re all bumpy. Thank god the box full of pictures of ME is safe. Damn you, upstairs neighbors! Leaky bastards!
It was from their bathroom too, and so I really don’t even want to talk about it. I never told you about the sewage problems we had in the old building, because I wanted you all to come work here. But let’s just say Double Fine is CURSED with UNWANTED FLOODS and I DON’T know WHY. Ahhh! Even my CAPS LOCK key is MAD NOW!
Beard says: “Kill them. Kill them all! And get this piece of cheese out of me!”
I just got the most exciting news ever about Psychonauts: I’m growing a beard!
I think it’s going really well. Two people have already complained and asked me to stop. AND it’s itchy.
I was so excited about the beard, which grows on my face, that I wanted to make a new news banner all about beards, but when I Googleimagesearched for beard pictures, I found this instead. TOTAL. BUZZKILL.
You know, making games, we Funateers have to come up with incredible, brilliant, pure genius solutions to difficult problems all damn day. But it’s okay! Because we are all so effing smart and brilliant and intelligent. Sometimes we have to ask ourselves hard questions like, “Hm, should we swap out the entire game engine the day before the milestone?” And that’s tough, right? But, on the hardest day in games, we never have to wonder, “Well, how about we cut a hole in the guy’s lower eyelid, and then pull a flap of lid skin through it and sew it to his upper lid, until it the skin gets confused and attaches itself there, and then after it heals, let’s cut a new hole so he can look out. How about that? Let’s try that and see if it works!”
See, sometimes I think our job is stressful, but no. At least when we cut holes in people’s eyelids it’s just for fun.
My beard’s thoughts on this subject: “Garrrrg! Grrr! BEARD ANGRY! Rar!”
Two things, possibly related:
Firstly, someone told me they bought the December issue of CGW and didn’t find anything on the Excellent Game Psychonauts in there. It’s possible they are lying. Or someone else is. Maybe me. Hard to tell, but I do love to lie. We have special operatives researching this matter right now. Sit tight.
Second thing: I once had the theme song to WKRP in Cincinnati stuck in my head for FIVE YEARS. I am not kidding. Every time there was a silence, whenever I was trying to go to sleep, whenever I was alone in my car, I heard it. And I’m not talking about the cool end credits. I’m talking, “Baby, if you ever wondered… wondered whatever became of me…” So don’t tell me about your problems, buddy.
I can’t believe nobody told me that I misspelled “corporate” in that previous post. Are you all against me?
In Psychonauts-related news, if I buy one more sandwich at Safeway, then the next sandwich I buy is free. Since this affects the over-all budget of Psychonauts, it counts as news. Rest-assured, we will be passing the savings on to you.
Sometimes when I yawn, the pressure increases in my head so much that I’m afraid my eyeballs are going to pop out. I squeeze my eyelids shut tight, but I can still feel my eyeballs in there, trying to get out. It’s like my eyes are like two pregnant snails, squeezing to give birth.
This happened once to Raul Julia. He said so on Letterman. They just popped out, and he had to push them back in again—his eyes.
Raul’s last movie was Street Fighter. Before it was a movie it was a popular game. Did you know that? It was so popular that they made it into a movie. And the movie was so unpopular, that they made it back into a game again. Making a video game based on a movie based on a video game seemed amazingly weird to me at the time, I remember. Like amazingly, incredibly weird. I thought the world was ending. But everyone around me stayed so calm, I just kept quiet about it.
If you enjoyed this story, here are some suggested materials for further reading:
Greenway, Theresa (1999). Slugs and Snails as Pets; Raintree Publishers.
Brown, David S. (1994) Freshwater Snails of Africa and Their Medical Importance; Taylor & Francis, inc.
Cruz, Barbara (1998) Raul Julia: Actor and Humanitarian; Enslow Publishers, Incorporated
Street Fighter(R) Anniversary Collection Official Strategy Guide; BradyGames (2004)