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Not in the Cards

The studio kicks off development of the Psychonauts VR game that will bridge the gap between the original Psychonauts and its sequel.

Published: January 20th 2023

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Episode Transcript

BRAD: This is weird. I just feel like we are developing for...

...just something totally different.

"Oh, okay, it's the PS4 instead of the PS3, like...

Whatever, here's your new controller.

It's the same as the old controller, whatever."

Whereas this is, like, a complete-- yeah!



PAUL: So, what's next?

Psychonauts 2.

That's crazy.

TIM: Between us, old-timers, we can remember anything

about that old game.

It's been a long time!

RUSTY: My gosh! It just doesn't feel like ten years have gone by already.

TIM: Uh, that'd be great to make a sequel!

I'm not against that, but, uh, it's hard.

Costs money.

Hopefully, you get a chance to work on a Psychonauts game in the near future.

I feel like I'm in school.


You said: "Show your work," so I brought my notebook.

I was gone for a week vacation,

and we were staying in a cabin, in Tennessee, by the river, hanging out.

And I got this notebook, and started brainstorming ideas for, um...

Psychonauts 2.

This is my first star of the project.

First line and the star right here.

There's going to be-- I don't know how much to tell you,

because I don't know how much is formulated.

But, basically, there's kind of, like, an ancient villain,

and her name is Maligula.


I think Maligula is the worst name ever, but I really like it.

Because malignant-- It's like Caligula.

But it's malignant.

Malignant Caligula.

That'd be a good name for a race horse, wouldn't it?


Malignant Caligula coming in!



I'm going to try it out and see how it goes, but, um...

So, Maligula is going to come back as the enemy, the ultimate enemy.


GREG: Yeah, we are figuring that out.

It's kind of hard to talk about right now actually.

Because, uh... I think there is lots of potential routes.

So, like, I think, the thing we know is that

the game we really, really want to make is the, like,

next-gen, big, like, true sequel to Psychonauts 1.

And, uh, yeah, those are, like, multiple, multiple millions of dollars, and...

I think even getting that signed

from a publisher on its own is just going to be a real challenge.

Especially since, like, it's an IP we own.

We've already made one game. We are going to want to retain that IP.

So, we are having conversations with all of the major publishers we can.

To get to the dollar amount we are talking about,

it's probably going to take financing from a lot of different avenues.

And then, yeah, there is the potential of crowdfunding too.

I think that--

It went really well for us for these other games.


-Woo! -BRAD: Yeah!



TIM: I didn't think we were going to get $400,000 for Kickstarter.

I didn't know anything like that was going to happen.

So, this is another thing, where it's like:

"Now we have something to lose."

We didn't really have anything to lose back then.

Because no one really expected us--

And no one knew what Kickstarter was.

And then, there's, like...

"Oh, they tried this thing. It didn't work out."

It wasn't that bad.

Now it would be just--

It would be pretty embarrassing to not do well.

But I still get pestered, pestered lovingly...


...on Twitter every day. People are asking for it.

And that gets this impression in my head that I hope is true.

It's like: "Man, people really want this to happen."

We are debating when to launch now.

We talked about August, um...

But it'd be amazing if we could do it on stage at some big Sony event.

Like Shenmue did.

Um, it would be just so exciting.

But that's not going to happen till PSX, which is in December.

SUZUKI: Hello, everyone!

GREG: Those conversations are happening now.

And I feel like in the next couple months we'll have a much clearer picture

of what we are talking about, and what we are looking for.

Yeah, I guess, like, stepping back, like,

I feel like, um...

the idea now is not to just talk about the Psychonauts sequel,

but just to try and really push Psychonauts in general.

Especially since it's the ten-year anniversary.

So, we are really trying to spin up a lot of Psychonauts things right now.

Yeah, Psychonauts 2 as, like, a big Psychonauts sequel.

We are talking about VR experiences.

Well, we are doing the VR--

We are doing the VR game.

Which is the missing mission between Psychonauts 1 and 2.

We went down to Sony, and we pitched GVR,

which stands for Grasslands VR.

That's a very exciting codename.

Um, which is the idea of doing a VR mini-mission.

Like one mission in Psychonauts.

Um, as kind of the missing mission between Psychonauts 1 and 2.

The rescue of Truman Zanotto.

Who was kidnapped?

Truman Zanotto, the Grand Head of the Psychonauts.


TIM: Psychonauts 1 had a-- we called it Back to the Future ending.

"It's about your kids, Marty!"

Vroom! And they just zoom off into the camera.

Except for--

I didn't like that Back to the Future II just took off right from there.

Because I was like: "I didn't really need to see that."

It's, like-- It was a perfect ending.

But it did-- you know, a lot of people were like:

"It's a cliffhanger! You gotta answer it!"

I was never going to answer it. I was just going to--

The part that was interesting to me is

what happens when Raz gets back to headquarters

and sees the real Psychonauts, and what they are really like.

That was always interesting to me.

So, I wanted to start at that moment, when he arrives there, so.

It was just going to be like: "Whoo, that was a fun mission."

And then-- which I thought-- I don't know why I wanted to do that,

because I know that's going to frustrate people.

I know-- Why do I--

But it was just one--

But then, um, I thought the VR--

Like-- it's, like, a small mini-game.

It's like a mission.

A one-mission game could tell that story.

And because it's focusing just on that story,

it could make it interesting, and make it a whole arc onto itself.

And then, here is, like, the beginning of it.

It starts, and you are in the jet.

And the Psychonauts are all busy trying to find out

where Truman Zanotto is.

And everyone is looking at you.

It's really powerful in VR, when you look at a character,

and they know you are looking at them, and they turn, and they look at your face.

TIM: Yeah, I mean, I was really--

It was obviously this thing that's happening that I didn't--

I didn't know much about, and I was like: "I gotta figure this out."


TIM: I find myself kind of deconstructing the demos I see, and kind of, like:

"What could we make here that would be fun? What experiences--

Like, when I'm playing it, what feels good to me?

Like, what are my favorite parts? And why is it that feels good?

And how long will that feel good for?

Is that just a temporary thing? Am I going to get sick of it?"

TIM: You know, and, um, putting that together into coming up

with the Grasslands VR experience,

and taking all of our favorite parts,

and taking out the parts that make us nauseated.

Uh, I like that one. I like this one.

Scott just put some fish up here, which made me think:

"Oh my god, this should be in this underwater--

underwater, secret, abandoned military base or something.

So, there you go.

That's the first Psychonauts art in a long time.



So you know, uh, young Mr. Brad Muir has come to take point

on that project, and to push that thing forward.

BRAD: I'm interested in it, because it's, like--

It is a new way to play games.

A new way to, like, experience the medium. I think that's cool.

The best thing about it is there is 2 billion dollars in it.

That's, like, the best thing about it, I think.

Is that it's just, like--

People are, like, racing and spending tons of money

to try to, like, figure it out, you know?

Because it sort of feels like whoever figures it out is going to, like,

be the industry leader, and that'll be really big, you know?

People are exc--

People with money are very excited about it.

-So, it's, like: "Cool." -PAUL: Nerdy people with money.


TIM: Um, he might end up, like, the project leader of that.

Uh, or a lead designer of it, or--

We'll see. It's kind of in a transitionary state.

Oh my god!

Catey just sent me a picture of me holding our baby

that she took yesterday.

Look at this guy!

I mean, technically, it would be good

to have, like, an official project leader on both projects.

And I'm used to being the project leader on Psychonauts.

But I feel like I mostly want to be, like, the creative director of the studio.

But also, I want to be figuring out the plot,

and the-- the story, and the backstory, and what the characters are going through.

And then, be involved with brainstorming on design.

And eventually, the, um--

the actual making of the game would probably be led by someone else.

With me just checking in,

and, um, seeing how they are screwing up my impeccable vision for it.

You guys have heard the basic idea of Raz and the Psychonauts in the jet,

and going to the base, and then they get caught,

and then they break out, and then they go into a mental world,

and then everyone's excited, and doesn't throw up.

That's it. There is no throwing up.

So, here is another look at the VR.

Once you are-- You are Raz, and you are tied up,

but you use Clairvoyance to see what the guard sees,

and now you see the guard drinking coffee, and reading, uh, reading--

he is not reading Webster's Dictionary, he is reading a comic book.

And then you can jump into the mind of this other guard,

and get around that way.

Clairvoyance lets you see what someone else sees.

So, I would pretty much jump into your brain,

and then see the world from your perspective.

And then, you could see out that window,

and you would jump into someone else's brain.

BRAD: So, Tim came up with this idea for, like:

"What if you are tied to a chair, and you have to use clairvoyance,

and your other psychic abilities to escape the prison,

but you are tied to the chair the whole time.

So, you don't actually move around."

What if he holds it with TK, and combine-- and then firestart it.

Set it on fire, and then throw it places.

BRAD: Yeah.

Like a flaming bag of poop.

Just laying around?

Yeah, I mean-- Well, it's in a bag.


BRAD: So, it's like: "Cool, but is that fun?"

So, we are trying to prototype it really quickly.

TIM: Did you get something all the way from Unreal into VR?

-BRAD: Yeah, but... -TIM: You made a space?

Like, my video card is not good, so it ran like: "Chk-chk-chk-chk."

And it made me sick, like, within five seconds.

So, that's how far I've gotten.


And it's really weird when you move your head like this,

and the whole world is moving--

reacting normally, and you are like: "Wow."

And then, when everything freezes for a split second, and then catches up...

It's just like: "G-ugh."

But, uh, Chad and I are going to start, like,

trying not to puke at our desks,

and see if we can get it working. So, that should be cool.

Whenever you are programming in VR, even on today's modern stuff,

you are going to get a little bit nauseous wearing it.

You are doing stuff that's trying to break it.

And when you first code it, you are not going to get it right.

You run a debug build, your frame rate is going to be bad, so.

Just getting-- just knowing that you can't be in it all day.

Pace yourself a little bit.

Um, this will also be our first project that uses Unreal 4.

Um, as sort of, like: "Test it out. Like, see if we like it,

see if it can handle it, whatever."

TIM: Yeah. And I know it's a big deal.

And, um, we have a lot of different opinions about it.

But we are just going to check it out, and see what we can learn about it.

Yeah, it's-- it's interesting.

I've been working with the Buddha Engine since Brütal Legend back in early 2006.


That's nine years, you know, of learning an engine,

and how it works, and...

...gaining confidence in that you can make it work

and you can give an estimate,

and I can say how long this would take in it.

This team is kind of spearheading the: "Let's check out a new engine

for a smaller project, you know,

while some of our other teams are working with the Buddha Engine still."

To kind of see...

Almost evaluate it, and see kind of: "Would it be viable for us?"

BRAD: It's probably a pretty good commercial

for the Unreal Engine, because it's like:

"We don't know anything."

And now, we have this thing that, like,

just works, like, in a couple days, you know?

So, yeah. I would say this is, like, just a couple days of work.

Um, and so,

if I just look at this guy, and I pull the trigger,

now I'm looking out of his view.

But, yeah, the idea of just, like, jumping into a guard...

Like, is this fun, you know?

It's a Euchre deck.

There is only other cards you need for Euchre in it.

You ready?


You got the T. rex head. Okay, do you, um...

Are you ready for your Oculus Rift experience?

RAY: Uh, I guess so.


I, like-- We are old-manning it up on this game, man.

Ugh, I guess I'll put the headset on.

Okay, you-- Just sit down now.

Wait, where am I?


I mean in real world, I don't even know which way I'm--

-At Brad's desk. -Yeah.

RAY: Yeah. I'm just-- I'm trying to get, um...

...myself really excited about, um, VR.

And... I'm-- I'm getting there.


Like, I try to think of--

I guess, because I have kids now, you know, and when I go home, um,

the thought of going home, and having them all

with their headsets on, just, like, completely zoned out,

is not very, um, encouraging.

I don't-- I don't like that vision.

PAUL: You'll have to put yours on.

-PAUL: Go into their world. -RAY: Go into their world.

Go: "Hey, I'm home, you know."


-[LAUGHTER] -Aaa, aaa, it's real!

That's a mean-- that's a mean trick!

Yeah, so, you know, maybe I'm just old and...

jaded a little bit.

But, like, it is-- it is really cool!

Like, it's a cool experience when you-- when you put it on.

-Okay, interesting. -TIM: I want to try it.

We do need to write a rulebook.

When you are wearing the headset. What is allowed, and what is not.

Mm-hmm, no pictures!

I got into a situation where there was, like, a pillar blocking a character.

And I was able to, like, kind of do this, and then, like-- and it felt really cool.

It was, like, something that you can't do in a normal game.

Yeah, look around the corner is-- feels kind of cool, I think.

Like, peeking around the corner kind of thing.

BRAD: Yeah, totally agree.

DAVID: ...stuff up close, and then you are just:

-"Wow! Look at this crazy stuff!" -That will-- I think that will help a lot.

Just that.


BRAD: Um, but yeah, we'll just be doing a lot of brainstorming,

and, uh, prototyping, and trying to make something cool.

-TIM: Excellent! Yeah. -Yeah.

BRAD: There were ideas for, like, what is the prison.

It could also be, like, something like an oil rig that's collapsed.

And it's...

mixed with some other...

underwater... of different things.

BRAD: Yeah, yeah.

Or, like, if it-- what if it collapsed onto a pirate ship?


So, it's like the Bermuda Triangle underneath.

-EMILY: And everything just falls. -BRAD: What if it's the Bermuda Triangle?

That's so good!

And so, it's like, yeah, there are all these, like, wrecked boats

that are stacked up on top of each other,

and they are all from, like, different, um, eras.

TIM: I think that thing,

the Bermuda Triangle thing, was a breakthrough.

Because it really just made me feel better about that environment.

-BRAD: I think so too. -It really has an idea behind it now.

Emily just kind of--

It fell out of her face, and I was like: "Awesome!"

BRAD: ...that you then go through.

And that would be super cool to navigate through

with, like, our mechanics, I think.

(The Bermuda Triangle.)

TIM: For GVR, it's, like, this Bermuda Triangle situation.

So, I'm hoping we can name that really cool, evocative name,

and that would be the name of it.

Like the Psy-y-y-y...

It would be Psychonauts Something. Like, it would be a subtitle.


-Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin. -PAUL: Mm-hmm.


-PAUL: Is that what it's called now? -TIM: Yeah.

And we are calling Grasslands 'Psychonauts 2'?

TIM: Yeah.

BAGEL: And that's just an idea of, like, Loboto and his gang put together--

took a bunch of scraps, and built a little-- a little hideout.

BRAD: Man, I'm getting, like, a really--

a really strong, like, Dr. Wily's Castle vibe from this thing.

Oh, man, there is a giant--

Is that a giant ship in a bottle that's underwater?

-DEREK: Yeah, yeah. -That's the best!

I love that they would, like, have to get a really big cork too.

-DEREK: Yeah, yeah, exactly. -[BRAD LAUGHS]

What is Raz on? A nuclear warhead?

-DEREK: Uh, yeah. So, I was... -RAY: Yeah, that's cool.

It's from, like, a submarine or whatever.

DEREK: Yeah, like in a sub.

BRAD: That definitely has that, like, you know, Bond villain...

-LEVI: Yeah. -BRAD: ...henchman kind of thing.

-TIM: And there is a blowfish guy. -BRAD: Nazi blowfish guy, it's the best!

BRAD: I love that wonky spiral. Is it, like, a ramp going down?

It just looks like Psychonauts to me.

It's the right level of wonky, and it's a spiral.

Is that all it takes?



Yesterday I finished the, uh, design outline board.

That's over by our pod now.

BRAD: Cool, but, like-- this is really good.

And, I feel like, the one thing

that it is telling me the most is that the game is pretty big.

BRAD: And, you know, I'm also trying to keep in mind

that, like, the budget isn't huge.

And there is all these constraints on it.

Like, the new tech.

You know, like, we are using Unreal Engine.

Which is really smart, but there is a cost for that.

And then, there is a cost for using headsets.

You know, using any kind of VR is, like, a crazy cost.





Get away! Okay.


This is super fun though! Like, this part.

Right now, when you use Telekinesis, you grab the object

and then you rotate your head, um, and it-- it follows your gaze.

I worked on some swaying sort of stuff

where instead of grabbing an object at the center

you grab it a little bit higher up.

So, you know, it's like grabbing a pencil a little bit above the center of mass.

And, like, it has a bit of lag to it.


That feels kind of natural.

BRAD: I think that you can light a dude on fire as well.

CLAM: I almost got it. I really want to light this guy--

BRAD: Oh! There he goes! And now he's freaking out!


CLAM: So, what if I Clairvoyance into him?

I don't know!

Oh, well, fuck!


TIM: Are we trying to find out what's fun in VR? Or are we trying to...

BRAD: Yeah, like...

Yeah, I don't-- I mean, I thought that it would be like:

"Let's do one puzzle all the way through to, like, whitebox gameplay completion."

So that we can, like...

I'm not questioning it. I think it's great.

Okay, then we can just, like, test it.

We have a lot of ideas that were brainstormed.

What are the things that would work that will let us test out the mechanics?

And we are like: "Yeah, we can actually run people

through a playtest of this thing, and have them kind of see

what the actual game would be like.

Cool. So, uh, the setup--

Here is my diagram.

There's a guard right outside.

Um, and he is kind of looking at you.

So, you can CV into the guard from this camera.

And then CV from the guard into this camera.

And now you are looking in this direction.

And you'll see this fridge with the lock on it.

And... I don't know.

I don't know, what do you guys think about this part?

Like, the kind of the end of this thing.

Like, is there a way that we can improve this?

-Sandwiches. -I like that.

-Crab sandwich. -Crab sandwich that you TK around.

RAY: We could have the crab sandwiches crawl away.

-He is like: "My sandwich!" -[BRAD LAUGHS]

-"Oh! Oh my god! Freedom!" -BRAD: That is really good!

-MATT: It's just bread with legs, like... -BRAD: Yeah.

BRAD: Do you think we can do this in three weeks?

-Yeah, I think-- -BRAD: That's the question.

It's the art side that I'm most concerned about, so.

BRAD: Okay, can we make a scurrying lobster sandwich?


BRAD: Whoa-ow! Crazy!


TIM: But, I think it's going to look good.

I feel good about this, uh...

BRAD: Okay, yeah, I mean, I'm still-- The timing on it seems pretty tight.


TIM: On the whole project or on the five-minute thing?

BRAD: On the whole project.

TIM: What is the timing on the whole project now?

Do we have that set?

BRAD: Yeah, it's supposed to be, like,

October of next year is when it will be done.

And so, it's, like, we are just shy of a year to complete the whole thing.

BRAD: Um, okay, so...

Five-minute experience. So, we've been doing well.

We've been doing pretty good.

We've been doing pretty good. This is how I motivate you, by the way.

Um, we've been doing pretty good, but we need to do better.

We need to, like, really make this five-minute thing work

by the end of this two-week period.

This sprint is not, like, about a list of features.

It's not just a bunch of features that we have to get done.

It's one five-minute experience. That's why it was so well-named by Brad.


TIM: We are trying to make a five-minute experience together, so.

The 5XP is what I call it.

CHAD: I've been playing it. It's about one right now.

So, on the way to five.

BRAD: It's about one-- one minute-- It's a one-minute experience?

Awesome! Dude, we are 20% of the way there!

BRAD: There are a lot of, you know, critical things that have to come together

In order for us to even have a hope of hitting the date and budget

that has been, like, you know, predestined for the project.

So, like...

Yeah, it just-- It seems like an uphill battle.

Like, that's where we run into the, like, our own internal standards.

-Yeah. -Because it is a Psychonauts game, like...

-MALENA: I mean-- -BRAD: Uh, but it's--

That's-- that's a real challenge, I think.

-Our own... -...internal.

Internal bar, internal satisfaction

with, like, being proud of this thing that we are making.

I hear you, and that's important!

BRAD: I've also felt that we are always--

We are always scratching at, like, the budget problems, and...

I don't know, it's, like, I don't--

I don't want to be, like, a callous gold digger, or whatever.

But, like, people work so hard!

Like, people work so hard here!

I would love to see them, like, financially rewarded

for their hard work, you know?

Yeah, I just feel like that's not in the cards for Double Fine in some way.

Um, are we expected to roll people like Bert and Anna on? Or...

MALENA: I don't think so.

-Okay. -MALENA: I think, um...

There's been just--

There's been a larger discussion staffing-wise of, like...


I guess the...

The idea that we would invest some of our own money into Headlander

to make it be as-- to hit on that production quality.

-MALENA: So, um... -BRAD: That's happening?

We are going to put more money into Headlander?

I don't-- that's been-- that's been something that's been discussed.

And so, what that's come down to from a staffing perspective is that...

TIM: Um, okay, we are going to get to all that stuff

and, uh, exciting updates from all the projects and departments.

First, we have a sad announcement.

One of our longest-term employees is leaving the company.

-Not me. -It's not me.

And it's not Ray, so who cares? So...

No, um, mister Bradley Muir, one of our finest,

who sat here for a long time, is, uh--



-That about covers it. No. -[PEOPLE CHUCKLE]

-BRAD: Thanks for the single clap. -TIM: We are-- we, uh, love Brad.

And we are sad to see him go.

He is moving his whole family up to the, um, Bigfoot Country?

I've been here forever.


I've been here forever. That's what it feels like sometimes.


It's, like, I didn't quite make twelve years, but...

This close, you know. Almost twelve years.

And that's a long time to do anything, I think.



Yeah, also, like, you know, life changes.

Like, I got married, and just had a baby.

And the Bay Area is really stupid right now in terms of, like,

you know, just looking at, like, school systems, and, like, buying a house,

and all this stuff.


It just seems really hard to, like, to try to make that work.


So, yeah.

Yeah, I'm, like, nervous about it though.

It's weird thinking about even--

Thinking about not coming here on Monday is definitely...

definitely weirding me out.

Like, that makes me feel--

that makes me feel uncomfortable, like, for sure.

Uh, and we are sorry to see him go,

but this is not a goodbye party for Brad, so I'll stop talking about Brad.

But, um, to also announce the new project leader.

We are trying a new thing, which I've always wanted to do here,

which is co-project leaders.

Um, Ray Crook and Chad Dawson will be co-project leading GVR.

-[CLAPPING] -TIM: That's awesome.

Ray, look happier! Look a little happier!



In leadership you can only trust the people who don't really want it.

That's what I-- That's all I can say.

RAY: I mean, it's not something I've ever, um, really...

...aspired to do, I guess?

It's just a lot of extra pressure, um,

that I've never really wanted in my life.

Um, but-- But co-leading with Chad, I think, that--

I think it's going to work out really well.

I think it's going to be great. And we've got a great, great team.

It's exciting, it's something new. It's a new challenge that I've never done.

And for me, sometimes I don't--

If I need to grow in something, I'm-- I'm a little risk-averse.

So, that's just my personality. And I--

Sometimes I need to kind of be kicked in the butt to-- to do it.

And so, I generally am always grateful that that happened.

Um, but a lot of times I don't step into it voluntarily.

Uh, but-- but it's nice that they--

that they have the confidence that we can do it, so.

Um, so, yeah, we'll see how it goes.


It's a little early to tell.

Uh, okay, excellent. Good to see you, guys.

See you next time.


BRAD: I mean, I think that it's a-- It's a hard game to make.

It's a really hard game to make.


The biggest thing is that it's, like-- it's a Psychonauts game.

So, it's, like, Tim has to be involved heavily

in order for it to be, like, great.

I think he's got to be really involved.

Um... and he is!

But then, like, the Psychonauts 2 announcement has to be, like, written.

And then we gotta figure that out. Cool.

And then, once that's announced,

it's going to take the majority of his time, and so...

This team-- I just--

I don't want them to feel like they are the second fiddle game

that's, like, on an island, and whatever.

And they are trying to do some stuff that's, like,

you know, that's basically never been done before.

BRAD: Although, why is... Look which way he is looking.

And he is looking outside.

Right now I'm looking at the wall for some reason.

-BRAD: That's-- that's not correct. -DUNCAN: Yeah, it's not.

BRAD: There is something that gets really weird...

-...about that way. -You know what I think it is?

I think whenever I CV,

I go into someone, I CV, and then I turn my head back to forward,

instinctively, all the time, so I don't get that.

But if you CV, and then you hold that,

when you are in it, then you are looking off to the side.

He should be there, right?

I think the premise for it is great.

Like, the core conceit is fantastic.

It's just, like...

Yeah, we've got this, like, five-minute thing.

And we are-- like, we are just at the point where--

like, I really wanted to stay at least through the end of this thing.

And we got it to the point where people can play it.


-Oh, shit! -There you go.

Oh, nice effects!

Hey, Raz!






Oh, that is some good melting!



Look at that thing!



He is so excited!


Hey, wait! Why'd he zap me?

What did I do to him?

Wait, what happened?!

Oh, no! Don't reset me again.



Do you think it'd be okay if we kind of took out some of the resetting?

Can we have another reaction from the guard when he PSI Blasts?

Maybe, like, if a guard catches on to you, then you have a certain amount of time

to get into a safe zone.

TIM: Or a warning that, like: "Hey!"

I mean it's--

CHAD: Whatever safe zone means in this game.

BRAD: Yeah, right?

Yeah, it's weird, because, like, without--

without that in there, there isn't really any tension happening, you know?

TIM: But right now it takes away some of the exploration sandboxiness of it.

Because if you do the wrong thing, you get zapped back.

So you don't want to play with stuff.

BRAD: Yeah, like, players are really hating

getting caught by the guard.

They don't-- And part of it is feedback.

And there is sort of-- We are going to have a design meeting,

probably later today, or it's probably right now.

No, it's not now yet. It's close!

Um, at four, where we talk about, like: "What should it be?"

And so, that is a big philosophical thing.

Like, are we not a stealth game?

Are we just a lock and key puzzle game?

Or can we be both?

Like, in this example where we are just trying out everything,

I felt really restrained that I couldn't just PSI Blast everything,

and experiment in a little play sandbox.

Part of the reason we were doing the reset was because

it didn't make any sense to be moving this thing around

in front of the guard, and he is just like: "Uh, whatever."

Is that, like, a bummer?

TIM: I mean, I feel like narratively

it can make sense, if they are really stupid,

and they are just freaked out.

Like, you do stuff to them, they are like:


And they run around the room maybe a little bit.

But if I was doing a game where, like--

Oh, it was really easy, there was no guards,

there was no guards, and all of a sudden it was like:

"High security area!"

We tend to do that a lot here, is that we think about

the game being all things to all people.

And I think that constraining it a little bit more

will make it more, um...

more doable, more achievable.

And then that will also leave more time for iteration and polish.

But again, it's like, I'm not the project lead

on it, you know, anymore.

I'm trying to act like I'm not.


...but it's tough.

TIM: But Brad, what do you think about that idea that--

I mean, do you think, it's like, we pick one way or the other,

or do you think there are areas that are

more highly restrictive than others.

BRAD: Trying to make the game more just, like,

adventure game-y, puzzle-y,

fits with a lot of the, like, cool ideas that we have

for where the Psychonauts are trapped, and how they are trapped, and...

You can make a pretty good systemic game

where it's, like, just a generic underwater prison,

and then you just focus more on the mechanics.

But, like, that doesn't seem to fit the world or the game, or whatever.

And all these ideas are so much better anyway.

I think with the experience, seeing the guard go and look at stuff,

and... walk around is kind of fun.

To, like, feel like you are messing with him a little bit.

TIM: Yeah, but there could be a just a dick guard later

who just-- you can't do anything fun around.

But that's the point. He is in the hallway.

And you are like: "How do I get around the jerk guard?"

You know?

BRAD: Then you are just playing this cool, like,

interactive, VR, first-person adventure game.

Puzzle game. And it's cool, you know? It's, like--

It's, like, people don't necessarily knock things for what they aren't.

It's like, if it's fun and it's a cool experience, like,

nobody is going to care, you know.

TIM: So, it's kind of a point-and-click adventure,

but you are pointing with your mind.

The gaze-and-click.


It's a something-and-click game.

And we are like: "Oh, we know how to do those!"

And so, uh, that made me feel a little more comfortable.

(The baby is here, you guys.)

(Do you want to see the baby?)

TIM: Oh, this meeting is doomed. The baby is here.

Okay, if the baby is coming,

the baby's got to give us one idea for the game.

-TIM: Is the baby asleep? -BRAD: (Yeah.)

TIM: (Does it know any tricks yet?)

(Do some tricks.)

He can roll over.

-TIM: Oh, really? -Mm-hmm.

TIM: That was frustrating, because, you know,

Brad has just been crabby for, like, fourteen years.

And the last six months he finally was, uh,

in a good mood. And then he left.

Maybe he was in a good mood, because he knew he was leaving.

But, uh, um...

Uh, it's funny, because, like, we had a--

we've had all different kinds of relationships while he's been here,

and I feel like it was the best it's ever been

in the last six months he was here, and then... he took off.

But we left friends.

TUCKER: Um, today is also Brad's last day,

which, I guess, I don't know,

we'll stop by and say 'hi' to him or something, I don't know.

-There he is! -What?!

-His desk is looking too empty, Tucker. -Oh, shh, shh!

Oh, okay.

Uh, we'll talk about it later.

I think that's it. I don't know if there is anything else.

I don't-- Like, everything is in Google Drive.

But, uh, yeah, I'll be out Monday.


-Just a heads up on that. -RAY: Yep. Oh, forever?

But no, it's been awesome. And I hope that--

Like, it seems like this thing is off to the races,

and it's going to be great.


You know, when your producer goes part-time though...

Jeez! Like, look out, right?


Well, thanks, Brad.

-Thank you, guys! -RAY: You will be missed.

I'm going to miss all of you.

It's crazy to think that I'm not coming down here anymore.

It's weird.

It's been a long time.

RAY: All right. Well, I guess that's it.

Brad's last stand-up... Double Fine.


BRAD: This is the best idea of today.

Ready? Go!

DEREK: There is two fish guards in a room,

and there is a lipstick, and a fake mustache.

And you have to put lipstick--

you have to, like, TK the lipstick and put it on one of the guards,

and then you put the mustache on the other guard.

And then you can Clairvoyance into either one of them,

and, like, grab the attention of the other?

-RAY: Oh! -DEREK: Kind of, like, flirt.

-DEREK: And then, he'll come over. -RAY: To distract?

DEREK: One of them will go over there and, like, start kissing them.

-TIM: You make them fall in love. -DEREK: Yeah, you make them fall in love.

DEREK: And then you can see the fish kiss--

-TIM: By adding binary gender roles? -DEREK: Yeah, exactly.



DEREK: Uh, and then you could see, you know, kiss a fish in VR.

-DEREK: Which should be cool. -TIM: Oh, man, kiss a fish in VR.

That's-- I mean, I've been wanting to do that my whole life!

That's-- I mean, I've been wanting to do that my whole life!

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