Skip to: main content or site footer.

One Shot

Double Fine hires a rookie designer and longtime studio fan to kick off development of a new game level.

Published: January 20th 2023

Episode Stills Gallery

Episode Transcript

ANNA: ...beginnings of those ideas.

And then the synesthesia, in that case, would kind of relate to the memory.

But I think you are right that we need something more visually...

Yeah, tying it together.

Yeah, it's not just visually, it's sort of thematically, like:

"What ultimately is my goal, why am I in this level,

and what am I trying to do?"

TIM: Is it saying that senses are the keys that unlock memories...

Question mark.


It's the end of the question.


TIM: We had some favorite brains that we wanted to go into.

There is a brain in a jar!

It's just without a team rolling on soon--

Like, I'd like to work with a team on what they are excited about building.

Zak is going to be the project leader of this project.

TIM: Zak has a more level designer-based approach

which, I think, makes sense.

Look at this team!

ANDY: Psychonauts 2 is beginning to really get going.

I'm fighting them off as long as I can.

PAUL: Is there a point when you are going to start worrying

that there is no publisher?

I'm always worried that there is no publisher.


TIM: Hi, everybody! Hello! Happy New Year!

Welcome back to Double Fine!

Thank you for working here another year.

At least.

One more year, one more year.


Uh, Nathan, are you there?


Happy 16-year anniversary, Nathan 'Bagel' Stapley.

BAGEL: That's crazy.


BAGEL: Wow! It seems like last year was just...

not that long ago.


Good one.

TIM: That's true, that's true.

Seems like it's only been 15 years, but it's been 16.

-TIM: That's crazy. -[LAUGHTER]

Let's talk about what's been going on this last week.

What's been going on in the world of business?

Mr. Rice.

Uh, no, we are just hopping back on all those deals.

Which we had some conversations over the break about.

Uh, mostly with Starbreeze and ***.

Which are kind of, like, uh, leading the pack right now.

Yeah, I have, like, a huge tracking doc that I've been using, uh, for publishers.


And, I think, at this point it was something like thirty...

that we've pitched...

Uh... yeah.


GREG: With the hope that we'd get to this point where there's, like...

One we are excited about, that's committed,

and similarly gives us this term sheet that's ready to be signed.

that we can then kind of feel-- use to feel everybody out,

and see, you know, what's going to be best.

And I think the thing that eventually kind of pushed it forward was...

The whole time the team was working on the game.

So we kept getting more and more things that we could show to the publishers

that got them excited.

And that's what really kind of sped things up.

Because everyone was like: "Oh! This looks beautiful.

And you guys are making a real game, and I can see it on the screen."

So, once we started kind of doing tour with that, um,

I think people started perking up a bit more.

GREG: So, uh, Starbreeze is working on the first draft of our deal with them.

Maybe even this week we might see something he said.

So, just kind of watching the inbox, waiting for that, to see what comes back.

Um, but things are sounding good with them.

So, tomorrow we should have a meeting, if you have time, with--

to talk about what we do about Starbreeze.

Because Starbreeze was-- it was a good meeting.

They seemed genuinely really interested.

The main guy...

-He was like... -Mister Starbreeze.

-Ted Starbreeze. -Yeah.

-Yeah. -Yeah.

He was talking about-- he kept using the term--

But... I think--

Like, they are talking about how they are very excited,

uh, about how otherwise they wouldn't have us out.

Not that they paid for us to come out there, but...

But he is, like, but...


"What if we spent-- is there a way to spend the money more wisely?"

And he kept using that term: "Spend the money more wisely."

And I know it's annoying,

and I'm sorry you have to go through all this.

Oh, no, it's fine. I mean, I'm so used to all this.

I'd rather do it like...

TIM: I know, but I don't want you to be used to--

I want to forget what this is like.

I, I--

At least we are having a sane conversation about it.

But the game... Did they give us any feedback on--

They had, how is-- Their risks were like:

"What if it was bad in the ways that Psychonauts 1 was bad?"

To which the response is, like: "What if it wasn't?

What if it was good in all the ways that Psychonauts 1 was good?

And then, all the stuff that was bad was-- instead that stuff was also good."

Why do I not think of this stuff?

I was just going to say: "Do you know who I fucking am?!"

ZAK: They are coming out from Europe, right?

TIM: Do we have any new things to show and tell them?

ZAK: Well, we have the Quarry.

ZAK: You guys probably saw this on the video that we put together.

So, this is our initial art test.

What do you feel are the biggest challenges right now,

or the biggest challenge right now in the game development itself?

ZAK: I feel really good about where we are creatively.

In fact, I feel better about this project creatively

than anything I've ever worked on.

In terms of, like, knowing what it is, and knowing what we are trying to do,

and feeling good about the goals.

And so, I think our two biggest challenges are, like,

the actual just boots on the ground construction of everything.


You know, the levels in Psychonauts are incredibly creative.

And it's important to me that those creations are driven

from the teams working on them.

That it isn't, like...

Tim goes off and writes a bunch of, you know, specs of what brains should be,

and then people just go make it.

Um, they are going to be great, because the people who are working on them

also are very creatively driven.

They are coming up with their own ideas.


ZAK: Sure, absolutely.

GREG: And everybody seems very excited about it over there.

So, um, all signs point to 'Yes'.

So, hopefully that will go well.

TIM: And I think Rhombus of Ruin, the VR game, was our proof

that we could revisit the heart of the game again.

"Oh, it feels emotionally like Psychonauts again."

-Yeah. -TIM: Like, it feels like I'm--

TIM: I'm with those character again.

And they feel the same way they did before, and it--

and it does pick up right after the action of the first game.

And so, I think that test was very successful.

TIM: Let's talk about the Rhombus of Ruin!

What's happening in the Rhombus of Ruin this week?

You guys are close!

Submitting a submission build in the middle of the month.

So, we are trying to get all our bugs down to zero.

Last little bits, to tie it off.

-Tying it off. -CHAD: Tying it off, yeah.

CHAD: It's better than Lee. Lee would say pinch it off.

So, I'm just going to tie it off.

TIM: Yeah, you can pinch, but then eventually it's going to leak again.

-But if you tie it off... -Tie it off...


Gah! Aaa!

Oh, whoo, okay.

Someone sew this up.

Okay, that's how we end projects around here.

CHAD: Originally, we were shooting for being at this point in...

the end of October.

ANDY: I think it's come out to about three more months?

Of additional time.

Which is helping us.

Because I think we would have been able to ship the game,

but it would have been... rough,

um, buggy.

Because we got the extra time, we were able to go:

"Okay, we don't have to do that."

Anyway, so this is my current last remaining A bug.

It's a critical bug.

Um, because it means the player cannot finish the level,

if, uh, this happens.


Essentially, this is in the train.

I'm about to complete the train car puzzle.


And the bug is that once this happens,

if I jump back to this yellow fish,

the game should be...

...stuck at that point.

I shouldn't be able to actually go anywhere else

and I cannot finish the game.

Let's see what happens.

PAUL: O-oh.

SILVIO: This is a crash.

This is not the bug that they are talking about.

So now I have found a different bug that I need to fix.


Thanks, guys.


ANDY: And Sony's been great, they are telling us:

"You know, make the game the best you can,

and don't worry too much about the submission dates.

Let's try to hold to it, but..."

They are flexible.

We are not.

Psychonauts 2 isn't.

We need to get those people over to Psychonauts 2.

We need to start working on that game.

And I know that!

Working at a place like Double Fine

where there is a lot of people sharing talent...

Because just, like, I was talking about expectations.

When you think you are going to be done with the game,

there is another team of people who-- their expectation is that:

"I'm going to get that person, and that person, and that person

to start working for me at this point.

CHAD: When Emily eventually rolled off the team

and was pulled on to help with that,

it was really kind of tough,

because, you know, some of her soul is in GVR.

And her daily contributions and comments were valued.

With Ray leaving and her kind of being pulled onto other stuff,

it was kind of, like, a little of that soul being pulled away.

You want to kind of keep that going.

They really wanted to get Rusty, the character artist, going.

They needed to start getting character models going.

So, I kind of was able to say:

"Okay, animators, artists are going to get ready for Psychonauts 2

first thing in January."

And we've been able to hold to that which is really good.

That isn't to say I haven't had to go to Ray or Rusty a couple of times and say:

"Uh... I need you to fix a bug."

And they've been able to.

And the Psychonauts 2 team understands that.

"I need-- I need them to fix one thing."

"Oh, okay, they can fix one thing."

So, there has definitely been some bargaining

with the Psychonauts 2 team.

I can imagine they are not exactly thrilled.

I know they need programmers.


TIM: I feel like we've been in first gear for a long time that...

I'm looking forward to when we hit pedal to the metal.

Second gear?


Most of the tech work we are doing will be stuff that's used by other projects.

So, in that sense,

our project itself has been pre-production for a lot of those.

If we hadn't done our project,

they would be spending an extra eight months,

an extra year getting their engine ramped up.

So, it hasn't been too bad in that sense.

You know, it's studiowide knowledge that we have.

Like I mentioned, Aaron gave a talk on some of his optimization techniques.

And for him it was really a chance to take charge

as sort of optimization guru on it.

Hello, everyone! I'm Aaron Jacobs.

And I'm here to talk to you about how to squeeze performance

out of your VR games.

First, just a brief bit about me.



you know, for him to make strides in that, make progress not only as himself,

but then to see him actually go and present it at a technical conference,

and show what he had learned...

was, you know, heartwarming to see.

I would like to thank Chad Dawson, our Project Lead,

for encouraging me to do this talk in the first place.

And with that, I'll open it up to questions.



PAUL: And how does the team feel to be...

...moving off of that project onto Psychonauts 2?

Do you feel like there is, um...

like, fresh blood, you are getting Duncan.

You said...

"You feel like you've got fresh blood to dunk in?"


Like a Dracula eating a cruller?


Fresh blood.


TIM: There is a lot of Unreal expertise that's going to come off of GVR

that will help a lot with, uh, Psychonauts 2.

Hopefully they are not sick of the Psychonauts.

Hopefully no one is sick of the Psychonauts.


BRIAN: I'm not worried about the hail.

I'm worried about the chill.

I sit right there.

TIM: I want to first start off by having a big round of applause

for the Rhombus of Ruin team.

Congratulations on shipping that awesome game today.


TIM: Amazing.

Uh, it's out in the wild.


I've been getting some lovely, lovely people tweeting about it to me,

saying lovely things.

I think it's really fun... go back to the Psychonauts universe.

-You forget how much you miss that. -Oh my god, absolutely!

Especially, like, seeing the characters all around you again,

and even just seeing the UI,

and just the abstract, wonky art design.

Like, I think there is a thrill in looking around

just on the, you know, art of the environment,

-...and seeing these characters up-close. -Interacting with the characters for sure!

SPAFF: Um, but people are saying awesome stuff.

I brought some quotes to read out for you.

"For fans of the franchise or VR owners hungry for something new,

this is one of the best experiences you'll find on the headset.

It's nothing short of incredible,

and it has me counting the months until Psychonauts 2.

That's awesome. Was that Chad? Who was that?

It's really nice to see something great,

and seeing Psychonauts back out in the world after all these years.

All right.

Good update.


Was that your last update on GVR?

CHAD: Probably is our last update, yeah.

TIM: We'll check in next week, just to see if anything happened.

TIM: Uh, let's talk about Psychonauts 2!

-TIM: What is going on with Psychonauts 2? -What is going on with Psychonauts 2?

Uh, so...

We are trying to get our shit together to do actual sprint planning,

and move into doing real production work.

So, we are hoping to kick off a couple of levels this month.

And that works with the Lead Tech somehow?

-ZAK: No. -Uh, it barely doesn't work.

-It barely doesn't... -ZAK: It only...

Only barely doesn't work.

We are going to need to figure out, like,

how many character designs we can get from you

over, like, you know, a set period of time.

Okay, I just want to make sure that before it does go final,

I get a chance to make some comments.

Because I remember with Rhom-- with GVR,

I had made some comments on Sasha and Milla,

and certain things, I was like:

"Yeah, I wish we could turn the joints to be the same distance..."

And things like that.

But they said: "Oh, we are not on them. We are still working on Raz."

And then I hadn't heard about it,

and then... the game was done.

-[GAVIN CHUCKLES] -SCOTT: So, if we could, like...

Aside from that, I don't know--

Just something, if we could work into, uh...

being able to kind of check out some of that stuff, you know.

TUCKER: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Yeah, we'll try to figure out how to--

Where in the pipeline for the characters we can put that

to make sure it always goes in front of you.

Okay, yeah, for sure, sounds-- That sounds good.

ZAK: And Scott is starting to tear through all the character concepts.

RUSTY: Hey, Scott Campbell!

-TIM: Hey, Scott Campbell! -ZAK: Oh, your Christmas tree is still up!

TIM: Merry Christmas! So is mine, so is mine.

SCOTT: Are those trees on your sweater? What's on your sweater?

-ZAK: It's little people. -TIM: It does look like a little, uh...

It's little people. It's, like, little tourist people.

They've all got, like, suitcases, and cameras.

This makes me feel inspired. I like being in this room with you, guys.

-[TIM CHUCKLES] -This is cool.

ZAK: Uh, okay. So, we only got, like, 20 minutes now, so.

There is so, so, so much to talk about.

-(Zak was late.) -Why would you say that?


ZAK: Next up, the interns.

There is a lot of really good stuff here.

I love these ones.

Whoa, what is that outfit? It looks almost Spanish or, like, Chilean.

Whoa! Look at funky tattoos girl!

TIM: She is really-- I like-- She is really, uh, scrappy.

ZAK: Yeah, okay.

I love-- I love all these guys. These are so great.

TIM: I love the B guy with his crazy tattoo.

Glasses lady. The F girl is cool.


TIM: But it's been awesome having Scott.

Because I'm really bad at, like, keeping in touch with people.

I'm like: "Oh, this has really gotten me to talk to Scott every week on Skype."

And having him, uh, create the characters for the game...

It's just one way we don't have to worry about matching Psychonauts 1.

Like, when you are doing a sequel, you are like:

"Will this have the same feeling and, um, and be as good as the first game?"

And I can feel, like...

Just as soon as we saw the first characters,

and see, uh, Frazie being modeled by Rusty,

I'm just like: "Yes! This feels really good!

This feels exactly like what the characters should look like."

And, um...

And-- and that's just from having Scott on the project.

And Rusty.

ZAK: That one's good.

TIM: I like-- Do you know how there is a big--

Like, in Latin culture there is a big Morrissey following.

-Have you ever seen that? -Yes, there is.

ZAK: That actually would be a pretty good one there.

TIM: I'm-- I feel like we are really lucky in how much time we've got from Scott.

Because I didn't think we were going to have that much.

I thought we were just going to have him do some consulting.

But we just keep asking for more of his time,

and he keeps giving it to us, and...

I think he enjoys it.

He told me he did.

He could be lying.

But he is doing good work, so I'm not going to question it.

So, uh... So, a couple of things.

We should figure out how many interns we are going to make for the game.

Because otherwise--

Because if we just pick all the ones we like, we'll have thirty.

-I was just going to say thirty. -[ZAK LAUGHS]

So, that's great that we are thinking the same.

Uh, we've already got thirty other characters.

So, I think...

I would think four.

-Four is enough to have... -[TIM SIGHS]


-It's not thirty. -It's not thirty.

It's-- but it's four. Which is a bigger number than three.

And if one of, uh, his sisters joins.

-That gives you a nice number. -You just want her to show up?

Well, like, if... The dad talks you into the thing.

-So, yeah. -Yeah, that'd be a sidequest.

We'll do a sidequest for her, we'll do a sidequest.

I'm just saying she shows up in a cutscene.

Like, I'm interested in that there is this thing,

where you are, like, you are trying to: "Okay, I got them off the front lawn,

they are off in the campsite, they are never going to come around again,

I don't want anyone to know that I'm related to these guys."

And then the sister shows up and says:

"Dad said you have to put me in the intern program!"

And she is just one of the interns from then on, you know?

SCOTT: Who are you talking about?

Raz's sister.

Yeah, the, like-- the twelve-year-old sister.

Yep, yep...

Except we are trying to establish

that the intern program is actually hard to get into,

and Raz is less qualified than everybody else.

And he is kind of, like...

And then his sister just rolls in and does it.

-Yeah, yeah, yeah. -Seems like it kind of undermines...

Well, they turn-- They turn that on him.

They are like: "Oh, you think you can just get her..."

I think you just get the joke, and then you send her home...

Like, you get the embarrassment of her showing up, and trying to get in...

And, I think-- Anyway.

-Point being... -It's a writing problem.

-[ZAK CHUCKLES] -Writer will fix it.

So, whether or not we have the sister, how many...

How many of the interns are we trying to get?

-I would say four. -Okay.

Two boys, two girls.

You don't want to do six, so you can cut two later?


Think of long-term, Zak.

-Sounds good. -[TIM LAUGHS]

You want to do six, so we can cut two later?


SCOTT: I'm cool with that.

-ZAK: All right. -[TIM LAUGHS]

All right. Three boys, three girls.

It's a little different, you know.

(He is right there.)


RUSTY: But, I mean, it is...

It's nice, because Tim will, you know, just say:

"I want the pie in the sky!"

And Zak is like: "Well, it'd be nice,

but, you know, the realities are that I need this and this.

And I maybe don't need that other stuff."

But Tim's gotten really good at that now too, so.

PAUL: Zak is reeling him in a little bit.

-What's that? -PAUL: Zak is reeling him in a little bit.

Oh, he reeled himself in even before Zak.

-His family reeled him in. -[CHUCKLING]

I mean, it's true. It's, like...

He wants to go see his wife and child.

He doesn't want to stay here until 3 AM.

Even on Broken Age, I'm not sure if he was super excited

to actually be in charge of the whole project.

But I-- I think what he really wants to do is write...

Write the game.

Make sure the acting is good, make sure the animation is good,

the character design is good, and stuff like that.

And, uh, almost down to the brain list.

So, if you have a version of that that we are going to go over,

then we should be set... start kicking off levels in earnest. -I mailed it to you.

-ZAK: What's that? -TIM: I mailed it to you.

-Did you already? -TIM: Yeah.

-When did that happen? I didn't see. -Like, about ten minutes ago.

Oh, okay. Just during the meeting--

Oh, I did that sometime before the break-- before the break.

ZAK: Uh, yeah, I think that's all the big stuff that's going on.

So, it's exciting times.

-TIM: And James Marion. -And James Marion!

-TIM: James, where are you? -[CLAPPING]

TIM: Where are you?

Would you-- Oh, I see!

You think by standing-- by sitting behind the post

that I won't see you, and I won't call you.

Would you please stand up, so people can see who you are.

And can I ask you a few questions?

Because I don't pay attention during job interviews

and this is the only way I actually get to--


TIM: What-- what role might you play on which team?

TIM: Awesome.

JAMES: I know when I was being interviewed they were pretty upfront about, like...

They were cautiously optimistic about me,

because I had so little experience with actual 3D level design.

But also no one makes 3D platformers.

So, the pool of people who have made 3D platformers is pretty small.

I was-- I was, like, pretty excited about it.

But I wanted to hear what everybody else had to say.

And everybody else was super like:

"Thumbs up, that guy is great, we should hire him."

Because he didn't have much-- any level design experience.

He doesn't have any 3D experience.

-But... -Or levels.

Yeah, but he's come-- He is cheap, he is junior.

You gotta-- You gotta take chances...

-...on people. -Okay.

I'll-- I'll fire him if he is bad.


I'll, you know, if I have to do that, I'll just be like:

"Didn't work out, dude. Sorry."

-It'll be good. -Yeah?

-It'll be good. -Okay.

JAMES: So, what I understand about the original game is that...

the level designers...

it didn't go great.

Um, so, they eventually got fired halfway through the project.

Which I saw on Wikipedia, like, a day after I got hired.

I was like: "Oh, no! This is a terrible omen."


-Let's party! -Do it.

TIM: All right, come to the kitchen for cake,

if you are into that kind of thing.

ZAK: But then, my hope is by next week, in earnest,

we could kick you two off, uh, on-- on a brain.

-Have you met Jeremy? -JAMES: Hi, Jeremy!

-[CHUCKLING] -ZAK: Have you met James?

Yes, and so you guys will be doing the--

the first-- the first brain.

And unless there is a real solid reason to pick one,

like, we can talk to you, guys, and let you figure out

which one sounds the most interesting to you, guys.


For-- for next week, I think, what would be nice,

um, when we kick off the levels, is for you to be the concept art--

support for these two guys as a level team.


I have a meeting with Tim later today.

We are going to go over the preliminary brain list.

My hope is there is at least one thing in there

that is, like, solid enough that we are like:

"Yes! That can be the first brain that we can do."


And then you guys can continue to work on the HQ stuff.

-RYAN: Mm-hmm. -Um, and do that.

Because we have to-- we have to figure out...

We have to figure out how do we further kick off the hub.

-Because it's so big. -RYAN: It's huge, yeah.

Making a whole-- layout of the whole hub.

So, um...

We just need to sit down and figure out how we are going to handle that process.

Like, do we do a couple of different chunks

and push it through the workflow all the way.

RYAN: Um, one of the problems with the hub is that it's very, very big.

And I'm pretty sure that there is stuff

that we are not even thinking about right now,

that we don't have a place for,

that we'll need to figure out how to incorporate as well.

RYAN: That's something I'm really excited about.

Like, just kind of feeling out

what that history ends up being in the world.

EMILY: What if it was the camp before the camp?

Oh, oh! Like, there is an old, uh, kid's camp...

-EMILY: Yeah. -...over here?

That could be creepy.

But it's all run-down.

Like, wall full of hand prints.

-Moaning Caverns Psychic Summer Camp. -RYAN: You've moved on.

-You've grown up. -You've grown up!

-It's a symbol for growing up. -You can't go home again.

-No. -A little sign over there.

What's the most important stuff to go over?


-This stuff probably. -[TIM MAKES AN EFFORT GRUNT]

ZAK: We gotta get people kicked off on something soon.

What do you think is the biggest change...

The biggest change in this is the idea of reusing the Psychic Seven.

-ZAK: Yeah. -The Stump People.

ZAK: Yeah, as the...

-The Stump People. -The Stump People.

That's a Troma film.

These are the old stumps, actually.

We were looking at Psychonauts because the stumps in the--

in the campgrounds had some old Psychonauts.

And we want to make sure that we fit the story with them.

TIM: Because we talked about referencing--

At first it was like: "Well, we could reuse--

We could use Cassiopeia.

-TIM: And we could use Lucrecia." -ZAK: Yeah.

ZAK: But once you are...

-ZAK: Once you are using two of them... -TIM: I feel like you gotta use them all.

ZAK: Laws of symmetry.

And also, I feel like it's a nice--

It could be a nice way of telling the stories of the back-- history,

with, you know, each one of them having some piece of it.

There is an early idea from the first game that Lili just touches on in one cutscene.

Which is that the Psychonauts aren't what they used to be.

And that's more about how they've, you know...

They were brought about as a peacekeeping force.

And now they have achieved a lot of that peace, and now people are like:

"Ah, who needs the soldiers of that war anymore?"

And the Psychonauts are kind of underfunded now.

Um, but this is more about how the Psychonauts get in that position.

Is this what they really were meant to be?

And that Ford, um...

maybe when he founded it had a different vision for that.

TIM: Maybe that gathering of people is

in each brain that you can go into, and they remember that time.

They have a different perspective on that time.

-The memories of... -Mm-hmm.


TIM: I like it, uh...

And it helps a lot.

And it helps bring the Psychic Seven into a real purposeful group.

And it lets Psychonauts 2 have this story that is about something.

Instead of just, like, the further adventures of the spies.

So, okay. Did you get to read through this?

-Uh, I got through, like, half of it, so. -Okay.

The reason you can tell this is not final is

that there is no, still, um, Deep Fried world in it.

-I have not found a place for Deep Fried. -ZAK: Uh... DLC.

ZAK: The D stands for Deep.

Deep. Deep Fried, okay.

-Cool. -ZAK: Yep.

-ZAK: Kentucky Fried... -For the DLC plan...

Say, uh...

Everything-- knock on wood-- with Starbreeze.

-ZAK: Yep. -Is this the brain plan?

Or were some of these going to come out for DLC?


-Okay, DLC is addition to this. -In addition, yes.

-Oh, man, fat and happy... -But, uh, well...

But this is fat and happy in a different way.

So, we'll talk about how we might be able to do some of this.

-Wait, what? -It's good. No, uh...

You still think even with the budget of Starbreeze we should cut them down?

No, it's just-- it's just that there is a lot of two-state brains.

Which is awesome.

Where you go into them, and then you go into them again.

Which is cool.

But once it becomes massive state changes within the level,

or you do visit and revisit, and it is different each time.

Um, and all the Ford fragments are so vastly different

in all of their directions.

They are all, like, mini brains now.

So, once we actually figure out production math on those things,

I think it becomes bigger than just eleven brains.

ZAK: The initial list of brain ideas we had,

um, packed in maybe a few too many ideas.

We had a very long series of brainstorms,

and then the brain list we boiled down to often was, um,

one or two things, or three things, or four things in a row.

Uh, so, we've got a lot of two-state brains.

We've got a lot of brains that, like, start off this way and end up that way.

Or the person has kind of multiple mental conditions.

I think some of that stuff is going to have to get clarified out

for it to be sort of, uh,

strong, singular direction on some of these.

ZAK: It's been twelve for a while.

Just design them all, and then cut the worst one.


ZAK: So, I think the next thing for this is to go through it with the team.

And then figure out what brain we would want to do... next.

-We've got, like, Bee Hive... -JAMES: Okay.

-Which is the Hermit's Hive. -RYAN: Yeah.

The Lisa Frank Posh, which is Boolean values.

-JAMES: What's the third one in that set? -LEVI: And... Pickled Promotion.

Which is the Synesthesia.

-Yeah, the Brain in a Jar. -JAMES: Oh, jeez.

Brain in a Jar, Bee Hive, or the Lisa Frank psychopath.

I thought that the idea for Fullbear is that when he is in the brain in the jar,

he is just being crushed under the weight of his own thoughts.

-Everything is kind of... -Or anything else we come up with!

Like, he's been isolated for years, and years.

He is a brain in a jar, and he's been alone with his thoughts,

and what is that like?

However you want to design it.

-It's all super-- -Okay.

It's up to you guys to figure it out.

ZAK: It's about building out these level teams.

And having those level teams be

functional creative units that work really well together.

And for that they need to do creative work together.

Um, and we could just hand them ideas and say:

"Here is what you are building. Go build it."

But I don't think that would develop them as a team as well.

And ultimately they wouldn't feel as close to the work.

We should have a beard team and a mustache team.

That's weird.

ZAK: With that in mind, it's really just making sure

they don't go too far off the rails,

or they don't do something that is coming in, you know,

way below the quality bar, or I don't feel they can execute on.

ZAK: Um, and then the Bee Hive, I think.

LEVI: Bee Hive seems pretty straightforward.

It seems straightforward.

When you guys get done with it, it would not be straightforward.

It would be whatever crazy--

whatever crazy thing you want to do with it.

JAMES: Uh, it's definitely not the type of environment I'm used to.

But I did have some sense that the process would be like:

"Here is where the game is at the beginning of the level.

Here is where it needs to get to.

Fill in that blank."

So, yeah.

Yeah, I feel it's Lisa Frank right now, because it...

is a little more grounded for me.

ZAK: Uh, Lisa Frank was also a thing that, uh, Emily was super excited about.

JEREMY: Oh, is she not-- Is she not going to be on this one?

ZAK: We were going to have her do the hub.

-ZAK: We could swip-swap. -JEREMY: Oh.

JEREMY: She would fucking love it.

JAMES: Oh, then let's do the synesthesia one.


-No. -I don't want to take that away from her.

-That's-- that's fine. -JEREMY: I think...

JEREMY: It would be really good if she did it though.

Okay, does that mean you really guys-- really want to change that?

JEREMY: I think it'd be better, if she worked on that level.

Uh, how do you feel about that, Levi?



Excitement, everyone!

-All the levels are going to be great. -Have conviction!

And they are all going to be great to work on.

ZAK: So, you guys want to do the Brain in a Jar?

-JAMES: Yep. -ZAK: Sure about that?

-Damn it! -Locked!

Final answer.

-RYAN: Oh, that's totally fine. -ZAK: All right, all right.

-ZAK: Brain in a Jar, all right. -RYAN: I'm working on a cool hub!

ZAK: Done. Done.

GEOFF: ...meeting with Peter Chan in the afternoon.

Uh, input tasks for Jeremy in Hansoft.

Uh, and then worked on the...

um, setting up sound volumes for Camden,

and had a meeting with him about sound inside of the interior pretty area.

-ZAK: (Do you need me? Do you need me?) -I was just sneaking out.

-No, it's okay. -ZAK: Oh, okay.

-A tense moment in here? -No! Not at all.

I forgot that you guys were in there with Starbreeze,

because we were doing stand-ups.

Do you need-- Is that over or do you need me?

-GREG: It's over, it's over. -ZAK: Oh, okay.

ZAK: All right.

Uh, Starbreeze wants to do it.

-ZAK: They are what-- they are into it? -They are into it.

Bo signed off on it.

ZAK: Oh, all right, cool.

So, have they already, like, run the numbers and all that stuff?

TIM: There are some final numbers between me and Greg...

GREG: ...we are trying to figure out.

ZAK: That's big. That's big, all right.


JAMES: So...

Helmut Fullbear is one of the original Psychonauts.

Um, he died in this great battle.

You should probably read the general story doc,

because it kind of outlines what this battle is,

and why that's happening.

Because that's kind of the story of Psychonauts 2.

But, basically, he died in this great battle,

but his brain was put on a sort of life support.

Where it was supposed to be turned off, but it wasn't.

And he's been kind of stewing in his own juices for, like, 20 years.


So, this level is made up of those ideas he's been coming up with

for the last 20 years. He's been trying to remember how he died.

JAMES: You are walking through these different copies of the same battle,

uh, as he's been trying to figure that out.

LEVI: Oversized viking, uh, going into battle.

Kind of like the idea--

that it wasn't actually like that in his battle, but...

uh, just a spun story about it.

JAMES: And then, when we get to Helmut, we see

that he's been in this constant state of frustration and, uh...

...pain for years.

And Raz suggests that maybe we'd be able to fix that

if we put him in a body.

And we just happen to have a body lying around.


So, when we do that what happens is...

he is overwhelmed by the sensations, because he's gone so long without them.

And it's Raz's job to put those senses in order.

Yeah, I actually think the initial brainstorm was really strong.

What was cool is that we had this idea

of this, like, big viking ship over a wasteland, kind of floating there,

and this really strong visual.

Um, but the gameplay part was less strong.

So we spent the last week kind of going over that again, and again, and again,

until we felt really confident about that.


ZAK: Uh...

Did you ever hire anybody that's, like, super weird fanboy?

-Was there anybody that's strange? -Just you, only you.

-Just me? -[CHUCKLING]

-You hide it really well. -I know.

-But it's great. -Yeah, it is.

JAMES: Uh, yeah, I was a big Tim Schafer fan for a long time.

Um, and I remember making, like, a fool out of myself two years ago at GDC.

Because I, like, went up to him and was like: "Hey, I'm a big fan!"

And he was like: "Thanks for playing."

And then, like, turned away.

I was like: "Oh, no! I've put myself in a category forever now."

-Afterwards or before? -JAMES: Afterwards.

I was, um, embarrassing. But you don't remember it, so it's fine.

TIM: Oh! Oh, oh, wait! Wait, wait, wait.

-JAMES: No, you don't remember it. -JEREMY: I have a story too.

-JAMES: I wasn't that embarrassing. -TIM: Uh-oh!

I never met you, but...

when I went to Comic-Con one year, you were sitting behind me on the plane.

-JAMES: That's exciting! -[JEREMY LAUGHS]

It was the Southwest flight, it was one of the ones where you pick your own seats.

And I guess, like... That was, like, the one...

-And I picked the seat behind you? -Yeah.

JAMES: So, like, being in a meeting room with him and, like,

pitching him story ideas, and talking through

how the level is going to go, is, like, totally nuts.


But I guess I'm taking, like, a fake it till you make it kind of approach,

where I have to at least give off the impression

that I'm confident in my ideas, or else they are never going to work.

So, yeah.

JAMES: Yeah, I do, I'm glad. He seems into the viking stuff.

It was cool we got to pitch a lot of it too already...

-Yeah. -JEREMY: ...before next Tuesday


We just have to make sure if Zak doesn't like something,

we can't be like: "Well, Tim liked it."


-We already talked to Mom. -[JAMES LAUGHS]


No, I mean--

Don't tell Tim I called him Mom!


-That's all you ever call him. -I just picked one at random.

Whenever the cameras are off that's all you ever say.

LEVI: Yeah...

-JAMES: "Zak, can we get Mom in here?" -[LEVI LAUGHS]

JAMES: We also have Anna Kipnis on the team,

uh, who'll be kind of giving us programming support.

Yeah, Anna will be helping with brainstorming too.

Uh, she is super smart, and she is the only person on the team

who was there for Psychonauts 1.

So she is a great resource for that.

The idea of, like, what does the boat actually represent here?

ANNA: And maybe he is--

Like, maybe if you climb to the crow's nest, you--

Like, he is trying to remember this memory.

And it's almost like trying to find land.

Um, so, yesterday was mostly just meetings and interviews.

Uh, didn't do a lot for levels.

But today is all levels, all day.

With, uh, the level presentations.

Um, and then I'm going to prioritize for the rest of the week

putting together that high-level direction sheet for brains.


How is it going to go?

TIM: Let me ask you some interview questions.

-TIM: Are you nervous? -Yeah.

Did you ever see that movie, uh... with Eminem?

-8 Mile? -JAMES: Yep.

Or that song where he is like: "What if you have one shot?"

Could you do the lyrics right now?


JAMES: Interesting, yeah, I mean, Tim is, like, a dreamer, right?

I even noticed that in the Double Fine Adventure.


thinks about things without, uh...

a ton of concern regarding their-- like, how possible they are.

Which, I think, is really good for a Creative Director.

So it's probably great that Zak is here to be like:

"Nope, not going to work."


I-- I would assume Zak is probably good enough, uh...

smart enough to know that some impossible things are probably possible.

Oh, yeah, that's-- Anna brought that one in.

There it is!

Oh, that's not going to be enough for all of us.


TIM: It's still brewing, so I had to jump into the thingamajigy.

Did you guys all want coffee? Or something? Do you want one?

TIM: Will it freak you out if I stand here?

ZAK: This whole thing is going to be so exciting,

you are just going to wake up, you are not going to need coffee.

You are like: "Boom!"

I'm only standing up, because of my back.

I hope you-- I'm not about to run out the door.

-No, it's a power move. -[TIM LAUGHS]

TIM: It's a power move to psyche you out!

I was sitting at my desk earlier, and I was almost, uh, dead.

I had slept on my parents' guest room bed, and my back threw out.

Is that what you are talking about?

Yeah, that's heroic.


-Hi, everyone! -ZAK: Hello!

Welcome to Helmut's Harmonarium!

The level starts in this little cave of memories

that is constructed of discarded memories that Helmut has created.


Uh, it's devoid of energy. It's kind of eerie.

And as Raz moves, he creates little bubbles of light and energy.

Um, because he is the first, kind of, impulse this brain has had in decades.

Uh, he sees Helmut's ship floating high above a spire in the distance.

Uh, and out in front of him is a wasteland of discarded memories.

Uh, you can hear the faint sound

of muffled singing emanating from the ship.

Um, and needing Helmut's permission to move his brain in the real world,

he hops down into the wasteland in front of him,

uh, losing sight of the ship among the piles of abandoned ideas.

Raz takes the brain out of the jar,

uh, somehow gets it to Nick, and inserts it in Nick's body.

LEVI: Uh, returning to the--

to, uh, Helmut's brain, once in the body,

things have gone a little crazy, in the opposite direction, so...

Many of the objects that you saw in the wasteland below are now

floating up into the storm, spiraling around the ship itself,

and, uh, a lot of very obvious platforming has now,

uh, strewn across the level.

You mean a lot of really awesome platforming?


ANNA: So, this is where you get more and more closer

to, like, some of the memories that, um, Helmut actually has of this final battle.

If I may. So, the idea is that he has this actual memory, that's lost, of the battle.

But he remembers senses from it, right?

So, say, that battle happened in a cold place,

he remembers that it was cold.

And then this island is created just from that sense memory.

So it might be a glacier. Something like that.

So, you go to the sense islands,

you free, uh, the Helmuts, that should be manning the ship,

from those phantom Nicks.

And the senses are sorted.

So, the Helmuts are once again manning the ship.

Helmut is able to control the senses, finally able to finish his song.

Then Helmut, now in control of Nick's body,

runs out of the mailroom in search of Ford.

The end.

(That was a very good timing with the song.)


Um, I have a bunch of different feedback.

Do you guys want to go? Who wants to go?

-RYAN: Go ahead and start. -ZAK: All right.

The islands are the memory that are going to form the thing

that he is trying to put back together.

Maybe that was the intention?

Um, but it does feel like a set of different stumbling blocks,

and not: "You come into the level, you understand his problem,

and then, at the end of the level, you've resolved that thing."

It feels like as you describe it,

it doesn't set up that chain of conflicts in a way that I--

that players necessarily, I think, will all hook together

on a moment by moment basis.

Because it does feel like a whole bunch of ideas.

And none of those ideas have been discarded.

They've all just been put together into one idea.

That is what I generally call the buffet kind of design.

Where it's like: "We just had a bunch of stuff we like,

so we put it all on the plate."

Um, and I think that will result

in it being overscoped and confusing in the game.

It's not, like I said, it's just not a slam dunk.

-GEOFF: Cool. -All right.

RYAN: There are some really great ideas here.

-GEOFF: Yep. -ZAK: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

ZAK: Uh...

So, this sounds to me like another couple of days on concept development?

-RYAN: Yeah. -ZAK: And then circle back in...

ZAK: ...and try to get, like, that actual kind of, like,

quest and conflict stuff nailed down

before going on to-- to actual whitebox and layout.

Um, what's today? Tuesday?

How much time do you guys want?

Is that coffee made?

-[GEOFF LAUGHS] -I bet the coffee is made.

-Zak said a lot. -[PAUL CHUCKLES]

TIM: Unless I could help out with Helmut

by coming up with a better story of who he is.

Because I feel like I didn't give them-- I didn't give them much to work with.

Like: "Helmut, he is a viking-ish looking dude."


I mean, they filled in the holes.

It seems like they know a lot-- Well, maybe they still are.

It didn't-- we didn't want them feeling like they were trying to

fulfill an order that we were making.

ZAK: Well, I think, what I want to avoid is

them... feeling like they are taking stabs into the dark

until they hit the thing that you want.

Which is not how that works, but it's the feeling people can get.

Where they are like: "I'm just throwing stuff out there,

until somebody--

the dude who wants a thing and can't articulate it says: "Yes."

Trying to take stabs in the dark until you smile.


JAMES: Accidentally shows Helmut

that, you know, new impulses are good.

Helmut says, like: "Raz, do this new impulse thing to this other thing."

Raz does it.

And then whatever Raz does to make that thing better

gets washed away immediately because of the state of the world.

And that's what causes Helmut to say, like:

"Oh, I need more. I need my own senses."

It's, like, um, maybe a random association, but...

When I lived alone for a long time...

I was single for a long time, you guys.

-What?! -Yeah.

I had this-- there was a period where I was just living by myself,

and I was in crunch mode, and just-- and I, um...

I set something down, or I moved something in my house.

And then I realized that I had set it down,

like, a week before, and it was-- it hadn't moved at all.

And I realized, like:

"Nothing in this apartment is ever going to move, unless I move it."

Because I never have anyone ever.

Like: "I live here alone."

-JEREMY: That's amazing! -"This is weird."

-JEREMY: That's super cool. -Like, things are getting dust on them.

In temporary-- Like, I set something down temporarily

and it now has dust on it in that shape, like: "Oh, god!"

And I eventually-- I got a cleaning service.

And they came, and they started messing things up.

And putting things in the wrong place, and making new piles and stuff.

But I loved it, because, I was like: "Oh my god!

There is chaotic input into my world!"


It's, like-- It's just, like--

Like, you know that scene in Misery

when she knows the glass animal is turned the wrong way,

and that's how she knows he's been getting out of the bedroom.

-Yeah. -That... my apartment was that.

It was like Misery.

That's like Helmut's brain.

It's, like, he's been the only person touching stuff.

Nothing has moved except for when he did it.

You come in, and you move his glass animal penguin...

-JEREMY: Yeah. -And he is like...

He gets enraged at first, but then he is like:

"This changes everything."

Like, this cha-- this gives me, like, ten thousand more ideas all of a sudden.

JEREMY: That seems awesome!

Like, if he has this whole battle, like,

kind of placed out on the deck of the ship.

-And then he realizes this is better. -[JAMES SIGHS]

And Helmut, he puts it back together wrong.

You did a heavy sigh... Okay.

JAMES: No. So, let me explain what we liked about the statue idea.

Even though it might be half-baked, right?


It was, like, a very physical--

JAMES: I had a dream last night that I got into a fist fight with Tim.


I'm sorry, Tim.


LEVI: Man, you got a killer cocktail.

What's that?

Philz, LaCroix...


That would be on-brand!

Kee is here just so as we are describing things happening in the hub...

-He is like: "Oh, no." -He is like: "I'm not programming that."



RYAN: "No, you can't have that feature you are asking for."

RYAN: For our hub quest flow check-in...

Um, because we know a lot more about the hub

than the other brain levels and such,

this is much more about trying to establish, uh,

how the quest in Act 1 and 2 works inside the hub.

Uh, so, as you are going towards the Atrium,

there is only one path available from the Lobby to the Atrium.

And on the way to the Atrium Raz encounters a group of surly interns

who are less than impressed by him.

And we cut to: "Raz has been deposited in a storage closet in his skivvies,

a tank top and shorts.

-Wow. -GEOFF: Uh, and...

GEOFF: There is only really one way out of this closet.

But we get a action path that leads Raz up to the second floor.

Uh, and in this place we are going to introduce updrafts and ladders.

So, it's sort of, like, Raz is crawling through the vents at this point.

Or you are, like, on the outside, and you are, like, doing an action path

around the superstructure of the base.

And you've got, like, a nice vista or something.

-But just-- especially because-- -[TIM LAUGHS]

When you talked about being outside, you just made me laugh,

because he would have to walk on a ledge outside a window.

And, like, the wind is blowing, and you are like:

"I have dreamed of coming to this place all my life."


"And within ten minutes of being here, I'm naked on a ledge.

And I'm ruining everything."

I think that's really funny.

ZAK: That's a-- I feel like that's a Naked Gun scene somewhere.

-[LAUGHTER] -Yeah, if we do it right.



ZAK: Um, and then, the high elevation area,

which is the one you are going to do,

and, uh, luckily, the thing that is interesting about that is...

the brain we are kicking off is the hub brain that is in that area.

-TIM: What a coinkydink! -So, we already know that stuff.



A man and his passions!


GREG: What are you guys watching?

The Full House opening.

-GREG: Why? -Why not?

ANNA: Who is that guy, seriously?

That's Danny Tanner! In this version, I guess.

DUNCAN: I have a suspicion that we all need to go outside.

-ANNA: It's Bob Saget? -JEREMY: Bob Saget.

-We have set it up out there. -Oh!

TIM: I don't know.

I mean, there are-- Denise is all: "Pop the thing!"

LEVI: What is going on?


TIM: I'm going to stand on this thing.


PAUL: Do you want a glass?

TIM: Uh...

Greg, do you want to-- Why don't you--

Do you have any-- Do you have it on you?

-GREG: I do! -TIM: Show it.

TIM: We want to share with you

our finalized, fully executed contract with Starbreeze Studios.


TIM: That's awesome news! Cheers, cheers, cheers!


It's been signed by them-- Wait, show the part where they signed it.

That's important.


-We have two signatures now. -TIM: That's awesome.


Now, we were already making this game,

and nothing was going to stop us from making this game.

But there is a substantial amount of money tied to that contract

that is going to help us make this game the way we want to make it.

It's really great, so I want to toast.

And thank, first, Greg Rice for doing all of that amazing bizdev on that.


GREG: We went out to dinner with them after, um...

to this, like, uh, you know, we had, like, steak restaurant dinner or whatever.

And... it was, uh...

I don't know if this is, like, because my body could just--

like, was just so worn down from all of the pitching,

and all the stress, and it, like, finally felt, like, a bit of relief.

But... after that dinner, like, the next morning I got food poisoning,

and puked for the first time in, like, 25 years.

Uh, in the cab, on the way to the airport,

and then in the airplane on our, like, ten-hour flight back to the States.

Uh, Greg threw up on my Uber, so that's...

That's why I switched to Lyft.


I know how to say: "Why didn't you tell me to pull over?" in Swedish.


So, it just felt like-- Everything was, like, finally like:

"Oh, god! Maybe this is actually going to work!"


It was great!

A lot of people passed on it.

A lot of people thought it was-- They offered us less money.

There were some people who wanted to give us, like, a tiny bit of money.

We were like: "We want to make a really good game.

It's going to take this much money."

And Starbreeze turned out to be, um, the one that was the most enthusiastic,

and also the one that gave us the-- the best-- the best deal.

Like, the best-- the most supportive offer came from Starbreeze.

So it was great that it ended up

being the one that, um, made it all the way to the end.

But they've been great, and...

And it's kind of funny, because there is a such big difference

between Psychonauts and PAYDAY, you know, and...

But, I think, they have a lot of ideas about how to...

uh... make the game a big hit.

So, I look forward to... the hit Psychonauts 2.

TIM: Oh, Miyuki, do you have a question?

-MIYUKI: Oh, no, I was just stretching. -TIM: No, okay, great, okay.


I'm going to get down before I break this chair

and throw my back out again.

GREG: It's a significant amount of money for the studio.

That means that, uh, the runway is longer

than I've seen it in the time I've been here.

GREG: But, yeah, he seems happy.

I feel like he was probably pretty stressed

mostly because of the publisher deal not being sorted out.

So, I think now that that is,

and he knows that now it's just about making a game...

Like, everybody seems excited about just kind of diving in.

RYAN: ...down to Mint Plaza, and go to Chez Papa.

-And enjoy a really, really nice-- -TIM: CHEZ PAPA!

-Yeah, Chez Papa! -TIM: I'm down at Chez Papa!

TIM: Sorry, I've been drinking champagne. Sounded funny...


JAMES: Tim is smashed for this meeting.

-[LAUGHTER] -TIM: Yeah! Let's do some brains!

JAMES: Yeah, so, I'm not quite sure how to do this presentation,

because it's an update.

But what I would really love to do is to just read the narrative explanation--

or the narrative piece I've written for each section of the level.

And then...

just turn towards you guys, and if you go like this...

And then we just...

"I really would just like to get a rubber stamp and get out of here."


I don't know how you guys feel about that...

ZAK: ...but I'd like to just say some things, and have you agree.

Uh... sure.

LEVI: But the cool thing is that, uh, Helmut actually will be singing,

and you can hear that.

So you will hear words related to whatever objects are falling.

So it'll put two and two together

that the wasteland is creations coming from Helmut's singing.

That's the first one.

Keep going? Good? I got thumbs up? Okay.

There are Censors on each island fighting, uh...

new enemies that represent the senses coming in.

There is kind of a little war going on between them.

And your job is to help fight those,

so the Censors can take control of the island.

And filter the senses for Helmut.

-LEVI: Which visibly means that... -JAMES: You like that? No?


TIM: Flashing yellow light. Keep going.

-[LEVI CHUCKLES] -I'm kidding. It's fine.

Um, and once you complete that, once you do that,

once you help the Censors take back control,

they kind of, you know, shut off a big valve

that stops the senses from overwhelming.

ZAK: Yes, I mean, that is the one thing I am confused about, because it is...

Like, he is building a memory, but you are repairing the islands,

so that you can then rebuild the memory?

TIM: You're not repairing the islands, you're not putting them all back together.

You are just shutting off valves on each one.

-JAMES: Right, right. -ZAK: Right, and then he makes a memory...

JAMES: So, the memory-- The memory is just, like...

It's a narrative pay-off at the end of the level.

But his conflict with not being able to recall memories is done

after you get back into his brain.

Yeah, I'm not sure that makes sense.

Well, I-- I guess-- That part I thought made sense.

Because at first he is building this-- this--

He is singing this thing and the set is being built...

PAUL: I don't know if Zak was totally convinced.

-PAUL: He was just, like... -JAMES: I don't think...

JAMES: I think Zak was maybe the least convinced of the three of them.

I think Tim was on board

for the narrative stuff that is important to Tim.

Which is like: "Who Helmut is,

and his interactions with the other characters."

I think-- I think Zak is way more on board than he was at the first pitch session,

because we simplified the goals of the character.

And once that was pretty clearly explained to him,

he was, uh... I think he was okay with it.

-Okay. -JAMES: So...


ZAK: Maybe.


No, I get that. I think I get that.

It's kind of a Pass / No Pass at this point.

That's why I went to UC Santa Cruz.

That's a horrible thing to say to us.

No, no, no. I mean, I mean--

You don't know until you, like, really start-- start building it.

And it's, like, that's the real point of this phase.

It is, like, to get something that people are excited about enough.

-I didn't mean that in an insulting way. -JAMES: No, no, absolutely.

ZAK: Is there enough material? And does it makes sense?

And does it serve as a good seed to start building from?

And then from there it'll get better, and better, and better.

JAMES: Yeah, obviously this is all still going to change

over the course of making the level.

But our goal with that change was to...

simplify what the player is thinking they are doing.

ZAK: Sure.

All right. Not canceled!


-It's not canceled, right? -[LAUGHTER]

TIM: The level is not canceled. You get a big 'Not canceled'.

JAMES: Are we clear to go into whiteboxing?

-ZAK: I think so-o-o... -RYAN: Sure.

ZAK: You know, there is always going to be questions, but this isn't a big enough one

that I would say go back to another couple of days of concept.

I would say go into whiteboxing, and figure it out then.

-Excellent! -RYAN: Yeah, it's one...

...that we will probably keep asking about during whiteboxing,

to make sure that it's being thought of and solved.

Yeah, I do have questions about whiteboxing.

-I don't know if this is the time. -RYAN: Nope!


-TIM: I gotta go. -I gotta go too.

TIM: Yeah! Uh... we'll see. His level is not done yet.


He is a very creative guy,

he is a really funny guy.

Uh, so we have a lot of hopes.

And he hasn't, you know, made a big level like this ever before.


And so, I think this process will be...

somewhat painful for him?

And then he'll come out of it a better designer.

Yeah, I mean...

Yeah, I can't be a 100% confident it'll work either.

Just because I have-- I haven't made a Psychonauts 2 level before.

Um, and it's also the first one in the game.


So we are going to have to figure it out as we go along.

Type in, uh... C E.



And select 'GoToWarp'.

Which is, like, kind of near the very top there.



Go ahead and, um... Go into Lab.

Wow! Fancy.

RYAN: And, uh...

Now... yeah, if you run straight forward.

JAMES: Oh, man!

Here is Helmut's brain!



Is it gray?


-JAMES: I'm so nervous. -Is it corpse gray?

-JAMES: Look at it and s-- -LEVI: No, no, no.

-Want to try it? -LEVI: No!

Yeah, you do.

Can I take a little sip?

-Ryan, do you want to try it? -No, thank you.

We live in the post-food future.

No, we do not live in the post-food future.

-We do not live in the post-food future. -[JAMES LAUGHS]

We do not, we do not.

There you go, yeah, sure, sure.

It's very smooth.

Which most protein stuff is terrible about.

ZAK: Yes, I know.

So, it could be worse. There's just way more than I want--

-JAMES: Oh, god! -[ZAK LAUGHS]

-JAMES: Oh, god! -[ZAK LAUGHS]

Skip up to: site menu or main content