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The Heart of Double Fine

Tim's reception of a major award is made bittersweet by the departure of a founding Double Finer.

Published: January 20th 2023

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Episode Transcript

TIM: ...rid of the price.

Does anybody-- Like, you'll see a horrible price,

and then you type in the code, and it'll be free.

CARYL: And everyone should plan on going to the awards.

I don't know if you guys heard,

there is some guy here, he is getting some award.

-CARYL: We are going to go cheer for him. -TIM: I need your votes to win that thing.

I gotta cut out the other competition.

-CARYL: Yeah. -Yeah, yeah, thank you.

TIM: That was a-- That was a weird period.

Because you are like: "Are you talking to my doctor?

Why-- what do I need to know?"

Um, and also, I was being kind of grumpy about it.

Because, like, you want to win...

In some ways, you want to win an award for...

"Oh, you really nailed..."

Like, Game of the Year. That's nice.

Are you just some old, you know, figurehead

that people feel they need to--


Like: "Let's just pat him on the back, because he is going to die soon."


ZAK: Do you want to just do something interesting there?

Or do you want to do a waterfall?

JAMES: It's pretty linear. Well, extremely linear.

I'm, like, afraid to talk to...


ANNA: Wait, I understand what you are getting at.

ZAK: I know, I know, but I'm just trying to visualize it.

RYAN: The shapes of that foliage

work really, really well there as well by the way.

TIM: Progress is being made, but I don't know

if we are still on that exact same schedule.

TIM: Happy Holidays! The holidays are over!

It's time for work now!

No more fun!

Wake up!

Um, don't worry, I'll grow my beard back later.

Just had to--

Just-- I can't find it.

I'm going to-- I lost it around my house somewhere.

But I'm going to find it and put it back on.

Hi, everybody! Welcome back!

Thank you for coming back to work here!

Um, I hope you had lovely holidays.

ZAK: Uh, we sent out our Fig update.

Uh, and also announced the delay,

that we are not coming out this year, 2018.

Um, and people covered that delay.

-What?! -What?

I'm the last to hear about this.

ZAK: Yeah, I know. I'm sorry, I'm sorry.


Which the response largely seemed to be: "Yeah, we figured."

-[LAUGHTER] -ZAK: There was no great betrayal.

ZAK: No one seemed very angry.

It was like: "Yeah, that seems-- That seems reasonable.

That seems about right for that game."

Um, we will be getting sort of the next big third

of the game stood up end-to-end.

As well as, uh, focusing on, um-- Now that we've got kind of, like,

our base combat experience in and working pretty well,

actually starting to make some new AIs,

and trying to finish up the first pass of all the powers,

and gadgets, and things like that.



What is this enemy's role in combat? What do they do?

It's pretty straightforward, but it is, like--

It's very easy to lose sight of-- of, like...

You will do a better job of developing an enemy,

if you know kind of what is their primary function.

Generic melee fighter.

Um, there is things like a tank.

Um, so, with that being said, we need to actually decide...

TBD #1 - Complex Enemy.

For my inclination, I would rather do right now, like, a tank style enemy.

Like, a big enemy. The shield carrier, basically.

Who has, like, got a big, giant defensive shield.

And it's standing in front of other enemies.

And you've got the shieldy dude is upfront,

and then, some support characters who are lobbing range stuff,

and you are trying to get around the shield guy, and... yep.

I'm just trying to think of-- I mean, the tank guy.

It's just-- I-- I still, like--

Honestly, the way that we designed Psychonauts was

we did the thing that you don't like.

Which is we took a theme, and then we tried to, um...

think of all of the possible things within our gamer vocabulary,

and how we could make that work.

A tank character just, like--

Until I understand its purpose--

-Like, I understand its-- its-- -Thematically, you mean.

Like, every single game that we've ever worked on

where we had enemies that fought you,

it was always-- theme was primary.

Like, and it was-- it was--

It made it so-- so interesting to think of it.

I mean, the thing about that is, like...

That methodology, specifically for Psychonauts,

like, did not result in a very robust combat experience.

Um, and I think it's important to have more behavioral variety.

And I totally believe you can do both.

It's just you have to keep those fundamentals in mind.

Which is where I'm trying to start from.

We are-- we are going to embark on doing a tank, uh, enemy.

So, what would-- what would that be? What would it look like?

What is the tank enemy itself?

Like, I don't really have a very good idea right now.

Yeah, I mean, that's what we are going to be doing next.

ANNA: Oh, okay. So, that's just the next brainstorm.

ZAK: Uh, no. We are going to start doing silhouettes.

And we'll start developing, like, theming as we go with it.

And we'll come up with something

that works behaviorally at a very low level.

And I think it will be pretty basic.

And then we'll start talking about themes.

And then we'll start making it more complicated on top of that.

I have a pretty fundamental belief that you sort of work from the bottom up

when making gameplay, and you make the fundamental stuff work.

It doesn't have to be lockstep.

-Because otherwise we would get stuck. -No, no. It doesn't.

I just wanted to point out that it is a departure

from how we've typically designed things at Double Fine.

And Psychonauts might not be a great example of that.

But Brütal Legend is.

We-- knowing what roles we wanted, we looked at their drawings, and...

Which is what I want to do in the future.

We just don't have that time right now.


ZAK: All right. Okay, cool.

Thank you, everybody.

TUCKER: Are we going to start iterating on these?

ZAK: Yeah, I mean, it seems like the right thing to do.

ANNA: Every person on the team needs to feel

that they have creative input into the thing that they are working on.

And because-- what that does is it--

it engenders emotional investment into-- into the game.

It's almost like, you know--

Some of the best creative leads, and Tim is among them, are people who...

They create the world,

and they want you to just fall in love with it.

And what that means is that, like...

You can create your own little, like, you know--

you can carve out your own little place in that world

with your own ideas that kind of work within it.

And, like, you can feel like: "Oh, man! I love this world!

Because, look! I have this little place where I--

This is-- this is the thing that I have worked on!

This is what I contributed to it!"

ZAK: That's, like...

There is the one where it's, like, once you have defeated the shield--

That's all you have to do--

ANNA: Someone who is, like, you know...

in a-- in a position of power, especially, like, creative power, like,

I think it's really, really important to let people...

feel like they are contributing their perspective to something.

And have-- like, give them that emotional investment in the game.

Like, because, I think, without that it becomes, like, just a rote process

where you are just going through the motions,

and you are not really invested in what you are doing.

And that just destroys you creatively.

ANNA: This is very, very early setup.

I'm still working on quite a number of things.


The distances are not so good.

You can-- you can target the shield.

You should be able to TK it. I'm working on that.

Um, but for the time being...

you can also kill him, and he has his animation set up to, uh...

Eventually he will die here.

ZAK: No-o-o!

-ZAK: Poof! -ANNA: And there you are, guys.

ZAK: Ya-a-ay!

GAVIN: Uh, next is Cassie.

Feedback for play paths, Shanghai, moving platform zone prototype.

Oh, yeah, this is-- So, this stuff is ink.

BEN: Right? Because-- so, our water in this level is based on ink.

It looks really cool. You can kind of see some of the...

Uh, where it kind of butts up against the shore there,

you can see some of the lettering underneath it.


That's from Tazio. It's really good looking.

PAUL: So, why are you at the office right now?

SCOTT: Searching for... answers.

PAUL: What's the question?

SCOTT: I mean, I love being here for that. I mean, I do--

That's my favorite thing is to be able to hang out with Tim, and stuff.

Because-- and, you know, go grab lunches with him,

and go on strolls with him, because that's-- that was, like...

That was some of my favorite times, you know.

Like, we-- you know, we talked a lot about life as well.



SCOTT: It's been cool being here.

Because I've been able to, like, sit down on meetings, and kind of see the progress

with, like, the-- the effects, and different animations, or whatever.

And kind of see firsthand, rather than just from far away.

Which really helps me.

All right! So, Scott, we are going over the levels today, yeah?


SCOTT: Okay.

The only thing I'd say, it seems like the germs wouldn't build...

Like, this-- Like, actual buildings like this.

Like, what would be a germ building?

Like, if you stepped on this city...

It'd be so gross! It'd be, like...


But right now, if you step on it, you'd be like:

"Ow! What the fuck! What's up with all this shit in my shoe?!"

You know, like, or like: "Someone left all their toys in my shoe."

Or something like that.

Rather than, like, stepping on this-- squishing this city.

JEREMY: The stuff that would grow in a Petri dish kind of.

-Yeah! Exactly! -Just fuzz and...

Like, yeah, exactly! Maybe there is fuzz.

Like, fuzz buildings. Or there is, like, jello buildings.

-Or everything is just gross! -[GEOFF LAUGHS]

Oh, I think-- I think--

Well, I think that's the cool thing about everyone.

Everyone is a professional here.

So everyone takes criticism real well!

You know, and everyone wants to be-- it to be better, so.

If you kind of just say: "Oh, yes, this could look more like this."

Or: "This would look better this way."

I mean, I know I like it whenever someone says that.

I would hope that everyone else feels that way,

because it's better if everyone kind of is honest about how they feel about it.

Like anything.

Like in a relationship or something, right?

It's better to just be honest, you guys.

-GEOFF: Cool. -Yep.

Oh, do we want--

Should we show the Peter Chan stuff today? Or...

GEOFF: No, no.

Okay, yep, that's kind of what we got so far.

Uh, Peter did a new dump for Hollis recently.

So, if you want to check that out on the forums.

For Hollis' inside?

-Yeah, in her mental world. -Cool.

Because we are not really sure what that is yet.

SCOTT: Yeah, because-- I saw a lot of that stuff,

but you are still-- it's in flux that stuff...

GEOFF: Yeah.

SCOTT: Cool.

JAMES: Uh, we went...

...back to the drawing board a little bit in terms of the concept of the level.

Uh, still hoping to rescue as much of the actual...

...physical space we've designed as possible.

LISETTE: What is the design problem we are trying to solve?

High-level concept for the level.


So, we need a theme for her brain when she is not in a casino?

Oh, wait, I didn't know that's what we are talking about!

The theme for her brain when we are not in a casino?

So, the casino is an invading force in her brain.


We won't explain it like this in the game, but it is essentially like--

It's like a virus, right? Because it's not actually part of her.

It is something artificial that Raz has let loose upon her brain.

So, we thought giving a really concrete space

for the first half of the brain would make it very cool and clear later on

when that's being infected by the casino stuff.

TIM: I thought hospital was kind of cool.

Because it's so weird to see a casino and a hospital.

People on life support, but the machine is, like, a slot machine.


And they are flatlining based on what's rolling--

Or, like, instead of operating tables, there is, like, roulette tables.

And they are just-- the doctor just spins a roulette table and is like:

-"Oh, black..." -RYAN: "Nurse!"

-"Hand me the dice!" -TIM: "Nurse, code red!"

TIM: "Hand me the dice!"


Oh, the more messed it gets, the more I like it.

JEREMY: We talked with Tim, like, in an actual brainstorm.

He was in that one.

And we came up with hospital.

And people seemed to like that idea.

PAUL: Hospital / Casino?

Hospital / Casino.

But, yeah, the idea of mashing of a hospital into a casino is pretty--

or vice versa, is pretty exciting.

I can just kind of imagine it.

Like, who the people are, and the feel of walking through the level.

Now I just have to build it.


GEOFF: Uh...

What about Cassie?

Uh, but, like, you would come in here.

Uh, which is actually this entrance piece up here.

-GEOFF: So, imagine... -SCOTT: Oh, that's awesome.

GEOFF: This is the 2D drawing that you are actually running through.

That's so cool!

SCOTT: I love this part!

Dude, torn up pages! Oh, that is cool!

But this is awesome! I love-- pfft, oh my god!

She is going to be a two-dimensional character.

We are thinking about doing, like, this sort of stuff.

Where it's, like-- Cassie will be, like, here.


-Cassie! -Mm-hmm.

-She'll just be like: "Hey!" -That's the best!

You could-- if she ever does walk, she goes:


-Rips around. -Oh, yeah! Like...


BEN: This is some stuff that just went in.

-Wow! -Yeah.

BEN: So, it's really hard to see right now,

but those are "WANTED" posters with Cassie's face on it.

Uh... and so, that would be a really cool...

JP: So, your quest is to stop the presses?

ZAK: Oh-h-h!

ZAK: It is getting dangerously close to, uh, reaching Full Playable.

(And then we'll make everyone play it.)


ZAK: Um, Ben is here!

-Hi! -Because we are doing a HoF.

And Ben has been doing a bunch of stuff

to sort of get it closer to the ideal of Full Playable,

including putting some combat in it.

Um, so, I invited him to be here while we look at it and, uh...

So, that's all the stuff that's going on, uh...

But-- so, first we are going to look at Wendy.

-Where are we? -Yeah.

ZAK: But the flying is working really well now.

ANNA: She actually dodges if you try to shoot her as well.

-Oh! -Whoa-ow!

-Whoa-ow! -Whoa-ow!

ANNA: Yeah, there you go!

-Pew! -Hey, look at that!


ANNA: And now she actually won't be able to hit you,

which is kind of funny.

ZAK: Well, I mean, it is cool, because she won't be able to hit you.

But, like, somebody like-- like Bertha would totally squash you.

And so, it's an attack that works more interesting in combination.

That's awesome.

Yeah, like, once we have, like, you know--

If there is something else we want to put in there,

a different type of projectile.

-Like, that would do something. -That she could do.

ZAK: Yeah, I mean, well--

Because that's an easy and quick thing for us to put together.

Yes! I would rather have the things--

Like, she does a lot of stuff.

And I'd rather spend more time getting the things she does working better

and being better, than adding--

Like, I don't-- I don't think, like, the thing that's wrong with her is that

she doesn't do enough stuff right now.

ANNA: Sure. I only meant for Friday.

It would make her cooler.

It would make her a cooler enemy than she is right now.

Like, her other attacks are interesting to us,

because we solved the technical challenge.

But as far as the player is concerned, they are just melee attacks.

There is nothing really that unique about them.

Um, and so, I thought that it would be interesting to actually do that--

Like, I mean, I thought that that's what we were going with for the pitch.

As we've discussed, that I wanted to try to, like--

Let's have her do one thing first, and make that readable and work well.

And then we can add--

we can try having it be a bunch of different things.

We can have a bunch of different Wendys that do a bunch of different attacks.

Um, but not that we are going to have

one character that does a bunch of different statuses all at once.

Um, that was where--

That was where we were headed in that initial discussion of it.

And we can definitely try that later. It's just, like...

It feels like we have a crazy, new shrink attack in the game.

And all I'm saying is it would be nice to get that working

more fully front to back realized, and sort of readable for the player.

-Before we add a second one, um... -Okay.

ZAK: I mean, if it was a specific thing where it's like:

"I think it would be really cool if we did Blah!"

Like, we could try doing that, but we are at the point where the first one is--


Am I in the way?

Please stop working.

Fun is mandatory for the next hour.

Before you come and get food, make sure you are downloading the build.


GREG: Paper related. I was just--

Because I feel like, uh, the theming

across the whole level was really on-brand for Psychonauts.

It felt really cool, uh...

It felt fresh and different than the other ones, but similar.

And the ways that the kind of paper world stuff worked,

um, I think, specifically,

the 2D sections felt really Psychonautical,

uh, and interesting to me.

ZAK: Um... combat.

Any, uh, impressions or thoughts?

There was, um...

Basically, every enemy that we have in the game is in there right now.

Uh, in a pretty early state,

but, um, any impressions that people have about those?


It looked like I was being shrunk in the middle of an explosion.

And I was super tiny, and I wasn't--

I just-- you know, obviously, it's early visually.

I wasn't sure what was going on there.

ZAK: Okay.

And I wasn't sure what negative it had,

because it shrunk the enemy I was fighting too.

So, I was-- I was kind of going like:

"Oh, we are going to kill each other as miniature dudes."

ZAK: All right.

TIM: Thank you, Psychonauts 2 team!

Yay! Awesome!

ZAK: Uh, and thank you, everyone, for playing.

Please do fill out the survey.

And thank you, especially, for the Cassie team.


Hey, everybody! Good to see you!

Hey, congratulations on that Cassie level! Good job! Well done!

-Yay! -TIM: Well done. Well done!

-It's done. -BEN: Yep, ship it.

ZAK: Um, so, that level is going to get finished up

by representative art this week more or less.

Um, and that team is moving on to kick off a new level.

Which is the Gristol level.

So, that'll be our first new level we've kicked off in a while.

Which will be great.

ZAK: The level is going to be really exciting.

It's sort of a-- It's a Small World, propaganda,

Russian Fabergé egg... extravaganza.

EMILY: How are we going to do these dark rides, man?

I don't know, um...



-It's gonna be hard. -WILL: Yep.

Well... I mean, if it was easy...

WILL: I was thinking the ride would be more like this thing

that just takes you to the rooms.

And there is, you know, things to look at,

and we kind of make sure the camera is at a good angle in it.

It tells a little bit of story,

but for the most part it's a vehicle, you know.

BEN: Right.

So, when you need--

Yeah, when an amusement park needs to tell a story...

Like, there is only-- yeah--

-EMILY: It's a dark ride. -BEN: Yeah, that happens--

That's Pirate of the Caribbean, right? Like, so, there you go!

We are looking at this.

Now we are looking at this.

BEN: Right. Well, the-- You know, I think--

I think the secret is going to be... presenting it once in a cinematic

the way it's kind of quote, unquote: "meant to be seen."

And then, letting you run around,

and go backstage, and knock stuff over, basically.


JEREMY: Yeah, just-- just that the--

The architecture to him didn't feel like something that--

that germs would be building.

But not like there is poky LEGO pieces, um...

RYAN: I thought that that was the point. And it's not literally supposed to be

like somebody is going to put their foot in the shoe,

and you are going to step on LEGO Pieces.

JEREMY: Right, I think the scale--

The scale is very hard to convince with--

This is something we-- we struggled with here.

Really? I feel like it is doing really well.

I think we got it to a pretty good point, but it's, um...

Yeah, but Scott just said he really liked the germ language.

And kind of seemed like, um...

"Why would we want to look at any of the other stuff

when the germs are-- have such-- such neat oddities."

My answer to that would be:

"If you didn't have the contrast, they wouldn't be as interesting."

-Yeah. -GEOFF: Yeah, yeah.


RYAN: But, uh, you know, I wanted to give--

We wanted to give a brief overview of this to everybody,

because we realized we hadn't done it, um, for everybody on the team.

So, like, you know, probably programmers, gameplay engineers, uh...

and, uh, yeah, audio folks may not have seen this.


But just a really quick run-through of what our phases are.

We are going to talk about, um, all of the phases that we have,

um, that levels are going to go through.

And then we'll run-through, um, overall, like,

what the deliverables and goals are for the phases up to pre-Alpha.

Ford Bowling is our example.

Ford Bowling is in that phase right now, right? Yes.

Yes, actually, yeah, it's almost through that phase right now.

-I'm helping. -[LAUGHTER]

ANNA: I guess, like, there is, uh...

There is also, like, the full-on bosses. Is that something--

We are not going to do bosses right now.

We are going to do bosses in the game,

but not at this-- at this stage.

Is it the case that the narrative is kind of taking a backseat

to the-- you know, the action path, combat stuff?

RYAN: No, not necessarily.

Well, because we had a level in, um, you know--

in the original Psychonauts that was entirely reliant on script.

Like, you could not have the level without it.

-Sure. -ANNA: Which is, like, the theater level.

RYAN: Yep.

For instance, like-- So, are all our-- all of our levels--

I mean, it seems to be coming in, like, that aspect of the process is quite late.

Compared to... how it's usually done, I guess, for us.

Hmm, I don't think so.

-RYAN: I mean... -(Okay.)

-RYAN: No. -(Okay.)

Cool. All right. Thanks, everybody.


-Uh, Amy. -AMY: Yes.

-You were working on a thing. -Mm-hmm.

-ANDY: Want to show the thing? -Mm-mm, I'm delegating.

ANDY: Oh, you are delegating? Okay.

-[LAUGHTER] -ANDY: Standing in for Amy...


TUCKER: Anna! Anna! I need a hug.

AARON: ...trying to debug that.

And then probably spend the rest of the day crying.


Anna! No!

-BRIAN: Just like: "Oh, it's cry o'clock" -JEREMY: Just another day.

TUCKER: Can you put that in Jira? Just log your hours.

-Put a task. -Two hours.

"Two hours crying."

-"Crying at desk." -Anna!

ANNA: You know, it's always the saddest thing to see people leave.

It's, like, it's just-- It's just absolutely devastating.

Um, and I, uh...

It's-- it's really strange to be the one leaving.

Because it's-- it's devastating in a way

that it's just, like, you are doing this to yourself.

And you don't even know: "What if it's a huge mistake?"

-Ugh, what the fuck! -[PAUL LAUGHS]

Just thinking about it... [ANNA LAUGHS]

TIM: But she had a great opportunity, at a big company.

That is, I think-- It's something that's hard to pass up.

And, I mean...

Was it seventeen years she ended up working here?

Or sixteen years?

You know, I only worked at LucasArts for ten years.

You know, you can't, um...

She is like: "I feel really bad telling you this."

And I was like: "You gave us many, many years.

You know, you don't really-- You don't, obviously, owe us anything."

Um, sticking it out of the company-- This is not, like, you know,

the fifties where you work at IBM until you die.

But, you know, people working at a company--

I thought ten years at Lucas was a long time.

But she worked here many, many years.

And, um-- and she'll be back. Obviously.

I think it's obvious that she is going to come back.

No, I mean she is--


She has worked here many years, and she is still a friend of the company,

and if she ever wants to come back, she can come back.

I'm so grateful for even being hired here and how that's...

been the most wonderful thing to have happened to me in my life.

Like, I say that, like, unequivocally.

But I also just kind of...

need a little... change.

Like, I've been here for a very long time.

And... I don't really know what else... is possible.

What else is, like, out there.

And I think I just need to see for myself.

ZAK: And, uh, Anna, if you thought you could escape...

Everybody who does not know, it is Anna's last day today.

-It's not the big deal! -ANNA: I'll be here on Monday.

You'll be here on Monday.

-And this weekend. -ZAK: And we can make a big deal out of--

-ZAK: And this weekend, apparently. -JEREMY: Oh, no!

ZAK: And we'll make a big deal out of it then.

But it also is your last day, officially, on the Psychonauts 2 team.

And at Double Fine.

This is my last Psychonauts 2 meeting.

KEE: I know-- I know we are not doing the big deal thing today.

We'll do it on Monday. But I'm like: "This is the--

I get to-- I get to say something!"

TIM: Speech, speech, speech!

-EMILY: Stand! -Speech!

So, you know, we basically started on the same day.

KEE: So, we basically started the same day.

So we've known each other for, and have worked together for...

sixteen years?

ANNA: Like, this was our first job we were so crazy about.

Like, we were so, so passionate about it!

And we-- we were really young, and we grew up together.

In a very real way, like, it feels like he is my brother, in a lot of ways.

KEE: So, you know...

You know someone for that long, it's--

It's sad to see your-- your friend-- your friend go.

PAUL: And you yourself were away for a period of time.

-I was, I was, I was. -PAUL: Tim brings that up a lot.

So, this was after... right after Psychonauts.


You know, there were-- I think, you know, working on that game--

It was-- It was a very hard game to make.

It really wore me.

It was something that was really satisfying to-- to go through,

but then, afterwards, you just ended up being pretty burnt out.

Um, and, you know,

various other factors made me think about looking somewhere else.


And I think when you spend that time away from this company, you kind of...

I think you-- you really get a sense of where you belong in this industry.

And what it is that, uh, you value, and what is kind of important to you.

Where you work, and what you do.

And, uh, I think, that's what solidified for me.

When I was away, I was like: "This-- this is--

This is the place I want to be,

and these are the kind of games I want to be making."

So, I-- That's-- then I was--

I came back to work here.

And-- and, coincidentally, it was sitting right next to Anna.

I know she is almost always, like,

the first person that goes out and says 'hi' to someone.

And if there is anyone that I point to, like:

"How do you define, like, what the heart of Double Fine is, or what the cul--"

I just had this question today: "What is Double Fine's culture like?"

I could kind of explain, but not quite, and I thought:

"Anna could-- could say what that is."

I think he is the reason why I'm just like:

"Okay, Kee is here. It's-- It's okay. He'll take care of everything."

We'll kidnap you from where you are going.


And, um...

I want to say: "Best of luck in the next thing that you do."

But I don't have to, because I know you are going to do amazing.

So, thank you.


ANDY: That's it. That's this week.

Tune in next week week, when we close out the sprint.

See you there!

-I'm Andy Alamano, good night. -[LAUGHTER]

-ANNA: You have to keep it together! -Mm-mm.

-Never show-- never show-- never cry! -Never show emotion.

-Never cry, never cry, never cry. -Never show emotion, never show emotion.

That was Tim's-- That was Tim's big advice for me.

KEIGHLEY: Ladies and gentleman, please welcome to the stage...



ANNA: Uh, Tim won the Lifetime Achievement Award.

And he made this incredibly moving speech.

TIM: I mean, it's not, like, uh...

It's weird when you talk about something,

because there is this weird involuntary, like...

[GULPS] your throat.

And, um, you have to focus on your breathing.

I'm glad I broke that statue though.

Kind of took the-- took the edge off.

Oh, I broke the trophy.


TIM: But as it-- as it went by, and it was really fun,

and it was just, um, a nice experience too, you know.

And I started feeling like I gotta be a lot more grateful about these awards.

Especially Khris Brown, who is also sitting right here.

-Khris Brown, thank you so much! -[CHEERING]

There are a lot of, uh, Double Finers here in the audience tonight.


They are the loud ones in the back.

-Double Fine! -[CHEERING]

Hey! There they are.

A special shout-out to the veterans

who worked at the company for sixteen, or seventeen years!

Ray Crook, Dave Russell, Geoff Soulis, Kee Chi,

Anna Kipnis, Nathan Stapley, and the rest of you! I want to thank...

Oh, yeah, and-- Yeah, of course, like, Tim--

Tim thanked us, the old-timers, personally.

And that was...

Yeah, I mean, that was really...

Yeah, I mean...

That really meant a lot.

It was a-- it was a really nice bookend to my time at Double Fine.



Tim is going to keep making games.

And, you know, hopefully I will too.

And so, it's not the end of everything, yet.

TIM: Uh, I want to thank you, all of you who came to the awards.

That was really nice, because...

I was really nervous about going up there.

And I was worried that I was going to do

something embarrassing like blubber on stage.

-TIM: But... -[LAUGHTER]

I was like: "Oh, I don't want to go up there! I'll get a boo!"

And then, when you guys were yelling and screaming,

it made me feel so much better!

So, thank you, guys, for coming and being so super loud.

ANNA: We couldn't even hear the speech, actually.


TIM: Yeah.

You were like: "Cover it up! The speech is going to be bad!"

-[LAUGHTER] -"Just cover it with-- with howling!"

So, uh... that was fun.

Uh... so, you know-- Today is Anna's last day.

-TIM: She is sitting right over there. -EVERYONE: Boo!


It's my last day at Double Fine.

We all know Anna is a big jerk.

And we are going to talk about that, at length.

The depth of your jerkidness.

As you know how it goes.

It's never pretty.

But, uh... Anna Kipnis has always been

a huge part of what makes Double Fine Double Fine after all these years.

And I've always really appreciated, uh,

just how fierce of a-- kind of a warrior for the company,

you have been all of these years.

We did... want to give you something,

because of a...

Uh, to represent the first thing that Anna and I ever collaborated on.

-ANNA: Aw-w! -EVERYONE: Aw-w-w!

This is Boyd from the f--

Ah, I already said it! Yeah. Here you go!


ANNA: Also, just today...

...was kind of incredible,

and I think I just didn't, um...

You know, I've-- I've always had a good relationship with people here,

and I've just, uh...

and there have been, like, lots of moments

where we, like, get to say that to each other.

Like, how much we appreciate working with one another, and things like that.

But I think having it come all at once...

was, like, um...

pretty powerful.

And I didn't expect...

And I didn't-- I didn't expect that,

like, quite like this.


I don't know if I could do this, actually, but, um...

This is really a special place.

And I hope that you guys can see that as-- as I did.

And that you...

continue keeping this just as lovely, accepting, and...

creative, and just...

rare, rare place...

um, without me here.

-Maybe I'll come back! -[LAUGHTER]


-Um, just, uh... -You've gotta sign the...

TIM: Oh, I was like: "Who hasn't signed it? Oh, me."



ANNA: It's an incredible, um... goodbye card as it were.

Um, this is a drawing by Emily Johnstone.

And, uh, it's... unbelievable.

So, the one from Tim is, uh...

"Anna, welcome back in advance."


ANNA: I'm leaving, but Double Fine is going to be okay.

It's around, and it has so many incredible people.

And, um...

They are just going to keep doing those things.

I think the culture that we, old-timers, have established here is...

like, it's holding tight.


I think people, like-- People understand that and they'll...

They'll continue what we started.



Uh, Tim won the Lifetime Achievement Award.

And he made this incredibly moving speech.


And where he...

told us the story that we had always heard,

but we had never heard the punchline.

And I want to thank, uh...

Okay, wait, no. I have to tell a story now.

I asked for permission to tell a story, and I didn't get permission,

but then that bartender over there served me four shots of tequila, so.


Thank you, sir.

In-between getting canceled and getting signed by Majesco

there was a long period where we didn't have any money.

And we ran out of money.

And, um...

I had to make a talk to the whole company.

Tell them that the next payroll was not coming.

And there were thirty people who were like:

"We've been crunching on a game for four years,

and now it's going to disappear.

And no one will ever know that this company ever existed."

Um, which is hilarious, if you've ever been in that position.

It's really fun.



So, uh, I thought: "Okay..."

I was really desperate, and there was one lifeline I could call.

I had a friend who had sold his company to EA,

and I thought he might be able to make that kind of loan.

I hated to do it, but I called him and I said:

"I hate to ask you, but if you lend me that money,

I'll give you, like, ten percent of my company.

Oh my god, please help us out!"

And he said: "I'll think about it.

I'll go talk to our lawyers. And I'll see if I can do that."

And I sat there at my desk, and it was... just...

I chewed off all my fingernails, and then he called back and he is like:

"My lawyers tell me I can't take stock in another game company, so...


I'm just going to give you the money. And lend you the money."

And it was amazing. It was just, like--

It was just-- had such an effect on me.



It's just that I was...

I was so embarrassed and desperate making that call.

And just to be met with that kind of generosity.

Um, anyway...


Um, it struck me.

And so, to this day...

-[CHEERING] -Thank you.


Thank you.


And so, to this day,

if you play one of my games, you'll see: "Special Thanks to Will Wright."

And I want to thank Will... tonight.




Thanks, Will! I hope it's okay, if I told that story.

But, uh, no one else ask him for money. I swear, he is--

-Don't do it. -[LAUGHTER]

-Don't do it. -[LAUGHTER]

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