Skip to: main content or site footer.

Quite an Adventure

The team is shattered and reformed just as they face an uphill battle with delivering their first playable demo for the public.

Published: January 20th 2023

Episode Stills Gallery

Episode Transcript


PAUL: What will you say in the Fig update?

Hey, Psychobackers!

-It's me, Tim! -PAUL: This is you, right now.

Zak is not here.

He has moved on to other things, and he, uh...

We wish him well.

He definitely worked really hard on this project

and made a huge impact.

But now I am the Creative Director of this project.

And things are going to be different.

It's not going to be a psychic game...


I don't know, I think it will be something like that.


Someone got arrested at Starbreeze headquarters.

There is a possibility that they do fold.

ZAK: Really full steam ahead working on Loboto.

I think we have to really prove to ourselves that we can make

a really great level that we all love.

ANDY: Tim is like: "People don't seem happy."

JOSH: There is, like, finger-pointing happening and stuff.

ANNA: I mean, you don't need to get defensive.

KEE: ...or people just not working well together,

things are going to get tougher.

ANNA: I think a lot of people are hoping that Tim...

...steps in, saves the day.

CAMDEN: I came in late to the meeting

where Tim was telling everybody.

Like, I was walking--

I was actually walking up to see Lee, and Monica was like:

("You should-- you should go in there!")


And, uh...


That's kind of how I found out.

And then, like, Caryl took me into her office and spelled it all out.


I knew something was going to happen.

I didn't know it was going to be that.


I understand it.

It's-- it's something that nobody wants to have happen, but...

It's gotta happen.

I think we've been trying.

I think there's been a few things that's been going on, where it's been--

trying... to work that out.

Uh, and I think it got better for a little while.

I don't know what that's about.

Like, for some reason...


it just started getting bad again.


-Oop, sorry! -GEOFF: Ow!

Hi, everybody! Nice to see you all!

There is so many people here. It's so nice to see you.



Um, so, just to start off. First, uh...

I think not everybody may have heard, but most people have heard,

we had some big staff changes on the Psychonauts 2 team.

Zak McClendon is no longer the project leader of Psychonauts

and he is no longer an employee at Double Fine.

And that was a pretty big, uh... thing to do on Friday.

Um, but there had been some very negative and bad things going on with, um...

uh, some unhappiness, and...

A lot of people know the situation going on on Psychonauts--

And we had tried to fix it for many, many months, and...

Uh, but, um...

We tried to do everything we can

to rehabilitate the situation and make it better,

but it just... it wasn't working.

And it was really putting the project in danger in a lot of ways,

with E3 coming up.

Uh, we really wanted to make sure that the team was able to do its best work

and make a really great level that we are going to show there.

So, we took that step and it's done.


PAUL: Do you feel like if you were more involved

and not... stuck having to write so much,

if things would have played out differently.


I don't know, like, you know, starting the company...

uh, I was doing all the games myself.

Just do one game at a time.

And I felt people wanted to grow beyond where they were in their jobs,

so we started doing multiple projects,

where other people were given chances to run the projects.

And, um...

That was an advice that actually Ron Gilbert had.

It's like: "You want to get to the point

where other people are making games for you."

Like he did with Humongous.

And, uh...


So I was like: "Oh, that sounds good."


And sometimes that works out, and sometimes it doesn't.

Like, I think in the case of Lee Petty,

I think he runs his projects really great and I don't have to do a thing.

On RAD...

it's looking amazing, I don't have to stick my nose.

If I stick my nose in, it's just to sabotage it,

because I'm jealous.

It is going great.


And we've had other projects where that wasn't the case, and...

And sometimes I feel like the most stress I've had on the project was--

the most stress I've had at the company is trying to...

you know, influence a project that I'm not really creatively controlling

and just trying to influence it indirectly.

Because, you know, you only have so much control.

But if you can build that capacity,

then you can build a company that's capable of making multiple games.

And we've done that a few times.

And, um...

Some times it's more of a struggle than others.

But, um, I don't know...

I've come to value my own way of running a project.

Like, I feel more comfortable

with the slightly chaotic way that I run a project.

Like, I feel there is-- there is value to that.

And, I think, going forward...

we are not going to immediately jump into re-inserting

any sort of leadership on that team.

We are going to step back and let--

I think the team is in a good position to be self-organized for a while.

A lot of stuff that it's doing are on track.

Um, and it can go, uh...

with just us stepping up a little bit to help out where needed.

With me getting more involved.

You know, like, I always say--

When people ask for advice, I always talk about--

advice about how to start a company,

I talk about getting the most creative people

and the most smartest people, and the best people together,

and then just getting out of their way.

I think that's really important. You have to kind of...

get out of their way and let them work together.

TIM: Um, for some of you that might lead to a lot of questions.

And I'm here, and everyone's here, and Caryl's here,

if you want to ask those questions.

But other than that it's just--

It's obviously a big deal,

and not to be taken lightly,

but, hopefully, in the end, much better for the project.

So, that happened.


Anyone want to ask anything about that now?

While I'm standing here awkwardly in front of you.

-It's fine. -[CHUCKLING]

CARYL: We believe in the team.

And can't wait to see what you guys do.

And this is hopefully the chance everybody gets to...

you know, act creatively, and be the professionals

in your discipline that you've wanted to be.


It's going to be really good.



So, that's Psychonauts news.

Let's talk about business.

Hey, Greg, follow up that!

-I will! -[LAUGHTER]

Uh, we had a good call...

GREG: Right now we are still being paid by Starbreeze, but, uh, yeah...

Who knows what it's going to look like in two-three months

once their reconstruction period ends.

-Starbreeze. -TUCKER: Yep.

"Are we a company? I don't know!

Tune in in June in bankruptcy court in Sweden to find out!"


NAOKO: "The moment you've all been waiting for!"


GREG: But, uh...

Yeah, there is just so many potential ways

that this could go right now,

that I feel like we have to kind of just

behind the scenes work on bringing as much money to the project as we can,

and hope that we can figure it out.


TIM: Yeah, I mean, Greg and I, that's what we are doing,

is trying to secure funds to finish the game.

Uh, he is on the phone. Hustling.


There is a lot of deals in the air.

Some could happen if we go one way, some could happen if we go another way.

So, just, a lot of, like, spinning plates in the air right now.

It's a little stressful.

He is a little stressed out.

When you see his hair all pulled in one direction,

that's, you know, he's been pulling on it.

GREG: But, um...

It's a way that I, like, proudly shoulder knowing that...

there is so much great stuff happening within the walls,

and that we have, you know, a super talented team on it

that's making awesome stuff.

And so, being able to shield them from that a little bit,

so they can-- can make something special,

I think has been a pretty worthy cause.

PAUL: Mm-hmm.


GREG: The other conversations are more acquisition-based, um...

So, that's kind of a whole different thing.

And that would mean somebody swooping in

and buying the studio for, you know, rights to our entire catalogue of games,

um... and anything we do going forward.

Um, so, they would just be paying our salaries and payroll.

And we would get to focus on making games.

The first person that approached us about this is Microsoft.

Um, and they have been doing this recently with a lot of studios.

But, um, we are talking about investment deals with them.

And for them the big reason is Game Pass.

Which is kind of, like, their version of Netflix.

It's, like, a streaming platform-- It's not streaming!

It's a subscription platform where you pay, um, ten dollars.

Although, like, right now, I think, it's a dollar a month for a host of games.

Like, a couple hundred games.

And they want to get, like, our whole catalogue on there.

And our future games too.

So, talking about a big chunk of investment for that.

PAUL: There's also been talk about acquisition?

TIM: Pfft! Wait, you gotta wait till I drink some coffee before you ask.

-Ask again! -[PAUL LAUGHS]

Keeping in mind you are right in front of me.

PAUL: Yeah, so, acquisitions...


No! Independent until death!

Never acquired!

Unless it was a-- unless it was a lot of money.

PAUL: Is there, like, an ideal party

that you, in your heart, would like to be paired with.

Ideal party?



You know, a company is only the people that are there at that moment.

And there are certain initiatives going on at different companies.

So, that combination of who is there and what they want to do

makes these fertile areas open up.

And they can be great.

And so, it's really not, like, the name of any company or brand that I would say.

But just, like, I know there are some things going on

at a few companies that are like:

"That looks like that would be a fertile place

to do a bunch of creative stuff and not worry about money."

PAUL: So, even if you found someone

that seemed like it was the good place to be.

That management could change and suddenly--

-Definitely. -PAUL: Yeah.

PAUL: But then, how different is that from the problems that...

the studio faces normally.

Yeah, we are always at the risk of something--

some wind blowing and we go out of business.

But we always were very nimble and scrappy,

and figured a way, you know,

to cling on to the branch when that wind is blowing.

And we would-- if, you know, we have to sign...

any sort of deal-- we wouldn't take the money

that would give us no control over our survival.

We have to be able to, like, protect ourselves

and be able to survive anything.

And there is also always the potential that...

things go bad,

uh, and we have to make hard decisions, and...

We've been there before too.

And you guys have seen layoffs happen here at the studio before.

And it's the worst, and we don't want to do that again.

Um, but, I think, we know that no matter what, like...

Double Fine will exist

and continue to exist, and...

we have a desire to live and we will continue to.

JAMES: So, so...

You know, in his last year at Double Fine I just didn't interact with him.

I also think he was doomed once Anna left.

I don't think there was any way to come back from that.

-JAMES: Only two? -DOCTOR: Yes.

JAMES: Oh, awesome.

-JAMES: Thanks very much. -DOCTOR: You are welcome.

PAUL: You should just get, like, a tap installed.

JAMES: Uh...

JAMES: I was working late on Thursday at home.

And it was about 1 AM,

and I had this, like, super crazy pain in the bottom of my stomach.

And then it moved upwards a bit and stayed there for about three hours.

And it got worse and worse.


The fear is that...

whatever is happening to my liver is going to cause liver failure.

Yeah, no kidding.

Yeah, if I had just had, like, a silent liver disease...

that would have been much worse.

Um, but hopefully we'll figure it out.

It's a little scary not knowing--

Like, doctors not knowing what's wrong.


Even though everyone keeps saying not to be,

like, it's a bummer to not be able to help out with the Loboto level.

GEOFF: And we are going to remove Milla from the Levitation tutorial completely,

uh, but not her voice.

So she'll be talking in your head the entire time there.

We just don't have the overhead to do the animation.

There are a lot of cutscenes.

LISETTE: Our biggest risk is animation.

GEOFF: Yeah, our biggest risk is animation--

And VFX.

GEOFF: I'll just...

I'll just make Tazio work harder.

-[LAUGHTER] -I'll just stand...

I'll just do my favorite thing

which is stand over Tazio's shoulder and then tell him what he should be doing.


TAZIO: If we execute on Loboto,

and make Loboto as good as we all want it to be,

I think that bodes well for the rest of the project.

Like, I think that that will set expectations

that need to be set, honestly, about, like, what game we are making.


CAMDEN: So, the only way I see it really affecting us is just, like,

there is-- there is a whole new direction now.

Like, the way people are talking to each other already,

and the way that the teams are kind of working already is, like, changing.

And we will certainly be affected by that for sure.

Um, but, I think, in a good way.

I think it'll be all right.

JAMES: It's nice that they can now do what they want to do.

Make the game they think is going to be best.


TIM: Emily storyboards.

Do you have all her transition storyboards anywhere?

RAY: No, did she do storyboards?

Oh my god!

You guys, we need to talk about communication on this team.

There is a folder on Cooper under Art\Storyboards for Loboto

that says 'All Transitions'.

And it's all these wacky transitions in Loboto.

RAY: Oh, really? Oh, man!

Okay, I didn't know about those.

CLAM: Yeah.


CLAM: Come on!

And, hopefully, Tim will get more engaged as well.

I'm not confident that will happen.

Tim's vision hasn't been the driving factor of this game...

-...for a long time. -Right, right.

And, I mean, Tim kind of handed the game to Zak.

I mean, I was kind of hoping to sit with him

and talk over some of this stuff.

Just to get his-- not just the writing, but just kind of, like...

"What do you think is going to happen, man?

What do you--

You know probably better than anyone at this point.

Like, where do you see this going?"


Part of me is like: "I'm just kind of sitting here

just because I'm excited to see what happens!"

JAMES: But I think the game would benefit a ton from him...

being a little more in the trenches when he is at work.

And I know that's also almost impossible,

because he has so much to write.

It's a possibility.

PAUL: Tazio, how is it going?

I'm doing okay.

It's-- it's been a weird couple of weeks.

You know, Zak leaving.

We had-- like, right after that we just had an insanely productive week.

GEOFF: Yeah, there is a lot of stuff!

Like, the difference between last Friday and this Friday is quite significant.

TAZIO: Yeah, I feel--

I feel different about the project certainly.

JEREMY: Ooo, look at this!

-EMILY: This looks good! -TAZIO: Looking so much better!

EMILY: So much better!

-JEREMY: Look at this room! -GIGI: So good!

TAZIO: Um, there is also just a lot of things that I didn't realize.

Like secondary effects of, like, the production before Zak left.

Where it's just, like, we were--

I felt disconnected to a lot of the decision making.

So, if, like, I ran into a problem...

or I had a solution,

I'd, like...

you know,


I wouldn't feel...

like, empowered to--

to have a conversation about how to fix it.

Because it would never be the time or whatever.

And, like, I feel like--

Also just because we are at the stage of production where we at,

where we, like-- we just have to solve problems now.

There is a lot of--

I think a lot of our problems previously have been about indecision.

And about, like...

It's, like, Zak would keep his cards really close and be like:

"Aaa, I'm looking at these things!"

And now it's just like:

"Well, we need to solve these problems now."

And that means, I think, we are taking these problems much more seriously.

And the state of the game much more seriously.

Which is necessary.

And if there is, like--

If we have an idea for how to make it better,

we can, like, talk to all the involved parties

and-- and get that done.

And I don't think--

I certainly didn't feel that way previously.

The previous regime had a lot of power concentrated in one place.

Um, so, I think a lot of people feel like they have a lot more authority,

because all of that sort of, like, disseminated down to the team.

I certainly feel like I have more authority over powers,

being able to make those decisions.

Because I was going to say: "Question! What happens to Mental Energy?"

AMY: Right now we are not using Mental Energy.

Okay, that answers my question.

That's what we are trying right now.

ANDY: You are trying it out?

And that's the intent for the playtest on Friday to kind of see that?

AMY: Same thing, there is no ammo either.

PAUL: And Mental Energy is still turned off, right?

Oh, not only that!


I have it removed in code!

Yeah, I'm going to submit that soon!

So good!

That was, like, the-- That was day one.


Just sitting in this-- it was, like-- there were two things, like:

-"We shouldn't do Mental Energy." -"Cool, turn it off."

-"Also, PSI Blast shouldn't have ammo." -"Awesome! Took it out."


Like, it was-- it was just...


Quick things that we had all just been wanting for so long

that we could just do immediately.

-SAMMY: Yeah? -AMY: Yeah.

-SAMMY: Okay. -AMY: Let's try it.

SAMMY: Okay.

AMY: Uh, so, I'm going to do that more.

And... maybe I can just take my stress levels down to where, um...

I can be...

happier here.

LISETTE: I'm already seeing this emergence of:

"Well, Zak's not here, we don't do that anymore, do we?"

-Mm-hmm. -"No, it's not that easy."

And then, they get the other side of:

"Well, Zak's not here. "I can do that thing I wanted to do.

And it's like: "Hold on, it's not that easy."

PAUL: People want to put stuff into the game, they want--

Yes, and we have to be careful about that.

And the whole leads meeting was like:

"We have to be, like, very communicative with this team.

And make sure that they are very clear.

Like, what passes and what doesn't.

And if you have something, who to bring it to."

It's just a new ball game.

Like, this game in general is just...

It's quite an adventure.

Yeah, it just feels like we have a really...

...brand new road right now.

And we have to be...

careful and thoughtful about where we go.

PAUL: Mm-hmm.

GEOFF: I mean, if we can actually be successful with Loboto,

it'd probably be behoove us just to redesign all of the--

the team to be more level focused rather than discipline focused.

ANDY: Mm-hmm, I agree.

NAOKO: Do you want Ryan on there?

ANDY: Yeah, I-- I do want Ryan on there.

The question is, like...

with his leave being what it is right now...

I want to just specifically ask him, like:

"Where do you want to fit into this?"

CAMDEN: Have you talked to him yet?

Yeah, we've been-- yeah.

He is-- he is aware of the situation.

How is he doing?

NAOKO: He doesn't know...

was his actual answer.

CAMDEN: I'm concerned, I want to make sure that Ryan is okay.


I think Ryan... a good designer.

And I think he has some really good ideas,

but I also know this is, like, super personal.

He is-- he is good friends with Zak.

Where have you come to us from?

Previously I worked at Crystal Dynamics for a while,

I worked at 2K for many years, so.

That's where-- that's where he was.

RYAN: Uh, yeah, that's how I know Zak.

In the time we have remaining...

and I really want to say this,

I really suggest...

either as leads to our disciplines,

or as a leads team in general to the entire team,

we tell them we trust them.


Because there is a lot of duress on the team right now.

And they've been through a lot.

And I think it would be a very good message

to just get in front of them and say:

"We... totally back you guys up. We know you can do it."

As far as leadership.

For me... the whole thing I would say is:

"You have to trust your team!"

Like, you have to.

It's-- that's how you are a leader.

Even if you don't think they can do it.

You put across that you trust them.

Otherwise, what have they got?

If you don't have that,

then, like, all you have left is just, like, regret and doubt.

And it just snowballs.

I've done that! I've certainly done that.

But on a project this big, with this many people,

you cannot afford to do that.

You have to believe right till the end.

I-- I am impressed with Tim because he does do that.

Annoyingly so!

Like, a month before ship, he is like:

"Ah, no, we can do this!"

I'm always amazed by his capacity for that.

And it inspires me!

Against my will!

Because I don't want to do it.

But I'm like: "Yeah, maybe he is right."


And that gets me in trouble.

But, like, it's a good leadership quality.

ANDY: Well, I mean, right now, we don't have a Project Lead.

And, you know, from the conversation I had with Tim this morning,

we ain't gonna be getting one any time soon either.


RUSTY: So, when he said he was going to be more involved, did he...

...think he was going to be that involved?

ANDY: I don't know!

I don't know, I know he said he wants--

He has admitted that he needs to be more involved.

Um, but...

no one has sat down and had the question of:

"Who is going to be the Lead?"

That hasn't even come up yet.

No one has even...

like, brought that up.

But it is on us then to decide what we do.


...are very polite to each other here.

And so, I don't think we are having

the uncomfortable conversations we need to have amongst leads.

You know, it's just like: "You do need a Project Lead.

You do need one person."

And that person should be Tim.

ANDY: No, you are right. No, you are right.

I think, you know, maybe the most important thing

that this project needs, after everything we've been through,

is for Tim to go: "All right, everybody! I am the Lead.

I'm the Project Lead."

And I think there is a lot of people that would go: "Thank goodness!"

So, um...

I obviously want to get more involved on the team.

I still have-- I still have this thing

where I'm going to be locked in my room a lot writing.

Because a lot of people need a lot of writing done.

And I don't want to hold up-- hold up that stuff.

But I feel like--

talking to people, and it's going to be annoying at first,

because I have to do a lot of catch-up on some of the deep design stuff,

that I don't know what's going on.

I'm going to have to sit and meet with people,

and ask what's going on and find out where things are at.

But I feel like there is a lot of things you can--

just by asking a few questions

I found some things that are kind of lingering, open, design issues

that I feel like it's okay now to, like, close a lot of these things up

and move things forward, and, like, push things--

uh, push things forward.

You see that happening a lot in Loboto already.

A lot of things are getting decided once and for all, and, um...

But that's what I want to continue doing,

it's meeting with people and seeing where things are--

finding all these open issues

and kind of closing that by moving things forward creatively.

When I'm not locked in my room.

So you are going to see a lot more of me.

And I'd be talking to you, people.

Uh, and I don't mean you, people.


I looked at Ben.

You, people.


TIM: I keep forgetting to stare over everyone's head when I say things.

So, you people, um...

But that's what I'm going to be doing.


I'm getting back involved more in the project.

And Psychonauts is very near and dear to my heart.

You know, I've been locked up in here writing for a long time.


And that can-- It's hard, because it makes you kind of--

in some ways, you have to be really in touch with the game,

because you are creating the narrative parts of it.

But then, you get kind of out of touch with the team

because you are locked in your closet all the time.


But now I've been going back into meetings,

and checking out the team-- getting really involved in...


The Cube of Caligosto.

Which is the Dr. Loboto intro to the game and that level.

And, um...

I don't know if you heard about this, but there is a trade show in LA called E3.

No one knows what it stands for,

but it's coming up!

And we are going to show Psychonauts there for the first time kind of ever.

PAUL: Mm-hmm.

As I drink this coffee now.



That wasn't weird.


PAUL: There are reporters... poking around.

Yeah, they are calling--

I think they wanted to find out a Riot level of misconduct type of thing,

but... that's not what happened here.

PAUL: Mm-hmm.

Could write a book about it years from now, but...

Who knows.

I mean that's one of the reasons I want to...

show really well at E3.

It's because, um...

When management or anyone big and important on the team leaves...

It's like: "What's wrong?

Is that a troubled-- Is that a troubled production?"

And all-- all productions are troubled.

But, um...

That brings the question of, like: "Is something wrong?"

And so I would like to show that we are making a good game.

And everyone will know that.


TIM: How do you feel? Good?

Uh, welcome back, James!


And anyone else who just came back from vacation

or... near-death experiences.


CLAM: They are kind of, like, integrated, so...

Like, they are very specific.

TIM: I just posted about this in Slack,

you guys were talking about this, and Asif posted about it,

and I was wondering...

Why is it-- why is it in several swoops and jerks?

Why isn't it just, like, one, long extended thing?

As you get closer, it gets farther away.

JAMES: So, before you got here, we actually said-- I thought that--

We thought that was your comment.

-ASIF: Yeah. -TIM: It was my comment.

TIM: It just feels really swimmy.

And I don't really know why it does it like that.

It seems like it would just be easier to push it as one linear progression out.

JAMES: Yeah, I get it, Tim.

Otherwise I have to write that dialogue again.

-I don't want to do it. -JAMES: Tim, I get it, I get it, okay?

-If you got it, it would be done already. -JAMES: I can't work any faster.

If you got it, it would look good!


-Guys, please don't fight. -Wow, that really hurts.



Save that for the trailer for the documentary.

We have an example here where there is, you know--

you can see Dr. Loboto at the end of this hallway,

and you are supposed to be chasing after him.

So, you are going to run after him.

But then the hallway is going to start stretching out in front of you.


And we can do that pretty simply now,

by just placing a portal there and then moving the portal along

as you get close to it.

So, like, right now, looking at this,

it's pretty clear that some--

like, even if the player doesn't know exactly what's going on,

like, something funky is going along-- along this border here.

-PAUL: It's like mask lines. -AARON: Yeah, it's, like, you know...

AARON: I want...

I want to be able to create these experiences

where people have no idea how we are pulling them off.

TIM: I think that's it.

If you guys don't have any questions, we have--

Andy has some more things-- about more detailed ownership things.

That looks like a little speech in your phone.

-ANDY: No, I have notes. -TIM: Oh, okay.

Just to make sure I hit all my points.

Um, yes! Thank you, Tim.

So, we've been talking about, like, different people owning different things.

What are these features we are working on?

Who is kind of the contact person on that?

And driving that forward.

So! We all just kind of, like, got that on paper.

List of main game features and who is working on them.

I wanted to just run down this with everybody.

It's just-- stuff that everyone is already doing.

But it's important to put this out on paper,

bring it up to everybody here in front of the group and go:

"This is-- This is what we are doing."

Powers, gadgets. Amy is the owner of that.

Player is Devin. Devin owns all the player stuff.

AI and combat is Anna.

Anything that's AI and combat related, Anna is the point person on this.

Aaron does cameras and portals.

That's it, that's it.


Kind of accurate.

ANDY: Levi is simply lighting.

-ANDY: Good luck! -[LAUGHTER]

ANDY: Economy is owned by Lauren.

Game systems. This is a big one.

Which, of course, goes to Kee.


He put some examples up here.

Miscellaneous systems like saving, loading, quests,

multispline mesh actors, whatever that means.


Fast travel.

I'm pretty certain-- I don't know.

I'm sure it's super important!

TIM: You really don't know?

ANDY: Tim, would you like to talk about multispline mesh actors?

Yeah! Some mesh actors have one spline.


Not on Psychonauts 2!

TIM: No, I mean, I'm not the project leader,

uh, but I am... a lot more creatively involved.

That's nice. It's nice to work with the team again.

And to see them--

Uh, they feel-- they seem happier.

And it's nice to see them feel empowered,

and, you know, doing stuff,

organizing themselves,

getting stuff done and talking to each other.

You can see them all just meeting in the hallways

and figuring out what to do,

and just moving forward with their own creative decisions.

So, the number and complexity of portals in the level has gone down.

Which is good.

But for the couple that are still remaining,

I should go over with you,

like, the specifics of, like, all the little things we should do

to get those, like, in polished state basically.

How do we make them not look, like, mostly good,

but, like, perfect.

NAOKO: Did you guys talk about the hallway and how you want to finish this up?

Because there-- it seems like...

-Bugs and stuff, and... -Mm-hmm.

It's piling up in here.

So, I feel like a whole bunch of people need to just knock this out tomorrow.

GEOFF: The hallway, we are moving onto it next,

as soon as Tazio finishes the exit cutscene stuff.

NAOKO: All right, cool. Let's keep going then.


And there is, like-- there is a bunch of just big sequences

that need a fair amount of FX support.

But then there is also this moment where you are running down this hallway...

and it stretches, and it goes all crazy.

And making Raz feel sort of, like, small and insignificant.

Uh, like, having-- messing with the camera or the FoV or something

to make it seem a little freakier or weirder would add to it.

I think a dolly zoom.

TAZIO: And we had a bunch of ideas for how to sort of handle this.

And it's gone through a bunch of different hands.

But, like...

There is, like, a really good camera trick for doing that.

You know, which is, like, something that was just stolen from film.

You truck in, and then you--

you zoom, so that the world just warps.

Since we are doing that on top of, like, moving the portal,

that's, like, adding this extra layer.

Not only are we distorting the space in the camera

we are also doing it in real life.


Cut to the outside of the mouth. And that's where you--

Cut to the outside of the mouth.


You know what I mean?

You know what I'm saying?

-Did you just... -Right, right?

-I got it. -Chk!

I'm picking up what you are laying down.

Okay, cut to the outside of the mouth.


What was confusing Clam?

Me? I didn't say anything.

-Clam? -RAY: Yeah.

We just assume you are confused.

Are you confused, Clam?

I am confused...

TIM: If Clam gets this, anyone will get it.

-I am confused at your question. -[LAUGHTER]

TIM: And then, every once in a while they'll hit a point where they...

have a disagreement, and, uh...

I'm happy to help, and...

step in and, like, help them decide these things.

Because some things just have to be-- you have to make a call and move on.

And, like, just using him as a frame of reference

of, like, you know: "This is what we want."

Right? Like, the way we set it up in the storyboard,

there is, like, an enclosed specific space that is, like, where she is.

And, like, so, essentially, I don't have to extend this shot.

TIM: And getting more involved means just playing the game

and writing up annoying pages of notes for the team.

But they seem to want that for some reason.

Usually I'm, like, delivering these notes and everyone is like:

"What the hell is this?! What are these last minute changes?"

And now they seem to be really like: "Oh my god! Thank you! This is great!"

So, I don't know...

I don't know what's going on there.

TIM: And are those the animations

that are going to be used for that scene right there?

-Which one? -TUCKER: Those walks?

-Yeah. -TUCKER: Yeah.

TIM: The whole thing was supposed to be they are walking, like:


And trying to act casual, but now they are all just bolting off.

-LAUREN: Oh, okay. -TIM: Yeah.

JAMES: We increased Raz's movement speed to be faster than a walk.

And we can't have--

TIM: Why did we do that?

JAMES: Because people hated the way it felt.

TIM: I don't care!


Okay, that's not the way it's supposed to be.

Okay, and we don't have to talk about it the whole meeting.

But I would like to go over that with somebody in more detail and...

go over the way that was supposed to be, so we can get that right.


TUCKER: So then, Lauren, you and--

you and Tim can sync up after this to find out the...

But everyone can complain about how they don't like the slow walk,

I just don't care.

It's, like, it's only this hallway and the next hallway,

and then it's over.

So just shut up, everybody.


It's a very short sequence and people can cry all they want, but...

TUCKER: Okay, we'll get you two talking.

And then, we can talk to Devin about adjusting it to whatever--

whatever you guys feel is right.

So, we don't have to take every single piece of feedback...

that we get is what I'm saying.

Okay. So, Sasha almost playing correctly.

PAUL: But it does seem like people want you to be...

telling them what to do,

more than not.

I don't know what to say about that.

Like, on different projects-- People, um...

People's relationship with authority is-- is kind of funny.

And there are some people who they accept having the authority over them

for whatever reason.

And they want to hear stuff from that person.

And then there is someone who they don't think should have

authority over them.

And they are like: "That person should shut up."

And figuring out...

You know, and so they'll take something

from the person whose authority they accept.

And they won't take it from the other person.

And it might be the exact same idea.


And so, figuring out

why people give their authority to some people and not others--

Maybe it's just trust,

or they think they know what person is about.

And they just trust them.

Or... they've just made a decision.

Or the person was just already in power.

I don't know, if you just--

I guess if you think you know what the values are

of the person in control, you are more likely to trust them.

Because you can't--

Maybe you can't see where they are taking you,

but you trust they are taking you somewhere good.

And if you don't have that trust with somebody,

you are just like: "Where are you taking me?"


It turns out everyone was a backseat driver.

"Why'd you turn down this road? You dummy."

You know?

Especially if you've never been on a trip with that person before.

PAUL: Mm-hmm.

At least I wrapped that metaphor.

PAUL: It was good.


TIM: Yeah, he is supposed to be talking with Sasha, or hearing Sasha.

SETH: There is a trigger to talk with Sasha.

-JAMES: Hey, did you kill all enemies? -ZACH: Yeah.

SETH: Yeah, if you kill all enemies, the game breaks.


GEOFF: Oi...

SETH: Yeah, if you hit K, the rest of the level will work.

Tim, we are doing great.

We should just have this meeting on Friday with the playthrough build.

It's guaranteed to work.

SETH: You can just play from here.

-I heard that before! -ZACH: Yeah, exactly.


TAZIO: Um...

But, yeah, it's, like...

Some of it is also just about, like, coating the level, you know.

Getting, like-- establishing a baseline and figuring out how we need to do things,

and running into the problems as early as possible,

so we have time to fix it.

Um, yeah...

But it seems like...

there is no way that this isn't going to be really hard.


GEOFF: On the environment side, we are going to just--

we are going to start sweeping from the beginning to the end

and polishing it.

Scripted cutscenes.

Since there are four designers,

we are going to split you guys in two sections,

and we are going to attack them that way.


TOOTH FAIRY: "I'm comin' to see you, Ma!"

TIM: Close enough.



-TIM: I was not here! Oof! -CLAM: Yeah.

-Okay! -Thank you, Tim!



KEE: Hey, Tim! How do you feel about the timing of the Coach right there?

I told James.

It's, like, Coach should be in front of you when you say Coach,

and he should be running past you.

Raz is, like, blurry here even though--


-I stopped, I paused it, because... -[LAUGHTER]

...Tim was saying something, you were saying something.

LOBOTO: Looking for me?

Well, come and get me.

GREG: Nice!

LOBOTO: Why are you taking so...

KEE: Oh, that was great.

LOBOTO ...long?


Oh, that's awesome!

That's really good.


-[CLAPPING] -That's amazing.

Ah, you guys!

That's super cool.

TAZIO: Because there is, like, an emotional connection

between that-- that technique,

and the story that we are trying to tell in that moment,

it's just, like--

it feels like it just fundamentally works.

And... especially at this stage of production

where things are just, like...

kind of, like, pretty suddenly coming together.

Having those moments sort of stand out as being, like:


This is, like-- this is hitting that mark that we are trying to achieve."

It just, yeah-- It just feels really good.

Get some rest, you are going to need it next week!


The faeries...

-Before it gets, like, a... -Like, before they do that.

Yeah, so, like-- Like, do a cut.

And then have all of the stuff that's attached to it.

I see!

Like, have them land on the tooth and then we cut.

TIM: I mean, you know, about the--

Loboto will be on camera, you'll look at him.

CLAM: Yeah.

TIM: He'll turn and you'll look at him, and then...

the point and this light will come on, and then you'll look at that.

And then the next cutscene will happen.

A hundred-percent guarantee it!

Well, we will put in a fail-safe for when they don't look at the light.

Yeah, we don't have to, because I'll just a hundred-percent guarantee it.

-JAMES: We a hundred-percent have to. -TIM: Hundred-percent guarantee it.

We definitely have to.

Only bad people won't do it.



Skip up to: site menu or main content