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Villians of Crunch Mode

Issues with the expanding schedule come to a head as the studio attempts to reconcile with its past participation in crunch culture.

Published: January 20th 2023

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Episode Transcript

TIM: I didn't like the way-- I didn't like the way it came out, and...

AMY: How could I do it better?

Because what I'm hearing from you is that you don't want to hear it at all.

...and that we are trying, and that I should just have faith.

And I've heard that so many times in this room about so many things.

TIM: I don't think anyone said: "Just have faith."

And I don't think anyone said: "Don't bring this stuff up."

That's bullshit.



Everybody, we have been acquired.

Xbox-- no.

Microsoft-- one of those companies up there.

Ryan will be leaving Double Fine.

And I'm kind of stepping into it.

"Okay. Well, now things are going to change completely again."

TIM: "Are we hitting our goals with this level?

Is this level Psychonautical?

Is it good? Do we love it?"

EMILY: Hollis is a little bit of a problem child.

I don't know.

I want to stop all this talking right now.

What is the right amount of work to do for the rest of this game?

TIM: We are against crunch mode.

We talk about it publicly. We talk about it with the team.

RUSTY: We kind of all made a pact with each other that

that would not happen again.


-Finally! -ASIF: Good job, Greg.

CAMDEN: My favorite thing about that was, uh...

Tim backed up what he has always said.

Which is he wants to take care of people.

Which was...

I really got that he...

kind of went out of his way to make sure that happened.

So, I was happy about that.

It's good to have a CEO like that.

-Hi, all. -Hey, bud.

I opened an e-trade account.

-Why? -Don't know.

CAMDEN: I think everybody has had different perspective since then.

I've never seen money like that here.

I've been taught in the audio industry: "If you do see that, like, enjoy it."

Like, that's not why I got into this industry.

I have been doing this for nearly ten years.

And I've spent a lot of effort,

and lost a lot of money,

um, making sure that I'm working for independent studios.


So, the day that that was announced,

I was like: "Wow!"

That-- that was like a rug being pulled out from under me.


I think it was probably the right thing to do for Double Fine.

I mean, I'd rather Double Fine exist than not exist.

But it also just sort of, like, settled that, like:

"Okay, I didn't know what we were going to do."

Because we could not have shipped these levels as they are.

For me, I don't know.

Uh, I think Double Fine is still the best place in the industry to work.

And I'm glad that that's sticking around.

TIM: Well, I mean, we took the decision really seriously.

And we knew that some people might not like it.

But we were very open about what we were thinking about.

We told them our reasons why.

So far, I don't think anyone has left over it.

Eat my shit!

But I think it'll be good.

I think it will be good.

Or cut to the part in the documentary where I made fun of Microsoft

for telling us to cut the humor out of Psychonauts.

Humor should be incorporated into the game as a secondary

or a supporting characteristic.

Humor should be simplified and made immediately apparent.


See, that's the thing.

They are not like that anymore.

Yeah, it is a whole different group of people.

And a different philosophy that, I think, comes from the top down

about how to integrate studios.

What's Friday going to be?

-Are we having a team meeting on Friday? -We are.

Because we are going to be doing it in the afternoon.

Because I moved it from the morning, because of the--

of the Booty appearance.

-ANDY: So, um... -[KEE CHUCKLES]


NAOKO: At some point that has to stop being funny, you guys.

I'm saying do it as much as possible now.

Get that out of your system.

-Booty, Booty, Booty. -[LAUGHTER]

He loves Tutti Frutti, and his son's named Rudy.

Come on.

PAUL: And then we had Mr. Booty.

Yes, we slide the roller coaster into the final loop,

and Mr. Booty is there.


Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Hello! You are on TV. I'm Caryl.


TIM: Matt Booty...

who is the, um...

He was the person actually who changed my mind about acquisition.

Because I was not looking to get acquired.

And I asked him.

You know, because we were talking about it.

And I asked him how it had gone in the past

and what their philosophy was about it?

Our success comes down to one thing.

Creating great games that players love.

And great games come from great developers.

TIM: And when he explained the idea of the limited integration.

How they are not trying to turn them into Microsoft studios,

and hang their logos up on the front door,

and change our emails over,

and get us to do things differently.

They want us to just stay who we are and do things our way.

TIM: And I wanted him to come down

and let the team ask-- ask all the questions they wanted of him.

MATT: Just quickly a little bit about me.

And I only share that just so that I hope I can impart

that I have a real deep appreciation

for the craft of making games and what you do day-to-day.

I started making games back at a place in Chicago called Midway.

I worked on pinball games and video games.

Um, it's funny seeing, like, Mortal Kombat up there.

I worked with Ed Boon

back when on his whiteboard somebody walked in

and crossed out the C and put a K.

-So I remember when that happened. -[CHUCKLING]

I have a pretty strict rule about, uh, not sticking my nose into game design.

I am here to tell you, and I will say

that our goal is to change

as absolutely little about this studio as possible.


One of the things, and then we can just open it up to questions.

But I just want to address one thing, because it kept coming up.

I was surprised to hear how much the moonlighting topic came up.

So, I wanted to just, like, address that one head-on.

TIM: You know, well, it's, like--

most of our concern is because we are a creativity first company.

There are some questions about ownership.

A lot of people have side creative things they do.

They write children's books or play in bands or something.

And they want to make sure that

that will be able to continue under Microsoft.

MATT: Where the moonlighting only really starts to be something

that we even really need to have a conversation about

is if you are making something that directly competes or conflicts

with what happens here.

And that really is going to boil down to making a game.

GIGI: It's just that--

The things is, it's, like--

Corporations like Microsoft always have the advantage.

Because I've seen this happen to friends of mine

who have released games, and this has happened,

and then the company has gone after them.

And they were, like--

Even though they had a nice little handshake agreement,

they still ended up having to pay that company.

MATT: So, if you really want to go run a start-up,

quit and go run a start-up, right?

And so, I'm not trying to chase anybody away.

That's not trying to be harsh language.

But if you work on something,

and suddenly it starts to pick up traction.

And you are like: "Hey, this thing is going big."

I think you've got a choice as a person to make.

The reality is that once something is kind of in these walls,

Double Fine owns it, right?

TIM: Where that comes into conflict a little bit

is where we do this Amnesia Fortnight pitch.

And we have always as a company said that we don't own the ideas

until we actually produce them in the Amnesia Fortnight game jam.

But before people submit them,

they work on them in their own time, on their own computers.

And they do at some point tell the ideas.

And a lot of them don't get selected.

And we've always maintained that we don't own those.

Yeah, we are going to have to sort through that.

Because I don't know! Some day down the road

we might want to go back and say:

"Ha! That was a great idea, you know? We should go make that game."

-MATT: Right? -TIM: Yeah.

TIM: I mean it is something we have to figure out,

because we are doing that process right now.

And people are already pitching based on that promise that I already made.

-[LAUGHTER] -TIM: That we don't own them.

MATT: That's great. No--

TIM: Because that's what we've done for years.

MATT: So, yeah, yep, yep.

And I'm not out, like--

Anything that you've done like that, we will honor that, right?

But I would say that before you do the next one,

we gotta clean that up a little bit.

Because it's a-- it's a messy boundary, right?

CAMDEN: The one thing I saw was, uh...

Uh, the subject about pitches.

Uh, when Booty was like: "We should have a discussion about that."

I think that's fair.

And, like, he didn't come out and just be like:

"Oh, no, you can't do this. And we should--

You know, we have to--

You have to go back on your word, and, like, do all this stuff."

Like, the fact that he said: "Well, next time we need to talk

about how that's going to happen."

Uh, I think that's fine.

I think that's-- And I think he is right.

I think it is about protection for both parties.

Um, and I noticed Tim was surprised by that.

But that's, I think-- that's something good for us to learn.

Because we never had to think about that.

MATT: Over time you are just going to have to--

we have to establish trust, right?

Like, trust is earned, it's not given.

So we gotta earn your trust.

I'm confident that we can work out something that's good for everybody.



TIM: And they-- So, they had tough questions about that.

I think he answered them.

All right. Well, thanks for coming!

-Thank you all! -Everybody, thank you.


Good job, young man! Good job.

Well spoken, well spoken.

TIM: But in general, you know--

All those questions make it seem like people are really nervous about it.

And I think some people are--

have a lot of questions about the acquisition.

But I think most people are just really excited

to be able to... focus on the creative side

and not worry so much about all the deals.

Because we were very transparent about the deals.

We were like: "Well, we are pitching this publisher next week.

And that last publisher, that we pitched to last week,

they passed on us, and so..."

You know, they've heard all these stories.

And I think they are probably looking forward

to not hearing those stories anymore.

We are all Microsoft people.


Yep, just sixty of the best Microsoft people there are.

TUCKER: Andy is of the belief that, uh... the deadlines get more and more looming,

and Microsoft remembers they've spent millions of dollars that, uh...

-Call me a pessimist. -...honeymoon phase may end.

The guys who are in charge--

Dude, look, Matt Booty, Phil Spencer...

Top-notch dudes.

Super respect those guys.

They are great. They are going to come in, smile, point.

"You guys keep on doing what you do! Woo!"

We all are going to be like: "Yeah!"

Two days later Steve from accounting and Bill from marketing shows up,

then we have problems.

TIM: I don't think, uh... they are coming to the Christmas party, it's just us.

-TUCKER: So, no? -So, no.

TIM: So, unfortunately, I have saved the worst for last.

I have some bad news that I would like to share.

Uh, I normally don't talk about--

in this meeting announce when people are leaving the company.

But this one is a very important one.

It's someone who's been here about ten years.

Who's been here a long time.

And they are leaving on good terms,

they are a friend-- family of the company.

But I think we've known as soon as--

As soon as we started talking about acquisition,

there was this potential for Greg's job to change a lot.

And a lot of his job being worrying about money,

you know, is going away, so...

Um, although, we could, you know, invent

a lot of new responsibilities for Greg to do.

There is still stuff he is working on.

Um, I think Greg is understandably looking for the next step in his adventure.

And is going to be looking for that outside the company.

PAUL: Mic you up one last time.

GREG: Yeah.

I didn't think about going, um...



Until all the Microsoft stuff wrapped up.

And I think we did a good job of, like, holding onto what, um...

is special about Double Fine.

And making sure that was protected and not going to be, um...

touched, as much as possible, by Microsoft.

And that we could kind of just keep doing what we do.

Um, but, kind of my job was the one thing that, um...

we weren't able to hold onto, I feel like.

And it's been-- when you think about Greg's job

and that being a journey to actually set us right,

and have us not worry about money anymore,

you pretty much did that.

So, job done.

Good job!



Yeah, that's what made it so exciting.

The crazy roller coaster.

The fact that we were able to ride it out,

make it work so long,

and end up in such a good spot...

is a real testament to a lot of people working real hard over here.


GREG: Not going to make it easy, huh?


Yeah, I'm going to be going to PlayStation.

Which is kind of funny in the scope of things.


Uh, I guess... a competitor of Microsoft?

Um, but we are-- um, you know, we owe--

we owe, um... Greg a lot.


GREG: I love the guy. Uh... he is the best.

I mean, it was the reason I wanted to come here.

It's the reason everybody wanted to come here.

He's been the best mentor and leader, and, uh...

You know, I couldn't have wished for a better last decade of my life, but--

-I'll still be around. -Not the last decade of your life.


Hopefully not, yeah.


It's going to be a big change, but, um...

I don't think anything will-- will be able to change stuff between us.

Thank you, Greg.

We are going to talk about Greg leaving and get really sad?

-Aw-w! -How about that Greg though?

I don't want to get depressed.

-I can't go to the thing. -You can't?

He's been here for ten years, is that right?

I'll drink for you.

-Yep. -That's crazy.

You can bring this.

That's crazy!


GREG: The Kickstarter was obviously, like, something I'll never forget.

And then, being able to have the opportunity

to lead production on that,

and get to work alongside Tim on an adventure game, um...

that was inspired by all of the games he made that I grew up playing,

uh, is unforgettable.


The fact that we are doing Psychonauts 2 is crazy now.

And obviously there's been a lot of changes on the project.

It feels like the team is really coming together now and clicking.

I think, especially, the Amnesia Fortnight recently was really good.

To get people to take a break

and get them collaborating with different people.

A lot of, like, going back to the basics,

and figuring out what's working and what's not.

Um, which was nice to see.


CARYL: Uh, over half of you said it was awesome.

Which is cool.

So, the vast majority of people, um...

had a really good experience in AF this year.

Which is-- which was great-- great for the company.

Ninety percent of the people thought that their project leads did great.

Asif. A gracious, inspired, and encouraging team lead.


-[LAUGHTER] -Aw-w!

So, it was really great

to sort of see everybody really work with everybody else

and appreciate each other.

-MALENA: Hello! -Hi!

There we go!

Wow, she can dance now too!


But, anyway, whatever you guys--

Hey, welcome back to the project, everybody!

It's good to have you back!

We got four whole new levels that we are working on.

New level teams.

I'm excited about getting back to work on Psychonauts 2, because...

Um, I think I learned a lot, personally, in that last, um...

milestone with Hollis.

So, then we are not--

We are just planning to not hit first playable then?



GEOFF: I think Hollis suffered from a couple of different things.

Like, growing pains.

And changing the way we develop levels.

TIM: That-- that caused a lot of confusion

which, I think, added a lot of uncertainty.

And that-- that level kind of, um...

It's new ideas got really convoluted and floundered for a while.


GEOFF: Pillchinko. That will be some sort of

organ Pillchinko machine eventually.

BEN: Yep.

And, yeah-- I mean, it's a...

So, it looks like a pharmacy? Is that right?

-TIM: That's the thing, right? -BEN: It is a pharmacy, yeah.

TIM: That level has a lot of promise.

But it's not fully as far along as we would like it to be.


TIM: What the! Oh my god!

SETH: Yep, so, we talked about how we needed

to make that so he falls into the ambulance on this.


BEN: So, right now the ambulance starts up at the top.

-SETH: And it's so painful! -BEN: And up is down, and down is up.

BEN: And I'm going to fix all of this today!

TIM: I think that looks kind of cool back there though.

It looked a little too suggestive.

But other than that, I think, it was kind of cool with the shadows.

TIM: I think we know what the level is now.

So, we can come back to it later with a fresh start.

Because I think the team was a little burnt-out on it

by the time we were done.

But I think it's going to be good now.

I think, overall, it is still better that we rebooted it,

and came up with new ideas for it.

Because the new ideas are much more...

fitting to the theme of hospital and casino, you know?

It looks much more like a crazy world that would only exist in a dream.

So, I like it.

But it needs a little more time.


ANDY: We did really good this sprint,

in terms of, like, the tasks that got entered.


But we landed--

Seventy percent of what we committed to getting done got done.

And that's kind of an average.

Just so you know.

Every time we commit to do work in a sprint,

if we only complete seventy percent of it,

then we are going to have seventy percent of a video game.

LISETTE: And yes, this isn't a perfect process,

but this is the means by which we have to get this done.

TIM: And I think we've learned a lot

about planning the levels better as a team.

And so I'm excited about doing these next four levels,

and a lot smoother production methods.

-Right? -PAUL: Yep!

Cut to the end of the milestone

when I'm, like, totally frazzled.

Like: "Well, we learned a lot!"


No, but I have high hopes for this next set of milestones.

Because I think we've worked through a lot of, uh...


points of order.

And some of that ties into, like, the general:

"Are we clear about how, um...

GPs and level designers hand off their work yet?"

Like, it seemed like there was all this discussion on Hollis of, like:

"I didn't know you guys were working on this puzzle,

I could have wired that up in one day, and we would have met our milestone."

And all this--

Information falls through the cracks around here a lot.

Even though we assume people are talking, and they are not.

I mean, we could get rid of Slack.

That will force people to talk to each other.

ANDY: Getting rid of Slack would fix that problem.

-[LAUGHTER] -Interesting.

We've had process discussions in the past.

-LISETTE: Mm-hmm. -And they haven't...

We are still sitting here,

talking about how we can get people to work together.

I mean, there is-- Okay, there is that.

And then there is another way of looking at it.

Which is we could also...

be really serious and empower these leads of all these teams.

To be like: "You figure out your team's flow."

Because each level is different.

Each level has different levels of questions,

and things that need emphasis.

So, should all the leads be working with their teams to really--

not strong-arm them,

not dictate either, but just, like: "What is the hand-off on this team?"

TIM: So, um...

I think we got that now.

So we are starting to plan the next group of levels.

Now we are doing four levels at a time.

And we have a level lead,

which we didn't have in the old structure.

Which was a lead for the project

that wasn't necessarily from one discipline.

There is one from each discipline.

We have Jeremy French from art.

And we have, um...

Geoff, who was a lead before.


From programming.

And we have Seth from level design.

Who is going to be handling the stuff he's been handling so far,

which is the-- the outside world,

and the Quarry and stuff.

And so, we have a lead from every discipline.

So the whole project feels represented in one level team or another.

And those level leads are in charge of making sure things move forward,

and being like a little project leader for those level groups.

ANDY: And people can start talking to people.

And people can start making shit.

Like, that's what we need to do.

I'm all for it.

I think this is a great plan, and I'm proud to be a part of it.


I have the utmost confidence in the mission and its continued success.


NAOKO: Sorry.

I'm going to be a fly on the wall, just--

Cool, sounds good.

TIM: The level lead on this project team is...

-Me. -Geoff, okay.

GEOFF: Well, I think we should start to talk about, like:

"What are the big outstanding issues for Compton?"

ASIF: Mm-hmm.

GEOFF: From where I see it, uh...

And, you know, this is hearing from Tim a bit as well.

Um, it went far too toy box,

not enough game show.

Um, and the level itself is probably a little large and spread out.

ASIF: Mm-hmm.

GEOFF: And finding the ingredients are kind of confusing

Um, mostly because of the visual noise of the space.

GEOFF: I think Asif has a lot of great ideas,

but, I think, what happened was that he was literally left alone.

Instead of having someone focus him on very particular things,

he just kept going wider and wider and wider.

Uh, because there was no one there to say: "Hey... that's too much."


Uh, and-- and, you know...

Will is very accommodating,

and he just kept building more and more stuff.

And it was just--

Hollis was the same way.

Like, the first version of Hollis, the first version of Helmut,

the first version of Bob Z, they all just kind of go:


SETH: Um, but this whole look

and the way it is interfacing the natural

and the Quarry rock and stuff, all looks great.

NICK: Something I like about

the first one you are showing there is, like, the path is very clear to me.

PAUL: Did you get to play through the Quarry the way it was before?


It was a nightmare.


We had all the paths going along the walls,

and some came out a little bit and went back in.

And it was just...

These overlapping crossing paths

that once you got to an intersection, you weren't sure:

"Is this the end of a path? Or is that the beginning of a new path?"

Or, you know-- It was very confusing.

And with all that visual noise that just added onto the--

the clusterfuck of madness.


Okay, I can tell you start on that right rock,

and then you go to that left rock,

and then there is the kind of-- the back rock, you know?

It's... a good simplification, I think.

NICK: Definitely a different managerial style

since Zak is gone too, so.


Yeah, a lot of things are--

I don't know if we are keeping anything really,

like, a hundred percent the same.

GIGI: Oh, okay.

This is bad artwork. Don't use it.

-PAUL: No, it's good, it's good. -GIGI: No, it's so bad!

No! I could do it so quickly.

JEREMY: And we got your,

uh... write-up

-Kind of wide view of things. -Oh! Yep, changed the whole direction.


we are fucked.

Um, no!

So, we got-- you know all about, uh...

this kind of early... factoring.


And now we've got-- all of the architecture is made of hair.

The environments could be made of hair.

Everything hair.

JP: So, I think our decision coming out of that was that

this is just-- we are seeing Grulovia here.

This is a Grulovian seaside town.

And it's getting wrecked by, like,

these apocalyptic tsunami flood-type kind of things.

Which are also hair,

but they are, like, made--

they are sculpted into, like, the giant wave shapes and stuff.

I mean, it definitely has, like, a setting now.

I really like that it's, like, a place.

And not abstracted.

And it still has barber-y things.

JP: And then, once you get to the lighthouse itself,

gravity goes sideways.

What if there are big droplets of water?

Or Ford's face appear, like, crying.

Can we have Ford crying?



Because his girlfriend is a crazy lady now.

-Yeah, she killed a bunch of people. -Yeah.

-You know how it is? -Yeah.

I-- yeah, I've lived it.


It led to some really cool creative things.

I think it's a really cool--

Oh my god, the fucking construction!



All those innocent lives!

All those...

All those people!

And yet...

you never thought about me.




So, it basically serves as one of the hubs in the game.

But also serves as a place where you go back to it

to interact with characters.

It's kind of like camp from the-- from the first game.

One of the biggest things was the readability of space.

Like, because this is a hub level,

after you exit one place, you are like: "I don't know where to go to next?"

Because it was built up with action paths in mind,

that meant it occluded the goals of where you are supposed to go to next.

And it also didn't feel like a real space anymore.

Um... so!

We have four sprints to achieve this.

Um, all done by Christmas.

And Tim really wants to see people flying around in this space, so.

ANDY: Yeah, it keeps coming up.


GEOFF: Literally that Peter art.

Because there is, like, a group of people talking,

there is a guy flying through the air.


I think that should be the goal.

Because if you can get the feeling of that Peter art in this space,

it's probably going to be enough for Tim.


CLAM: This is something that Emily boarded.

And then, now we are going to have to figure out how to... it!

Yeah, so here is the audience.


That's amazing.


TIM: So far so good. I think the kick-offs have all been...

uh, really good.

And I think to further communicate, uh...

what's going on the team and on the project,

I have really been advocating recently for dailies.

Like, we brought dailies back.

Because when I was talking to people,

there was a lot, um...

confusion and hard feelings about, uh...

"I was working on this area and this other person touched it.

And I didn't know they were doing that. And they didn't know what I was doing."

There is a lot of: "I didn't know what was going on.

And people didn't know that I was doing this."

And there was a lot of just people not knowing what was going on.

And so, dailies is--

is a thing that often people would drag their feet about and complain about.

But really, if you go to that meeting

and you announce clearly and loudly what you are doing,

it really solves a lot of these little problems.

You don't even realize all the problems it's solving,

because they are not happening,

because people are aware of what everybody is working on.

TIM: How can you tell which level is which one?

-TIM: I don't understand which is what. -NAOKO: I can make sense.

NAOKO: That is Compton on the left.

-TIM: Okay, and then... -NAOKO: The top, I think, is HQ?


KEE: So, is this 'in-progress'? And this is 'done'?

NAOKO: So, we are going to make cards...

and put them up.



NAOKO: And we are going to talk about, like,

what they've been doing.

And if they finished, they are going to move it over.

So, I got-- Do I have cards?

-You do, all the way up there. -Where am I? Okay, okay.

Yeah, awesome!

So, these are placed approximately where they are going to be?


ZACH: It's okay, we got you.

All of these?

ANDY: We learn things as we go.



TIM: And then, listening the rest of the meeting,

don't just tune out, and, um...

Even though I'm playing with my Rubik's cube, I'm totally listening.

Miyuki is new to the project. She came from RAD.

She is wearing the shirt, she is already on board.


NICK: I'm doing rocks around the new Quarry level.


-It's going to look more natural. -I saw some of those already. Exciting!

TIM: Who is next? Which group is next?

-ANDY: Uh, HQIN. -TIM: I'm going to call them!

HQIN. HQIN, dailies.

Okay, it's that time!

NAOKO: I think it's been...



I mean, we are working.

People are talking to each other.

I think it's okay.

GEOFF: We just need to prove out that, like, a singular thing works.

ASIF: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

GEOFF: And then, when we are going to the other recipes,

that's when we are like:

"Let's come up with a bunch of different ones to figure out."

Because we need to get to the point

where we can start rapidly prototyping, right?

-ASIF: Yeah, yeah. -GEOFF: And we are not there yet.

JEREMY: It's a representation of Ford, um...

And if he doesn't feel like he comes from this world,

but is just, like, here.

Observing it, or thinking about it, or whatever.

SETH: I've been trying to think about the path

to the Psychoisolation Chamber.

It's too many jumps.

So we are going to have to figure out how to make that...

-More interesting? -...not repetitive.

As long as players know where to go.

There is another theme in the game of, like,

how the old Psychonauts did-- ways.

And then they got funded and they got slicker.

But Ford and Cassie just didn't fit into that.

So, having--

We should think about that with the barber shop,

because it would represent Ford's ways.

And we should, in some ways, contrast the rest.


Unless we modernize the whole things, and then Ford is like:

-"What's this modern place?" -Right.

KEE: Um... but, especially, like, I'm seeing the Compton team work together.

And it looks like they are really working together really well.

Um... So, I'm very hopeful there.

JOSH: Um, right now what I'm working on with Asif is, uh...

the slicing station.



JAMES: The design that you, like, envisioned for the station...

that is not happening?

Honestly, it's gone through so many versions now that, like...

I don't even necessarily have, like, an anchor to come back to.

ASIF: I got kind of burnt out on it, uh... mentally.

And, um...

It's actually been a huge help to have other people's perspectives.

It could be on the tummy of whoever is chopping?

-JOSH: Yeah, I like that! -It can pop out.

JOSH: You poke the belly. We add torpedo eyes.

Let me try this real quick.

JOSH: That was one thing that, like...

You know, Ryan and Zak were pretty good at,

was just, like--

just... saying: "It's done."

It kind of sucks to have to design something

and also decide if it's good enough.

JOSH: If it's done.

Stop filming me!


ASIF: You guys feel good about this?

I'll go tell programming what the current plan is then.

JOSH: I think this is excellent.

Thank you, guys.


ASIF: So, I'll grab this guy.

TIM: I love how the audience and ingredients work.

That's really cool.

Are they all going to have name tags? Like Price Is Right?

-GEOFF: Yeah, that's... -TIM: "Pick me, pick me!"


ASIF: All right.

So, this will be a big chef with, uh...

some arms holding big chopping blades.

You come up and punch this,

and it's fully prepared.

You can, uh, take it over to the plating station.

-Whoa-ow. -Wow.

GEOFF: Like, you can bring an ingredient there.

And the ingredient transforms into the thing you need it to be.

And that completes the quest.

And the quest moves the whole thing forward.

And you can complete all the dishes.

That stuff works, like...

The level is not blocked to go through.

It's more of the, like, functional...

"This is how the player understands that it actually works.", stuff is not in yet.

And we need to do that to all of the stations.

ASIF: Clarifying the connection between

what you are supposed to be making and how that's communicated to you.

So, like, uh...

Immediately seeing something in the level

that tells you what you are supposed to make.

And then identifying which stations you are supposed to be going to.

So, that's a big thing we are trying to solve.

And hopefully we'll get lots of feedback on that in this afternoon's playtest.

So, please pay attention to that.

ASIF: And I think as soon as you watch someone

that is new to the game play it,

you start to realize how, like, even the simple things,

the things that we imagine to be simple,

actually are kind of difficult, and really add up for the player.

-BEN: And I throw it back and... -AMY: ...nothing happens.

JEREMY: Oh, god!

Are these dangerous? I don't know.

ASIF: They are supposed to be eventually.



NAOKO: And, like, the playtest feedback is bad.

I get it, yeah, yeah.

So, that's what-- that's what the unique thing about Compton is.

Whereas, like, Ford Hair is literally blocked from being made.

TAZIO: We are still getting, like, people not responding to the hair.

PAUL: Mm-hmm.

LEVI: Yeah.

TAZIO: And now it's-- now it's terrible.

LEVI: Your choco onion rings.


TAZIO: The concept of this is really fun and cool.

And it seems like a really, really interesting idea.

But it's a lot of-- it's been a lot of work to figure out, like...

how do we communicate that.

PAUL: What even is hair in the Psychonauts universe?

I don't know, man!

We've done, like, a bunch of different tests for these things.

Um, and, like--

But at the same time it's also...

There is also this struggle where...

if you make something...

really cool...

and the player can't interact with it,

you haven't necessarily succeeded, right?


It's, like, you know--

If that's the cool thing that's going on visually in the level,

and it's not something for the player.

It's just kind of, like: "What's the point?"


TAZIO: But yeah, we are definitely making a lot of progress.

I'm, like-- I think...

we are a little bit stressed out about how much there is to do

and how, like, quickly our deadline is approaching.

But also just seeing, like, you know, where the HQ is,

and the Quarry especially.

Like, those things had complete transformations

in a very short span of time.

SETH: ...of stuff that's sort of been changed around.

TIM: Pretty! Some good trees in there.

SETH: Oh, yeah! So, we-- So, over here is--

The rocks are all right, too, Nick.


NICK: One of the the key things,

I think, that's working about this Quarry a lot better is that...

Seth explained it like a slice of pie.

So, you start here.

And you can go this way to that thing.

You can go this way to that thing, you know...

-SETH: Over here is Goat Island. -TIM: Goats!


SETH: So, the goats-- The goats hang out on Goat Island.

NICK: Locations are kind of reading a lot better, so.

I think we can get away with adding a little bit more detail,

and getting a little crazier in certain areas.

This high water decal thing.

So, this is a decal that covers the whole Quarry.

And it kind of makes it look like the water used to be up there, right?

-Great! -SETH: Yep.


Cool! What time is it?


Oh, man, I'm late! Okay!

-SETH: Thank you, Tim! -TIM: I'm going to sneak out. Bye!


ANDY: Nice work, guys.

I will say, like, this Quarry thing went really well.

I'm really-- I'm really, like, glad that we were able

to basically get it done earlier than expected.

Which is not something we can always say.

That's pretty amazing.

And because we did that,

I'm expecting you to do even better with the Questionable Area next year.

-Oof! -Because we have to.

Because we have to.

Quarry is fine.


-Quarry is fine. -Quarry is fine.


GEOFF: HQ interior is looking great too.

Both of those places are looking awesome.

TUCKER: Oh, whoa-ow!

JEREMY: Ooo, that looks awesome!

You have to wait a while before you'll see anybody levitate,

because it's totally random whether they'll decide

to pick one of the levitation paths.

-There is a guy in the back. -Left, left, left.

There, in the back, on the wall.

There he is!


LEVI: Wow! It's everything I could have imagined!


TUCKER: So, uh...


-TUCKER: Yeah, so, so... -[LAUGHTER]

It is known why it works like that, right?

BEN: Yeah, I mean, he is just orienting to the spline.


LEVI: Touchdown!

-LEVI: Oh, whoa-ow. -[CHUCKLING]

LEVI: Depth of field?!

Someone found depth of field!



JANICE: Um, and what I'm working on currently

is how to make these hallways leading into the different areas,

um, look more distinct.

So that you know walking into a hallway:

"Oh, this is the hallway that leads to the offices."

"This is the hallway that leads to the classrooms."

Like, you know where you are depending on what hallway you are in.



Janice Bell.


NAOKO: Oh, did we move Janice's tasks down?

KEE: No, they are up higher than last time.


Wait, what?

I'm going to go home. That's it.

I'm done. I'm done for the day.


JAMES: I'm still on standby for these two tasks.

Could you unhide the NPCs in the lobby?

Yep, I can do that.

-Okay, can you do that today? -Yes.

Awesome, thank you.

ANDY: Please-- Please write a task for doing that.


I don't know why I threw you--

ANDY: Well, I used to be gentle about it,

but people ignore me when I'm gentle.

So, please write a task for that.

ANDY: We are coming down to the end here.

You know, we basically got two weeks left.

And so, I wanted to just open this up to everybody to talk about, like:

"Where we are at? What's left?"

Anyone have anything, like, they are really concerned about?

Uh, let's see.

From an art direction standpoint, I'm still very worried about hair Ford.

Um, it's getting there.

I think the next...

sprint is going to be kind of where we leave it at the playable state.

But I don't know if we are going to hit the look target.

KEE: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

LISETTE: So, I think it's going to be really challenging.

KEE: Yeah.

LISETTE: I think we need Tazio and Jeremy French in a room.

And just say, like:

"What-- what are we going to-- what's the final call?"

Because you've done all these experiments this sprint.

Some of them are working out, some of them are not.

We need to make a call of how we are going to finish this out.

LISETTE: My challenging, I think, right now with time is

we have one sprint left.

The water is still just a set piece.


I'm more concerned about all of that whitebox

over there on the right.

-The playable area? -Yeah.

JEREMY: I mean, that's what I'd like to start tackling.

But we need to figure out what-- how to build those cliffs.

Like, if we are not going with these tight curl cliff walls,

then we need to...

prove out the striated rock pattern cliffs,

before I-- before I go and populate any of the rest of this.

LISETTE: Mm-hmm.

Yeah, my hope is that we--

We are not going to be at a place where we actually hit Alpha on this.

But at least we have a plan to know how we are going to execute on it.

And the big questions are answered.

And if we don't have them answered,

at least we have a plan B on how we are going to get them done.

JP: It seems like you all are most of the way through solving,

like, what...

...seems like was a really hard problem.

So, like, good-- I mean, good job!

I know you are not all the way there yet, but, like, it's... yeah.

ANDY: Success of this video game does not live or die on whether or not

the hair in the hair level looks really, really cool.


That's a whole Metacritic point.


I'll take it!


If it's literally one Metacritic point, like...


CARYL: But at some point we have to...

You know, we are going to start January.

And we are going to have ten months, and...

to get it... shippable.

And that doesn't seem realistic to me.

So, you know, start thinking about things that can get cut.

And cutting them. And just cut them.

Start cutting things.

And start telling Tim you have to cut things.

Because there is no-- there is no--

LISETTE: There isn't a reluctance in this room to cut anything.


There isn't a reluctance in this room to cut anything.

We are trying to get it so, like...

Tim can playte--

Tim can play the game from front to back as soon as possible.


Yeah, but that isn't helping you ship either.

NAOKO: No, but it is working towards shipping the game.

I would say it's not helping us towards ship.

But based on my experience here at Double Fine,

and working on a project with Tim Schafer,

that's the best option I have.

Yeah, just don't, um...

And I would be happy to discuss this with you.

Yeah, I just, like--

I just want to be clear, I don't think we are going to be able

to skip-- slip the date anymore.

GEOFF: I have another meeting to go to, everyone.

I apologize.

Maybe these consultations don't have to happen all at the same time.

GEOFF: Yeah, it's going fine.

I mean, we are coming to the end of a milestone and...


We are going to hit Alpha in four levels.

Which, I think, we are actually going to do.

Hair Ford might be a little bit behind.

But I think it's going to hit their, like, visual Alpha at least.

All the whitebox will be gone,

so that will be good.


GEOFF: Um, and...

you know, Compton is coming in a little hot.


The spikes just don't do it for me here.

I don't know.

That's just me.

EMILY: I like that the button is there.

GEOFF: Yes! Yeah, the button being there is awesome.

-GEOFF: That's great. -EMILY: A+


So, we are still pretty far away from this being a...

any sort of polished--

Oh my god, shut up, Compton. Jesus.

We need a proper tutorial set up for the first part.

We can change the timer, so that feels good.

Those are things we can tune right now.

JOSH: What do you guys think about

potential universal language for where you can put an ingredient?

So, right now, like...


GEOFF: It takes a lot of scrutiny.

And a lot of, like, doing these very... miniscule tasks

that, like, once they are all done, it really helps.

GEOFF: Josh.

And, like, look straight down.

From here over to here.

So their sight line is straight this way.

All right!

-GEOFF: Everybody good? -EMILY: Yes.

It's definitely coming along. We are making progress.

It's just we got a ways to go still, so.

-Let's do it! -Yep.


ASIF: I mean, how do we control where that happens then?

Because there are multiple brainstorm hazards

throughout the level, right?

GEOFF: I mean, we can always just move, like-- teleport them to the center.


GEOFF: You know, as we are seeing in Compton,

like, writing is coming in hot as we are working on it, and...

it does provide an insane amount of context.

GEOFF: Did you guys read what Tim wrote?

-JOSH: I have not read it yet, -JAMES: I have not either.

-ASIF: Yeah. -Right now!

Uh, do you guys think it's possible to get the scratch for Dish 2 in by Friday?

-JOSH: This Friday? -GEOFF: Yeah.

TIM (HIGH-PITCHED): We can-- we can do it!



Because we have all these other things to do as well.

I mean, there is a million things to do.

Everybody is going to be doing a ton of stuff.

JAMES: If you want us to do that

in lieu of doing these things this week, then yes.

GEOFF: That seems, like... wrong.

If we are implementing dialogue--

all of the dialogue, like, Wednesday of next week,

it's not going to happen.

And we need to get it in, so.

But I also don't want you guys to commit to things

that you guys don't have time for.

And it does sound like there is a lot of work to do as well.

Yeah, a lot of the newer stuff that I saw in the script

on the first pass seems more station specific.

Yeah, it's possible that we can get it all done in two days.

I just don't want to...

promise you that that and all this stuff can be done by Friday.

But we need to set goals for ourselves, so we can try to do these things.

And even if we can't do them, I don't want to say: "No."

Because that means we are just-- they are not going to get done at all.

James will sit down with Naoko and look at his time,

and we'll report back.

GEOFF: I mean, I'm not going to lie to you.

This is literally going to be the next year of this project.


JOSH: Wait, what's going to be the next year of the project?

GEOFF: Like, the amount of what we need to hit.

We need to get this level to Alpha.

For this stuff to feel good, we've gotta do a lot of work.

I'm not saying we shouldn't do a lot of work.

GEOFF: Well, well, well--

You are saying that, but you are also saying:

"We are out of scope."

And it's like: "Yes, we are."

EMILY: We've achieved out of scope.

GEOFF: We've achieved out of scope a while ago.

And the fact that it took us so long to get the--

the stuff playable the way we wanted it to,

has pushed us back even farther.

So, if we want this--

If we want to do these things,

and, I think, in a lot of cases we are going to have to,

so the level feels good,

we've gotta--

we just gotta do it.

GEOFF: We don't want to have a crunch culture.

But I also don't think that...

...crunch culture means never putting in extra time or effort.

Making video games is an artistic endeavor.

And I, personally, am not going to let...

something I'm not proud of...


...out the door.


JOSH: It's a logistical nightmare.

Oh, man, the gas preview is amazing.

I love the gas preview.

JOSH: So we should be...


JOSH: ...but also a million other things.

Just how much dialogue there is.

TAZIO: Oh my god, I'm going to die!


Wait, wait! One conversation at a time!

-One conversation at a time! -Hey, everybody, please!

You know, like, Psychonauts is everyone in this building.

And every one of them is contributing to it being a good or a bad game.

And I would really like to make a good game.

JAMES: This level is fun.


This level is fun.

GEOFF: And I think we are definitely going in that direction.

I just think sometimes....

to put that extra bit of effort into it is...

necessary, you know?

LISETTE: We should let Adam know.


Pick me!

Just call me Pork Chopper!

TIM: What?


That's great.




That's a nice reveal.

Everybody just needs to see this.

-It's my favorite part. -Oh my god!

-Bread butt! -[LAUGHTER]

That's the Homepride Butter Top difference.



Oh, it's dead!


Don't worry about me! Save the dish!


I think that's...

I think that's it for now,

because the last judge is not in here.

Nice! Looking cool.

It's getting there, everybody!

-Yeah! -Looking cool!


GEOFF: Thanks, guys! We are closing this meeting down.

Join the next meeting.

I got a little Christmas Santa chair to sit here.

AMY: So...

Friday was the team meeting

where we were going to discuss...

some issues I had brought up on Slack...


crunch culture.

I was just letting them know that from a peon standpoint

this is what we were looking at.

Like, letting them know this is what...

if you were down here where I am, looking up,

this is what it looks like.


I made...

I made a lengthy Slack post

about some things that I saw...

that different people were doing

that taken together had me a little worried.



it started a big discussion.



Tim wanted to have...

that discussion...

with the team in a team meeting.

TIM: So, I wanted to talk about-- There was, um...

a discussion on Super Double Fine about, um, crunch mode.

And I want to make sure that we are absolutely clear

about how we all feel about that.

And so I wanted to have that discussion here instead of on Slack.

Because I think it would be a little more productive.

And, um...

And first I just want to open it up to people here.

MOIRA: But my experience in the past

is that crunch for me was something that was mandatory.

That we didn't have a choice.

That they brought in food,

because they expected that we would be there.

And that if we weren't there,

we got a lot of pushback from our managers and from coworkers.

And I don't, for me personally, get that feeling here.

That the reason they bring in dinners

is because they know sometimes people work an hour or two late.

But not that they are expecting people to work late.

Or that you guys even want people to work late.

TIM: The things that definitely are true in there,

that I want to make sure everyone is clear about that,

that we want to--

we care a lot about crunch mode, and, um...

uh, and not having it.

To me crunch mode is, um...

when a company knowingly hands far too much work for a team to do,

and demands it to be done at a certain time,

knowing that it will take away the team's personal life,

and being okay with that, and exploiting that.

LISETTE: But has anyone here felt like that's the case?

Yeah, I think Geoff does it too much.

I think Geoff takes on too much work. Sorry to call you out.

TIM: I don't think Geoff comes here at night because there is food, though.

-AMY: No, I know. -[LAUGHTER]

GEOFF: Believe me, my waistline says no.


AMY: The second statement about the more than five consecutive days--

Maybe we do have a hard-set deadline.

I don't think anybody on the project knows what that is.

At least a lot of people don't.

-CARYL: November 2nd. -LISETTE: It's been said.

I've heard other dates.

-That are farther. -CARYL: Okay, November 2nd.

That are farther than that.

CARYL: So, I'm-- I'm telling you,

and I said it in Slack,

you guys all need to be pencils down on your game on November 2nd.

It is also about a year away,

and it can't slip, because--

CARYL: It's not going to slip.

AMY: People were feeling...

...a squeeze.

And... sometimes, I think,

you are going to feel a squeeze in development.

We were having our most successful milestone...

over a year out from ship.

It was kind of worrisome to start feeling a squeeze.

AMY: It is one of those things where, from my perspective,

it feels like a slippery slope.

Uh, that's all.

That's where it came from.

CARYL: So, to be clear. This project has already slipped twice.

AMY: Yeah.


And given where we are as a company and what we need to do,

it actually can't slip again.

Like, I'm here to tell you, like,

I know what the next five years looks like.

And this project will need to be scoped back, changed, altered,

but that's the date we have to hit.

Because, like, that's the agreement we made with Microsoft.

TIM: I want to say something to Amy,

because I know it's not-- it's not crazy to look--

The first time I saw working meals be announced on a project, I'm like:


It does seem a little weird, because...

we fought really hard against crunch mode, right?

I've always been against--

"Oh, it's so great to work at this tech company.

They do my laundry, and dah-dah-dah-dah."

I'm like: "That's, like, a trap to get you to stay at work all the time."

We don't really like that kind of stuff.

But if after...

You know, I've come to-- I've come to accept it, because...

if after all those steps of being participatory in your scheduling,

of estimating your own tasks, and being involved in the scoping,

someone is like: "You know, uh, the deadline is--

the milestone is this Friday, and if I stayed a little extra,

I could actually land this thing a lot better than I could have."

And if Tucker wants to buy Geoff an Umami Burger,

then that's fine.

I accept that. I think it's great.


I don't want it-- You know, it's not, like,

you know, Tucker is going around

and asking: "Are you staying late? Oh! No?"

You know, and, like, that's--

And the thing I just--

I kind of never want to hear again is slippery slope.

Because I just want--

I guess-- I guess I want a little more trust than that.

Because the reason we know about the slippery slope is that we--

we, like, as a company climbed from the bottom of that slope.

We didn't start at the top and mess up.

You know, like, we--

My career started at the bottom

with being the victim of crunch mode on Monkey 1 and 2.

And then, internalizing that and being a perpetrator of crunch mode

on all my games after that until Psychonauts,

and throughout Psychonauts.

I was, like, a villain of crunch mode.

I was like: "What are you--"

You know, I really-- Because I was mostly just so focused:

"This game has to be good.

You are either working with me to make this game good.

Or you are my arch enemy."

And I was very intense about that kind of stuff.

And-- and it was through--

by having the worst crunch mode of all time on-- on-- on, um...

uh, on Psychonauts.

And then, all of us just, like--

You know, made more intense by trying to save the company,

You know, we all stopped and were like: "Holy fuck!"

And we, like, um...

crawled up, like, the Windsor Waterworks of Crisco water slides

to get up to the top of that slippery slope,

and then just don't be the people who walk by and be like:

"Careful about the slippery slope."

Because we definitely are very familiar with it.

And we don't let that kind of stuff happen here.

AMY: Uh, what I was hearing was:

"This isn't an issue.

I was like: "Okay, well, I disagree."

And that was-- that was the whole thing.

But it turned into a bad...


A really bad back-and-forth.

And I just broke down. Like, I cried.

...many different things.

But all I've gotten in this conversation is that I did it wrong,

and that I shouldn't say it,

and that we are trying, and that I should just have faith.

And I've heard that so many times in this room about so many things!

KRISTEN: I think everyone knows your intentions.

You have good intentions.

And I know you are looking out for the team.

Everyone knows that.

I don't-- That's not what I'm hearing.

TIM: I don't think anyone said: "Just have faith."

And I don't think anyone said: "Don't bring this stuff up."

-That's bullshit. -AMY: Well, you are the one...

...who literally said that you don't want to hear about the slippery slope--

TIM: I don't want-- Saying slippery slope to us is just...

doesn't respect our history as a company.

Like we are going to accidentally have crunch mode: "Whoops!"

Saying that it's a ship year doesn't have respect for me

as someone who has been in this industry for ten years!

KEE: For all of us, we went through this a lot ourselves.

Like, my blood pressure is off the roof,

because of the crunch I did on Psychonauts.

And I understand it's impact on our health, our lives,

and what it has on the end product.

So, please...

Please, please, have faith and understand

that this is something that we take extremely seriously.

And I am so glad we are able to have this conversation,

because the first thing I said to my husband was:

"Can you imagine this at EA?"

Like, somebody speaking up would have been, like, fired.

Immediately. "You are fucking gone."

"Sorry, you don't talk like that."

And the fact that we-- we can do this here...

is amazing!

TIM: That's all. That's all I want to say.

So, thanks for... sitting here talking.


And that's all I have to say.

All right. Sorry I ate into your lunch time.

-LISETTE: Making games is hard. -TIM: It is hard.


RAY: Let's make some games!

-What's that? -Let's make some games!

KEE: Seriously, how do you guys feel

when you watch some of this stuff that's been happening?

Like, were you--

Did you record the, um... the crunch meeting?

-PAUL: Oh, yeah. -PAUL: Yeah.


PAUL: That was unexpected.

KEE: And it was the day of the Christmas party.

So it was like: "Fuck!"




I felt like I couldn't really say the thing I wanted to say in that meeting.


I don't know.


GEOFF: The reality of it, it's going to come down to

there will be people who don't want to crunch,

and there will be people who will crunch.


the burden will be more on the people who will crunch.

Because if I didn't crunch on Loboto...

it would have looked like shit.


GEOFF: And I think that's the reality of the situation.

We can't have our cake and eat it too.

KEE: And this-- and this does very much--

Finish-- finish your thought.

GEOFF: Oh, yeah.

-And yes, we need to-- -[GEOFF LAUGHS]

People are just going to have to make a decision for themselves.

Like, whether they are okay with something going out the door poorly

or if they want it to go out well.

And if they want it to go out poorly,

they have to, like-- like, let that thing go,

so someone who does want it to go out the door well...

can take it over.

And I think that's probably going to be the biggest growing pain possible.

It's like: "If you don't want to crunch, that's totally fine.

But you can't have control over things...

that aren't going to get done."

Right? And that's going to be a weird situation for people to be in.

I don't know how am I going to handle that.



So, later on--

Like, I happened to have a programmer meeting...

right after, that day.

Right after that meeting, because it was scheduled.

Ha-ha! I know, it was great, um...

It was a really, really rough one.

And, um...

In that meeting I just told people, like:


if you don't think things are going to get better,

and, uh...

at the end of the day this is a job,

you need to quit, or do something else,

go do something else.

You shouldn't make your lives that much worse...

for a job."



What's-- what's up? What's going on?

Uh, today is my last day... at Double Fine.

-PAUL: Yeah. -Yeah.

It's pretty weird.

Because this was a dream of mine,

and this is, like-- this is what I had--

This is pinnacle, culture-wise and creativity-wise.

And, um...

realizing that this isn't where I wanted to be, I kind of--

It was really heartbreaking.

And then...

taking that sort of, like, leap to: "I want to go somewhere else."

That's when--

That's when things got: [EXHALES]

"Okay, this has happened. This is going to happen."

Um, so...

I just want to toast-- Thank you, everyone, for coming here.

And thank you for working at Double Fine.

Uh, it's been a crazy year.

We've all been through a lot.

A lot of us went through a lot just this morning.

But it had nothing to do with that meeting.

PAUL: Well, how did Tim take your desire to leave?

The really sad part for me is, I--

He was, like...

an industry hero to me.

I can't imagine he is happy.

But I don't know where his head is at.

But it's one of those companies

where we do go through incredible ups and downs with each other.

And the thing I've always liked and admired about everyone,

besides all the other things I like and admire about your work and creativity,

is that you strangely just really like to be together...


...and like hanging out together,

and really have a lot of affection for each other.

And I've always really valued that.

Um, because I have such hard time finding affection for people.

-It's just one of my-- -[LAUGHTER]

I read a lot about it.

And I really like watching you guys do it, but...


AMY: The people here is what kept me here so long.

Because that's-- I think that's where Psychonauts shines.

Honestly, it's when people get together and they are having a lot of fun.

So, I think...

I think what's going to come out is the-- the best part of the team.

TIM: Once more, just thank you, everybody,

for everything you did this year, and for the last twenty years.

Thank you so much. And cheers! And happy holidays!


GREG: ♪ And maybe I'm too good for you, oh ♪

♪ Do you believe in life after love? ♪

♪ I can feel something inside me say ♪

♪ I really don't think you're strong enough, no ♪

♪ the midnight hour ♪

♪ More, more, more ♪

♪ With a rebel yell ♪

♪ More, more, more, wow ♪

♪ You can dance ♪

♪ You can jive ♪

♪ Having the time of your life ♪

♪ Ooh, see that girl ♪

♪ Watch that scene ♪

♪ Digging the dancing queen ♪

TIM: Thank you, everyone who could come.

Uh, yes, we did not wreck the place.

We only wrecked our relationship with the place.

-TIM: It's fine. -[LAUGHTER]

In case you want to know what this is all about...

I don't know, did anyone miss that?

The two of the rooms at the party got shutdown,

because there were rumors that, uh...

jazz cigarettes were being smoked in there.


And I said: "This is obviously not true.

Because I don't see anyone wantonly yelling and...

I've seen Reefer Madness. I know what that--

And I don't see any of that happening, so."


I know we don't have any of that kind of element here at Double Fine.

SPAFF: Well, the main one left and went to PlayStation, so.



Keep going, James.




GEOFF: You got it, you got it.

You got it, you got it!



GIGI: Tazio did such a good job!

Making hair water!

TAZIO: Extra ambient occlusion!




Okay, so.

We are done with milestone ten.

-[CHEERING] -And I think...

...we did a-- we did a pretty damn good job

having played all the levels, like, this week...

Like, nice work.

KEE: A lot more easier to see where things are.

The signage is going to be still a bit temporary.

GEOFF: They have completely rebuilt the HQ interior from the ground up.

And it's f-f... looks fantastic.

And is actually doing all of the things we wanted it to do.

And they did that in...

you know, six weeks.

And, uh, thanks to the team for a tremendous effort.

And I think the level shows--

the quality is showing because of their hard work.

-So, thank you. -[CLAPPING]


JEREMY: This was the old, uh... hair Ford

that was more about barbershop utensils.

It was an interesting idea, but just didn't--

didn't put it together well.

Um, and...

Now we have-- we have a theme

that fits the feeling of the story a lot more,

and mood that matches

how crazy, and sad, and terrible the story is

that we are telling at this moment

TIM: Thank you!


ANDY: Yeah, and it's worth mentioning

that you didn't go into the Ford level and move stuff around.

-You made a new Ford level. -Yep!

TIM: Shaved it all off!

And regrew it.

-Good job, Andy. -Thank you.

-Nice, well done. -I didn't do anything.

-They did all the work. -[TIM CHUCKLES]

GEOFF: I think everybody should be proud

of, like, what we accomplished in this last milestone.

LISETTE: This was the best milestone of the year.

The game has moved forward more in this last milestone

than it has in, like, two years.

AMY: I have a lot of hope actually for this team.


I don't want me leaving being seen as...

a lack of faith in the team to get the job done.

This is what I needed.


it was really awesome to work on Compton.

It was...

really collaborative.

We got shit done.


Like, uh...

And it's-- and it's Alpha!

Yeah, and I think Compton turned out really great.

AMY: My, uh...

My favorite bit this morning was when...

I think it was Geoff accidentally griddled the egg.

AARON: He hucked it from, like, halfway across the map.

Managed it to land it on the griddle.

And it cooked itself, because the fire started.

That's going to be the pro strat.

-Like, speedrunner move. -That is the pro strat.

It's not-- It's not guaranteed.

-AARON: It's not! -JOSH: Which is what's great about it.

But it means you can multitask better that way.

I don't know, I thought that was pretty fantastic.

I love that.

AMY: That is, I think, the first Psychonauts level

that you play through, and it's a level, it's a game.

It feels like a Psychonauts game.

Uh, and I'm really happy that I got to see that before I go.

Like, three years!

I finally-- I finally played. I'm like: "Oh, okay!

This is it! This is what's it going to be.

I can feel it. And it's good."



AARON: What did it say?

It said: "We are old friends.

You boiled my dad and grandfather."


JAMES: Is Tim okay?


Who knows?



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