Okay, the headline is a bit of an exaggeration but ever since the release of Double Fine PsychOdyssey, people have consistently asked me "Harper, when are we going to hear from 2 Player Productions about how they got it all done?" and it's kinda funny to do a Newsies-style headline I've worked with those lovely people for almost three years now and they're remarkably humble and frankly a little quiet. Paul Levering, Paul Owens, and Asif Siddiky have been making great documentaries for a long time including the journey of Broken Age's development in Double Fine Adventure. During this process, they added on the incredibly kind and dilligent Renat Sirbaev to help with editing but also with a lot of caption work. It was one hell of a team.
Side note: some folks also ask about equipment and Levering wanted me to let people know about how he used Instamics to easily set people up for recording. They basically snap on folks, have good quality, and aren't as much of a hassle as classic lavalier mics. They made production much easier. But is that all you wanna hear about or do you wanna listen to the crew themselves talk about all the ins and outs of PsychOdyssey? Well, you have a chance.
Recently, the team sat down with Danny O'Dwyer and the folks of NoClip, who also make great documentaries, in order to talk craft.
In this over one hour interview, 2PP talks about the thousands of hours of footage it took to assemble the documentary and the difference between embedding with a studio for so long compared to the short documentary bursts that Danny and his team take. It's also a chance to talk about what it means to take real people and figure out what their "arcs" are. PsychOdyssey isn't some fictional tale; it's the story of real struggles and triumphs. You can't cover every moment and editing can create narratives. The goal is to try to be empathetic and fair and a portion of the interview talks exactly about what it is like being something of an "outsider" to a process and putting it into a context for people both familiar with game dev and those who aren't.
BUT WAIT?! That's not enough 2 Player Productions for you. Good news! They also sat down to talk with Ben Hanson of MinnMax for even more details about filming and editing.
Ben's a very enthusiastic fan of Double Fine and 2PP's work and it shows in this animated interview. The questions are less about comparing craft and answering some of the more surprising and frankly lingering questions about what the hell even can and can't be done on a project like this. Are there things Tim won't let you film? Well, it's mostly business stuff. How do you depict moments of internal conflict? Honestly, and calling attention to moments where miscommunications happen but with care to make sure that both sides of an issue are given weight. What about Asif's path towards level design and how that affected the team? And what's 2PP's official status now?
I'm not gonna answer all that because I'd be stealing Ben's thunder but his energy guides the Pauls and Asif through a litany of curiosities and answers sure to please fans. Put them on, do some work as you listen, and learn all about the intense work that went into this process over five years in the making!