We often talk about the inspiration behind the larger elements of Psychonauts 2 - where the ideas for a brain level or a character came from for instance. But for a change we thought it might be fun to look at some of the smaller details in the game that might otherwise not get talked about. So we asked the team to think about some of the finer details that they were particularly proud of, or thought you might enjoy hearing about how those details came to be, and to share those stories with us.
Back in the development of the original Psychonauts, Raz was initially named Dartagnan (aka "Dart") and had a totally different look. Realizing he wasn't quite working how they wanted, the team redesigned him to look like the Raz we know and love today. This concept sketch from October 2001 by Scott Campbell shows that look appearing for the first time.
When it came to making poses for the Otto Shot camera in Psychonauts 2, Animator Alex Turner looked to this old sketch for inspiration, and brought the pose to life...
Everything in Psychonauts 2 has a degree of wonkiness to the design: we try to avoid straight lines or squares like all the ones in this tedious but practical reality we all have to live in day to day.
When Designer Asif Siddiky was building out the canteen lights in the Motherlobe, he needed to add that wonk, but knowing that this would be where Raz would summon Ford with a rasher of honey-pepper-boar-bacon, he decided the iconic shape of bacon would make for a perfect lamp shade.
Tim wrote the line "You sure-as-shampoo can, but unless I get a cancellation, you're out of luck!" back in February of 2019 but I don't think it got into the game for a really long time. I adopted "sure-as-shampoo" in an effort to swear less and said it once in a meeting with Tim, probably late 2020. He did one of those awesome Tim giggles, you know the kind where he's genuinely finding humor and joy in a moment, and he asked me if I had made that line up or if it was from somewhere. I said, "I got it from YOU!" He had forgotten he had written it! It's still one of my favorites from the game. (Malena)
When we were laying out the motherlobe HQ, the agent's wing only had an office for Sasha and Milla, i think Coach was supposed to have his own area in the mech garage thing, which got cut. so i put a storage closet next to Milla and Sasha's offices and wrote Coach on the door with like a "sharpie" as a lil gag. then i think they ended up making it a scavenger item. and wrote lines for it. (Jeremy Natividad)
Portal fun fact: Fatherland Follies has the most portals in the game, with a total of 19 pairs (Aaron J)
The statue next to the Lumberstack Diner is a reference to the fiberglass "Muffler Men" that exist as a sort of roadside attraction across the US. They stand 18-25 feet high, and the first one was made in 1962.
Extremely late to this party, but the cutscenes in CASS that take place in books, and the transitions from being in a book to being back in the library were something that was written into existence by Tim that nobody really knew how to do, but also seemed like something we should be able to do. The can kept getting kicked down the road, and then everybody (especially Jerry) came together and delivered. Absolutely some of my favorite moments in the game.
Granny painting is from double fine office (who put it in the game?)