At Double Fine, rather than demanding our team stays in their lane, we encourage them to stray far from it and contribute to the many aspects of building a game no matter what their key talents may be.
Even so, It's unusual for a programmer to contribute art to a project that makes it all the way to ship, or vice versa with artists coding. But behind the scenes, they are generating a special art of their own - we call it Programmer Art.
It's purpose is not to be pretty, and at first glance it might look simplistic - often line drawings created in something like MS Paint - but these drawings are usually created to convey a problem or a solution that requires a way of thinking that most mere mortals would find impossible to grasp. This gives them a visual quality that is beautiful in its own right..
The making-of / concept work of our engineering team is often hard to share and convey, but through this collection of Programmer Art, most of it from Psychonauts 2, we think you'll get an interesting glimpse inside their minds.
To aid you, we've included annotations from the programmer (artist!) behind each piece explaining their inspirations.