Tim Schafer
Lee Petty

Tim Schafer and Lee Petty

The mind behind Grim Fandago, Psychonauts and Broken Age joined by the mind behind Headlander

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON September 22, 2015

Discussion

Tim Schafer
Tim Schafer@timoflegend · CEO, Double Fine Productions
Hi, I'm Tim Schafer, President of Double Fine Productions, a San Francisco based video game developer, makers of many critically acclaimed games such as Psychonauts, Brutal Legend, and more recently Broken Age. Prior to founding Double Fine 15 years ago, I worked at LucasArts as project lead on Day of the Tentacle, Full Throttle and Grim Fandango, and as a writer / assistant designer on Monkey Island 1 & 2. With me today is Lee Petty, a Project Lead here at Double Fine who previously made Stacking, but is currently working on a 70's science fiction inspired action-platforming game called Headlander, which is is what we'd like to talk about today.
Russ Frushtick
Russ Frushtick@russfrushtick
Hey guys, thanks for joining us! A question for each of you: @timoflegend What's your day to day like these days? Obviously DF is much more spread out in terms of a handful of smaller projects rather than one big monster project. How hands-on are you with day to day development/writing or do you mostly oversee the teams but let them take the lead for their own individual projects? @leepetty Do you feel the culture at DF has changed since you guys started down the road of smaller projects? Any surprising benefits/detractors? Also what's one dope thing about Headlander that hasn't really made it to the public yet?
Lee Petty
Lee Petty@leepetty · Art Director, Double Fine Productions
One dope thing about Headlander that hasn't been made public yet -- the game features a chess-themed gladiatorial arena level called GRID CLASH.
RipSkateDestroy
RipSkateDestroy@ripskatedestroy
@timoflegend has anyone demanded Psychonauts 2 yet ?
Tim Schafer
Tim Schafer@timoflegend · CEO, Double Fine Productions
Jake Crump
Jake Crump@jakecrump · Community Team with Product Hunt
Hey guys, so glad to have you here! Double Fine games always have fantastic environments. What was the inspiration for Headlander's groovy '70's space vibe?
Lee Petty
Lee Petty@leepetty · Art Director, Double Fine Productions
@jakecrump I'm a big fan of 70's science fiction -- and actually of 70's art, architecture, graphic design as well. One of the reasons that I wanted to make a game set in a world influenced by that era is about how technology was perceived at the time. Computers were still kinda new. People were struggling to figure out how technology would shape our future. I guess we're still struggling with it, but looking back at the 70's take on it, it now seems so off the mark that its charming.
Tim Schafer
Tim Schafer@timoflegend · CEO, Double Fine Productions
@leepetty @jakecrump Also, spandex.
Lee Petty
Lee Petty@leepetty · Art Director, Double Fine Productions
@timoflegend @jakecrump Fiberglass is the spandex of the robot world. Headlander will prove this.
Bert Snow
Bert Snow@snowbert · VP of Design, Muzzy Lane
One of our designers has Psychonauts action figures sitting on his desk. Should we fire him, give him a raise, or steal the action figures?
Lee Petty
Lee Petty@leepetty · Art Director, Double Fine Productions
@snowbert Sounds like a straight-shooter with upper-management potential written all over him.
Tim Schafer
Tim Schafer@timoflegend · CEO, Double Fine Productions
@leepetty @snowbert Yeah, I like them already. Please send their email addresses to jobs@doublefine.com!
Bert Snow
Bert Snow@snowbert · VP of Design, Muzzy Lane
@timoflegend @snowbert you can't have him! any thoughts to ever do more with the Psychonauts characters or world? (if world is the right word .. inner world...)
Jake Crump
Jake Crump@jakecrump · Community Team with Product Hunt
So it's safe to say that adventure games are officially back now right? Or better question: Did they really ever leave us?
Tim Schafer
Tim Schafer@timoflegend · CEO, Double Fine Productions
@jakecrump It's safe to say that people aren't embarrassed to say they love them anymore!
RipSkateDestroy
RipSkateDestroy@ripskatedestroy
My kids (and me) absolutely loved Kinect Party and Double Fine Happy Action Adventure , I think they gave me almost all the achievements... Anything similar planned for the future?
Tim Schafer
Tim Schafer@timoflegend · CEO, Double Fine Productions
@ripskatedestroy Not right now, but maybe someday. I loved making those games too! So glad you like them.
This was super awesome, thanks!
Tim Schafer
Tim Schafer@timoflegend · CEO, Double Fine Productions
@thomasmolby You are awesome! Thanks for coming!
hollow
hollow@hollowleviathan
Any news for less touted Amnesia Fortnight titles, like Black Lake? Or even Jet Girl and Ghost Dog?
Tim Schafer
Tim Schafer@timoflegend · CEO, Double Fine Productions
@hollowleviathan Someday we'll tell the stories of all those games...
Tim Schafer
Tim Schafer@timoflegend · CEO, Double Fine Productions
@timoflegend @hollowleviathan ...after the wounds have healed. (DRAMATIC MUSIC)
internetman
internetman@sirmontmort
@timoflegend Hey guys! What's the progress on DOTT? Lack of updates has cause a great deal of feel hurtery on my part.
Tim Schafer
Tim Schafer@timoflegend · CEO, Double Fine Productions
Having fun these days working on new games. Actual, secret, unannounced games! I'm very hands-on with two of the games. I pop in on DOTT just to lend an opinion from time to time. And on Lee's project I stay away because he is MEAN.
Tim Schafer
Tim Schafer@timoflegend · CEO, Double Fine Productions
@sirmontmort DOTT is coming along great. I think we're doing just the normal amount of updates on that project. But people really got used to the transparency of Broken Age I guess. :)
Lee Petty
Lee Petty@leepetty · Art Director, Double Fine Productions
Hey Russ. I think DF has changed a lot over the years. I think working on smaller projects has been great overall -- the biggest benefit being that more folks have been able to have the opportunity to lead a project -- myself included.
Russ Frushtick
Russ Frushtick@russfrushtick
@leepetty Hey Lee! Thanks for the response! Just make sure you use the "reply" button below the comment you're replying to so that it nests properly :)
Lee Petty
Lee Petty@leepetty · Art Director, Double Fine Productions
Tim Schafer
Tim Schafer@timoflegend · CEO, Double Fine Productions
@russfrushtick @leepetty OH NOW I GET IT!
Lee Petty
Lee Petty@leepetty · Art Director, Double Fine Productions
@timoflegend @leepetty Technology is tricky and confusing, especially for older folks like Tim.
Ryan Hoover@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
YESSS, awesome to see @TimOfLegend and @leepetty on LIVE. You've made some awesome things. What are you most proud of and why?
Tim Schafer
Tim Schafer@timoflegend · CEO, Double Fine Productions
@rrhoover I'm very proud of still being in business after 15 years! Sounds like a low bar, but the games racket is tough. :)
internetman
internetman@sirmontmort
What are the chances of Full Throttle re-release? Every time I spell videogame I think of Full Throttle.
Tim Schafer
Tim Schafer@timoflegend · CEO, Double Fine Productions
@sirmontmort Very high as long as everybody buys a copy of Grim and DOTT for everyone in their family. Extended family included. :)
internetman
internetman@sirmontmort
@LeePetty What are the chances of a second Stacking game ever being made, Headhunter look great btw.
Lee Petty
Lee Petty@leepetty · Art Director, Double Fine Productions
@sirmontmort I don't know! I'd love to make a Stacking 2! I already wrote the backstory and did some high level design for new mechanics.
Tim Schafer
Tim Schafer@timoflegend · CEO, Double Fine Productions
@leepetty @sirmontmort I want Stacking 2!!!
louiedog
louiedog@louiedog
Did the name Headlander come out of someone saying Ned Flanders while chewing through a bagel?
Lee Petty
Lee Petty@leepetty · Art Director, Double Fine Productions
Tim Schafer
Tim Schafer@timoflegend · CEO, Double Fine Productions
@louiedog Not the worst method we've ever used to name a game...
Mike Coutermarsh
Mike Coutermarsh@mscccc · Code @ GitHub
@timoflegend @leepetty hey! Any genres you guys would love to conquer but haven’t had the chance yet?
Lee Petty
Lee Petty@leepetty · Art Director, Double Fine Productions
@mscccc I'd love to do something horror-esque.
Tim Schafer
Tim Schafer@timoflegend · CEO, Double Fine Productions
@mscccc We want to do one of each.
Ryan Hoover@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
I got a chance to try the VIVE VR at ComicCon this year. Amazing. Any plans to make a game for VR? What are your thoughts on Oculus, VIVE, and other VR platforms?
Lee Petty
Lee Petty@leepetty · Art Director, Double Fine Productions
@rrhoover I think VR is really exciting. I'd love to do something in VR someday. Other than floundering around like an over-ripe bird of some ilk, that is.
Tim Schafer
Tim Schafer@timoflegend · CEO, Double Fine Productions
@rrhoover We have played with VIVE. It's awesome. All the VR headsets have their own advantages. I'm sure we'll do something on one of them eventually!
Ryan Hoover@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
@leepetty video, please. ;)
Ryan Morash
Ryan Morash@ryanmorash · Student
@rrhoover Technically they already have 1 or 2 prototypes working with VR
Lee Petty
Lee Petty@leepetty · Art Director, Double Fine Productions
@ryanmorash @rrhoover We do? Are you counting Autonomous?
internetman
internetman@sirmontmort
@TimSchafer Yup that documentary was the best. Great news about DOTT.
Tim Schafer
Tim Schafer@timoflegend · CEO, Double Fine Productions
@sirmontmort Yes, @2playerproductions is the best! Thanks for watching!
Bert Snow
Bert Snow@snowbert · VP of Design, Muzzy Lane
How many folks on the Double Fine team these days, and have you been able to keep it consistent with the smaller games, or do you have more folks coming in for specific projects?
Tim Schafer
Tim Schafer@timoflegend · CEO, Double Fine Productions
@snowbert We are a little under 50 people these days. The number changes over time, but we avoid growing and shrinking too much by using trusted outsourcing partners when we need them, like SuperGenius or Shiny Shoe.
ohthe'umanity
ohthe'umanity@ohthehumanity23
@timoflegend How does DF feel about making more ios or android games? Loved MMOJ!
Tim Schafer
Tim Schafer@timoflegend · CEO, Double Fine Productions
@ohthehumanity23 We always like to make an iOS version of our games when we can. Broken Age has done really well there.