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So that 32 episode Psychonauts 2 documentary then


Isaac

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It’s really fantastic. I’ve been dipping in and out of it periodically over the last few weeks and have enjoyed it immensely.

 

I love video games but making the damn things looks like an absolute fucking nightmare. On this evidence it’s a miracle that we see as many great ones as we do.

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8 hours ago, Isaac said:

 

 

But the documentary ends up being about more than just Psychonauts 2. I think anybody involved in the creative industry will see so much of their own office environment in it. 


anyone who works with other people (in or remotely from an office) will see so much from it. The bit about leadership styles and presence or lack of it, ownership of issues, when it happens rung very true.

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2 hours ago, footle said:


anyone who works with other people (in or remotely from an office) will see so much from it. The bit about leadership styles and presence or lack of it, ownership of issues, when it happens rung very true.

 

The thing is, I don't even think that he was a bad hire, in terms of competency (assuming we are talking about the same bit). He is clearly a pro at putting together and shipping games on time, and bringing someone external in with experience as a project lead on large multi-million selling games was a sensible idea.

 

He was incredibly capable and was good at keeping the team on track and holding them to deadlines, it was just a terrible fit in terms of culture. And not very good at managing people.

 

Also, Tim Schafer is a fantastic creative mind but absolutely not a great CEO. There's so many occasions where the team just needs a bit of executive steer, direction and decision-making from the top and he is just totally absent at every single one of them. No idea what he's doing instead - I imagine trying to biz dev and keep the lights on, but the project really suffers for it at quite a few points.

 

But ultimately nobody is perfect, people are people and I thought that it was a really sensitive portrayal of a pretty stressful and intense situation. It really underlines that point of how it's a miracle any games ever get made.

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Exactly: you have the culture fit, the missing executive (who you’d imagine most of the team have explicitly joined the company to work with).

It’s a case study in lots of well meaning people trying to do well meaning things and clashing.

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3 hours ago, Sarlaccfood said:

I should play the game first right?


I mean yes you should play the game as it’s great. Especially from a creative perspective. 
 

But I personally don’t think you have to play the game before watching the doc. Unless of course you’re someone who hates knowing stuff about a game before you play it. I’m not and I usually forget it all quite quickly anyway. 

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I started watching this yesterday and I'm only on the very first episodes looking at the development of Rhombus of Ruin and the planning of Psychonauts 2. Everything seems nice and pleasant so far. Sounds like things get fairly spicy at some point. I'll definitely keep plodding on through it. 

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Also it's an absolute indictment of US labour laws, how often people just disappear within a week from episode to episode. 

 

It's such an insane culture that leaves them properly in the lurch at times, in most sensible UK/EU companies there would at least be a 1-3 month handover period. 

 

In this people just disappear with zero notice.

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I'm a few episodes into this myself. I was quite surprised when I checked the playlist and saw just how long it was. :D

 

I played about eight hours of Psychonauts 2 but never finished it, and this obviously made me want to go back. So I did, all the way to Psychonauts 1.

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23 minutes ago, Gambit said:

Judging by the opening of Episode 27....it's going to be a rough one.

 

One thing I've noticed, they seem to barely mention Fig anymore. Makes me wonder what happened to that whole thing.

Fig was taken over by some other company a few years ago.

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I’ve found this fine to watch before playing much of the game (although I’m not quite at the end of the doc yet, I’m playing the game alongside watching it). There has been only one spoiler I might have cared about, in that I learned the identity of a villain, I don’t think that has affected my enjoyment, but I’m not super sensitive to going in completely fresh. Watching the doc has made me care about the game more, I’m not sure I’d have been so into it without the doc. 
 

Someone who played the game first said they liked watching the doc knowing what ended up in the game, as it was fun to spot the final ideas first pop up in embryonic form, as well as lengthy detours into unproductive ideas that would later get junked.

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3 hours ago, fattakin said:

Sounds like this could be a bit like the Beatles Get Back on Disney+ - which is what 6 hours long.  Fuck me 22 hours is ridiculous.  Would love an edited version.

Get Back covered a few weeks. This covers seven years!

 

I loved Get Back, but this is also a lot more manageable with it its easily digestible episodes. 

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3 hours ago, fattakin said:

Sounds like this could be a bit like the Beatles Get Back on Disney+ - which is what 6 hours long.  Fuck me 22 hours is ridiculous.  Would love an edited version.

I'm not sure a heavily edited version would be good, as it's not like it has highly dramatic events like F1 Drive To Survive or something. At the end of the day it's people working on computers and having meetings and occasionally someone leaves the company. It's the sort of thing where the amount of time you spend with them is part of the appeal. It's a good thing to have on in the background while doing something else.

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EP17

 

Spoiler

I have been resisting googling people to see where they are now, so Anna leaving hit me like a brick (even if the episode made it very clear what was going to happen). The whole thing so far reminds me of all the dysfunctional software houses I've worked at…

 

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Interesting docu, thanks.

 

I googled Tim Schafer's net worth and it appears to be around 5 million US dollars, whereas John Carmack's is around 40-50 million. Guess adventure games really don't pay as much as FPS.

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21 minutes ago, alex3d said:

Interesting docu, thanks.

 

I googled Tim Schafer's net worth and it appears to be around 5 million US dollars, whereas John Carmack's is around 40-50 million. Guess adventure games really don't pay as much as FPS.


Doom is a household name and phenomenon at the time though. Like my parents have heard of it probably. I doubt they've heard of any of Schafer’s work.

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1 hour ago, alex3d said:

Interesting docu, thanks.

 

I googled Tim Schafer's net worth and it appears to be around 5 million US dollars, whereas John Carmack's is around 40-50 million. Guess adventure games really don't pay as much as FPS.

 

In the Masters of Doom book it goes into detail how after the success of Doom John Romero was riding around in Ferraris and enjoying the high life. Carmack was the exact opposite and probably saved the majority of it over the years.

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The more I watch of this the better I think Zak is, in terms of pulling all this mad shit together and getting shit done.

 

I get that he is a controversial character, but he adds so much structure to the whole thing.

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Really enjoying this, currently on the last episode. Will post up some more thoughts when I've completed it, but what I'm most blown away by is the fact some people seem to have animated backdrops on their video calls (bits from movies etc), what the fuck is that all about, they are utterly terrible.

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I have been also having this on in the background and will chime in saying it's very good, it helps that they're genuinely all so funny, it's like a better videogame development sitcom than that Mythic Quest.

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