Once, in a men’s room, my brother Danny urinated next to Stewart Copeland from the Police.
That’s right. Bonus post. Second post of the day. To make up for yesterday’s non-posting. The cost to you? Nothing. Free to you, because we are friends. I only do this because you and I are so close. Other people, who I only pretend to be close with, they cannot see this post. They get another dumb update about mouse feces. While we, true friends, can sit here holding hands, reading these lovingly crafted words together, watching the sentences fly off the page like lyrical ribbons of love, fluttering through the air towards our faces, weaving through our eyeball jelly, piercing our retinas, and nesting in our brains, these verbal tapeworms of friendship and sincerity.
And, just like I promised, hard hitting Double Fine Action News:
The excellent game Psychonauts is on the cover of the new Official XBOX Magazine, just a little bit. See it there, in the right-hand side bar? A tiny bit of Raz. Just a little bit, just a tease, to whip America up into a Psychonaut-wanting FRENZY. Video Game retailers all across the country saw that side bar and thought, “We’d better nail plywood over our windows until that game comes out, because we’re going to have a non-stop RIOT on our hands soon. Until that excellent game ships, America will have the insanity… of a manatee!”
And even though no one asked, this must be said about the DF Rodentia: The mice have begun playing head games with us. They no longer throw themselves upon the Peanut Butter traps. It’s like they’ve completely lost their enthusiasm, their mousy lust for death. We haven’t had a good kill in a week. I would say that they were gone, and that man had finally beaten mouse, but level designer Gaurav Mathur claims he “heard something the other night, crawling around under Josh’s desk.”
And my only question, of course, is what were you doing crawling around under Josh’s desk, Gaurav?
Ha ha ha!
Did I mention that this post was free?
Well, that worked better than I had even hoped! On Tuesday I swore to update the web page every day, and failed to do it even once! The second I made updating the website a task I had to do, I completely failed to do it. Victory! Victory in Failure! That’s the company motto. I think we’ve all learned a little something about ourselves here today. And thanks, everyone, for all the email letting me know that my failure was complete.
We are very fortunate here at Double Fine in that we receive hundreds of emails daily, from all over the world. We get letters from old people, from young people, rich and poor alike. And you know, I’ll tell you one of my little, secret pleasures. When I need to take a break from work, here is a little routine I’ve developed for after hours, during lunch, or just whenever: I’ll get a cup of coffee, put on some music, slip into my worn old cardigan, open up that mail box, and just start deleting emails at random, without even reading them! I’ll I can be in the worst mood, and still somehow, that gives me a little smile.
Sometimes I try to imagine what the unread messages are saying. Mostly I imagine they are people asking me where I buy my clothes, where I get my hair done, do I want a backrub, stuff like that. But some people, I imagine, say things like, “Why do you only post news about mouse poo and coffee? Where is all the game news? What about the excellent game Psychonauts?!?”
And to that imaginary mailer, I say, “Shut up. Man, I’m glad I deleted you. I think I’m going to drag your mail out of the trash, into my inbox, just so I can delete you TWICE!”
Here’s the thing: Double Fine isn’t just about Psychonauts, you know. It’s not even just about video games. We have several other product lines that you might like to hear about. For example:
One of the many products Double Fine produces is catch phrases. Catch phrases that sweep the nation and captivate the tongues of people who can’t think of what to say for themselves. Like, “Don’t go there!” and “Talk to the hand!” The problem with most catch phrases is that the people who create them don’t take care of them. They just toss them out into the air, and callously walk away, leaving their phrases, their children, to fall unloved into the public domain. Where’s the business plan?
Double Fine thinks it’s time that companies take catch phrases seriously. We intend to produce high-quality catch phrases for a broad market, on time and under budget, and release them through well-established distribution channels. Most importantly, we will maintain the intellectual property rights to the phrases so that once they are in common parlance, we will then sue everybody. Genius? Yes.
So here is the first phrase. I have been beta testing it for about a year, and it’s been going very well. Get a pen, as you will want to write this down:
“You have the insanity… of a manatee.”
entire catchphrase (c)2002 Double Fine Productions
The proper usage of this phrase is at home or in the office, when someone says something that is flabbergasting in its strangeness, you just turn to them with your jaw dropped, and then say, “You have the insanity of a manatee.” If you do it just right, you’ll notice it rhymes. The ellipse (...) is optional. Use it if you need a dramatic pause. And you can shake your head a little bit when you say “manatee.”
Eavesdrop on some conversations today, and you might notice that the phrase has already caught on among the nations “opinion-setters.” Don’t get left behind! Catch “manatee fever” today!
Now, onto the real news about the game:
Oh, wait. My phone’s ringing. I’ll do the real news tomorrow!
Okay, this week I’m going to try an experiment. I’m going to try to update the Double Fine Action News EVERY DAY. Whether I have anything newsworthy to say or not. I guess that’s not really much of a change. Except that for this whole week, I’m going to do it even if I don’t feel like it. Even if I have an earache, or if my legs hurt, or I’m all itchy, or if I have absolutely nothing to say.
Why you may ask? After all, there has been no great demand for this service. No one has said, “please, more updates!” In fact, many people have said, “uh… what’s with all the updates? Don’t you have a job? Or some real news?”
I do have a job, but nothing is more horrible than the work you HAVE to do. I have a huge pile of writing I have to do for the game, but writing for the Action News is more fun right now because I do not HAVE to do it. See? So, my theory is that if I create a situation where I HAVE to write on the web page every day this week, it will become such an obligation and a chore that I won’t enjoy it anymore. Then, the allure will be gone and I’ll stop doing it and get back to the work I have to do, which is writing dialog for the excellent game Psychonauts.
Or, wait, how about this: I’ll write dialog for the excellent game Psychonauts and put it on the web page, thereby killing two birds with one ingenious stone. Okay here we go. Freestylin’ dialog. Right off the top of my head. Warning: spoilers below. Maybe.
PRESIDENT CLINTON: “Whoa, dude. You are, like, totally reading my mind.”
RAZ: “Take that!”
PRESIDENT CLINTON: “Hey, I’m not president any more. Shouldn’t that be EX-president?”
RAZ: “I knew you were going to say that.”
EX-PRESIDENT CLINTON: “In fact, are you sure I’m even in this game? I’m going to check with my agent, but I don’t think I’m in this game Psychonauts, although it is an excellent game!”
RAZ: “Diabolique! Please enjoy the tasting of your head’s exploding!”
Brilliant! And that is just a taste—a swig, if you will—of the delicious dialog you will be enjoying when you play this very excellent game, Psychonauts.
The other point that I am making on accident is this: With the increased frequency of postings, the quality is going to go WAY down. From the very low mark it already set for itself. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the sheer volume of it all.
Tomorrow, I promise, real actual news. Like, a ton of it.
Fine Productions is two years old today!
it. That's the whole extravaganza. Now get back to work. What are
you looking at?
Oh, god. When will it stop? The mice keep marching into the Double Fine killing machine, like school children in a Pink Floyd video. I will spare you the details, but I’ll tally the kill count with the little mouse icons on the side. If you put your cursor over them, you can hear their final thoughts.
And sorry, but I’ve been told you can not sell dead mice on eBay. Wait, please excuse me, but… did I wake up in… COMMUNIST RUSSIA???
Here’s the good news: the enormous possum/rat that runs around in the attic? Still alive. Oooh, there he goes right now! I got an extra big icon waiting for you, buddy.
Oh, and the game. The game is going well. Thanks!
Tiny pooing mouse has been killed by ruthless game developer.
San Francisco, CA
Popeye is dead!
Good god. I thought the mouse traps were a joke. I thought they were just decorative conversation pieces. None of the mice seemed to be taking them seriously. I thought the mice would just gather around the traps at night and point, and laugh, and then stand up on their hind legs and do funny walks around and say, “Look at me! Look at me! I’m a game developer! Where’s my coffee! Who wants to play Quake?” Night after night, nothing would happen. None of them would die. The mice refused to place their little necks in the traps and press on the fake cheese to end it all. But then I got some deadly advice: I was told to put—get this—peanut butter on them.
And I thinking, even if I could catch the mice, and hold them down long enough to put peanut butter on them, what would that accomplish? Would it shame them? Would they just leave town because they felt stupid? Or is the goal to cover them with peanut butter so that dogs would smell the mice and come gobble them up like chewy Nutter Butter bars with tails?
So I decided to put the peanut butter on the traps instead. Chunky. Skippy. I had no idea how much mice loved Skippy. Well, I know one little mouse who will never enjoy a PB&J again. His body was found by our lead programmer, David Dixon, who foolishly THREW THE CORPSE AWAY, before I even had a chance to sell it on eBay as I had promised the fans I would.
Don’t worry, though. I’m sure there will be more mouse bodies piling up here to sell. The other three traps are still out there, like the sirens, ever beckoning Popeye to crash his boat upon their rocks.
Beware, plague-carrying mice. It is peanut butter jelly time for you, indeed.
I saw a coffin today. On the ground. By the deli.
You can trust me about this whole event, because if I wanted to make something up, I’d make up something that sounded believable.
The casket was on the sidewalk, next to the bus stop, around the corner from our office. It was just lying there on the ground, in front of a store that had been out of business for a while. There was a piece of cardboard taped to the store’s window. It said, “Coffin. $100.”
It had seen better days, but it looked like it had been the fancy model at one time. It was gray, with long, silver handles on the side. I didn’t want to touch it, but Joe Ching, fearless and heroic Double Fine level designer, mocker of death, grabbed the lid and flipped it open.
The red velvet interior was soiled and moldy. Big, dark stains crisscrossed the fabric, and there was this white-ish, bread-mould-looking mess here and there. Where did all those stains come from? Had someone dug this thing up from a grave to sell it? If so, what had they done with the body after they scooped it out?
“Never been used!” said a big guy in a wife beater t-shirt, as he came out of the vacant store to sell us his coffin. He seemed very jovial, and more than a little proud of his casket. “Brand new!” he said with a smile.
“What?” said Joe, acting again without fear or hesitation. “What about all those gross stains in there?”
“Oh, I think that’s from all the sex.”
As if those were not the weirdest, most disgusting words he possibly could have uttered right then. I’m still not even sure what he meant. I mean, MY GOD, what could he POSSIBLY have meant??? I have been trying not to think about it since. And think I will never understand it, because I am officially wiping this incident from my memory… starting… NOW.
What? Where am I? Hello?
You’re not going to believe this, but this is an actual Psychonauts-related news item. I know, I know—it kind of soils the reputation of the news page to have real news on it, but every once in a while, some slips through.
ITEM: Psychonauts appeared in a few magazines in July. We got a little blurb in Game Informer’s E3 round up. And we got a two-page spread in the July issue of Play magazine. If you’ve never seen Play magazine, you should check it out, because it’s new and pretty, just like Double Fine. And if you are in the UK you should get yourself a copy of Edge Magazine, where Raz has been recently sighted. There is also a rumor that Psychonauts is mentioned in this month’s Popular Science! I’ll believe that one when I see it. Maybe I’ll pick up a copy tomorrow when I’m flying into work in my flying car.
Please note: If you click on those links above, looking for the articles, you won’t find them. They appeared in the magazines. On paper. This might be a great introduction for some of you into the exciting world of PRINT MEDIA, the internet’s crinkly cousin.
Okay, thank god that’s over. Now, back to the RATS!
Double Fine’s Homeland Defense Department has deployed several mouse traps to fight Popeye and his gang. I feel kind of bad about it, because I worked so hard to create rats and mice in the first place (oh, wait, that’s a secret) and now people go around killing them. Sigh. Nevertheless, here’s a treat for you and the kids: If I do manage to kill one I’m going to sell it on eBay, and use the money to buy more traps. Do you see the genius in that? That’s what they call “Empire Building” my friend.
This is not news. It is completely stupid, I know. So please, I’m begging you, do not read it. It’s horrible enough that I had to experience it.
So, today I’m in the kitchen, making coffee, looking for coffee filters. I open up this drawer, totally not expecting to see the grossest thing in the world. But lo.
Inside I find all these little, plastic tubs that the pizza guy brought years ago—still filled with parmesan cheese, and chili flakes. (Not the gross part yet.) One of them has spilled, and so I pick it up, and see that the lid had been CHEWED OFF BY SOMETHING WITH A LITTLE, TINY MOUTH!
And not completely chewed off, either. It was like some little thing, maybe a leprechaun, went around the edge of the plastic tub with a can opener, cutting it almost all the way around, then folded back the flap, and ate the insides, JUST LIKE POPEYE EATS A CAN OF SPINACH.
But, very UN-like Popeye, he then took little dumps all over the place. There were these little, black droppings all around the drawer, mixed in with the spilled parmesan. How did the tiny leprechaun Popeye get in our coffee filter drawer, and why did he poo? Curse you, tiny pooing Popeye! Curse your black heart, because now I have to buy my coffee at Starbucks, while I wait for my poor, unsuspecting team to use up the rest of those soiled coffee filters. Can’t you see how you’re hurting them?