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Vic Romero

Sidequest: "My Seat Only Goes Back so Far"

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After exploring the members of the Broken Age development team, we thought it would be nice to switch gears and cover the business side of the project. Justin Bailey just celebrated his two year anniversary with the company and since he's been featured so prominently in the Double Fine Adventure documentary, we thought it was time to have a chat with him…

[vimeo]100165718[/vimeo]

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What's with the d20 on the table?

Well he did say they played games at lunch.

Either a D&D game, or other d20 game, but my money says it's an MtG life counter.

Great Sidequest!

Justin - You not only get to do what you like, but you've also made an impact on the gaming industry as a whole, even with the short time you've been here! You were a big part of the financial planning for DFA, which is a milestone in game development history. And you've helped re-release Grim Fandango, which is a classic and milestone in its own right in video game history. Great Job so far! Keep doing the things you love, and thanks for making sure the things we love get done for many more years to come!

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What's with the d20 on the table?

Well he did say they played games at lunch.

Either a D&D game, or other d20 game, but my money says it's an MtG life counter.

Good point, at least one DFer has all sorts of Magic stuff on their desk.

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Thanks Bazzal! It's been an amazing journey so far and it's really awesome to get recognized on the business side, which is often hidden away.

I've now played all of Tim's Lucasfilm games with the exception of Grim. I told myself I wouldn't play that one until I could purchase it legally and used that as some inspiration to get the deal done. Now I can hardly wait!!! :)

Oh, and that d20 was used to play MtG over lunch.

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man this sidequest was really great, thanks for sharing justin.. and i wanna see snow wars in action

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Now I can hardly wait!!!
There's always a danger of over-hyping something and setting expectations that can only result in disappointment, but you're in for a treat.

Hearing your story about tossing your hat box makes me feel a little better about resisting my wife's gentle pressure to clean out my collection of game boxes and manuals and stuff (including Grim). I feel like those games are a not-insignificant part of how I became who I am today.

I found my Interstate '76 manual the other day and sat down for a while just reading back through it.

It strikes me that kind of world-building reflected a passion on the part of the developers that resonated with me as a player.

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More great film making from 2PP! As an aspiring game designer/programmer, the one side I hear the least from unfortunately is the business side, even though its often times extremely important to how you develop the game. I really hope that more documentaries feature the realities of game development just like this one, since it's been a real eye opening experience for me to see what game development is really like compared to how I had envisioned it.

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Awesome story Justin! Your recollections about "acquiring" games as a kid sounds just like a young me :-)

Thanks for the awesome Sidequest!

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Justin do you think you might have been case zero for the Justin Bailey code?

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The business side of making games is just as important and (to me at least) interesting as the creative side. I'd like to see more. Thumbs up Justin and 2PP.

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Wouldn't it be great if some genius could unlock the old relationship between Ron, Tim and Lucas Arts.

Mother flipping JUSTIN BAILEY.

seriously. this guy is one of the stand out heroes of DF right now.

Respect where it's due.

Tim, you're the man and I'm'a let you finish but Justin Bailey, You're the real MVP.

Thanks.

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I've now played all of Tim's Lucasfilm games with the exception of Grim. I told myself I wouldn't play that one until I could purchase it legally and used that as some inspiration to get the deal done. Now I can hardly wait!!! :)

Oh boy, you're going to have a tough time avoiding spoilers. Or else they'll start making up stories and puzzles just to mumble when you're in earshot. "And then, when the aliens land and ask for shoes... Oh, sorry Justin. Didn't see you there."

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What's the deal with that Metroid Justin Bailey Code? Was that just a crazy coincedence?

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What's the deal with that Metroid Justin Bailey Code? Was that just a crazy coincedence?
Seeing as DF Justin Bailey wasn't even a teenager when it happened, I'd say yes. There is no concrete information on exactly where the Justin Bailey code came from.

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I like how the documentaries show a bit more of the finance and funding side of the game then you usually hear about for most games.

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Really interesting video. I'm about to hit 30 and working finance at a bank, despite having passions for gaming and music. Only a matter of time before I hit the turning point, I suppose.

Good story, Justin. Stuff to think about.

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I have always been somewhat fascinated on how the business side works in artistic endeavors, so it's been great to hear it from you throughout the documentary. It's gone to the point where I honestly like hearing more about how you tackle financial troubles than how the programming team tackles time crunches.

I've always felt that where you make your money should be more important than how much you get. I hope I can end up in a place like yours as I go through my career.

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Great video! Really interesting to hear all these 30-year-old-first-baby crises. Glad I found what I wanted to do so long ago... and it's been profitable.

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What's the deal with that Metroid Justin Bailey Code? Was that just a crazy coincedence?

I know the true story, but it's one for Miyamoto-san to divulge :)

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Thanks everyone! It feels awesome to have so much support from our community!! As the lone business person, it sometimes can get a little lonely in that office, I'm going to save some of these comments to read on those days :)

It's a shame more business stuff doesn't get talked about, but I can shed some light on that. Many times there are confidentiality clauses in the agreements that prevent any discussion of the business. Financial information is usually pretty confidential too. When sales are good, everyone wants to talk about them because that can lead to even more sales, but unfortunately the same can be true for the inverse case. But I'm really happy about the current trend of developers releasing their numbers publicly. There are also many instances where it's just good business to keep some talks under wraps, especially since it's often not immediately identifiable what information might be sensitive (or become sensitive), and so many game companies just err on the side caution. Given the stakes, it's pretty hard to fault them, but it does create a shroud of mystery that I often wish wasn't the case.

Anyhow, we're pretty transparent at Double Fine and it's been a lot of fun to talk more openly about these things with our community!

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Really enjoyed the interview, as I am also a guy in finance pondering where his career is going.

Anyhow, we're pretty transparent at Double Fine and it's been a lot of fun to talk more openly about these things with our community!

There's talk around the internet and even these forums that DF got given $3m and have "wasted" it all ("Oh, it looks like a flash game and they hired all these Hollywood actors" - arghhh), which is obviously untrue to people who have been following along for the last 2 years, but it's still frustrating to see people say it. Maybe that's just a fact of life on the internet... noone cares about / reads about facts. Still, for those of us that do care, it's really interesting seeing how much things cost, where funding gets tight, and the miracles you need to pull off to keep the ship sailing, and much appreciated.

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Nice one too.

One of the best things about the HumbleBundles was that they were sharing the sales figures.

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Great episode as always, 2PP. I think I can relate to a lot of Justin's sentiments during the phase of switching jobs -- I'll eventually end up on a similar sort of road I imagine, hopping to a more preferred sector. Thanks for the sidequest, JB.

Also, play more board games on Twitch. Just sayin'.

Smiles

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I finally got around to watching this and, wow, am really glad I did.

Like many have said, I too am in got into an industry (public accounting/tax) that is not where my heart is. It was a little eerie hearing Justin's story because it really hit home with me how similar his childhood and early adulthood were. I am really impressed with the career move to get into gaming and hope I can drum up the courage to do something similar someday.

Long story short, thanks Justin and 2PP for sharing this wonderful story. I know it will make me take a long look at my career knowing that there are actually opportunities and success stories out there. Very motivational.

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Loved hearing this story, especially as a guy who ended up graduating college with a Marketing degree who eventually came back around to his passion for games (and is exploring how they can engage in that). Thanks for sharing!

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I finally got around to watching this.

It feels like you've had an impact since starting at DF, Justin, and from this perspective, it seems like a super positive one. Thanks for being so candid!

Now that you've played some LucasArts games, how do you feel they stand up against their Sierra counterparts from the same era? I was never exposed to that kind of divide and thoroughly enjoyed Quest for Glory, Conquests of Camelot and Goblins Quest 3 alongside Monkey Island, Day of The Tentacle and Fate of Atlantis.

Do you feel that development is something that you'd like to dabble in again if the opportunity arose?

I find myself wishing that I had've had a few more votes to throw at Eras of Adventure now :D

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So can anyone point me to documentation on the 5-year cycle phenomenon? Any google-fu I attempt ends up with 1983 articles or doom stories how the industry is just about to crash. 4 years ago.

It's the first time I've head about such a cycle existing

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