Sign in to follow this  
Ephezius

Love Letters to Double Fine and 2PP

Recommended Posts

Dear Double Fine and 2PP Employees,

I'll never forget watching a Tennessee Volunteers basketball game with my wife while thumbing through IGN.com to discover a wonderful article which proclaimed that the creator of my beloved DOTT, Full Throttle, and Grim Fandango was out to make another adventure game. I immediately donated to Kickstarter - a site of which I had never heard, but have since frequented quite a bit - and started refreshing the page maniacally.

$3.5 million dollars later, I was more excited about a video game than I had ever been before... and I get freakishly excited about video games. All of that was great, but something really magical happened along the way...

Through the omnipresent eyes of the great folks at 2 Player Productions, I got to know a team of really cool people. This happened like most relationships do... first, you meet an ancillary character that just sits in the background, like Anna or Bagel did at first. You generally know they exist, but only to a certain extent. Then you talk to them more, learn their back story, and all of the sudden... you kind of feel like you know them. Maybe as an acquaintance.

But then came Amnesia Fortnight...

At this point, I had already purchased every Double Fine game I could get my hands on. All Tim had to say was "give me money" and I happily obliged, thinking once again that I would get some cool games out of it.

Once again, the folks at 2PP enter the picture...

Two weeks later, I realize something has happened during this whole process more than it ever has before... loyalty. Loyalty to the nth degree. Sure, I've been loyal to companies before... I was a Sega Genesis guy through and through. I was a Playstation loyalist. I love my Honda. And I've always loved the quality of Martin guitars.

But this is different.

I feel like I'm a silent part of the team. I'm rooting for you guys like crazy. When you win, I'm happy... when you get frustrated, I feel bad for you. This live stream has been my favorite reality TV show ever, and the 2PP Episodes just seal the deal with such high quality... it's ridiculous.

All of this to say a few final things:

First, I will now officially buy everything you guys produce. You all are so passionate, talented, and dedicated that I really want to support everything you do - no matter how much I like or dislike the product. That's the kind of loyalty I'm talking about - you guys have set the bar here.

Second, you and 2PP should officially merge. :) Documentaries for every game!

Finally, I just wanted to say thank you. Thanks for putting yourself out there with unprecedented visibility. Thanks for all the hard work (I'm looking at you too, 2PP). And thanks for being a company that embodies the kind of values - transparency, customer first, and creativity - that every company should strive for...

Sorry for the crazy man-crushing on the company. But from the bottom of my heart, thanks for this experience... I've always wanted to be a game programmer and the past two weeks have really shown me the kind of gaps that I need to bridge in my skill set. Super cool.

Maybe someday I'll be an actual part of the team.

Keep it up guys and gals - well done.

-E

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear Ephezius, thank you so much for your support, and for writing such a heartfelt note to us. Kind of made me tear up a bit reading it.

I think for a lot of the not-Tim bunch, before Kickstarter, the idea of us having a fan base was theoretical. We had occasional letters, and we see folks in Psychonauts cosplay once in a while, that sort of thing. During and after Kickstarter, we had proof that we DO really have fans, and they are now literally supporting our efforts both spiritually and financially. But it wasnt really until Amnesia Fortnight, that the bulk of the people who are DF actually get to interact with our fans, especially in real time through the live stream. Now you guys are so real! The man crush is mutual.

As you can probably tell, our work isn't just a paycheck. People stay at DF because we put a lot of ourselves into our work, with pride, with love, and a great sense of camaraderie. It has been truly great to include our fans in that rapport and trust, to experience that you guys and gals have our backs, day after day. You aren't just our fans, you are our community, and you energize and inspire us more than I can say. Thank you for being here, we couldn't be Double Fine without you all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dear Ephezius, thank you so much for your support, and for writing such a heartfelt note to us. Kind of made me tear up a bit reading it.

I think for a lot of the not-Tim bunch, before Kickstarter, the idea of us having a fan base was theoretical. We had occasional letters, and we see folks in Psychonauts cosplay once in a while, that sort of thing. During and after Kickstarter, we had proof that we DO really have fans, and they are now literally supporting our efforts both spiritually and financially. But it wasnt really until Amnesia Fortnight, that the bulk of the people who are DF actually get to interact with our fans, especially in real time through the live stream. Now you guys are so real! The man crush is mutual.

As you can probably tell, our work isn't just a paycheck. People stay at DF because we put a lot of ourselves into our work, with pride, with love, and a great sense of camaraderie. It has been truly great to include our fans in that rapport and trust, to experience that you guys and gals have our backs, day after day. You aren't just our fans, you are our community, and you energize and inspire us more than I can say. Thank you for being here, we couldn't be Double Fine without you all.

Wait...Jane. You get a paycheck?!?!??! TIM!!!!!!!!!!!

And thanks, to ALL of our fans. We wouldn't be here without you and the support that you guys gives us is heart warming and awe inspiring. Thanks guys!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Last night (here in the UK) I was watching your final meeting on the live feed and when you all said goodbye and signed off it actually hit me a lot harder than I anticipated, so while I almost never post in forums I was struck with the desire to send you guys a letter of appreciation. It was 2am at that point so I thought I'd save writing it until today, but I've jumped on and seen that Ephezius here has beat me to the punch with pretty much everything I wanted to say (and probably written it more eloquently that I could have).

I was a huge fan of the LucasArts games as a kid and I've tried to follow the careers of the developers that started there, playing any new games they developed at their new companies like Telltale, Hothead, Cavedog, etc, but Double Fine has always stood out as my favourite. I've clocked Psychonauts 3 times across both PC and XBox (twice collecting all figments and upgrades) and Brütal Legend twice as well as completing Stacking, Costume Quest and its expansion, Iron Brigade and its expansion (I don't have a Kinect so haven't tried your other games).

I guess what I'm trying to say is I think all your games are fantastic and I look forward to playing all the prototypes and anything you guys make in the future, but Ephezius's point about loyalty to a company and feeling part of a team is spot on. As a developer myself working with a team across 3 countries, we all just use Skype to communicate, so having the live feed to your office really amped up the emotional investment in what you guys do. From the bottom of my heart, keep being awesome, and if you ever need anything (beer, a tour guide to London, a multi-touch application developer) give me a shout.

All the best

-Matt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you so much everyone, the support has been truly amazing. I can't believe the lengths some of you guys have gone to support and contribute but it's been a real joy to see.

-A

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most of what i wanted to say has already been said in this thread, but thank you so much for doing this public AF! I've been a DF fanboy since Psychonauts, but knew little about the staff except the fact that they are amazing at their work. Thanks to the livestream and the 2PP episodes all these talented people who usually work behind the scenes got to truly shine. Not only as exceptional game devs, but also as really cool human beings!

I can't even imagine how weird it must be being streamed and filmed while working, but everyone really came across great and I hope you will consider doing similar live stuff in the future. It really brings you out from being "just" an awesome company into a group of actual people to root for and support.

Last but not least, huge props to Greg for running the stream. I've watched some other game jams where they pretty much just pointed a cam at their workplace and that was it. Greg really managed to keep the stream interesting and varied for 2 weeks straight, respect!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks to every single DF employee for being a part of this. Having a camera follow you every workday for two weeks is quite some intrusion into your work, but it seems that the employees enjoyed it, so hopefully it was a good experience for everyone.

We who watched sure did. Everyone likes behind the scenes footage, and everyone enjoys to see something get built, and here we got two weeks of coverage of 5 games being built, and that was really fun and interesting to watch, so thanks for that.

It was especially interesting to see people going into details about their craft, and comparing it to other games they admired, like Daves animations and comparisons to ICO. Such things bring attention to details that we as customers often does not see, or just take for granted, so that´s something I would really want to see more of when possible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Last but not least, huge props to Greg for running the stream. I've watched some other game jams where they pretty much just pointed a cam at their workplace and that was it. Greg really managed to keep the stream interesting and varied for 2 weeks straight, respect!

Very much agree. He really managed to keep these feeds running with fun content and activities. Had I had that task I woud probably have broken down within the first few hours, screaming "what do you WANT from me!?!" at the camera.

In fact, it felt kind of sad that Greg didn't get to say a proper goodbye to all the people watching at the end of the feed.

Also, a huge thank you to all the DFers who took the time to sit down to answer questions from the chat every so often, braving the occasional bouts of lunacy that appeared there from time to time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While watching the AF streams, I kept thinking "nobody has ever done anything like this before." It was a totally unique experience peeking into your work lives and seeing the process of game development. There have been some lone developers who have livestreamed their coding before, but I don't think a whole development company has ever opened its office to the public like this. I learned a lot about game development over the last two weeks, so thank you for that!

But I think the people at DoubleFine are what really made these two weeks special for the fans watching the stream. I figured everybody would be nice of course, but I didn't expect that everyone would be so awesome. The stream could have been just a camera in the room like a fly on the wall to be ignored, but instead everyone went out of their way to make us feel included in the process. It was apparent that everyone who got on the stream genuinely cared about our questions and what we thought about the projects.

So thanks DoubleFine! I hope we can do it again someday!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Last night (here in the UK) I was watching your final meeting on the live feed and when you all said goodbye and signed off it actually hit me a lot harder than I anticipated,

-Matt

I cried xD

I also want to say thank you to Greg, who did his best to make sure I was able to lip-read the streams, which allowed me for once to actually join in events that I am normally excluded from. This means so much more to me than words can ever say.

And thank you so so much to the chat, to took it upon themselves to transcribe the final meeting for me when the background noise meant I could no longer follow what was happening.

You've got some pretty amazing and compassionate fans DF, make sure you treat them well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The live feed, and the daily-ish video updates from 2PP have been pretty freakin' awesome. Double Fine really looks like a pretty tremendous place to work and live and laugh, so my jealousers-beans are raging slightly.

It has been ultra fun, and I look forward to playing the prototypes!

Smiles

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This has been a fantastic experience and I feel like I got to know so much about Double Fine and game development in general. I really hope you will consider doing similar live streams in the future, but for now I hope you will get some well-deserved rest!

Thank you to everyone!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I couldn't have said it better myself than the OP - great job Ephezius! I've always been a fan of Tim's work, but since the Kickstarter, it has moved to a whole new level, together with branching out to the whole team. The DF and 2PP folks are really a tremendously cool, talented, and down to earth bunch, and I've enjoyed every moment of Amnesia Fortnight and the DFA documentary before that.

If this was a clever marketing ploy to make us buy more stuff, then it has totally worked! :)

Problem is, you've set the bar incredibly high now, and I will be expecting behind the scenes videos of EVERY DF game made from now on!!

Well, done guys, really well done. Again, special kudos to Greg, who's relentless enthusiasm kept me watching the live stream (at times when I wasn't supposed to be!)

Lastly, thanks to Laura for mentioning Shiny Toy Guns. Now I have a new band to discover! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ohmanohmanohman!

I'm watching the AF Game Festival right now...

I reallly wanna play all these games!

I love the shiny 80s retro design of Autonomous. It's going to be a blast trying that out.

White Birch has ambitions that I can't help wanting to see come to fruition. Go team White Birch!

Hack&Slash; really tickles my nerd-bone, and I can see Spacebase DF-9 being a total timesink.

As for Black Lake - Holy shit Levi! How did you guys create *that* in two weeks?!?!?! So pretty!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If Double Fine Productions doesn't win all the next possible awards for best videogame developer of the year/decade/century I'm gonna be pissed off.

Seriously DFP is the only videogame company that ever did so many amazing things: the Kickstarter, 2012 Amnesia Fortnight, Humble Bundles...

You guys should be super proud of yourselves! Cheers!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also want to add my "love letter" to you guys, you're just...awesome!

I'm a self employed software developer working most of the time alone in my little office on the other side of the planet (well, almost...) Always wished to become a game developer I ended up programming and maintaining some boring ERP software systems...and guys It's hard, I can tell you!

During these past days I worked keeping the AF videos playing in one of my monitors, and...it was like if I was constantly surrounded by a bunch of cool, incredibly talented co-workers who were doing lots of amazing stuff while having fun! It was so amazing...

So thank you guys for sharing AF with us! Keep it up!

P.S.

I can't wait to play your games! I really can't call them "prototypes" :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've loved every second of the 2PP videos and the live stream (at least all that I could manage to watch of it, juggling other tasks and time zones), making a special effort to watch all of the game festival footage (in fact I'm watching that while typing this). The fact that we get to play all these awesome looking prototypes (and the word prototype is a mockery for this bundle of delights!) is just the icing on the best cake ever. And the soundtrack will add the candles to top an amazing cake.

At the start of the year I was a peripheral fan of Double Fine. The Kickstarter made me an active fan of the company. The Amnesia Fortnight has made me a fan for life for the people that work there. The videos and stream are your story, they give such a professional and personal insight into a lot of you awesome folks and it feels that we got to know you all a little bit during this fantastic time.

You are so inspirational, reaffirming in me my long held desire to get into the games industry, increasing my drive to get re-accepted into university and finishing off what I failed to do 2 and half years ago. It's not going to be easy, last my last attempt to get back into uni proved 6 months ago but I'm doubly determined now thanks to you. If I could have a fifth of the talent that you guys have I'd succeed at anything.

Anyway, enough about me this is all about you. Keep on being awesome.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can we just delete the whole internet and start a new one with this thread as the cornerstone?!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm British, so naturally find all this emotional stuff difficult.

Even so, it has been impossible to remain aloof from the charms of everyone we've been introduced to through the videos and livestreams. I caught myself reacting to the joys and fears, ups and downs of your community in a way that I have never experienced from TV drama. The discussion on the tension between work and family life was particularly poignant, and the final live-streamed meeting was wonderful and also sad. Wonderful in the support everyone showed for each other, and sad as it marked the end of this project.

I have to take my hat off to two player productions for their editing, and to all the staff at doublefine for their openness and enthusiasm.

I hope the end of DFA will not be the end of the double fine journey for us - It would be worth every penny to see your real-life adventures writ in HD once again.

Best Wishes and a Happy Christmas to you all!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks lamptastic! British folks are the best! Happy Christmas to you! I love how you guys say Happy Christmas instead of Merry.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love all the love! The last two weeks has been so much fun. Im so glad you all enjoyed watching, because we enjoyed watching you watching, while we were making our games!

You are all the best!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had a lot of fun as well watching the livestream and the documentaries for the amnesia fortnight. It's weird watching all the people on the livestream makes it feel like I know them in real life even though I've never met or talked with them ever. I hope similar stuff to this will be done in the future!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I love all the love! The last two weeks has been so much fun. Im so glad you all enjoyed watching, because we enjoyed watching you watching, while we were making our games!

You are all the best!!!

Dave, I enjoyed watching you.

But not to make too much light of this thread-- this experience was amazing and I'm glad everyone that took part had the chance to do so. You guys are the reason we do this stuff and it's great to have you "here" while we do it. :)

Thanks so much!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to say, Amnesia Fortnight has been a fantastic experience overall. I've got a Mac, so while I won't be able to play the prototypes myself, I've seen from the streams and the fantastic 2PP videos just how wonderfully they all turned out, and I wish they could ALL be made into "real" games! I was in it to watch the development process, and it was a better experience than I could have ever imagined!

One of the best parts has been seeing just how inspiring this has been to other fans in the forums. From the Love Letters to the fan-made art of both the games and the people who helped make them, to the people doing everything from putting their own ideas out there for the different games or even making a list of the kinds of software they observed DF using to make the games, it has all been wonderful. Though even better was scrolling down through a thread and seeing that little colored Double Fine that meant one of the wonderful people at DF had responded to a post. It all just helped show that real sense of a community that this whole event has not just built up, but firmly cemented in the minds of so many who participated or even just watched and cheered on from wherever they would check the updates.

To sum it up... I really hope you all do this again next year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As we were signing off yesterday, JP said it best :

viewerslikeyou_9547.jpg

<3

*like*

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear Double Fine team,

I did not get to watch most of the amnesia fortnight live streams as I am in college working my butt off to come work for you guys (or anywhere in the game industry). I do have to say thank you though to you. If it was not for Psychonauts my crazy ideas would still feel that way, crazy. I want to thank you for showing me that the 6 year old me was right, I am going to make video games when I grow up. I wish I could trade my college education and give it all to you guys to just make more games (seems rash but I feel the outcome would make me just as happy). I never thought in a million years I could just tell anybody who made the games I love just how much I love them. Thank you Double Fine, I think these are the words I have been trying to say in this little message.

Borzen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This thread makes me feel weepy. I miss the livestream and the instant interactions with you guys.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this