Only a few weeks left before putting on the iconic glasses and guiding Raz through dangerous minds in Psychonauts 2, available on Xbox, PC and with Xbox Game Pass 25-th of August.
We recently published a detailed overview of the events of the original game. Psychonauts and Rhombus of destruction – you can check it here.
To further prepare you to join the ranks of the Psychonauts, we’ve also teamed up with The Leaderboard, providers of detailed storyline deconstructions and other in-game secrets.
First, track the timeline of Raz from the first day of summer camp on this timeline:
Then dive into the world of history with 107 facts:
Here’s how they put it all together:
Q: Could you walk us through the typical 107 Facts video creation process?
Ophel: The first step to making a 107 Facts video is finding resources. These can be interviews and reviews, forums and videos. Developer interviews are the most valuable source of information as they often contain facts that the general public might have missed. We then have to find video content to illustrate each fact.
Usually these are game clips, videos or interviews from developers. Sometimes additional photographs are required to give some context, such as a portrait of someone or an initial drawing of a character. Finally, to break up the voiceover and improve the video flow, we add some sound effects. These are short videos, usually from a cut scene, that relate to the fact just mentioned.
Q: How do you decide what to cut the 107 Facts video from?
Ophel: To get into the 107 Facts video, a fact must be fun, informative, helpful, or interesting. Each fact should add value to the video and entertain the viewer.
Q: What facts from the Psychonauts franchise stand out especially for you? Any facts that surprise you?
Ophel: There are so many random facts from Psychonauts, from development stories to in-game references while exploring your mind. The fact that Tim Schafer wanted the main character of the game to be an ostrich surprised me. In the game, I liked the links to the White Chicks reviews during the fight with Jasper.
Q: What was it like playing Psychonauts and Psychonauts in the diamond of destruction for the first time? If you’ve played both games before, what was it like revisiting them?
Preston: Playing Psychonauts again ten years after I first experienced it, it was refreshing. Many platformers from the early to mid-2000s, in my opinion, are not very good, but Psychonauts keeps. I would say that this is primarily due to his presentation; Psychonauts obviously weird and absurd, which helps keep the gameplay fresh due to the ever-changing environment and capabilities at Raz’s disposal.
Q: Apart from a quick overview of the main narrative, is there anything special that you look for when you create a Timeline video?
Preston: When creating a video on the timeline, I look in games for moments that stand out enough to be highlighted. By highlighting, I mean either focusing on it with sound, or joking or shading the lamp in the script itself. Take revealing that Linda and Mr. Pokeylop were in a relationship as an example: it’s not critical to the main story, but it’s fun and helps bring the video to life. If I was just creating a synopsis of the plot, the timeline would be boring, so I look for those moments.
Q: Are you trying to find a balance between using game scenes and in-game dialogue? How about cut scenes or gameplay moments?
Ophel: When choosing a video for a script, the most important thing is to show exactly what we are talking about. There is no definite relationship between cut scenes and game moments. Cutscenes and in-game dialogue are useful for voiceover.
Preston: Balance between scenes and dialogue is important, although I prefer to use game scenes with our VO (voiceover) script rather than in-game dialogue to keep the clips shorter. When it comes to cinematics and gameplay, I tend to use cinematics in Timeline videos because they form key components of the story.
Q: Was there anything that stood out for you when you put together the 107 Facts and Timeline videos?
Ophel: Psychonauts filled with pop culture references. There is not a single level or character without a full backstory, references to other games or movies, and funny witticisms. There are also a lot of fun facts about its design and what the game could have been.
Preston: I did not understand how fresh the story is for Psychonauts was before the video was created on the timeline. In my mind, I remember Psychonauts for a deeper history compared to similar games of that era. But looking back, we can say that it is quite compact. This does not mean that the story is weak – quite the opposite. The fact that Double Fine created such an impressive storytelling while being relatively short attests to the power of the story and the characters.
Q: Are there any narratives that you hope will persist in Psychonauts 2?
Ophel: IN Psychonauts 2Hopefully we learn more about the psychic six, more specifically the seven. Raza and Lily’s relationship is cute too, so I’d love to see more of them! And I hope that Dart also makes a cameo appearance somewhere!
Preston: For Psychonauts 2I look forward to learning more about Raz’s family, especially about his father’s relationship with psychics and psychonauts. And although I don’t expect her to show up again, if Linda comes back, I will be very happy.