Tim Schafer is the founder of San Francisco-based Double Fine Productions, where he designed and released Psychonauts
for PC, Xbox, and PlayStation 2. Schafer got his start at LucasArts, back when it was called LucasFilm Games, writing dialogue for 1990's The Secret of Monkey Island
and its sequel, LeChuck's Revenge
His first stint in game design was for the sequel to Maniac Mansion
, 1993's Day of the Tentacle
, co-authored by Dave Grossman. He went on to design Full Throttle
and Grim Fandango
before leaving LucasArts in 1999 to form Double Fine. Now that crunch-time is over and Psychonauts
is finally on store shelves, we thought we'd ask Schafer exactly what media he's been consuming to cool down.
: "I only really listen to music in my car, and there I'm too lazy to change the CDs because the changer is in the trunk. So I've basically been listening to the same 10 CDs for about five hundred years. And I hate them all now, except for the Minutemen's "Double Nickels on a Dime," which is in slot #2 and heavily recommended."
: "I just saw 'Me and You and Everyone We Know
' by Miranda July and that was excellent. Go see that movie before we talk any more and then we can talk about it. Here's what we're going to talk about: that movie is awesome."
: "I'm reading a bunch of cool books that are secret research on a secret new game, and also I'm reading some boring books on management. The last book I read just for fun was The Da Vinci Code
. Really, I just read that so I could relate to the other passengers on the subway in the morning, because everybody on the train is reading it. Everybody. I wanted them to see me as one of their own. I'm thinking of hiding any book I read from now on inside of The Da Vinci Code
so they won't suspect anything."
"Now that the Psychonauts
crunch is over, I am starting to chip away at the big stack of games that have been piling up by my TV. I just played all of the way through God of War
, which was excellent, but I think I'm a bad person now. I think I finally discovered the Joy of Killing (I think the Germans call it Tötungvergnügen) and I might just never stop. But then I was healed by playing The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
. When I came out of the Psychonauts
crunch I remembered that I was still only halfway through Wind Waker
. So I'm playing that again. It's really strange to play a game that you've been on and off again for years. It gives it a really epic feeling. For instance, I think I got the boomerang in 2003, and the bow I got in 2004. I didn't get the hookshot until 2005. In that same amount of time, my brother had two kids! So I'm way ahead of him on Zelda
, is what I'm trying to say."
[Frank Cifaldi is a Las Vegas-based freelance author whose credits include work for Nintendo Official Magazine UK, Wired, and his own Lost Levels website.]