Double Fine PsychOdyssey

A new playlist appeared on Double Fine’s YouTube channel recently: all 30+ episodes documenting seven years of work to make Psychonauts 2. The documentary is called PsychOdyssey

I’m only a couple of episodes in, and it already has all the vibes of Double Fine Adventure, a documentay I watch every 18 months or so.

Here’s the blurb:

2 Player Productions and Double Fine Productions present Double Fine PsychOdyssey, an unprecedented documentary experience seven years in the making.

Ten years after the release of their flagship video game Psychonauts, Double Fine Productions returns to its most celebrated franchise with Psychonauts 2. Now facing the pressure to produce a worthy sequel, the studio must confront overly ambitious designs, poor morale, technical challenges and financial woes, all during a turbulent span of time for the world.

Double Fine PsychOdyssey is the direct continuation of the acclaimed series Double Fine Adventure, and offers even deeper insight into the passion, humor, and heartbreak of video game development.

Here’s the first episode, recapping the making and reception of the original Psychonauts

Cracking the cadence of your software engineering 1:1s

As is the tradition for New Zealand based managers are coming back from a summer break I’m looking at all of my practices and thinking about where I might be able to do better this year. This year I’ve landed on more effective 1:1s. I’m a fan of for topics like this and there are a wealth of resources about 1:1s there.

One video that I found particularly useful was a pancel discussion titled: Cracking the cadence of your software engineering 1:1s

The discussion is much more than just the scheduling (and every participant did something slightly different anyway)

  • do your 1:1s weekly
  • don’t skip, reschedule
  • have a shared notes page to help ensure you’re both aligned on the takeaways and action items
  • have a scorecard for yourself to assess the value and usefulness of your 1:1s
  • some, maybe many people don’t want to do 1:1s, you need to show the value - do that by paying attention and following up outside 1:1s
  • consider a non-regular schedule, especially if you have people you talk to who take more energy than others

Cal Newport on Slow Productivity

Cal Newport’s Deep Questions podcast was a new subscription for me this year. Newport covers a bunch of topics around the theme of doing important work well and sustainably. The podcast is way less dry than you might imagine, largely due to Newport’s dad-joke heavy sense of humour.

I know diving into the latest ep of a podcast can sometimes feel like you’ve missed a trick, so for folks who are curious, this video on Newport’s views on they why and how of Slow Productivity is a pretty good intro to his subject matter.