Greetings Reddit!

We are 2 Player Productions. Since 2005 we have been documenting facets of the game industry and gaming culture. Recently, we released our second film, Minecraft: The Story of Mojang online with direct-to-consumer DVD and DRM-free digital download sales. SoM was a two-year project and the result of a successful Kickstarter campaign, our first attempt at using the platform. More recently, we applied what we learned from that experience to the Double Fine Adventure! Kickstarter campaign which was also successful.

In 2006 we started filming for a project titled Play that was meant to explore the impact of video games on new music expression. This concept introduced us to the chip music scene that was exploding in New York City and would eventually grow into our first feature documentary Reformat the Planet. RTP premiered at SXSW in 2008.

Through the exposure of that project we became introduced to SCEA (Sony) and found our first industry work covering Sucker Punch Productions’ new franchise Infamous. We were also introduced to Penny Arcade and were responsible for the 2009 coverage of the Penny Arcade Expo, which lead to us producing the first season of the Penny Arcade: The Series documentary program.

We are happy to try and answer any questions you have about independent film production, distribution, the role of video media in the games industry, Kickstarter, film festivals, etc.

Who's Answering Your Questions:

Paul Owens (Director) - born in New Jersey, 1983. Attended film school at Drexel University (class of 2005) with Asif Siddiky. Previously worked as Behind The Scenes Videographer (with Siddiky) for filmmaker Lee Daniels (Precious · 2009).

Asif Siddiky (Director of Photography) - born in Virginia Beach, 1982. Attended film school at Drexel University (class of 2005) with Paul Owens. Previously worked as Behind The Scenes Videographer (with Owens) for filmmaker Lee Daniels (Precious · 2009).

Paul Levering (Producer) - born in New Jersey, 1982. Attended high school with Paul Owens, graduated class of 2000. Was a Gamestop manager and Trader Joe’s stock clerk before forming 2 Player Productions with Owens and Siddiky in 2005. Currently resides in Portland, OR and San Francisco, CA.


EDIT: Alright, show's over for now, friends. Huge thanks to everyone that participated and asked such great questions. It's been fun to look back on our work, explain why we do what we do, and talk about where we'll go in the future. If you're late to this thread and still want to ask us something, post your question and we'll check back later! Alternatively, you can hit us up on Twitter or email us at inquiry [at] 2playerproductions [dotcom]. Thanks again, Reddit!

Would You Like To Know More? - Here's a quick rundown of where/how you can catch up on our projects:

Minecraft: The Story of Mojang - Feature-length exploration of the first year of Mojang and the cultural impact of their game Minecraft, original soundtrack by C418

The Double Fine Adventure! - Episodic series covering the development of the Kickstarter funded adventure game by genre legend Tim Schafer

Amnesia Fortnight 2012 - 12 part series covering the 2 week prototyping phase of 5 new games from Double Fine Productions

Penny-Arcade: The Series - 4 disc DVD set featuring 27 episodes about one of the most well known gaming webcomics and various bits of unreleased content

PAX 2009 - 5 disc DVD set chronicling the Penny Arcade Expo featuring 6 concert performances, the pilot episodes of the PA series, and coverage of the Omegathon

Reformat the Planet - Feature length documentary focused on the NYC chip music scene, mostly around the time of Blip 2006.

The Making of Scrolls - 3 part series on the first new game to come from Mojang, ep2-3 exclusive to SoM DVD release

Jak Collection HD - Extended length single feature looking back and the Jak franchise and the process of creating the HD re-release

Uncharted 3 - Planned 3 part series that only saw the release of part 1.

Inside the Minds of Infamous - 3 part series filmed the week the game went gold

Infamous 2 - single doc exploring the comic book influence on the game

[Blip Festival 2006](Festival in NYC - 32 videos highlighting the performances of the first Blip

Blip Festival 2007 - 32 videos of the 2007 Blip Festival in NYC

Blip Festival 2008 (live album) - 32 tracks from the 2008 Blip Festival

Various chip music videos

Video Games Live - 3 part series covering the Philadelphia performce of the game music concert tour, featuring Tommy Tallarico and Jack Wall

If you're late to this thread and still want to ask us something, post your question and we'll check back later! Alternatively, you can hit us up on [2] Twitter or email us at inquiry [at] 2playerproductions [dotcom]. Thanks again, Reddit!

Comments: 319 • Responses: 82  • Date: 

C418105 karma

Hello, everyone. This is the composer of the Minecraft film, and I'm jumping in on the AMA action.

PurpleMoustache19 karma

Oh hey!

Absolutely love your music. I have a few questions about "one" in particular.

What inspired the name of the track "lawer cage fight"? Was it weird working around a version of Pachabels cannon using sounds you made? And lastly, what gave you the idea of having not only a re-occuring theme, but a theme of varying intensity?

EDIT: Oh, and when is Minecraft Volume Beta coming out?

C41823 karma

  • lawyer cage fight exists because we thought we needed a song for a scene that would have intense stress, but ultimately we thought that it wouldn't fit. But I liked the song, and felt it is good progression for the overall album, so I put in a longer version of it.

  • It wasn't weird at all. The hardest part actually was to synchronize the youtube video by disco, where he demonstrates an 8 track sequencer built with music blocks. The sound engine varies in bpm, because it's not entirely the same speed all the time. Putting music over it was absolutely no problem at all. Also might I add that Pachelbel made the most boring song in the world? Definitely did, but it's just mean to deny its existence.

  • I created a theme melody halfway through the process of creating the music, but I felt it isn't necessary to have a theme melody at all, so instead I decided to have every song have a connection in a way. So the repetition is one way to unite the songs, similar instruments was another way. And adding to that, I experimented with using the same songs, but in varying speeds and chords, so as to build some familarity with the music early on. So in a way, you know the songs if you listen to the album to at least a third, but the following songs are still new, yet you feel familiarity. Something like that

  • This year :)

disco_11 karma

I love what you did with my humble arrangement, I particularly like the album version. Dem 9th chords :D

2PlayerProductions10 karma

Levering- Dude thanks for stopping by the thread. Your stuff remains the most technically impressive and aesthetically beautiful i've seen come out of the community. So sorry we didn't get to have you in the film.

2PlayerProductions7 karma

Owens: he did an amazing job on that. my favorite part of the movie maybe

VikingMop26 karma

(Sorry if this question is a bit too long, but I hope you guys will answer anyway)

Did the Minecraft documentary turn out the way you imagined it, or hoped it would?

Compared to other 2PP documentaries, it seemed a bit directionless. There was little story to find other than "Minecraft is kinda a big deal", which most fans already knew. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but your other work and other documentaries (like IGTM) try to be more personal and emotionally rewarding. Was that the goal and a conscious decision, or a result of you guys struggling to find a more enganging storyline while filming?

I don't like to be too critical, as I love what you've made previously, and the production in this documentary is (as always) top notch. It's just the impression the documentary left me, just wanted to hear the story from your side before jumping to conclusions. :)

Also, about the DFA-series. As the developers at DF is starting to worry, and you see they're starting to struggle a bit, do you guys ever feel like you're in the way? Do you have second thoughts about grabbing someone's shirt to ask them some questions and film? Or how does that whole balance between being a fly on the wall and interviewing work out?

Again, love what you guys are doing. Looking forward to seeing what more you guys have for the future. :)

2PlayerProductions11 karma

Owens: Yes, I think it turned out the way I imagined it would and I think we all feel very proud of it. I can see you why you found it a bit directionless, because the movie doesn't have a big dramatic arc the way IGTM does. To me, the Minecraft movie was more about ideas and exploring them. It probably owes more to something like Helvetica than IGTM (though I did really enjoy IGTM).
Thanks for asking this question though - it seems like some people have also voiced these complaints (and some people love the movie the way it is), but I think it comes down to what you enjoy in movies and what you expected to see in a documentary about Minecraft.
Switching to DFA - no, actually I don't feel like we've gotten in the way (though with projects in the past I definitely have felt this way). We've been very careful to keep our distance in tense moments and just capture what's happening. It seems like everyone at Double Fine is so focused on their work (and we're around the office so often) that they don't notice us so much anymore. At least I hope so -- it's possible we're making everyone nervous...

notnotcitricsquid7 karma

I share the thoughts of VikingMop (the documentary felt it lacked a narrative / direction) but I don't think it was a necessarily bad thing. Although I would have loved to have watched the development of Minecraft and growth of Mojang fit into an understandable and engaging timeline, that wouldn't have reflected the reality. Minecraft and Mojang have both grown at this incredible pace with nobody ever really grasping just how big the game would be.

There's a part of the documentary where Markus mentions money, I think he says something about the day he had 1,000,000 SEK in the bank and it being amazing, then mentions something about having so much more now... that was recorded maybe 12 - 18 months ago? Minecraft has made more money in the time between that recording and the films release than it had ever made before, that sort of growth is crazy and I don't think a documentary could ever have been a cute all encompassing story when that sort of thing happening. If the documentary had tried to portray a tightly planned story it would have been inaccurate within a week.

I think the documentary really reflected the crazy nature of the Mojang and Minecraft growth, what would be awesome is if in a couple more years (once Minecraft has settled down and Mojang is a well established studio) would be to see another documentary covering the story in a more... coherent (is that the right word?) manner, that reflects Minecrafts life rather then a snap shot of the growth.

Saying that though, I'm glad I backed (I think I was a $350 backer) and it was worth every penny and genuinely enjoyed watching it. You did great work, I can't think of a better way to have presented such a short period of the life of something growing so fast.

tl:dr; thank you, awesome work.

2PlayerProductions3 karma

Owens: a way better response than mine! Thank you for the kind words!

MillerMan615 karma

Do you regret uploading the Minecraft doc to TPB, after all of the press?

2PlayerProductions18 karma

Levering- We knew from the beginning the Pirate bay thing was something we would have to do. The movie would be pirated, and looking at how much Minecraft is pirated it seemed like it would happen a lot. The amount of press the move got freaked us out a bit, because suddenly everyone was talking about how we put our movie out for free, and that wasn't exactly the intent.

We would much prefer people buy the movie, but we're not going to sue anyone for pirating it. You might as well try to take ownership of something like that if it's going to happen anyway.

Russik8 karma

How about Netflix? If you guys get it up soon I'll wait for it.

2PlayerProductions11 karma

Levering- These things are easier said then done, but it's a goal for us in the near future. They turned down our doc Reformat the Planet in the past, but since then i think their standards are different, with half the film industry being out to destroy them and all.

mikejohnno12 karma

If you had to take one Mojang member to a desert island who would it be and why?

2PlayerProductions10 karma

Siddiky: Junkboy of course. Like Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean, I'm almost positive he would have a secret stash of rum.

2PlayerProductions6 karma

Levering- Carl because he could cut a good deal with the pirates that invariably arrive at the island to sell us into the slave trade.

C4186 karma

That depends. Is that a desert island we're doomed to be a while on, or is it just for shits and giggles?

mikejohnno8 karma

we're doomed to be a while one

C41813 karma

Definitely Notch then. Because he's the one likeliest to stirr up the news that someone went missing, thus giving us an easier chance of survival. Besides, he's a lovely person to hang around.

mikejohnno3 karma

I would take Aron, because Notch himself said he was like "a human calculator" and apparently very smart and easily rescue us :D

2PlayerProductions5 karma

Owens: Tobias cause he could get us internet access. and a coconut nintendo system.

DarthBo9 karma

When's the next episode of DFA due? :p Damn your cliffhangers!

2PlayerProductions8 karma

Levering- We're aiming for the series to pick back up in February. We're still working on Amnesia Fortnight content and our release of the SoM takes a lot of our time up. The next episode of DFA should follow up on the cliffhanger of Ep7 very well though. We're going to release some sidequests in the meantime as well.

silverskull8 karma

How do you decide what to cover next? Do you go to the studios first or do they come to you?

Also, I watched the Minecraft doc when you released it to backers. It was fantastic. Keep doing what you're doing, 2PP!

2PlayerProductions6 karma

Levering- Most of the time we just go after a game or idea we're currently interested in. In the case of Minecraft, we were fans at the time and thought the game would make for an interesting doc.

With the Double Fine adventure, we knew we wanted to do a series and we would have to use Kickstarter again. There was only a handful of studios that would be open to the idea, and Double Fine was our first choice.

Back before we had as much experience we were lucky to get offers from studios like Sucker Punch and Naughty Dog.

VikingMop5 karma

I would love a more in-depth documentary about the production of a AAA-game, especially from Naughty Dog. I've heard stories about how chaotic that studio can be, and how they always seem to get a bit too close to comfort to their deadlines. Though I'm sure that's the case in most game studios.

But documenting the development of their next game would definitively be an interesting project. And it does sound like Sony likes you guys. :)

2PlayerProductions6 karma

Levering- We were on the verge of doing a feature at Naughty Dog but it never got off the ground. We ended up taking the idea to Double Fine since their size and level of independence made a project that invasive more possible. Bigger studios and publishers have a lot of red tape you would have to go through for something like that, no matter how much people at the studio may be behind the idea.

danlthemanl7 karma

Does Notch's beard feel as fluffy as it looks?

Thanks for an awesome documentary!


2PlayerProductions8 karma

Siddiky: You're welcome!

I can neither confirm or deny this information. One thing I will note, however, is that at Minecon, there was direct beard-on-beard contact between Notch and a friendly. Since no fires erupted from the resulting friction, I have to assume 50% chance of fluffiness.

VikingMop3 karma

What about some Velcro effect?

2PlayerProductions4 karma

Siddiky: I'm sensing a pretty ripe business opportunity here

gospy557 karma

What was your favorite moment filming "Minecraft-The Story of Mojang"? From what I've seen, the Mojang team is pretty awesome and friendly, but I'd love to hear from you guys! Thanks for doing this AMA!

For C418, so he can join the party: I recall you saying you plan on implementing some new songs into Minecraft, for music (not records). Is that still happening? I love your tunes :-)

2PlayerProductions8 karma

Siddiky: I can confirm that the Mojang team is indeed both awesome and friendly. I know it's cliche to say so, but there really were so many great moments spread out across those two years. Some highlights off the top of my head: - the Peter Molyneux interview had a weird, magical quality about it. He only had a little time to spare for us so he sort of breezed in and out, but when he sat in that chair, he was totally on, patient, and everything he said was fascinating. It was a far cry from the way he's often thought of; probably because he was so genuinely blown away and humbled by Minecraft. You can hear it a bit in the movie, but we were all audibly/visibly stunned when he said that it was better than any game he had ever made. That whole experience was very cool. - Meeting Tim Schafer, for obvious reasons. - And, now that I think about it, I think our first trip to Sweden ended up being one of the most meaningful. Usually, it's hard to see a moment for what it is when you're in the thick of it, but even then, we felt that we were capturing something truly historic in those first days of setting up the office, the company, and laying out the road map for the game. That's the kind of stuff you get high off of when you're shooting a documentary.

MyFootonFire4 karma

I just want to say, the interview with Molyneux was on of my favorite parts. The things he had to say along with the sort of unorthodox way you showed him (shuffling in and out of the room, and idle conversation) made it a fascinating segment. I felt like we were seeing the real Peter Molyneux, and not the Peter Molyneux that the press shows us.

2PlayerProductions4 karma


I felt like we were seeing the real Peter Molyneux, and not the Peter Molyneux that the press shows us.

Precisely. Meeting him really made me appreciate how much of a raw deal that guy gets sometimes. It's really unfortunate how unforgiving some of the fans and members of the media can be when a "promise" is "broken." Especially when game development is such a fluid process. I wish more people knew that. To be fair, I think Peter could also temper his statements a bit; frame it more as "what I want to do" instead of "what will be."


PurpleMoustache6 karma

As a backer, I have a few questions:

  1. How the heck do you guys manage so many projects?

  2. Were there any things that surprised you during the making of the Minecraft Documentary.

  3. To Asif: How do you come up with those crazy awesome Infinity Shred/ Starscream album arts?

  4. When's the next DFA episode? :p

2PlayerProductions5 karma

3 Siddiky: Hah, thanks! Those guys have a surprising amount of "backstory" to each album so we talk about those and I try and picture them as short films. I run those scenes through my head as I listen to the album repeatedly and then eventually there's one image that clicks and I stick with that. When I'm actually drawing them out, I tend to zero in on one track, keep it on a loop, and let that guide that color / texture. For the most recent release, it was Hologram.

2PlayerProductions4 karma

Levering- 1 Well if you backed Minecraft it's safe to say that could have been managed better. Communication issues aside, we're always trying to do best by the backers. For DFA, Double Fine manages all the backers internally so it's something we have very little input with. The take away from this is that managing a Kickstarter project is hard.

2 Probably the extent of people we talked to and places we went. Scampering around the wet rocks of Staffa for a doc about a computer game was something i never thought i would do. Also kicking myself for not bringing a bottle of water for Peter Molynuex to our interview, only to have him duck out in the middle from a coughing fit brought on by dry mouth.

4 February, but we'll have some sidequests before then.

NonStopGamer6 karma

How did you get introduced to minecraft/mojang?

2PlayerProductions7 karma

Levering- I sent Notch and email at 3am, asking if we could make a doc about him. Considering how many emails he must have been receiving at the time it must have been pure luck that he saw it and responded.

bkster6 karma


2PlayerProductions3 karma

Siddiky: It's a little trick to nail down the exact start time for Reformat the Planet as it initially started as a much broader project. I'd say we properly started shooting RTP in the Spring of 2006, shooting as many live performances as we could. Towards the end of that year, things culminated with the first Blip Festival and that became the backbone for the film. We followed that up with interviews in early 2007 and then cut for the rest of the year shooting the odd show here and there. So all told, about a year.

With Story of Mojang, it was a bit different. We began shooting almost exactly two years ago and reunited with Mojang over the course of the following 16 months every time they had some major milestone in the company or the game's development. The shoot for the film was drawn out towards the end due to some scheduling conflicts, but it ended up giving Mojang enough time to reflect on their lives post-Minecraft release and made for better wrap-up interviews. Waiting that long also allowed us to catch Minecraft's appearance in the Smithsonian's video game exhibit.

And thanks for your future purchase! We're glad TPB post gave you an opportunity to see the film and we appreciate your plans to support us.

gizombie6 karma

Has there been any discussion on making your film available on services like XBox Live or Amazon Instant Video? Perhaps I'm in the minority, but I'd like to watch it on my big screen without having to buy the DVD.

2PlayerProductions5 karma

Levering- I would like to take it there because i like those services myself, particularly Amazon Instant.

It's stupid that i havent tried this myself yet, but the digital download of the movie is a DRM free mp4, and you should be able to just load it on to you Xbox via a thumbdrive and watch it from the Xbox video library.

SublunarMindfulness5 karma

How's life been? How hard was it to start doing what you love as a living?

2PlayerProductions5 karma

Levering- We started 2PP in 2005 and we weren't able to quit our day jobs until we moved out to the west coast for the Penny Arcade Series in fall of 2009. I still remember quitting my job at Trader Joe's to go out west. There are still days when things are hard, and extremely stressful, but that will always happen when you're doing what you love.

Nothing is ever easy, the core of the emotion just changes. I went from being pissed that a cold truck shipment was late to being pissed that a camera got bad audio during an interview with Tim Schafer. It's a weird thing. The sense that you're your own boss and you have some control over your life is something i don't think i would ever want to give up.

Maxistentialist5 karma

Thanks for making this incredible documentary - I watched it with my parents and I think it helped them understand why I want to make games.

My question: C418's soundtrack is really tightly integrated into the documentary, but it also works well as a standalone album. How did you guys make that work? At what stage in the editing process did you start to write the music and work it in? Was the music made to fit into the edited documentary, or was the documentary edited around the music?

2PlayerProductions3 karma

Owens: Thanks for the kind words!

Daniel did an amazing job with the music, but it really didn't all come together til the very end.

He worked on a few sketches while we were shooting but it wasn't until this august when things were far along enough with the movie's rough cut that he began in earnest. Somehow in two months he came up with an incredible soundtrack.

It was very back and forth with the editing and the music. He would send me songs and I'd integrate them into the movie. He would see what I had done and adjust -- it was really cool to see it come together. Though because of the time constraint, it was pretty stressful and I felt like it didn't totally come together until just days before the deadline.

bostondude105 karma

Do you have plans to branch out into narrative film-making as opposed to documentary?

2PlayerProductions3 karma

Siddiky: Under the 2PP banner? Hard to say at this point. Personally, absolutely. I've shot narrative films before and it's a totally different, but equally awesome energy and work environment that I'd like to get back into someday. Honestly, it's really just a matter of when we'd ever have a break in the current schedule and if the right project came along. For now, the focus is on Double Fine. Hard to see beyond that.

iGoByManyNames5 karma

What was it like working with Notch? Is he as humble and cute as he comes across in the film?

2PlayerProductions3 karma

owens: he was amazing -- really original mind. even more cute in person too...

zilo905 karma

Have you guys thought about collaborating with the filmakers behind Indie Game: The Movie to make one super project?

2PlayerProductions10 karma

Siddiky: We've never discussed anything with them formally, but I think it'd be awesome to do a "Four Rooms" style collaboration with them, Jason Scott, and Adam Cornelius (director of Ecstasy of Order). All good people.

knightspore5 karma

So far, how has making the movie available both through online purchase and free download worked out? And how will you be handling it in the future?

2PlayerProductions3 karma

Levering- As far as we can tell, it seems like some people that pirate the movie end up buying it. Occasionally i get emails from people saying they did just that, and those emails outnumber the ones from people who just want to say they bought the movie outright.

We're not sure how many times the movie has been downloaded through the torrent but it wouldn't surprise me if the number was over 40k. We can't say for sure how many times it would have been downloaded if we didn't put it up ourselves, but the level of exposure the torrent received probably contributed quite a bit.

At the end of the day, i think it's very hard to tell what it all means. People seem to appreciate the gesture and i guess that's all that's important. Sales of the movie are not incredible, but not terrible either.

FishyFred4 karma

What's it like running a production company in a city with few major media companies? Do you have any clients outside of Penny Arcade? Where do you get your financing?

Did Khoo put you through his brutal interview before he let you make the PA series?

Can you tell us anything about Erika's joke?

2PlayerProductions3 karma

Siddiky: Honestly, it feels weird to say that the company is based in Portland. I mean, we live here and on all of our legal documents, this is where the company is incorporated, but we don't do much local work. We've been incredibly fortunate to keep a fairly consistent chain of gigs going in other cities that are close by enough that we can effectively "commute" at certain intervals (usually once a month) and produce enough work off those shoots to keep the company afloat.

Our primary client right now is Double Fine in San Francisco. Levering actually moved down there at the start of our collaboration with them so he's been there for all the day to day work that needs doing. Owens and I go down once a month for about a week and we all shoot the bulk of the next DFA episode, then come back to Portland for all the editing and post-work. This project was backed through a Kickstarter campaign and the rest of our money comes through sales of our previous products.

As for Khoo's interview process? Nope, we lucked the hell out with that one. For reasons I will never understand, they pretty much just trusted us to do the right thing from the the get go. I probably would have crumbled under the combined pressure of Robert and Kiko's soul-piercing gazes. Probably.

We can never tell the joke. It'll never be as funny as the mystery surrounding it. I will say this: someone guessed it publicly once and everyone else in the discussion immediately waved it off saying, "nah, couldn't have been that."

folebear4 karma

Directed at all three of you (especially Paul): which Star Wars movie is best?

2PlayerProductions3 karma

owens: you kidding? Empire

WhiteWolf0844 karma

Hello 2PlayerProductions, big fan of your work. Just want to ask, being a kind of journalist that am growing as my education continues, writing about gaming and general topics. Also hoping to follow a documentary/short film path; when you first set up the company, how did you make yourself known in the gaming world, and known in general? What assisted you to make it in the communities you are in? Thanks Sam (WhiteWolf084)

2PlayerProductions2 karma

Owens: I think we had to prove ourselves intitally before we kind of "graduated" to doing docs within the game industry. I always feel like our first feature Reformat the Planet was our way of getting our name out there and proving that we could make a movie without screwing up too much. We were able to get that into the world enough that people actually started asking us to do similar work for them.

But we owe a lot to Robert Khoo at Penny Arcade and Sam Thompson, who's a producer at Sony, for giving us a chance just based on what they saw in Reformat the Planet.

2PlayerProductions3 karma

Owens: oh, lots and lots of luck too!

2PlayerProductions4 karma

Siddiky: Hey everyone, we're going to formally wrap this AMA up for now. I'll be updating the introductory text at the top very soon with some more information. If anyone still has questions for us, please feel free to keep posting them! We will check back later and get back to you. Thanks so much for all the great questions you guys. It's been fun.

Yuck64 karma

Hello, What is your favorite video game. Also do you prefer Mac, Linux, or Windows.

2PlayerProductions6 karma

Levering- I could never say what game is my favorite, i grew up a Nintendo gamer but always envied my cousins Sega setup. I like to deal in franchises and say Metroid, Castlevania, Mega Man, Legend of Zelda. Panzer Dragoon, most any Capcom CPS+CPS2 release, anything NEO-GEO and TG16(PC Engine). I loved my N64 and Sega Saturn. Some of my favorite games of last year would have been Waking Mars, Mark of the Ninja, Dark Souls, Walking Dead, and Legend of Grimrock.

PinPinIre4 karma

Indie Game the Movie released their movie on Steam. Can you see yourself following their lead and making your movies easier to purchase by selling through Steam?

2PlayerProductions5 karma

Levering- We're reaching out to Steam to see if they are interested, mostly because we see a lot of requests for the movie to be on the service.

With our launch, we're pretty sure the movie is as easy to purchase now as it ever could be, although some people do like building a Steam library which i can understand.

alex_dlc4 karma

Why is there no mention at all about Minecraft Pocket Edition (either the iOS app or the one for Sony Xperia Play) in the documentary?

iGoByManyNames4 karma

It was made before it was a really big thing.

2PlayerProductions3 karma

Owens: I think we just didn't want to get too bogged down in those types of details, but give more of a general idea of mojang's growth.

It might also have been confusing to a general audience if we're suddenly talking about all these different versions of the game and they're all coming out at different times, etc. so for clarity, we focused on the main game's release at minecon and made that the central thrust.

Amsterdom4 karma

I noticed that the film seemed to 'take place' around Minecraft 1.0. Did you guys find it hard to keep up with Minecraft's progression while making the film?

2PlayerProductions3 karma

Levering- The infrequency of our visits due to the limited budget was always a major issue. Every time we came back it seemed like something huge was happening, and we tried our best to fill in the gaps by talking to other people outside of Mojang or using archived footage.

ThinkSmartish4 karma

Did this start out as a "serious company" or were you a bunch of friends who liked video making?

2PlayerProductions3 karma

Levering- We are a bunch of friends that liked video making. Most attempts to make this a serious company have failed miserably, and it's likely the hardest thing we'll ever have to do.

WinstonBay4 karma

Hey guys.

If you want some free attention for that movie of yours, feel free to add it on and we'll see what we can do for you :)

//The Pirate Bay

2PlayerProductions3 karma

Levering- We thought about that, but then news of the torrent blew up when we put it out anyway. Thanks for the offer though, we'll think about it!

WinstonBay3 karma

We'll be waiting! ;) Thanks for a great documentary!

2PlayerProductions3 karma

You know what, let's do it. What's the first step?

NNoeoNN3 karma

You say so a lot in the movie - but still, is Notch really that humble and awesome? Really? Other than that - keep it up, you're doing great! Oh, also, buying the movie asap!

2PlayerProductions3 karma

Levering- Notch is just a guy. He's more baffled by his success than anyone i think.

DogsInPeopleBodies3 karma


2PlayerProductions3 karma

Levering- Burnie was super hands-off and supportive. We had a few chats to talk about odds and ends but mostly he just wanted to see the movie get made and offered to help if we needed it.

JackHasNoLife3 karma


2PlayerProductions3 karma

Owens: yup!

MonkeySpiritBoonsong3 karma

When is Nightside II coming? I heard rumors that it will involve bounty hunting. Is this because of the success of Django?

2PlayerProductions2 karma

Owens: HAHAHA - who is this...? yes, expect Nightside 2 one day though maybe not in movie form...

chilliar263 karma

Before you all started making documentaries on gaming, were any of you trying to get into the industry (i.e. testing, programming, designing ect.) or were you all set on a movie carrier path?

2PlayerProductions4 karma

Levering- I was basically doing nothing and Owens and Asif already had started a film career. Gaming was something we had always loved collectively, and while i had dreamed of entering the industry as a creative it was never something I pursued. I also flirted with the idea of having a game store.

Approaching the industry from the angle of video production essentially allowed us to sneak in through the back door.

mikejohnno3 karma

How long did you spend with the Mojang team?

2PlayerProductions3 karma

Levering- We went to Sweden to visit Mojang for a week or more 5 times, and spent a few days with them in the US when they came in for events. So in total, maybe about 30 days.

xJavontax3 karma

I'm an Amnesia Fortnite backer, is there any way I can stream the ViDoc's instead of download them? Kind of a random question, I know, but I've been wondering for some time now haha.

2PlayerProductions4 karma

Levering- We're currently working on a ton of AF stuff, and there will be better ways to experience that content. The whole thing was a big crazy experiment that turned out extremely well, so you'll have to forgive us for the bugs and bit of lag while we try to smooth the experience over.

ArbitraryRanger3 karma

I was also born in 1982 - if you guys could travel back to your childhood to film a documentary as kids, what would it be about?

2PlayerProductions3 karma

Owens: haha, i've thought about this actually. I really wish I could have been there to capture the production of Zelda and the early days of the NES. That's a moment in time I wish existed for people's viewing pleasure.

2PlayerProductions3 karma

Siddiky: Hah, film a documentary as kids? Interesting. Well, growing up, I was fascinated by all the video segments on Reading Rainbow where they'd take you to a factory and show you how certain things are made (like apple juice or crayons). So probably something like that. Maybe a feature about how everything I was into at the time was made? I think I would have been into that.

kacboy3 karma

What do you mean by "help up by red tape" in regards to the Uncharted 3 video?

2PlayerProductions3 karma

Levering- Marketing told us to do one thing, and Legal told us we couldn't do it after the episode was made. Resulting edits would have cut it down to one third of it's length. Various parties spent month's trying to satisfy the concerns from the Legal department, and eventually the episode was just lost to time.

axeman1573 karma

What's your favorite film festival and why?

2PlayerProductions3 karma

Siddiky: Fantastic Fest! It takes place in Austin, The Alamo is one of the greatest theaters in the country, and everyone just has fun celebrating these weird genre/niche films without an ounce of pretension.

Flapbag3 karma

Due to all your recent successes do you think you will be looking to any new talent to your 2pp team? I have been a big fan of yours since RFP. Also I am the guy who started your Wikipedia page :)

2PlayerProductions3 karma

Levering- Well thanks for that! As for hiring new people, we're still not quite at that level of success. We already have a few choices at the top of the list since we know and work with a few people on contract basis.

Something we've always been concerned with is watering down our brand or bringing people on that just didn't fit with the mindset we have to approaching projects. We are extremely laid back and collaborative, and very ambitious/stubborn filmmakers can tend to go against the grain with us.

Joonaa3 karma

Why was Minecraft: The Story of Mojang not in 1080p? :(

2PlayerProductions3 karma

Siddiky: Sorry about that. We would have loved for it to have been, but it was a technical limitation. The cameras we were using at the time did not shoot 1080p (just 1080i, which didn't look great) so we locked ourselves into 720p. We're all upgraded now though and will be 1080p from here on out on future projects!

Appexxd3 karma

What's one thing you learnt that you weren't expecting to?

2PlayerProductions3 karma

Siddiky: Not sure which project you're referring to (if any), but over the course of making these documentaries over the years, the most important thing that's reinforced with every project is to "trust your gut and make the [x] that you want to [y]." In the case of all the game devs we've talked to, it's been "Make the game you want to play," but I think about it every now and then with regards to our own work. If I'm ever questioning a shooting/editing decision, I just try to think about what I'd like to see and stick to that and hope that others will appreciate it too.

Mrbobby173 karma

When you had first heard of Minecraft did you think that it would become as large as it is today? And at what point did you realize that Minecraft was become such a big thing that you decided to make a documentary on it? Thanks for all of your contributions to the community as well!

2PlayerProductions4 karma

Siddiky: The first time we heard anything about Minecraft, it was via Gabe and Tycho at Penny Arcade. We were shooting our series with them at the time and the fact that they dedicated as much blog/comic real-estate to it as they did automatically marked it as something special. We started playing it shortly thereafter and were hooked on the game and kept tabs on Notch's rising star status.

As our time on the PA show began winding down, we began brainstorming ideas for what our next project would be. We decided that we'd create our own documentary series on gaming (modeled after the This American Life tv show), but we needed a pilot to take to potential investors. With perfect timing, Notch announced on his blog that he'd be starting a proper company, hiring employees, and moving into an office.

We pitched the idea of making the pilot about him and first days of the company and he went for it. We paid all the expenses out of our own pockets, cut together a proof-of-concept, and realized we were uniquely situated to stay with these guys and keep telling their story over the course of their first year. We took it to Kickstarter and the rest is history.

DJbobb3 karma

How did you decide on Mojang to be the focus of your documentary? Also, how did you contact them?

2PlayerProductions8 karma

Levering- At the time we were working with Penny Arcade and the game was getting very popular in the office there. We played it and fell in love with it ourselves, and the whole story of how Markus handled the creation and release of the game was very interesting.

I ended up just sending him a cold email at 3am on my Birthday, expressing our desire to come to Sweden and film him setting up at the new office. He wrote back to me in a few minutes saying-

"About Mojang, we're currently three people strong, with hopes of being six or seven people with an actual office in December. We're trying to make something serious, with a company that will be around for many years, producing games the way we feel they should be made.

I'd love to meet with you guys and hear more about your plans."

crystallabs3 karma

Do you guys need a roommate?

2PlayerProductions3 karma

Siddiky: You can take Levering's old room but you can't move any of the stuff he left behind.

coolrudski3 karma

How important was the YouTube minecrafting community to you in terms of making this documentary? Also one for C418, how did you end up making music for Minecraft?

2PlayerProductions5 karma

Siddiky: The YouTube minecrafting community was a huge part of the game's success / novelty and, as a result, our interest in it as a subject. We've got some representation of them in the film, but honestly, there could be entire films about each facet of the MC community. Hopefully someone reading this will go out and make one someday.

But yeah, we are extremely grateful to the members of the community that worked with us in any capacity, whether it's being on camera for an interview or letting us use some of their original content in the film.

Ihmhi3 karma

What's a good story of something that happened behind the scenes at Penny Arcade or Mojang that we didn't see on film?

Why did you guys not come back for Season 2 for Penny Arcade? Were they not satisfied with your work, or did PA want to try a different production company every season?

2PlayerProductions3 karma

Levering- We thought we had said all we wanted with the PA series and we wanted to move on to new things. We were also curious what a new team would bring to the series, and thought it would interesting if the team changed for each season.

As for stuff you didn't get to see, the PA Series episode about games started out about Ep3 of Rain Slick, but since the guys were still in the midst of that battle/transition they thought it was best not to put too much out there yet. We had to recut the episode with new content to air the next day.

JpDeathBlade3 karma

I absolutely love everything you guys have put out and I have a few questions:

What kind of perks have you gotten from filming (besides seeing things before they come out)?

What was your favorite moment/episode of filming with Penny Arcade?

If you had unlimited resources and time, what kind of documentary would you like to work on (Following a big AAA project, another series, history of [console])?

2PlayerProductions3 karma

Siddiky: Thanks! Always good to hear.

Best Perks: getting to spend some downtime with our subjects (barbecue at Tim Schafer's house, seeing a print of Blade Runner with some of the Mojang crew, shooting the shit over drinks with Scott Kurtz during the PA:TS days, to name a few) and traveling to as many places as we've been.

A favorite moment from PA:TS: Shooting the 4th Panel episodes. You basically get to stand there while Gabe and Tycho make each other crack up for two hours. I'd come out of some of those feeling lightheaded from stifling so much laughter. One of the best was watching them "dance" to this song.

Dream Project: Without saying too much, there are some histories of specific Nintendo products / games that we would kill to create retrospectives on. Some of the older players from those stories won't be around for much longer and it's a shame to think of what information they'll take with them that could make for fascinating documentaries. I think there'd also be some vale in doing a version of Indie Game: The Movie about equally passionate game devs who don't finish their projects or just flat out fail for one reason or another.

Super_Famicom3 karma

Your connection with the East Coast chip scene is very well documented in Reformat the Planet.

Myself and my band are involved with the upcoming 2nd annual Los Angeles-based chiptune festival called Frequency 2.0. Do you have any interest in the West Coast chip scene?

2PlayerProductions3 karma

Levering- We still have connections to the scene and love the music, but our extensive coverage of the East coast was largely due to proximity. At that point in our company it was easy to cover it at low expense while still working 9-5 jobs.

Nowadays we have enough significant work on our plate i'm not sure we could go back to chip, and if we did none of our previous projects had ever been profitable in that market so it's not really sustainable. Personally, i think it's a scene best left to up and coming video groups that exist in the same space as the music.

Hermonie_Grangederp3 karma

What is your next project going to be?

2PlayerProductions3 karma

Levering- It's very likely we'll be working with Double Fine for the rest of the year, and we're leaving the door open for any other potential projects with them that may come up. Depending on how much free time we have after we settle in to this years workflow, we may try to tackle some short subject docs on games/studios we like if we can find funding for them.

derpbacca2 karma

Part 2 of Uncharted 3 Behind the Scenes? :P

Only question I have is how do you choose who does the sound mixing? I loved all the music you guys use (and introduced me to Bear and Walrus), especially Terence Lee and Gabe liberti's stuff.

2PlayerProductions4 karma

Owens: Might want to forget about UC3 part 2... sorry! It exists and we're proud of it but it's probably never going to see the light of day at this point.

With regards to music, we always try to highlight bands or musicians we admire or in a lot of cases, are close friends. We made a lot of musician friends through the making of Reformat the Planet and it's great to expose them to a larger audience through the documentaries that we make.

And yeah, Bear & Walrus are awesome.

Miningdude2 karma

A few questions, if I may. Feel free not to answer any of them if you feel it is too personal or reveals a private (as of now) deal.

1) How did 2PP begin?

2) If you could, what game would you make a documentary on?

3) What are your favorite video games?

4) Why the name "2 Player Productions" anyway?

5) Is there any way we can get you fan mail of some kind?

Thank you in advance,


2PlayerProductions3 karma


  1. I was setting up my Myspace and i found Owens on there. I saw he was doing some film stuff and it sparked a dream of breaking into film production I had been kicking around. We talked about the concept of doing documentary films for the game industry and never turned back.

  2. We pushed hard for a chance to get on Last Guardian, but that was probably a very unrealistic goal. Currently we're very interested in some mobile and indie devs, but another dream project would be classic Nintendo.

  3. Personally i like a lot of games, and i wrote a substantial list somewhere below. For 2012 it was Waking Mars, Legend of Grimrock, Walking Dead, Mark of the Ninja, and Dark Souls.

  4. Since Owens and I are both named Paul the first thing we thought was 2 Paul Productions. We immediately hated ourselves for that and changed it to 2 Player.

  5. We have contact info on our website, and it still remains a surprise to get email from someone that likes our work.

thisiscrispy1 karma

Love your work guys. Great thing you are doing pushing forward Video Game film-making. Am a professional film-maker running a small production company in London. Any chance of collaborating on something UK based ?

Thanks, Chris

2PlayerProductions1 karma

Owens: Right now we have our hands full with Double Fine stuff but you never know - shoot me an email sometime

got_milk41 karma

Why does the "DRM-free" download restrict me to three downloads maximum?

I've been interested in seeing this documentary for quite some time, and I'm always happy to support independent work that truly deserves it. However, I feel very misled after purchasing the digital download edition - it even says on the page "download or stream with no restrictions."

I still watched and enjoyed the documentary, however I will not be supporting 2PP again, and I will be advocating to everyone I can to do the same.

2PlayerProductions2 karma

Levering- That's a weird stipulation with our current distribution partner that we're not particularly happy with. Apparently you can contact them to request more downloads if need be.

Tentar0 karma


2PlayerProductions1 karma

Levering- Technically 3.4 with donations outside the Kickstarter campaign. Maybe that doesn't have the same ring to it? 3.4!! threeee point foooouuuurrr. I don't know, give it a spin and see what you think.

meefjones-2 karma

You just made a movie about Minecraft. Is art dead?

2PlayerProductions1 karma

Siddiky: It's no more dead than when Marty DeBergi documented the release of "Smell the Glove."