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Psychonauts publisher problems persist

03 Dec, 2018, 14:54 | Posted by: Remi

Microsoft, Majesco, and now Starbreeze… The publisher of the forthcoming Psychonauts-sequel has hit its own version of "marketplace realities," after Overkill’s The Walking Dead tanked. That’s right. The Walking Dead. You can’t even make this up.

Exactly how this economic face-slap will affect Psychonauts 2 is currently unknown, but as operations are under review and courts are involved with the reconstruction, things could probably be looking rosier.

Meanwhile, Al Lowe is auctioning off his Sierra memorabilia!

What does everyone else think about this?

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  • Avatar
    Comment by: Kroms | Posted 07 Dec, 2018, 06:10 | Quote

    Scummbuddy

    Could you link Tim's blog post describing the stage battles? I think I had a handle on them but I wouldn't mind seeing what he had to say



    Here you go.

    I'm with both AlfredJ and ThunderPeel2001. There are points where the gameplay in Brutal Legend is clumsy as all hell, but sometimes it's insanely fun. ThunderPeel2001's approach on building a story/world on top of a fun mechanic would work for Double Fine. Hell, it'd be like a Nintendo game, which has the same charm. (Only my sense of financial responsibility has stopped me from buying a Switch and playing Mario Odyssey all day.)
  • Avatar
    Comment by: Scummbuddy | Posted 07 Dec, 2018, 04:21 | Quote
    Could you link Tim's blog post describing the stage battles? I think I had a handle on them but I wouldn't mind seeing what he had to say
  • Avatar
    Comment by: ThunderPeel2001 | Posted 06 Dec, 2018, 15:44 | Quote
    @AlfredJ That's a fair argument. I wish I'd gotten to the point you describe so I could have really enjoyed those stages. Like you say, though, the game really failed at teaching you them. You were thrown into the fray with little or no help, and then given no reason to get better, or learn the mechanics more deeply. In a way it just makes it even more frustrating... there WAS a great game in there, it just wasn't exploited properly. Very sad.
  • Avatar
    Comment by: AlfredJ | Posted 06 Dec, 2018, 12:15 | Quote

    ThunderPeel2001


    DF have always suffered when it's come to technical prowess -- and I include playability in that. Brutal Legend had a BRILLIANT world and lore, but the actual battle gameplay was awful. Shockingly unfun to play, given show long they had to refine it.



    Not to dust the cobwebs of this old internet fight, but I will always defend the Brútal Legend stage battles. Granted, it wasn't until I read that blogpost Tim put up where he explained the mechanics of it all better and when I decided to put in the extra time and effort to really get a good grasp on it before it started becoming really fun, but once I reached that point it truly was a blast. The game had problems (control-wise I think the handling the car in the overworld was far clunkier, the game desperately needed better instructions on how to approach the stage battles as opposed to that being relegated to a blogpost few players will have read, and obviously there was that whole thing with EA wanting to market it as a heavy metal Zelda, which just wasn't what the game was), but it's unique, deep, and a joy to play for me. I still start it up with a couple of friends sometimes to play a couple of rounds, and we still get really into it. The feeling you get when you get in that flow of charging in the middle of your troops towards the enemy, making split-second tactical decisions and seeing the (controlled!) mayhem unfold when playing against a skilled player is just unlike any other game I know. In my eyes it's easily the best pure gameplay experience DF has ever made (I love a lot of the other games, but my love for those is mostly based on art/presentation/writing), and I'm sad that we'll probably never see anything like it again. And this is coming from someone who isn't particularly into metal or games with deep, complex mechanics.

    But yes, the game doesn't do a great job in telling you how to actually play them, resulting in many players approaching it like an RTS, which just results in clunky gameplay and a lot of frustration. But if you do put the effort in, that effort will definitely be rewarded (although finding other players to play against might be difficult these days).

    Man I wonder when the last time I defended this game was. Blast from the past.
  • Avatar
    Comment by: ThunderPeel2001 | Posted 06 Dec, 2018, 11:27 | Quote
    Crap. Of course, these days being on "shelves" is less important than it used to be, but they (of course) need that extra cash in the budget, not to mention the marketing money. Agh.

    DF have always suffered when it's come to technical prowess -- and I include playability in that. Brutal Legend had a BRILLIANT world and lore, but the actual battle gameplay was awful. Shockingly unfun to play, given show long they had to refine it.

    And this time they brought in the "king of lacklustre sequels" to helm Psychonauts 2. There's no justice. They need a gameplay genius like Leslie Benzies to match the storytelling master, Schafer. And a gigantic budget.

    Just imagine what DF could do with the right resources! They could take over the world! Sigh. I love DF too much.

    If they could just find a simple gameplay mechanic that's fun to play -- whether you have a story or not -- and then let Schafer do his magic on top of it. I'm sure it would be the next Portal or something.
  • Avatar
    Comment by: Kroms | Posted 04 Dec, 2018, 14:48 | Quote

    remi

    That’s right. The Walking Dead. You can’t even make this up.


    Double Fine can't do a major release, either. This harkens back to Brutal Legend.
  • Avatar
    Comment by: Nor Treblig | Posted 03 Dec, 2018, 20:07 | Quote

    Bloodnose

    Wasn’t doing it through Fig supposed to guard against a scenario like this?


    From their Fig campaign:

    Double Fine will be putting up a significant portion of the development funds ourselves, and getting another piece of the budget from an external partner.
    This Fig campaign will make up the third piece of the budget.

  • Avatar
    Comment by: Melancholick | Posted 03 Dec, 2018, 19:51 | Quote

    Bloodnose

    Wasn’t doing it through Fig supposed to guard against a scenario like this? It’s been so long that I can’t even remember what they do. I guess kickstarting a game four years in advance doesn’t always pay off...



    It provided DF the autonomy to develop the game without having to rely on a publisher deal (i.e. majority self-finance), but they still need someone to actually get the game on shelves.

    The upside is the the Fig/KS approach means that development won't be totally crippled because the company that's footing the "good faith" money is tanking. DF likely has to find a new partner, but with a game that's supposedly well into its development cycle, that shouldn't actually be a problem*.

    *but since we're talking Double Fine and Psychonauts, I expect whoever they sign on with will have their offices devoured by a giant sinkhole three months prior to the game going gold.
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    Comment by: AlfredJ | Posted 03 Dec, 2018, 18:14 | Quote
    I'm probably dreaming too big here, but I hope that someday the handful of gamedevs I'm still a fan of can just make fun games without these constant nightmare scenarios playing out.

    I'm sure Double Fine can figure this one out as they always do, but they really deserve a bit of a smoother ride at this point. Best of luck to them.
  • Avatar
    Comment by: Bloodnose | Posted 03 Dec, 2018, 17:57 | Quote
    Wasn’t doing it through Fig supposed to guard against a scenario like this? It’s been so long that I can’t even remember what they do. I guess kickstarting a game four years in advance doesn’t always pay off...
  • Avatar
    Comment by: neon_git | Posted 03 Dec, 2018, 17:34 | Quote
    Jesus fucking Christ.
  • Avatar
    Comment by: Rum_Rogers | Posted 03 Dec, 2018, 16:13 | Quote

    Remi

    Meanwhile, Al Lowe is auctioning off his Sierra memorabilia!


    It should be worth mentioning that he's selling the actual source code of the first two LSL games.

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