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Tim vows to please the Japanese 08 Sep, 2019 / 3 comments

Over at PAX West, a thing which was going on last week, Double Fine was on hand to show off Psychonauts 2. Judging by this preview on Shacknews, Double Fine was giving the same demo they were giving back at E3, resulting in said preview offering exactly zilch in the new information department.

But despite the fact that Shacknews has let all of you down in a very personal way, PAX West wasn't a washout. That's because those stalkers at Destructoid chased Tim all around the expo until he "consented" to be interviewed at length. With a gun pressed against his cheek, Tim talks about all sorts of juicy stuff, like the fact the Microsoft acquisition is still an ongoing affair, the unclear fate of Double Fine's publishing arm, hints about the studio's post-Psychonauts 2 project, and how he really feels about virtual reality, now that the cameras are off and Rhombus of Ruin is Old News. And then there's this observation:

I love the Switch, and a lot of people at Double Fine are huge Nintendo fans and I think we always have been and will be. Early on in my career, Super Mario 64 was obviously very influential for me. And it always felt weird that I feel like I just cannot sell a game in Japan. Japanese games people would come to visit at LucasArts and they would look at Grim Fandango and they'd be like "Are these characters done?" One of them actually said that. I was like "Yeah, that's the final art," and he was like "They don't have skin." I always thought that we had very Japanese sensibility in our love of design and love of character. But, I guess our taste and aesthetic are more American than I realized. Some day we'll have a game that Japanese people will like.

Why do you resist Tim, Japan? Why have you not read the full interview, everyone else?

3 Comments

  • Avatar
    Call me Squinky on 09 Sep, 2019, 13:40…
    I get that he was being pressured by the publishers, but i still feel like claiming he was excited about designing for VR when he really wasn't was kind of disingenuous (and i remember thinking at the time that it was weird that the first Psychonauts game in like 15 years was VR only, even with the sequel coming up). Even if there is publisher influence, saying you want your game to be in a specific medium only to later say you really didn't seems to be misinterpreting the situation a bit to the fans. Hopefully now that he has the funding/the whole "ms won't interfere" thing is true and he won't have to worry anymore about tailoring the project too much - other than having to stick to Xbox exclusivity sometimes, i guess.
  • Avatar
    Melancholick on 08 Sep, 2019, 21:43…

    Kroms

    That's funny. As someone whose entire experience of the US comes from books, movies, American friends, etc., I've always found Double Fine *especially* to be very American, very West Coast. Even "Costume Quest" felt that way.



    That's fascinating, especially given that I think CQ would be considered a kind of quintessential mashup of East Coast/Midwestern Halloween culture. The carnival and corn maze, combined with the country-fried neighborhood celebrations... you do see some of that in the Pacific Northwest, but it always "read" as a lovely cherry-picking of the holiday at large.

    Of course, that said: I can't quantify *why* a game like Headlander does feel like it's embedded in American West Coast culture, but it is absolutely that.

  • Avatar
    Kroms on 08 Sep, 2019, 08:46…
    That's funny. As someone whose entire experience of the US comes from books, movies, American friends, etc., I've always found Double Fine *especially* to be very American, very West Coast. Even "Costume Quest" felt that way.

    Great interview. I've not been keeping up with Double Fine and now there's suddenly a whole slew of interesting stuff to play. Lucky me.

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