Double Fine has been showing off their PS4-exclusive, virtual reality Psychonauts "bridge game" at E3, so a number of previews have been springing up. Let's look at the one on Gamespot, which includes screenshots and a video clip of what appears to be the first five minutes of gameplay. Accompanying the media is an interview with Tim and project leader Chad Dawson.
I think it's really interesting you guys are developing Psychonauts 2 and Rhombus of Ruin simultaneously. I was curious about the extent to which those two have influenced each other, and how you're working on making them fit together, given that Rhombus of Ruin bridges the gap between the first and second full games.
Schafer: The main thing is that I've had a storyline for the whole experience in my head for ten years. Before Psychonauts had finished, I had this whole idea for what would happen in Psychonauts as Raz is delving into his past, his family, and the curse, and all these things. So in my head, it's one long, continuous story, and I'm working on both projects so I am able to make sure they all flow well together. But within that story structure, the Rhombus team can do things that make sense for VR and have it be really different in that way but still plug in the story beats.
Dawson: From a tech and visual development point of view, it's also been very useful for us. Rhombus of Ruin is coming out before Psychonauts 2, so obviously it accelerates our development to try to get that out. Seeing what the characters look like brought up to a modern engine with modern rendering, physically-based lighting, and subsurface scattering on their faces. Psychonauts 1 came out in, what was it? 2005? So obviously tech has improved a lot since then. We're using Unreal 4 Engine now as a studio, for both projects. With this game, we're pushing our character look development. That's been a great push for both projects, with our animation team and character team. Tech-wise getting us up and running. This is our first Unreal 4 project.
Read the rest of the interview here. And may I just say, the game looks great. I love how it opens up right where Psychonauts left off. Shame I don't have a console. But some of you look to be in for a treat.
You'll recall that the Fig campaign for Psychonauts 2 was an immense success, raising $3.8 million to produce the long-awaited sequel, currently due out in 2018. However, according to Polygon, Double Fine is unable to actually collect about $1.8 of that dough, for the moment.
You might be aware that the main thing distinguishing Fig from Kickstarter - and indeed its primary mission statement - is that it offers the option for backers to invest invest in the project (which means potential, eventual profit participation) along with the usual donation choice, which often gets you fun rewards.
However, allowing investments from unaccredited investors (like you or me) requires a review process with the SEC, a process Fig obviously intended to get through by now. The Psychonauts 2 campaign was the first of its kind in offering an investment opportunity from pretty much anybody, and I suppose when you're the vanguard you get to be the first to learn certain painful lessons like these delays.
Per the article, Fig is hopeful to have the matter resolved soon, though technically there's no guarantee that every backer who's been waiting these months for their money to get collected will hold to their commitment until the gates finally open. It'll likely all end the way everyone wants, but it will still have been another interesting challenge faced by Double Fine, a studio continuing to tighten its commitment to the constantly expanding landscape of game crowdsourcing, a landscape they played a pretty direct part in paving.
Before work began on the Day of the Tentacle remaster, Tim and Dave sat down and played through the original game in its entirety, equipped only with their memory. The result is fascinating, humorous, and three hours in length:
We have awful news to share today as audio veteran Jory Prum has passed away. Since 1999, Jory has been credited on innumerable titles published by LucasArts, Telltale, and Double Fine in a broad scope of sound design, recording, and engineering capacities.
Those of you who follow Jory's colleagues on Twitter may know that he was involved in a bad motorcycle accident last month from which he sadly did not recover. You can read the statement from his parents as well as heartfelt remembrances from some of his colleagues - including Julian Kwasneski - here. It appears to be one of many articles published in tribute of Jory today.
While we may not have known him personally, any reader of this site will be familiar with games to which Jory Prum made a vital contribution. It's hard to imagine titles where sound design could be less trivial than the sort he worked on while wearing any number of hats. The reason we celebrate the best of these games as timeless is because good stories endure, and Jory's work - far from merely a technical supplement - serviced those stories. Our condolences to his friends and family.
They'll also be selling merchandise at the show, including the Raz and Two Headed Baby Pinny Arcade pins, and a new special edition game bundle box. The bundle contains 10 games, with 10 game cards drawn Jon Magram and Melissa King. The game cards can be seen below (click to see them in a larger size).
I'll also be volunteering at the Double Fine booth at PAX East this weekend, so if you're at the show, come by and say hello. :)
Go explore DOTT Remastered to your heart's content:
Thank you, BennyBoy!
Well, tie me down and call me Betty—our Day of the Tentacle Remastered review was published in a timely manner, much thanks to Zaarin who buckled down and took one for the team. Yes, we’ve reached the point where playing a game ”on the clock” is considered something of a chore, which means we’re old and grumpy.
Not surprisingly Zaarin gives the game some love, and… Just read the damn thing. We bled to get this thing out on time.
The folks behind Kotaku's Split Screen podcast paid a visit to Double Fine's studio to gab with Tim about the remaster of Day of the Tentacle (reminder: March 22nd!) and various other things Double Fine. A text excerpt is available, if you're ridiculous. If you're not, go listen to the hour-long conversation.
Toward the end Tim gets asked a question many of us had, which is whether Double Fine has plans to pursue additional remasters after Full Throttle. His take is that the other LEC adventures should only get restored by their respective project leaders. But since Double Fine has established the all-important relationship with Disney, I'm thinking any Moriarty or Fox or Clark or Stemmle or Ackley or Ahern who might be interested may want to start by reaching out to the two-headed baby. Won't you, guys? For Mojo?
It's scheduled to be released on March 22, 2016. It will be released for PlayStation 4 and Vita as well.
At the time, [LucasArts] had an archive room. They had two full-time archivists, even in the floppy days. And there was a room full of drawers with floppy discs where the game wrapped, and even milestones in between, before the end, you would take it down to Wendy and—they're credited as being the "burning goddesses" in the credits—because they burned all the CDs. It was the burning room. They sat there burning CDs all day long. But, in the old days, there was a whole room, and two full-time positions of archiving stuff.
I feel like there was the feeling at LucasArts, because Lucas himself had that archive, the barn, and that's where all the LucasArts stuff is now, is in the barn at the ranch. So, there was that feeling of, take care of the artifacts of the thing that you're making, because you'll want them someday.
There will be a Day of the Devs lounge that, according to the GDC event schedule, will be held every day of the convention (from Monday March 14 to Friday March 18) from 10AM to 5PM PST.There will be 12 games shown off at this year's Day of the Devs:
- Below by Capy Games
- David OReilly Game 2 by David OReilly
- Headlander from Double Fine Productions
- Day of the Tentacle Remastered by Double Fine Productions
- SUPERHYPERCUBE by Kokoromi
- Return of the Obra Dinn by Lucas Pope
- Dreams by Media Molecule
- Bound from Plastic
- Hob by Runic Games
- ARENA GODS by Supertype
- Manifold Garden by William Chyr
- Severed by DrinkBox Studios
- Line Wobbler by Robin Baumgarten
- Rez Infinite by Monstars + Resonair
And it is Zak McClendon*, former Design Director at 2K Marin and Harmonix who's probably best known for his work on BioShock 2.
Will he successfully design a more challenging level than the Meat Circus, or will he utterly fail at his duties? Oh, let's not stress him out just yet. He deserves to enjoy the moment.
*Unfunny Zak McKracken pun removed at the discretion of the Mojo Quality Assessment Bureau.
They just can't get enough! This time out, Gamasutra chatted with Tim about Double Fine's continued success with raising money, as demonstrated recently by the (partially) crowdfunded Psychonauts 2: Benny Fideleo's Revenge. Read it because that's just a good habit.
If you're a smart little catfish you've probably been watching Double Fine's "Devs Play" on Youtube for some time now. While terrific, the series is not usually germane enough for us to highlight here on the incredibly crowded front page, but I really must acknowledge the latest episode, in which Tim asks Michel Ancel questions about Beyond Good & Evil while Double Fine producer Greg Rice plays said seminal masterpiece:
Tim Schafer as good at teasing out some great anecdotes from Ancel including that the famously polite Miyamoto was kind of a dick in his assessment of the game at E3, and how one of the game's hovercraft was modeled after the limo in Full Throttle. There's also a good story about a naked Italian man. Better than mine, anyhow.
For his part, Schafer draws a spiritual connection between the game and the Psychonauts franchise. And fails to coax out a release date for Beyond Good & Evil 2.
The good folks at Electric Playground paid a visit to Double Fine and played a whole bunch of Day of the Tentacle: Remastered while Tim talked about it. Oh, and it's on video:
|Adventure||Before or After April, '10|
|Autumn Moon||Before or After April, '10|
|Behind Mojo||Before or After April, '10|
|Community||Before or After April, '10|
|Console||Before or After April, '10|
|Crackpot||Before or After April, '10|
|Developer||Before or After April, '10|
|Double Fine||Before or After April, '10|
|Film and TV||Before or After April, '10|
|House of Mojo||Before or After April, '10|
|Irresponsible Games||Before or After April, '10|
|LFNetwork||Before or After April, '10|
|LucasArts||Before or After April, '10|
|Mac||Before or After April, '10|
|Miscellaneous||Before or After April, '10|
|MunkyFun||Before or After April, '10|
|Ron Gilbert||Before or After April, '10|
|Star Wars||Before or After April, '10|
|Telltale Games||Before or After April, '10|