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Although excerpts from it have been previously made available, the postmortem for Brütal Legend that appeared in the December issue of Game Developer magazine is now available in its entirety on Gamasutra. The comprehensive look back by executive producer Caroline Esmurdoc on what went right and wrong during the project's enormous production is more than worth the read you're going to be giving it.
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On the last day of the Game Developer's Conference Sean Vanaman (Telltale games writer), Rhianna Pratchett (daughter of Terry and writer of the Overlord games), and Tim Schafer (oh, you know him and not Sean Vanaman? Shame on you) chaired a panel on Comedy In Games. 1Up has a nice sum-up, along with some nice quotes. Of course Tim gets all the best ones.
Moderator: Either within the games world or outside it, what informs your comic sensibility when you're putting together a script or a game?

Tim: [long pause] Where are we stealing our ideas from?
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Not own Psychonauts? Shame on you. Not got it digitally and thought the recent Steam and GOG sales were still too expensive? Well, Steam still desperately wants you to buy it: until Thursday it's only £1/$2.

Now that's salesmanship.

Update by Kroms: Brutal Legend is going for a little over half of what its price was in October, a measly £17.99/$36.99.

Those who already own both Brutal and the PS3 game LittleBigPlanet should check out these out.
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Tim Schafer's latest video game Brutal Legend has been nominated in two categories at this year's GDC awards: Best Writing and Best Audio. Congratulations and good luck.

Those of you who were expecting Tales of Monkey Island to get any (and I mean any) nominations will be disappointed, as there are Pulitzer-worthy masterpieces like Halo 3: ODST to nominate for Best Writing instead.

Update: Brutal Legend has been nominated in five categories at the 13th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards (pdf): Strategy/Simulation Game of the Year, Outstanding Character Performance (for Eddie Riggs), Outstanding Achievement in Original Story, Outstanding Achievement in Soundtrack, and Outstanding Achievement in Game Direction. Congratulations, once again, and good luck: they've earned the nomination.

On the other hand, Tales has been snubbed again. This may or may not be due to the awards sucking. It's great they nominated Brutal Legend, but - unless they they hate good writing and extra drippings of fun but just have to nominate Schafer because of who he is - this a serious oversight.
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Double Fine News

Brutal Legend postmortem

03 Jan, 2010, 06:16 | Posted by: Kroms | Source: GameSetWatch | Comments: 2
The December issue of Game Developer magazine had a well written, very interesting and thorough postmortem on the development of Brutal Legend, penned by Caroline Esmurdoc, executive producer at Double Fine productions. GameSetWatch has printed large excerpts from the article and made them available to read.

Topics include the tacky method Activision used to inform Double Fine that they had dropped their game, mistakes made and how the developer plans to avoid them in the future, and how the lawsuit affected the game's development.

Thanks to GameSetWatch for publishing the excerpts, and to Caroline for writing the article. More of this kind of thing, please.

Update: When I originally posted this, I had to move it down a couple of stories for more immediate news. I'm pushing it back up, so that anyone who missed it at first gets a second chance to read it.
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Double Fine News

Editorial: Schafer Makes Games

30 Dec, 2009, 12:12 | Posted by: Gabez | Comments: 21
A few months ago a real games journalist suggested that Tim Schafer was wasted on games and should be a novelist or film director instead.

"Not wasted!" say we. Jason has more (article discovered scrawled onto a cave wall in Iceland... the search for the body continues).
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Ace Mojo news reporter Kroms has dug up this story on Wired, which announces that a new chunk of downloadable content for Brütal Legend, titled Hammer of Infinite Fate, will be available on both PlayStation 3 and XBOX 360 from December 17.

The new DLC will include a few extra achievements for players to quest after, several new outfits for Eddie Riggs, new paint jobs for his car the Deuce, and best of all, something called the "Oculus of the Lost," basically a GPS system for the Deuce which allows you to find hidden collectible items you haven't unlocked yet.

And for those who aren't afraid of some SPOILERS, the list of the new achievements is already online.
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Double Fine News

More Brütal DLC on the way

07 Dec, 2009, 16:38 | Posted by: The Tingler | Source: Eurogamer | Comments: 1
In an interview with GamePro (spotted by Eurogamer), Tim Schafer confirms that more DLC for Brütal Legend is on the way - both multiplayer and single-player, hopefully continuing the rather abrupt end to the story.

There's also Tim's explanation for the very late announcement of the game's strategy elements, Tim's major gaming influence on BL, and why Tim Curry played Doviculus. Obligatory second linkage!
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Double Fine News

Call Tim Schafer in, oh, two hours

18 Nov, 2009, 16:05 | Posted by: Kroms | Source: Kotaku | Comments: 1
Tim Schafer will be appearing on Kotaku Talk Radio in a little under two hours (or whatever this clock tells you when you click it). To quote:
We expect a high volume of calls during this show, so it's probably a good idea to start calling in to (347) 857-3782 the second we kick the show off at 1 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday. Remember, you can always use Skype to call a land line if you're international or local.
Good luck to everyone wanting to get a call in. Thanks to Giygas, who mentioned this ages ago, and Custard, who told me just now.
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Resident music (and poster) maestro Laserschwert has pointed out to me that the Brütal Legend Soundtrack is now available to download... but it's not the licensed song list, it's Peter McConnell's Original Score for the game, plus 'Girlfriend' by Kabbage Boy (yay!).

It's available from most versions of Amazon (UK, US, German) and is also in the iTunes Store.

It may be incomplete as it "only" seems to be 39 minutes long, but it's also only $8.99/£7.99, so I think you can afford that... can't you?

Update by Remster: For those of you already paying for eMusic, you can download it for 12 credits. A good deal for sure.
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Double Fine News

Fearfully Brütal Tees

12 Nov, 2009, 05:12 | Posted by: The Tingler | Source: Kotaku | Comments: 1
Double Fine are teaming up with the insane roadies at Mishka NYC to create a pair of Brütal Legend-themed T-shirts which are possibly the most awesome clothing-related things ever seen ever.

Look upon Mishka's works, ye mighty, and despair... for you can't buy them. They're for competition purposes only, with Kotaku (in the link) suggesting they'll be one of those offering them. The game's Twitter should also be another good place to look.

Don't bother entering though, Kroms will beat us all to them.
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So apparently there's this The Art of Brütal Legend coffee-table book, which is coming out in December if Amazon.com is to be believed.

Go get your pre-order on. Or wait for it to be released. The choice... is yours.

Thanks to elTee on IRC for the tip!
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Double Fine News

Ten year olds for sale, $10 each

05 Nov, 2009, 17:11 | Posted by: Kroms | Source: Eurogamer | Comments: 3
Good Old Games is now selling the PC version of the Most Excellent Game Psychonauts for a measly $9.99 (or £6). The game was Double Fine's first release, directed by Tim Schafer and written by Tim and Erik Wolpaw, Old Man Murray co-writer and future writer of Portal (their future, not ours).

Although, in order to maximize Double Fine money, you should try buying it from the Double Fine Shop, which is also selling signed copies of Brutal Legend.

Finally, I wanted to point you to this excellent interview Tim did with Tom Chick. I've linked to it before, and I'll link to it again: although, do beware of spoilers, since there's plenty of them even before the all-caps SPOILERS tag. I think I'll start doing something like that, now, when I put the warning labels on the inside of the pills bottles in my drug rehab volunteer work. Thanks, guys.
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Double Fine News

Tim Schafer shouldn't make another game (Updated)

03 Nov, 2009, 00:42 | Posted by: jp-30 | Source: Chud | Comments: 23
Alex Riviello at Chud loves Tim's stories, but hates his gameplay mechanics. He suggests Tim leave game developing behind and turn his talents to movies and/or novels.
No one ever plays a Schafer game for their rewarding and exciting gameplay but it seems like he's taking his work in a much more twitch-based direction, which unfortunately conflicts with his strengths as a writer of stories.
You can read it all right here. What do you think, are Tim's games as much fun to play as they are to unravel the story?

Update by Kroms: Yahtzee (from The Escapist) writes that Tim's worlds seem to be consistently great, but the gameplay, stretching all the way back to Day of the Tentacle, hasn't been. Tom Chick offers Tim some similar questions in this spectacular interview, and Tim responds. Beware that there are some serious Brutal Legend spoilers in there, even before the all-caps SPOILERS warning. I'm not kidding.
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It's been rumoured and teased for a while, but now we have confirmation: new downloadable content for Brütal Legend is coming, and it's coming November 3rd to both Xbox Live and PSN. Xbox Live owners seem to be getting slightly screwed however, as it will cost 400 MS points, whereas on PSN it'll be free until November 19th, when it becomes £3.99.
The Brütal Legend Tears of the Hextadon map pack expands the Brütal Legend Stage Battle multiplayer experience with two new multiplayer maps. In the first map, Circle of Tears, vile waters have carved a rough-hewn circular battlefield into a forsaken land that players must circumvent to destroy their opponent. In the second map, Death's Fjord, players find themselves on an icy mountain pass with a dense cluster of fans that lie below, waiting to be harvested by those brave enough to capture them without cover from enemy attack. All players who download the new map pack will receive a free axe, the Blade of Ormagöden.

“I play Brütal Legend online every night,” said Tim Schafer, President of Double Fine Productions. “And I need more maps! Circle of Tears is named after the crying of my vanquished foes on the battlefield, and Death’s Fjord is obviously a tribute to my Nordic ancestors, and their love of fan geysers and… Well, actually I just thought the name was cool. See you online!
Anyone got any good Heavy Metal-based puns on 'November'?
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After setting the late-night scene on fire Tim Schafer has now directed his ability to talk towards 1up's new podcast, 4 Guys 1 Up.

Tim joins the regular cast for a lengthy discussion about the gaming scene, with plenty of Brutal Legend thrown in too. Wondered how Double Fine came up with all those achievements for the game? It's been driving me crazy, and thanks to this podcast I now know. Tim also talks about his experiences of playing the Brutal multiplayer mode online, and shares his opinion on the recent remake of his first game, The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition, which he's been playing on his phone. (Guess which mode he prefers.)

The good news for fans of Brutal Legend is that some Heavy Metal DLC sounds possible, although of course nothing can be confirmed. For that we'll have to wait for an announcement on Twitter hyping up an announceme-- oh, wait, scratch that. Sometimes I forget he doesn't work for LucasArts anymore.

So download the podcast! I've not listened to the whole thing, so who knows what other gems are waiting to be found.

Update by Kroms: Tim Schafer interview on Fox News.
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Double Fine News

Brütal Legend... reviewed!

22 Oct, 2009, 23:45 | Posted by: Gabez | Comments: 12
Tim Schafer, of Full Throttle and Grim Fandango fame, recently released Brütal Legend, in an attempt to appease the rock gods of old.

In my experience, "rock and roll" is something one does in a quarry, and "heavy metal" is work for the blacksmith.

But who the dickens am I? Read what our "metalhead" rock expert elTee thought in his insightful review.
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So apparently there's this cartoon on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim called Metalocalypse, about the fictional metal band Dethklok. Well, turns out that in last night's episode a commercial aired last night, Eddie Riggs showed up in a cameo as the band's roadie, and demonstrated his awesome skills of asskickery in the process.

I mean, come on. If you were in a metal band, wouldn't you hire him?

(Thanks to PirateKing for the tip!)
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Double Fine News

Penny Arcade spanks Eddie Riggs

17 Oct, 2009, 01:27 | Posted by: jp-30 | Source: Penny Arcade | Comments: 18
Penny Arcade are less than impressed with the gameplay mechanics of Brütal Legend, and take Tim Schafer to task after he released a strategy guide for playing the game.
I love rhythm games, but I don't want to play a rhythm game while I'm playing an RTS while I'm playing a third person action game. In the middle of RTS battles, some basic commands require wyldde soloz to be rocked via a timing mechanism, which serves Brutal Legend's theme but not its gameplay, and that's the problem here in general. Brutal Legend is like a spoiled child, afforded every luxury, but grown wild in in the absence of discipline.
Read the whole rant here, and the Kotaku article that spawned it here.
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Hey, Europeans: Brutal Legend is out today. Go pick it up, and remember to ignore the reviews that bemoan the RTS elements, because, quite as my grandad used to say: Brutal Legend is not an RTS, dammit. (And what of it is an RTS rocks like Sabbath.)

You might be somewhat relieved to know that the game seems to be doing OK, sales-wise (not that it excuses you from buying it). It's second place on the preorders-disregarded sales chart for Xbox 360. Let's see if we can kick it up to first place, yeah?

Great job all around to EA's world class marketing department.

Last, here's Jimmy Kimmel's interview with Eddie Riggs, as well as four new Brutal Thoughts With Jack Black. They're a tad spoilerish, though, so be warned.
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