PC Gamer

Following the recent announcement of a crowdfunding campaign for Psychonauts 2, Double Fine and 2 Player Productions put out a three-part documentary about the origins of the original game. It s a lovely, candid look at how Tim Schafer and co. scraped together their first platformer without much of a clue how to pull it off. I ve yet to watch part three which just came out, but based on the previous installments it will be a fascinating combination of old footage from the game's development, other stuff from Double Fine s early years, and some hokey Tim-Schaferisms.

Rarely does the public get quite this sort of inside look at game development, particularly these days. A particular note of interest: Psychonauts was actually cancelled after leadership roles shifted at Microsoft, and some of their feedback said that the game might be too funny for a wide audience. Luckily, Double Fine finally secured a deal with Majesco to publish.

Watch the Psychonauts Retrospective: The Color of the Sky in Your World, parts 2 and 3 below.

PC Gamer

Psychonauts 2 was announced at The Game Awards today, albeit in a roundabout way. It's not officially guaranteed to happen yet, with a $3,300,000 crowdfunding campaign underway on Fig. But Fig will only provide one portion of the development funds. Double Fine will be providing a big portion of the funds themselves and an unnamed outside partner will be providing the remainder. 

The campaign page is live now, and is ticking up at a pretty quick rate. Rewards are doled out in tiers, similar to Kickstarter, and you can pick up the game, once/if it's completed, for $33 bucks. Donate enough to be an official investor, and you can pick up a piece of the profits.

Be sure to watch The PC Gamer Show next Tuesday, as we'll be talking to Tim Schafer himself. Join us as we try to take a peek into the industry veteran's mind about Double Fine's surprising endeavor. 

Watch the pitch video below.

PC Gamer
PC Gamer

It's been almost three years since Double Fine Productions released the alternate-history tower defense/shooter hybrid Iron Brigade on Steam. That's a long time to wait to release the game's first update, and yet here it is: Some bug fixes, some tweaks, and, most important of all, the end of Games for Windows Live.

There's actually a pretty good reason for the new update, in spite of the years-ago release date. Double Fine announced yesterday that it has acquired the rights to the property from original publisher Microsoft, and thus it will now be a self-published game. "The great thing about this change is that now there are no obstacles to us creating the best possible experience for players," Iron Brigade creator Brad Muir said. "We have fixed all known issues as well as provided a great matchmaking experience for multiplayer. Vlad and his Monovision Menace are on the move again! In the best possible way!"

Iron Brigade was originally released in 2011 for the Xbox 360 under the title Trenched, although the name was quickly changed to Iron Brigade after a pre-existing trademark for a tabletop wargame named Trench came to light. The PC version, which includes the Rise of the Martian Bear DLC, came out a year later.

If you're curious, now might be the time to give Iron Brigade a shot. To celebrate the update, Double Fine has put the game on sale for 80 percent off its regular price, dropping it to $3/ 2 on Steam until June 2.

PC Gamer

Nothing says “indie” quite like breaking down the walls of copyright and adding a bunch of characters from games you had no hand in making. And wouldn’t you know it, Gaijin Games is doing just that with their cardiovascular improvement simulator, BIT.TRIP Presents: Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien or "Runner 2" for those who need to work on their lung capacity.

Those who drop $3 for the “Good Friends Character Pack” will have access to Psychonauts’ Raz, Cave Story’s Quote, Machinarium’s Josef, Super Meat Boy’s Dr. Fetus, Portal 2’s Atlas (who’s Steam exclusive), Bit.Trip’s invisible Commander Video, and Spelunky's, er, Spelunky Guy.

We’re a little bummed that the DLC doesn’t offer new levels of some kind, but it’s hard to complain about anything when it’s a paltry $3, which, as developer Dant Rambo notes, is less than "a bag of hot dog chips." Still, here’s hoping we get some new levels to break in this new cast somewhere in the near future. In the meantime, why don't you watch these character introductions narrated by none other than Charles Martinet, aka, the voice of Mario. Yes, that Mario.
PC Gamer
steam trading cards

Just as promised, Steam Trading Cards is now live. The virtual cards can be earned by playing participating games on Steam, trading with other users, or buying on the Steam Marketplace. Complete a set to create a badge, earn rewards and XP, and level up. The user with the highest Steam level at the end of the year gets to high five Gabe Newell while announcing Half-Life 3. In space.

In other true facts, I'm already hearing from users playing the Steam marketplace to profit off the cards' initial popularity. One user I spoke to has been buying low and selling high to pad his Steam wallet, even creating scarcity by buying up low-value cards in quantity. I'll keep an eye on marketplace prices as more users start trading the collectibles.

I was hoping to find a good deal on a 1952 Mickey Mantle card, but unfortunately, baseball isn't a participating game. You can see which of the games you own are participating here.
Jun 26, 2013
PC Gamer

Brad Muir may be busy running Double Fine's latest Kickstarter, Massive Chalice, but he's still got time for his greatest vice: Dota 2. "I'm extremely addicted," he says. "I'm playing all of the Dota 2 I can handle!"

Name: Brad Muir
Occupation: Project Lead at Double Fine Productions on Massive Chalice
Location: San Francisco, CA
Twitter: MrMooEar

Who are you?

I'm Brad Muir! I'm a Project Lead at Double Fine Productions. I've been here for almost 10 years, working on games like Psychonauts, Brütal Legend, Iron Brigade, and now Massive Chalice.
"It boots and loads games so quickly it's ridiculous. I feel like I'm in the future."
What's in your PC?

I used to be really into building my own PC's but this time I around I had a good friend help me out. I just haven't been keeping up with hardware trends. But the rig that he spec'd out for me is about a year old and it's still a beast! Core i5 3570k, 8GB DDR3 RAM, GTX 580, 256GB SSD. It was such a major upgrade to my old rig!

What's the most interesting part of your setup?

I think it's a pretty normal setup. My PC is at a desk in the guest bedroom with a desk chair. There isn't really anything fancy about it. But I will say that upgrading to a PC with an SSD has been revelatory! I know that it's not uncommon nowadays, but the speed just hasn't worn off on me. It boots and loads games so quickly it's ridiculous. I feel like I'm in the future.

What’s on your desk?

It's so messy it's embarrassing! I keep a lot of stuff by my PC. There are a ton of books, Magic cards, and official-looking pieces of mail laying around that I should be dealing with. But mostly I'm just ignoring these things and playing Dota.
"Games were a great escape for me and let me really feel in control of what was happening in the world."
What are you playing right now?

Oh man I'm playing all of the Dota 2 I can handle! My younger brother roped me into the game and I'm extremely addicted right now. I'm definitely looking forward to The International 3 in Seattle in August! I've also been playing some Crusader Kings 2, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, and X-COM: UFO Defense (old school!) for MASSIVE CHALICE research! It's pretty awesome when these games are considered "research" for your job!

Why do you game?

When I was a kid I think it was all about having a safe space. Games were a great escape for me and let me really feel in control of what was happening in the world. Nowadays I think it's a lot different—games are a great way to socialize and keep in touch with my brother. And I think they're a great, interesting way to apply stress your brain in a positive way. I'm so excited that games are offering all sorts of diverse experiences these days. I'm loving the indie community—it's just great that you can have games like Kerbal Space Program and Cart Life in the Steam store next to Call of Duty. Amazing!

How I Game is a weekly spotlight of developers, pro gamers, and community members. Know someone who you’d like to see featured? Drop a comment below.
PC Gamer
humble double fine bundle amnesia fortnight

Amnesia Fortnight is how Double Fine turns creative people into games—everyone on staff is hit on the head with a brick or some other amnesia-inducing device and spends two weeks prototyping new ideas. It's how Costume Quest and Stacking were greenlit, and last year Double Fine introduced us to the process by letting us vote on concepts in its first Humble Bundle collaboration. Those prototypes, and a few more, are now available again through the current Humble Double Fine Bundle.

Along with Psychonauts, Costume Quest, Stacking, and Brütal Legend, beating the average price (currently $8.15) will now also get you Windows-only concept games Autonomous, Black Lake, Hack n’ Slash, Spacebase DF-9, The White Birch, Happy Song, Brazen, and the Costume Quest prototype.

Also added are the prototypes' soundtracks, as well as 2 Player Productions' Amnesia Fortnight 2012 Documentary, which was originally released as daily video updates during the two-week prototyping crunch. Check out the trailer below:

PC Gamer
humble double fine bundle

The launch of The Humble Double Fine Bundle means that for a limited time you can get Psychonauts for the low price of whatever you want. You'd be a psycho not to take that offer!

I'm so sorry about that, but it's true. And for whatever price you choose, you'll also get Costume Quest and Stacking. Pay more than the average ($8.29 at the time of writing) however, and Double Fine will throw in an extra umlaut in the form of Brütal Legend.

Pay $35 or more, and you'll get all the games plus a "slacker backer" pre-order of Double Fine's Kickstarted adventure game, Broken Age. The post-Kickstarter backing program grants you the following:

Access to making-of documentary episodes in HD
Access to private forums featuring concept art, development updates, team and backer discussions
Participation in the closed beta
A Steam code for the finished game on PC & Mac, or a DRM-free download on PC, Mac, or Linux

The bundle also features the Psychonauts and Brütal Legend soundtracks, and all games are available on Steam or as DRM-free downloads for Windows, Mac, and Linux. As always with Humble Bundles, you can partition your contribution any way you like to support Double Fine, charities, and the organizers, Humble Bundle, Inc.

Oh, and for a less-humble contribution—$75—you'll also get a classy Double Fine t-shirt. Unfortunately, the shirt is not available as a download, but worldwide shipping is included.
PC Gamer

We're a week away from the PC release of Brütal Legend. Three and a half years late, but considering true metal originates from the Edge of Time, that's not too bad. But it seems, just as we seem like we're reaching the end, our blood brothers at Double Fine might have more to give for the rocktastic franchise... and maybe even Psychonauts, while they're at it. In an interview with RPS, Tim Schafer hinted at some possible DLC, and didn't leave a full expansion out of the question.

“I think is the most plausible to me,” Schafer told Rock Paper Shotgun, in reference to new Brütal Legend content for the PC. “Because single-player requires content, which means reengaging all the voice actors—which is something that was a lot easier for EA to pay for. Also, reengaging music licensing. I’d love to do that too, but I think that would involve more funding than we have cash on hand to do.”

While DLC is all fine and dandy (and in a single instant, I lost all of the metal cred from the references earlier in the article), a full-blown sequel would rock even harder. Schafer says it could happen, but they're likely to look to their less blast-beat-driven franchise first.

"It’s been longer since Psychonauts and we wouldn’t have to do any music licensing,” he said. “So we could probably afford to do it more if we got some funding. I feel like a Brutal sequel would cost twice as much as Psychonauts. It’s easier to imagine Double Fine doing a sequel to Psychonauts. But for creative reasons, there’s no preference of one over the other.”

So there you have it. The eyes of the world are on Double Fine, and only time (what is time?) will tell what might emerge.

If you find all the metal references in this article, tweet at AsaTJ and I'll tell everyone how special you are.

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