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PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Humble Indie Bundle 5 launches, contains Psychonauts, LIMBO, Bastion and more">Humble Bundle 5 thumb



Quick question, what's the biggest name game you've ever seen in a Humble Bundle? Whatever you answered, you are now wrong, because the Humble Indie Bundle 5 dwarfs all those that came before it. Previous bundles have usually included a single household name like Braid, World of Goo or Super Meat Boy, backed up by several other smaller (but nonetheless excellent) indie efforts. Humble Bundle 5 on the other hand delivers indie darlings LIMBO and Bastion, awesome survival horror Amnesia: The Dark Descent, recent hit Sword & Sworcery and Psychonauts. Yes that's Tim Schafer's Psychonauts. You may now gasp in excitement.



Considering Psychonauts was published by THQ and cost $13 million to make, it might just be the least 'indie' game ever to be included in the Humble Bundle, but that doesn't make the deal any less fantastic. Any one of these games could headline a bundle by itself, the combination of all five of them together might just represent the best deal in gaming. You can buy the bundle at the Humble Indie Bundle website. You'll have to beat the average price to obtain Bastion, but believe me, it's well worth it.



Here's a trailer for the bundle, including a personal message from Tim Schafer himself.







If you want to know more about the bundled games you can check out our Limbo review, our Bastion review or our Amnesia review.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (John Walker)

Tis it a dream?

There’s a new Humble Bundle, wouldn’t you believe it. And blimey, it’s a good-un. I’m not in charge of deciding what’s best, but this looks to me like one of the best bundles I’ve ever seen. Just look at this list: Amnesia, Limbo, Sword & Sworcery, Bastion, and Psychonauts. Seriously. And it has an absolutely brilliant video to promote it.

(more…)

Kotaku





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Even by Humble Bundle standards, the Humble Bundle V contains some fantastic-ass games. Lookit that! Wow. They're all so great, in fact, that I'd be surprised if you haven't played pretty much all of them.



But still: Pay whatever you want for the terrifying and amazing Amnesia: Dark Descent, the hilarious and wildly creative Psychonauts, the dark and clever Limbo, and the lovely and incredibly soundtracked Sworcery, with freakin' Bastion thrown in as a bonus if you beat the average bid.



If you don't own even two of those games, this is a bargain… this is like, a great games all-star jam or something. The trailer above does a pretty good job of summing it up.



Perhaps best of all, all of the games come with their soundtracks, each of which is fantastic and two of which made last year's Best Game Music of 2011.



So: You probably have these games. Heck, you may play them regularly. But on the off chance that you don't, here's your chance go catch 'em all.



The Humble Indie Bundle V [Official Page]


Shacknews - Alice O'Connor

If you've been suffering indie game bundle fatigue, now that a new one launches almost every week, the latest Humble Bundle should perk you right back up. The 'pay what you want' Humble Indie Bundle V packs Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Limbo, Psychonauts, and Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP, plus, if you pay more than the average price, you get Bastion too.

Head on over to Humble Bundle to slap down whatever you fancy paying, dividing it up as you please between the developers, charities, and organizer. As ever, the games come for PC, Mac and Linux, and are available as DRM-free direct downloads with bonus Steam keys. Oh, and you get their soundtracks too.

Now, sadly the customary Humble Bundle rapping is absent from HIB V's trailer, but maybe the Bastion narrator and Tim Schafer will make up for that:

May 25, 2012
Product Update - Valve
This patch lets you toggle the film projector effects in cutscenes and the in-game vignetting. These still default to on, but some players have asked for a way to turn them off. You can find the new options in the graphics settings page.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Are Pixar making Grim Fandango and Psychonauts movies? No.">Grim Fandango Pixar



Yesterday, Pixar announced a batch of new movies at CinemaCon 2012, including one based around the Dia de los Muertos - the Mexican day of the dead festivities that also inspired Grim Fandango. At the same event, John Lasseter gave a release date to a previously announced project currently called The Untitled Pixar Movie that Takes You Inside the Mind - June 19, 2015. Twitter is now afluster with pre-emptive reports that these are Grim Fandango and Psychonauts movies, but sadly the facts don't match up.



John Lasseter discussed the mind movie on the Charlie show Rose last December, and said it "takes place inside of a girl’s mind, and it is about her emotions as characters." Being set inside a single mind doesn't have much to do with the concept of Psychonauts, the point of which is to jump in and out of different people's psyches.



They've siad less about the day of the dead movie, but I'm afraid what they have said will interrupt any presumptive fandango: AceShowBiz report "Pixar confirmed that it will be an original story and not be based on any previous source material".



It would have been a hell of a thing to see. The good news is, it probably will be anyway.
Kotaku

Video Games Should Be Funnier, Says Tim SchaferTim Schafer wants more video games to make you laugh. The legendary designer behind Grim Fandango and Day of the Tentacle thinks comedy is necessary and not enough games are doing it right. Or even trying.



Speaking to some two hundred people at the NYU Game Center Thursday night, Schafer shared his thoughts on the current state of the gaming industry, discussing the nature of adventure games, his personal favorite titles, and that one important tool that many developers fail to use: humor.



If you go and ask a game development team why they're not making funny games, the Psychonauts creator said, half-joking, they'd say it's because nobody's made one that sold very much. "Comedy's really scary," he said. But it's also really necessary.



"If the game is not funny, you're missing something," Schafer said, telling the crowd how he used comedy as a tool to solve problems in The Secret of Monkey Island. While working as a programmer/writer for developer Lucasfilm, Schafer was tasked with writing the scene where protagonist Guybrush Threepwood and Governor Elaine Marley meet on the beach and fall in love. In five lines.



"You can't write a serious scene that has a pirate and a governor fall in love in five lines," Schafer said. "Humor is a tool to cover up the fact that this is not a solvable problem."



So he wrote the scene as if it were a joke, peppering the dialogue with terms like "honey pumpkin" and "plunder bunny." Without that humor, it wouldn't have worked. But by playing it up to absurd proportions, Schafer was able to throw logic under the rug and leave players laughing instead of scratching their heads.



Schafer, who has made headlines recently for his monumentally successful bout with crowdfunding site Kickstarter, didn't give any specifics on his new $3.4 million point-and-click adventure game, though he did assure the crowd that it will be in 2D (because it's cheaper). He promised that it would be true to the nature of adventure games, as nostalgic Kickstarter backers might demand. But it will also have new ideas, he added—because "people like to be surprised."



And—like all of Schafer-helmed studio Double Fine's projects—the upcoming crowdfunded adventure game will aim to be funny.



"If you don't have anything funny to say about a situation, the player will realize something's fake," Schafer said, bringing up the oft-cited pot-smashing of Zelda games, in which you can destroy and steal from peoples' homes with reckless abandon. When those townspeople don't react, the illusion is broken. Suddenly you realize that you're playing a video game.



Video Games Should Be Funnier, Says Tim SchaferSpeaking at the NYU Game Center in Manhattan last night, Tim Schafer showed off a prototype for a cancelled Double Fine game that used emotions like anger and fear as puzzle-solving tools.

Maybe that's why Schafer has fallen in love with what he calls "wacky Japanese games"—titles like Katamari Damacy, LocoRoco, and Okami. Even when they're melodramatic, those types of games still never seem to take themselves too seriously. And they're atmospheric, Schafer points out. They're packed with emotions.



"Those things that the King of All Cosmos says are just so crazy," Schafer said, referring to the planet-sized Katamari character.



Last year, Schafer and his team developed a prototype for a narrative-heavy game that was quite literally driven by emotions. Instead of using verbs or commands to solve puzzles in the Kinect-controlled adventure game, players would use gestures to manipulate characters' feelings, forcing them into emotions like fear, anger, and love. The publisher backed out after the final prototype, so we'll probably never see that game, Schafer said.



One fan asked Schafer what he thought of the Mass Effect 3 ending controversy. Though the designer said he hasn't paid much attention for fear of spoilers—he still hasn't even beaten Mass Effect 2—he mused that he "always winds up defending the author" in situations like this.



"Games aren't made by an autonomous robot," Schafer said, "they're made by people. And those people have a point of view on the world and that's interesting. Connecting with those people is what makes art art for me."



Another crowd member asked if Schafer was worried about that sort of fan pressure now that he has 87,139 backers to worry about. Does the thought of living up to all of those expectations stress him out?



"It's not that stressful to get a whole bunch of money all of a sudden," Schafter said. "It's kind of relaxing."


Mar 22, 2012
Product Update - Valve
This patch adds an option to adjust the field-of-view (FOV). There’s now a slider in the camera settings (under Help & Options… Settings… Camera) that adjusts the FOV anywhere from 40 degrees to 120 degrees.

The patch also increases the size of a memory buffer that was causing some out-of-memory crashes for a few players.
Mar 20, 2012
Product Update - Valve
This patch fixes the following issues with Stacking:

- Fixes the missing geometry issue in the Secret Hideout and Top Hat
Lounge rooms
- Increases audio memory to fix sound drop outs
- Fixes several issues with the controller remapping screen
- Camera settings page now works with both the mouse and gamepad
- Correctly debounces the escape key when pulling up the options menu
Eurogamer


Longevity is a rare commodity in the gaming business. A title comes out, it takes up a two-month residency on a store's chart rack or splash page - if it's lucky - and is then put out to pasture in the used section. To the casual consumer, it's often easy to forget a game ever existed within six months of its launch.


While times are changing thanks to the galloping onset of the digital revolution, this was never more true than it was back in 2005 when Double Fine's eccentric debut Psychonauts arrived on shelves. Despite a rapturous welcome from critics and Schafer fans alike, it famously flopped at retail, nearly dragging both developer and publisher Majesco down with it.


However, since then its cult has slowly grown and grown, fed by word of mouth and the careful custodianship of its creators. Today, the game is arguably more visible than it has ever been, with its followers devouring the merest hint that a sequel might one day get a green-light. That clamour reached fever pitch last month when deep-pocketed indie talisman Markus 'Notch' Persson popped up on Twitter with an offer to bankroll a follow-up.


As we found out when we met up with creator Tim Schafer at Double Fine's San Francisco HQ earlier this month, the story of the game's troubled development and subsequent trek into cult classic territory is almost as engaging and unexpected as the off-the-wall brain-surfing adventures of psychic sprog Raz that the game itself depicts.

'The Cult of Psychonauts' Screenshot 1

Tim Schafer.


The germ of the idea that would one day blossom into Psychonauts was first sown while Schafer was still working at LucasArts, where he was partly responsible for the studio's purple patch of classic adventure games - from Maniac Mansion and Monkey Island, to Full Throttle and Grim Fandango.


Schafer recalls speculatively pitching a concept for a spy game to LucasArt's top brass. "You were going to meditate on objects and that meditation was going to be this vision quest that you went on in your head to figure out clues, and that's how you're going to solve puzzles," he recalls.


Its subsequent transformation into the game we know today was actually a result of a water-cooler misunderstanding with a colleague.


"I remember talking to someone in the hallway - they were like, 'I heard about that game where you go into other people's heads. Tell me more about that'. I was like, 'No, you don't go into other people's heads, you go into... wait a second'.


"It was him misunderstanding my pitch, but it actually sounded like a much better idea."


The concept was then put on ice for a few years while Schafer wound up his stint at Lucas. Frustrated that he had no ownership of the games that he felt creatively entwined with and tiring of the company's conservative corporate culture, Schafer upped sticks and set up Double Fine back in 2000.

...

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