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.
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.
"Let's make Psychonauts 2 happen" said Notch a few weeks ago. Yesterday, he offered Tim Schafer 13 million to fund the anticipated sequel, before clarifying his intent. Later in the day, he posted confirmed details on his personal blog.
Even though Notch mentions he and Tim "haven't spoken much," he confirms the high profile pair are planning on meeting at GDC, which happens in a few weeks. He also mentions that the 13 million quoted by Tim was "three times higher" than his original estimate, but that he's still up for fronting the cash. The Minecraft dev says he would be operating purely as an investor, saying "I wouldn't want to have any creative input."
"I have NO idea if this is actually going to happen, he clarifies. "The kickstarter stuff obviously changes the playing field a lot. Investing that incredibly high amount of money also requires a lot of planing and discussion, and I’ve never done anything like that before, but I do have contacts and advisors to help me out.
"All I know is that IF the numbers work out and IF they still want to do it and IF they don’t decide to self fund a sequel by doing more crowd funding (which is honestly what I would’ve done if I were them), I would be most interested in doing this type of investment," he continued.
Then Notch got a little angrier: "Point is, stop hyping over this, internet! You’re going to scare me into doing things secretly instead of being open and transparent via twitter. I am incredibly scared of the very real risk of people feeling let down just because I took a chance at something that doesn’t end up panning out."
He signed off by hinting at a future where his quotes feature less prominently in news feeds: "I realize you won’t stop hyping, so I’ll just go into hiding for a few years if it falls through."
It's not a definite confirmation then, but close enough. Until then, don't believe the hype (unless posted by Notch or Tim). Then you can hype all you like. We'll have more on Psychonauts 2 as soon as it's confirmed.
Feb 15, 2012
This fan made film, Inceptionauts, was used by Tim Schafer in meetings with publishers to try and sell the idea of a sequel to Psychonauts. "It's better than any trailer we ever had for the game" Tim Schafer said to Kotaku. But it wasn't enough to persuade any businesses to part with their money, until Notch went onto Twitter last week with a simple message. "Let's make Psychonauts 2 happen."
"I feel like I was being proposed to on the jumbotron at the baseball game." says Schafer, but an offer on Twitter is one thing, a publishing deal is another. A sequel would need to at least match the budget of the original, which cost around $13 million to make. Schafer told Notch how much cash he might need to front production. "As soon as I mentioned the amount of money he said, 'Yeah, I can do that.'"
It's still not a done deal, there are private negotiations happening between Mojang and Double Fine. From a cold numbers perspective, a follow up to Psychonauts is a bit of a risk. Schafer told Kotaku that the original sold just 400,000 copies initially. "It wasn't enough for us to make money," Schafer admits, but since then sales on Good Old Games and Steam have gone extremely well. One of those Steam sales pushed Psychonauts ahead of Call of Duty in revenue earned that day.
Schafer also mentions that Double Fine have had a sequel in mind from the beginning. "We had a lot of plot elements that were backstory in that game that we planned on revisiting in the future and tying it back in," Schafer said. "We had a longer story arc planned for those characters." He's being coy about specifics, though he says that there are "ideas to take them to a more international setting."
Double Fine have been having a few funding adventures recently. Their kickstarter campaign to support development of a new adventure game currently has $1.7 million in donations.
Is there any bigger darling on the internet than Tim Schafer and Double Fine right now? After all, you guys forked over north of a million bucks just to see the man revisit the point-and-click adventure genre, a wonderful little gaming niche where bigwig publishers fear to tread.
Related to that, late last year our very own Logan Decker sat down with Tim (and Double Fine's mysterious millionaire/heroic partner, Steven Dengler) to talk about the uphill battle involved in simply porting games like Costume Quest and Psychonauts. Have a watch.
Did you love Psychonauts? Have you often wished for a sequel that would continue Raz' adventures? You're not alone. Psychonauts creator, Tim Schafer mentions to Digital Spy that he's pitched Psychonauts 2 several times to different publishers, but "no-one has taken the bait so far."
"I'd love to do that game," he says. "But I'd have to convince someone to just give me a few million dollars, that's all."
A few million dollars? If only there were some sort of successful indie developer. One who loved the original, someone with the kind of dosh to prop up development on a sequel. Perhaps someone with a nice hat and a name that rhymes with "scotch."
Enter Notch. After reading about Schafer's attempts to nab funding for Psychonauts 2, he put forward an offer of his own on Twitter. "Let's make Psychonauts 2 happen, adding later in a tweet to RPS, "I'm serious."
Tim Schafer hasn't responded yet. He's probably in bed, and it's just an offer for now, but what a great story it would be to see Mojang funding a second game in the much-loved Psychonauts universe.
Sep 30, 2011
A surprise Steam update for the wonderful Psychonauts has arrived, adding Steam achievements and cloud saves. The update also tweaks the criminally annoying Meat Circus section that had players tiptoeing along tightropes a hundred feet off the ground, having to start again with every fall. It was the worst part of an otherwise fantastic game. It will also be ported over to Macs, if you're into that sort of thing.
Psychonauts was the last title from Tim Schafer's Double Fine studio before they stopped making games for the PC. That makes us sad. But as last memories are rarely as funny and bizarre as Psychonauts' mental worlds.
You play as Raz, a boy with a talent for telekinesis who enrols in the Whispering Rock Psychic Summer Camp to develop his psychic powers. Then the camp is attacked, and someone starts stealing everyone's brains. You have to dive into different minds to discover the culprit, exploring wildly different mental landscapes that reflect the personality of the character you're invading. One level takes place in a twisted version of suburbia, in the mind of a paranoid man who thinks everyone's out to get him. In another, you're a giant stomping monster, terrorizing a city full of terrified fish. It's hilarious, inventive, and just £5.99 / $9.99 on Steam.