Aug 2, 2013
Announcement - Valve
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.
Jun 26, 2013
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
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
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.
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:
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - email@example.com (Nathan Grayson)
“Double Fine?” someone somewhere has probably said at some point maybe. “Who do they think they are, claiming to be twice as fine as the rest of us? I’m no fool. I don’t believe it for a second.” But, Mr Somewhere, what if you’re wrong>? Then you’ll just look silly, your only solace coming in the fact that going off the grid in shame would be simple, given that you have the least Google-able name of all time. Clearly, the only solution to your conundrum is a test. You need to play most of Double Fine’s back catalog, but your gleaming shield of skepticism must be kept aloft. Buying these games full price would only create suspicion that you might harbor legitimate interest. We can’t have that. The solution? A new Humble Double Fine Bundle. It’s offering all of the laugh factory’s PC games except Iron Brigade on a pay-what-you-want basis, and a pre-purchase of Broken Age if you’re willing to part with $35. Exceedingly strange, vaguely arousing video after the break.
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.
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.
Shacknews - Steve Watts
Around this time last year, Psychonauts fans had reason to get excited after Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson suggested throwing a few (million) bucks in Double Fine's direction to make a sequel. Valentine's is a great time for breaking hearts, though, so it's only fitting that Persson recently dispelled that notion.
"I somewhat naively thought 'a couple of million' was two million," Persson said on Reddit (via VentureBeat). "I had no doubt in my mind that a Psychonauts 2 would earn that money back easily. Turns out they wanted 18 million dollars, haha. I don't have the time at the moment to even try to get educated enough to make an 18 million dollar deal. Perhaps in some distant future when I'm no longer trying to make games, I could get into angel investing. I've made one private investment into a game so far, at $100K, and it's frankly a lot more work than I thought."
The comment from Tim Schafer that kicked off the proceedings mentioned "a few million dollars," but Persson later reportedly said $13 million was a "can do" proposition. It may be disappointing, but it's hard to blame Persson for his hesitance. $18 million would be a large chunk out of almost anyone's budget, even at his 2012 earnings of more than $100 million.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - firstname.lastname@example.org (Alec Meer)
How we had hoped to see Pat Garratt enjoying a hearty feast of broiled denim and shallow-fried zipper, but it was not to be. The editor of VG247 last year swore to eat his own trousers in the event Minecraft man Markus ‘Notch’ Persson made good on his talk of funding a sequel to Double Fine’s Psychonauts. Alas, Persson has recently confessed that such a thing is not currently possible/desirable, as Double Fine’s estimated $18 million budget for the game was beyond even his mighty means (or, at least, what he considered to be a lucrative investment of his mighty means). (more…)