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Here’s what puzzles me. We’ve all been so terribly excited about Double Fine making a new point and click adventure game and potentially making Psychonauts 2 – as though the idea of getting games like that had hitherto been openly insane. And yet, on console, they’d already released Stacking, which is positively dripping in adventurey leftfield puzzles and Psychonautsy surreal-slapstick humour. So, before we get entirely wrapped up in crying for more, let’s celebrate lovely Stacking, which arrived suddenly on Steam just a few days ago. (more…)
Hello, you. I thought you’d like to know that Stacking is out on Steam. Stacking is Double Fine’s puzzley adventure based on nesting dolls. It’s proper lovely. There’s even “money off” until the 13th. But should you buy it? There’s no demo! Well I played a couple of hours of it on the console box, and it was okay – but don’t take my back-handed recommendation as your guide, instead, look into your heart>, and if there is only a clown’s face in there, staring silently back at you, wait for Alec’s Wot I Think, which should turn up later this week.
In the second part of our interview with Double Fine‘s Tim Schafer (the first part is here), we get to talking about the nature of the adventure game, and reflect on some of Schafer’s defining classics from the 90s, Day Of The Tentacle, Full Throttle and Grim Fandango, to consider what lessons they offer for today, the reasons for avoiding 3D altogether, and I almost trick him into making a sequel to Day Of The Tentacle.>
Industry legend Tim “Industry Legend” Schafer has been at the front of gaming news for the last couple of weeks. After the twitterstorm that followed Notch’s somewhat speculative offer to fund Psychonauts 2 came the record-breaking Kickstarter project, that saw Schafer’s company, Double Fine, raise over $2 million in a fortnight. I spoke to him over the weekend to find out how the process has been, what the intentions are for a new 2D adventure, to reflect on the classic adventures of the 90s, and to see if there were any other dream projects he has left. In the first part of this two-part interview we discuss the reactions to the Kickstarter, the role dads play in playing adventures, and where things are with Psychonauts 2. Tomorrow we’ll go into the lessons learned from Schafer’s previous adventures, memories of Day Of The Tentacle, Full Throttle and Grim Fandango, and how that will affect design today.>
With all the recent brouhaha over Tim Schafer, from his raising $1.75m in four days, to the suggestion that Notch might fund a Psychonauts sequel, it was unavoidable that I’d replay Psychonauts. The astonishing game is in my all-time top 10, and makes me want to hug the planet and have them see. When I’m done with the play through I’ll not be able to stop myself writing about it, but at this convenient midpoint I thought I’d pause to share the joy with you in the form of 38 screenshots. I implore you to buy Psychonauts. If you’ve never played it, it’s so much more than you could be expecting. It’s on Steam for £6 and Good Old Games for $10. Just look.
We don’t usually allow RPS headlines to run onto a second line, but this is a very special case indeed. During idle Twitter discussions about the whys and wherefores of a possible Mojang-funded Psychonauts sequel, I heard that the first game had cost $15 million to develop and that Tim Schafer was estimating a $20m cost for a sequel.
Clearly, these eyewatering figures cast some doubt on Mojang being able to successfully (or at least wholly) fund the game. So much so that VG247 editor, friend of RPS and entertainingly relentless cynic Pat Garratt has pledged to me – and now to the public – that he will eat his own trousers, on camera, in the event that a Mojang-funded Psychonauts 2 comes to pass. (more…)
We mentioned earlier that Tim Schafer would love to make a Pyschonauts 2, but can’t get the funding. Well, Minecraft creator Markus “Notch” Persson spotted our story and suggested to Schafer that they should work together to make it happen>. Multimillionaire Persson clearly has the funds to do this, and everyone in the world with their brain in the right place wants to see a sequel to one of the most joyful games of all time, so this is a thing that might actually happen.
Clearly at the moment this is a tweeted offer, not a signed contract, but it’s a massively exciting one. Tim, say yes!
Update: Minecraft-master Markus ‘Notch’ Persson has been publicly trying to get Tim Schafer’s attention today, saying “Let’s make Psychonauts 2 happen” and confirming to us that he’s serious. Who knows what, if anything, will come of this – but how exciting, eh?
Ah, the fine art of reporting on non-events: not news as such, but they make us go all misty-eyed and slightly sad. In this case, it’s Double Fine’s Tim Schafer revealing that he would gladly make another Psychonauts game, but no-one will give the studio the money they need for it. Aaaaaaaaaaaargh! (more…)
This year has been unusually rich in the kind of game that I most enjoy: those that are open-ended, or provide a sandbox world for me to mess about in. We usually get a couple of these every year, but in 2011 we seem to have run into a minor bounty of the open stuff, which is good news for explorers and meanderers alike. I’ve gone into a bit more detail about why this pleases me below. >
After far too long a hiatus, Double Fine Productions unexpectedly returned to PC last week, releasing their year-old, Halloween-themed RPG Costume Quest on Steam. Hopefully the rest of their games will follow, but in the meantime here’s what I made of their dress-up duff ‘em up. >
There aren’t enough costumes! Then again, any number of additional costumes probably still wouldn’t have been enough to dissuade me from using the very first one, the winged, rocket-lobbing robot suit, over and over again. Maybe it’s because it looks a bit like Thundercracker from Transformers, or maybe it’s just because I’m a boy. Boys like machines and violence, girls like pink and unicorns. Those are the rules. (Apart from when they’re not.) Costume Quest does, after all, play unashamedly to the child in us: it’s a celebration of the goofy cheesiness of American Halloween, admirably managing to keep cynicism out while never falling prey to mawkishness. (more…)