Double Fine Productions Tagged Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Double Fine Productions RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Fig Passes SEC Review; Psychonauts 2 Will Receive Full Funding https://www.gameskinny.com/vx10w/fig-passes-sec-review-psychonauts-2-will-receive-full-funding https://www.gameskinny.com/vx10w/fig-passes-sec-review-psychonauts-2-will-receive-full-funding Fri, 07 Oct 2016 00:24:42 -0400 Greyson Ditzler

Tim Schafer of Double Fine Productions has confirmed that the crowdfunding website Fig has finally passed it's extensive review by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), meaning that Psychonauts 2 will finally receive the full funding put in by unaccredited investors.

While Psychonauts 2 had a very successful crowdfunding campaign, raising over 3.8 million dollars by the end of it, it was not able to collect all of the money it raised for quite some time due to a required investigation by the SEC. Fig.co gives backers not just the option to traditionally back a game, but also the option to invest in a game's stock, and see a small return of the game's eventual profits.

Given the loose nature of crowdfunding liability for both backers and creators, as well as the strange and new nature of Fig's idea, the SEC review took several months. But after a long period of borderline silence on the matter from Double Fine Productions, the news is finally out, all money can now be collected, and the guaranteed development process of Psychonauts 2 is public knowledge. Those still interested in investing in the game can still do by going to it's official Fig.co campaign page.

Schafer confirmed this in a recent update video on Double Fine Production's official YouTube channel. This announcement was then followed up on in the same video with both Tim Schafer and Psychonauts 2 project lead Zac McClendon briefly showing off an early prototype of the game, for those interested. They've also released a documentary video covering the period at Double Fine just before the game's campaign launch, as well as during the launch, for those interested in double-checking their work. 

While it isn't very telling of the game's content, you can watch the original announcement trailer for Psychonauts 2, down below:

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Psychonauts 2 crowdfunding is over and Tim Schafer reveals details about the story https://www.gameskinny.com/mgvk3/psychonauts-2-crowdfunding-is-over-and-tim-schafer-reveals-details-about-the-story https://www.gameskinny.com/mgvk3/psychonauts-2-crowdfunding-is-over-and-tim-schafer-reveals-details-about-the-story Wed, 13 Jan 2016 09:32:26 -0500 Douglas A. Skinner

Double Fine has met and passed its goal of $3,300,000 with a total of $3,829,024 as of January 12th at 3pm. The studio celebrated on Twitch with some talk about the history of Psychonauts.

Psychonauts 2 was announced at The Game Awards last year and takes place mere hours after the first game. In Tim Schafer's Ask Me Anything! thread on Reddit, Schafer shares some of the story with fans. 

"In Psychonauts 2, Raz will finally get to go to Psychonauts headquarters--his lifelong dream. There he can see Sasha and Milla in their natural environment--international espionage. But he finds several things strange about the organization."

During the time of Truman Zanotto's absence (he was kidnapped) multiple changes to the organization took place by his second in command including financial cuts to research, fringe endeavors, and practices of necromancy. It is here that our hero Raz will deal with double agents, evils of the past, problems of his own regarding his family's curse, and girl troubles. 

(Psychonauts 2 concept art)

In an earlier interview with GameSpot, Tim says that there will be a game before the sequel. The standalone title called Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin was previously announced during PlayStation Experience 2015, it will be directly after the first and before the second on PlayStation VR.  

This title (SPOILER ALERT!) takes place at the end of the first game where Raz is just about to leave camp with his father when word of the Grand Head of the Psychonauts, Truman Zanotto, has been kidnapped. Raz and friends fly off in the Psychonauts jet to rescue him. 

Psychonauts 2 release window is Fall 2018 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PC.

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Psychonauts 2 has met crowdfunding goal with over 20k backers https://www.gameskinny.com/ud17q/psychonauts-2-has-met-crowdfunding-goal-with-over-20k-backers https://www.gameskinny.com/ud17q/psychonauts-2-has-met-crowdfunding-goal-with-over-20k-backers Thu, 07 Jan 2016 06:34:32 -0500 Jeff D_7921

Psychonauts 2 is now 100% funded per the fig crowd-funding page. With five days still remaining, the game has raised just over $3,332,738 and received 20,426 backers. The following statement was posted on developer Double Fine's fig page. 

"Holy smokes! We did it you guys! Psychonauts 2 is now fully funded! We want to thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for making this possible. We've wanted to make this game for a long time, and now we finally can! So thank you, thank you, thank you!"

Psychonauts 2 was announced back in December 2015 at the Game Awards Show. Within one day the game had already received half of its funding.

The sequel to the 2005 action platformer sought Fig crowd-funding which is different than traditional Kickstarter projects. One of the main differences is that under the Fig crowd-funding resource, people are able to become investors in the project instead of simple donations. 

Back in 2005, the original Psychonauts was a pleasant surprise, winning several awards such as Game of the Year on eurogamer.net. Mixing platforming with action-adventure, sprinkled in with psychic powers led to an addictive, unique experience.

Director Tim Schaefer, who was known for previous titles such as Grim Fandango, had main character Raz going into people's minds for the worlds instead of physically traveling to locales. To this day, my favorite game world is still the milkman conspiracy level.

Overall, I am beyond excited for Psychonauts 2. One of my favorite games from my early childhood is finally getting a sequel and I cannot wait to see what surprises Tim Schaefer has in store for us! 

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Game Industry Misbehaving Series: Steam Early Access, Fraudulent or Truthful? https://www.gameskinny.com/pjdnj/game-industry-misbehaving-series-steam-early-access-fraudulent-or-truthful https://www.gameskinny.com/pjdnj/game-industry-misbehaving-series-steam-early-access-fraudulent-or-truthful Wed, 26 Feb 2014 03:30:47 -0500 Pierre Fouquet

Does the Early Access program steal your money, or use it in creative ways?

Think About the Developer's Rent

Developers are humans and so need to pay for everything. They need to have a roof, and some food, as well as all the other nice things humans need.

Without this sort of system, and no publishers to back the projects, how can small studios make their games? The answer is that they can't, without sacrificing such luxuries like food, or water, or a place to sleep.

Money Grabbers

Developers need houses, yes, but that's only the developers who are just starting out. Take other developers who have already got a publishing deal. Games like Arma 3 or DayZ, in this case the developers are the publishers.

However this does not stop the fact they already have all the funding and houses they need.

So why would these people put an unfinished game on Steam Early Access?

To milk money from an unfinished game and from their fanbase is why.

Glitches were very obvious in the Arma 3 Alpha and Beta.

What Would the Developers Point of View be?

You, the consumer, may see this as a money grabbing scheme from the Bohemia Interactive teams, but they see this as showing you their game. They want to show you how it grows, expands and improves. Simply put to get the game, in an early stage, into gamers hands. They can then optimise the experience to fit the gamers wants and needs, to shape the game how gamers want it, while keeping to their vision. Balancing the game, stress testing the game and generally testing the game, to make sure it releases with as little bugs as possible. Indeed, Arma 3 is the least buggy Arma game, with the best AI.

DayZ was held off for a long time untill Dean 'Rocket' Hall, the creator of the DayZ mod and the head honcho for the DayZ team, held off the release untill he was happy it was ready to be playable, and in a reasonable condition. (Mr Hall is leaving DayZ soon).

DayZ Standalone has a few glitches, but nothing more than the mod.

Should you Always Trust Developers?

Do you trust a developer who releases a game which isn't created to its full potential, making the game broken and difficult to play? The outrage at the Battlefield 4 multiplayer being a prime example of this leading to a significant number of gamers demanding refunds. This then led players (like you) towards not trusting DICE as much as they may once have. So why when a game like, 7 Days to Die comes out (and you are made to pay full price for it, if you want it) is there almost no backlash? Do we just accept poor quality or down right broken games because it bears the mark pre-alpha or the like? Are gamers buying into this purely because the games bear the mark, "Steam Early Access"? Do you have any ideas?

7 Days to Die may have good ideas, but it doesn't make them look good, or work.

Who is to stop a developer just never finishing their game? What if they run out of money because they can't manage said money, and so cannot pay for staff or office/house rent? Will they, in effect, been stealing the money, of possibly thousands of gamers, on a false promise? In my books, that's fraud.

What is an Alpha or Beta for?

For developers:

  • Alpha 
    • When game's story has been implemented, but often unfinished
    • A small part of the world has been made
    • Very buggy or unoptimised
  • Beta
    • When full game is playable from start to finish
    • There are bugs (sometimes game breaking)
    • Optimisation issues a plenty.

For the consumer theses should mean something a bit different.

  • Pre-Alpha
    • When the core concept is there.
    • Game isn't fleshed out.
  • Alpha
    • Building upon the pre-alpha
    • Core concept works and is fully playable
    • Minimal game breaking bugs.
    • Like the state DayZ is currently in.
  • Beta 
    • Fully functional
    • There are some optimisation issues
    • Servers need to be stress tested, due to online features
    • Such as the Titanfall Beta
Attach These Definitions to 7 Days to Die

Is 7 Days to Die in a fit state to be released? I don't think so, but for a game like Interstellar Marines it's ok right? Errr... I'm not sure, do you want tell me what you think?

Interstellar Marines has one of the most open developers out there, Zero Point Software. They often release 'behind the scenes' video logs (vlogs) for small announcements, and they release previews for upcoming updates. All of this really shows how basic the game is, and where they want to go with it. But the game is functional and has only minor bugs, well with the exceptions, and the issues that come with PC gaming, it will crash. Overall the game is very stable, I think in part it's due to Zero Point developing it in public eye and in small sections. It's in a pre-alpha stage, where there is only multiplayer, and no single player as of yet. So this is a good thing right? Even if I do personally like the game, even in its current state, I am waiting for it to be fully released to play it as much as I want to. I payed for it as I wanted to fund the game, just like I wanted to do with their unfortunate Kickstarter. Is this how Early Access should be used? To fund a game in a similar way that Kickstarter uses?

Interstellar Marines was released very barebones, but works. Almost flawlessly.

Is Early Access Just like Kickstarter?

In some ways yes. You give a developer money, before the game is out, to help fund the development process. Only the game has to be playable right? Well not always, as I have explained before, but the developer does have more of an inclination to finish the game as it's playable, and in the publics hands. Which is always a good thing. Look at Broken Age for a great Kickstarter success.

The game may have gone over budget, but it's still great.

The good side of Alphas or Betas

As I have said before, the Early Access Program allows a game to be shown to people before it has been released; as a sort of pay for demo. This allows player feedback to shape the game. Then it's exactly how gamers want it. Think Goldilocks and her porridge, it's just right. I think it also opens the development process of the game up to the public, as they can see exactly how the game takes shape, what features are harder to make (these will often be the features implemented last) or what features get taken out, if any (but hasn't happened as of yet).

The Name: Steam Early Access

Does the name of the program make you think you can have access to games early? Sure. But does it also tell you the game is still in development? Not so much.

I think Early Access says to someone "you can now have access to our game earlier than anyone else, and it will work". Which is not the case. Maybe a more fitting name would be, Steam Funding Access, or Steam Pre-Release Access. Ok, not those, but something which screams. This game is still being made, it will be broken, and/or unfinished. This is purely for funding the game and seeing the progress we make.

My Views

If the system is used well, like with DayZ, then great. On the DayZ Steam page, it says:

They are actively trying to stop you from buying their game unless you want to fund it, or are able to deal with game breaking issues. This is great, as it tells you exactly what to expect.

I hate Early Access when it's used to push out a bad, broken, or unfinished game, and claim it's like that because it's still in development. So I mostly hate the way some developers use the system. I really hate it when the terms Alpha, Beta, etc, are used as get out of jail free cards. I know the game is still being made, but as I can play it, it should work.

I like the idea behind Early Access, but dislike the way some use it.

Readers Your Money! Please?

Now as this article is in an unfinished state, I demand your money! Or you will never get the full article. What's that? This article is finished? Never mind then.

Please leave your mumblings, thoughts, musings, or fully constructed and formatted ideas in the comments bellow. It would be best if all of the above are to do with the article, but feel free to write about anything.

If you cannot complete your fully constructed ideas, please don't ask for money, that's just rude.

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Broken Age Review: A Storybook Come to Life https://www.gameskinny.com/rot5a/broken-age-review-a-storybook-come-to-life https://www.gameskinny.com/rot5a/broken-age-review-a-storybook-come-to-life Fri, 31 Jan 2014 14:15:56 -0500 Lauren Puga

Two years after its successful Kickstarter campaign, the first act of Tim Schafer’s highly anticipated point-and-click adventure, Broken Age, is finally here. With a beautifully crafted story set in equally as stunning worlds, Broken Age transcends the point-and-click genre while still upholding the integrity of the '90s adventure games that inspired it.

Once Upon a Time...

Broken Age’s unique dual narrative tells the coming-of-age stories of its two protagonists - Shay and Vella. Shay, a boy bored with his life alone on a Fisher-Price-esque spaceship, yearns for adventure but is discouraged by the ship’s overly protective computer named Mom. Vella, meanwhile, lives in the quaint town of Sugar Bunting and is destined to be her town’s next sacrifice to the monster Mog Chothra. Unsatisfied with either of their potential outcomes, Shay and Vella embark on two exciting adventures to take control of their own destinies and find what it really means to grow up. 

The Details

Broken Age’s illustrative, 2-dimensional style brings life to the worlds in which Shay and Vella live. I felt like I'd stumbled into a living storybook, complete with talking trees and a village among the clouds. Vella gets the better end of the deal, getting to explore much more outside of her quiet town, although the interior of Shay’s spaceship can be just a breathtaking. The story’s various locations are only enhanced by Peter McConnell’s brilliant soundtrack. The melodic, whimsical score heard in Vella’s world is drastically different from the mechanical pings we hear in Shay’s but equally as beautiful. 

Broken Age’s puzzle design is as fun as its story. The puzzles require the use of items - ranging from cupcakes to inflatable rafts - which you'll collect as you explore the game. Solving them is not inherently difficult and if you get stuck, a quick trial-and-error with the items in your inventory will trigger clever dialogue that can help point you in the right direction. The puzzles fit right in with the rest of the game’s quirkiness, making usually bizarre situations seem completely logical. Sure, they’re not the most challenging problems ever, but it’s certainly rewarding when you figure them out.

The point-and-click mechanics of the game are nothing revolutionary and while the world is free for you to explore, that’s about as much freedom as you get. Characters move in response to where you click, and thankfully they walk at a rather quick pace. Interactive parts of the world glow when you hover over them, which is helpful when trying to find the next piece of your puzzle. The flow of the game is predetermined, which I don’t necessarily find to be a bad thing but can sometimes feel a bit repetitive. Find item, talk to character, solve puzzle, repeat. The game took me a little over four hours because I wanted to experience every aspect, but it would be easy to breeze through in under three.

Finals Thoughts

All in all, the first act of Double Fine's Broken Age is a pleasure to play. Between the inventive storytelling and gorgeous worlds, it’s hard to pick a favorite part. With Act 2, it would be nice to see more difficulty and variation in the puzzles, but just picking up after one hell of a cliffhanger should be enough to please those who played Act 1.

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The Gamer Gift Guide: 10 Family Friendly Games For The Holidays https://www.gameskinny.com/7scrt/the-gamer-gift-guide-10-family-friendly-games-for-the-holidays https://www.gameskinny.com/7scrt/the-gamer-gift-guide-10-family-friendly-games-for-the-holidays Tue, 17 Dec 2013 00:51:17 -0500 Coatedpolecat

[{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/5443ab4fd1270db8b3ea2e312d93c6e7.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_5443ab4fd1270db8b3ea2e312d93c6e7.jpg","type":"slide","id":"28624","description":"


The Behemoth outdid themselves with this fine 4 player action/adventure, beat 'em up in Castle Crashers. Published by both Microsoft and PlayStation respectively, this gem is up to four players and something the whole family can enjoy.

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Steam, Amazon, and other online retailers are more than happy to sale you this piece of side-scrolling history.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/a1b118c97c99ebb1e569df4846f40c83.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_a1b118c97c99ebb1e569df4846f40c83.jpg","type":"slide","id":"28617","description":"


The Cave, another game by Double Fine was published by Sega, and created by the one and only Ron Gilbert. The puzzle/platformer is surprisingly more fun with just one player using a controller and everyone else yelling at that one player what to do. The game just oozes charm and humor, and would be a great light-hearted game you can enjoy with adults and kids alike.

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You are allowed to purchase this game through Steam, iTunes, and all other platforms even Ouya.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/1d40d54bc5c918e73565f6303b2ac92e.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_1d40d54bc5c918e73565f6303b2ac92e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"28619","description":"


I'm a fan of Marvel, and though there are many great LEGO games, TT Games really warmed my heart with all the fan service in this great co-op action/platformer. Published by Warner Bros. Interactive Studio, LEGO Marvel's co-op one way to make you smile through the cold day spent inside.

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Wal-Mart, Amazon, and many other outlets will have this game at different prices, as it is a multi-platform release, even the 3D's (that's a joke, it's 3DS).

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/d68919400888662466bc51d574fcfd85.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_d68919400888662466bc51d574fcfd85.jpg","type":"slide","id":"28620","description":"


The Rock Band series was once a staple for family fun in the living room. Why not go ahead and dust those plastic instruments off and get ready to piss off your neighbors? Developed by Harmonix, published by MTV Games and Electronic Arts, we all know this is a fun way to spend time with people you don't actually want to talk to.

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Rock Band spans 3 core titled games, Rock Band, RB 2, and RB 3. These games and others of the series not mentioned are available for Wii, Xbox 360, PS3 and can be found for varying prices from many different outlets, please shop wisely.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/f35f530fdc31bcc99df409915e6a7bc0.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_f35f530fdc31bcc99df409915e6a7bc0.jpg","type":"slide","id":"28625","description":"


Created and published by Uber Entertainment (Xbox 360 version is published by Microsoft), Monday Night Combat is one of my first experiences with a MOBA as a console player. You have a handful of classes and small maps for intense 4v4 bouts of combat (pun intended) from the third-person perspective.

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This 3 year old beauty is available on Steam and Xbox Live. 

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/ad59198e1ce03193940968fd8f75159c.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_ad59198e1ce03193940968fd8f75159c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"28621","description":"


Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse has simply got to be one of the most pleasant remakes from the 90's NES era. Though no co-op or multiplayer is built into the game, the lack of any real loss from dying, this begs for the controller to be passed around after each failed attempt. Created by Sega Studios Australia and published by both Sega and Disney Interactive Studios, this is one of my favorite walks down memory lane.

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This nostalgia trip is available on Steam, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/4bbdc396c0fc6a92c173c58c866be6c2.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_4bbdc396c0fc6a92c173c58c866be6c2.jpg","type":"slide","id":"28626","description":"


This unmistakable trivia game was developed by Jellyvision Games, Iron Galaxy Studios, and Webfoot Technologies. You Don't Know Jack was published by the former THQ and is possibly the most fun you'll have with two other friends.

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This game is available on Steam, eBayAmazon, and other fine retailers. 

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/87911fe90c54090223fdc1e95a69cba0.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_87911fe90c54090223fdc1e95a69cba0.jpg","type":"slide","id":"28618","description":"


Double Fine Productions brought those who own a Kinect one of the best apps for the device in Kinect Party. Published by Microsoft Studios, this six player hodge-podge of genres and games is just flat out fun. This game, according to Raptr.com, has given my family over 80 hours of entertainment since its release.

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This is strictly sold on Xbox Live and is occasionally free.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/7d4e07eb2a5461d74cf20ae0621ca4ab.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_7d4e07eb2a5461d74cf20ae0621ca4ab.jpg","type":"slide","id":"28623","description":"

Carcassone was developed and published by Sierra Online and is a graphical version of the classic board game. Vying for control of roads, pastures, castles, and churches makes for an intense and fun way for 2 folks to have fun.

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The only version available I could find was on Xbox Live only.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/fc6066b9ebe90c9c2e7605d06771f4ce.gif","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_fc6066b9ebe90c9c2e7605d06771f4ce.gif","type":"slide","id":"28616","description":"

Made and self published by PopCap games, Peggle is one of the most addicting games out there. With bright colors, charming characters, endless puzzles, and a versus mode to boot. Whether passing around the controller or trying to out play your buddy, this game is a must for the holidays.

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You can purchase or download the game for free any just about any device/platform.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/562f383f616770f6f5183f2a019e12b5.png","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_562f383f616770f6f5183f2a019e12b5.png","type":"slide","id":"28655","description":"

As most of us know, some games are meant to be played with other people. For some reason being able to sit side by side with someone, a friend or family member, enhances certain games and the enjoyment derived from them. I have complied just a few games that are great to play with the family, both young and old. These are easy to pick up and play games with tons of replay ability. Enjoy!

"}]]]>
Can Transparency Produce Better Games? Double Fine Talk Openness at PAX Prime https://www.gameskinny.com/j98zt/can-transparency-produce-better-games-double-fine-talk-openness-at-pax-prime https://www.gameskinny.com/j98zt/can-transparency-produce-better-games-double-fine-talk-openness-at-pax-prime Sun, 01 Sep 2013 20:25:47 -0400 Destrolyn.Bechgeddig

Kickstarter has, in recent years, become a bit of a bore. Almost anyone and everyone with any sort of idea, can ingloriously beg for cash. It has led towards some great things, like a new installment of Broken Sword series. But then there's the not so great, and the swathes of mediocrity.

But when Tim Schafer of Double Fine Productions, the company behind games such as Psychonauts and Brütal Legend, started Kickstarter funding for Broken Age, not only was the response from backers phenomenal raising $3.3 million, it seems to have unwittingly changed the way he and his company approach video game making. By allowing backers unprecedented access to the game from conception right through to completion and direct involvement in its development, they believe they're making better products.

Today, at PAX Prime, Schafer, and several of his development team, took the opportunity to discuss just what opening up to being more open has meant for them and the games that they make.

It All Began With Amnesia

Schafer's font of imagination has seldom run dry, running all the way back to his LucasArts days of Grim Fandango and Full Throttle, to the recent mad and quirky Stacking and Costume Quest games.

But at some point he also realised that his employees also have some great ideas, and thus Amnesia Fortnight was born. Here, the company split up into several teams and would build a game within just two weeks to compete for a green light from Schafer himself. Soon, Schafer decided it would be a good idea to open up the voting to the public too. Thus, the involvement of Double Fine's consumers began to gather momentum.


Breaking Down Broken Age

Broken Age saw backers not merely showered with cheap trinkets such as a signed photos or their name scribbled on the back of an in-game handkerchief, as seen in so many other projects promise. What Schafer and his team did was allow exclusive access to a bespoke episodic documentary on the game's development, and access to a private forum to hear first-hand how the game was going, and to physically respond to its growth. But the real impact was just how much input the backers would end up having.

A good deal of what Broken Age is now, was put to Double Fine through this process; from approving and disapproving concept art, to even directly suggesting environments for the story to take place within, such as a world made entirely of sand castles.

But more so, it's really changed the game in "a tangible way". Schafer admits that Broken Age it's now a very different project from the one that they had first envisaged when setting out on Kickstarter. Most noticeably in that there was a clear demand for it to evolve into a much bigger title. Although this meant releasing a paid alpha on Steam to raise the extra funds to complete it, which drew much criticism and cynicism about Schafer's competency and Kickstarter's viability as a legitimate funding vehicle, it demonstrated the positive power players can have over a game's creation.

A Problem Shared Is A Problem Solved

One of the other things Schafer talked about is how discussing some of the narrative snags or game mechanic grumbles on the forums can sometimes help the developers overcome issues and work them out. "They're people who have a lot to offer, too," says Schafer.

Furthermore, it has given developers to acknowledge things that, in a closed development environment, would not necessarily get considered. Brad Muir, the mastermind behind Massive Chalice, which is taking the same transparent development approach as Broken Age, talked about how the topic of allowing same-sex couples in gameplay was raised through the forums; something that he would not have otherwise thought to consider so spontaneously otherwise. Muir mentions that it's really great to have a direct response from several faucets of the gaming community in making the game inclusive, and crafting something that all walks of gamers would like to play.

Concept art for Massive ChaliceCultural Revolution

Most interestingly, though, is just how dramatic the change within the walls of the company itself has been, really setting them apart from the rest of the gaming industry. This open and transparent environment is something the staff really enjoy. "I really love working this way," admits Muir.

It also means that with everything already out in the open, leaks are not an issue anymore, unlike the embarrassment Sony are having with the hacking of content from the pre-loaded version of Rockstar's upcoming Grand Theft Auto V on PlayStation Store. "It's OK to talk about your secrets," Schafer marks out as an epiphanic realisation. In fact, Schafer admits that, if the decision behind Broken Age's paid alpha had been wholly open and not just divulged to its backers on the private forums, the misunderstandings and misinformation of the decision might not have been so damning.

The Proof Of The Pudding Will Be In Its Playing
It's really interesting to see the team speak so enthusiastically about this new way of working, and how well consumers have responded to this approach. But whether this trailblazing method will result in two great games, is something only sales and criticism will decide. It won't just be about how well the games' funders praise the finished products, but how those who've had very little or nothing to do with this access-all-areas development process.

But given what we've already seen of these games' development, they certainly look great so far. If this synergy proves successful, Double Fine could well revolutionise how players and studios interact with each other.

For more information about Broken Age and Massive Chalice, visit www.brokenagegame.com and http://blog.massivechalice.com.

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Dragon Slayer Awards Nominee: Massive Chalice https://www.gameskinny.com/cmxr9/dragon-slayer-awards-nominee-massive-chalice https://www.gameskinny.com/cmxr9/dragon-slayer-awards-nominee-massive-chalice Sat, 03 Aug 2013 12:13:08 -0400 Capt. Eliza Creststeel

The Dragon Slayer Awards are less than one month away. Have you cast your ballot?

GuildLaunch, a web hosting platform for the gaming community is hosting their 2nd Annual Dragon Slayer Awards. But, don't worry. You have until September 2nd to vote (GuildLaunch is allowing votes from this years DragonCon).

This is the only gaming awards show for gaming communities and decided by gamers themselves, not industry experts, a panel of judges or by corporate owners.

Notable Kickstarter of the Year

This year, there are nine categories to vote on. This also includes Notable Kickstarter of the Year. Since more and more independent developers are turning to crowdfunding their project, the concept has taken off.

Each year a handful of those eager concepts take hold and far exceed their creator's dreams of success. This year, the gamers have spoken and named seven projects that stood above the rest.

Nominee: Massive Chalice

The project lead is Brad Muir, who was a designer on Jack Black's awesome rock epic Brutal Legend, and creator of Iron Brigade, Double Fine's tower defense shooter. This time, he and the Double Fine crew have created a replayable, turn-based strategy game in a fantasy setting but add a hereditary concept.

Double Fine was founded in 2000 by games industry veteran Tim Schafer. His own resume includes LucasArt's classics like Full Throttle and the Monkey Island series and creative director for Double Fine's Psychonauts and Brutal Legend.

In the game, your immortal King or Queen can pass one their abilities and powers to the next generation as you fight to repel a demonic invasion of your homeland. Do you choose to retire a hero so they can begin siring the next generation or fight to death and leave behind a relic for your descendants to add to their own powers.

At this time, there is no game play images to show, but Double Fine is happy to show a lot of their work in progress and conceptual art if you visit their website

Kickstarter

This is Double Fine's second Kickstarter project. Double Fine's Adventure launched last year was also successful. 

The project just recently wrapped on June 27th. 

The original goal was $725,000 but they blew past that and received $1.2 million in pledges. Curiously, there were no stretch goals like many projects. Double Fine was simply asking for what they felt they needed to make Massive Chalice reality.

With over 30,000 backers, unique art style and successful track record, Massive Chalice has now been nominated for Notable Kickstarter of the Year.

You still have time to vote!
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The Surreal World of Psychonauts - A Fan's Perspective https://www.gameskinny.com/ekrem/the-surreal-world-of-psychonauts-a-fans-perspective https://www.gameskinny.com/ekrem/the-surreal-world-of-psychonauts-a-fans-perspective Sun, 14 Jul 2013 15:38:47 -0400 Leah Augustine

Both a part-time student working towards an art degree and a gaming enthusiast, Andrea Benites shares her thoughts on the world of Psychonauts.

First, tell me about yourself. What do you like to do in your free time?

"Well my name is Andrea and I’m a part-time student working towards an art degree. Aside from playing videogames (and spending time online), I like to draw—whether it just be doodles or a completed piece. That’s how I like to spend my free time."

Tell me about your gaming experiences. How long have you been playing games?

"Oh, wow, since I was five I think? It was a pretty young age that’s all I remember. Unfortunately, my childhood did not include Nintendo titles; but my first console was the PlayStation. I would play game after game every day.  Since then I never really stopped loving them."

Out of all the games you've played, what is your favorite?

"I always had a hard time answering this kind of question since there are a lot of games I really like but nowadays I think I would answer with Psychonauts. That’s the kind of game I enjoy playing, as well as enjoy watching other people play."

Can you tell me what's the game about?

"Well, Psychonauts revolves around this kid named Raz who sneaks into a psychic summer camp."

(Raz - drawing by Andrea)

"He does this because it’s his dream to become a psychonaut, which is basically a psychic secret agent. Everyone at the camp has psychic powers (including the wildlife) and soon people start disappearing only to come back with their brains missing. This causes Raz to decide to figure out what’s going on and put a stop to it, all while learning more psychic abilities."

I know Psychonauts is now considered a cult classic. Why do you think the game didn’t sell well when it was first released?

"I'd probably say that during the time it came out people were moving on to the next best thing. Before platformer adventure games were pretty popular but after time they just moved on to another genre of games despite all the praise the game got."

So, why is Psychonauts your favorite game?

"Well it’s the mix of artistic style, characters, and story that makes me really like the game. The character designs are also great, even those of background characters. Each of the campers have their own fun personalities. It makes it impossible to get tired of it. Psychonauts has great humor and some of the funniest dialogue I’ve heard in a game. All of this is combined with strong storytelling.

On top of that, the level designs are also successful and really fun—even my least favorite level was very enjoyable."

Would you say aesthetics are an important aspect to any game?

"Yeah I'd say they're pretty important, in the sense that you judge a book by its cover (even though you're not supposed to). It catches people's attentions and the player can heavily enjoy those aesthetics while playing. It's just great while in game to stop to look at all the work that was put into the game."

You also mention that the character designs are great. Who is your favorite character in the game?

"I would have to go with the protagonist—Raz. He’s a fearless little kid with some sass thrown in there. Some of his comebacks are very witty and makes me laugh each time I hear it. Of course close second would be Linda, a giant lungfish."

(Linda....)

If anyone wants to find you, where can they go?

"Sure! For anyone interested: http://applenose.tumblr.com/ "

Maybe it’s time I finally play my copy of Psychonauts...
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Brutal Legend Rocking Its Way to Steam https://www.gameskinny.com/0rj90/brutal-legend-rocking-its-way-to-steam https://www.gameskinny.com/0rj90/brutal-legend-rocking-its-way-to-steam Thu, 14 Feb 2013 13:41:34 -0500 Ashley Shankle

Brutal Legend is finally making its way over to PC via Steam on February 26. Don't believe me? Check out the Steam storefront and get to throw your money at the screen.

While Brutal Legend charmed some metal and Double Fine fans, it failed to make much of an impact on most console gamers because of its odd mixture of action and RTS elements. RTS games just don't feel at home on a controller -- but they are certainly within the domain of the ol' mouse and keyboard crowd.

The game is currently up for preorder on Steam, which kicks $5 off the full price of $19.99 for those of you excited to see one of Double Fine's biggest projects finally come "home." Preorder holders receive access to the multiplayer beta and get two ultra-snazzy Team Fortress 2 cosmetic items in the process.

Will Brutal Legend have a better reception on the PC? If the controls are better, Double Fine can have all of my money and then some.

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