Double Fine’s Amnesia Fortnight Is Go, Livestreamed

By John Walker on February 19th, 2014 at 2:00 pm.

Double Fine’s annual fortnight of pausing all their other work to focus on creating original prototypes has begun. With the pitches whittled down to four, the studio is now divided up into groups to create those games over the next two weeks. And you can watch a lot of it happening. Below.

Creators of the Broken Age documentary, 2 Player Productions, are filming the whole event, and releasing episodes of coverage. Episode 0 is out today, and you can see it… right here:

Devastatingly Dum Sim doesn’t seem to have made it. Instead, the four games being made are:

Dear Leader by Anna Kipnis
Mnemonic by Derek Brand
Steed by John Bernhelm
Little Pink Best Buds by Pendleton Ward

The whole thing is being livestreamed (when they’re awake) on their Twitch. And you can still use Humble to pay what you want to get access to all four prototypes when the fortnight is over, no matter what state they’re in.

, .

31 Comments »

  1. Danda says:

    Dear Leader feels… wrong. It’s like they are just ripping off the indie hit of 2013.

    • blobb says:

      yup. All I needed to hear was the title ”Dear Leader” and I knew what it would be. You’d think these industry pros would have some original ideas.

    • RobinOttens says:

      I voted for it, but I was kind of hesitant as well. On the one hand it sounds like a less humanized (read less interesting) version of Papers Please. On the other, I’d like to see Anna Kipnis’ take on this, since she has some roots in eastern europe ex-soviet country Ukraine. Since most of the other pitches weren’t much better, I’d figured this might as well be my fourth pick.

      Haven’t seen the video yet, so I can’t comment on how it looks now.

    • Oozo says:

      I generally got the feeling that this year, most of the really unique ideas were tossed aside by the voters, while slightly more derivative pichtes, or typical “well-known concept + x” (where “x” often was a coat of paint… there were multiple pitches that were just plain ol’ adventures in a new setting), fared better. Well, of the final three, that still rings true for “Dear Leader”. “Mnemonic” didn’t sound too interesting at first (I heard “Gone Home + Psychonauts”), but maybe they’ll make something interesting with it. And a lot of people have already said that “Steed” seems like the most Doublefine game out of the bunch…

      It’s not so bad, come to think of it. Maybe I’m just cross that a game that sounded like “it’s Waking Mars” made it through the first round of voting and one that sounds like “Papers, Pleaser” made it to the final, but really unique stuff like the one with the boom operator didn’t have a chance. Or it’s that I expect more from highly creative peoople having the freedom to think of whatever they want.

      We’ll see how it all turns out, though.

      • FriendlyFire says:

        This is how the amusing reality of things rears up: for all the gaming community’s claims that they want more novel, unique games, given the choice they’ll instantly and massively flock towards the most familiar and derivative concepts.

        • P.Funk says:

          This is why one of the great truths of game design, among other culturally relevant creative pursuits, is that people don’t know what they want. What they say they want and what they want want isn’t what they really need either.

          What I’m trying to say is that for want of a better term, people are fucking idiots. Don’t listen to them.

      • But I Powerup From There says:

        The problem with the boom operator one was that the pitch didn’t communicate what the game would actually be like. I got that the guy liked microphones a lot, and something about a stadium.

        It’s true that a lot of the pitches did name-check recent indie hits, but at least they’re name-checking Gone Home and Papers, Please, rather than console manshoots.

    • KevinLew says:

      While I think that Dear Leader could turn out interesting, you hit on a very important point that many people don’t understand. The problem with crowdsourcing and player input on game development is exactly what you said. The average person only wants what they already know, and it kills game innovation and creativity. Part of indie game development is ignoring public opinion and doing what you want, because something original and good could come out of it.

      On a slight tangent, this is why games like Gone Home are so important. A good number of art movements were caused by people refusing to accept the status quo and pushing against what was considered “art” at the time. My point is, if you want to slam on innovative game ideas and tell them that they shouldn’t exist–because they are just “walking simulators” or “not a game”–then you’re part of the problem. You’re basically proving that AAA publishers are right. They don’t want to risk anything, and they believe all developers should just make unoriginal (but super-profitable) games like military FPS games, Flappy Bird clones, and F2P games loaded with microtransactions.

    • The Random One says:

      Wait, what? Did y’all play the same Papers, Please I did? Maybe you should check for some sort of glitch that launches Tropico instead, because the Papers, Please I played was about being oppressed, desperation, being a cog in a machine whose direction you don’t control but that still can hurt you, about knowing the right thing to do but also knowing you’ll risk all you have for doing a small part of a small favour to someone you don’t know. Dear Leader, from the pitch, is about being the oppressor, greatness, forging a nation’s destiny by yourself, knowing that while you may go down in history as a brilliant leader or a bloodthirsty tyrant, the fact that history will remember you is unavoidable.

      If Dear Leader ripped off Papers, Please I guess that Cart Life ripped off Grand Theft Auto. They both take place in a developed capitalist Western society after all!

      • AngoraFish says:

        ^this. One thousand times, this.

      • SurprisedMan says:

        Agreed, this seems like such an odd complaint to me.

        I mean, sure, they want you to be able to stamp things in Dear Leader because they liked that tactile feel in Papers, Please, but Dear Leader is no more a game about stamping things than Papers, Please is. And while it explores similar themes of corruption and use/abuse of power, it does so from rather different directions, and I can’t imagine that the gameplay loop will feel similar at all. In Papers Please I was under constant time pressure and trying to be vigilant 100% of the time, it seems like the pressures in Dear Leader will be completely different.

      • Hahaha says:

        LMFAO yeah his a moron mod, who has no knowledge of his gaming histroy apart from what his read on here and other gaming sites, it’s sad and it’s just going to get worse what with your poor attempts at “journalism”

        Did you get confused between the words moron and I don’t know retard?

  2. Xocrates says:

    On a somewhat related note, it appears that Steam sent out a bunch of discount coupons for Broken Age (25% off) to people who already owned Double Fine games and I ended up with 4.

    Any takers?

    • Fenix says:

      I’m a backer so already have it but one of my friends has been on the fence about buying it so maybe I can coerce him into buying it with one discount coupon!

      I’m niandra_lades on Steam, if you feel like giving me one.

    • Frank says:

      Yeah, I’ve got a ton of those, and also some from the Toki Tori devs. I bet >99% of those coupons never get used, though maybe that’s also true of coupons sent through physical mail.

  3. demicanadian says:

    Apart from taking money to make this games some time, did they ever did anything to make any of this games?

    • Swyyw says:

      They released a few games that came from this process : Iron Brigade, Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster, Costume Quest, and Stacking. Spacebase DF-9 is currently in early access, and Hack n’ Slash is in development.

      • PopeRatzo says:

        So the answer is, “No, they have never made any of these games”?

        • Xocrates says:

          How the hell is “they released at least 5 games started on past Amnesia Fortnights” translated to “No, they have never made any of these games”?

          Even if you only count the last public one, then Spacebase is, as mentioned, in early access, Hack and Slash is announced, and Autonomous was released for Leap Motion.

          • LionsPhil says:

            Early access is not finished being made.
            Being announced certainly isn’t.

          • SurprisedMan says:

            Psst, LionsPhil. What about Stacking, Costume Quest, Iron Brigade and Middle Manager of Justice which were all Amnesia Fortnight games before it went public, and were also mentioned above? Also, Autonomous from the last AF was polished up and given a minor release for LeapMotion controller.

            Most of the games Double Fine have released in the last few years (which is actually quite a few games!) came from Amnesia Fortnights. The next announced release comes from the last Amnesia Fortnight, so it seems like little has changed.

        • But I Powerup From There says:

          Iron Brigade, Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster, Costume Quest, and Stacking are all complete, published, and available for purchase right now. That’s a pretty good track record.

          Based on that, it seems very likely that Spacebase DF9 (currently early access) and Hack’n'Slash (announced) will be completed in due course.

      • demicanadian says:

        Ok. I thought that amnesia forthnight is newer concept than Stacking and Costume Quest, but looks like I was wrong.

        • But I Powerup From There says:

          You’re right in the sense that the public voting is a new twist. But yeah, the two-week prototyping activity is not.

  4. Sp4rkR4t says:

    Steed looks interesting.

  5. CookPassBabtridge says:

    I’m never, ever getting my Horace plushie, so… Lil Pink Best Buds plushies! And pants! ARE YOU READING THIS MR SCHAFER? DON’T LET ME DOOOWN

  6. Cowboybibop says:

    I do believe i read it correctly in their webpage, that you got to PAY to VOTE.

    Now… that’s the biggest LOL i ever witness.