White Space Auto Hack: Double Fine Pick Their Prototypes

that's Autonomous, that is

Double Fine’s crowd-funding / PWYW bundle / rapid prototyping / community voting idea-cocktail Amnesia Fornight has just proceeded to its next stage – choosing, via public vote, the four concepts that will be turned into working, playable games. I want to play all of them so I’m happy, but see if they’re Your Sort Of Thing below.

Double Fine have $125k in the bag for this, with fourteen days left to go. Double Fine increasingly have all the money. Should we be worried about this? It’s probably not a problem. Probably.

Anyway, some 75,000 votes later the four chosen prototypes are these:


The White Birch:


Hack n Slash:

Over the next two weeks DoubleFine will divide themselves into teams and go make these things. Then we can play them. Well, that element of ‘we’ that has paid what we want for the Double Fine Amnesia Fortnight Humble Bundle, at least. Then we (yeah, same we) get to vote on an absolute winner which will be made proper-like. Democracy in action! With profit. Edit – Er, not quite, actually. Double Fine popped in to clarify the prototyping/production plans below, cos I kinda mangled it a bit.

We’re past the initial pitching stage now, but if you want another look at the concepts which fell by the wayside, here’s how it initially played out:


  1. Buemba says:

    Too bad Kaiju Piledriver didn’t make it. A roguelike King of the Monsters mashup sounded pretty awesome.

    • elderman says:

      I really regret not seeing Echelon and The Flock developed further. I loved those two ideas for games.

      • phlebas says:

        Yes, a game inspired by The Conversation sounded like a wonderful thing.

    • Teovald says:

      Interesting. Autonomous is the concept that interest me the most in this selection but I feared it was too much of a niche idea to top the rankings. Sometimes it is good to be wrong.

      Kaiju piledriver also looked promising. Let’s hope that an indie dev have been seduced by the idea !

      • Taidan says:

        Yeah, Autonomous was the main draw for me too, with Kaiju Piledriver coming a close second.

      • The Random One says:

        I had to watch the trailer to remember what Autonomous was. It didn’t connect with me at all. (he he see what I did there)

        Too bad about Kaiju Piledriver. It was so close, and it didn’t even almost make it.

    • dontnormally says:

      Kaiju Piledriver. sadface.
      All the winning games. happyface.

    • Deadly Habit says:

      Yea it sounded great (and also like Double Fine is just the studio to make it). Hope it gets made or at least prototyped at some point in the future.

  2. Qwallath says:

    I’m pretty pleased with the result. Voted for The White Birch and Space Base, as well as Black Lake and The Flock, which didn’t make it, sadly enough. Curious to see what they’ll come up with!

  3. RobinOttens says:

    Man, I was hoping The White Birch wouldn’t make it, and be replaced with KAIJU PILEDRIVER or something more unique. I love ICO and Journey as much as the next person, but the white birch sounded a little too similar. Just another ‘ambient platform exploration’ game about a child escaping the dark forest.

    The other three games in there sound fantastic. I’ll be curious to see those prototypes, playing the three they already made available was fun.

    • SurprisedMan says:

      Well, inspiration for games can come from different directions. So it’s easy to be attracted to games which are like ‘here’s an awesome idea I had for an original mechanic.’ That’s exciting an all, but coming at the game from an approach of ‘here’s the sort of mood I want the game to evoke’ is an equally valid path to creating something great. So let’s wait and see what, if anything, comes of it.

    • golem09 says:

      But look at the beard of the developer that pitched it. That bearrrrrd!

  4. yogibbear says:

    Spacebase sounds just like Startopia…. :/… Kind of lame to be so unoriginal… considering.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      yea, a couple of pitches really did sound like already existing games, bit off-putting. A new Startopia is hardly a problem for me though.

    • jumblesale says:

      Oh no, more Startopia! How upsetting!

    • OtioseNexus says:

      I was gona say the same thing, except instead of “How lame”, “My god, YES!”. Startopia was an amazing game, severely underrated.

      Double fine have the right attitude to pull off something like that, with modern graphics and a much greater fan base. If they nail the simplistic interface and the myriad of life of the old Startopia had, I’m as good as sold.

    • SurprisedMan says:

      Kind of lame to decide it’s ‘just like startopia’ based on a 30 second pitch if you ask me. If you check the forums and the document, you can see all the ways that this is different to Startopia – for example, here there’s a greater emphasis on the interactions between the residents.

      • Pryde says:

        Well, yes, but “Spacebase” even has the same donut-like base design! Not to mention similarities in the title and concept. I love Double Fine, I really do, but this thing in particular is clearly below them in the innovation department. That’s sad.

        PS. Those saying “Startopia” with modern visuals would be nice. How long ago have you played it last time? Installed it recently – heck, this game has 1920×1080 resolution still. And looks quite nice still.

        • Gnoupi says:

          It does indeed. Though I could use an option to scale up the UI.

        • lcy says:

          Like the Stanford torus? Not exactly an unknown idea when it comes to station design.

    • MeestaNob says:

      Whereas in the real world, right thinking people would see Double Fine doing their own Startopia to be The Greatest Thing Ever.

  5. Prokroustis says:

    Why didn’t The Knockover get the no1 place? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?!

  6. Soolseem says:

    Either I have terrible taste or everyone else does. I voted for 8 prototypes, and only Autonomous made it to the final four.

  7. Feferuco says:

    I so wanted Bragging and Fighting to be picked. It would be fun playing with friends recklessly upping the ante and then having to co-op against a dragon armed with a stick. Going back to the bragging table, toning down the insanity, fighting again.

    • Soolseem says:

      There’s actually a board game that’s an awful lot like Bragging and Fighting. Haven’t played, so I’m not sure if it’s any good, but if you’re interested.

      link to boardgamegeek.com

  8. Sp4rkR4t says:

    So disappoint the Knockover didn’t win. :/

  9. luukdeman111 says:

    I watched that fortnight announcement video one week ago and by chance I watched Indiana Jones for the first time yesterday…. I seriously had to pick my chin up from the ground…

  10. S Jay says:

    There should be an indie gamejam where they pick the rejected ideas of Amnesia Fortnight and make it happen :)

  11. sirdavies says:

    Aw man I was really exited about the MMO about bird migration. Damn you, voters!

  12. MordeaniisChaos says:

    This feels too much like they are trying to capture the “cool ideas” from kickstarter or other similar indie ventures instead of creating original Double Fine style games… Hrmm…
    Hack ‘n Slash seems like it might work, and Autonymous has the potential to make great use of their creative team, but I dunno…

    • SurprisedMan says:

      Well, all games just start out as someone’s cool idea. It’s just that usually you don’t get to see so many at the same time. And even the ones you got to hear about before were just the Amnesia Fortnight games that were developed into full titles. So there’s no telling what different ideas Tim has rejected in favour of other pitches before. Maybe it’s like this every time, but this time it’s not up to Tim.

  13. Mr Bismarck says:

    If Space Base doesn’t win I am going to punch a bee in the tiny face.

    • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      That hardly seems like a proportionate response. Your crushing fists are immense and meaty!

    • lordfrikk says:

      This so much.

    • RobinOttens says:

      Win what exactly? All four games including Space Base are getting a prototype aren’t they? So Space Base already won.

      If any of them ever get made into full games afterwards is up to Double Fine and whoever will give them the money for it.

      Nevermind, I didn’t know about that part. So one of these will definitely turn into a full game. Hmph, damn now I’m extra sad that The Flock, Black Lake or KAIJU PILEDRIVER didn’t make it. :'(

      • cpt_freakout says:

        Yeah, but which will be the FIRST one to be made? Stop being reasonable, please. :)

    • LionsPhil says:

      But that would mean that Autonomous wouldn’t win.

    • Lemming says:

      I kind of hope it doesn’t. It seems too much like Startopia, and while I’d love to see more of that kind of game

      a) I don’t want anything stepping on Maia’s toes.

      b) It doesn’t seem in the spirit of the jam to come up with something that unoriginal.

      so I’m voting for White Birch…or at least I would if I knew how to vote. Followed links and can’t seen any voting options.

  14. lokimotive says:

    Oh wait, they’re only going to make one game out of these four? I thought the idea was that they made all four… wasn’t that what happened with Costume Quest, Stacking, Once Upon a Monster, and Middle Manager of Justice?

    • Twoflower says:

      Not exactly. The fortnight system lets them develop a few prototypes to see what the most promising ones are — but they don’t all get fully developed and finished. Those games did come from fortnights but there were also games from those fortnights that didn’t get chosen for continued development.

  15. bladedsmoke says:

    Really sad BRAGGING & FIGHTING didn’t make it. I hope it somehow sees the light of day.

  16. Chris Remo says:

    Hey guys, Chris from Double Fine here. I just want to clarify the prototype/production process a bit.

    All four winners will become prototypes over the next four weeks. There’s no absolute guarantee that any of the winning four prototypes will go on to become full-scale game productions (although we sure hope they do)–and there’s also no guarantee that only one of them will! It is possible for anywhere between zero and four of the prototypes to eventually become games, and it has nothing to do with their standing among the top four.

    To get made, a game needs to find funding–be it from a publisher, investors, crowdfunding, finding change in the couch, whatever. So far, we’ve made a number of games out of Amnesia Fortnight prototypes: Costume Quest, Stacking, Once Upon a Monster, Middle Manager of Justice, Iron Brigade, and hopefully Brazen next, which you can download through the current AF bundle.

    We want to be able to keep doing that with as many successful AF ideas as we can. But the first step is turning these four winning ideas into fun and compelling prototypes.

    • Ysellian says:

      Thanks Chris, that actually answered some of the questions I had.

    • The Random One says:

      Thanks for the info, Chris.

      So just to clarify, how big are the couches at Double Fine?

  17. MondSemmel says:

    Two comments:
    ” Double Fine have $125k in the bag for this, with fourteen days left to go.”
    No, that’s “total payments”. Assuming payments average out to the default split (a not unreasonable assumption, I think), Double Fine gets 70%, Child’s Play gets 15%, and the Humble Bundle guys get 15%.

    And secondly, I’m amazed that the average purchase was over 7$ for this. After all, 1 $ would be enough to vote, and the reward is just prototypes. I’m not complaining – I’m a DFA backer and like everything I’ve seen of the company – but I am surprised.

    • The Random One says:

      Surprising indeed, but if memory serves that’s about half the average for most indie bundles, which is usually around $15.

  18. Sic says:

    Nice, three of those four were my favorites (Spacebase DF-9, Black Lake, The White Birch and Autonomous). I don’t fancy Hack & Slash at all, but hey, can’t win them all.

    In any case, yay (!) for all the winners.

  19. Cloudiest Nights says:

    Double Fine has just announced that they’re now doing 5 games… I guess? The fifth one is Black Lake, and this is coming from Double Fine in the livestream itself.

    • The Random One says:

      Dammit! That means Kaiju Piledriver lost TWICE! D:

    • Sic says:

      Hah! Then all my favourites got chosen! Nice!

      • Lars Westergren says:

        Same here! I also voted for the Knockover and Echelon, but I had the same 4 you had as my favourites.