Amnesia Fortnight: Four Pitches Advance To Prototype Stage


Amnesia Fortnight moves pretty fast. One week ago Double Fine’s yearly-except-when-busy publicly voted game prototype jam started with 31 pitch videos. Now backers have had time to vote, that list has been whittled down to the four games that are going to be developed into a prototype. The winners? Steed, Mnemonic, Dear Leader and Adventure Time creator Pendleton “the person I would most like to meet” Ward’s Little Pink Best Buds.

I’ve embedded the video pitches for each of the selected games below.

Recap: previously, on posts I’ve written about Amnesia Fortnight, what is Amnesia Fortnight? From the Humble page:

Amnesia Fortnight is a lawless, unforgiving, creative supernova – an internal game jam that we started in 2007 as a behind-the-closed-doors-of-the-chocolate-factory kind of a deal, but have now exposed to the public whether they want it or not!

Here’s how it works: We take two weeks off from whatever we’re working on, split the company into small teams, and give each team two weeks to make a game. It’s not easy or fair; but it is exciting. We do it to test out new ideas, and to test out new project leaders who feel ready to have a project of their own. Some of these project leaders will live, and the others, well, they will also live. But they will NEVER BE THE SAME.

Pen Ward’s Little Pink Best Buds was, of the four Ward pitched, the idea that had the best name. That’s enough for me. “Uncover the mystery of the little pink dudes who all want to be your friend.” It’s about poking those little dudes, and talking to them with typed natural language (Ward references Facade). You pick one of those little pink dudes to be best friends with, and then you move into a house, and… Just, just watch the video.

Steed was one of the games I was most interested in, because it has a horse with a raised eyebrow. That horse is who you control, as you take missions to carry heroes on dangerous missions. It sounds like a modern-era Disney fairytale.

People really like making games about “re-arranging memories.” Mnemonic is about doing so to solve the mystery of who killed the woman you loved, though I’m interested in it mostly for the art style.

Dear Leader is the game here I most want to play. The trendy description would be ‘Papers, Please where you control the ruling government’, but I prefer to imagine it as Positech’s Democracy only without the, you know, democracy.

You can buy access to all four prototypes, plus 2012’s prototypes, plus the documentary series and livestreams recording the development process, over at the Amnesia Fortnight Humble store page.


  1. Armante says:

    Doh. I picked Mnemonic, but Breech and Derelict didn’t make it through. Ah well.
    Bring on the daily docos!

  2. AngoraFish says:

    Seemed to me a much weaker field this year than last, both the original field and the final four. I can’t see any of the above games having any significant capacity for commercial success…

    Possibly Dear Leader, as we’ve yet to see a decent accessible government simulator, although the theme of being a vile dictator (instead of say, Yes, Prime Minister or even Dr. Strangelove) is somewhat distasteful. I’m not clear why a Stalin simulator gets a free pass when a Hitler simulator clearly wouldn’t. It’s not exactly being pitched at the Papers, Please level of commentary, but what do I know?

    • Captain Joyless says:

      lol bro do you even tropico

      • AngoraFish says:

        Tropico is a city builder with a cheesy central-American accent.

        • Captain Joyless says:

          Umm… did you miss the ability to imprison and execute dissidents, rig elections, outlaw specific factions (intellectuals, environmentalists, capitalists, etc), privatize industry, have a book burning, etc?

          link to
          link to

          • AngoraFish says:

            No doubt easy to miss, given how trivial and irrelevant to game play these options are.

            Regardless, I check your fallacious argument that one game with offensive elements makes all future games with similar elements inoffensive, and raise you a nah nah nah yer mum.

          • Bishop says:

            I agree, those options never came into play. It was also really weird that everyone considered my island very capitalist when all the businesses and houses were owned by the state. Not a single private enterprise on the whole place.

  3. Yachmenev says:

    Isn’t that kinda the point with this? That the employees pitch the game they want to do, not the game they think will sell the most.

    • JP says:

      This way, we get the best potentially selling (via the voting) selection of the games we want to make, rather than the converse, which is what most AAA studios get stuck with.

  4. Ansob says:

    Derelict didn’t win, which makes me incredibly sad. I mean >Adr1ft might scratch the same itch, but the more space games we have about just exploring cool space places in space, the better. Sci-fi-horror is really played out at this point, and I can’t help thinking how much more interesting Routine or even Alien: Infestation would be if the entire game were just about fixing things around the station.

    (Or Dead Space if there were no necromorphs, just environmental hazards you had to fix to make the ship spaceworthy again.)

    • Screamer says:

      Here here! Derelict sounded sooo cool :(

    • Armante says:

      I was rooting for Derelict too :/
      I suppose Steed is up there in terms of weird-factor doublefineness and has potential.

  5. Xerophyte says:

    So … Dear Leader is an updated, satirical Hidden Agenda? That’s promising, Hidden Agenda was (and is, if you can tolerate 2-color graphics) a fantastic game. I do wonder how they’ll get the satire bit in there, though.

  6. CookPassBabtridge says:

    I gave Double Fine some money. I am now a good person.
    I want Little pink dudes. Its cute. I identify with the one that’s farting.

  7. TaylanK says:

    “Democracy only without the, you know, democracy.”
    That’s what we call “applied democracy”. Pretty prevalent across the world.

  8. dontnormally says:

    Hm. None of my picks.
    [edit] Oops, I missed Dear Leader at first. That was one of my picks.

  9. spaced says:

    Can’t believe “What Could Go Wrong?” didn’t make the cut. I mean, I believe it. 70’s/80’s Slasher Horror sim clearly isn’t for everyone, but the possibilities for greatness (in a genre brimming with mind-numbingly boring digital equivalents of abandoned asylums, haunted houses, derelict space stations, and machines for pigs) made me want to reach for my wallet.

    Maybe try pitching to UbiSoft? They seem to know how to appeal to a very specific and tiny demographic (*cough* Blood Dragon *cough*).

    Also, stop giving Pendleton Ward a free pass just because he made a funny show. His pitch videos were fucking horrid. He sounded totally unprepared and kind of uninspired. Weirdness for weirdness’ sake doesn’t equal a great game concept. Just look at the Adventure Time games that have already been released. The show is great, sure, but that doesn’t make Ward a great game designer.

    • The Random One says:

      Ward seems to really love games, but to me this makes the hot mess of the recent AT game even more inexcusable. He should have known better.


    • angrychair says:

      The pitch for What Could Go Wrong? didn’t sound like the game I wanted it to be. It sounded more like an adventure game set in a slasher movie than a slasher movie simulator. I would have been all over a sim if that’s what they were planning on doing.

    • Caiman says:

      Little Pink Best Buds was probably the least interesting of his four pitches, how are they going to turn that into a game that you’d want to play? Select a best bud out of all these weird guys, go to your house, now the others all hate you… er, that’s it. Great pick guys! Of the others, Steed was the only one I voted for, though I’d play them all. Shame about Derelict.

      • BiggerJ says:

        He said there’s a mystery to explore and that there’s an ending. The only place worth exploring seems to be the house, but only your best bud can enter it. You’ll probably have to instruct your best bud to explore it – basically playing an adventure game second-hand while surrounded by people who hate you.

  10. bodydomelight says:

    I reckon that Steed looks the most appealing, by leaps and bounds. It also feels the most Double Fine, which is probably important should it eventually make it to a Stacking/Costume Quest-sized game. I’d buy the shit out of it, anyway.

    I couldn’t make it through a minute of that Pendleton Ward guy’s pitch. Which I’m sure devastates him. But yeah, when attempting to gain interest please move above a monotone. Is there any reason he got 6 minutes and the rest 30 seconds? CONSPIRACY.

  11. Excelle says:

    Makes me a bit sad that I voted for 3 out of the 10 that things were narrowed down too, but none of them got through. In fact, my fourth choice that didn’t make the cut didn’t get through either! Breach, Ether, Project Xing and Derelict.

    I can’t really see Steed being more than a half hour of game with a nice aesthetic. Mnemonic has potential to be interesting, but Dear Leader holds no interest for me.

  12. HotCakes says:

    How are the documentaries? I’ve got more games that I could possibly get through but I’m interested in the design/dev process. Do they go into it much, or is it more “here’s what we baked today”?

    • Trinnet says:

      The documentaries are fantastic -easily the best thing about AF is watching the teams go from an idea to a playable prototype. They’ve put up the 2012 documentary for free on youtube.

    • welverin says:

      2PP’s documentaries made backing Broken Age worth it all on their own. So much so, that they’re a big reason for me buying into the previous Amnesia Fortnight, Mighty No 9, and Massive Chalice.

      I’d suggest watching all of them to get real insight into the development process, they all bring a little something different. As a whole they should give you a good handle of how Double Fine goes about making games.

  13. furrymessiah says:

    So… a half-baked game concept by a marginally comatose cartoon creator, a horse simulator, a Gone Home(blech)/Closure mashup with an injection of Film Noir, and Papers Please with a Promotion.

    April 1st is a month and a half away, Double Fine.

  14. jarowdowsky says:

    Can’t help feel that Dear Leader fundamentally misses the point of something like Papers, Please. It just seems too knowing right from the start. The humor and horror of a dsytopia tends to be in how good intentions go bad. Here it seems like a joke from the start.

    Hopefully it’ll be a bit more adult and a bit less MAD magazine from the 1950’s in its final execution because it’d be nice to actually see someone succeed with a political simulator in the modern age.