Psychonauts 2’s Crowdfunding Has Ended

Psychonauts 2 was launched into crowdfunding on December 4th then hit its target on January 6th, and the campaign has now come to an end. The crowdfunding was run through FIG, a service Double Fine head Tim Schafer advises on, and received $3,829,024 against an initial goal of $3.3 million.

That $3.3 million target was the amount of money Double Fine received for their last crowdfunding effort, Double Fine Adventure, which eventually produced Broken Age. The target, and the eventual figure, are not enough on their own to make an expansive 3D platform game like Psychonauts 2 aims to be, however, so the money is being supplemented both with Double Fine’s own money and from an unknown “external partner”.

The best part of Psychonauts 2 getting its funding – and existing, as far as I’m concerned – is that it means that there are new documentary videos following Double Fine’s development process. The hours-long and twenty-one-part Double Fine Adventure documentary offered great insight into how games are made, from the nitty-gritty details of funding and scheduling, to Tim Schafer’s writing and design process.

2 Player Productions are back filming the process of making Psychonauts 2 and this time the videos are available to non-backers from the beginning, although it seems they’ll take a different format this time. So far, that’s meant shorter clips, as per this video about the team’s concept artist jamming ideas:

Psychonauts 2 is slated for an autumn/fall 2018 release date though, as we all know, release dates are slippery beasts.

59 Comments

  1. Michael Fogg says:

    In other news, Paul McCartney and Ringo Star have announced their plans to record Abbey Road II, the long awaited sequel to the 1969 classic. Slash (of Guns’n’Roses fame) is rumored to handle lead guitar duties on several of the tracks, while Rick Rubin will handle the production of the album, according to industry insiders.

  2. Rich says:

    This is going to be their best half-finished game yet!

    • IcyBee says:

      Broken Age was finished.

      It just wasn’t very good.

      • Urthman says:

        Broken Age didn’t have Erik Wolpaw in board. That guy’s never worked on a game that wasn’t gold. I imagine game developers bring their A game when Old Man Murray is looking over their shoulder.

    • Thurgret says:

      On this note, considering Double Fine’s Kickstarter track record (bad), did they change something that convinced people it was still a good idea to back them?

      • Premium User Badge

        Aerothorn says:

        No, I suspect it’s that many people think their Kickstarter record (delivering 2 out of 2 finished projects) is good.

      • PseudoKnight says:

        Well, for one, it’s not a KickStarter. Two, it has multiple funding sources already setup and have more money. Three, it’s an established universe. Four, it’s not an open-ended game like Spacebase DF-9. Five, people actually learn from their mistakes.

    • Disgruntled Goat says:

      I can’t wait to play Psychonauts 2, Part One in 2021!

  3. Crafter says:

    Wow.
    Psychonauts is one of my all times favorite games, so I am definitely stocked for its sequel.
    With all these waves of crowdfunding sequels to dear classics, I am almost starting to half expect a Monkey Island 3 as envisioned by Ron Gilbert.

    • Pazguato says:

      That would be really great, but after the disappointment of Broken Age I’m not so sure anymore to want my dreams come true.

      • Rumpelstiltskin says:

        I really don’t think BA was _that_ bad. In fact, I think it was borderline good.

      • Acorino says:

        I had my favorite adventure gaming experience with Broken Age. I played it together with a friend. I can’t think of another adventure game that made me feel as supremely clever solving puzzles.

    • Turkey says:

      I don’t know if I’d be excited about another Ron Gilbert adventure game after DeathSpank and The Cave.

      • Widthwood says:

        The only actual Ron Gilbert adventure game this decade is Thimbleweed Park, and it is not even out yet.

        Weird how you judge his adventure-making capacity based on an action rpg and a platformer..

        • Deano2099 says:

          But the appeal of the Monkey Island games wasn’t really the adventure elements. It was the jokes. Deathspank and The Cave just weren’t that funny.

      • PancakeWizard says:

        I found The Cave far more enjoyable and interesting than Broken Age. Both totally different ways of messing with the PnC genre, but The Cave came out better, IMO.

    • PancakeWizard says:

      Monkey Island 3 was actually pretty good. It didn’t top 2, but it was a worthy sequel. 4 however…

  4. EhexT says:

    By unknown external partner you mean Sony right? Because we know it’s Sony.

    • Heliocentric says:

      But admitting that would damage the kickstarter, sorry, I mean the “Fig”. Whoever it is, they are anon, I’m sure I’ll pick up psychonauts 2, but when it exists, not before.

    • Yachmenev says:

      Schafer has said that they’re “non-traditional publishers”, so not Sony.

      It’s a bit frustrating that you don’t seem to be able to edit or delete comments here anymore.

      • Widthwood says:

        Notch is pretty non-traditional. Also Gabe haven’t published anything in ages. He prefers to buy stuff now.

  5. Drinking with Skeletons says:

    Isn’t this a Playstation VR exclusive?

    • Xocrates says:

      No. There’s a VR spin-off announced, but it’s not this.

  6. Yachmenev says:

    Schafer has said that they’re “non-traditional publishers”, so not Sony.

  7. Lars Westergren says:

    Sweet, I’m happy about this.

  8. Hobbes says:

    A friend and I have a bet running on this game.

    If it comes out good, I will go on voice record for him and admit that Timmy can make good games.

    If it bombs, my friend will go on voice record for me and admit that Timmy could only make decent games when wearing a ball gag (a.k.a. under the yoke of a traditional publisher like Bobby Kotick).

    Considering his current strike rate, I’m feeling confident I will have a recording of a warm, welsh voice reluctantly admitting that Tim Schafer could only produce good games with a ball gag present.

    I shall use that recording to fall asleep each and every night, happily so.

    • Premium User Badge

      Aerothorn says:

      Er…what if your friend and you disagree on the quality of the game? Which tends to happen a lot with art, people have different takes on it and all.

      • Hobbes says:

        We’re using the infinite monkeys system of evaluation. Steam user reviews. Presuming it garners enough to get a good signal to noise ratio. If the text is blue, it’s a winner and he wins the bet, anything else and I win the bet.

        Considering I take professional reviews with buckets of salt and he takes singular personal opinions with similar buckets it’s the only metric that actually makes sense.

        • Xocrates says:

          You do realize that Broken Age has a “very positive” rate on Steam, right?

          Double fine only has one “negative” review game in DF-9, and a “mixed” in the very niche Hack ‘n’ Slash.

          So either his strike rate is not as bad as you claim, or you may have picked a metric that does not favour you.

          • Hobbes says:

            Mixed would count as a win for me on the bet, as I said, it has to come up on -blue- text for it to be a winner for my friend. So that’s “Mostly positive” “Very positive” or “Overwhelmingly positive”. It’ll almost certainly not be tallied until it’s garnered enough reviews that the percentage marker stops moving around much, so again, I’m confident enough.

            For me the bet is as much about the fun as it is a lack of confidence in Timmy being capable outside of when someone had him in a gag with straps on. He did his best work when someone had him tied up and was whipping him. Much the same as Molyneux. Ever since both Pete and Timmy decided to go it alone they’ve not been able to capture the magic in quite the same way.

            In a sense this is sad, because I was a great fan of Molyneux’s early work, but these days he’s a kid with a paintbrush, all wonder and imagination, but can’t translate it into execution.

          • Xocrates says:

            My point was more that “Timmy” never had a “bad game” on Steam, since neither Hack ‘n’ Slash or DF-9 are his doing.

          • Widthwood says:

            I don’t remember him having any unrealistic ideas. If anything, BA was very conservative and simplified from the start.

            You probably have a chance only if P2 will be too short. Which is sort of possible, considering limited funds and small team size.

            Or if Tim gets himself in even deeper fan-hate hole, and will be downvoted on principle. But that wouldn’t be a fair win…

          • Hobbes says:

            3 mil may be enough to get it out onto early access, but I’m not sure that’ll qualify. I imagine if the best they have to show for their three mil is a rough and unfinished Early Access thing which whilst promising is a long way from being -done-, they’ll get lynched. Nobody wants a repeat performance of DF-9.

          • Xocrates says:

            They said 3 mil is about a third of the budget. They’re also investing their own money, plus some non-fig investor money.

      • Hobbes says:

        EDIT : If he entirely fails to make the due date (or ships a hot mess) in the Fig contract then that also constitutes me winning the bet because that’s proof that Timmy can’t hit simple milestones (and once again validating Bobby Kotick, dieties help us all).

        • Rikard Peterson says:

          “fails to meet the due date”

          Well, then you should be aware that they haven’t given any due date. They’ve said that they’re “estimating that Psychonauts 2 will be finished for a release in 2018.” If it ends up a 2019 release, it may mean financial worries for DF, but it would in no way break a promise to backers or anything like that.

          In other words, a delay is their problem, but for me as a future player of the game that doesn’t matter. I have many other games I can play in the meantime.

          • Hobbes says:

            The Grasslands Developer must deliver the finished Grasslands game, ready for commercial sale, no later than July 31, 2018.

            Source : link to sec.gov

            Go on, I’ll wait :)

          • Widthwood says:

            ‘Must’ is not ‘will’. See Risk factors:
            “There can be no assurance that the developer will be able to develop the game on time or at all, or that the game will function as intended once developed.”
            So no assurance, just a ballpark figure for investor.

          • Hobbes says:

            This much is entirely true, but if it misses the date, or arrives as a hot mess, then I win by default (See above). We’ll see. Either way, this should be interesting, the overall terms of investment were fun reading (and basically a strange halfway house between crowdfunding and actual investment, so it’s sorta like what WMD did with PCars, so it might work, who knows).

            That said the whole company structure has more than a whiff of shell game around it, and that’s enough to set alarms ringing, or at least it should do.

          • Widthwood says:

            Well, it’s your bet, so you can set any conditions you like, but DF is under no obligation to finish it by that date, since they neither promised it to backers, nor are legally required to do so.

            Such company structure is required to call this “investment”, since it is a legal term with strict two-way obligations and can’t be thrown around as “backing” or “kickstarting”. People are investing in a publisher, that is a separate entity from DF and is entirely disposable – that is why there are so many risks in legal documents, but they are meaningless because they do not apply to DF. If they allowed thousands of people to invest directly in DF, they would open themselves up for lawsuits and all sorts of abuse from investors – basically, one wrong move and a couple of trolls would mean the end of DF, ending all their projects, and bankrupting the company. That is why no sane company that cares for its future makes random people their investors :)

            What you are reading is legal framework to make this possible, it shouldn’t be taken at face value, and without it there could never be any investing at all.

            In the end, it’s all made in the exact spirit of kickstarter – people trust Tim to deliver a product in advance, only now they can also share profits, instead of getting a poster or whatever. And from strictly legal perspective, since there’s no such thing as trust there – they funnel their money into garbage bin, and are made very aware of that fact.

          • Hobbes says:

            “That is why no sane company that cares for its future makes random people their investors :)”

            You’ve clearly never heard of Hedge Funds investing in public limited companies then. -playful-

          • Widthwood says:

            Public companies are a different thing altogether. The likes of EA or Blizzard are just huge companies like any others, I was talking about smaller gaming developers like DF with next to no funds to spare and legal departments the size of 1 or 2 people at best.

        • unraveler says:

          So this bet is about if the game will be bad? Or if it will be release throughout 2018?

          • Hobbes says:

            Mainly the first. My bet is Timmy can’t nail a good game properly after the trainwreck that was DF-9 (and for all the claims that he wasn’t involved in it, he signed off on the project, he was in part, responsible for the oversight and defended the people who put code to disk), his strike rate is a bit of a mixed bag putting it mildly, so in light of that, we’ve made a just-for-fun bet that if Timmy screws the pooch on Psychonauts 2, I get a voice recording of my choice admitting I was right. If Psychonauts 2 turns out to be a winner, I will concede to my friend that he was right. Nothing more, nothing less.

            Personally, I feel quietly confident that Fig, and the way the shell game is structured, and following on from that, the soon to be car crash that is Psychonauts 2 (because it’s going to need WAY more than 3 mil, and almost certainly more than double or even triple that), I will have a recording to fall asleep to.

            If I am wrong, I will admit that to my friend, and he will have that in file format to keep and cherish. It will be a rare moment for him to savor and enjoy.

            That said? Intuition is that this is going to be worth preparing many bags of popcorn for. That is precisely what I intend to do.

  9. caff says:

    Great success. Good luck to the Double Fine crew!

  10. shadow9d9 says:

    Keeping giving money to people who couldn’t create a simple adventure game and bases everything on decades old successes!

    • Xocrates says:

      “bases everything on decades old successes”

      This is factually provably false. This is so wrong that it even boggles the mind.

      The problem is that people only latch on to the decades old games – none of which were actual successes.

    • Buggery says:

      He created the hell out of an adventure game, though? Several, in fact.

    • Yachmenev says:

      Well, he did create an adventure game with Broken Age. With a distinct art style, quite challenging puzzles, plenty of dialogue, between 10-14h of gameplay and a Steam approval rating of 84%.

    • Acorino says:

      You have no clue, Broken Age is awesome!

  11. Premium User Badge

    gritz says:

    I think you’re underselling the relationship between Fig and DF here. It’s not just that Schaefer is an “adviser” (which seems like a massive conflict of interest for anything calling itself an investment), but that Fig was founded by DF’s former COO.

    • Xocrates says:

      Out of genuine curiosity, why would it be a massive conflict of interest?

      People give money to Fig to fund specific projects, so it’s not like Fig chooses how the money is distributed – and it would be illegal if they gave money from one campaign to another – so the only “conflict” I see is that they can use Fig to promote their own stuff, which I don’t see how it would be any different from them setting up their own crowdfunding, except like this they can share the infrastructure for various projects and developers.

  12. haldolium says:

    I wonder if they can actually make a good game for once, not only a nice hull of humor wrapped around a horrible wonky game engine with extreme gameplay flaws.

    Psychonauts was such a mess of bad camera positioning and horrible collisions…

    • Acorino says:

      Rayman 2 was a lot worse in that regard. I can’t speak for other 3D platformers, since there are so few for PC…hm…all the UbiSoft ones had horrible camera! Evil Twin, Tonic Trouble,…
      I thought the camera in Psychonauts was fine.

  13. Premium User Badge

    Don Reba says:

    I have my doubts about their ability to make a good game out of this but believe they deserve a chance.

  14. bit.bat says:

    I am aware that this is obvious but part of the value of the original Psychonauts was that it was an original idea. I am still looking forward to this but I would rather they were doing something completely new. I guess thats true for any developer though.