Psychonauts 2 shows off first playable area and a goat

goat

Psychonauts 2 [official site] has hit a big development milestone: first playable. This means that Double Fine have put together a fully playable area where the platforming, dialogue, art and exploration are all implemented, even if they’re not in a finished state. And, importantly, it already looks quite fun.

You can watch Tim Schafer and lead designer Zak McClendon muck around in the outdoor level below, and there’s some behind the scenes stuff in the video too.

Double Fine explained in their latest crowdfunding update:

“This doesn’t mean that we now have a final area made to shippable quality, there’s still a lot of work to be done. It does however represent a fully playable area that has all the things a level of the game should have: elements like player movement, combat, quests, experience, UI all working together with scratch dialogue and audio, some rough visual effects, textures, lighting, even a cut-scene. This means we can iterating on these systems so they can be as good as possible for the final game.”

The level is an extremely vertical affair, and McClendon, who is driving the demo, bounces around on TK balls, floats across the area with TK balloons, batters enemies and kidnaps an innocent goat. This goat, I should add, entirely steals the show. I’m now incapable of imagining any use for telekinesis that doesn’t involve stealing goats.

Since the goat is obviously the real hero of the game, Double Fine have shown off how these magnificent beasts are made. It’s quite an involved process.

“In order to animate something like a goat, you need to know more about goats than you probably already do. Luckily Ray lives near to a goat farm and so popped over to visit, take some videos and apply what he learned there to his work.”

Yes, goat investigator does sound like the best job in the world.

Goat!

17 Comments

  1. Babymech says:

    Late to the party – now it’s no longer about goats, it’s about goose. s.

    • BertieDugger says:

      I really hope No Man’s Goose will meet the expectations everyone is building up.

      • cpt_freakout says:

        After playing Gooseline Miami there’s no way a silly game like No Man’s Goose or even Pillars of Geeseternity will replace it as GOTY (wink wink).

    • GameOverMan says:

      Talk to me, Goose.

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      That level was nice, I wonder where it goose from there.

  2. Ghostwise says:

    I see that RPS is indulging in goatcha journalism.

  3. Kollega says:

    I’ve been replaying the original Psychonauts recently… and I realized that I’m actually very much happy with Psychonauts 2 being in development, and will be waiting for it to come out. Simply because the central conceit of entering people’s mental worlds that are half hilarious, half poignant, and all concentrated symbolism is just wonderful. As is literally beating up various psychological issues – believe me, that’s one hell of a power fantasy.

    So even if the gameplay of Psychonauts 1 is clunky, the art direction, writing, and most importantly the symbolic representations of the way different characters think, all more than make up for it. I mean, take the fact that the Milkman Conspiracy level is literally twisted in impossible ways, literally everything in it attempts to watch or follow you… and one of the locations is a book depository with a sniper sitting in it. It’s not particularly subtle, but it still has more layers than the initial impression from the hilarious G-men.

    • JarinArenos says:

      Just… don’t get your hopes too high. Double Fine hasn’t had the greatest record lately. Like, I’m not sure what the last good game they put out was. I heard people liked Costume Quest?

      • Xocrates says:

        Lately? You either like the Double Fine style or game in which case they’re as good as ever, or you don’t and they’ve never been good – or released one or two good ones depending on your tastes.

        I mean, Psychonauts was 12 years ago, if you’re going to argue they haven’t made a good game since, you might as well say you don’t like their games and leave it at that.

      • Kollega says:

        I played Headlander recently. That came out as recently as 2016. And while it may not have been a smash hit, the art and presentation in that still kick ass. So I am confident that Psychonauts 2 at least won’t be bad when it comes to the visuals and the narrative. And it might in fact turn out quite good.

    • Urthman says:

      Everyone always claims Psychonauts has clunky “gameplay” but nobody ever points me to all these better 3D platformers available on PC that I’ve somehow been missing.

      To me, controlling Rez, zooming and bouncing around on the ball, using it to double-jump and glide, sliding on wires (especially the non-euclidean ones in the milkman level), jumping and landing on different sides of a cube “planet” long before we had Mario Galaxy, all felt pretty great most of the time.

      Is it the combat people don’t like? (How can you hate slapping things with that giant psi-hand?)

      • SuddenGenreShift says:

        No, it’s the awful camera during boss fights. To pick an example, oh, completely at random, when you have to follow the goddamn fish monster it constantly rotates so you can’t see what you’re trying to jump over.

        • Urthman says:

          I don’t remember that being much of a problem. I think maybe I played with a mouse&keyboard which would have made the camera a lot easier to deal with.

      • Kollega says:

        For me, the clunkiness is mostly in the UI and the level geometry. The very-much-needed way to get up to speed, or to make higher jumps, is using the levitation ball, but I don’t think levels are built specifically for that – so you can easily get snagged on something and lose speed while using that. And the UI isn’t the best too; aiming or swapping the various psi-powers is pretty clunky, though aiming may be a bit easier with the target lock ability… that I can never get myself to use. I am playing with keyboard and mouse, so the more logical thing would be having an aiming reticle. But overall, those are merely niggles, because (as you’ve noted) the actual implementation of psi-powers is pretty damn good. I just wish it wouldn’t be so annoying to swap them out and aim them >_>

        (Which is, incidentially, what I’m expecting from Psychonauts 2. That seems reasonable…)

        Also, it’s entirely true that PC never had an abundance of 3D platformers. And I do wish there were more. But I feel that UI complaints are not necessarily invalidated by that :P

  4. DrJ3RK says:

    Absolutely can’t wait to get my hands on this. My kids too. I think collectively we’ve played through it some amount of times in the low-mid double digits.

  5. somnolentsurfer says:

    Haven’t really been following it, so presumably I’m not the first to misread this. But, lead designer Zak McKracken??