Double Fine's Amnesia Fortnight has become a fairly well known event by the developer. For two weeks every year, everyone at the company stops what they're working on, and get together in small teams to create prototypes for new game ideas. And since 2009, all the games the studio have released have been born from these creative weeks. The likes of Costume Quest and Stacking came out of this elaborate brainstorm. This year they're doing it differently. "We're letting the world in on it," explained studio head Tim Schafer to me this evening, in an interview to appear later tonight. Via Humble Bundle, we get to vote on the 23 pitches to pick the four that will be created as prototypes. And then the whole process of developing will be live-streamed, with the finished projects available to everyone who paid.
And because it's a Humble Bundle, that's paying whatever you like, including diverting all the money to the Child's Play charity, should you so wish. Once you've paid, along with receiving the four prototypes once they're completed, you'll also get the prototype versions for two previous Double Fine projects. Happy Song is the earliest incarnation of what would become their making-a-Kinect-worth-owning Once Upon A Monster, and Costume Quest is - well - the prototype for Costume Quest. Both are hugely different from the finished projects, says Schafer, which he hopes should be interesting for fans of their games.
You can view all 23 of the 30 second pitch videos on the Humble site, and then decide which you want to see made into the games before the games. Will they include Cloud Prix - a cloud surfing side-scroller? Or Primordial Slime, a touch-screen game (What they? -Ed) helping a blob of ooze escape from a lab. Maybe Black Lake, in a forest filled with the dreams of the inhabiting animals, protecting them from a darkness that wants to consume their sleepytime thoughts. Or perhaps Silent But Deadly - a smell-based game where you "must escape an office building after pooping your pants." EVERYONE VOTE FOR SILENT BUT DEADLY.
Tim Schafer explains more in this inevitably hilarious video:
And I've had a chat with him about it that I'll post as soon as I'm done frantically transcribing.