Posts Tagged ‘Tim Schafer’

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice swept the BAFTA game awards

hellblade

The 14th British Academy Games Awards were handed out this week and, while the awards themselves may be a bit disconnected from where the rest of us in Games Proper see the industry, they are a good measurement of how The Establishment sees interactive entertainment at this point. To that end, it is both shocking and a bit exciting to see the awards highlight a game that was overwhelmingly overlooked this year, and which deserved more celebration than it has received to this point. I’m speaking about Ninja Theory’s dark adventure fantasy game Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, and its five BAFTA wins: Artistic Achievement, Audio Achievement, British Game, Games Beyond Entertainment and Melina Juergens took the Performance category for her role as Senua.

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Tim Schafer to headline EGX Rezzed this April

Tim Schafer

You’re already attending this year’s EGX Rezzed, of course. But if you haven’t yet booked your ticket to That London so you can play all them lovely games, here’s a piece of news that should cause you to get on that, post-haste. Double Fine’s Tim Schafer – he of the simian islands and the tentacular days – is going to headline the event, taking part in a Q&A with Eurogamer editor Oli Welsh, along with meet-and-greet sessions throughout the three-day shindig. That interview’s happening at 12pm BST on Friday 13th April, and will also be streamed live on Twitch, if you can’t make it to Rezzed.

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When is it OK to remake a classic game?

monkey3

Adventure game remakes are common. But not everyone likes to see their old favourites revived. Mitch Kocen asked veteran point-and-clickmen Ron Gilbert and Tim Schafer, among others, when they think it’s OK to remaster the classics

Without intervention, every video game you have ever loved will eventually become unplayable. The technology that enables the next generation of games cripples the last. At some point, systems simply can’t run slowly enough to support games made decades prior. For many years, it wasn’t possible to (legally) play older games without digging out the old computer gathering dust in your basement. Fortunately, there is a resurgence of classic games on modern hardware. These re-releases often come with new (or improved) graphics and sound, and sometimes include the option to view the game in its original form. Yet some creators are concerned that these changes compromise the game’s original artistic vision. Read the rest of this entry »

Tim Schafer tells the story of Amnesia Fortnight

“I started feeling a little bogged down by the scope of [Brutal Legend],” says Tim Schafer, founder of Double Fine. “It was really huge and I felt like the team had been doing it for a long time and had a long way to go yet. I felt like they needed a break.”

That break was Amnesia Fortnight, a two week game jam during which anyone at the developer can pitch an idea and, if it’s selected, lead a team to turn it from concept to working prototype. Now in its tenth year, I spoke to Schafer about the jam’s benefits, pitfalls and how it’s changed over the years. Read the rest of this entry »

Snowy Wasteland 3 Launches Crowdfunding On Fig

We already knew Wasteland 3 [official site] was coming out and that it was set in the frozen hinterlands of Colorado, because we have an incredible repository of knowledge and wisdom. But we didn’t know exactly what would be waiting for us there. A short trailer accompanied the game’s crowdfunding launch on Fig today and it reveals what we should have guessed all along. The only thing waiting for us in the frozen north is death by a cannibal’s axe. But there are some other details. Come see.

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Psychonauts 2 Backers Can Be Investors, Says Regulator

Many backers who funded Psychonauts 2 on the crowdfunding site Fig are now considered ‘investors’, says a US regulatory body, paving the way for them to get a return in real money if the game sells well. Fig is a video games-focused fundraising site partly founded by a bunch of veteran developers including Brian Fargo and Tim Schafer. It lets you throw some quids into a project as a punter – just like Kickstarter – but also lets people invest in it. As well as welcoming serious accredited investors, it hoped to let any old mug invest by giving $1,000 or more at an ‘investor’ level – but the US Securities and Exchange Commission needed to have the final say on letting anyone have a crack. Now they have, and they’ve approved the whole thing. What does this mean? Can you invest in the next big project? More importantly: should you?

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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.

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Psychonauts 2! Double Fine Crowdfunding A Sequel

Remember back in 2012 when Notch was like, “I could fund a Psychonauts 2!” and Double Fine were all, “Cool! $18m please!” and Notch was all, “Shiiiit, I was thinking more 25p, and – wow, look, an octopus on a tricycle!”? Well, that’s all history now.

Double Fine are looking to make Psychonauts 2. They’re after $3.3m from backers, alongside their own investment, plus external funding from a mysterious, possibly legal party. More Psychonauts! There’s a trailer too, of sorts.

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Wot I Think: Broken Age Act 2

Over a year since the first act was belatedly released, Double Fine’s seminal Kickstarter project Broken Age is now complete. Act 1 was bursting with potential, if a somewhat flawed PC adventure. Obviously this review is of the second half of a game, so will contain some light spoilers for the core plot (but avoids most). Can it live up to the potential it suggested in its first half? Here’s wot I think:

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18-Part Double Fine Documentary Goes Free

Depending on who you ask, the first Double Fine Kickstarter was for an underwhelming adventure game which snaffled up far more money than it needed, or it was for a fascinating warts and all insight into the making of a high profile videogame which at the very least tried to reach for the stars. I’m not sure either stance is particularly accurate – i.e. given the aesthetic quality of the game it’s not at all hard to see how the money got legitimately spent, but equally Broken Age wasn’t the grand point’n’click comeback we’d hoped for – but there’s no question that the extensive and human Making Of documentary series also provided to backers sweetened the deal enormously.

And now the rest of us get to watch it too, for no-pennies.
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Tim Schafer On The End Of Spacebase DF-9’s Development

Dwarf Abort-ress more like.

Last week Double Fine announced that Spacebase DF-9 development was coming to an end. The issue was that hundreds of features that had previously been listed as “maybe possibly” coming to the game were no longer to going to be delivered, replaced instead with the release of the game’s LUA codebase so the community could add content themselves.

People are understandably peeved. Tim Schafer has now commented on the game’s Steam discussion forum in response to some of the common questions about what happened.

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Connecting The DoTTs: Schafer Plays Day Of The Tentacle

Dave The Tentacle.

What are your personal memories of Day of the Tentacle? Mine is that for years before playing it, I thought it was called “Dave the Tentacle” because I’d only ever heard it mentioned in conversation with Scottish accents. Tim Schafer’s memories of the game are considerably more interesting. Not only does he know the name of the LucasArts adventure game, but over the course of this forty-minute video he talks about the inspirations behind the characters, the process of brainstorming the story, production details of particularly fine animations… It’s almost as if he worked on it.

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A Game And A Chat Ep 1: Tim Schafer

And now for something completely different. Or, well, actually kinda similar to other stuff you might have seen before, but in video form and on RPS. A Game And A Chat (tentative title, probably) is a weekly live show in which I play a game with a developer and, you know, chat with them. At the same time. I am nothing if not multi-talented. Sometimes the game will be all shiny and new, other times it’ll be aged, haggard, and only tangentially relevant. Who knows? Maybe one day it’ll be a boardgame. Or tag. Or cage-fighting. This first episode, however, is fairly straightforward. Given that Broken Age is about to land in the click-hungry hands of the masses, I thought I’d bring Tim Schafer into the studio. By which I mean my bedroom. Via, er, a webcam. But not like that. Oh jeez just click past the break and watch us discuss Serious Topics while being accused of murder by trees or something. We’re kicking off at 11:00 AM PT/7:00 PM GMT*.

Update: We’re done! The full video is posted below.

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Wot I Think: Broken Age

Having so recently written about the first hour of Broken Age, it doesn’t make too much sense to overly repeat myself here. So it’s well worth reading that first half of this review first. This one continues on from there. So here’s the rest of wot i think:

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Dyscourse To Feature Schafer, McMillen And More

Alec mentioned Dyscourse a couple of weeks back, rather rightly pointing out how good it looks. I’d have thought it would be a sure thing to see its Kickstarter funds ding the modest $40,000 they’re after in moments, and far beyond. Yet it’s only reached just over $13k at this point. Weird. Maybe the news that the likes of Tim Schafer, Ed McMillen and Robin Hunicke are contributing personalities to the project?

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Tim Schafer In Host Master Deux: Host Harder

the host with the most adventure games under his belt

It’s not actually called Host Harder, but it should have been, right? All I’m saying is Double Fine, if you want to pay me thousands of dollars to spend my days writing lazy comedic subtitles based on the names of 80s action movies, you know where I am. Call me. Any time. Any time at all. Wait, I had to step out for a minute – you didn’t call while I was away, did you? Call again now. I’m right here. Right by the phone. Waiting.

And while I wait, I shall be playing Host Master Deux: Quest For Identity (see what I mean? For God’s sakes, Double Fine), the sequel to the 2009 adventure game-ette about Schafer preparing to host the GDC Award Ceremony.
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The Past, Present, And Future Of Brutal Legend

An action-RTS inspired by classic heavy metal album covers. Starring Jack Black. And a mad menagerie of metal icons. And a 100-strong soundtrack that pridefully pounded eardrums with everything from Judas Priest to Motorhead to (ew) DragonForce.

Let’s reflect, for a moment, on how absurdly specific Brutal Legend‘s chunky thematic stew actually was. And then let’s remember that EA, of all publishers, was manning the unlikely super group’s synth – which, in this particular case, was wired exclusively to make “ka-ching” sounds at Double Fine’s behest. Oh, and that was only after Activision flushed Schafer’s metal dream into the nightmarish bowels of development hell, nearly dooming it in the process. By most standards, Brutal Legend simply shouldn’t have happened. Nowadays – a mere three years later – a similar meeting of minds isn’t even conceivable. But Double Fine’s last truly all-or-nothing shout at the triple-A devil was unique for a number of reasons. It was a product of oddball inspiration, once-in-a-lifetime timing, and quite a bit of luck. Also guitars. OK, mostly guitars.

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Pending PC Success, Brutal Legend Will Go On

Brutal Legend is coming to PC! With shiny, PC-only bells and whistles, no less. Be still, my barbed-wire-wrapped, blood-and-oil-coughing heart. Its arrival comes at a bit of an odd time, though, given that it’s been more than three years since Tim Schafer’s metal epic knee-slid into living rooms, spraying fireworks and Judas Priest references every which way. But perhaps that’s not such a bad thing. After all, the Double Fine of today and the Double Fine of yester-three-years-ago are very different companies. Back then, EA called the shots, and that ultimately resulted in a canceled Brutal Legend sequel. But now Schafer and co make their own destiny, and as it turns out, that could well involve more guitar axes, tree-necked headbangers, and Jack Blacks. But how many, exactly? That depends on a number of factors.

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Interview: Tim Schafer On Kickstarter, And Good Will

Yesterday you’ll likely have noticed that Tim Schafer and Double Fine launched a new approach to a Humble Bundle, encouraging people to pay what they want for the chance to vote on what four prototypes the team would develop during their next Amnesia Fortnight. We then brought you his thoughts on why they were doing this, and what impact such things have on the studio. In the second part of our chat, we discuss how Schafer’s time is split between the Double Fine Adventure and running such a busy studio, the effect his project had on the Kickstarter phenomenon, why he thinks you make more money without DRM, and Schafer’s belief in what he calls the “good faith” of gamers.

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