Posts Tagged ‘Tim Schafer’

Brütal Legend Finally Gets Publisher

The lightning strike of non-PC-releasiness.

Here’s some news that probably shouldn’t be here. But it’s such good news that we’ll extend our optimism that Schafer’s just playing hard to get for a moment longer. Brütal Legend has a publisher. A publisher that had bloody well better tell him to release the game on PC.

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Brutal Legend “Premiere” Next Week?

I believe we may be asked to rawk.

Interesting news regarding Brütal Legend. Which is a splendid thing to be able to say. After Atari picked up Ghostbusters, it’s hard not to despair that Schafer’s new project is still without a publisher, following the Activision/Blizzard high speed collision. So how come Jack Black’s going to be showing a “premiere” of the game at next week’s Spike TV’s 2008 Video Game Awards? And for goodness sakes, will it be on PC?

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Joystiq Vs The Adventurers

During GDC, gaming uber-blog Joystiq had the rather splendid idea of asking adventure game developers to solve their own “obnoxious” adventure-style puzzle. The victims were Ron Gilbert, Steve Purcell, Mike Stemmle, Eric Wolpaw, and Ragnar Tørnquist. Each solves the challenge – getting past a robot bear to enter a cave – in their own distinct style, and they’re all worth a read. And then along comes Tim Schafer.

Taking the challenge a little more… not seriously, but intensely than anyone else, Schafer’s approach is to treat the challenge as a text adventure, emailing Joystiq his commands as they find themselves having to work very hard to keep up. The results are excellent. Here’s a taste:

>get tiny guards

You scoop up the tiny guards in one motion and deposit them safely into your pocket.

>get tiny me

Are you sure you want to do that? You may want to save first.

>give rubber chicken to tiny me

You clumsily try to hand over the rubber chicken, but only end up crushing your tiny self beneath a mountain of artificial poultry. Whoops.

Oh, To Be An American

Which is something I seem to saying quite a lot lately. Seeing that Psychonauts has just appeared for free (until Dec 31) on Gametap, but only to US folks, makes my urge to emigrate keener than ever. Anyone in New York or San Francisco want to hire a scruffy, bitter games hack? Bah. Anyway, go play one of the best electric videogames of the last few years for absolutely nothing, you spoilt bunch of bastards.

If any of our European readers are yet to sample the unique wonders of ex-Lucasarts genuishead Tim Schafer’s most recent game, then you should turn your eyes Steamwards right now. Yes, it costs money. In this case though, money can buy you happiness. Possibly even a rarefied form of love, too. Oh, and if you do want to install Gametap in the futile hope that a magical, wonderful error will occur and let you play Psychonauts, you will at least find that you can play the first three Hitman games, Tomb Raider: Legend and Cannon Fodder for no-groats (but ad-supported no-groats).

Woo Woo! Psychonauts 2?

Update – hopes cruelly dashed. See bottom of post for more.

Eagle eyes have spotted this image on the Double Fine upcoming projects page:

While this is indeed glad tidings for any fan of games possessing character, humour, grand variety and adept storytelling (let’s not mention the irksome platforming emphasis during this time of celebration), we don’t have any idea what this is. It could be a sequel, it could be a DS or PSP remake, it could just be a graphically-tweaked rerelease to cash in on the original game’s ever-swelling cred. But it is more Psychonauts. (Note to self – bloody get around to writing up that bloody Psychonauts retrospective at some point).

Thank you Tim Schafer, thank you.

That said, damn you Tim Schafer, damn you, for making your next game, Brutal Legend, console only. Given it was PC guys that sang Psychonauts’ praises the loudest, it’s a sad decision.

Update – as has been snootily pointed out in comments, it’s since been revealed that the pic’s just a teaser for an eventual About page on Psychonauts. The image on the site has been fully-colourised to reflect this. Boo. I would say that Double Fine probably shouldn’t have stuck a mysteriously darkened image on a page previously only containing a link to a press release about an upcoming game, however.

(Tinfoil hat)Either that it or it was a secret experiment to gauge interest in another Psychonauts game…(/Tinfoil hat)

Endless Escapism

We don’t link enough to occasional Corporate Paymasters The Escapist, I think. Let’s put that right, as their new issue has a few interviews which are of obvious interest to RPS-heads. Firstly, the have an interview profile on Tim “Grim Fandango/Psychonauts/Walker’s Future Bride” Schafer, where he deals with his decision to leave Lucasarts, start Doublefine and general tribulations. Here’s a quote where he talks about “creative” being used as a curse…

“People would just kinda be like, ‘Oh, it’s very creative.’ And it really seemed like the more you could make your game seem more like something else or more derivative of something else, the more comfortable they would be with it.”

We’ve also got interview profiles with the Sports Interactive guys on their original-Championship Manager/Football Manager dynasty and Running With Scissors about their vomit, sex and death Postal dynasty. And, if you had to choose to read but one feature… you know, I think I’d recommend the Postal one. We’re very aware of the creativity/money problem Schafer elaborates on, but to have Running With Scissors drop the comedy sex-monsters mask and actually argue their artistic corner with quotes like…

If we were in this for the money, then we would have made Doom 48, Unreal 57, Halo 99. You get the picture. We don’t make games for the mainstream, yet they really are very mainstream, if you ever truly play them. I’m proud to be different. There’s a reason why so many people, after they actually play Postal, tell me it’s one of their all-time favorite games.”

As well as arguing about their AI, their flexible and hailing their older, educated, politically-libertarian audience is unexpected, to say the least. More here.