As the Psychonauts 2 crowdfunding campaign reaches its final hours (I guess I can’t call it a Kickstarter since it’s technically not on Kickstarter), Double Fine Head Honcho, Tim Schafer, took to the skies over Reddit to let people ask him anything. Over the next few hours, he dolled out info about both Double Fine’s history and Psychonauts 2.
The story for Psychonauts 2 has been, evidently, swishing around in Schafer’s head since the first game released over a decade ago in 2005. The thoroughly peculated premise goes something like this:
In Psychonauts 2, Raz will finally get to go to Psychonauts headquarters–his lifelong dream. There he can see Sasha and Milla in their natural environment–international espionage. But he finds several things strange about the organization. While Truman Zanotto was missing, several changes to the direction of the organization were made by his second in command. Funding was cut from traditional psychic research and peacekeeping, and redirected to unorthodox, fringe endeavors, including the discredited practice of necromancy. Raz soon uncovers sinister things at work in the shadows of Psychonauts headquarters, including double agents and evils of the past. Raz’s own family history plays a pivotal part in the story, and Raz must confront the roots of the curse placed on his family once and for all. And also deal with this whole “girlfriend” term and what it really means. 🙂
That’ll be fun, and since the game’s being built on Unreal Engine 4, it’ll be fun and potentially quite sexy.
Schafer also didn’t avoid questions pertaining to the criticism he’s received over the years. He might not have answered them as well as some people were hoping, but he did weigh in. What it basically boils down to, though, is that games going over-budget and being mismanaged on some level is nothing uncommon in the game industry, we just don’t hear about it most of the time. Publishers sweep failed projects under the rug without anyone the wiser. He reassured people by reiterating:
We have successfully completed and shipped both of the games we crowdfunded (Broken Age and Massive Chalice) and are very proud of them. The majority of our fans and critics enjoyed them as well. We have put three games through early access–Hack ‘n’ Slash, Massive Chalice, and Spacebase. Two of these worked out great, and one of those was a disappointment to many people. We have shipped 17 titles over the last 15 years and overall we have a great track record of shipping great games and being extremely transparent and honest with our community. That is the more lasting reputation of Double Fine, and the reason people can feel confident about Psychonauts 2!
Of course he doesn’t really address Spacebase DF-9, so I guess it’s best if we just forget that game ever tried to happen.
It’s not the first early access game on Steam that failed or was a disappointment on some level, and it definitely won’t be the last. (I’m still waiting for 22Cans to pull the plug on Godus for once and for all.)
Still, Pscyhonauts 2 is happening, and there’s a big difference between building a game from the ground up, conceptually, and making a sequel. At the end of the day, it’ll be interesting to see how Tim Schafer handles another crowdfunded project. I, for one, rather enjoyed Broken Age, even if I never finished it (that break between the two parts was fairly killer!).
You can read the full AMA over on Reddit.
Psychonauts 2 isn’t due out till 2018, but you can follow any further developments in its development right here at The Gamers Drop.