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Psychonauts on PS4 photo
Psychonauts on PS4

The original Psychonauts is coming to the PS4


They're bloody everywhere now
Jan 12
// Nic Rowen
In case you hadn't already picked up Psychonauts when it was available on the Xbox 360, the PS3, or Steam, you'll be pleased to hear it's soon to make its way to the PS4. Or maybe not, I don't know. If you haven't bought it y...
Saiconauts photo
Saiconauts

Psychonauts 2 campaign closes with $3.8M in funding


Psycho killer, run run away
Jan 12
// Steven Hansen
Double Fine took to new crowdfunding/investment platform Fig for the development of a sequel to the beloved Psychonauts. The project reached its funding goal of $3.3 million five days before the close of the campaign before c...
Psychonauts 2 photo
Psychonauts 2

The first Psychonauts 2 story info is starting to emerge


Raz needs to deal with some old wounds
Jan 12
// Laura Kate Dale
Since Psychonauts 2 recently got announced, many fans of the first game have been wondering where the plot of this new game might be heading. Thanks to a reddit AMA with Tim Schafer, we now know a lot about the plot of Psycho...
Devs Play photo
Devs Play

Devs Play season two has over five hours of game makers chatting


Spyro, Crash, Tearaway, and more
Jan 07
// Jordan Devore
Whether it's games, movies, books, whatever, I love listening to creators talk about their craft. It can be enthralling to hear how the creative process differs between not only mediums, but individuals. One video series I'm ...

Psychonauts 2 photo
Psychonauts 2

Psychonauts 2 has reached its funding goal


Cleanly bisected funding
Jan 06
// Nic Rowen
Double Fine's Fig-funded Psychonauts 2 has reached its funding goal of $3.3 million with five days to spare. Fig is of course the new kid on the crowdfunding block with a system that allows for both regular Kickstarter-style ...
Documentary photo
Documentary

This Psychonauts making-of is a fun look at early Double Fine


The Color of the Sky in Your World
Dec 10
// Jordan Devore
After hearing that Double Fine was crowdfunding Psychonauts 2, the first thought to pop in my head was "Will there be another documentary?" 2 Player Productions did such a remarkable job capturing the studio's work on Broken ...
Psychonauts 2 photo
Psychonauts 2

People are throwing money at the Psychonauts 2 Fig campaign


Only $1.2M to go...
Dec 09
// Vikki Blake
The Psychonauts 2 Fig crowdfunding campaign has raised over $2 million. At the time of writing, 13,630 backers have raised $2,121,471, which means 64 percent of the $3.3M has already been achieved with 34 days of th...
Day of the Tentacle photo
Day of the Tentacle

Day of the Tentacle Remastered's slick interface works flawlessly


Still not quite a mouse, but it's a'ight
Dec 06
// Zack Furniss
When we learned at the PlayStation Experience keynote that Day of the Tentacle Remastered was releasing March 2016, I wrote that it had been twenty years since I had played the original. That would put me at the tender, still...
Psychonauts photo
Psychonauts

Will Double Fine do a Psychonauts HD remaster?


Maybe, maybe not
Dec 05
// Kyle MacGregor
Earlier this year, Double Fine released a remastered version of Grim Fandango and the studio has a similarly spit-shined rendition of Day of the Tentacle ready for release in early 2016. With that in mind, during De...
Day of the Tentacle photo
Day of the Tentacle

Day of the Tentacle Remastered is coming to PS4 March 2016


No more digging through your garage
Dec 05
// Zack Furniss
We've known for some time that LucasArts' much-loved Day of the Tentacle is getting a remaster via Double Fine, but now we have a release window. In March 2016, you won't have to dig through your garage past all the old Playboy magazines to find your old LucasArts discs like I do. I just realized I haven't played this game in literally twenty years. I'll have to fix that.
Psychonauts photo
Psychonauts

New Psychonauts coming to PlayStation VR


In the Rhombus of Ruin
Dec 05
// Kyle MacGregor
Today at the PlayStation Experience in San Francisco, Double Fine announced Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin, a virtual reality experience made exclusively for the PlayStation VR platform. Rhombus of Ruin tells the story of what happens after the events of the original Psychonauts, which left players on a cliffhanger, bridging the gap between the original and its upcoming sequel.
Full Throttle photo
Full Throttle

Double Fine is remastering Full Throttle too


Old is new
Dec 05
// Brett Makedonski
Double Fine's sure working that nostalgia angle. At PlayStation Experience, Tim Schafer took the stage and revealed that the studio's working on a Full Throttle remake for PS4 and Vita. There's no word on a release date ...
Psychonauts 2 photo
Psychonauts 2

Psychonauts 2 partially funded by silent partner


Is it Notch?
Dec 03
// Kyle MacGregor
Tonight at Geoff Keighley's The Game Awards, Double Fine officially announced Psychonauts 2, the long-awaited sequel to the developer's now 10-year-old debut project.  To bankroll development, Double Fine has l...
Psychonauts 2 photo
Psychonauts 2

Double Fine is crowdfunding Psychonauts 2


Looking for $3.3 million
Dec 03
// Brett Makedonski
Almost eleven years after its release, cult classic Psychonauts is finally getting a sequel. Well, it's likely getting a sequel, that is. It depends on how badly fans really want it. At tonight's The Game Awar...

Podtoid 309: Code Name Li Po

Nov 01 // Kyle MacGregor
[embed]318540:60947:0[/embed] Stuff we talked about: Greg Rice, M.D. How free games on PlayStation Plus work Pecs and breast tissue Grim Fandango and Day of the Tentacle Remasters How Double Fine scored the rights to remaster classic LucasArts games Comedy in video games (and why it's so rare) Halo 5: Guardians Rocket League Quality testing Guitar Hero Recent Episodes: Podtoid 308: Back to the Force Podtoid 307: The Millennials Podcast Podtoid 306: Tales of Tokyo Game Show Podtoid 305: The Voice of God Podtoid 304: The Phantom Pain Send any tips, queries, and Jennifer Capriati-autogaphed apparel to [email protected]
Podtoid photo
Guest starring Greg Rice of Double Fine
Subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or download it here. On this week's episode, Double Fine renaissance man Greg Rice joins the program to discuss the studio's Day of the Devs event and other topics both Double Fine and not Double Fine-related.

Podtoid photo
Podtoid

Podtoid 309 records today with Double Fine's Greg Rice


So ask us things!
Oct 28
// Kyle MacGregor
Today, special guest Broken Age producer Greg Rice will be joining the cast of Podtoid, our weekly video game podcast, to to discuss Double Fine's upcoming Day of the Devs event. Of course, we'll be discussing other topics as well, so if you have any questions go ahead and drop us a line below.
Day of the Tentacle photo
Day of the Tentacle

Day of the Tentacle Remastered is looking slick


I've seen enough anime to know...
Oct 23
// Darren Nakamura
Yesterday evening, Double Fine teased some new developments on the classic LucasArts adventure game Day of the Tentacle. Today and all this weekend, Tim Schafer's studio will be showing off Day of the Tentacle Remastered at I...
Brad Muir photo
Brad Muir

Massive Chalice lead Brad Muir has gone and joined Valve


He's also performing some research
Oct 08
// Joe Parlock
At the end of September, Massive Chalice project lead Brad Muir left Double Fine. We knew he was headed to Seattle (thanks to this tweet from Tim Schafer), but we didn’t know where he’d go once he got there. Well...
PS Plus free games photo
PS Plus free games

Super Meat Boy and Broken Age will be October's free PlayStation Plus games


'Meat Boy and meet boy' -Steven Hansen
Sep 30
// Darren Nakamura
I'm torn on Super Meat Boy at this point in my life. On the one hand, it probably controls better with a PlayStation 4 d-pad than it ever did on the Xbox 360. On the other hand, I already went all the way through it when I wa...
Headlander reveal photo
Headlander reveal

Double Fine reveals 'retro-futuristic' metroidvania Headlander


That's using your noggin
Aug 27
// Darren Nakamura
Double Fine Productions rarely retreads ground with its games, so it comes as no surprise that its next big title is not Psychonauts 2 (like it should be) but is instead a 2D adventure about a disembodied head who can attach ...
Well, he would know photo
Well, he would know

Former Double Fine COO launches games-only crowdfunding platform where backers can make money


Kickstarter? I hardly even know her!
Aug 18
// Steven Hansen
Former Double Fine COO has just launched Fig, a curated, games-only alternative to sites like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo. It's only for games and only for games approved by the advisory board, which consists of the like of Do...
Documentary photo
Documentary

Watch the full Double Fine Adventure documentary for free


Game development seems scary
Jul 20
// Jordan Devore
2 Player Productions has been following Psychonauts maker Double Fine for years now. Its documentary, Double Fine Adventure, tracked the crowdfunding and creation of Broken Age with exceptional depth. The twentieth and final...
Broken Age photo
Broken Age

Broken Age has 'just about' broken even for Double Fine


Too many brokens in this article, help
Jul 17
// Joe Parlock
Broken Age was one of the early successes of Kickstarter, managing to raise $3.3 million of a $400,000 goal. It took a while between the two parts of the game, but eventually Double Fine made good on their promise and Broken ...

Review: Massive Chalice

Jun 08 // Steven Hansen
Massive Chalice (Xbox One, Mac, PC [reviewed])Developer: Double Fine ProductionsPublisher: Double Fine ProductionsMSRP: $19.99Release Date: June 1, 2015 A talking cup with the alternating voices of an old man and younger woman gives you a "Hello Commander," informing you that you, an immortal being tied to the chalice, are the only one who can navigate humanity to victory against the encroaching, monster-filled Cadence. With that brief set up, you pick five pre-generated families to serve as your starting vanguard of fighters. It's an aesthetic choice. Try and pick families with distinct flag colors (and fun surnames) because otherwise keeping track of them is a mess. The Fab Five have different stat-affecting traits (bred) and personalities (learned) and three different base classes that can be combined to make sub-classes with slightly different abilities. You're also seemingly bound to get stuck with an asthmatic early on whom you can rightly cast off into the scary orange mist because they will be useless and the life of an individual isn't worth much in a 300 year war effort. Massive Chalice operates on two levels. Combat is turn-based with grid movement and two actions per turn. Walk a bit and then attack, or walk further and leave yourself unable to attack are the big ones. The latter has a chance of leaving a character screwed if they wander into the obscured battlefield Fog of War and reveal a pack of waiting enemies. Outside of combat, there is scant decision-making and a lot of hitting the Advance Timeline button as you try to make it to year 300 to destroy the Cadence by building kingdoms for your characters to bone in to produce better soldiers and advance the bloodline. [embed]293482:58868:0[/embed] Combat, however, feels one-dimensional, perhaps appropriate for the rote meat grinder that is 300 years of war. There's no cover or overwatch, never objectives beyond kill everything within line of sight. Inch forward, kill, inch forward, kill. I often had to double back through the sometimes obnoxiously routed, procedurally generated levels to off one last monster that was content to, I guess, walk around in circles in the far off map corner for all its turns. Enemies are impressively distinct. Ruptures create a wide berth of corrosive tiles upon death, Lapses sap soldiers' XP, Wrinklers age soldiers on contact. But Massive Chalice only metes out these highly specialized enemies and facing them over and over, in larger and beefed up quantities, gets tiring. Its turn-based strategy feels brute forced and basic. Even with the addition of sub-classes and the tips screen advising carrying members of every class, I still felt like fielding a team of five Hunters to SOCOM its way through fights was ideal and borderline easy (on Normal mode). The Alchemist's volatile, limited projectiles killed more of my own troops than enemies in my last run and sending the melee-focused Caberjack into the fray always feels too dangerous. This, though, raises a huge problem with the lengthy final fight that I've found unwinnable without the area of effect moves of the other classes. Nation management, too, feels simple and sterile. You are asked to choose between research projects which take years to finish. The most obviously necessary are the Keeps, which is where you retire soldiers to and appoint a mate on the grounds of eugenics. I find that once I get Keeps built and Übermenschs screwing, research becomes haphazard. A couple pieces of gear (mainly for Hunters), the experience raising item, and then I'm mostly choosing something at random and slamming on the "Advance Timeline" button until someone else dies of old age and needs to be replaced at their post. It is clinical and the soldier stat effects feel slim (so long as you avoid breeding a handful of proper blights, like asthma). The idea of bloodlines is a good one, but the sparse overworld (the same Simon panel of territory and occasional, stoic look at a throne) does not support any narrative or connection in the vein of a Crusader Kings-like strategy game. All there is are brief, occasional text adventure events that have you make a decision (how will you settle a squabble between two troops?) that might affect some mild stat. Meanwhile, the short shelf-life of fighters doesn't support any connection to individual troops in combat, save for the one or two fights you'll have a high-level troop with a funny nickname. The most attachment I felt was to a flag color. This becomes a weird problem with the ending, which tries to suddenly loop back around and deliver an unnecessary story element that, at best, would "explain," in-universe, subsequent playthroughs. It is odd, unnecessary, and even robs you of basic world-saving catharsis. It also reminded me that, on Normal, I've yet to come close to my kingdom falling, which belies roguelike claims, while on the other hand I sort of dread playing 300 more years (plus failure restarts) on higher difficulties because of the simple combat. Massive Chalice is both beautiful and approachable, somewhat rare qualities in the genre. But its 300 year arc bends toward apathy and inhumanity. By mid-game, what was novel and enticing becomes a slog. The nation and bloodlines are mostly built out, ending the high level tactics, and battles become more brute force as the same enemies double in HP, power, and quantity. I felt like middle management making the same position appointments that a computer could make more quickly and all I got for my click click clicking was combat with bigger numbers on the same handful of stages. There is some payoff with the bloodline idea at the end, but it is not worth the rote meat grinder to get there. [This review is based on a retail build provided by the publisher.]
Massive Chalice review photo
Great fighter with a glass jaw
Double Fine's less scrutinized Kickstarter success, Massive Chalice, has been formally released half a year since entering Early Access. Along with Invisible, Inc., it formed a one-two punch of time-eating, XCOM-tinged turn-b...

Games with Gold photo
Games with Gold

Hey, you: Go download Massive Chalice for free on Xbox One


I'm talking to you, Gold subscriber
Jun 01
// Brett Makedonski
Yeah, this is a public service announcement, because I am a public servant and it's my duty to inform you, the public. This isn't important on the scale of "We're going to war with Mongolia" or "Kylie Jenner's shorts are so s...
Games photo
Games

Massive Chalice and Just Cause 2 highlight June's Games with Gold


Maybe more's in store at E3
May 28
// Brett Makedonski
June is almost upon us, and as is tradition, it'll be quite a busy month in the video game world. E3's set to take place in just a few weeks, at which point we'll get a ton of news about upcoming titles. It's like your birthd...
Iron Brigade photo
Iron Brigade

Double Fine gets Iron Brigade rights back from Microsoft


But who owns Trenched?
May 26
// Mike Cosimano
Today, indie developer/publisher Double Fine announced that it had regained the rights to Iron Brigade, a 2011 downloadable title originally published by Microsoft Studios under the name Trenched. From this point on, the game...
Devs Play photo
Devs Play

Watch IGA play Symphony of the Night with Double Fine


#whip
May 08
// Jordan Devore
I hadn't really thought about it until now, but man, I would like to spend two hours today watching designer Koji Igarashi play Castlevania: Symphony of the Night alongside Double Fine senior gameplay programmer Anna Kipnis ...
Grim Fandango photo
Grim Fandango

Grim Fandango Remaster now on App Store and Google Play


La Parca en tu bolsillo
May 06
// Zack Furniss
After almost 20 years, LucasArts' Grim Fandango was remastered by Double Fine Productions. It released in January on the PlayStation 4, PS Vita, PC, Mac, and Linux to mostly positive reception. Starting today, it wi...

Double Fine Productions aims to rekindle the spirit of adventure

Apr 28 // Alessandro Fillari
"It seems like there's been so many people talking about adventure games, people crowdfunding new adventure games," recalled Tim Schafer, the founder of Double Fine Productions and game director on Broken Age. "It's just that everyone felt that it's okay to talk about it again. We don't have to talk about it like a dead genre anymore, people just throw that word around casually, like 'Oh, you're doing an adventure game?' -- it's become normalized now." With the renewed interest for adventure games in recent years, there's never been a better time to become invested in the once-dormant genre. There was a time when adventure titles were common, and full of optimism, but with a steep decline after the '90s, traditional point-and-click games seemed to have gone by the wayside. But recently, these games have seen a reawakening, thanks in part to developers like Telltale Games and Double Fine outputting a steady flow of titles. And with titles spread across so many platforms (including mobile), they're now more accessible than ever. The development of Broken Age, which is easily the studio's highest-profile project, has been a unique case to watch. Tim Schafer and the team aimed to create a title that was a true throwback to classic LucasArts titles like Day of the Tentacle, The Secret of Monkey Island, and Grim Fandango -- while also taking advantage of today's technology to illustrate visually vibrant and diverse worlds to explore. With the pretty positive reception the first act received last year, people have been anxious to get their on the final part of the game. During my session, I had some time to play the PlayStation 4 version of Broken Age along with Tim Schafer. Though I went in mostly blind, as I opted to wait until the full release was ready to play, I still had a wonderful time experiencing it this way. It felt great with the PS4 on a big screen, and adding to this was a sense of playing with a community that chimed in with thoughts and helped with clues for puzzles. It really added to the fun. Schafer hopes that players who've already cleared Act I will start from scratch now that Act II is out, as he believes many of the references and characters from the first half of the game may have been forgotten by players by now. Though the developers have launched other titles during the three years of Broken Age's development -- such as Grim Fandango Remastered, Costume Quest II, The Cave, and the beta for their second crowdfunded project, Massive Chalice -- firm interest has still been kept on their work for Broken Age. And with good reason. I mean, how many other games in active development have a film crew following them around recording all their successes and missteps for the masses to see? While they had the challenges of their own project to manage, they also had to deal with the high-profile nature of it following the success of the funding campaign. With everyone watching, the developers wanted to ensure they'd knock it out of the park with the completed title and not only live up to expectations but also to set a good example for the future of crowdfunded titles. Because whether they wanted to or not, they essentially became the people to follow and emulate. "We were like, 'We can't obviously walk away from [the Kickstarter project], we made a commitment to fans and to our backers," said the director of Broken Age. "It did feel like the beginning of something, and it did feel like the responsibility to not mess it up, because our game, our studio, and other people's games kind of were depending on it now, and if done well could lead to a whole bunch of things being funded, that couldn't have been funded otherwise. So we definitely felt like there was a lot riding on our shoulders, but we would've stuck with it anyway, because we always finish our games." The success of the Kickstarter certainly felt like a watershed moment for many. During my interview with Brian Fargo last year for Wasteland 2, the success of Double Fine's project sparked a lot of enthusiasm among many of the "old-school" designers looking to explore forgotten genres and franchises. In our chat, Fargo spoke about trust being the cornerstone of the relationship between developers and their community. And I definitely got a sense of that from my visit to Double Fine. There was not only a clear respect for the genre that many of the developers were returning to, but also for the many of backers and fans who have contributed to the title as well. For better or worse, however, the level of transparency has also contributed to scrutiny over the project. While there have been many successes with crowdfunding over the years, there are also many projects that missed the mark, or outright failed to deliver. During our talk, I felt that Schafer was humbled by the process, and even spoke honestly about their own stumbles with limiting content and details to backers only, leaving everyone else out of the loop. One of the important things they wanted viewers of the documentary to see is what exactly the process is like for game creation -- to give them an understanding of the challenges they often faced. "A lot of people make games, and they care so much about what they make," he said while discussing the challenges of development. "There are so many hard tradeoffs they have to make, there are features in the game they wanted but couldn't because there are these other things they wanted even more, and I want everyone to see that process, because I do think that when you ship a game everything you see in it is an active choice by someone, and it is, but sometimes it's a miracle the game got done. [...] I don't know if they need to think about that stuff, but I like to know that at least some people out there know how hard people work, how amazingly difficult or complicated problems are solved everyday, and all the choices they have to make while making a videogame." This definitely struck a chord with me. I'm inclined to think that there are many gamers out there who are unfamiliar with the actual process of game development, and assume many features and key aspects of development can be added in and removed as if they were text on a document. It felt very refreshing to see so much openness about game creation. Though that may be in part to due to the needs of transparency for operating a crowdfunded project, I found that it helped to not only give the developers their own chance to tell their side of the story, but also to humanize the actual process of game creation. While the added publicity of their project added pressure to make sure they did right by fans, it was the kind of pressure they were more than familiar with during their time on past titles from the LucasArts era and in recent years at Double Fine. Over the years, they've developed games that inspire a lot of love and respect from fans, and making sure they deliver was something that kept them on track. "It's definitely pleasurable to succeed and fulfill all those promises, and anyone who's kinda hoping we would fail, it's nice to hear their quiet tears in the night. If you listen quietly you can hear them cry into the night," Schafer said while joking about the messages they get from cynical commentators. "But we always have this pressure of trying to do things that the fans would like anyway, now that the fans are actually funding the game, so it's the same group. But you put that kid of pressure on you anyway so you'd make a good game."   With the complete Broken Age experience available now, this marks the end of a long and unique development period for the studio. Though it has still got another crowdfunded title in the wings, its first is now out in the wild, ready to be experienced by fans and newcomers alike. But as we've seen in the years since Double Fine's success on Kickstarter, there's no shortage of campaigns looking to reignite the same fire that only a few projects can attain. Schafer definitely believes the future is bright for crowdfunded titles. "I think crowdfunding is here to stay," said a confident Schafer. "I think when people realized you could get organized and make things happen that couldn't be made by the old gate-keeper system, I think that'll always be the case. [...] Basically I think things always go crazy on Kickstarter when there's a great story. I think we had a good story that was new, and also people were saying 'Here's this thing we wanted to happen for a while.' Like this new adventure game, and it hasn't happened, but we could fix that and make it ourselves -- and that's really powerful." "But there are a lot of other different kinds of stories, besides old-timers like me going back and doing the genre again. Just people doing projects no one has ever thought of before, but instantly want to happen, I think there'll be these spikes whenever that happens and continue to be more popular. I mean the things about crowdfunding will change and improve, but I don't think it'll ever go away." A good story is important. Whether it comes from a struggling developer looking to strike out on its own with a project that was rejected by countless publishers, or from a group of veteran creators seeking to return to a classic franchise all while doing it their way -- crowdfunding has inspired a lot of people with an idea to put themselves out there and hope to find others who share their vision, and to ultimately realize it. And with Broken Age out now, we're approaching the end of another story from the folks at Double Fine Productions. But as the genre goes, there are always more adventures to be had. It's not often you get to be a part of the revival of a once-dead genre that inspired many to create their own titles, bond with friends and family over the complexity of puzzles, or get caught up in heated debates about what the real ending is for contentious titles. As the name of the genre states, an adventure is an exciting and hazardous journey into the unknown, and the developers of Broken Age experienced just that with their first foray into crowdfunded game development. Regardless of how you feel about Broken Age as a whole, or whether the developers at Double Fine made the right choices, it's hard to deny that it all made for one of the most interesting development periods for a game in years. Whether you view Double Fine Productions as the underdog or not, it still made for an engaging story. And aren't those the ones worth telling?  
Double Fine interview photo
Everyone loves a good story
Who could forget the great Kickstarter boom of 2012? You remember, right? Out of nowhere, this website called Kickstarter suddenly became a focal point for established developers and indies looking to crowdfund the next big t...


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