Those who have been paying attention to the news lately, or anyone that is a fan Double Fine’s work, might have noticed that the prospect of a sequel to Psychonauts was sounding more and more like a possibility, but now Double Fine’s founder, Tim Schafer, might be pushing Psychonauts 2 aside.
Fans have been itching for a sequel to the critically acclaimed 2005 title since, well, 2005. Lately the Internet has been abuzz with a glimmer of hope that it might actually become a reality.
Last week Tim Schafer, in an interview with Digital Spy, said that he has tried pitching Psychonauts 2 to several publishers, but that no one seems to be interested. He mentioned the incalculable amounts of daily questions he receives from fans on the subject.
“I’d love to do that game, but I’d have to convince someone to just give me a few million dollars, that’s all.”
It appeared that someone took up that call when Minecraft creator Marcus ‘Notch’ Persson suggested through Twitter that he might fund the project. Notch tweeted at Schafer:
“Let’s make Psychonauts 2 happen.”
Now, after all of the mail, after all the attention, after all of the waiting, Double Fine is using the buzz to focus attention on making a completely different game, asking for funding from fans.
Double Fine is asking for donations through Kickstarter to make a brand new point-and-click adventure game. What the game is about is anyone’s guess, but what is sure is they are asking for an additional $100,000 on top of the $300,000 to make a documentary of the entire game making process. 2 Player Productions, the people behind the Kickstarter-funded documentary Minecraft: The Story of Mojang, will be in change of the filming.
The introductory video on their Kickstarter page is rife with Tim Schafer and Double Fine’s style of humor, which is funny, but just helps to mask the absurd notion that point-and-click games are practically a dead genre, something a Telltale game might take umbrage with. Schafer claims that fans are always asking him to make another point-and-click adventure, but that they don’t understand the way games work and that if he pitched that idea, a publisher wouldn’t want to fund it. Sound familiar? Schafer then plays out that very scenario when a “fan” hands him money to make the game and informing him that there is much more where that came from. Schafer goes on to outright tell fans that funding a new game will also mean funding a documentary no one asked for. Meaning it’s a packaged deal, folks. Why Schafer feels like the public needs to be educated on game design is somewhat baffling.
The game itself could be good, we aren’t denying Double Fine‘s history for making great games (Brutal Legend not withstanding) but fans have to admit this was surprising. Whether the demand for point-and-click games is as large as Schafer claims is unclear, but fans are eating up the opportunity to donate to the cause since the unexpected announcement.
So, what’s the plan with Psychonauts 2? The rest of Schafer’s interview with Digital Spy, where he addresses sequels:
“So if I did a sequel to any of the games I had before, it would have prevented one of the [new games]… if I did a sequel to Full Throttle there wouldn’t have been Grim Fandango, and so on and so on down the line.”
But things have changed since the days of Grim Fandango and Double Fine was able to release three separate games last year thanks to their larger team, meaning that if Notch (or some publisher) is seriously interested in Psychonauts there’s a chance of a sequel, one that could release in a variety of formats.
“It’s hard. But now we have multiple projects, we have multiple teams, one of us could be working on a sequel and one of us could be working on a new game. It opens up a lot of possibilities.”
The Kickstarter-funded project is expected to finish sometime in October 2012 and the game will be available exclusively to Steam. As for Psychonauts 2, time will tell.