163: Backstage with Tim Schafer

Jordan Deam

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Backstage with Tim Schafer

"More Mark Mothersbaugh than Mick Jagger, Schafer has built a reputation for creating weird, cerebral games that rely more on clever dialogue and witty characterizations than seat-of-your-pants gameplay. Beginning his career at LucasArts with The Secret of Monkey Island, which he helped write and program along with fellow designer Dave Grossman, Schafer has carved out a niche in an industry obsessed with the next Top-40 hit where he and his team can work on something a bit more offbeat."

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sammyfreak

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Schafer is the man. Much much love to the man.

I also highly recomend the Double Fine blog (make sure to mouse-over the pictures), almost as hysterical as Monkey Island.
 

BallPtPenTheif

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interesting to hear how he views the modern development process. i think most people in his position would be just complaining about all of it.
 

SlightlyEvil

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Psychonauts is one of my favorite games, since the top-notch worldbuilding more than makes up for the somewhat lacking gameplay.
 

Jordan Deam

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Maybe instead of doing interviews about himself, he could tell us some things about Brutal Legend other than "No, its fine." in the full year since he last said something about it.

The thing is becoming vaporware.
 

Juan Regular

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He probably isn't allowed at this point to talk about what's going on with the game, but as far as I know, DF are very close to signing with another publisher. I gets released. That's all I need to know.

On the article: Very nice read. I like Schafer's attitude about the whole business. He knows what's going on, but he always takes with a nice amount of humour. There's a very cool episode of Icons about him and the last days of Psychonauts' production where you see how cool and relaxed he is about everything, not matter under how much pressure he is (although I think they might have skipped some parts). The guy is simply one of the best people in the business. He never forgets the story and never forgets the fun. And that's what we need here.
 

Jordan Deam

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Juan Regular post=6.68906.647456 said:
He probably isn't allowed at this point to talk about what's going on with the game, but as far as I know, DF are very close to signing with another publisher. I gets released. That's all I need to know.

On the article: Very nice read. I like Schafer's attitude about the whole business. He knows what's going on, but he always takes with a nice amount of humour. There's a very cool episode of Icons about him and the last days of Psychonauts' production where you see how cool and relaxed he is about everything, not matter under how much pressure he is (although I think they might have skipped some parts). The guy is simply one of the best people in the business. He never forgets the story and never forgets the fun. And that's what we need here.
He's the damn maker - he decides what gets released and what doesn't. He can at least toss us some fucking voice actors.
 

Jordan Deam

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Indigo_Dingo post=6.68906.646822 said:
Maybe instead of doing interviews about himself, he could tell us some things about Brutal Legend other than "No, its fine." in the full year since he last said something about it.

The thing is becoming vaporware.
Vaporware?

Brütal Legend was announced in October/November of 2007. It hasn't even been a year yet, and Schafer has said repeatedly that the game will come out sometime in 2008. In contrast, Spore was announced in March 2005 and it's coming out next month. Three and a half years is a long time to wait. Fourteen months is a bit more manageable.

Brütal Legend's biggest problem isn't the developer getting sidetracked - it's the lack of a publisher. I'm just as anxious as you to find out what's going to happen to it, but don't blame Double Fine. Blame Activision for being shortsighted enough to drop it from their roster.

Oh, and deep breaths ;)
 

Jordan Deam

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Ice-Nine post=6.68906.651169 said:
Indigo_Dingo post=6.68906.646822 said:
Maybe instead of doing interviews about himself, he could tell us some things about Brutal Legend other than "No, its fine." in the full year since he last said something about it.

The thing is becoming vaporware.
Vaporware?

Brütal Legend was announced in October/November of 2007. It hasn't even been a year yet, and Schafer has said repeatedly that the game will come out sometime in 2008. In contrast, Spore was announced in March 2005 and it's coming out next month. Three and a half years is a long time to wait. Fourteen months is a bit more manageable.

Brütal Legend's biggest problem isn't the developer getting sidetracked - it's the lack of a publisher. I'm just as anxious as you to find out what's going to happen to it, but don't blame Double Fine. Blame Activision for being shortsighted enough to drop it from their roster.

Oh, and deep breaths ;)
Actually, I was calling vapourware before this little problem hit. October of last year, this thing was announced. Dio, Schafer, Metal world - the thing sounded mindblowing. Then nothing - not a goddamn thing - for over six months. No trailers, no cast additions, no plot elements, no screenshots - absolutely nothing. I realist that developers can work in secrecy, but christ, that was well over the limit. As it is, the only words we have on it are that Activision thought Ice Age would be more profitable, and Schafer simply saying "its fine", in the same tone that Enron execs reassured their investors.

Vapourware is software that fails to materialise. Considering that nothing has developed on it except that its been cut loose, it sounds like a strong candidate.
 

sammyfreak

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Well I guess they aren't going the Little Big Planet path and releasing so much information we have forgotten about it when it finaly is released. We already know all we need to know, it's a Schafer game. ;)
 

Pastey Old Greg

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I love Schafer. The fact that it took about ten minutes to make Dogen Boole to become one of my most favorite video game characters ever is a testament to how quickly his games draw you in and don't let go.
 

Jordan Deam

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sammyfreak said:
Well I guess they aren't going the Little Big Planet path and releasing so much information we have forgotten about it when it finaly is released. We already know all we need to know, it's a Schafer game. ;)
There is a subtle difference. Releasing no information other than what was said at the concept stage indicates the idea is still in said stage.

And who can get bored of LBP?
 

Lord Rick

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Schafer is one of my gaming heroes. My copies of Grim Fandango and Psychonauts are no more than a few feet away from me, as ever. I'll be there waiting for Brutal Legend, regardless of when it finally reaches us.
 

Jordan Deam

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BallPtPenTheif post=6.68906.658396 said:
That would be messed up if either Microsoft or Sony grabbed the Publishing on this game.
Remember how Microsoft did have exclusive rights to Psychonauits, and then dumped it? Considering its relative failure commercially, I doubt they'd take Brutal Legend. Sony, on the other hand, might.
 

Jordan Deam

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And if you think that Sony wouldn't take on a game if its predecessor sold badly, remember that they kept Team Ico, and gave them the budget to make Shadow of the Collosus after Ico did poorly.
 

Break

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Dingo, if Legends was still in its early stages, then I sincerely doubt that the release estimate of "sometime this year" would still be the official line. There's, what, three months of 2008 left? For a release this year to be even remotely feasible, they'd have to have quite a lot done.