Develop 2010: Double Fine president and founder talks about stillborn heavy metal sequel, publisher relations, and the move to smaller games.
Who Was There: Double Fine Production's Tim Schafer is well known for classic games such as Monkey Island, Full Throttle, and Grim Fandango. His most recent works include 2005's Psychonauts and last year's heavy metal-infused Brutal Legend, which was released to critical acclaim. He is also known on the development circuit for his outspoken opinions and sense of humour.
What He Talked About: As a veteran developer, Schafer had much to say about the changing nature of his Double Fine Productions and its relationship with publishers. Much of his talk focused on the studio's move away from AAA titles to smaller, more manageable projects. This was brought about by the cancellation of a sequel to Brutal Legend, much to the chagrin of Schafer. He said, "Apparently when [the publisher] said it was a done deal, there was a deal, and it was done."
The studio subsequently went on to split off into four smaller teams, each working on small "indie-style" games, which Schafer likened to holding an independent games festival within the company. Four of the best projects were shopped around to publishers, and within months, all four were signed, turning Double Fine Productions into a multi-project studio for the first time.
Though firm release dates details were not revealed, Schafer hinted that that we may see some of the games this year, in both retail and downloadable formats. He also mentioned what might be in store in terms of gameplay, saying that splitting off into smaller teams allowed the studio to experiment with different genres, licenses, and demographics (such as kids' titles), giving them "more chances at having a hit game." Many of the staff members who worked on Brutal Legend are heading up the new projects, two of which will focus on both retro and innovative new gameplay mechanics.
Schafer also offered advice to budding game studios on how to start up, create new ideas, and deal with publishers. "When starting a company, don't use your own money--use someone else's," he said. "A lot of developers don't get second chances." He likened the relationship between developers and publishers to that of a "parent and child," cautioning that a developer can become too reliant on a publisher for money.
Schafer also advised developers to be mindful of what they say about publishers in interviews, referring to his recent comments about Activision CEO Bobby Kotick. He warned that often developers may end up pitching a game to people that they've burnt bridges with, and likened the experience to the scene in The Empire Strikes Back where Han Solo suddenly finds he's meeting Darth Vader for lunch in Cloud City.
Quote: "Remember, the microphone is always on."--Schafer, offering developers advice in light of his recent interview.
Takeaway: Schafer was keen to emphasise how developing smaller titles had given the studio a burst of creativity, resulting in "less compromise." He also touted the virtues of shopping around for publishers and changing them often. This allows a studio to retain intellectual property rights and get out before being hurt from the destructive nature of mergers, acquisitions, and other "strange things" he said can happen to big publishers.
This is so depressing man, seriously. I loved Brutal Legend and the ending just begged for a sequel. I haven't even heard of that Sesame Street game. They could have given us more DLC, like being able to play as LionWhyte. I've never been more upset over a game's cancellation. This game could've been so much more.
This is the dumbest decision in Double Fine's career. They quit Brutal Legend and decided to make a frickin' Sesame Street game. That is the worst possible way to gain credit. There are so many questions left unanswered in Brutal Legend. What is that place? Has Succoria really been put out for good? Is it possible that Eddie can take over the remainder of the Tainted Coil and give them a home? We need just 1 more game Doouble Fine. Just ONE more. Just if you do, I'm pretty sure I speak for all of us men of Legend when I say we want to be able to play as Doviculous and Ophelia in story mode too. Well... maybe just Doviculous. But what about the Drowning Doom? OK, yeah Ophelia too.
Brutal Legend was a great game and should continue. The story of how Eddie Riggs father came to the world of metal and how he and Succoria is very intriguing as well as the whole war. Plus Jack Black is so great for the role of Eddie Rigs. It just needs to continue.
i hate you the world need anther brutal legend. this was the best game of all time and now that there not making a second one just piss me off
why? . Can do a lot of games but one of those games ..... this.................. heavy metal!!??! NOOOOOWith what I wanted to play the 2 ....... TT sad that the game taught me that was the best heavy metal musicand goesNever!! they are never forgive
porque? .Podra hacer muchos juegos pero en alguno de esos juegos.....esta..................el heavy metal!!!!????!!NOOOOOCon lo que queria yo jugar a el 2.......TT que tristeza el juego que me ensenño que el heavy metal era la mejor musicay se va No se los perdonare nunca
this game needs a bigger sequel like happened with assassins creed, i'm not talking about a sequel with 2 "expansions" I'm talking about a more complete experiencie with more history, abilities, options. Even an mmorpg would be great, but with people listening Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Justin fuc**ing bieber and other s**ts, that's something difficult.
y brutal legend was a great game and it needs a second part! schafer u lost a lot of my respect, man
(such as kids' titles), giving them "more chances at having a hit game." What the hell is this crap, i mean they make a game with like tons of cussing and gore, and now they're going to make little baby games, that's retarded. I agree with ManfromRedRiver about the whole "ripping [the publisher]'s face off" thing.
Are they freaking idiots? This game is one of the Best games Iv played so far in the PS3, is simply Epic, and they are not gonna make another? This calls for a DECAPITATIONNNNNN!!! No, but srysly, this game is pretty awesome just finish it last week, and i want more, they have to be blind not to see this is a great lp.
Ima go rip [the publisher]'s face off now... and promise not to give it back until Brutal Legend 2 is released.
how can they say, that Brutal Legend didn't sold enough copies, because everywhere i go (about brutal legend), everyone wants a Brutal Legend 2. I want it too... so, Tim Schafer, Double Fine, EA! please... WE WANT A SEQUEL
NOOOOOOO! Brutal Legend was one of the most fun games I've played in a long time I was playing Red Dead but stopped playing it halfway though went out and got Brutal Legend and couldn't stop playing it they could of even made a move out of it, funny as hell... pissed there's not going to be a sequel.
That really sucks because I loved Brutal Legend and I was expecting this to get released so much It's choice of music and oddball characters are both brilliant in my book as one of the best games of 2009.
mull20641 I'm not here to burn any bridges. What part of this article made you feel Schafer is back on the right track. Some times you have to tell the captain to reverse the engines and drop us off on the iceberg. Instead of taking all of us sinking in to history.
its to bad about the sequel. I would have liked to see it. I hope someday he'll have the time to do it.
Gamespot, your headline is quite misleading from the front page. "Tim Schafer confirms Brutal Legend 2..."
***** U all EA haters, dont you **** know that EA picked up brutal legends where acitivision dumped it in the 1st place?
Wow....no Psychonauts 2, and now no Brutal Legend 2. This is incredibly sad. You can blame EA all you want, but it's eventually development costs that are the culprit.
Very disappointing. I hope they at least do some dlc. Damn EA... you bunch of pricks. For cancelling a BL sequel... I now hate EA more than Activision. At least I know it's wasn't DF's fault.
Brutal Legend was not only a great tribute to all Heavy Metal Fans but to all o like great music and to all people that like games with a litle inovation and humor. I was one of the best games last year and I was expecting an even better sequel. Schafer you should do this sequel instead of doing small games...
@x-2tha_z Brutal Legend is a game for metal fans, with humour aimed at metal fans, Im a metal fan, I loved it. It could have been better. Its very sad to hear that someone would be cheered up by a game they werent intending on playing was cancelled.
Schafer is so underrated. He hasn't had a big hit since he left LucasArts, but all of his games have gotten rave reviews from players and critics. I guess no matter how good the idea is, it doesn't mean it will sell. Maybe he should see if he can get LucasArts to publish his next game...
@vectorman88 I think the industry was in trouble for awhile, but now we're getting more and more superior choices from indie developers. People just need to look beyond the fist-in-your-face marketing that AAA titles have. I for one am done giving AAA developers the benefit of the doubt when they make choices like this. Everyone wants to make money, but at what cost... your spine and the respect of everyone that isn't a screaming child that worships CoD and Halo? I hope Tim is taking his own advice and gets out of this "compromising" AAA setup before it ruins his reputation with the paying customer.
@Shadow_zone (and I thought my username was bad) I came into this "thread" (it's actually called a news story) to read about Brutal Legend 2 being cancelled. I was feeling down and I knew this story would cheer me up. The first Brutal Legend is one of the worst games I've ever played.
@x-2tha-z Dude if youre not bothered by it then why are you even on this thread? Brutal Legend is one of the funnest games Ive played in a long time.
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Brutal Legend is WAY too short! They MUST make a sequel and have a grunge invasion followed buy nu metal and emo hardcore! Absolutely GUTTED!
But I really really enjoyed Brutal Legend :( I would have loved a sequel. I HATED metal music until Brutal Legend.
personally, Tim Schafer is a hero. But one of things that i liked most about is games is that they blur the lines between a kids game and an adults game. If you think about it, all games either fall into one of the two catagories. I fear that kids games aren't really able to have any of tim's suggestive humour and wont be as funny. Not like i won't buy and love every single game he makes
@deviant74 D= you dare to question the creator of Full Throttle, Brutal Legend, Psychonauts and Grim Fandango? I shall strike you down!!!
This honestly makes me a bit sad since I loved Brutal Legend and still play it from time to time. I mean sure Brutal Legend isn't liked by a lot of people, but that's cause they don't see the game as the tribute to the age of metal it represents, but see it as just a game. Some games are than just games, sometimes they're things that remind us of what we idolized. So yes, I'm a born metalhead, suck it you pop-crazed ladies. Hell Yeah!!!
aw man!! i was looking forward to hearing Tara Strong's and Grey Delisle's Voice in Brutal Legend 2!!
AAA titles Double Fine. I think they might have put out a B title once. Now they are putting out 4 C- games. Some of the 4 games will be kid games. So that means that they will be putting out there first for adult's game soon. Everyone knows Double Fine is Disney approved gaming that just not up to there quality standards.
DAMN IT! its all about business! its never about fan or innovation or fun. what the hell has happened to the gaming industry? choices like this just suck the freakin life out of everything!!!
More Tim Schafer lead games can only be a good thing, hopefully it means we'll see alot more of his ideas in smaller Downloadable games. and more studios should develop more than one game at a time. But only if they can make something good without spreading themselves too thin, just look at what happened to Grin. BC:Rearmed was great and Bionic Commando was ok, but Wanted and Terminator were a big let down.
Content you might like…
Users who looked at this article also looked at these content items.
Emmy-winning writer Jon Vitti, who penned "Mr. Plow" episode of The Simpsons, working on 2016 film based on Rovio's game. Full Story
- Posted May 20, 2013 12:23 pm PT
Bankrupt publisher hoping to bring in at least $22 million from upcoming asset auctions. Full Story
- Posted May 23, 2013 9:43 am PT
Network journalist acknowledges one-sided violent video game report; invitations to Bungie and the Entertainment Software Association were declined. Full Story
- Posted May 20, 2013 10:45 pm PT