Notch Volunteers to Fund Psychonauts Sequel - UPDATED

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Notch Volunteers to Fund Psychonauts Sequel - UPDATED

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Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson wants to get together with Tim Schafer and "make Psychonauts 2 happen."

Released in 2005, Psychonauts was a stroke of sheer genius. It was also, despite widespread critical acclaim, a pretty huge bomb. Eight months after launch it had sold less than 100,000 copies and ultimately played a big part in driving Majesco out of the "premium console market." That's why a sequel, despite creator Tim Schafer's interest in making one, remains a far off dream. "I've actually pitched that to publishers several times and no-one has taken the bait so far," he said in a recent interview with Digital Spy. "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."

But the dream may not be quite so far-off anymore, because someone has apparently been convinced. Following the interview, Notch, the man who made Minecraft, asked a simple question on Twitter: "How many millions exactly?"

That, naturally, led to a joking response from Rock, Paper, Shotgun about an exclusive report of Notch's offer to fund the sequel, followed by confusion when he sent a more straightforward message to Schafer saying, "Let's make Psychonauts 2 happen."

Is he serious? "I'm serious," he said in another tweet.

It's a long way from a signed contract but the commitment appears to be there. The next step is up to Schafer, however. "Let's wait for Tim to respond," Notch wrote to enthusiastic hopefuls. "It's his baby."

@TimOfLegend hasn't yet commented on the situation, although he does seem aware that something is going on. "Man, so many tweets. I assume this is all people asking for codes to Happy Action Theater and Rise of the Martian Bear?" he wrote. "Oh wait. Hm. This is interesting."

UPDATE: How serious is he? Believe it or not, the wheels are already turning. "Tim and Markus are talking," a Double Fine rep told Eurogamer. "Who knows what might happen?"

via: Blue's News

Permalink

This has nothing to do with the topic, but I feel it necessary to point it out: I know that news isn't always lightning fast at the Escapist, despite how much they try, but I love how the users are ahead by just a little bit. XD

What I'm talking about.

Anyway...

Some people wonder why I like Notch so much. This is why. :D

...

This will either be the greatest thing of all time...

Or the moment it jumped the shark...

And, honestly, at this moment, I have no idea which way it will turn.

But, I'll say this, I'll pre-order it as soon as it becomes available. Especially if Boyd gets a mention.

If Mojang gets this into development, it would be quite a notch in his belt.

So to speak.

Wow, Indie dev turned Publisher.

Yes... Yes.

Please, please, please make it happen.

If they do this, they should do it the exact same way Minecraft was released:

i.e., selling "beta" versions before it is complete, in order to finance the development. Worked well once, I can imagine it would work again.

Bless you, Notch...Bless you!

Hrm, thing is.. Psychonauts was not really a good game. Sure it had Schaffers quirky sense of humor and "I dug this out of Tim Burtons Closet, does it look good?" design esthetic, So as a visual work, sure, its good. As an interactive game, not so much.

This is part of the reason why Schaffers games do not do all that well, and part of the reason why the game industry is not one with "rock stars" Video game creation is a collaborative effort, and works best when it is created that way. Relying on one individual as a mouthpeice rarely turns out well. It doesnt work with Peter Molyneaux, It doesnt work with Cliffy B, and Honestly, Schaffer is no exception. It doesnt even work with Notch and minecraft About the only time you see it work, is when the name and the person behind the name are no longer the same thing such as Sid Meier and Civilization.

Anyway..between how much Notch dumps into humble bundles and projects like this I really see Notch being a case example for "a fool and his money are soon parted" because he is seemingly more than happy to spend his cash on just about anything other than his own work. So I cannot see him becoming a sucessful publisher given how low his work ethic is, and how much ADD he seems to have in seeing projects thru from start to finish.

So, while Psychonauts2 is arguably a good idea, being tied in with Notch is likely the worst thing for that project.

I like the idea of Notch as an eccentric millionaire who resuscitates beloved game franchises. Hey Notch, let's make System Shock 3 happen.

This sounds like a weird nerd fantasy come true. Whats next, a tekken and street fighter cross over? Oh wait...

Personally I think Notch is just doing what any nerd would do if they suddenly were in the possession of a ridiculous amount of money; Use it to fund the craziest geek fantasy you have ever had. Personally I would have used the money to hire Street Fighter girl look a likes to compete in a fighting/ mud wrestling tournament, but second on the list would probably be make a sequel to Psychonauts.

While I know that Psychonauts wasn't a perfect game, but so were a lot of other first games in other series, like Sly or Ratchet and Clank. It usually takes a sequel for a developer to iron out all the kinks in a game before it achieves greatness. I got a feeling if this game does happen, it will finally cross that line in to an almost perfect game.

War Penguin:
I feel it necessary

Why?

viranimus:
Hrm, thing is.. Psychonauts was not really a good game. Sure it had Schaffers quirky sense of humor and "I dug this out of Tim Burtons Closet, does it look good?" design esthetic, So as a visual work, sure, its good. As an interactive game, not so much.

You're only speaking for yourself here, as personally, I've been enjoying the hell out of it. Picked it up back during the Steam Christmas Sale when it was insanely cheap and had a Santa ticket in it. However, even then I only did it because of the reviews I'd heard. They weren't wrong. Yeah, it's essentially a cross between a third person platformer and a Lucas Arts graphical adventure, but as such, it certainly performs up to today's standards, and personally, I find it's gameplay is at least equal, if not superior, in both these categories to a majority of the games released in either one separately, even today.

This is part of the reason why Schaffers games do not do all that well, and part of the reason why the game industry is not one with "rock stars" Video game creation is a collaborative effort, and works best when it is created that way. Relying on one individual as a mouthpeice rarely turns out well. It doesnt work with Peter Molyneaux, It doesnt work with Cliffy B, and Honestly, Schaffer is no exception. It doesnt even work with Notch and minecraft About the only time you see it work, is when the name and the person behind the name are no longer the same thing such as Sid Meier and Civilization.

You might as well argue that Quentin Tarantino or Robert Rodriguez movies don't do all that well, or pre-Star Wars Lucas movies don't do all that well. Is a Tim Schaffer game ideally suited for the mass-market Walmart shopping CoD drones? No. But not being the Michael Bay of the video-game world I don't think is any bad thing, and if we want the industry to grow and mature, something we need more of. All that really needs to happen is for investors to realize that a Schaffer game is not your summer blockbuster, but your quirky drama and adjust investment, expectations, and marketing accordingly.

Anyway..between how much Notch dumps into humble bundles and projects like this I really see Notch being a case example for "a fool and his money are soon parted" because he is seemingly more than happy to spend his cash on just about anything other than his own work. So I cannot see him becoming a sucessful publisher given how low his work ethic is, and how much ADD he seems to have in seeing projects thru from start to finish.

This is what's called being an investor. If you want to own your own business and do all the work, that's fine, you're an entrepreneur. But if you want to make real money, you become an investor and let *other* people do the work for you. If you make good decisions about the type of work and the people, you can have tremendous success. In this case, I think Notch is probably on to a good thing, the first game, after all, has been slowly building buzz about it all these years. It would not surprise me at all to hear that Psychonauts 2 sells many times more than the original.

War Penguin:
This has nothing to do with the topic, but I feel it necessary to point it out: I know that news isn't always lightning fast at the Escapist, despite how much they try, but I love how the users are ahead by just a little bit. XD

What I'm talking about.

Anyway...

Some people wonder why I like Notch so much. This is why. :D

The community is almost always going to be faster than the news team because you're dealing with thousands of people in varying time zones trawling the web for gaming info, versus our small handful of newsies. The numbers are in the community's favor on that score. So, yes, odds are that the news will show up in the forum first. Some people choose to use that advantage to tip off the news guys and point them towards something the community should know about. And some decide to just be smug or rude.

I'd love this to happen, but the question to ask is: Does Schaefer actually own the IP to Psychonauts? If not, will they be able to go through with it? Does it actually matter?

Stilkon:
I'd love this to happen, but the question to ask is: Does Schaefer actually own the IP to Psychonauts? If not, will they be able to go through with it? Does it actually matter?

Since Schafer have tried to get a deal with various publishers, we can assume he atleast has the possibility to work it out.

Man if it's been about development costs this whole time they should have just opened a paypal account that we could donate to and let the fans pay for the development.

Kwil:
Snipped for space

Ohkay, yes we are all entitled to opinions. Heres some more. Remove the narrative of Psychonauts and you are left with an a 3rd person platformer that did not even manage to hit par of other platformers of its time such as Rachet and clank, Jak, Sly cooper, etc. So that goes back to what I said. As a work of visual media, its fine, the story is potentially great if you like his niche sense of humor. But on the gameplay mechanics alone? its not a good game, and liking the story does not make the gameplay any less tired and uninspired. In the types of quests and variations, mechanics, AI, with the clunky semi responsive controls and loosing arguments with the camera as well as its visual aesthetic, it felt like I was playing a rehash of LoK: Soul Reaver for PSX . Im not entirely convinced it met the standards of the end of the last century, much less todays standards.

I do however appreciate hipster ideology. I have been gaming since the 70s. I do not go for the mass market appeal type games. Walmart/Bay/CoD games. I seek out enjoyable games based on their merits. A good example of a quirky game that flies under the radar, basically the niche Psychonauts was to fill would be better illustrated by say fat princess or Bastion. Psychonauts has unmitigated hipster cred because the game tanked(thus making it underground), yet critics like Sesslar and his ilk kept browbeating the market trying to convince them that the game was good, not because it was good, but because it represented what they wanted to see more of in the industry. Sort of like what happened with Beyond good and Evil, which also was another unjustly over hyped game because of its core deviation from industry standards. I get it. The industry DOES need to take risks and branch out what it considers a viable game to produce variety. However claiming a bad game is good simply because it took a risk is not the way to accomplish it and actually does more harm than good.

And as for Psy2 outselling Psy1, your right. It likely would outsell. That would not take a lot of effort either. As for Notch. You are right there too, there is a difference between an investor and an entrepreneur. Just like there is a difference between someone with business savvy, and someone who through sheer dumb luck fell bass ackwards into a gold mine(pun intended, i guess). Look at Notches business track record since basically loosing interest in minecraft. Butting heads in litigation with an industry giant, Pushing into markets such as mobile and delivering half the product promised, A poorly planned convention, Yielding developmental control only after a year of taking a hands off approach to the project. All that doesnt even touch on his lauded vacation schedule. So does it make a lot of sense to take on an investor who has repeatedly shown a lack of knowhow? Do you want someone building your project up who has no real foresight on if that project can make money or not? Do you want that sort of person having a say over what your developing? And what sort of business sense would it make to finance a project as a willing silent partner?

Dont have a problem with psychonauts 2 being made. It is a niche game, that will fill a very niche market. Given how Schaffer has illustrated little or no developmental growth (as seen clearly with costume quest) the game will in essence be very much more of the same that players saw in psychonauts, and if it is, it too will not sell well because.. its not that good of a game. And that will likely mean if Notch was the primary investor that he probably will not see positive returns on his investment. An investor who lacks the foresight to pick good candidates for investment will not be an investor for very long. Or as I originally said, a fool and his money are soon parted.

So the real question is, Do you think this is a good use of time for schaffer and Doublefine? Does this look like an investment that would make money for Notch or Schaffer? Or do you simply like psychonauts and want to see a sequel to it regardless if it lost money for the investors or lost valuable development cycles for the developer?

viranimus:

Kwil:
Snipped for space

Sort of like what happened with Beyond good and Evil, which also was another unjustly over hyped game because of its core deviation from industry standards. I get it. The industry DOES need to take risks and branch out what it considers a viable game to produce variety. However claiming a bad game is good simply because it took a risk is not the way to accomplish it and actually does more harm than good.

Can't say anything about Pyschonauts as it is still on my to play at some point list, but Beyond Good and Evil is a great game and not just because it was different. It had interesting characters, an interesting/fun design, good story and fun game mechanics.

I would look forward to being able to play a new Pyschonauts, hope it works out.

I love the fact that he's a gamer. He might not work anymore, but at least he's started publishing.

Woooo! Perhaps there is a God after all...

I never did play Psychonauts, tho IŽve heard a great deal of positive things about it.
I guess i never really took the time to get it. So hopefully this will happen and it`ll be as amazing as most people tell the first one is, and IŽll be able to enjoy it.

Ooooor I`ll just have to play the first one. Oh, alas, poor me~! /jk about the "poor me" part. Tho i live in Eastern EU, so i might be considered poor. So, yeah. That`s that.
And this seems like good news.

Mojang... publish Psychonauts 2? Am I reading that right?

I think mah head asploded.

Andy Chalk:
Notch Volunteers to Fund Psychonauts Sequel

I hope he realizes that people will accuse him of stealing yet another game/idea/concept or something.

Go team Notch, hooray ! :)

Susan Arendt:

War Penguin:
This has nothing to do with the topic, but I feel it necessary to point it out: I know that news isn't always lightning fast at the Escapist, despite how much they try, but I love how the users are ahead by just a little bit. XD

What I'm talking about.

Anyway...

Some people wonder why I like Notch so much. This is why. :D

The community is almost always going to be faster than the news team because you're dealing with thousands of people in varying time zones trawling the web for gaming info, versus our small handful of newsies. The numbers are in the community's favor on that score. So, yes, odds are that the news will show up in the forum first. Some people choose to use that advantage to tip off the news guys and point them towards something the community should know about. And some decide to just be smug or rude.

Forum posters aren't bound by journalistic integrity... which adds to the time disparity I'd imagine ;)

So Notch...I'd like to clue you into this game that was made called Beyond Good and Evil...

Yes... YES and a million times YES!!! The moment it becomes available for pre-purchase, I'll snatch a copy immediatly! :D

viranimus:
Hrm, thing is.. Psychonauts was not really a good game. Sure it had Schaffers quirky sense of humor and "I dug this out of Tim Burtons Closet, does it look good?" design esthetic, So as a visual work, sure, its good. As an interactive game, not so much.

Game played fine to me. Just got super hard near the end as most people have already mentioned.

Fappy:

Susan Arendt:

War Penguin:
This has nothing to do with the topic, but I feel it necessary to point it out: I know that news isn't always lightning fast at the Escapist, despite how much they try, but I love how the users are ahead by just a little bit. XD

What I'm talking about.

Anyway...

Some people wonder why I like Notch so much. This is why. :D

The community is almost always going to be faster than the news team because you're dealing with thousands of people in varying time zones trawling the web for gaming info, versus our small handful of newsies. The numbers are in the community's favor on that score. So, yes, odds are that the news will show up in the forum first. Some people choose to use that advantage to tip off the news guys and point them towards something the community should know about. And some decide to just be smug or rude.

Forum posters aren't bound by journalistic integrity... which adds to the time disparity I'd imagine ;)

There's that, too. :)

Andy Chalk:

War Penguin:
I feel it necessary

Why?

Sorry. Just wanted to poke some light fun. Didn't mean to be rude about it.

Susan Arendt:

War Penguin:
This has nothing to do with the topic, but I feel it necessary to point it out: I know that news isn't always lightning fast at the Escapist, despite how much they try, but I love how the users are ahead by just a little bit. XD

What I'm talking about.

Anyway...

Some people wonder why I like Notch so much. This is why. :D

The community is almost always going to be faster than the news team because you're dealing with thousands of people in varying time zones trawling the web for gaming info, versus our small handful of newsies. The numbers are in the community's favor on that score. So, yes, odds are that the news will show up in the forum first. Some people choose to use that advantage to tip off the news guys and point them towards something the community should know about. And some decide to just be smug or rude.

Guess I unintentionally put myself in the latter. Sorry about that. Just wanted to poke some light fun. Guess that didn't work out so well.

GoldenShadow:
Wow, Indie dev turned Publisher.

Only the best ones!

As long as he doesn't shoe horn in a story about slender-man ripoffs and an alternate dimension it will probably be good.

Five minutes ago, this started:

Me and @TimOfLegend are talking to each other via email, and he's cool with me saying whatever I want about it. He's, like, super awesome.

Nothing has been decided either way, but he asked me if I'm going to GDC. I assume he's going to rob my apartment when I'm gone.

Anyway, please don't get your hopes too high yet. Everything is extremely vague!

Source: https://twitter.com/notch

https://twitter.com/#!/notch/status/167009214483537920
https://twitter.com/#!/notch/status/167009571087454208
https://twitter.com/#!/notch/status/167010017508200448

I dunno after I saw the Skeleton of Raz in Alice: Madness Returns I kinda thought the series was dead after the first one.

Notch is a pretty good game developer. He's a F'ing genius at promoting his own name.

But Psychonauts 2 eh? I wouldn't say no to that, even though a big part of Double Fine's strength has been their willingness to experiment and try new things. Still, it's gonna be interesting to see where this goes.

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