After his brief ‘freakin’ appearance at this year’s Spike TV Awards, GDC organizers have announced that LucasArts vet and Double Fine founder Tim Schafer is returning as host of this year’s Choice Awards ceremony, having apparently come away unscathed by recent reports of rampant youth software piracy.
The night will also see Harmonix founders Alex Rigopulos and Eran Egozy given the ceremony’s Pioneer Award “for their role in pioneering and popularizing music games, a vitally important genre for widening the appeal of games,” and games musician Tommy Tallerico will be given the night’s Ambassador Award “for helping to advance the game audio community.”
More info on the awards via the Gamasutra link below.
Here’s one way to see a whole morning suddenly slip away: first, discover that Brutal Legend developer Double Fine have opened the Psycho-pedia, a clearinghouse of information on their debut game Psychonauts.
Finally, realize that even though you own the disc, it might be time to re-buy the digital download and play it all over again (still trembling with acid flashbacks of the hours it took you to get past that circus bit with the kid’s “BUN BUN BUNNY” shouts echoing in your back-brain [but it was worth it in the end]).
The Psycho-pedia [Double Fine]
It’s good news not only for the game, which has been floating in somewhat of an uncomfortable news-void for the last year following the Vivendi/Activision merger, but also for EA, who’ve been moving from strength to boutique-gaming strength with this and the recent announcement that they’d be releasing a new game from Killer7/No More Heroes dev Grasshopper Manufacture.
As noted before (where you can also see its debut trailer), the first new footage of the game will be shown Sunday night at the Spike TV Video Game Awards show.
Brütal Legend [EA/Double Fine]
The primary reason I’m excited for Spike TV’s forthcoming Video Game Awards show? Even apart from the fact that I returned to serve as one of its judges, the ceremony will include the first new look in over a year at DoubleFine’s black metal adventure Brütal Legend, the sophomore game from the studio behind Psychonauts, headed by former LucasArts designer Tim Schafer.
That year long wait has been a tumultuous one: as with the Ghostbusters game, the Vivendi/Activision merger put the future of the game in some jeopardy, and its new publisher is still not yet known. Schafer went so far as to devise an encoded threat level system to let people know where the game stands, which he’s just raised to Haunted Sandalwood, or “omg I think there may be some news this month,” which we’re going to go ahead and guess will come alongside the new video.
Jack Black — who plays Brütal Legend‘s hessian lead — will host the awards show, which will also see appearances by Will Wright, Hideo Kojima, Cliff Bleszinski, Fallout 3 producer Todd Howard, and LittleBigPlanet‘s Alex Evans. Spike TV will air the show live Sunday, December 14 At 9:00 PM ET.
Though ‘classic LucasArts adventures’ is generally more synonymous with games like Monkey Island, Day of the Tentacle and Sam’n’Max, Double Fine (Psychonauts) founder Tim Schafer’s final — and, arguably, finest — game for the venerable publisher was Grim Fandango, his gritty muertos-noir gumshoe adventure that’s just past its 10 year anniversary this Halloween.
To celebrate, he’s uploaded all 72 pages of original documentation on the game as a pint sized PDF (
direct link seems to be missing, but
). As he explains/apologizes upon reflection:
People said the puzzles in Grim were super hard, and I’ve always maintained that this was due to a deep character flaw or mental illness on the part of the player. But now, reading this again, I’ve realized that holy smokes–Some of them puzzles were nuts. Obscure. Mean, even.
Look how much stuff we had to cut just to get that game done in three years. The Pizza Demon! Giraffe Lady! Bernard, and my beloved Dillopede. And the five-puzzle action climax with Hector LeMans! If only we had one or two more years! Well, reading about them ten years later is just as good, right?
But, spoiler alert, the entire document is, by definition, one big spoiler. However, explains Schafer of the solution to the final act of the game:
We didn’t have the last puzzle designed when I wrote that document, so I wrote two nonsense paragraphs and then overlapped them in the file so it would look like the final puzzle description was in there, but obscured by a print formatting error. That way I could turn the document in by the deadline. As if anybody was going to read it all the way to the end anyway. Ha ha. Obfuscation triumphs again! I delight in Evil!
Just One More Grim Thing (Double Fine Action News)