Double Fine’s Amnesia Fortnight

Voting for Double Fine’s Amnesia Fortnight began last week, with twenty three game ideas on offer; the top four to be worked on over the next two weeks with a live stream of development available to watch!

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The Resurrected Scroll of Resurrection, and Other News

Blizzard are encouraging WoW players to bring their friends back to the game, with the latest version of their Scroll of Resurrection.  The player referring their friend gets a Spectral Mount, while the returning player gets a free upgrade to Cataclysm, a boost to level 80 for one character, and free character move if required, so they can join their friend’s realm and faction.

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Obsidian to try Kickstarter?

Double Fine have found success with Kickstarter: the company’s fans have come forward to support them in making the game they want to make, rather than the game they want adjusted by the demands of a publisher.  The donations so far have passed $1,600,000, and are still rising..

Obsidian, developer of Fallout: New Vegas have asked their fans what game they would like to see, if they were also to set up a project via Kickstarter.

The responses so far have been very supportive of the idea, and from the comments it appears fans would like to see an isometric RPG, with turn based combat and a good story.

Double Fine Adventure

Last night, Tim Schafer announced that Double Fine and 2 Player Productions were to use Kickstarter to fund an adventure game and documentary.

Kickstarter is a funding platform allowing people to pledge money to support a creative project; money exchanges hands once the goal is reached.  You can back the Double Fine Adventure here.  While the creative owner retains all rights to the project, those supporting it can earn bonuses and rewards.. with larger pledges achieving better rewards.  Double Fine set up some extra rewards for “premium” pledges.. you can check those out here.

Within two hours, pledges had reached $200k, and before the night was up, it had passed the $400k goal, with more than ten thousand people having pledged to support it!  Update: The project reached 1 million dollars in funding within 24 hours, and is currently just over $1,500,000!

Tim Schafer has also recently announced that he’d like to make Psychonauts 2.. with Notch offering to back it.  The two have been talking about it, but as yet that’s all.

Stacking

I just got my hands on Stacking, a puzzle adventure game based around the use of Matryoshka dolls, created by Double Fine.

The game is quite simple to pick up.. there are five sizes of doll, with each able to stack into the next size up, and when stacked, you are able to use the ability of the largest doll.  Every doll has an ability, some which you’ll need to use to solve the puzzle at hand, and others which I think are just there for atmosphere, such as the little lady who sips tea.  There are also plenty of hints in case you get stuck, though so far it looks as though you can find out all you need to know just by talking to everyone you meet.  Each puzzle also has multiple solutions, and there are also some unique dolls to find as well.. reason to explore, which I love.

I absolutely adore the silent film effect used to tell the story too..

You play the role of Charlie, the smallest doll in the family.  Times are hard.. your family have no money, and the evil Baron comes to take all your older brothers and sisters away to work in child labour camps..

Heading out to look for your siblings, you arrive at the Train Station where your brother Albert is being forced to shovel coal.. to free him, you need to stop the strike.. and to stop the strike you need to get the members of the Train Guild out of the Royal Lounge and down onto the platform to talk to the strikers.

There’s a guard blocking the doors to the Lounge, and he tells me that I can’t go in, or the host will throw everyone out.  Well, that’s exactly what I want.. so how to get rid of the guard?

It turns out there’s a pretty doll here, The Widow Chastity, who has a rather effective ‘Seduce’ ability..

What I found funny was the reaction I got while trying this ability out on the nearby dolls..  another female let out a “Hmmph!” sound, and her top half tilted away as if in disgust! 😀

This doll isn’t just for looks though.. she is part of the first solution..

The guard is a sucker for beauty, and I draw him away from the door before unstacking with Chastity and jumping straight into the guard instead.  After having him unlock the door, I go in and march right up to the host, who is suitably unimpressed and boots everyone out.  Success!

The three members of the Train Guild are all quite happy to go and talk to the strikers now, so I stack into them all in turn.  Engineer Ulysses has the ‘Full Steam Ahead’ ability, which lets me race through the platform like a little steam train..

Another doll I found wandering around in the Train Station was the socially unacceptable Meriwether Malodor.

His ability can clear a room.. and in fact, does!  For another solution to the first puzzle, you can place Meriwether by the air vent leading to the Royal Lounge and ‘Flatulate’..

After clearing the Train Station, you can proceed to the Gilded Steam Ship, where your sister awaits rescue.