I had bought Grim Fandango twice before the Remaster came out already. It's a marvelous game that will remain amongst my favorites all my life, naturally helped by writing and scoring and voice working that goes leagues beyond what you get to see and hear in video games in general to this day. I also think it's an incredibly great thing that these grumpy games are updated for the current generation and hardware. Yet I'm wondering: Is there any chance that in buying this I'm voting with my wallet for future new crazy adventures of the Double Fine kind rather than updates made to Tim's admittedly Very Greatest Hits Collection indeed?
Recently read an article, and it's hardly anything new. But it's true regardless. https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2015/07/06/rpg-adventure-kickstarter/ (edit: Realized the linked to article included a jab at Broken Age itself. Though that was not the point.) I really enjoy the many "retro" stuff that is out there -- games that outside of updated resolutions are partying like it's 1992 all over, you know, the often European made "boilerplate" point&clickers; games that mimic pretty straight what had been achieved back then. Some of those even elevate beyond that and despite never doing anything out of the ordinary or unpredictable neither in puzzle templates nor in narrative structure or anything, they create a charm of their own, such as The Book Of Unwritten Tales which from the trailer seems straight-forward parody on pretty much anything fantasy and RPG. But then raises beyond that by creating a pretty colourful fantasy world of its own and a main cast that develops over the series and which you actually kind of start rooting for some. Similar you can say about the games published and made by Wadjet Eye Games, many of which look pixel-budget-retro, but actually sport better design and writing than much of the other stuff typically made in Germany, such as the Secret Files games fiercely locally-favored over here by the German press, despite them not comparing all that favourably with Broken Sword, their most obvious inspiration. Not because they fail to mimic games mechanics of 1996. But because the writing and characters just aren't there. What's left is this thinly veiled puzzle skeleton, and when left in and on itself things don't hold up that well. Some of those puzzles are insipid, at times violating every single one of Ron Gilbert's design laws ca. 1991. Wave of the future, dude, 100% electronics. http://grumpygamer.com/why_adventure_games_suck
However even the most creative adventure folk of yesteryore, they're either out of business for good, or such as Ron Gilbert, they go completely retro too, including recreating the entirelly look and feel of 1988 with his upcoming Thimbleweed Park, which I'm curious about totally nonetheless. Either the author of the RPS piece (and me) view this slightly through rose-tinted glasses, but it's totally true that any of the truly greats of yesteryore had rewritten rules rather than following supposedly boilerplate template, which had become most obvious perhaps by the point Full Throttle came about, which due to pacing reasons got rid of "use key on door" puzzling almost entirelly, and rather had you aptly kicking that bloody door down. Similarily whilst most of them have aged horribly, take a look at the Sierra library. Whilst it's clunky as hell by modern standards, Laura Bow is a murder mystery where the actually murder mystery is the puzzle to be solved, rather than the player collecting junk, combining it and in doing so unlocking cut scenes that would reveal it had been the gardener all along. Like the original Maniac Mansion or The Last Express it's also happening in sort of real-time, creating the illusion of a living world where characters would actually follow agendas of their own. The same you could say about Police Quest which freed of Sierra's terribly limited tech and habits of randomly punishing you dearly would likely look more like LA Noire today, except with more focus being placed on character and every day police work, and the first King's Quest is arguably the world's very first "3d" open world game. And so on.
Been a while since an adventure game has truly entirelly taken me by surprise like the truly ground breaking ones of yesteryore, rather than boiling down to formula: "Use point&click; interface on inventory madness on zany characters". Remember a former Telltaler then being a games journalist talking to Tim, revealing how many of the jokes, puzzle ideas etc. were inherently rooted within that technology of that time, rather than meant a template for all time to be adhered to. The most apparent example of this would be the joke in Monkey 1 in the Governor's mansion for instance, where you briefly lose control of Guybrush and the game takes over, prompting all kind of funny actions to appear into the "parser remains", actions that happen off-screen no less, such as: "Pull dangerous looking yak". Yak, yak. It's as indicative of Dott's enduring qualities as it is for adventure games in general that there's not quite few reviews already out there who flag Dott Remastered as the best slapstick nonsense comedy adventure game that's been done past and present. This isn't simply nostalgia either.
Anyway, bit of carried away from the original question, but: Any chances of Broken Age/Tim's Greatest Hits Remastered not being a last and an end of a fine line? Does this have a future for Double Fine beyond? Is there a day after saving the world off the freshly grown clutches of Purple Tentacle for yet another time? If yes, count me in!