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KestrelPi

The 4th Era of Double Fine

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I know this is another future of DF post but what the hell

The First Era of Double Fine was the Big Games, taking us through Psychonauts and Brutal Legend.

The Second Era was the Small Games Era, those first few smaller games of Costume Quest, Stacking, Iron Brigade and so on

The Third Era has been the Transparency Era where DF's focus shifted toward developing games openly. They still had more closed stuff like The Cave and CQ2.

That era probably ended with the release of Massive Chalice. I expect they'll continue working with 2PP, but the focus will be different.

now we're getting the first clues of what the next era will be like:

The announced partnership of Adult Swim games where it's unclear as of yet whether any of the development will be outside of Double Fine.

Some of the development for Grim Fandango Remastered was apparently done with external partners

The recently announced partnership with Zoink Games who are a developer - is this a DF presents thing or a new game being developed by both companies.

DF presents itself, where DF takes on the role of Publisher

I wonder whether the next era is about Partnerships. It makes sense. DF have taken a hit lately, with some of their crowdfunding efforts not as successful as hoped, cancelled projects, and media criticism with varying levels of informedness. But they still have good relationships with their recent publishing partners like Sony and so forth, so if I were DF I'd be looking at building strong working relationships with certain companies so that they can share some of the burdens of development and basically broaden the scope from what DF can accomplish on its own.

What do you think. Is the next few years of DF going to be a lot of dev partnerships? Or something else?

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I'm not sure it's about eras or phases. I feel confident that DF doesn't think of it that way. I think there are more like two eras:

1) Big games with big publishers era

2) Let's do what it takes to stay as indie as possible

Whether they're doing kickstarter, amnesia fortnight, double fine presents, partnering with other creators (e.g. Ron Gilbert, Adult Swim, Zoink, Pendleton Ward, etc), I think it all boils down to "let's just experiment and try a bunch of different stuff and see what works!"

In other words, maybe DF has started to take a similar philosophy to bizdev as they take to their games: Try to do something different every time. Mostly avoid sequels (unless it makes a gazilliion dollars, then maybe do a sequel, maybe).

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Well this is subjective by its very nature, I'm not suggesting that they all say down one day and decided that what they're going to be about next.

But I think the methods of the past few years were markedly different to the couple of years before that, and I think the years to come will be different again.

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Look at it this way:

- If DF wants to go back to creating primarily massive publisher games, would it be feasible currently?

- If DF wants to go back to creating primarily numerous small games at the same time, would it be feasible currently?

- If DF wants to launch another major crowdfunded project, would it be feasible currently?

- If DF wants to utilize the notoriety it has accrued to become primarily a "record label for games", would it be feasible currently?

- If DF wants to mix-'n-match the above by enacting and managing a diversification plan, would it be feasible currently?

There are only so many possibilities. I haven't named them all, but they are finite, and the list of feasible options is an undoubtedly smaller subset. Therefore, it's possible to predict, and maybe quite accurately, the general course events will take. As a business, DF is not an omnifaceted apparition e'er soaring from peak to peak. Business is hard as nails.

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Whatever their overall goal is, I'm sure the results will be the same:

Lots of amazingly unique games that will be beloved by fans, praised (if not necessarily seen as flawless) by professional gaming critics, and griped about by a a tiny but overly vocal minority of people who never actually play the games but love to tell everyone how bad and destined for failure they are (while inappropriately citing Spacebase which they have also never actually played) and whose biased and unprofessional reviews will inexplicably be voted up by hundreds of people on steam and then openly mocked by me personally.

And maybe we'll see something done with the Iron Brigade IP now that it has been regained.

And we'll get a sequel to something else that isn't what we were expecting or hoping for but will turn out to be so good that we won't care either way.

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Whatever happens, I just hope they don't drop game support (updates, patches, bug fixes) after 3 months like they did with Grim Fandango. That is a big downer for me. There are still a LOT of fixes to do to that game...

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Whatever happens, I just hope they don't drop game support (updates, patches, bug fixes) after 3 months like they did with Grim Fandango. That is a big downer for me. There are still a LOT of fixes to do to that game...

Not really sure what the patch status of GF has to do with the future of Double Fine. Like all their titles (and most game companies, in fact) the most urgent patches are released in the launch window (I think 6 came out for Grim) and then they have to lessen the amount of time spent on that project, prioritise and release more intermittent patches as necessary. It doesn't mean support has been 'dropped'.

Even Spacebase had a patch as recently as a couple of months ago, despite the team no longer working at DF and despite some people's assertion that the entire game was abandoned.

Anyway, could we get back on topic please :)

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Outside of these forums Double Fine's reputation is "not good" to put it mildly. Whether you accept it or not a negative narrative has built up around DF and it's output, it is repeated many times DF's name pops up in conversation, same way people constantly rail against EA, CoD Peter Molyneux etc.

Small devs with bad reps do not survive making indie games or surviving on the good will of "gamers".

What DF can do to counter this is tricky with no doubt that DF has it's own financial pressures, great games of course will typically silence critics but thats no small feat. Open sourcing some of your older games (even just one or two) would go down very well but this makes money/legal people nervous.

One money maker is the match three games based off the original puzzle quest formula. Cheap to make compared to others, some good writing & art like the original PQ game or be smart and try and license it with another IP like Fallout, Mass Effect or whatever. Stop trying to be indie darling all the time, it's not working out any more, make money and get better qa done your titles.

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Outside of these forums Double Fine's reputation is "not good" to put it mildly. Whether you accept it or not a negative narrative has built up around DF and it's output, it is repeated many times DF's name pops up in conversation, same way people constantly rail against EA, CoD Peter Molyneux etc.

Outside of anecdotes and your general feeling, I'm just curious what else you have to back this up? I know I see some negativity about DF, and sometimes from certain outlets or sources it is more than others. I don't mean this to be accusatory, I'm just curious at how you've arrived at this, or if it is your opinion based on your gut.

Smiles

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Outside of these forums Double Fine's reputation is "not good" to put it mildly. Whether you accept it or not a negative narrative has built up around DF and it's output, it is repeated many times DF's name pops up in conversation, same way people constantly rail against EA, CoD Peter Molyneux etc.

Outside of anecdotes and your general feeling, I'm just curious what else you have to back this up? I know I see some negativity about DF, and sometimes from certain outlets or sources it is more than others. I don't mean this to be accusatory, I'm just curious at how you've arrived at this, or if it is your opinion based on your gut.

Smiles

I would say it's overdramatic at the very least. It's true that DF recieves a strong share of criticism outside these forums (and inside them too, let's not lie and pretend that the forums are criticism free)

What's less clear is that this is much more than a very vocal minority being bolstered by some inaccurate reporting. When I look around news stories it always seems to be the same few people posting the same negative narrative over and over again.

My guess is that the large majority of the game playing population aren't aware of this narrative, or just don't really care about it. Twitter, for example. For every comment I see from someone who has decided DF is bad for some reason, I see plenty of tweets from people I've never heard of and don't post here praising their work.

One money maker is the match three games based off the original puzzle quest formula. Cheap to make compared to others, some good writing & art like the original PQ game or be smart and try and license it with another IP like Fallout, Mass Effect or whatever. Stop trying to be indie darling all the time, it’s not working out any more, make money and get better qa done your titles.

I certainly hope the future of Double Fine isn't to make safe, known quantity titles in the hope that they can do it without annoying whoever feels like get annoyed at them.

And I've generally found their titles to be pretty stable on the whole, though obviously more of a qa budget would improve that. Not sure why you singled this out.

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Outside of these forums Double Fine's reputation is "not good" to put it mildly. Whether you accept it or not a negative narrative has built up around DF and it's output, it is repeated many times DF's name pops up in conversation, same way people constantly rail against EA, CoD Peter Molyneux etc.

Outside of anecdotes and your general feeling, I'm just curious what else you have to back this up? I know I see some negativity about DF, and sometimes from certain outlets or sources it is more than others. I don't mean this to be accusatory, I'm just curious at how you've arrived at this, or if it is your opinion based on your gut.

Smiles

He's just looking at that group of gamergators that made it their mission in life to slander Tim Schafer and spam messageboards with complaints every since that controversial "Supporting the right of women to work in the game industry and not recieve death threats" thing. It's just a small group of people talking VERY loudly and mass-upvoting each others' bad reviews and youtube comments to create the illusion that they're bigger than they appear (or that they're relevant in any way)

It's probably like 100-200 people tops orchestrating this. The problem is that they are well organize and there aren't enough good people standing up to their BS, and when nobody puts their boot down on that sort of thing it gets picked up as hearsay by people who just go with the crowd and don't fact-check anything they hear. Imagine if even half the people on these forums voted down or reported the gamer-gators and their hate-speech? Or even just called them out on it?

Anyways, real gamers with no ulterior motives like Double Fine well enough. The high praise from professional critics and overall positive ratings on most of their games on steam are proof enough of that.

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One money maker is the match three games based off the original puzzle quest formula. Cheap to make compared to others, some good writing & art like the original PQ game or be smart and try and license it with another IP like Fallout, Mass Effect or whatever. Stop trying to be indie darling all the time, it’s not working out any more, make money and get better qa done your titles.

I certainly hope the future of Double Fine isn't to make safe, known quantity titles in the hope that they can do it without annoying whoever feels like get annoyed at them.

There was a neat idea for a puzzle fighter style game in the first Amnesia Fortnights, Double Fine High, which pit Double Fine characters against each other.

I wouldn't mind that game getting made at all.

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One money maker is the match three games based off the original puzzle quest formula. Cheap to make compared to others, some good writing & art like the original PQ game or be smart and try and license it with another IP like Fallout, Mass Effect or whatever. Stop trying to be indie darling all the time, it’s not working out any more, make money and get better qa done your titles.

I certainly hope the future of Double Fine isn't to make safe, known quantity titles in the hope that they can do it without annoying whoever feels like get annoyed at them.

There was a neat idea for a puzzle fighter style game in the first Amnesia Fortnights, Double Fine High, which pit Double Fine characters against each other.

I wouldn't mind that game getting made at all.

Double Fine Smash Bros!

Or Double Fine Cart Racer: Super 2HB Kart 64.

Double Fine Golf?

Double Fine Tennis?

Double Fine Party 15?

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One money maker is the match three games based off the original puzzle quest formula. Cheap to make compared to others, some good writing & art like the original PQ game or be smart and try and license it with another IP like Fallout, Mass Effect or whatever. Stop trying to be indie darling all the time, it’s not working out any more, make money and get better qa done your titles.

I certainly hope the future of Double Fine isn't to make safe, known quantity titles in the hope that they can do it without annoying whoever feels like get annoyed at them.

There was a neat idea for a puzzle fighter style game in the first Amnesia Fortnights, Double Fine High, which pit Double Fine characters against each other.

I wouldn't mind that game getting made at all.

Double Fine Smash Bros!

Or Double Fine Cart Racer: Super 2HB Kart 64.

Double Fine Golf?

Double Fine Tennis?

Double Fine Party 15?

Don't get me wrong, I'd play and likely enjoy all of these things as a one-off. But as a Direction For Double Fine To Go In, it fails to inspire me.

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One money maker is the match three games based off the original puzzle quest formula. Cheap to make compared to others, some good writing & art like the original PQ game or be smart and try and license it with another IP like Fallout, Mass Effect or whatever. Stop trying to be indie darling all the time, it’s not working out any more, make money and get better qa done your titles.

I certainly hope the future of Double Fine isn't to make safe, known quantity titles in the hope that they can do it without annoying whoever feels like get annoyed at them.

There was a neat idea for a puzzle fighter style game in the first Amnesia Fortnights, Double Fine High, which pit Double Fine characters against each other.

I wouldn't mind that game getting made at all.

Double Fine Smash Bros!

Or Double Fine Cart Racer: Super 2HB Kart 64.

Double Fine Golf?

Double Fine Tennis?

Double Fine Party 15?

Don't get me wrong, I'd play and likely enjoy all of these things as a one-off. But as a Direction For Double Fine To Go In, it fails to inspire me.

I wasn't necessarily rooting for it. I kinda dislike that this is mostly what Nintendo does anymore.

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Okay, but... seriously yes to a Kart Racer. Or a party game.

Making a habit of that sort of thing? Oh no no, certainly not, but I'd like to see ONE game that takes beloved characters (and props, and levels) from all of Double-Fine's IP's and pits them together in a casual competitive event. :D

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Okay, but... seriously yes to a Kart Racer. Or a party game.

Making a habit of that sort of thing? Oh no no, certainly not, but I'd like to see ONE game that takes beloved characters (and props, and levels) from all of Double-Fine's IP's and pits them together in a casual competitive event. :D

There are actually a few, Capy vs Double Fine Battle-Golf Association and Capy Fine Racing GP being those I know about. Not from all around the IPs, but a few.

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Let's just cut right to the chase. We need Lucas Arts / Double Fine Kingdom Hearts.

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Okay, but... seriously yes to a Kart Racer. Or a party game.

Making a habit of that sort of thing? Oh no no, certainly not, but I'd like to see ONE game that takes beloved characters (and props, and levels) from all of Double-Fine's IP's and pits them together in a casual competitive event. :D

There are actually a few, Capy vs Double Fine Battle-Golf Association and Capy Fine Racing GP being those I know about. Not from all around the IPs, but a few.

Wow, CFR-GP looks gorgeous! ... And hard! But I'm hoping for a proper multiplayer kart-racer. Y'know, items and wacky courses and all that. Maybe some day..

I can't seem to find anything about "DF Battle-Golf Association" beyond one screenshot ( https://instagram.com/p/mp-CZvufyC/ )... is it some sort of fighting game?

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Okay, but... seriously yes to a Kart Racer. Or a party game.

Making a habit of that sort of thing? Oh no no, certainly not, but I'd like to see ONE game that takes beloved characters (and props, and levels) from all of Double-Fine's IP's and pits them together in a casual competitive event. :D

There are actually a few, Capy vs Double Fine Battle-Golf Association and Capy Fine Racing GP being those I know about. Not from all around the IPs, but a few.

Wow, CFR-GP looks gorgeous! ... And hard! But I'm hoping for a proper multiplayer kart-racer. Y'know, items and wacky courses and all that. Maybe some day..

I can't seem to find anything about "DF Battle-Golf Association" beyond one screenshot ( https://instagram.com/p/mp-CZvufyC/ )... is it some sort of fighting game?

Capybara Games gave full permission to people who got the PAX floppies to distribute the game, so you can actually try Capy Fine Racing GP for yourself here.

Capy vs. Double Fine Battle-Golf Association is also known as BGA World Tour. It doesn't look like it ever got a release, and was created only to be played at PAX. This site has a good explanation about how it plays.

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I checked out the new DF job listings, all of them mention Unreal Engine 4 as a responsibility... Except for the programming position which lists UE4 and/or PS4 experience as pluses.

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I checked out the new DF job listings, all of them mention Unreal Engine 4 as a responsibility... Except for the programming position which lists UE4 and/or PS4 experience as pluses.

I wonder whether they might be finally retiring the Brutal Legend Engine or if there's some reason why UE4 would be easier for their particular project.

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Might also be simply a question of UE4 being similar enough to Buddha that it's the engine of choice for pulling talented programmers from. It's hardly like DF can ask for people with experience with the Buddha engine...

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Might also be simply a question of UE4 being similar enough to Buddha that it's the engine of choice for pulling talented programmers from. It's hardly like DF can ask for people with experience with the Buddha engine...

If I remember correctly, their job descriptions in the past mentioned something along the lines of being able to work in a 'proprietary engine' or something. It would be interesting to see what DF is able to create in Unreal Engine 4. I'm getting the impression that it's a pretty powerful tool.

I've also got a feeling that we'll see an announcement for their new Adult Swim published game today, considering it's Tuesday and Pax Prime is only a week away....

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