Spaff

Rhombus of Ruin Community Q&A

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Hey guys!

Rhombus of Ruin is nearly complete, and those of you who are lucky enough to possess a PSVR headset will be able to play soon 
I thought it was a good time to host a community Q&A!

I'll collate all the questions you may have for Tim and the team from this thread and get them answered for you.

let's do this!

---------------

OK, Project Lead @DF Chad aka Chad Dawson took some time out to answer these for you, here we go!

 

On 1/27/2017 at 5:37 AM, Anemone said:

If Coach Oleander and I put both of our heads inside the PSVR headset at the same time, does it create a meat circus? Asking for a friend.

Morry has a pretty big head. It's even bigger in VR. I don't know about a meat circus but your friend is going to be squished!

 

On 1/27/2017 at 10:08 AM, Diduz76 said:

Since this project was announced, I've been wondering: if you remove the platforming from Psychonauts, do you get an adventure game? Everything I saw in ROR gameplay vids reminded me of that classical pace you get from graphic adventures. :-)
Also, I keep hoping for a Windows version, but Spaff has already answered to this in another thread. :-P 

You are right! It does feel a bit more like an adventure game than a platformer, particularly in the kinds of puzzles you might encounter. Even so, we did notice during development that it has a different feel when you put adventure type puzzles in VR. Looking all around you in VR to discover clues has a different feel than hovering over an object with a mouse cursor. Maybe more of a sense of exploration since everything is not on the screen in front of you, but might be down by your foot or just over your shoulder. 

Picking up an object using Telekinesis and moving it around by turning your head also makes you feel a bit more psychic than dragging an object with the mouse. The Psychonauts world seems like such a good VR fit for that experience. 

 

On 1/27/2017 at 1:53 PM, Psycho-for-Psychonauts said:

 #1: When Raz puts his goggles on in the game,  will the player's view suddenly become red? Since it would be for Raz when he wears them. 

#2: Besides Raz, Lili, Oleander, Milla,  and Sasha,  will any other characters from the first game make a return?

Also, this isn't a question but a comment: I sincerely hope Loboto makes a return. He was kind of wasted in the first game. I wished we would have seen his mind, use powers on him, and actually confront him. Because you know... Best character. 

#1 Good point!  Luckily Raz is using his Clairvoyance to see through the mind of others most of the time. Fortunately they see the world in full color.  I can't guarantee that their vision is better per se, but full color, yes. Well usually yes. Yes-ish.

#2 Hmm.. There is a campground squirrel if you know where to look. (Hint - they like tight cramped compartments that are never quite big enough for all your stuff). As for other characters, you'll just have to play and see. ;)

 

On 1/27/2017 at 7:00 PM, Bidiot Bales said:

What do you do in the game? And how will you bridge the time gap between the first and second game for the people without psvr?

The mission is to find and save Truman Zanotto! He's Lili's dad, so you better get started! 

As for bridging the story, Tim has written the story of Psychonauts such that the details of Rhombus of Ruin are not required to jump right into Psychonauts 2, nor do you need to have played Psychonauts 1 to jump into Rhombus of Ruin (although it is encouraged).

Originally the rescue attempt of Truman was only going to be hinted at in the story of Psychonauts 2, so the details are a nice bonus for those who have played it. That said, we are always looking at ways to fill in our fans on the full story and have some ideas in the works!

 

On 1/28/2017 at 6:27 AM, Pax Callow said:

YAY, Q&A! will there be multiple ways to solve certain puzzles, or will they all be pretty linear?

It's a pretty good mix of puzzles with multiple solutions, multiple one solution puzzles that you can solve in a non linear fashion, and a few straight up linear ones mixed in to keep it interesting.

 

On 1/28/2017 at 6:27 AM, Pax Callow said:

also, in the same way that RoR starts just after PN1 ends, does PN2 start just after RoR ends? ... though that might be a spoiler.

You'll have to wait for Psychonauts 2 for that one!

On 1/28/2017 at 6:27 AM, Pax Callow said:

also, if i stand up and start running across the room and like into a bookshelf, will raz move too even though he's not supposed to?

i'm really excited for the game! really gives me an excuse to get off my butt and start racking up the bucks for a ps4 i mean psychonauts vr machine

Yikes! Remind me not to let you near my PSVR! Raz can get a book off the shelf using his telekinesis. Or he can just pyro or Psi blast it to smithereens if it is a particularly mean book. He needs his head and goggles intact so no running!

 

On 1/28/2017 at 5:41 PM, Nasubionna said:

OK, I think I've got one, let's see if I can articulate properly: In the first game, there was a LOT of dialogue/scenes that a player could miss if they didn't take the time to go exploring and experiment with every power/interaction/character possible.  Does RoR have a similar amount of such content (proportionate to the size of the game, since I understand that RoR will probably be quite a bit shorter than Psychonauts)?  I've been playing Psychonauts for 10+ years, and still stumble across new things.  How long do you think it will take players to discover every little detail of this game?  "A long-ass time" is the answer I'm hoping for!   :D

We've crammed a lot of dialog in and there is a bit to discover if you are that cool kind of player who likes to try things differently and play through multiple times. I just heard a new line myself last week that I hadn't heard before and you’d have thought I’d have heard them all! 

Raz doesn't really have an "inventory" in Rhombus of Ruin since he is traveling with his mind. So, the complexity of combinations isn't quite as elaborate as say carrying Mr. Pokeylope around in the first game, but there certainly are a few Easter eggs. 

 

On 1/29/2017 at 5:54 PM, Dr. Improbable said:

Will there be any significant character development for the main cast in RoR? Or will they, and their relationships to one another, go into Psychonauts 2 in about the same state as they were in at the end of the first Psychonauts? 

Also, I want to thank you guys for being a company that reaches out to its fans and puts so much effort into everything it does. It's so nice to see. I've been a DF fan for years and I doubt that's going to change any time soon!

Rhombus of Ruin is the first real team mission for our heroes, so there is bound to be a little more team building and development for them all. Coach Oleander is with them too and he has some explaining to do for his actions in Psychonauts 1. And of course Raz has Lili on his min -  we catch him daydreaming about her in the opening of Rhombus of Ruin… "There was that first kiss."

 

On 1/30/2017 at 10:14 AM, Nasubionna said:

Another question:  Tim has said he's had ideas for a Psychonauts sequel for years.  How much does RoR fit into those ideas?  Was the rescue of Truman always a part of the hypothetical Psychonauts 2, or did the rescue mission get fleshed out more than previously imagined for RoR?  Did your ideas for that mission have to change much in order to be a stand-alone game (and a VR game on top of that)?

As Tim tells it, the rescue attempt of Truman was to be an untold part of the story that would happen to our heroes sometime between Psychonauts 1 and 2. 

With Rhombus of Ruin we got a chance to tell that missing story and even better, tell it in VR. So we knew the "when" of the story going into development, but the "how", "what", "where", "why", and "who" behind the story events were fleshed out in our early design meetings and refined as we starting playing the first builds. 

As Psychonauts 2 story development  started taking shape over the past year, we integrated a few of those ideas back into Rhombus of Ruin for continuity and foreshadowing. 

 

On 1/31/2017 at 8:55 AM, josiahstick said:

To add to the Q&A, is there any chance of the game getting a physical release at any point or will it be only digital?

Possibly, but not at launch!

 

On 2/3/2017 at 3:34 PM, Nasubionna said:

I'm also hoping for a physical release at some point!  

Two more thoughts/questions, one of which is very stupid:
First, I'm sensing a very Bioshock-esque feel/look to this game from the latest video preview released: the guys in the diving suits (though it seems they may actually be biohazard/irradiation suits), the leaky underwater setting, and the sort of mid-century vintage aesthetic to the clicker and the informative slideshow.  Was there any conscious influence from Bioshock to this game, or is it mostly just a result of being in similar underwater settings?

Good spotting! It's probably more the from underwater setting in a few of those scenes. The big daddy characters with the diving suits in Bioshock are so awesomely iconic to that game it is hard not to see a diving helmet without thinking of them, but looking at them side by side you pick up on the differences more.

Rhombus of Ruin has a bevy of locations and characters with different visual aesthetics (such as the Psychonaut's Jet) that should keep things fresh and be a feast for your eyes.

On 2/3/2017 at 3:34 PM, Nasubionna said:

Second, that bit of Milla in the nightmare school bus delusion/hallucination (at least, I HOPE it's a hallucination!) made me think of the bus scene in Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge.  Is that just a coincidence?  LOL!

Its been a while since I saw that movie! I think for any kid those memories of being stuck on a school bus full of crazy kids, looking out the window, worrying about getting stuck on the tracks, or going over a cliff, or getting crushed by semi, or ok ok I'm getting freaked out just typing them. Poor Milla!

 

On 2/6/2017 at 11:09 PM, Nasubionna said:

Yet another question, haha!  Sorry if you're sick of me....  :$

Were there any ideas that you were unable to implement in Rhombus of Ruin due to the fact that it's VR? I know you've talked a little bit about some things in interviews, such as removing time limits for certain puzzles (like moving the time bomb down a hallway), but just wondering if there were any more.  Were there puzzles that still made it in but that had to be altered and tweaked in a creative way to make it work, and how was that process?

There were a a few we tuned to be less fatiguing, require a little less head movement and less repetition. Surprisingly though, there are some cool puzzles and ideas (that I don't want to spoil) that we could really only do in VR. 

Part of the fun in development was discovering those things that made people smile. Sometimes players would do things in VR like tilting their heads to look around the side of something that was blocking their view, or leaning over to look at something from the top. We had a good time finding ways to incorporate these in to fun puzzles and situations.

 

On 2/13/2017 at 10:09 PM, Mikejames said:

Is Peter McConnell composing?

Also, is there any chance of more first-person adventure games styled like this in the future? Psychonauts or otherwise?

He sure is! There's some great new music in the game from Peter, including the credit theme tune which you can hear in our trailer!

 

On 2/14/2017 at 5:56 AM, EMarley said:
  1. How much discussion went into designing what Sasha Nein's eyes would look like behind his glasses?

No one on the team has ever seen Sasha with his glasses off.  Hmm. Maybe Milla knows?

 

On 2/14/2017 at 5:56 AM, EMarley said:

2. I take it that the game is best played as a 180º experience in terms of left-right vision. But what if you were to sit on a swivel chair and turn 360º in every location, what would happen? Would it spoil the immersion a lot?

The game is built a full 360º around you (and above and below too) so the immersion would be fine. We tried to design it so you are not -forced- to look behind you, since that can be physically a bit less comfortable, and requires you to be more mindful of the cables to your headset.

 

On 2/14/2017 at 5:56 AM, EMarley said:

3. Will there be continuity between how Clairvoyance is used in Rhombus of Ruin and how it will be used (if it's used - I hope!) in Psychonauts 2?

It's too early to say I'm afraid!

 

 

 

 

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If Coach Oleander and I put both of our heads inside the PSVR headset at the same time, does it create a meat circus? Asking for a friend.

Edited by Anemone

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Since this project was announced, I've been wondering: if you remove the platforming from Psychonauts, do you get an adventure game? Everything I saw in ROR gameplay vids reminded me of that classical pace you get from graphic adventures. :-)
Also, I keep hoping for a Windows version, but Spaff has already answered to this in another thread. :-P 

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I don't have any questions right at this moment, but I am super pumped to hear RoR almost ready!  I've had my PSVR since October, just waiting for this game.  Yaaaay!

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I love the look of the game, but I've yet to invest in a VR headset. Is there any chance of Rhombus of Ruin being released on platforms like Steam later down the line, or should we expect it to remain exclusive to PSVR?

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 #1: When Raz puts his goggles on in the game,  will the player's view suddenly become red? Since it would be for Raz when he wears them. 

#2: Besides Raz, Lili, Oleander, Milla,  and Sasha,  will any other characters from the first game make a return?

Also, this isn't a question but a comment: I sincerely hope Loboto makes a return. He was kind of wasted in the first game. I wished we would have seen his mind, use powers on him, and actually confront him. Because you know... Best character. 

Edited by Psycho-for-Psychonauts

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What do you do in the game? And how will you bridge the time gap between the first and second game for the people without psvr?

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YAY, Q&A! will there be multiple ways to solve certain puzzles, or will they all be pretty linear?

also, in the same way that RoR starts just after PN1 ends, does PN2 start just after RoR ends? ... though that might be a spoiler.

also, if i stand up and start running across the room and like into a bookshelf, will raz move too even though he's not supposed to?

i'm really excited for the game! really gives me an excuse to get off my butt and start racking up the bucks for a ps4 i mean psychonauts vr machine

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OK, I think I've got one, let's see if I can articulate properly: In the first game, there was a LOT of dialogue/scenes that a player could miss if they didn't take the time to go exploring and experiment with every power/interaction/character possible.  Does RoR have a similar amount of such content (proportionate to the size of the game, since I understand that RoR will probably be quite a bit shorter than Psychonauts)?  I've been playing Psychonauts for 10+ years, and still stumble across new things.  How long do you think it will take players to discover every little detail of this game?  "A long-ass time" is the answer I'm hoping for!   :D

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Will there be any significant character development for the main cast in RoR? Or will they, and their relationships to one another, go into Psychonauts 2 in about the same state as they were in at the end of the first Psychonauts? 

Also, I want to thank you guys for being a company that reaches out to its fans and puts so much effort into everything it does. It's so nice to see. I've been a DF fan for years and I doubt that's going to change any time soon!

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Another question:  Tim has said he's had ideas for a Psychonauts sequel for years.  How much does RoR fit into those ideas?  Was the rescue of Truman always a part of the hypothetical Psychonauts 2, or did the rescue mission get fleshed out more than previously imagined for RoR?  Did your ideas for that mission have to change much in order to be a stand-alone game (and a VR game on top of that)?

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On 1/27/2017 at 3:06 PM, Mikejames said:

I love the look of the game, but I've yet to invest in a VR headset. Is there any chance of Rhombus of Ruin being released on platforms like Steam later down the line, or should we expect it to remain exclusive to PSVR?

Seconded, except that I have no intention of ever buying a PSVR headset (or any other VR headset). I love the idea of new Psychonauts to play, I hate the idea of new Pschonauts which I can't play.

I think that's probably true for the vast majority of Psychonauts fans out there. A tiny percentage of us have PSVR headsets, and I can't imagine that there are that many more who are willing to drop $700 on hardware just to do this.

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I know you guys are aware, but news of platform exclusivity breaks this fan's heart.

I invested in an HTC Vive not only because I believed it to be the best VR experience on the market, but because OpenVR and OSVR are open platforms.

Clearly this is a financial choice (I kind of wish sometimes that Double Fine was able to operate out of a basement instead of San Francisco and pay their developers peanuts -- no offense), but as someone who is also a Psychonauts fan who won't buy into the PSVR for financial reasons (as well as closed platform reasons), I am very concerned that I will be similarly cut off from the amazing creative output of Double Fine's future titles ultimately due to payments for platform rights.

Hopefully Double Fine will somehow find a way to communicate something to assuage the fears of fans like me. Right now it seems like a valid concern.

Edited by Kris Gates

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Guys, this has already been answered/addressed on another thread.  It's been made pretty clear that Sony/Playstation has funded this game, therefore they make the rules.  It's not something Double Fine has any control over (at least not at this point - again, see the aforementioned other thread) and obviously they would love to make it more widely available if it was within their power to do so.  So if you have a problem with platform exclusivity in this case, you should take it to Sony, not Double Fine.  While it sucks that Sony has limited how many fans will be able to play this game, personally I'd rather have this than no game at all - which, let's face it - how many of us thought we'd be getting ANY additional Psychonauts games not that long ago?  We should be glad Sony was willing to pay for a game from an older franchise like Psychonauts.  On the whole, I'd say it's good that this game exists - while it's not entirely the same, I'm sure that eventually there will be Let's Plays on Youtube so that fans without PSVR can at least experience the story.

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1 hour ago, Kris Gates said:

I know you guys are aware, but news of platform exclusivity breaks this fan's heart.

I invested in an HTC Vive not only because I believed it to be the best VR experience on the market, but because OpenVR and OSVR are open platforms.

Clearly this is a financial choice (I kind of wish sometimes that Double Fine was able to operate out of a basement instead of San Francisco and pay their developers peanuts -- no offense), but as someone who is also a Psychonauts fan who won't buy into the PSVR for financial reasons (as well as closed platform reasons), I am very concerned that I will be similarly cut off from the amazing creative output of Double Fine's future titles ultimately due to payments for platform rights.

Hopefully Double Fine will somehow find a way to communicate something to assuage the fears of fans like me. Right now it seems like a valid concern.

 

12 minutes ago, Nasubionna said:

Guys, this has already been answered/addressed on another thread.  It's been made pretty clear that Sony/Playstation has funded this game, therefore they make the rules.  It's not something Double Fine has any control over (at least not at this point - again, see the aforementioned other thread) and obviously they would love to make it more widely available if it was within their power to do so.  So if you have a problem with platform exclusivity in this case, you should take it to Sony, not Double Fine.  While it sucks that Sony has limited how many fans will be able to play this game, personally I'd rather have this than no game at all - which, let's face it - how many of us thought we'd be getting ANY additional Psychonauts games not that long ago?  We should be glad Sony was willing to pay for a game from an older franchise like Psychonauts.  On the whole, I'd say it's good that this game exists - while it's not entirely the same, I'm sure that eventually there will be Let's Plays on Youtube so that fans without PSVR can at least experience the story.

I don't really like watching full Let's Plays of games on YouTube. When I eventually am able to afford to buy the game myself I totally regret it, so usually I refrain from watching entire Let's Plays of a game's story, unless I know I'll never want to actually play the game (FNaF is a good example of this for me). I too understand the logistical issues of making PitRoR for other platforms, but like everyone else, I want to be able to play it without bankrupting myself. I'm sure by the time Psychonauts 2 rolls around I'll actually have money and stuff, so it should all work out fine. And by then, it might be on a platform worth investing in for more than just one game - either by way of them porting it to something else, or PSVR being supported by more games. As it is I'd just be buying PSVR for Psychonauts, and while I'd definitely be crazy enough to do that, the money just isn't there for me. But I'm sure all will turn out just fine, and however I do get the game, it'll all be worth the effort and the wait in the end. :D

to add to the Q&A, is there any chance of the game getting a physical release at any point or will it be only digital?

Edited by josiahstick
run-on sentence fix.

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I'm also hoping for a physical release at some point!  

Two more thoughts/questions, one of which is very stupid:
First, I'm sensing a very Bioshock-esque feel/look to this game from the latest video preview released: the guys in the diving suits (though it seems they may actually be biohazard/irradiation suits), the leaky underwater setting, and the sort of mid-century vintage aesthetic to the clicker and the informative slideshow.  Was there any conscious influence from Bioshock to this game, or is it mostly just a result of being in similar underwater settings?
Second, that bit of Milla in the nightmare school bus delusion/hallucination (at least, I HOPE it's a hallucination!) made me think of the bus scene in Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge.  Is that just a coincidence?  LOL!

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Yet another question, haha!  Sorry if you're sick of me....  :$

Were there any ideas that you were unable to implement in Rhombus of Ruin due to the fact that it's VR? I know you've talked a little bit about some things in interviews, such as removing time limits for certain puzzles (like moving the time bomb down a hallway), but just wondering if there were any more.  Were there puzzles that still made it in but that had to be altered and tweaked in a creative way to make it work, and how was that process?

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OK! Gonna get all these answered by Chad and the team ASAP - last call for more questions! :)

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OK, a few more:  Was there anything that you guys had intended or wanted to have in Rhombus of Ruin that didn't fit or work, so you're bumping it to Psychonauts 2?  Obviously I don't expect you to spoil anything for Psychonauts 2, but it would be interesting to know if intended story/character material had to get put on hold till the upcoming 2D platforming game rather than the VR game, whether for time, storyline, format or other restraints.  If you could have added anything else to the game that didn't make it in, what would it have been?

Conversely, was there anything that you had intended to, but weren't able to put in Psychonauts 1 that finally got to come to light here in Rhombus of Ruin?

What parts are the team most proud of?  What were some of the most challenging obstacles you ran into, as this is your first VR game?  What were the most fun parts of working on this game?  The least-fun parts?  How long did it take to create, from start to finish?  How many people on the team got sick, and how often, while testing out how this game was going to play? 

Edited by Nasubionna

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Is Peter McConnell composing?

Also, is there any chance of more first-person adventure games styled like this in the future? Psychonauts or otherwise?

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  1. How much discussion went into designing what Sasha Nein's eyes would look like behind his glasses?
  2. I take it that the game is best played as a 180º experience in terms of left-right vision. But what if you were to sit on a swivel chair and turn 360º in every location, what would happen? Would it spoil the immersion a lot?
  3. Will there be continuity between how Clairvoyance is used in Rhombus of Ruin and how it will be used (if it's used - I hope!) in Psychonauts 2?
Edited by EMarley

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3 hours ago, Spaff said:


I've updated the first topic with the answers to your questions folks! :)

Not sure if this is too late to ask, but will Milla and Sasha share more chemistry together in the game? 

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43 minutes ago, Psycho-for-Psychonauts said:

Not sure if this is too late to ask, but will Milla and Sasha share more chemistry together in the game? 

I have a pretty strong feeling the answer to that question is gonna be "You'll have to wait and see", LOL!  :milla:   :sasha:

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i have a qretshon   if rhombus of rune is a hit  can we see anuther vr game form dubble fine  

not counting gnog witch is going be awsome 

Edited by cuddlebunny

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