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Tim Schafer

Writing Update #3: Let's brainstorm Locations together!

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Hello brave travelers!

Let's talk about exciting environments! Place you've never gone to but always wanted to visit. Places you're so afraid of that you know you'll never actually see in your life. Places you can't go to because it's physically impossible. I'm making a big list of places like this to pull ideas from for our game, and I want your help.

I like to include settings and locations in our games that feel new, or at least new to games. For instance, when I was given a set of black velvet matador paintings for my birthday one year I thought, hey, now a world made of black velvet--that's something I haven't seen done much in games yet. We've all seen fire levels, ice levels, etc. But not black velvet.

No, you don't have to send me a black velvet painting (although I wouldn't complain if you did). What I want from you is simply all your location ideas, please! You never know what might inspire a new puzzle or chapter in the story. I have some ideas, but I'm going to need a lot of them so please throw some of your extras my way.

I know you don't have enough information about the game yet to know what kind of environments it needs. But that's the whole point. You are not limited by any preconceived notions of where a story like this should go. I want crazy ideas from unchained brains!

What I can tell you about the story is that, similarly to Psychonauts, it's a very flexible world that can include almost everything. So go nuts!

Here. I'll start.

Fire level (no, been done)

Ice Level (definitely not)

Inside Tori Spelling's nose (probably some construction work going on)

A snake farm

Cat Breeders' Show

Squid prom

Place where everyone walks on the ceiling

Mosaic tile world

Ice Level (damn, why are these things so tempting?)


World of talking thimbles

Jell-o Maze

Now you talk.

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Set it during a revolution! Greece or Egypt seem like the best setting given what's happening there at the moment. You touch on the workers struggle in a lot of your games, which I love, but set it during a revolution in this world in the near future. It'd be awesome!

Situation - Revolution

Location - Egypt

- Greece

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How about:

underneath an iPhone touchscreen

the jungle of a carpet being vacuumed

Tokyo Disneyland (specifically)

mustard bottle

inside a water gun

a super japanese anime-ish world

a world where magic exists

a world where magic USED to exist

A civilization where anthropomorphic dogs are fighting off an alien invasion of cat creatures

A garden where water balloons grow on trees and fall to the ground to water the other plants which grow guns!

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- Ice Level

- Dark side of the moon (I was watching Iron Sky last night, lol)

- Gummy bear world

- Make that any Gummy Animal world

- S'more Volcano (dangerously delicious)

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A dream world where if you die in the dream, you die for real. It may also have a serial killer who is getting revenge on the kids of the parents who killed him by not paying attention when he drowned in a lake while they where doing naughty things. It would also take place on halloween night.

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1 - An SDCC style convention, but set in a different time period. Something like medieval times with knights and painters and wizards replacing the artists, writers and movie stars seen at comic-cons.

2 - Somehow working in social media type sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc, into the level.

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-space station/ship engine room

-an unemployment line/office

-castles keep

-Dad or mom's office

-stuck in a painting

-rainforest amongst the redwoods

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A lighthouse!

An observatory!

An oil rig!

An abandoned house full of stray cats!

A treehouse!

A charming old medieval town which has had the trappings of the modern-world ham-fistedly applied to it, so you have ducts and street lights and cables and subway stations incongruously crammed into these old winding streets.

A film set for an Ed Wood-esque B-movie.

A TV studio during the middle of a charity telethon. Phone banks and wacky guest stars everywhere!

Atlantis, which has opened its doors to outside visitors and become a complete tourist trap as a result.

Planet of the Grapes! "Get your hands offa me, you damn pinot grigio!"

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I think it'd be neat to see some kind of place that's like an infinite number of places at once, so everything is kind of constantly flickering between different states.

Or a place where everything works in reverse so your character would walk backwards and puzzles would be based around figuring out how to do things the wrong way round.

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More ideas:

- A morgue/funeral home staffed by crocodiles.

- Bowling On Ice, the world's most needlessly dangerous ice rink/bowling alley.

- Backstage at a wicked cool concert or music festival.

- Tooth fairy's secret factory where human teeth are used to carve the white keys for tiny, fairy-sized pianos.

- Abandoned computer-controlled domed city. Like the Marie Celeste meets Logan's Run.

- Bigfoot's holiday home.

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A world made of mayonnaise.

Inside the sun.

Some miniature HQ that controls somebody's brain.

A parallel universe in which time goes backwards and affects our universe.

A barn.

An empty place in the middle of Antarctica.

An asylum where inmates are normal and doctors crazy.

The Internet central office.

Through the quantum hole that eats my socks inside my dryer.

A cat/dog food processing facility.

The Auschwitz concentration camp.

A dump.

A corrupted heaven.

Tim Schafer's dream home.

Whetever's behind the mysterious door inside the Blue Casket.

Paradox Land.

A refuge for homeless people.

An alien spaceship as imagined in the early 1900.

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There are a lot of historical places or settings or situations I'd like to see used in games – not this game, but a game, or rather games as a medium. War and oppression are interesting, but not the game-kind where the player is the hero/defender/good guy/killer/mass murderer, but rather the civilian or soldier who suffers, wants to survive, gets forced into his role or into exile, internal emigration (Innere Emigration) or suicide, who is helpless in the face of bigger forces.

I'd like to see the player being put into the role of the bad guy – not the comic-book-villain, but the genuine amoral, selfish, cowardly human, the draconic prison guard, the corrupt policeman, the abusive parent.

Mh, turned into locations (situation):

- You are in a air-raid shelter, surrounded by strangers, you lost your loved one in the chaos when the sirens started, you are hungry and cold and the policeman looked at you funny and you feel like you can't stomach the propaganda any longer – Adventure your ass out of that!

- You are at your office and she wants something. You are powerful, she is in need of help. Go figure.

- You killed yourself today. Your last day went like this…

- ('Beautiful Escape: Dungeoneer' anyone?)

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- cheese wheel

- Underwater palace

- construction site

- bee hive

- on the clouds in the sky

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If you could weave all of these locations into a coherent game, that'd be much appreciated. Thanks.

- Inside food being eaten by another person

- Somewhere on the Mandelbrot set (Seahorse Valley?), or a fractal-based room

- Inside of a telephone wire (hey, remember those?), or the room where the Internet™ lives

- a patent office, or the place where people build and test new and/or rejected patented goods

- a hospital ward for hypochondriacs

- riding a light wave like a horse, bending and directing it to your will

- a factory where ink is created... BY NEFARIOUS MEANS! Or not.

- a gamer convention where they only celebrate esoteric games and systems from the past (ie. adventure games? Hoho pleasedon'tkillme)

- the bottom of the Mariana Trench, likely near one of the UFO that is trying to tap the Earth's core

- a pacifist roller derby

- a conspiracy theorist's interrogation chamber/kitchen

- an overly 'fun' workplace ala Google offices/Pixar HQ with a passive-aggressive/extremely creepy boss

- a shy room that hides or camouflages whatever part of it you're directly looking at

- in the same vein, a "living-room" that is literally alive and has feelings

- in an animator's flipbook, while only being able to occupy/see one frame at a time

- at a tower of mail that has been 'repossessed' over several decades by generations of disgruntled postal workers

- a town where literally the only thing that is created, bought, sold, and consumed is money

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A world of paradoxes (a tough one... Maybe just a world full of paradoxes)

A medieval world made of cliches (the kings have castles, every hero is a knight in armor rescuing princesses, etc.)

A world where many superstitons actually are true (but not by offending people by involving religion the wrong way...)

-ideas for the last one: the boogie man is real, the world is flat, the sun is no bigger than a basketball, there's a man on the moon, etc.)

A world where the laws of nature change quite often (gravity goes on and off, the speed of light changes, etc)

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An apartment complex

A zoo or amusement park

A wax museum


Bouncy Castle World (where everything is rubbery- or bouncy I guess)

A kingdom run by a tyrannical chicken

A garden but from the size of a bug

A nacho cheese factory

An ant farm

That's all I got right now.


- a shy room that hides or camouflages whatever part of it you're directly looking at

- in the same vein, a "living-room" that is literally alive and has feelings


Its so weird you say that 'cus I wrote a story like that when I was like 13. It unfortunately gets really weird if you make a horror story about something like that


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• Inside a colossal skeleton

• Computerized gothic castle inside a black hole

• Mountain floating in a cloud

• Abandoned glass city / cave

• Ocean floor

• Space station shaped like a giant head

• A haunted lighthouse on the moon

• Space submarine

• The interior of the sun (clockwork)

• 8-bit forest at night

• Earth's chocolate core

• DOS interface

• Sub-basement of an evil factory

• Robotic pyramid that walks around in a swamp

• Labyrinth of spider webs

• Rotted candy land / fat ghosts

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Inside The Button World.

What REALLY happens when you push that button?

How do the Button People live?

Should the Button People form a union?

Do the Button People make a fair wage?

Is life in Button World hard?

Who can end the feud between Button World and Toggle Switch World, and what will it take?

What is life like for the button people in button World?

Do the Button People wish we would stop pushing the damn button!?


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-A world of robots trying to defend itself against the human uprising.

-The inside of a vacuum cleaner.

-A reverse Renaissance fair in medieval times, where they roleplay out an incredibly exaggerated version of modern times.

-The bottom of the Marianas Trench.

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-A world where love, or attachment, doesn't exist.

-A world where modern computing technology is advanced, but every other type of technology (ex: building engineering, space travel, medical advancements) is behind.

-A world where everything is run by a central government and no one thinks odd of it nor is there any sort of revolution, it is a true utopia.

-Ummmmmm... a jungle world?

-A world comprised of war and war-ravaged lands, only one city is safe and free of any war in the whole world. People live their lives normally in this city, but with news of the war rolling in.

-A world devoid of art. No creativity, exists here.

-A world run by people under the age of 13. When you are too old you move on to laborious jobs for the betterment of the nation.

... sorry if most of these are depressing.

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- Flatland

- A giant forest in fall (giant leaves)

- Inside of a book - maybe a book world where everything is made from words.

- A solar system, like a space with planets orbiting that you can walk around and change the orbits of and such. (The largest planets are bowling ball sized)

- A quantum world where quarks are tiny monsters that change into other tiny monsters.

- A party with ancient Romans on a cruise submarine.

- The weird fantasy version of Spain which Don Quixote sees.

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Egypt: see the pyramids getting build

Austria: beat the crap out of young Hitler

Berlin 1989



HAMBURG: i live near Hamburg:):):)

Sausage factory

nose picking therapy group

tooth pick chewing convention

House of mirrors

Quantum physics world (where everything is possible)

Zoo: monkies :)

In a hostel in amsterdam: meet all the weed smoking, bad english speaking hippie tourists

Movie set.

Magician show



Some technology convention 2102.

anywhere, but scientology must be the biggest religion by then

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-A flying island build from old computers and other electronics that floats many miles above the ground and has waterfalls of data leaving a mist of bits behind it.

-An underwater lair of swimming dragons where they hoard all the loot they get from sinking ships.

-A planet where gravity is warped around on it's surface and the life of it's inhabitants revolves in Escher-like cities.

-Inside earth's core, where lives the oldest human in a tiny spherical room, with a small table and two chairs, he likes tea and is desperate for finding someone to play a round of chess.

-Another planet where gravity is reversed, so if you fall you fall to the void of space, but inhabitants really don't like guard rails

-In an alternate universe that's entangled with ours but while in ours we walk up to a table and sit in front of it, in that universe the tables see as if they walked up to us and stood up in front of us!

-On a gigantic city-robot that travels the world on several thousand long thin legs and everything is mechanized and moves on it's own like a robotic gigantic animal composed of millions smaller robotic parts.

-on a half-blown up moon where you can jump from one piece to the other except sometimes the gap is too big.

...Damn, now I want to make a game! Good thing 7dfps is coming up, will be a good excuse :]

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... sorry if most of these are depressing.

I'm going through every post in this thread and doing a psychoanalysis on each person according to their responses - you may be pleased to hear that my Soft-Science-O-Tron 5000, which parses posts for me while I catch up on my knitting, has found you 'normal', with high marks in 'critical analysis'. 'Positivity' could be improved, but I'm pretty sure that this reading is always wrong.

An Ice Level where the character slides around. And there's jumping puzzles.

This. Plus, crates. And a key.

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Alright! a chance to modestly contribute!

-Encyclopedia offices

-A particle collider like LHC

-Post-apocalyptic Belgium


-Where they make the magic carpets

-A very large and mysterious cave or room that has a very small entrance

-Abandoned aquarium

-A city flooded 1 meter deep in water

-The great cathedral dedicated to the memory of courtesy and respect

-longest waiting line (you're last!)

-at a very quiet carnival where people gently throw sleeping weasels at each other

-Underground forest

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* A Zen garden

* In the space between things

* Where the lost socks go

* A forest made of cat furniture (cat trees, catnip, fuzzy mice, etc.)

* Naked mole rat warren

* Library of Alexandria

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Fun!Okay Let's see

-Inside a Hot air Balloon.(Or helium)

-on top of a Balloon

- a jelly fish lake http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jellyfish_Lake

-Inside a painting (adapt the style etc)

- An alien planet is alway fun. I always wondered how a gas giant would look like

- salt lakes look gorgeous

-A teenage world. Devided in a Girl/Boy Section. Or inside a teenage Head/Brain/Drean

- inside a movie where you have to fullfill a task with a skript

-a big nothing

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