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Tim Schafer

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

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- A music studio

- The House of Leaves

- An ice cream manufacturing plant

- A cologne manufacturing plant where every five feet smells a new kind of wonderful

- Double Fine studios were it bought out by Microsoft

- Double Fine studios as it will be ten years from now

- Tim Schafer's brain

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I think a Zoo would be cool or deep sea, with lots of odd fish (just read all of tims tweets about sharks and guitarfish)

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-One of the many "Cargo Cults" in the Pacific Isles. F.ex. the one in Papua New Guinea where they have low-tech imitations of aerodrome activity:

Coconuts for ear protectors, sticks as rifles, U.S.A. written with ink on men's naked chests, quirky wooden towers as air traffic control, banal imitations of airport routines, crooked landing strips made to "trap" their ancestors' plane in order to get the precious cargo.

Except this time, the Cargo Cult is true and real. :)

-Something political, a directly symbolic representation of the systemic dysfunctional politics behind warmongering.

Imagine a small village.

1.Large chunk of buildings tightly crammed of fearful big-eyed people = representing the People. Giving bags of money to the State, and giving soldiers to the Pentagon.

Two rows of people going different directions. One is the state carrying bags of money, the other row is conscripts/volunteers for war.

2.One building representing the State, with official looking people/agents carrying bags of money from the People. (taxes) And important looking people pointing fingers like Ron Gilbert, looking like they are in charge. Diverting the money bags to the Congress.

3.The Congress - showing a group of Vogon-like characters with suit and tie - suspended in air - pointing vehemently at the various moneybags to make it seem they are making judgments on where they are spent. Suspended in air over the row of people moving money bags from the State to the Pentagon. The row transmutes from money bags to airplanes, tanks etc as they get closer to the Pentagon.

4.Pentagon building - serious brutish men in uniform, accepting the recruits from The People, as well as the military equipment from Congress (inherently the military industrial complex). (2 rows)

5.White House, some slick looking politician/president calling to the Pentagon ordering attack.

6.War (a blob of napalm?) - Rows of Soldiers moving from Pentagon to the War.

7.Coffins, a row of coffins moving from the War back to the People.

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Throwing out ideas as they come to me...

- Undersea Wild West Town, with skeleton cowboys riding atop Hippocampi, mermaid-horses.

- A village built vertically on the surface of a living, moving, giant statue.

- A cave world filled with neon lights and motorbike gangs.

- A level where you're hopping from one giant hand to another of the 100-armed mythical being, the Hecatonchires as it tries to crush you.

- A level that is glitchy and full of 1's and 0's, random static, scan-lines and dark humanoid forms moving about.

- An overgrown forest prison full of convict elves, dwarves, trolls, etc.

- A giant bedroom full of random junk belonging to a giant compulsive hoarder.

- A Tibetan-esque temple where the background music is similar to the mantra of monks.

- A level full of autumn leaves that random fly around and take on different shapes and forms as you move around.

- An "8-bit" level with chiptunes and vague references to old games.

- A reverse world where things that are typically underwater are swimming around in the air/crawling along the ground, while things that are typically above ground such as birds, and people are underwater.

- A level that is lit by hanging light bulbs that flash on and off in different areas-- the terrain changing completely in light and dark.

- A level atop a flying cruise ship run by spider monkeys that can't speak nor have any idea what they're doing, yet the guests relax and have fun, totally oblivious to this.

- A level in a post-apocalyptic 1990's full of people who worship boy bands and still use pagers/beepers.

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-The double fine office in an alternate universe where all the employees are french, and mustaches are mandatory even for women.

-Inside a 70's disco, full of retired people trying to be hip

-at the imaginary friend registration office

-A secret penguin military base in the desert

-A traveling circus run by amish people

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Everyone's doing a great job of running the gauntlet of inspirations - interesting locales, other games, lulrandom places, and unexpected places.

When I look at things like the 40 most powerful photographs - http://www.themysteryworld.com/2012/06/40-of-most-powerful-photographs-ever.html - I always think of how it's the emotional context of the situation that gives it meaning. You feel the emptiness, defiance, bravery, hope. Similar with movies and other media.

Charlie Kaufman has a great quote - "It's very important that what you do is specific to the medium in which you're doing it, and that you utilize what is specific about that medium to do the work. And if you can't think about why it should be done this way, then it doesn't need to be done."

I feel like the locations will be in service to the story. I also get the sense from the videos that Tim feels some pressure to conjure something original yet familiar, defiant but similar, unknown yet expected. It's a delicate balancing act and not bad work to have if you can get it.

Radiolab has a great episode about an afghanistan musician that basically ripped off American hits but was huge, and then Taliban came and pop music disappeared. When the Taliban fell, his songs came back on the air and now people are making new music. I imagine playing the DFA will conjure similar feelings for me - I remember this and at the same time it feels like I've never had this before.

I get a feeling that the overall storytelling has had a certain trajectory - zany goofball to more refined characters and plot as time has passed, technology has improved, and Tim's become more practiced exploring worlds and fleshing out characters. They're talking to all sorts of people about what did and didn't work in the old games. SCUMM-style games have been slumbering and now they're going to wake it up and give it an overhaul. DoubleFine has done all sorts of innovative gameplay working in small teams and really thrive as a company because of it.

I imagine the final project will be exploratory, nuanced, mature and affective. Man is a feeling creature and, because of it, the greatest in the universe. We'll learn, too late for ourselves, that men have to make their own way, to make their own mistakes. There can't be any gift of perfection from outside ourselves. And, when men seek such perfection, they find there's only death, fire, loss, disillusionment, the end of everything that's gone forward. Men have always sought an end to toil and misery. It can't be given; it has to be achieved. There is hope, but it has to come from inside, from man himself.

Or maybe it'll all be microwaved hamsters and luchadore jokes. I dunno.

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The edge of the world.

On the back of a giant bird.

A bone recycling factory that has been re-purposed for sinister motives and not powdered milk.

A group therapy session in which the solution involves the participants issues. I.e. Taking the graphite out of an obsessive pencil sharpener. Or perhaps something less cruel.

If not a fire level, an area wherein flame is given sentience and bemoans the transience of its life. Hohoh hum...

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A location where every inanimate object is trying to kill the player, but can't because they are inanimate. They are also positively furious about not being able to kill the player. For example a ceiling fan would say "If only I could lower myself one more inch, then I'd pop that head like a melon!"

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-On one of those ships that are in a bottle

-A cloud factory

-A place that looks really natural, but has magnets EVERYWHERE

-A magician's convention

-On a leaf traveling down a stream, which leads to a river, which leads to an ocean.

-In a mine that harvests the minerals that make mirrors

-A park where everything is replaced by symbols that are on keyboards,(example, a bunch of '#'s to make a fence, a '>' and a sideways ')' to make a toy boat)

-A place where every door is replaced with a zipper, which in turn takes you to a random place.

-Underground, where nothing is seeing the light of day, and all of the fossils are alive and having a grand time (like dino skeletons moving around)

-A flower garden that has each flower being a different colored ball of paint, which colors the level as you brush past them

-On the 'fabric of space' at the cosmic seamstress' house. Like the level looks like a bunch of cloth all stitched together, but it acts alive.

-Inside of a snow globe

It seems that being awake at 3 in the morning gives me creative juices. =)

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A Comic book or video game convention

An school during the summer when it's most empty (except summer school students)

Flea market

Thrift store

Airport

I happen to love those ideas. They're simple enough that Chef Schafer (fun to say) can sprinkle on the magic sprinkles and make some delicious ice cream. Or Pop Tarts.

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Everyone's doing a great job of running the gauntlet of inspirations - interesting locales, other games, lulrandom places, and unexpected places.

When I look at things like the 40 most powerful photographs - http://www.themysteryworld.com/2012/06/40-of-most-powerful-photographs-ever.html - I always think of how it's the emotional context of the situation that gives it meaning. You feel the emptiness, defiance, bravery, hope. Similar with movies and other media.

Charlie Kaufman has a great quote - "It's very important that what you do is specific to the medium in which you're doing it, and that you utilize what is specific about that medium to do the work. And if you can't think about why it should be done this way, then it doesn't need to be done."

I feel like the locations will be in service to the story. I also get the sense from the videos that Tim feels some pressure to conjure something original yet familiar, defiant but similar, unknown yet expected. It's a delicate balancing act and not bad work to have if you can get it.

Radiolab has a great episode about an afghanistan musician that basically ripped off American hits but was huge, and then Taliban came and pop music disappeared. When the Taliban fell, his songs came back on the air and now people are making new music. I imagine playing the DFA will conjure similar feelings for me - I remember this and at the same time it feels like I've never had this before.

I get a feeling that the overall storytelling has had a certain trajectory - zany goofball to more refined characters and plot as time has passed, technology has improved, and Tim's become more practiced exploring worlds and fleshing out characters. They're talking to all sorts of people about what did and didn't work in the old games. SCUMM-style games have been slumbering and now they're going to wake it up and give it an overhaul. DoubleFine has done all sorts of innovative gameplay working in small teams and really thrive as a company because of it.

I imagine the final project will be exploratory, nuanced, mature and affective. Man is a feeling creature and, because of it, the greatest in the universe. We'll learn, too late for ourselves, that men have to make their own way, to make their own mistakes. There can't be any gift of perfection from outside ourselves. And, when men seek such perfection, they find there's only death, fire, loss, disillusionment, the end of everything that's gone forward. Men have always sought an end to toil and misery. It can't be given; it has to be achieved. There is hope, but it has to come from inside, from man himself.

Or maybe it'll all be microwaved hamsters and luchadore jokes. I dunno.

Nice post, although my guess about the trajectory would be that Tim has some snow and some startings of snowballs, and we are providing more snow.

For the reasons you are describing, during this brainstorm I tend to accompany my location suggestions with "sub-snowballs" - some basic purpose, character, drama and ironic connection to the real world.

I wonder if this helps Tim Schafer, or would he rather have the bare locations? Don't know.

Especially his hints about having two main characters who are initially unrelated make me wonder about what makes a good location.

If the story's premise is that meeting the love of your life is one big huge fantastic accident which somehow happens way too often to be true, the outcome of all the puzzles should feel like accidents, so the locations could have some Las Vegas or Jungle feel.

But if the story's premise is that meeting the love of your life is a result of being true to your goals and sticking to who you are, the environment could feel like a mountain peak, or a quest.

It could be nice if one character follows route 1 and the other follows route 2, before they meet eachother.

Heck, maybe Tim Schafer is right now sorting our suggestions into locations for character 1, locations for character 2 and locations for when they meet - before picking out the ones he finds the most useful!

:cheese:

It could be nice if during the first part of the adventure the actions by whimsy character 1 somehow confront tenacious character 2 with some moving target so both characters are not *totally* unrelated after all.

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A world where you're way too tiny

-scaling the back of an animal (furry animal, turtle's shell, inside a whale/the furry animal/a supporting character, etc)

-living amongst insects

-can't reach the cabinet above the sink

A world where you're way too big

-be a Godzilla type thing

-be like one of those aliens at the end of the first Men in Black playing with the galaxies inside the marbles.

-bump your head on the door frame every time

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world where books gome alive,

abandoned evil layer

vegitarian zombie civilization

after the aliens have taken over

ice level

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* The world inside of your fridge

* A village in the clouds

* Future earth where our jellyfish overlords live

* Polite, no BRITTISH polite cannibals club

* A country where it's illegal to stop dancing

* Nazi moon base

* A place where everything is edible (gingerbread house?)

* A small island in the pacific populated entirely by girl scouts, where cookies are currency.

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OK here we go

-Postapocalyptic wasteland

-Preapocalyptic wasteland

-Everytown USA

-a seculed mountain valley hamlet

- a mining town at the height of the gold rush

-an archeological dig

-inside Tim's Scrooge McDuck vault

-ancient Rome

-center of the universe

-the end of time

-inside the human body on a microscopic level.

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uh UH UH!!! I know!!

A giant room filled with monkeys typing frantically. I am not sure, but I think I can spot the main title: "The Most Complete Compendium of Double Fine Locations Ever" :D

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- In a watermelon

- Melée Island

- Fritz' beer garden

- concert hall

- Paris underground

- The Giggle web search server

- purity ball

- vampire beach club

- rock-paper-scissors world (like matter and antimatter but with three... you know, don't look at me, I'm not a chemist)

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-Inside the world of particles of water which have been slowed down so much, it has solidified :P

-The lab at the centre of an ice planet, in the centre of the known universe which is responsible for the manufacturing and commercialism of ice levels implanted inside brains of denizens from every habitable planet in the known universe...inside a snow globe

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Page 33? Are you still even reading?

Surface of the Sun

Inside the Eye of a Needle

Trapped inside of a flea on your pet dog, who's about to get shampooed!

Your brain has been removed and put inside of a robot.

A humongous slide/mobius strip that goes on forever.

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• A stained glass world where everything is a stained glass mosaic.

• Inside a Google doodle world where each letter is from a differently themed Google doodle.

• Inside an H.R. Giger painting.

• A circuitry world where everything is on a circuit board and inside the chips, capacitors, resistors, etc.

• Inside an vast underground ant colony.

• I second Grahamon's beautiful artwork not-quite-mirror world.

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- The world of a civilization formed on a leaf, next to a street light. Their perception of their environment would have 2 suns, and an unpredictable "night" time when the actual sun gets blocked out. Not to mention, their entire civilization would exist in only a single one of our seasons! Crazy!

- The seedy under-levels of a highly-advanced, planet-spanning city.

- The best predicted future of the modern world. Not the post-apocalypse/dystopian/cyberpunk future.

- Also, a post-apocalypse/dystopian/cyberpunk future.

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an ice world

Vanilla Ice World.

Travel through the brain of Rob Van Winkle.

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Buttom of the deep unexplored Occeans.

The center of earths core.

The Moon.

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You're in the opening credits to a 60's film a la It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World or something else really stylized like Superbad.

A typography world that is very stark and geometric.

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In a world full of people who think that they're creating a clever and original setting if they just use an ordinary object they see right now. On a snowflake, on a drop of water, on a rug, on a leaf, in music instrument, on a dog. So uncreative.

I want to see at least one character like that in the final game.

Also add these: civilization on a leaf, civilization under the fridge, civilization in the iphone, civilization in a keyboard...

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I think the use of American mythology is something that I remember as being very unique and wonderful about Psychonauts (Grim Fandango, Brutal Legend, etc.) Every-time I pick up a book on American folklore (Botkin, Lomax &c.) I always feel charmed and nostalgic and I had the same emotional response to the aforementioned games. I appreciated the addition of conspiracy theories, heavy metal, Mexicana and the twilight zone into the pantheon too.

So more of the same I guess.

I think seeing a game that contrast the media bombardment of modern life with the primordial myth-stew of nature and our collective-imagination would be neat. Though we're seeing more of this with all the post-apocalyptic games about. What about a Casandra like scenario where someone who flits back and forth between the present and the future is trying to arrange events to avoid an awful (or hilarious) outcome - would give greater to weight to all the objects in the game - SHOULD I take this? I have to choose between X and Y. Maybe they just THINK their flitting back and forth and just terrified to act after some previous failure. Would be full of all those noisy Greek fellows: Pathos, Bathos, Thanatos and Sitka (points if you get that reference). Aw, man I think I just invented an Ashton Kutcher movie.

Er, sorry - I think I misread the question. :S

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- A mechanical world where the cogs are all made of 17th century Dutch classical paintings.

- The intertubes

- The blogosphere

- A pseudo-intellectual radio station ruled by a society of tribal squirrels

- A large fish tank filled with just enough helium to give everyone high-pitched voices

- A hallucination where you're on an ice world but you're actually on a fire world which is actually the back of a grilled cheese sandwich. Do those have backs?

- The cigar humidor of a mobile Trench

- The Double Fine Action Offices

- A paper clip factory

- A room filled with fluffy bunnies

- Scratch that, a room filled with fluffy bunnies IN SPACE!

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