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Tim Schafer

The OFFICIAL "Who did you vote for and why" thread

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I didn't end up voting at all. Reasons being: 1. by the time I got to the page the pitches I liked the most were way too far behind 2. completely forgot to come back to the page to vote since the last week has been somewhat hectic.

Suggestion: Next time don't show the number of votes so people don't get swayed in a certain direction (just in case).

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I no longer have a PC (just a mac, boo!) so I can't play any of the games anyway. That said, I contributed anyway, so I could vote! I tried to limit my voting to as few as I could, so:

The White Birch: The concept looks lovely, I love more atmospheric games like this, and I'd be excited to see more. This is the one I voted for that I'd be the most interested in seeing artistically.

Hack n/ Slash: Very very cool idea! Sounds like I'd actually learn something from playing it, and it seems like it would have a nice sense of humor. Also, another female main character. Bonus!

KAIJU PILEDRIVER: Heck yeah giant monsters! Brad Muir's enthusiasm for it was infectious, and he was wearing a monster/dinosaur hat. Who could say no?

The only ones that I had a real stand out reason for not voting for them:

Spacebase DF-9: I actually really would like for this one to get made, as I have a very soft spot in my heart for sim games, and it sounds like an interesting spin on them. The only reason I didn't vote for it was that it was already doing quite well, and was ahead of KAIJU PILEDRIVER, which I wanted in the top four. I am happy to see it up there, though.

Autonomous: I'm just really not into the 80's-y neon future thing. I'm sorry! D: I'm sure it will be fun.

Double Fine High: All of Double Fine's characters, all together, (WHAT??? YES!!!) ....in a puzzle fighter. (...oh.)

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I voted for:

Shine Run - because it seemed like the guy in the pitch seemed to have a genuine eccentric commitment to the subject matter. It sounded funny and like it had a true POV.

The Flock - If there's ever going to be a duck sim game it's going to have to be in something like this so it deserved a chance.

Critterverse - I loved the art and I like monster collecting games.

Bragging & Fighting - Because I couldn't imagine how it could work. The combination of imaginative leaps of reason with the pre-programmed nature of the game was really interesting but I was sceptical. In pen and paper role-playing games (like DnD) one of the unique experiences is the ability of the game runner to fudge things to make things more entertaining. A lot of tavern tales and stories to brag about come from things not covered by the rules rather than things that are. I wanted to see if it was possible to come up with a workable set of rules that still captured that feeling of free association and imagination.

Kaiju Piledriver - Seemed really fun but derivative but I voted for it because I like the genre and chance of jokes.

Black Lake - Beautiful art.

Autonomous - Great all round package. Charming idea and visuals and still had an element of innovation. When I was a kid my sister and I used to play a game with lego that involved imagining yourself being the manager of a scrapyard and having to gather resources and build machines to help you.

Spacebase DF-9 - I think that emergent storytelling with many different characters could be incredible if given a Doublefine spin. The problem with many such games for me (though they're my favorite genre) is that the writing, storytelling or worldbuilding is either weak or non-existent. For example the events in Crusader Kings are very dull without much flare or humour. Dwarf Fortress makes you do too much of the storytelling yourself. King of Dragon Pass has amazing writing and personality but railroads you a lot.

I loved the potential of Doublefine imagination, humour and character building being brought to bare on that kind of game.

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I voted for White Birch because I like exploration games. I like the sense of wonder that comes with finding new places and items and ways to progress further and further. The comparisons to Ico and Journey helped too :D

Hack n' Slash was voted for the idea it presents: make a zelda like game that you can break more easily.

Kaiju Piledriver earned my vote for my visual idea of the game. A roguelike game is something I like to play, but usually they are these "dull" looking games with the medieval fantasy setting, but one with rubber monsters, cities, armies and giant mechs must look pretty cool.

I find it amazing that no one came up with a metroidvania-style game. That would have been the coolest.

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Kaiju Piledriver - I'm a big kaiju movie fan and want more games that riff on those types movies. All we have that comes close is Rampage and War of the Monsters. Unacceptable! To bad it didn't make the cut. Also: Brad Muir wearing a dinosaur head for a hat. How could you not vote for that, people?!

Autonomous - Love me some sci-fi. Like, weird sci-fi, not generic. Well, generic has it's place, but the world that Lee described sounded really cool. Glad that one made it!

Echelon - God, what a cool idea. I love espionage stuff and this game sounded like some real spy dirt. Super bummed it didn't make it in.

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Sorry for not being brief!

I love that you're open to taking in this kind of feedback from fans and the overall direction of transparentness that Double Fine seems to be taking as a company, Tim. Don't want to seem like an obsequious suck-up, but I think it's pretty obvious that Double Fine is the standard-bearer for media companies when it comes to this brave new world of anyone and everyone knowing anything about everything (because of the internet). How impossibly amazing and edifying would it be if we could get a real-time behind-the-scenes look at Pixarians working on "Monsters University" or Irrational building their glorious city in the sky? (Sure, we can try to glean information/details from the Twitter accounts of people associated with those companies and the media material released for those projects, but that isn't anywhere close to the level of access you fine folks at Double Fine are providing.)

All right, onto my dimwitted thoughts/criticism of some of the Amnesia projects:

I did not vote for:

Hack n' Slash: You'll find no scathing critique here; the concept for this game is brilliant, and as someone whose knowledge of programming is based solely on "well, people write their code in languages such as C++, Pearl, Python, etc., and the language of code includes much more symbols and numbers than a regular normal/spoken language, and there's if/then statements, and you'll start attending SIGGRAPH and be able to comprehend academic articles entitled "Design and Novel Uses of 5D Rasterization," "High-Quality Curve Rendering using Line Sampled Visibility," "Measurement-Based Synthesis of Facial Microgeometry," and "Fast Generation of Directional Occlusion Volumes," and if you're an isolated nerd in college who is afflicted by the "Forever Alone!" symptom then you spend all your time being a code monkey to get access to exclusive social clubs so that people are forced to talk to you, and that scene in "Wreck-It Ralph" (spoilers!) where King Candy goes into Sugar Rush's code to turn Venellope von Schweetz into a glitch might make more sense to you.

Hmm, those last two might not really be applicable, but my point is that the idea of a game being able to edify gamers on what still seems to be an arcane, esoteric subject to most people, and doing so in a familiar Zelda-esque gameworld, is an utterly fantastic concept for a game. So why the hell didn't I vote for it? Simply because I could tell early on that it was already pulling ahead of the rest of the games in votes and wanted to give other games that needed more help a chance to get into the top four! (I'm such a commie.)

Spacebase DF-9: Not sure how to articulate my criticism for this one considering it wound up in second place, and JP LeBreton seems like a lovely person and clearly wears great sweaters, but I guess the best way would be by saying that throughout my entire life I've had zero interest in "The Sims," "SimCity," "Spore," or any other "God game." I fully understand why a lot of other people like them/get into them, and I greatly respect the people who make them since it seems like an insane undertaking, but the thought of sitting in a room and trying to simulate real-life scenarios in micro and macro environments for 60+ hours just seems like... well, a waste of time. I'd rather donate to Charity: Water or drive to New York and help people in the aftermath of Sandy or do anything that would have a tangible effect in the real world than simulate those same kind of results in a game. (Ha, let's be honest, I'd just rather waste my time doing another sedentary activity like watching the ouevre of the Coen brothers and the top thirty greatest silent films or read, like, a book or something. Have you heard of a guy named Dostoyevsky? I guess he wrote a novella about some brothers who travel to a magical land called Karamazov or something like that. It's supposed to be "okay.")

Autonomous: Man, this one sounds pretty fantastic. And I loved the grainy VCR look of the pitch video, and that high-pitched robotic 80s sound effect applied to Lee Petty's voice. (Or does he spend hours doing guttural exercises in order to achieve this sound effect? One can never be sure.) My only criticism would be that if the "80s-inspired" part of it becomes a focal point and a visual style that you really try to precisely replicate, then perhaps some of that could be kind of cheesy/uninspired, unless the game goes out of its way to poke fun at itself and its 80s-ness in a well-done, restrained, meta way. (Am I saying that anything involved with the 80s was cheesy? What an original and outlandish statement to make!) The design of the Automatons and the concept art showing an overview of presumably one of the levels/maps all looked fantastic and not cheesy, so perhaps my worries are unfounded. (Although I will say it might get kind of boring if every level/map and all of the objects in the world have purple highlights/accentuations--try to mix up the color palette a little bit!) Another way of explaining what I just said would be: as of now it seems like some of your reference points for the visual style are "Back to the Future," "Tron," The Terminator," "Robocop," and "Labyrinth," and I personally think it might benefit from some more "Brazil," "Time Bandits," "Nausicaa," "Blade Runner," and "Akira." Also, once again, I didn't vote for this simply because it became obvious it was going to make it in the top four and I wanted to give other games a chance.

The games that I did vote for were:

The White Birch: A young girl climbing a tower to reach a prize hanging from a white birch tree. Does anything else need to be said? Especially considering I am presuming that the debonair Andy Wood was withholding important backstory details regarding the girl, such as why she's alone in a Stygian forest, and why there would be a (presumably) singular white birch tree to contrast against the impenetrable darkness surrounding her. (Oh, wouldja look at that, the young girl also happens to be a conspicuous porcelain white in the concept art, along with that dove... hmm, I wonder if there could be some symbolic reasoning for this.) This pitch is the one that filled me with the most curiosity and allowed my imagination to work the most in visualizing the game. Really glad it made it in the top four.

Black Lake: This pitch was the second-greatest in terms of sparking my curiosity and imagination. But, I viewed it right after the pitch for "The White Birch" and could not help noticing the similarity between the two in terms of setting/atmosphere. I understand that the narrative, characters, and what you do in both are wildly different, but I do think "The White Birch" might be more amenable to being made in a two-week timespan than the "Black Lake," because it sounds like it would be really difficult to come up with several animals' feverish/waking dreams and the accompanying personification of evil contained therein in that amount of time. I'm sad this one didn't make it into the top four, but if the idea is allowed to be pursued for a longer period of time separate from Amnesia fortnight in order to allow the creators to come up with/craft some truly memorable and compelling feverish/waking dreams for several animals, it could obviously result in a amazing, utterly unique game. (My only criticism would be the implementation/use of lullabies to drive away the evil from their dreams; this sounds great conceptually, but I think it would be very difficult to implement as a compelling gameplay mechanic. Perhaps you fight the evil via traditional combat until it is weak, and then once weak you're able to finish it off by singing a lullaby via an Ocarina-esque mechanic.)

Part 2 below:

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Okay, here's Part 2:

This is a continuation of games that I did vote for:

Kaiju Piledriver: How could one not be swayed by the infectious charm and enthusiasm Brad Muir displayed for this game? Having recently watched "Gojira" for the first time, and being the type of person who loves any narrative which involves fighting against the oppression of monolithic, totalitarian corporate overlords who want to feed the masses garbage and keep them delusional/ignorant, this one was a no-brainer. I'm incredibly disheartened that this did not make it into the top four, and hope that it is still pursued after/outside of Amnesia fortnight. I also really like the idea that the towering monster is not just senselessly leveling cities because he's a giant lunkheaded monster, but because he is intelligent and recognizes the threat that the evil mega-corporation in the game poses to the denizens of its world.

Milgrim: Gaming could certainly use a great, well-done antihero, so I liked this pitch on a conceptual level. I don't think that Wario/Waluigi or the more recent antiheroes in gaming have really done the archetype justice. My only criticism for this game is that, while I like the idea of you playing as the villain/antihero and setting up all the obstacles/enemies that the hero encounters throughout the game, I would like if there was something substantive on a narrative level regarding the antihero. By that I mean if the game can explain, either through dialogue/cutscenes, gameplay, or a combination of both, that the antihero is actually just a flawed person (or anthropomorphized person) in all the same ways that the main hero/protagonist is a flawed person, and that the only difference between them is that the antihero was simply driven more to the villainous/evil side either because of his desperate obsession for something/someone or because of some deeply affecting event that happened to him out of circumstance but not as a fault of his own, then I would feel more satisfied about having played as the antihero upon the game's conclusion. I just gave a poorly articulated way of achieving this, so I'll simply say re-watch Pixar's "Up" and listen to the director's commentary with Pete Docter and Bob Peterson to get an idea of what I mean. (They spend a lot of time talking about how Charles Muntz, the "villain" in that movie, is incredibly similar to Carl Fredericksen, the "hero," and how Carl could have easily become what Muntz ended up being.)

Cloud Prix: Love the idea of a racing game set in the clouds. Made me think of a sky level filled with zeppelins from "Crash Team Racing" that I thoroughly enjoyed playing when I was 10 years old. When John Swisshelm said, "Think 'Wave Race' meets 'Castle in the Sky,'" I was immediately sold. My only criticism is regarding the cloud magnetism. I read the post Tim linked to of John's explanation of how the cloud magnet mechanic works, and that all sounded well and good, but my criticism is an aesthetic one for the vehicles that you use to race in the game. I just think it would be kind of lame to visibly see the magnets in the front and back of the craft as is shown in the little demonstration in the pitch video. Yes, I can read, and I saw where it said "(not actual racecraft)," and I presume the exteriors would be made out of plastic, aluminium, and other non-magnetic substances, so as long as that's the case and you don't actually see the magnets, then I guess I don't really have a criticism since that one would then be void. But yes, please, don't let the magnets be visible--they're ugly. (This would explain why horseshoe magnets are always frowning, I suppose.) Not sure why this one did so poorly in voting, and would love to see it pursued/realized anyway.

Shine Run: How did this game come in third-to-last in votes? Did people just not watch the pitch video? This man wrote and performed a hilarious song to pitch his game, people! And it's a zany, creative idea for a racing/car combat game. Do people still feel like they were burned by the exciting prospect and lackluster execution/outcome of "Calling All Cars" and the last "Twisted Metal," and that's why this pitch did so poorly? Whatever the case, I'm not surprised this didn't make it into the top four, but I am surprised it did as poorly as it did.

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I voted for the ones that I would want to play, either because they were a genre that I love and/or they presented an idea, a twist that sounded interesting: Milgrim, Knockover, Spacebase, Echelon and Hack n Slash.

I think most of the ones I didn't vote for suffered from bad pitch, i.e. they couldn't get the idea of the gameplay across in 30 seconds or couldn't make it sound interesting or significantly different from other games in the same genre.

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The first things I look for in games are settings, characters, stories and how one or all of these things can be interpreted to interesting gameplay. Games that only offer the player different tools to sit and fiddle around with doesn't normaly interest me.

Black Lake

The setting that lets the player "participate" in folk tales gives this pitch the best potential of letting the player step into a unique world with interesting characters and wonderful stories.

The White Birch

The feature of getting different "rewards" in the end by doing several replays that are suppose to be very open for interpretations is an interesting concept. When it's presented with this simple but good premise it opens up for something that can turn out to be really thought-provoking which is a rarity in games.

Bragging & Fighting

Giving the player tools for coming up with the most outrages premises they can think of attached to rather simple gameplay mechanics can only be described as unique and brilliant.

Regarding the ones that made it to the top 4, I think they all have potential even though not all of them are ideas that I personally prefer. I'm most sceptical at making programming a gameplay element. But even if that won't be fun at least hopefully ones programming skills gets sharpen up which can never hurt. ;)

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Games I voted for:

Hack n’ Slash – Love the concept, it’s so different, and as someone who is interested in programming anyway, I think it will be a pretty awesome mash-up of genres!

Black Lake – I am excited by the artistic potential of this one, I think it would be really interesting to see DF’s artists interpret the dreams of animals, could lead to some really cool visuals. Also I think the hunting and tracking aspect could be awesome!

Autonomous – I like the idea of creating a bunch of robo-dudes and just letting them loose in a junkyard. I want to climb to a high spot and just watch these guys do their thing. Also I like the art style.

Spacebase DF-9 – Space stations are cool. Managing one is cooler.

To put it another way, the main thing I liked from Hack n' Slash, Spacebase DF-9 and Autonomous were the gameplay concepts, while with Black Lake it was the artistic potential, if that makes sense.

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I just voted once and for KAIJU PILEDRIVER!!!

Knowing how Iron Brigade played out, I think that an entire game basically based on the giant fish sequence from Psychonauts would be awesome, and I know exactly what Muir is capable of. Not as a slight against any other member of the DF team, but I love the idea of a campy monster movie game that felt a little like Iron Brigade.

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I voted for damn near everything because most of the ideas have legs. I think games like Flock and Double Fine High needed to be much higher on the list. I feel like the stuff that won was a bit too safe. I'm the kind of person who plays Thirty Flights of Loving and loves it. We need games to be weirder to grow what games can be and if any studio can execute weirdness its Double Fine.

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In general I love the fresh feeling ideas about the games. None of them seem generic with knobs on; there is a lot of talk about atmosphere, for example. Narrative nuance, feeling. It very much feels that DF are a collective of artists that happen to work in a game medium, rather than the kind of devs who are like, 'okay, what's the latest tech we can use to make a shooter or RPG and what story shall we slap on top of that code' - like most of the big studio games. That fundamental culture seeds all the ideas to have wonderful potential. I like the de-emphasis on fighting or shooting and seen-it-all before puzzles. So my votes were motivated along the games which strongly articulated those elements, and I'm happy to see that those, for want of a better word, have won.

And WOW, this whole public dev, streaming stuff is so awesome. Awesome artists, awesome games, awesome community sharing and openness. This is amazing. Thank you DF. Hearing about and investing in DFA is the gift that just keeps giving.

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Okay, here's Part 2:

Cloud Prix: Love the idea of a racing game set in the clouds. Made me think of a sky level filled with zeppelins from "Crash Team Racing" that I throughly enjoyed playing when I was 10 years old. When John Swisshelm said, "Think 'Wave Race' meets 'Castle in the Sky,'" I was immediately sold. My only criticism is regarding the cloud magnetism. I read the post Tim linked to of John's explanation of how the cloud magnet mechanic works, and that all sounded well and good, but my criticism is an aesthetic one for the vehicles that you use to race in the game. I just think it would be kind of lame to visibly see the magnets in the front and back of the craft as is shown in the little demonstration in the pitch video. Yes, I can read, and I saw where it said "(not actual racecraft)," and I presume the exteriors would be made out of plastic, aluminium, and other non-magnetic substances, so as long as that's the case and you don't actually see the magnets, then I guess I don't really have a criticism since that one would then be void. But yes, please, don't let the magnets be visible--they're ugly. (This would explain why horseshoe magnets are always frowning, I suppose.) Not sure why this one did so poorly in voting, and would love to see it pursued/realized anyway.

Thanks for the feedback! - it's super interesting to hear everyone's take on the pitches!

If I were to do the Cloud Prix pitch again, I would ditch the effort to be funny with the Terry Gilliam-esque animations and do some real concept art or get an artist to help. I always viewed the racecraft being like the "fliers" in Castle in the Sky: wooden vehicles that felt like something from the 1920s and had relatively mysterious innerworkings. There would definitely have not been visible magnets :) - that was an attempt to explain how the movement mechanics work and nothing else, but I can totally see how that turned people off.

In fact, if I were to pitch again, I'd downplay the mechanics and upsell the mood and feel of racing on clouds in an alternate history world's fair, at least in the video.

Thanks again - and I'd love to hear from anyone else that liked / didn't like / didn't understand Cloud Prix!

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My picks. Tried to keep them brief shorthand reactions.

Top 4:

1 Space base df9: really cool idea, like open ended emergent idea especially. reminded me of old school Outpost!

2 White burch: felt really awesome and artistic.

3 Black Lake: Loved the world and the game style. non standard mechanics and exploration really appealed to me.

4 Primordial Slime: it was hard to decide between this one and Flopulus, I favored this one more because the levels seemed likely to be varied and challenging, while still feeling frantic and visceral. Felt very Portal like without being a knockoff.

honorable mention:

X Flopulus: really liked the shape management idea wanted to see more shapes or varied puzzles.

X CritterVerse: funny concept, the visuals really helped.

X The Flock: game concept felt solid, lot of room for interesting story. would have helped to see some concept drawings.

O Hack'n Slash: Liked it but didn't vote for it mainly because there where a lot of other games under represented.

O Autonomous: cool but it had a ton of votes so didn't vote for it in favor of others.

O KAIJU PILEDRIVER: loved Rampage as a kid and wanted to vote for it but didn't in favor of others.

O Milgrim: Dammit! totally for got about this one.

O BRAGGING & FIGHTING: Ideas was awesome but not wild about card style games. lots of Munchkin feel!

O The Knockover: liked the heist idea felt very Spycraft but wanted a different design, more action strategy than board game.

O Silent But Deadly: hah ha ha! kind of a reverse Ninjaberger. not wild about the theme though.

O Echelon: world sounded cool but not feeling the text adventure vibe, really felt visuals would help the story.

O Bad Golf: funny idea, just didn't grab me. not a huge fan of golf or cart games.

O Battle Bros.: another great idea but seemed like there'd be a big hurdle to overcome getting the main character to be sympathetic.

O Cloud Prix: cool concept, not a big racing fan myself though. could have been drawn in with a story or more detailed world.

O Redbot's Reboot: REDBOT!! reminded be of the old turtle game on Apple, but wasn't sure about programming mechanic.

O Turk: sounded really cool but wasn't sure how you decided what to do vs just clicking until you got the right answer.

O Shine Run: cool concept intersting world. worried about it getting repetitive ala crazy taxi (which was cool but descended into restart, restart, restart), maybe if it had enough different things to do like the 2nd and 3rd jack games could be cool though.

O Zumbi Chained: interesting idea. not a big fighter player, wondered how you would coordinate attacks or just keep from getting messed up by th other players.

O Double Fine High: not big into the all stars type of games or straight up puzzle games.

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[+]Echelon – voted because author was brave enough to push on other senses, not just visual, that’s a brave thing to do in this visuals based society. Chosen setting was interesting too and “console” style graphics were promising hint for not having to do aimless button-mashing.

Pushing sound and text as the primary gameplay loop seems like pitching a super niche game at an already niche game company like Double Fine. But that's what makes DF so awesome. We can learn and grow and challenge ourselves in this creative process! Even though Echelon didn't win the popular vote, it was very encouraging nevertheless to see your support.

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My main pic was Cloud Prix. The gameplay pitch reminded me a little of how the gameplay of the ssx snowboard series is, and sounded like something I would really enjoy, with all its magnet force pulling and rappelling, airtime (hehe), and sick tricks.

I also voted for a few of the winners, so yay :D

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I voted for a number of pitches, but my favorite idea was Bad Golf. A casual (read drunken) round of golf is completely unlike anything in existing golf video games. It'd be a ton of fun to run around in a cart in the 4 player coop. I think a lot of people without a bag of expensive clubs and the money to pay greens fees all the time would fine the game more accessible.

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I liked a lot of the ideas that were pitched, but only voted for my top favorites which were not already in the top 4.

In short I voted for

Milgrim - because I love sand box games and think they would be a big hit as proven by games like Minecraft and Terraria. It's the same reason why people universally love building with Lego's. I also think it'd be addictively fun setting up the traps and watching "the attackers" fall victim to them. Of all the pitches I really hope this one is revisited sometime in the future.

Black Lake - it's just got a real cool artistic vibe about it reminiscent of a good ol' action adventure. I think a lot of its coolness is the implied mystery and suspense of the main character and the story. Really happy this got picked as a bonus 5th game!

Primordial Slime - I really think this game has a lot of potential. I kind of see it as a motion controlled puzzle game with lots of possibilities for interacting with. Perhaps the slime can morph into different shapes depending on what it comes into contact with or have it's physical properties change- such as freezing and becoming solid when needing to provide force against obstacles, and then turning fluid again when you need to escape through a drain or sieve.

----------

I do like the other four winning ideas and was even going to vote for Hack n' Slash and Autonomous myself except that they were already high up on the charts and wanted to bump my other choices more. I'm sure they will all turn out great- I'm totally confident that DF will produce their usual signature work.

For Hack n' Slash, I think this game will be especially fun on PC's and Mac's since a lot of "hacking" is modifying config files or exploiting internal functions of programs for what they were not intended for. Whereas you can do this on maybe a tablet or console controller- the controls might get a little tedious.

Autonomous sounds like it'll be a pretty awesome game. Reminds me of the old game Star Control when I used to play the computer against itself using different space ships! Love the 80's synthesized music and laser lights idea- though I'm hoping it'll look a bit more like Tron Legacy though than the original Tron!

Eager to see what The White Birch will be like. I really liked the game Shadow of the Colossus (never played Ico or Journey though I heard they're great). The only thing I can say about SotC though was that it would have been nice to have a little more interaction with the environment as it did sometimes feel a little dull though the story and animation was fantastic.

I also haven't played FTL yet, but I'm sure Spacebase DF-9 will be pretty interesting.

Some other ideas that caught my interest were:

Bragging and Fighting - sounds hilarious! Though I imagine the execution might be a little challenging as it would be quite open ended or have only limited story templates. I thought of a similar idea as a sequel to the original "The Bard's Tale" games actually!

Bad Golf - again golden, because I suck at golf IRL and this seems like a great game to blow off my frustration. Perhaps I'll be a champ at this instead!

Silent But Deadly sounds hilarious, but I think that might be a little risky for DF to make as it could damage the company rep professionally with other publishers. Maybe not and I'm just being a wet blanket.

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I voted for 8 different pitch ideas ...but the one I felt most strongly about was The Black Lake.

In many ways it did remind me of Psychonauts, but that's not all that I saw in it.

It resonated instantly with me. I could immediately imagine the game it might become and my heart jumped at the idea.

A game of dreams and animals... better still, animals' dreams... and puzzles to unravel and solve and rebuild... in a strange woodland.

I wanted badly to play it and to explore that world... meet the creatures in it and see their dreams.

Everything Levi said tonight only made it grow better and better.

The customizations, the gathering berries to make dyes, the dreams echoing 'figments' ... the fox that follows you around... the scents that you can see and learn for tracking the animals.

I am so in love with this game idea... with what it might be. Something beautiful and magical... (funny, too.)

Thank you so much for letting it be among the ones made.

(Following that, The White Birch.)

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I voted for,

Top Choices

Spacebase DF-9 - I enjoy sim games and anything related to space.

The White Birch - Art style and if it could give PC gamers a game similar to Journey I'd be happy. I've never played Journey or the other games from That Game Company as I don't own a PS3 (just not enough games of interest for me to consider it a worth while expense), but I think the PC needs more games like Journey, Flower, and Cloud.

Black Lake - The concept really intrigued me and I'm curious to see how the prototype will turn out.

Hack n' Slash - Seems like it could be an enjoyable comic take on an action adventure game that adds unique mechanics.

Secondary Choices

KAIJU PILEDRIVER - Seems like it could be a fun game to spend a bit of time in every now and then.

The Knockover - The pitch grabbed my interest, plus there isn't many games like it. Even though the prototype would have been a simple card based game it could pave the way to a more strategic game.

Cloud Prix - Seems like it could be a nice, fun, and simple racing game. I like Nitronic Rush and it seems like Cloud Prix could be another one to follow in the same vain.

The Flock - Seem liked an interesting game that would have been slower paced and interesting depending on the mechanics incorporated into it.

Autonomous - Concept seems intriguing.

Echelon - Seems like it could have been a every deep game with the player managing multiple things at once and trying to keep track of everything.

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My rationale for voting was a) If I thought the concept was interesting, and b) if I thought I would actually play it.

My votes were as follows:

Hack'n'Slash: Because it seemed like a great concept, and it felt like it could kind of grip you, well providing it was accessible. In addition, it had kind of a nostalgia value to it.

Spacebase DF-9: I would love to see Double-Fine's take on a sim, and conceptually this seemed like it might have legs.

Miligrim: I thought there was something really unique about the concept and a great deal to explore with the result.

Kaiju Piledriver: It seemed simple, fun, and highly addictive, especially if built for mobile.

Autonomous: This was partly because I thought it would work as a concept, and partly because I was curious to see what Lee Petty would do with said concept.

I tried to keep my voting to 5 prototypes as I felt it would make my votes a lot less effective if I chose more. My reasons for not picking the others were less about concept and more that I just couldn't see myself playing them as much as I would the above.

Hope it helps.

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I didn't vote as I signed up 1am my time, woke up, took daughter to KG, came back and voting had closed.

If I had voted it would have been for KAIJU PILEDRIVER as it sounded the most fun. Who couldn't like giant rubber suited monsters stomping around smashing things?

White Birch made me think of Lucidity from Lucasarts and isn't my sort of game. I don't have time to play something more than once, so something that suggests playing multiple times to get alternate endings / story just doesn't appeal.

Hack & Slash is an interesting idea, just not sure how much fun it would be for me to play.

Redbot Reboot sounded like a bit of fun, and at the same time reminded me that I really want a computer version of RoboRally.

Autonomous was an interesting concept and I liked the Tron esque art style

I can't really comment on the other pitches.

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So many great ideas from you guys! It was hard to pick only four (I know I could have voted for more...but I forced myself to choose only my four favourite candidates), my votes were for:

The Knockover

I loved the "fresh setting" (I mean different, not inflated...sorry but english is not my native language) and the fact that the player is only focused on the strategic elements of the gameplay and not on "furious movements of units on a map"...I'd really love to have a game like this on my mobile phone/tablet (Android), easy to play with non trivial decisions to make.

The White Birch and The Black Lake

I love games where a good, deep, immersive story is mixed with action gameplay elements, like Limbo, Braid and...Psychonauts! Also, the stories of "the WHITE birch" and "the BLACK lake" seemed to be mysteriously and magically bound together...

Bragging and Fighting

A brilliant and funny concept that promised a lot of laughs!

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Based on the 30sec pitches it really came down to presentation skills, and has been said before in this thread the artistically gifted had an advantage.

I voted for many, but with afterthought there where to that stood out; White Birch and Black lake

Reasoning: I'm in need for short games that gives an experience which is deeper and more meaningful than the usual games out there. So when journey and perhaps shadow of the colossus where dropped as inspiration that immediatly got me hooked. It would be great to see what doublefine could do with such games.

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I was mostly interested in games I haven't seen a hundred times before, so I voted for:

- Spacebase DF-9 because I love space and I always wanted to try Dwarf Fortress but never managed to get into it.

- The Knockover because I love heist games and there hasn't really been a proper one for, I don't know, like twenty years. (Although I'd prefer something more in the vein of neo's The Clou.)

- Bragging & Fighting because every video game in which you can tell a lot of lies is a good video game.

- Echelon because it's "a cross between classic text adventure and radio play where you record top secret surveillance recordings." How could I not vote for it?

I guess what bothered me a bit was that the, uh, quality of the pitches varied a lot. Some really came to life thanks to a good speaker and a lot of concept stuff, while others felt like they were put together very quickly and thus never stood a real chance. Also I didn't vote for any games that seemed to predominantly rely on their art design.

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Games I voted for:-

Spacebase DF9: I've always enjoyed sim games and there aren't enough set in space! I also liked the idea of it being somewhere between a city building god game (like Sierra's Outpost) and a Sims's style game (which I've never enjoyed) where you build the city while having gameplay emerge from the (often) unpredictable interactions of the citzens (similar to Dwarf Fortress).

Kaiju Piledriver: I was hooked immediately by the game concept in the short pitch video and was 80% sure I was going to vote for it by the time the pitch was over - who doesn't want to wreck a city as a rampaging B-movie monster? What made up the last 20% of the decision was the interaction with Brad on the forum where there was question + answers on his vision of a roguelike game.

The white birch: It sounded like a game that I would want to play - from the pitch you are not only exploring the world you are also exploring the motivations of the character because the player doesn't know why the girl is in the forest or has to climb the tree but she does.

Autonomous: First thing that grabbed me was the setting - there isn't many games which are set in a Running Man esque environment. The second thing was the mechanics - I liked the idea of being able to assemble robots from simple parts that you scavenge and "automating" them to perform tasks which allows you to progress to a goal.

Games I didn't vote for but nearly did:-

Milgrim: I liked the idea of being "bowser" and building levels for "mario" to beat, but just wasn't sure what type of game it was going to be and there wasn't a design brief to explain it better! E.g. I wasn't sure if this, essentially, a 2D tower defense game or something more.

Hack n' Slash: Nearly voted for it and I thought the concept was a good one, I just wasn't sure if I wanted to play a game where you had to write code to progress.

Bragging and Fighting: really liked the concept of the game, just not completely sold on the card game part as I've never been into collectible card games or mobile gaming (?). If there were similar mechanics to achieve the same thing without cards I would have voted for it. There also seemed to be huge potential to show off DFs strengths of writing and creativity through the dialogue and crazy "adventures".

The Knockover: Again liked the idea but not so much the card game mechanics. I also don't play games on my phone / tablet so it isn't a game I would ever end up playing regardless of the concept.

Echelon: Loved the concept and the design doc did a really god job of explaining the game mechanics which sounded (pun intended) really interesting. Ultimately I didn't vote because there wasn't really anything joining the various missions together other than "be the best", if Echelon came back with a narrative to hold the concepts and missions together and to give you the feeling of uncovering some vast hidden conspiracy [think Enemy of the State, or the mythos that come out of things like numbers stations] I would vote for it twice.

Games I didn't vote for:

Black Lake: The setting just never appealed to me. I'm not really much of an animal lover so saving woodland creatures from their nightmares just had no emotional connection with me.

Silent but deadly: No connection at all with the game concept which seemed kind of crass and immature, like a one-joke flash game I might find on Newgrounds.

Critterverse: Game mechanics / setting didn't appeal. I don't like collectible games like Pokemon.

The Flock: Game concept never grabbed me. Never really wanted to be a flock of birds and the pitch didn't really change my mind on this.

Bad Golf: Don't like golf games and don't like golf.

Primordial Slime: This type of game saturates the PC market, while not a bad idea I don't need another one in my life.

Flopulous: see Primordial Slime

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Black Lake I really, really wanted* to be made. If you could vote multiple times for one games I would have used them all on this one. The premise made me interested, the concept art sold me, I was in love by the end of the clip.

White Birch would be my next choice. I love games about atmosphere and exploration, with a sense of scale and grandeur.

Spacebase DF-9 sounds like a really cool concept, I really like games where you can sit back and look at the fruits of your labor.

Autonomous gets the last spot for me.

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I'm a design teacher at the game department of Grafisch Lyceum Utrecht (the Netherlands). I use your Amnesia Fortnight for my design lessons, including an explanation of my personal design minded top 5.

1. Turk excellent idea of a data-driven game

2. Primordial Slime excellent animation and swell idea for a tablet touch screen game

3. The White Birch

4. Autonomous

Fine to be able to see these two prototyped the next 2 weeks. Second classes Game Artist and Game Developer are also prototyping these weeks, they get a semi-live example of how to do it (we're at 11pm here in Europe when you start your live video, so we watch the next morning!)

5. The Flock what a great idea and what a lousy pitch. Watch the BBC series Earthflight to get the right mood of 'a dramatic journey across the planet.'

We'll be watching you this fortnight together with all our students. Good luck and make the best possible prototypes.

Willemijn

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