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Tim Schafer

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

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This is a great thread everyone! All the info, comments and critiques are super interesting and helpful! Thanks for being such a fun community!

Also, Autonomous Pixel art is aweXome.

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Voted for:

#1: Autonomous

Liked concept art, the concept PDF looked professional, gameplay idea sounds solid and varied.

#2: Spacebase DS-9

Same reason I supported Maia Kickstarter - too few of this type of games being made these days, and I love the genre. Nice concept art.

#3: The White Birch

Liked the concept art, the music, the ideas, and to be honest, Andy Wood, though I know that shouldn't affect me. Generally only playing on a PC haven't tried the games being namedropped, but have heard they are so excellent and want to play something with that atmosphere.

#4: Black Lake

Again loved the concept art so much, the artist from Psychonauts, yay! I was a on the fence for a long time since the pitch didn't really say how it would play, but the art and the gameworld sounds like it is a spiritual sequel to Psychonauts, so it got my vote in the end.

Also voted for (in no order):

The Knockover

I really love card- and boardgames. Clean concept art. Too few heist games being made, such a rich source material to borrow from. Again a little bit on the fence, I can see the pre-heist recruiting and planning working, but how would the heist rounds themselves play out, would there be enough strategic variation?

Echelon

Big plus for an innovative genre idea! Plot sounds intriguing, opportunity for paranoia games with the player.

Primordial Slime

Mockup looked fun, like how colourful it was. I want more good games for my Android phone, especially puzzle games, not the deluge of ripoffs and "free" pay2win grind clogging up Google Play.

Shine Run

Great game idea, beard upgrades sounded like it was the game most likely to have that wild DF creativity and humor. Sad it got so few votes.

Those I didn't vote for that I had specific reasons other than just "meh - didn't connect with them".

Zumbi Chained

Loved the game world and concept art, but to focus on multiplayer made me not vote for it, even if co-op is the only multiplayer I like. Me and my friends are grown ups now with careers and families, so we struggle to find time to play together just once a month. Playing with random internet strangers doesn't appeal to me.

Battle Bros

I don't even live in the US, but from I've seen in films and online, I only get strongly negative connotations from everything "bro" and "frat" (elitist, misogynistic, dumb, etc), so a whole game around it doesn't sound appealing at all, even if only done for comic effect.

Silent But Deadly

I like stealth games, but too juvenile. Fun as a prototype maybe, but not if it takes the place of one of my #4 votes that all look like they could become really awesome to play just as prototypes, and real commercial successes if ever made into full games.

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The ones I voted for:

Bragging&Fighting; - A vote for traditionalism, because I know the skills and experience you have are perfect for this game. People would look at it and play it and be reminded of Double Fine and what it stands for.

(quote from my post in Bragging&Fighting; thread)

You probably know this already, maybe you even had this in mind from the get go, but I have to say it: BRAGGING & FIGHTING feels exactly like a game Double Fine would produce. I had to say this because when I look at your project, I see room for Double Fine's style of humor, art, storytelling and character. And yes, I can see too how two weeks of work could turn this into a very fun and original prototype. I hope your idea gets more love from the voters.

Milgim - Incredible potential as a multiplayer game (one player designs a level - the other plays it). Objectively being "the bad guy" can be very fun, but I do not see games exploring this idea outside the RPG genre. Great opportunity to make a more casual 2d sandbox game that does not require a lot of dedication and time - this is one of the reasons why it would work so well on tablets/mobile devices.

Redbot's Reboot - I would have so much fun, not only trying to find the best possible solutions, but also the worst. It would make for a great open-ended puzzle game, with multiple possible solutions and high replayability. It was not listed in the Which mobile games did you like?, but is well fit for tablets and mobile devices as well. Story-wise, see below:

(quote from somebody else in Redbot's Reboot thread that deserves to be posted)

In my mind Redbot somehow travels to different worlds each time it drinks, by some unknown mechanism (which might be discovered over the coarse of the game), so he can end up in a classic fantasy world (where he must rescue the princess), a steampunk one, or something no one has seen before. This can allow putting other DF worlds and characters into the game, for extra fun. Just imagine Redbot going through a Psychonauts or Stacking scene, helping the heroes (or villains) of Middle Manager of Justice, etc. This would be awesome!

Black Lake - The story, concept art and gameplay ideas sold me on this one. It could be a more serious and less action based Psychonauts.

The ones I did not vote for:

Double Fine High - Because I do not play this kind of game. That's it.

Zumbi Chained - I don't think I would have fun playing as a slave. Overly coop-based games don't attract me much because I don't have many friends to play with. I don't know how a full game could be made out of it. It seems the gameplay would be too repetitive.

Shine Run - I actually quite liked the idea of a racing game with RTS elements and customizable endgame conditions. I didn't vote for it because I wanted to limit my votes to the 4 best ideas, but now I feel I should have voted for it. Shine Run certainly deserved more votes than it got.

Turk - It wasn't a bad idea. The pitch was basically just a description of the gameplay, maybe it lacked a good enough attention getter to make me interested. Meh.

Flopulus - Fun gameplay is not enough for me. The factory seemed like a generic, characterless setting, almost only an excuse to make a physics based 3d platformer. Giving Flopulus a better personality like Gish and the Goo balls had could help. It's too harsh and unfair to compare a game concept with 2 great and successful games, but it's how I felt.

Cloud Prix - I liked the idea, but I'm not sure I wouldn't grow tired of "cloud magnetism" quickly. Maybe it was my mistake because I didn't ask John "how is this not just a gimmick" in the game thread. With some polish, I could vote for this. I wanted to vote for one of the racing/driving games...

Primordial Slime - I don't have a tablet or iphone or android to play it with. It didn't seem like a game I would like to play in the PC. 2d physics puzzles > 3d physics puzzles imo, so Primordial Slime > Flopulus.

Battle Bros - Good idea. Just ok pitch. Just not brilliant, and also not my favorite genre. Meh.

Bad Golf - Great idea. Great pitch. It deserved my vote, but I limited my votes to just 4. You make this game, I buy this game.

The Flock - A game like this would be great to relax. It would be a surreal experience. Very original as well. Maybe a film of birds flying would help more than the ducks film did overall.

Echelon - Commercial viability took my vote from it, I'm afraid. I didn't play many text adventures in my life, but it was a great idea. The pitch was very, very well presented. It had the attention getter some of the others lacked.

CritterVerse - Nice, very nice, and very Double Fine-y as well. Great concept art. CritterVerse > Hack n Slash, I would say. This deserves a second look next year as well.

Silent but Deadly - The pre-prototype was very fun to play. This game could be great with procedurally generated levels. I guess Duncan will get a chance to make this prototype once he becomes a bit more experienced, if he does not come up with a better idea behind it.

The Knockover - I thought Bragging&Fighting; would be a lot more fun to play. 30s video may have gotten in the way, but the film was just a description of the game. It lacked a personal story, an inspiration, something to make me excited about the idea. Meh.

KAIJU PILEDRIVER - Good idea. Great presentation. Just not my favorite genre.

Autonomous - Brilliant. It would be fun if we could switch between first person and third person view. Very ambitious, and deserves respect for that. It would require time and dedication to be good at, though, and I prioritized games that I thought wouldn't require as much time as I'm quite busy these days. I could definitely vote for this.

The White Birch - Good, good.

Spacebase DF-9 - Good idea, but again, I prioritized games that I thought wouldn't require as much time and effort to play.

Hack n Slash - Good idea, for sure. Not so easy to picture how the "hacking tools" will work in the game, but CritterVerse > Hack n Slash anyway.

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Hack 'n Slash: I secretly want to indoctrinate everyone into thinking logically, hacking is a great start. Innovative puzzles and fun times in this game.

Bragging & Fighting: Amazing couch-co-op experience with my friends. Troll each other by buffing monsters, have fun duking it out.

Autonomous: Loved Stacking, I trust Lee and it sounds awesome.

Spacebase: Space! Very different for DF. Possibly bandwagon effect.

Milgrim: Fun concept, flips Mario on its head

Turk: Cool concept, kinda want to see where it goes. Might be best as free somehow, it's very atypical.

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I limited myself to voting for six games, so I thought I'd list them and why I picked them.

Kaiju Piledriver was probably my favorite one, it had a cool pitch, and it's a game I'd really like to play if it was done well. I loved the old Rampage games, and there were interesting aspects in the development pitch, I especially loved the idea of the monsters being people in rubber suits like the original movies.

My second favorite was Spacebase DF-9, because the pitch was really well done and it's a game that I'd want to play. The only possible problem is that it's really ambitious for a 2 week development cycle.

My third fav is Black Lake, simply because the art is absolutely gorgeous, and the premise of the game sounds really interesting. I'm not sure what the gameplay would be like, but some of the other concept sketches the developer posted in the thread looked promising.

After that, it gets a little harder to rank them. I really liked the pitch for Primordial Slime, and I'd love to flick it around to solve puzzles on my tablet. Flopulous also looked cool, but what sold me was the demo. I could see playing the game, and I think it had a much higher chance of being successfully developed than a lot of the other games. Silent but Deadly was another game that sounded fun, but the demo was great. Even at its limited level, I had tons of fun playing the short game, and I could see a lot of interesting stuff being in the game if it was further developed with a team from Doublefine.

The other games that I didn't mention that were at the top of the voting either didn't catch my interest, or I thought that they couldn't be successfully developed in two weeks. Pretty much all of the game pitches sounded really interesting though, (I wish the videos were a minute long instead of 30 seconds), and this whole process is great. I'm sure whatever develops from this process will be a lot of fun to play.

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My first choice was bragging and fighting; reminded me a bit of pirates and Monkey Island and its humor, and seemed the most concrete/least fuzzy idea to me.

Other choices were hack'n'slash (I guess everyone wants to do this to a game once in a while), not sure if it will result in something great, but really curious about this one.

Critterverse (loved the artwork) and Black Lake were my other choices (Black lake seemed interesting + great atmosphere in artwork etc; white birch looked interesting, but black lake felt more special).

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Unfortunately I missed the vote. Sorry for going off topic, but I would like to say a quick thank you to DF, and also the community. The whole project is fascinating and an inspiration. Love it!

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Given that there would be four prototypes, I had planned to vote for four, but forgot and only voted for three pitches. My three were:

1.Autonomous - This idea is the main reason I shelled out money to vote. I really like the pitch. The game sounds like it would incredibly fun. The inspirations listed on the forum are nearly all things I really like. Devo, John Carpenter films.

2. Spacebase DF-9 - It sounds like a lot of fun. With both this and Autonomous, the games looked like they would have a lot of re-playability.

3. Shine Run - It looked like a fun racing game. I feel like most of the racing games I have played in recent years have been fairly serious games. Also, I like moonshine.

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Kaiju Piledriver - I love giant monster movies and Brad Muir's previous game, Trenched (still prefer that name).

The White Birch - The pitch referenced a number of games I totally dug. The emphasis on experience and atmosphere was also a draw.

Hack n Slash - A crazy idea that I couldn't figure out how to pull off cleanly, so I really wanted to see it made.

Cloud Prix - A unique sounding mechanic in a genre I love.

The Flock - Because I liked the idea of seeing the freedom and joy of flight translated into something I could play.

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Hack&/: I voted for this, because I like Zelda and messing with the innards of games. Probably my 2nd favorite of them all.

Spacebase DF-9: No vote. I've never played Dwarf Fortress or a similar game, and this doesn't seem to be any different. And I'm not really a fan of micromanaging. But I'll certainly give the prototype a try.

White Birch: I love ambient games with a good atmosphere, thats why I originally voted for this. But because I preferred Black Lake, I rescinded my vote to give BL a better chance.

Autonomous: Programming robots to do my bidding, or in this case some hopefully amusing and exciting stuff? Yes please. But like WB I didn't vote for this because I was trying to get BL in the top 4.

Black Lake: Like WB, but adventure instead of platforming. And the dream concept and tracking seemed promising. This was my favorite one, so I was incredible happy AF got expanded to five games instead of four. Sadly I could only vote once for this.

KAIJU PILEDRIVER: Yes, all caps, because Brad. This got my vote, because I like such simple games with rogue-like elements a la Binding of Isaac and FTL, and also you get to destroy cities as a giant monster. (btw was Brad responsible for Lungfishopolis?)

Milgrim: Got my vote, because it looked like a new and interesting spin on the tower defense genre.

Bragging & Fighting: Never played any game like this, and it looked like it could be fun, so this got my vote.

The Knockover: Also voted for this. Planning a heist, and executing it perfectly would be immensely satisfying.

Silent But Deadly: Didn't vote for this. It seemed a bit too stupid in my opinion.

CritterVerse: Can't remember if I voted for this. Seems like a Zelda-style puzzle game + pokemon.

Echelon: Got my vote because it reminded me of Uplink, which I enjoyed immensely.

The Flock: Can't remember if I voted for this, but I should have. It's a very interesting concept, despite not really looking like much of a game.

Bad Golf: No vote. Although it sounded fun at first, I can't see myself playing much less enjoying this for more than 10 minutes.

Battle Bros.: No vote. It seems to be ridiculous for the sake of being ridiculous and otherwise a standard RPG. Also I hate frat bro's.

Primordial Slime: No vote. Seemed like a generic physics puzzle game. Also not a fan of mobile gaming.

Cloud Prix: Probably voted for this. Could have been a nice racing game.

Redbot's Reboot: No vote. I think I already played a few flash games like this. And Autonomous is a more interesting robot programming game.

Flopulus: No vote. Again, a generic physics puzzle game.

Turk: Never seen a full fledged game based on that concept, but in the end didn't sound that interesting to me. No vote.

Shine Run: No vote. I'm not a fan of objective based driving games.

Zumbi Chained: Novel concept, but I suck at fighting games and don't like games with co-op as a main mechanic. No vote.

Double Fine High: Probably the only game that gets a clear "no" from me. Every other on was at least a "meh". Like I already mentioned, I'm not a fan of mobile gaming, and like such puzzle fighting games even less.

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My votes:

Hack n' Slash - This was my favorite idea because cheating isn't only an option, sometimes it's necessary. I also love the classic Zelda style.

White Birch, Black Lake, The Flock - I love artsy games. The world needs more!

Autonomous - for the idea of being able to create but not directly control robots.

Honestly, I liked and voted on almost all of the pitches.

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I voted for The White Birch and Black Lake because they seemed the most like escapism. To me.

And also so much room for interpretation of content/ themes etc

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I only voted for KAIJU PILEDRIVER, being that it was the only one that looked interesting.

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Black lake : Interesting concept and art direction and gameplay. I don't remember playing anything like that, but maybe it's just that I'm already overthinking and making up features and scenery. Anyway, I'd love to see a game like that coming from Double Fine.

White Birch : Same. Kinda. Honestly quoting games like Ico and Shadow of the colossus or Journey, while explaining why it was a different take on emotional discovery and bonding with the main character.... hooked me. Again, given the usual Double Fine humour, it might turn out to be special. Maybe without the humour. Dunno.

Autonomous : Pure. Awesomeness. I immediately got super excited about the possibilities and the audio (and visual) style. Even better, there could be a "Redbot's Reboot" feature for some programmable AI for a specific head piece. That's why I didn't vote Oliver's prototype: his idea was just a piece in the Autonomous puzzle. I hope it won't look like playing "Iron Brigade" from the enemy's perspective.

Hack 'n slash: Pure Double (Fine) awesomeness. It's solid and fun already. Could be super-hard to build and to actually feel good, but it has a Double Fine feel to it already, while being part of a new genre. Well, new to Double Fine games.

P.S. : I voted for these 4 mainly because I didn't like the other ones. Too many "Bejeweled" puzzle games, simple iOs physics puzzles, chunks of bigger games and ideas, simulators (I don't like those too much...), card games, silly 2-seconds-flash-games ideas: overall, I just couldn't see myself playing those games for more than 10 minutes per month.

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Hail, Tim of Legend!

Here's that voting breakdown you wanted: thought I should get it done before getting stuck into the prototypes themselves (work before play and all that). :)

For brevity's sake, I'll just focus on the pitches that elicited the strongest reactions from me, since I found every single presentation to have at least some likeable aspects.

Titles I voted for

Autonomous: One of my favourite aspects of video games is the ability to explore worlds with a unique atmosphere quite unlike that of reality. I really liked the audio-visual aesthetic presented in this excellent pitch. The game mechanics also reminded me a little of Lucas Learning classic Star Wars: DroidWorks, except with the hands-on direct control replaced with AI, which sounded like it would be intriguing and fun to interact with.

Black Lake: Another aspect of games I like is that they let you do cool things that you could never do in real life. I loved the premise of this: save the forest by tracking animals and exploring externally projected manifestations of their dreams? Awesome! The supplementary info had some great ideas as well, not to mention the beautiful, evocative art; altogether, I found myself quite enchanted.

Hack n' Slash: A third aspect of games that I enjoy is the mental challenge: I do like a good puzzle. I've never hacked a game before, but this sounded like it could be a lot of fun, as well as using a very unusual mechanic executed in a unique style.

Redbot's Reboot: One more vote for mental challenge, but also for humour. The story sounded fun and the pitch made me smile. Another bonus is that, on occasion, at the end of a tiring day I am too exhausted physically to get the most out of a demanding action game. The mechanics proposed sounded great for such times. They also reminded me of the programmable robot that we got to play with in school once. Sadly, we never saw Roamer again after that, but with Redbot, the fun can continue!

The White Birch: As with Autonomous and Black Lake, the atmosphere of The White Birch sounded very enticing and well worth experiencing. I did have some queries about how the ambitious structure was to be executed successfully, but there simply aren't very many good exploration-focused platformers, so I decided to give it the benefit of the doubt; it looks like my concerns were beyond the scope of the prototype in any case.

Titles I really liked (except for that one thing)

Echelon: This sounded like a really unique and interesting experience that would provide an atmospheric and intense real-time mental challenge: something right up my street. However, after reading that I would need a gaming headset, webcam and multiple monitors in order to get the best experience... well it started sounding pretty expensive. Also, the webcam aspect worried me a little: since the game was going to delve into issues of privacy, does that mean it would be recording me playing and then uploading the movies somewhere, in order to make me feel like my privacy was compromised? That's probably a step too close to reality for me. I guess I needed a little more clarification on the nature of the play experience: if I already had the required equipment and this was a single-player offline title, I would have voted for it without hesitation.

The Flock: There aren't enough games where you get to be a true-to-life animal: Ecco the Dolphin, Ōkami, Deadly Creatures and Tokyo Jungle being some notable exceptions (Pokémon Mystery Dungeon doesn't count). On top of this, I really like ducks, so getting to be one would be great fun, and exploring beautiful landscapes sounded like it would be a pleasantly relaxing experience. The one thing that put me off was the emphasis on online multiplayer. I'm not saying that this aspect is bad per se – I can totally understand its appeal – but there are two issues I have with it. The first is that birds tend to behave quite differently from humans, so unless everyone online is role-playing as their fowl of choice, or the game mechanics are cleverly put together with an eye to shaping player interaction, you would arguably get a more authentic experience interacting with well-programmed avian AI. The second issue is that inherent to all online multiplayer-focused games: how can I be sure that there will be a healthy community around whenever I might choose to play? I would prefer to support a game where, even if I played it decades from now, I would still be able to enjoy it, even if the majority of players had moved on. If too much emphasis is placed on the multiplayer and community aspects at the expense of the single-player experience, we are left with naught but an underwhelming shell of a game should these become unavailable.

The Knockover: The combination of strategy and cards sounded fun, but it would be really hard for me to get used to the idea of robbing people unless it was somehow justified by the story. The idea of a revenge story where you aim to take down your former colleagues sounded all right, but the thought of having to rob convenience stores and the like made me feel uncomfortable. If this was to work for me, it would either have to give you significant choice as to which heists to pursue, or create enough moral ambiguity that you can justify your acts in some way: the world of Shadowrun does a great job with both of these. In most cases I really wouldn't want to play a game if it forced me to do something that I would regard as despicable in order to proceed.

And finally... The Booby (Poopy?) Prize

Silent But Deadly: Whilst I don't mind the occasional fart joke (it’s less harmful than being directly exposed to truly malodorous flatus, at any rate), it is very difficult for me to see self-soiling as anything other than a fail state. Think the penultimate stage of PaRappa the Rapper; you can almost feel the same relief he does after successfully rap battling your way through the toilet queue, especially if you messed up once or twice along the way. And yet here, you begin at a point where it is already too late. With continence being such an important childhood milestone, there's something oddly heroic about keeping it in when illness is pushing you so hard to let loose. If the idea was changed so that the protagonist had simply been rendered flatulent (thus providing the necessary smell) and each level consisted of trying to make it to a toilet in order to stave off disaster (each toilet being rendered unusable thereafter, possibly due to your bowels now being a biohazardous WMD, which isn't too far off from how a case of serious food poisoning would actually be regarded), then I would probably be much more amenable to the idea – good stealth games are still rare, and I do enjoy that style of play. As it stands, the presentation jars too strongly with my own sensibilities, and I feel actively repulsed by such a scenario.

Right that's it! Sorry it's a little on the long side, but there's a point at which brief becomes useless, and I did put a lot of thought into deciding which games to vote for, even if one person really doesn't make that much of a difference. Thanks so much for opening up Amnesia Fortnight this year: it's been a blast so far, and I'm really looking forward to trying out the prototypes.

Long live Double Fine!

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