Episode 17 - Lockdown, Baby!
Content and Community Manager Heather Alexandra here with another update on Psychonauts 2! There’s a lot to cover this time as we get closer to release later this year! (If I say anything else, I’ll get into trouble but yes it’s really coming.) We’ve also had a lot of other projects and developments here at the studio that I’d like to share with you.
Let’s start with Psychonauts 2 first! As you can see from the backer update video below, we’re really locking everything into place and getting a lot closer to being done. The team is making art adjustments, design tweaks and crushing bugs. Tim’s slipping in last minute dialogue, and attending our final voice recording sessions, which is a bittersweet thing but also very exciting. Everything's coming together!
But Heather, what does that mean? For starters it means that we’ve been sharing the game with testers and gathering a lot of good feedback; it also means our levels are locked down, with the ongoing focus on polishing everything as much as possible. It can mean making some hard decisions while spending a lot of time cutting around bugs and glitches.
It also means we’re getting more and more amazing music from our composer Peter McConnell. You’ll catch a sneak peek of his process, and a heartwarming reunion with old band-mates, in the update.
We're On The Cover Of Game Informer!
We also have a big feature with Game Informer that was released digitally this week and hits real life shelves some time soon. For the next week or two, new articles and interviews about Psychonauts 2 will be released along with some great videos of unseen gameplay. Look at this awesome cover from Psychonauts 2's Art Director Lisette Titre-Montgomery, featuring some familiar and some new faces. Look out for it on shelves soon.
The first of those dropped today and it shows off one of Raz’s brand new Psychic abilities. Mental Connection allows Raz to connect certain thoughts in people’s minds, to solve puzzles but also to act as a navigation tool that lets him zip from node to node. In combat it works a bit like a grappling hook; depending on the size of an enemy you’ll either pull them towards you or zip in towards them. Check below to see more!
The Classic Psychonauts Is Now On Game Pass
As folks wait for Psychonauts 2, we've also released the original game on Xbox Game Pass. If you're an old fan looking for an excuse to play again, this is a great chance, but it's also a good opportunity for new fans to find the game and experience it ahead of the sequel. It's available on Xbox and PC through Game Pass, so you can play wherever you like. There's even a cool new trailer to celebrate the occasion!
Let's Play Psychonauts
That's not all though because I'm actually going to start playing through Psychonauts this week on Double Fine's Twitch channel. Over the next few weeks I will be streaming every Friday and chatting with Tim and other folks who worked on the game. What stories will be told? How lost will I get exploring the camp grounds? Will there be super secret unannounced guests? I don't know (or do I?) but I hope you'll all watch and maybe even play along with me. We'll do a small chunk each week, exploring and talking about the game that started it all.
The Amnesia Fortnight Movie
Back in 2019, in the middle of P2 development, we held a brand new Amnesia Fortnight. If you don’t know already, Amnesia Fortnight is a process where we take a two week break from our main project to pitch new game ideas and make prototypes, and get a creative break.
As always, the fine folks of 2 Player Productions documented everything and made a lovely movie that you should watch right now:
What were the projects? Slight spoilers ahead - but Here’s the breakdown:
The Way Down: a Metroid-like adventure game pitched by Senior Systems Designer Lauren Scott. It’s a game about diving into the Underworld to save you sisters soul… but where you also need to give up your various abilities as you descend further and further.
Armored Slug: a multiplayer action-defense game pitched by Level Designer Asif Siddiky. Players hop on the back of a giant snail-creature, place defensive objects like turrets and mortars and defend it on a journey through the dangerous wasteland.
Get Out Of Detention: a narrative game pitch by Senior Artists Gianna Ruggiero and Emily Johnstone. It is a kind-hearted parable with actual puppets as the main characters, which totally doesn’t descend into nightmarish metatextual confusion. Nope!
The Hideous: a horror-themed puzzle game pitched by Art Director Lisette Titre-Montgomery where the shape-shifting daughter of Cthulhu needs to sneak and puzzle her way through a cultist hideout and retrieve a magical stone tablet.
If these sound cool, I have good news! I sat down with all of the project leads to play through their games, talk about inspirations, and just have a fun time. You can watch them all, and the Amnesia Fortnight Movie on the newly launched Double Fine TV area of our website, or by using . I loved chilling with them, and really love all the creative ideas that came from this Amnesia Fortnight.
Double Fine 20th Anniversary Book - Pre Orders Still Up!
We'd like to remind folks that Twenty Double Fine Years, a book from the folks at IndieByDesign, will be coming soon. In fact, it's very close to print.
It dives into all of the studios games, showcasing art and other behind the scenes treats like interviews about each game. It's an in depth look at the studio and we're really humbled by it, since it's a reminder of how long we've managed to last. You can snag a copy right here! I mean, you also have to pay for it but that's the site to go to!
That’s that! It’s a busy, busy time but also exciting. We will have even more things to show off from the game soon—including some accessibility and assist features, as well as an even closer look at the other members of the Psychonauts intern program—so definitely keep an eye out for that. Until next time, keep being great and psychonautical - and keep your eyes on Game Informer!