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Tim Schafer Confirms No Psychonauts Sequel Likely

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the un-awesome dept.

Games 30

Via Game|Life comes an interview with Tim Schafer of Psychonauts, Day of the Tentacle fame in which he states there will likely be no sequels in the near future for those of us who loved his past works. "I would love to go back and spend time with the characters from any game I've worked on, and I would love to make a sequel to any of them. But I also want to make something new. If there were five of me I might make sequels, but there's always some new idea I want to explore." The interview is a part of Playboy's Geniuses at Play feature. It features discussions with folks like David Jaffe, Phil Harrison, and Clive Barker, the whole of which is worth reading. The subsite for the interviews is safe for work as of this posting.

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30 comments

Hey, thanks Zonk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21254819)

Way to link to a story hosted on an adult website! Can't wait for the admins to look through logs, see playboy.com, and fire me for 'looking at adult themed websites' at work. You're the best!

Re:Hey, thanks Zonk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21254935)

Maybe they could fire you for blindly following links.

Re:Hey, thanks Zonk (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 6 years ago | (#21255933)

I totally agree with you. I would expect to be safe from this sort of thing on games.slashdot.org. I didn't click and am glad I read the comments first. Editors shouldn't let adult links pass through. At least put up a warning.

Safe for work (4, Funny)

residieu (577863) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254831)

Sure, just try to explain that to your bosses. I just want to read the articles, honest!

Damn it. (2, Insightful)

Zero_DgZ (1047348) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254879)

I just don't get developers sometimes. Somehow, some way, franchises stricken with Stupid Sequelitis like Madden, Need for Speed, Halo, Jak, Ratchet and Clank, and Splinter Cell receive installment after marginal installment, even though many (I won't say most) gamers that I know or talk to agree that these are just rehashes of more of the same, and the quality invariably declines with each iteration. Yet they keep coming, because some marketroid decided that there's still milk in that franchise cash cow despite the fact that to the nearest decimal point, nobody cares. (Though halo 3 was an exception to this, as plenty of people did care, and still do.)

Yet, for similarly braindead reasons, developers of these amazing, cult-following sorts of titles steadfastly refuse to make sequels to their games even when millions of people all over the globe are clamoring for them.

Hey, Doublefine! What the fuck is wrong with you? Free money over here!

Christ. The same thing happened with Sam and Max before Telltale revived the idea, the same thing was going on for years with System Shock before Irrational finally stepped up to create Bioshock... Ditto with Beyond Good and Evil as well as Psychonauts - which, might I add, both left us with setups for sequels right there in the endings.

Re:Damn it. (2, Insightful)

Palshife (60519) | more than 6 years ago | (#21255081)

Hey, if Tim Schaffer's rationale for skipping the opportunity to make a sequel is to make something new and original, I'm totally on board. I have to think getting Day of the Tentacle, Full Throttle and Grim Fandango was better than getting three Tentacle games, but that's just me.

Re:Damn it. (1)

faloi (738831) | more than 6 years ago | (#21255197)

Yet they keep coming, because some marketroid decided that there's still milk in that franchise cash cow despite the fact that to the nearest decimal point, nobody cares.

Obviously somebody cares. The franchise games are selling, and are probably doing pretty well. For every serious gamer out there, there is probably a gamer that only really care about Madden and is waiting for the next version to have the latest draft picks (or whatever it is that makes one Madden game different from the other). Some games that are really good either don't get the sales they need, or leave developers in a lurch. If you can't think of a way to truly make the sequel as good as the first, why tarnish the memory of the first with a sequel at all? You run the risk of turning into another franchise with stupid sequels just for the sake of sequels.

Re:Damn it. (1)

sseaman (931799) | more than 6 years ago | (#21255255)

... many (I won't say most) gamers that I know or talk to agree that these are just rehashes of more of the same, and the quality invariably declines with each iteration.

Yet, for similarly braindead reasons, developers of these amazing, cult-following sorts of titles steadfastly refuse to make sequels to their games even when millions of people all over the globe are clamoring for them.
I think you've answered your own question. If quality predictably declines, then the cult status of these games will predictably decline. In order to maintain quality and excitement, you have to be innovative. Silent Hill, for example, was a cult hit; it was followed by Silent Hill 2, which likewise succeeded as a cult hit because it reinvented itself as a psychological thriller in what can be described as a new setting. However, Silent Hill 3 was far from innovative (it is a direct sequel to SH1) - at some point it becomes extremely difficult to be both creative and work within the framework of an extant franchise. SH4, IMHO, was a very innovative game, but was not originally designed as a SH game, and ultimately fails to fit well within the Silent Hill framework, leading to disappointed fans. Overall, I'd say that the cult status of the Silent Hill series has taken a hit from the 2 most recent disappointing titles (not to mention the terrible film). It's also important to note that aside from Akira Yamoaka, none of the original Silent Hill developers worked on the later sequels.

The developers of original games like doing original things. While there is nothing wrong with sequels, they do present some creative restrictions that some developers eschew.

Re:Psychonauts, sequels, and your post (1)

Psykechan (255694) | more than 6 years ago | (#21255469)

The reason that a new Madden game comes out every year is because it sells. It is almost guaranteed to sell more copies in the first week than Psychonauts has sold since its release. This is why they make more.

I enjoyed Psychonauts but I am not clamoring for a sequel. The writing and voice acting were top notch but it just wasn't a fun game to play. Actually, if I could just watch all of the cut scenes, one liners, and other such parts in a two hour animated movie I'd be pretty happy. As a 10+ hour game it just isn't that worth my time for a replay. Yes, I would buy a theoretical sequel but I imagine that there are others who felt the same way I did and probably wouldn't.

Hey, Doublefine! What the fuck is wrong with you? Free money over here!

It's only free money if the game costs nothing to develop and produce. This is definitely not the case. Add in the fact that they are dealing with a known property that didn't perform stellar in retail and it's really difficult to secure funding to produce a sequel that thousands (not millions) of cult fans would go out and purchase.

Re:Damn it. (1)

Gothic_Walrus (692125) | more than 6 years ago | (#21255659)

Yet, for similarly braindead reasons, developers of these amazing, cult-following sorts of titles steadfastly refuse to make sequels to their games even when millions of people all over the globe are clamoring for them.

Not so much here, actually. There's a good reason why Psychonauts didn't make the Greatest Hits lines for either the PS2 or the Xbox, or why the game was cleared out at ridiculously low prices (I think my sister paid $5 for her copy). The game was good, but I don't think it sold nearly well enough to make a sequel a sure thing, or even a safe bet.

Re:Damn it. (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 6 years ago | (#21256301)

I just don't get developers sometimes. Somehow, some way, franchises stricken with Stupid Sequelitis like Madden, Need for Speed, Halo, Jak, Ratchet and Clank, and Splinter Cell receive installment after marginal installment, even though many (I won't say most) gamers that I know or talk to agree that these are just rehashes of more of the same, and the quality invariably declines with each iteration. Yet they keep coming, because some marketroid decided that there's still milk in that franchise cash cow despite the fact that to the nearest decimal point, nobody cares. (Though halo 3 was an exception to this, as plenty of people did care, and still do.)
The reason sequels are so popular is because people but them. The truth is "innovative" doesn't imply "good". For each crappy sequel there is a crappy original title. They are just not as well publicized as the crappy sequel. When a Major franchise falls short of the mark it's news. When a new game falls short of the mark it's not news. If you really look at the number of game that come out each year you'll find sequel to original ratios have gone up since the Atari days but not that much since the SNES days. Some sequels are very good. Ratchet and Clank are always fun and the latest iteration is both gorgeous and insanely addictive. Halo is good but not great. But it's a very fun multi-player experience. Splinter cell is generally good as well.

As well, people like familiar things. You find a game you really like and you want to play games like that. A sequel is the easiest way to fulfill that need. Some studios make very good sequels. The MGS have always been fun for me, Xmen legends/Ultimate alliance have a addictive formula that fits me, Zelda is usually a highlight of Nintendo's' console, the FF series always gets my $60, etc. It might get tiresome for you but those franchises I listed are fun games. In the end of the day they are competing to entertain me not cure cancer. If X-men legends 32 entertains me so be it they get my $50.

Re:Damn it. (1)

Kilraven (1101873) | more than 6 years ago | (#21256325)

I agree with most of the replies thus far, sequels empirically fail at maintaining the magic of the original. When it comes to games, there's nothing I hate more than the feeling I've paid twice for the same thing. Not to mention, most of the games I felt a majority of love for made squat, and that can kill any plans for a sequel fast.

However, I don't have a problem revisiting some original IPs after 15-20 years (way things have been going, maybe even 10 years). And that's something I'd like to see more of, specifically in the PC market. New IPs may be great, but as time and technology move forward playing older IPs can become onerous.

Don't worry (1)

aadvancedGIR (959466) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254895)

If you want half-finished crappy sequels, you can always ask Obsidian or EA, that's what they are good at.
BTW, I agree with his stand, to remain on top, he needs to take new risks over and over instead of falling back to the average. As long as he find someone willing to finance him, he should continue slightly improving our gaming experience.

ahem.. (1)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254899)

Maybe it's just me here, but isn't it a bad idea to link to a known softcore pornography site on a site aimed at the entire age scale? I mean sure it might be a good article, but if the messenger is wearing nipple clamps and a strap on vibrating horse penis you might just want to side step it all together.

Re:ahem.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21255147)

Kids gotta learn somewhere.

Re:ahem..... wow (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21255155)

but if the messenger is wearing nipple clamps and a strap on vibrating horse penis you might just want to side step it all together

I don't know what version of Playboy you found in your granddad's attic, but they certainly seem more interesting.

Re:ahem.. (1)

Detritus (11846) | more than 6 years ago | (#21255381)

Softcore pornography?!

Have you even looked at the web site?

There's going to be a revival meeting on the B Ark this weekend. Tickets are free. Invite all your friends.

Re:ahem.. (2, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 6 years ago | (#21255713)

Eh, there's nothing in most issues of Playboy that I personally care if ANYBODY sees. It's mostly a regular old magazine with articles and ads geared toward men (not that those are often read, but the majority of the magazine is such content), with maybe 10-15 pages per issue showing a, heaven forbid, naked women in normally pretty ungraphic poses. Quite a number of the spreads, especially of more known models/actresses/etc, are often topless only. There is NO sex depicted in Playboy, ever. It's all just glamour poses. Unless you truly think the mere sight of a naked body is going to mess up a kid (which it won't, unless you make a big deal out of it), then there's really nothing to worry about in Playboy or on their website.

Re:ahem.. (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 6 years ago | (#21256433)

I mean sure it might be a good article, but if the messenger is wearing nipple clamps and a strap on vibrating horse penis you might just want to side step it all together.
The page itself was Safe for Work. Not a vicious man eating nipple in sight. Playboy is just a touch bluer then Maxim and honestly can many men say they've never peaked at a playboy/porn rag before they were 18?

How About a Reissue? (1)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254969)

Looks like used copies are going for $25 for PS2 and $30 for Xbox. Sounds like a good candidate for a reissue.

-Peter

Re:How About a Reissue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21255139)

It's still readily available for PC via download services like Steam and Gametap.

Playboy interviews game developers? (1)

Metsys (718186) | more than 6 years ago | (#21255135)

Wow. First MTV and now Playboy as a source for interviews with game developers? Despite the fact that the site is linked directly to on Slashdot, that's messed up.

Re:Playboy interviews game developers? (1)

tcolberg (998885) | more than 6 years ago | (#21257773)

I'm fine with Playboy becoming more of a well-rounded (pun intended) men's magazine. I'm more likely to read the stuff in Playboy (who surprisingly has a decent journalistic history) rather than the drivel seen in adolescent-targeted mags like Maxim or Blender.

I don't see the point (1)

apethedog15 (1158309) | more than 6 years ago | (#21255325)

The main attraction of a sequel to this game would be so we could enjoy a game that had the same level of quality as the first one - but we already have that going on. The same team is making Brütal Legend. I'm glad they chose to pursue making a new, original game, rather than a sequel. It's not like we're missing out on a game that is as great as the first one was - it's that we're getting a game that is potentially going to be even greater, and, more importantly, a whole lot fresher.

Slashdot quotables (1)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 6 years ago | (#21255621)

I think the secret in life is to surround yourself with people smarter than you. That definitely applies to programming. --Tim Schafer
Now there's a quote that belongs on the quotes bar at the bottom of Slashdot!

Brutal Legend Sequels (1)

DataShade (1084177) | more than 6 years ago | (#21256505)

Why would he waste his time on a sequel for a great old game when he can make a great new game? Look up Brutal Legend, and see if you wouldn't rather have that than Psychonauts 2.
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