Double Fine Making Four 'Small' Games After Brutal Legend 2 Scrapped

By Alice O'Connor, Jul 15, 2010 7:00am PDT Brütal Legend developer Double Fine Productions is working on four "small" games, founder and head honcho Tim Schafer revealed today during his Develop 2010 keynote speech, after plans for a sequel to the heavy metal epic were scrapped.

"[Brütal Legend 2] was kind of a done deal so we were working designing that and then we got some bad news," said Schafer. "We got a phone call from the publisher and it was like 'Actually we're not going to do the sequel' and I was like 'Oh. That's interesting.' So that was not what I expected. Apparently when they said it's a done deal they meant there's no deal and we're done."

Double Fine fell back on eight small two-week prototypes it had created during Brütal Legend development downtime, four of which have been picked up--spread across multiple publishers. By using the Brütal Legend engine and being focused, according to Schafer, each project feels like "a really tiny slice of a 'triple-A' game."

While Schafer would not say much on the projects, he did reveal that he himself will be writing dialogue while Brütal Legend's art director Lee Petty, lead programmer Nathan Marks, lead animator Tasha Harris and designer Brad Muir are each heading a project.

"Some of the games are downloadable, and some of the games will be retail," Schafer said. "Some of these games we're working will come out this year," he said, before quickly jumping back to add "I didn't announce they were shipping. That wasn't shipping. It's interesting to notice when people write things down."

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  • BL failed, IMO, because of this mindset that "RTS" in console space is considered a naughty word. The game was built as an RTS, but DF was told not to advertise it in anything they did. They instead focused on the action beat-em-up aspects, and so when gamers got their hands on it and found, 3-4 hrs, that it was really an RTS, they were dismayed.

    If the publishers (both Activision and EA, natch) allowed Schafer to call this their take on Herzog Zwei, while not calling it out as an RTS explicitly, I think it would have sold much better - or at least to a more targetted audience that would have appreciated the game more.

    That said, I'm glad they have technology in their pocket with their custom engine and the like for these other games. The smaller scale could be better for them, and possibly look at a revamp of an older franchise.



  • I liked Brutal Legend. I was a little nervous about the "battle" parts, after hearing all the bad buzz around that portion of the game, but I really didn't have any problems with it. Frankly, all the battles were extremely easy, and this is coming from a guy that could get zerged in Starcraft by a 2 year old randomly bashing keys. It might have been the very fact that I was not wedded to a standard RTS approach that allowed me to just run around and bash through the fights relatively quickly.

    I enjoyed the artwork, the gameplay, the music, the cameos, and the jokes. Fun game. I enjoy Tim's games the same way I enjoy Tim Burton's work. It's good for one-off ideas and nothing he ever does becomes an absolute all-time favorite, but I know I'm getting a good product when I buy.

    If I have one complaint about Brutal Legend it was that I ended the game with a lot of the side-stuff undone, which is unusual for me. The storyline could have been better matched with the sidequesty stuff, IMO. Maybe that's just a function of me attacking the storyline more aggressively than I usually do in games like this.

    I should also mention that the game made me like Jack Black a little more than I used to. He usually just annoys me.