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Double Fine's Tim Schafer

This is a tribute.
EurogamerSo is there anything like that in Brutal Legend? Any taps into the psychology of Rock? Or is it just more full-on?
Tim Schafer

Psychonauts was more about everyday human life and experiences... this is more like a hero's tale. Like Norse mythology. The stories are bigger, the characters are bigger... it's not like in Psychonauts with Gloria's sadness about her mother. This is more comparable to... Odin.

EurogamerNot everyone is a heavy metal maniac, so how are you catering for people who don't share the music taste?
Tim Schafer

The idea is that even if you hate heavy metal, there's a lot to like in the game - the humour, the action in it, the art. My hope is that after playing people will find that they actually do like heavy metal. Something that I'm really proud of are the songs, which are the best songs that I can think of and that, I think, will convert people. We've made it so you can always press the start button and see who's playing and what the song is.

Y'know, people in the office, the people working on the game who we didn't think were heavy metal, they found that they liked it. We forced them to like it.

EurogamerWhy did you include a feature that lets people bleep out the swearing?
Tim Schafer

Well, two things. Once I got a letter from someone saying how much they like playing Psychonauts with their kids, and I was thinking about that guy when I was making Legend and I was thinking: he's not going to be able to play this game with his kid. You just can't stop Jack or Ozzy from swearing, no matter what. And I didn't want to write 'frick' and 'frak' or whatever in the dialogue for them...

Also, Ozzy was talking about how it was really weird for him living in the States and watching the Osbournes there with all the bleeps, and then seeing it in the UK uncensored. It felt strange to him, jarring even, to hear all the swearing. He thought it was funnier when it was bleeped out, to make your imagination think of an even worse word. We liked the idea, so we made this thing that bleeps on the fly. It's not a feature that people demand, it's not a publisher demand, I just wanted to put it in.

It gets a lot of attention as secretly people do like to play these games with their kids, even if it's M-rated. It's nice that they can turn off the decapitations, turn off the swearing and not feel guilty about it. Then again my kids drop the f-bomb more than I do. Swearing doesn't seem to be important anymore, it used to be a big deal. I wasn't allowed to say 'fart' in my house when I was growing up. But now I'm all like 'fartfartfart'! Take that parents!

EurogamerSo was it easy to get people like Lemmy and Ozzy Osbourne on board?
Tim Schafer

Once they realised we weren't making fun of them, they were really excited. They wanted to see the art and how it would be used - I think they didn't want it to be a parody. But it's not - it's a very loving tribute to heavy metal. I think they could tell that, and that's why they signed on to do it.

EurogamerI seem to remember being told once that Lemmy was really into his games.
Tim Schafer

Well, I don't know if he has a PlayStation yet. I know he has an Xbox 1. I got to go to his house, and he had an Xbox, and he had a GameCube - and on that he was playing Star Fox: Assault. Hopefully he'll play Brutal Legend and like what we've done with his character.

EurogamerSo did you make this game just so you could go round all your heroes' houses?
Tim Schafer

Yeah. It worked. That's my advice: do it. You want to meet famous people? Just make a game about them. I get to meet them all.

Brutal Legend is due out for PS3 and Xbox 360 on 16th October.

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Will Porter

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Will ‘Velvet Owl’ Porter is a roaming freelance writer who most recently worked with The Creative Assembly on Alien: Isolation. You can find out how cold/hungry he is by following @Batsphinx on Twitter.

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