Brutal Legend

Spotlight

FeatureDouble Fine's Tim Schafer

On Psychonauts, motion control and more.

Xbox 360 vs. PS3 Face-Off: Round 22

Tekken 6, DiRT 2, NFS SHIFT, Brutal Legend, Il-2 Sturmovik, Operation Flashpoint.

Key events

FeatureTim Schafer on free-to-play, showing works in progress and Brutal Legend's misleading marketing

On Vivendi: "We'll never say RTS, ever. Even if someone asks us if it's an RTS we'll say no."

Legendary game designer Tim Schafer's studio Double Fine has seen a noticeable shift in the sort of games it produces. After spending roughly six years on the psychedelic epic Psychonauts and another four on the metal-themed genre-blender Brutal Legend, the studio shifted its focus to smaller projects, releasing five games in the last couple of years with four more on the immediate horizon (The Cave, Double Fine Adventure, Kinect Party, and Middle Manager of Justice).

FeatureThe Kickstarter Conundrum

Double Fine's success story could be one that's unlikely to be repeated.

"It seems like this little project could have an impact beyond itself". So said Tim Schafer's understandably shell-shocked post on Double Fine's Kickstarter page as the money pledged towards the studio's crowd sourced adventure game sailed past its $400,000 target in less than eight hours.

Bobby Kotick slags off Tim Schafer

"Was late" and "missed every milestone".

Bobby Kotick has hit back at Brütal Legend developer Tim Schafer – who famously called the Activision Blizzard CEO a "total prick" in a Eurogamer interview.

Activision responds to Tim Schafer

Bobby Kotick is "passionate" about games.

Activision has responded on Bobby Kotick's behalf to remarks made by Tim Schafer in a Eurogamer interview yesterday that condemned the curly-haired mega-publisher-boss as a "total prick" who doesn't like games.

FeatureDouble Fine's Tim Schafer

On Psychonauts, motion control and more.

Tomorrow, Double Fine Productions CEO Tim Schafer will deliver a keynote presentation to the Develop Conference in Brighton. He's set to discuss the studio's ten year anniversary, presumably with reference to hit titles Psychonauts and Brutal Legends.

Schafer calls Bobby Kotick "a total prick"

Wishes he would behave differently.

Double Fine Productions founder Tim Schafer, who was sued last year by Activision over the release of Brutal Legend by EA, has told Eurogamer exactly what he thinks of Bobby Kotick in an explosive new interview.

Xbox 360 vs. PS3 Face-Off: Round 22

Xbox 360 vs. PS3 Face-Off: Round 22

Tekken 6, DiRT 2, NFS SHIFT, Brutal Legend, Il-2 Sturmovik, Operation Flashpoint.

Wow, so many games, so much to write about and so little time to cover absolutely everything. It's fair to say that the office is almost literally dripping with code, and there's simply not enough manpower to dissect it all while maintaining regular Digital Foundry duties. So, with this month's mammoth 22nd Face-Off, we're covering six of the best and the most interesting of the recent releases, with the aim being to take a look at the rest over a series of smaller-scale DF blog updates as and when time permits.

As usual, the words are backed up with a battery of comparison shots, and pristine quality h264 videos too - all derived losslessly from the HDMI ports of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. In a slight departure from the presentations of past, the cropped 632x500 vids are now history. They did the job admirably before Eurogamer TV transitioned to HD, but with full 720p at our disposal, the old-school videos seemed somewhat superfluous to requirements.

The full 720p presentations are now embedded into the article itself in a similar manner to the DF Bayonetta demo showdown: simply press the full-screen button in the player to get the full effect, or click through using the EGTV link to get a larger window.

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Brütal Legend DLC next week

Two MP maps in Tears of the Hextadon.

EA and Double Fine have announced that they'll be releasing the first downloadable content for heavy metal adventure Brütal Legend next week.

UK charts: FIFA 10 beats Uncharted 2

Brutal Legend appears. Full Top 40 inside.

PS3 blockbuster Uncharted 2: Among Thieves swung into the UK all-formats chart at number two this week, denied top-billing by an unmovable FIFA 10.

Brütal Legend

Brütal Legend

Metal of honour.

Tim Schafer's latest game tunes up with an in-the-flesh appearance from Jack Black, but it only really starts to play when the character he portrays, Eddie Riggs, makes his entrance. Leather creaking and cigarette flaring in the darkness, it's Eddie - as with many Black characters, he's simultaneously wide-eyed and world weary, lecherous and yet somehow trustworthy - who steals the show, and it's Eddie who holds things together even when it becomes clear that the game, like a band split down the middle by creative differences, seems to want to go in two directions at once for much of the time.

In some ways, Brutal Legend's peculiar ambitions should make for a bewildering muddle, but they don't - and for that you've got Schafer and Black to thank: the experienced, often brilliant designer, and the twitchy, charismatic star, both coming together in the form of Riggs, the eternal backroom boy, the humble, stoical roadie made heroic.

Brutal Legend tells a rather simple story: Eddie Riggs, longing for times when music meant something ("The seventies?" "No, earlier than that. The early seventies"), is injured in a stage accident, and finds himself transported to a fantasy world ripped from the covers of classic metal albums, a world where chrome V-8 engines hang from chains between the columns of druidic temples, where mountains of worryingly unclassifiable skulls peak out from behind statues of vast helms and flaming dragons, and where the terrifying Lord Diviculus - a hot-rod mantis head wedged on an S&M body - has a cruel grip on the land.

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FeatureDouble Fine's Tim Schafer

This is a tribute.

Eurogamer recently discovered one of its very own personal heroes padding around EA's Guildford offices wearing a hoodie and looking eminently lovable. In-between gazing longingly at him while he ate free sandwiches and attempting to force him into playing Time Gentlemen, Please! by stutteringly telling him that "it's definitely not rubbish", we interviewed him about Brutal Legend, Psychonauts and all his new celebrity rock royalty friends. At no stage did we climb into his lap and tell him that the Milkman level in Psychonauts was fabulous, and that we should definitely be best friends forever. That's for next time.

Tim Schafer is 20 years old or something!

Designer celebrates getting job etc.

We missed this the other day, but we wouldn't want you to miss it too - Double Fine's Tim Schafer has celebrated his 20th anniversary of getting into the games industry by posting up some rejection letters and reminiscing about getting a job at LucasFilm.

EA splashes nine games over the Expo

L4D2, NFS, Dragon Age, Brutal, more!

Well, it's that time again - more top quality titles have been announced for the Eurogamer Expo and, like some kind of cross between Gareth Barry and an BidUp TV infomercial, we're passing the facts on to you with unerring accuracy.

Execs wanted "country music" Brütal Legend

But Guitar Hero kept rock dream alive.

Tim Schafer has revealed that publishing executives asked him to change heavy metal action-adventure Brütal Legend into a "hip-hop" or "country music" game, back when it was originally pitched.

FeatureDouble Fine's Tim Schafer

On fans, funnies and roadie love.

Eurogamer is standing in a dark dungeon of a room in a ridiculous ark-shaped building in west London. Cloth flames flicker melodramatically in the corner, and a bearded man is wiggling a fake skull behind our head. That would be Tim Schafer, he of Monkey Island, Day of the Tentacle and Grim Fandango immortality.

Tim Schafer's latest game takes place in a pick-and-mix fantasy world culled from a thousand different heavy metal album covers. A love letter to the enduring appeal of chrome, valkyries, ramshackle skeletons and the artistic potential of a well-handled air brush, it's a gnarly, frightening landscape, but also an oddly familiar one. As you might expect from Double Fine, the studio behind the leftfield charms of Psychonauts, it's a place in which all the little details are just so: each mountain of skulls has exactly the right number of dinosaur jawbones peeking through the clutter of teeth and eye sockets, and every mysterious druid you encounter has a hooded tunic of the most perfectly malevolent shade of scarlet.

Schafer: Fans worry too much about sales

Schafer: Fans worry too much about sales

Publishers like good games, apparently.

Psychonauts developer Tim Schafer reckons we all worry too much about the sales of videogames, while publishers actually put a lot of stock in a game's quality and critical reception.

"Fans worry too much about sales, to tell you the truth," he told MTV. "As long as you make a cool game, publishers want to talk to you... [They say] 'We liked Psychonauts and we think we could have sold it better'."

Mind you, half the cast of The Apprentice could have sold Psychonauts better, since it was relentlessly funny and ingenious. Check out our original review to remind yourself why.

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FeatureComing Attractions: Action & Adventure

Get juiced and get thinking.

We've had indie and esoterica, sports and music, MMOs and RPGs, and fighting and strategy, which just leaves the glamour girls of action, adventure, shooters and racing to strut their stuff.

EA to publish Brutal Legend in 2009

Tim Schafer's new game due in the autumn.

EA Partners has rescued publisher-less game Brutal Legend, the next project from celebrated developer Tim Schafer and Double Fine Productions.

FeatureDouble Fine's Tim Schafer

Brutal Legend, Jack Black and awesomeness.

Tim Schafer has an impressive CV, having worked on games such as Day of the Tentacle, Grim Fandango and more recently, Psychonauts. In other words, he's a bit of a big deal.

Why Activision dumped Sierra's games

They weren't "exploitable enough".

Activision Blizzard boss Bobby Kotick has explained that various Sierra (Vivendi) games were dumped for not exhibiting "potential to be exploited every year across every platform".

Double Fine Christmas compo

Win unknown treasures!

A little while ago, our excellent friends at Double Fine ran a Halloween competition, and many of you asked us if we were going to highlight it using our esteemed organ. We thought about it, but obviously we completely ignored you, because no one likes a suck-up. However, when our boss walked in this morning and mentioned that Double Fine is running a Christmas competition and that some of the entries are "amazing", we knew we had to act.

Schafer too busy for XBLA

But he'd like to work on it.

Double Fine's Tim Schafer says he's keen to do an Xbox Live Arcade game, but hasn't got the time at the moment what with all the developing and that.

No sequels from Schafer

No sequels from Schafer

He likes doing new things.

Tim Schafer knows you all want sequels to his games, but has told naughty lads publication Playboy that you aren't getting any.

It isn't that he doesn't want to revisit all the charismatic creatures he creates, just that he and his team like to focus on new ideas - and know you lot will probably fall in love with those, too. And then ask for sequels.

"We like to make things hard on ourselves. We like to try new things. I think it's important that every time you do a game, you do something that's the exact opposite of the last one you did... Part of the fun of it is doing a complete 180 every time," Schafer told Playboy under lovely-lady duress.

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Schafer unveils Brütal Legend

Schafer unveils Brütal Legend

See it on EGTV now.

Although Sierra has yet to own up to it, Tim Schafer and Double Fine Productions have finally taken the wraps off their next game in the pages of US magazine Game Informer. Its name is Brütal Legend.

It's a game that pays homage to the ancient and mysterious forces of rock, and puts you in the biker-boots of Eddie Riggs, probably the best roadie in the world.

After fate takes a weird turn for him you will be slung into a fantasy world where even the air you breathe is inspired by metal history, and soon only your knowledge of a good old roadie rampage can save the day.

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