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Live Brutal Legend interview

Tim Schafer answers your questions.

Legendary game maker Tim Schafer has been answering your questions this afternoon on Eurogamer.

He's talked about Brutal Legend and a PC version of it, as well as subjects ranging from which Metal bands will be in the soundtrack and which is his favourite, to whether he'd rather be Jackie Collins or Jeff Bridges.

Thank you very much to Tim Schafer and EA, and thank you to all Eurogamer readers that took part.

The full transcript of our - or rather your - interview with Tim Schafer follows. Brutal Legend will be released for PS3 and Xbox 360 on 16th October.

Our live coverage of this event has finished.

A% Super Moderating Hero: Good afteroon! Tim is with us now and we are about to begin. Sit tight and keep those questions coming.

Robert Purchese

A% Super Moderating Hero: Tim Schafer! Hello! Can you tell us who you are and why you are so famous, please?

A% Tim Schafer: Hello! Thanks for having me here in England. Do you have any idea how early it is here?

I am the President! (of Double Fine Productions) I made some games, but I'm only famous in a very small group of people. But among those five or six people I'm extremely famous.

Robert Purchese

Q%Dr.Mott%24755% What is your favourite metal album of all time?

A% Tim Schafer: The first one I ever bought was Diary of a Madman by Ozzy Osbourne. I think that will always have a special place in my heart. But I had "Another Perfect Day" by Motorhead stuck in my car's CD player for 10 years and I didn't mind.

Robert Purchese

A% Super Moderating Hero: Is there a particularly exciting feature of Brutal Legend we haven't heard about yet? Can you tell us what it is? Or hint at what it might be a comedy fashion?

A% Tim Schafer: Porcupine Fu.

Robert Purchese

Q%TheTingler%127909% You're famous with me Tim. Are you ready to reveal anything about the multiplayer yet?

A% Tim Schafer: Almost! Well... Hm... Let me just say that our multiplayer mode takes the gameplay elements of single-layer and lets you go head to head with other metal warriors and send your armies clashing against each other and we've played it a lot around the office because it's super fun. More to come very soon!

A% Super Moderating Hero: So team-based battles? Will they be from our saved games or of a standard level?

A% Tim Schafer: Yes, team-based. In special battle arenas.

A% Super Moderating Hero: And will that be the only mode on offer?

A% Tim Schafer: I said "(ends)"! :)

Robert Purchese

A% Super Moderating Hero: Giant Frying Pan would like to know if you're feeling better. Apparently you posted on Twitter that you were "sick". Even household objects care.

A% Tim Schafer: Oh man. We had something like the Swine Flu here at Double Fine and it took out half the team for a week. Double Swine. I was in the UK during most of it, but I caught the tail end of it. Tail of the swine!

But luckily I have superhuman immunity due to my enormous physical strength and I endured. All better now. Thanks for asking!

Robert Purchese

Q%giantfryingpan%67245% The combo moves with allies look interesting. Will it be strictly double teaming in the game or will you be able to do moves with, two, three, four, or perhaps fifty-three allies at once?

A% Tim Schafer: The Double Teaming you do with one other NPC, but you can also control larger groups of allies with simple squad controls and double-team with all of them.

Sounds dirty, I know. But all is fair in love and war.

Robert Purchese

Q%Junaidc%342542% Is the intro cut-scene pre-rendered like the first trailer? Or are all the cut-scenes in-game?

A% Tim Schafer: All of the cuts-cenes are rendered using the game engine, most of them are played live in the game. But a couple of them we captured in case we needed to do something crazy.

But it's still just a capture of the game playing so lets just say they are all in game cut-scenes and not tell anyone else about the other five per cent.

The in-game cuts-cenes are great because as Eddie upgrades his axe, guitar, and car you can see it change in the scenes, you know?

Robert Purchese

Q%spoon_man%342553% Talking of crazy, what was it like working with an incredible cast of Heavy Metal legends? Any wild and debaucherous stories from the recording process. TV's in swimming pools, mudsharks, etc.? Can Ozzy Osbourne even communicate properly?

A% Tim Schafer: Holy cow. It was totally surreal.

When we started the project I had no idea the kind of talent we were going to get. I even named characters things like "Lita Halford," never thinking that we'd actually get the real Lita Ford or Rob Halford in the game.

Lita was a little confused in the studio about why she wasn't reading the lines that said "Lita." And Rob was laughing at all the lines where he (as General Lionwhyte) was saying things like, "You're going down, Halford!" Confusing.

But they have all been amazing to work with. They have all taken it really seriously and became very invested in their characters.

And Lemmy made me a rum and coke in the studio. Not exactly the kind of debauchery you're looking for, but it was a good rum and coke.

Robert Purchese

Q%giantfryingpan%67245% Will there be a soundtrack available either for the original score, some of the best licensed tracks used in the game, or perhaps a 74 minute unbroken track of Eddie Riggs trying to recite evil prayers to make his bone altar contraption 'go'? [Sorry! -Ed]

A% Tim Schafer: Haha. Yeah, I would love to have a soundtrack, but who knows if we can get all that music licensed for it. Just getting it licensed for the game is a full time job for about three people. We have so many songs in the game I'm not sure which ones we'd pick either. But it would be cool.

Driving your Deuce around in the game you have this thing in it called the "Mouth of Metal", which is basically a radio, and we let you pick which songs are playing and which songs you skip, and you can shuffle and sort the songs by genre, and you unlock new songs as you play constantly. So I think people will enjoy the soundtrack most as they play the game.

A% Super Moderating Hero: What's your favourite song from the game, Tim? Are there Iron Maiden tracks in there? I love them.

A% Tim Schafer: I love Iron Maiden too, but I'd better not name any specific songs yet because the ink is not dry on the contracts. But one song that I really like is "Deadly Sinners" by 3 Inches of Blood. We used that in our pitch demo to get the game deal signed.

Robert Purchese

Q%TheTingler%127909% How much have you got left to finish before Rocktober? Is it basically just bug-testing now?

A% Tim Schafer: Yeah, we are just trying to kill all these bugs, plus we are testing it with players and tweaking things like difficulty and awesomeness, and maybe dropping a few more drops of molten metal in when we get the chance.

Robert Purchese

Q%Simbyotic%146317% Can you name some of the bands included on the soundtrack? And, will it include musics from a lot of sub-genres of Metal or will it be more like Iron Maiden and that sort of stuff?

A% Tim Schafer: Each of the factions in the game listens to a different genre of metal. The humans listen to more classic metal; the demons listen to more industrial metal; and the faction known as the Drowning Doom listen to... doom. And black metal.

We tried to pick from every sub-genre we could, and really wanted to represent all of metal.

A% Super Moderating Hero: But why Metal, Tim? Why is it better than everything else?

A% Tim Schafer: There are other kinds of music you could base a game around for sure, but Metal has the crazy imagery on its album covers, the epic lore of the lyrics. You see a metal band on stage, and they look like they're dressed and ready for medieval combat! It's just the most natural genre for videogames, I think. Plus I love it.

Robert Purchese

Q%Gurrah%22539% I'll keep it short: No PC version, why? I'm sad.

A% Tim Schafer: Well it's really an action game, that when you play it you'll see that it was meant to be on a console.

My question is, 'Why all the hate for consoles?' If you hate consoles, that means you hate Katamari Damacy, Okami, ICO, and you are in fact a bad person. A bad person who should send all their hate mail to Eurogamer and not to me.

A% Super Moderating Hero: Cheeky! Will there ever be a PC version? Is there hope?

A% Tim Schafer: We are really focused on the Xbox 360 and PS3 version right now.

Robert Purchese

Q%Kazzahdrane%18237% Hi Tim, you've often included incidental characters in your previous games who have been a big hit with players despite their short appearances (Mr. Pokylope springs to mind). Can we expect to see this sort of thing in Brutal Legend or is it very much based around a core of fleshed-out heroes and villains? Will there be any characters from your previous games making cameos?

A% Tim Schafer: Maybe. Kind of. In a way. Who knows? We definitely will have major, fleshed out characters, but because we are an openworld game we have plenty of opportunities for smaller characters, both cameos and recurring parts. Some of those characters are the most fun to write because you can take more creative risks with them.

And it's a fun way to sneak in celebrities who came to the project late, and my sister. You know I always like to give my sister a part. Ever since Nurse Edna.

Robert Purchese

Q%Danbojones%28405% Who would play you in the live action film of your life? Jackie Collins or Jeff Bridges?

A% Tim Schafer: Jackie Collins is a lady. And she's English. So...

I guess I'd go with Jackie Collins.

Robert Purchese

Q%Romanito%342546% Your writing style is miles ahead of what we are used to get from videogames. Would you consider experimenting with other formats, for example writing a screenplay or a book? Have you considered turning Brutal Legend into a film? Surely with the backing of stars like Jack Black the transition would be easy breezey.

A% Tim Schafer: I definitely had the urge to write one of everything - one screenplay, one book, one... uh.. pamphlet I guess. But I think the pamphlet is all I really have time for.

Those ideas are kind of on the back burner because the games are pretty time consuming. But it's great writing for games. People have always been able to write books. But this is the only time in history when you can really write for games when it is so new that you can have a hand in defining it. Know what I mean? That last sentence was a horrible demonstration of writing skills.

I'm just saying it's a great opportunity to take part in the early days of an art form. (Although after 30 years can you still call them the early days?)

Robert Purchese

Q%Junaidc%342542% Being an openworld game, are things like downloadable content such as new side-missions and what not on the agenda? How early on does this sort of thing have to be considered and planned?

A% Tim Schafer: Early! We have been making plans but nothing we can talk about yet. It's a natural game for it and I'd love to do some.

Robert Purchese

Q%Vertius%21466% What are your thoughts on Telltale's Tales of Monkey Island and with Lucasart's The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition, having worked on the series in the past? [We talked to Dave Grossman last week - he said to say hi! - Ed]

A% Tim Schafer: I'm looking forward to playing through the original again. It's been so long since I've played it. And I'm excited to see what Dave and his minions come up with for the new stories. There are a lot of creative people at Telltale.

Robert Purchese

Q%siro%10493% Remakes of classic games are in fashion right now, including some of your own work. Is there a particular game of yours or even someone else's that you would like to give a modern remake?

A% Tim Schafer: Hm. I'm not sure. Normally I would say I'd rather have something new than a remake. But I did really enjoy Pac-Man CE. So I can definitely be proved wrong.

Robert Purchese

A% Super Moderating Hero: Would you like Telltale to remake any other of the games you had a hand in? What about Grim Fandago? Is that a decision you have a say in?

A% Tim Schafer: I don't have any say in that, really, since I don't own that properly. Even though I like those guys, anybody but me making a Grim Fandango game would really make me very sad. Whenever I hear a rumor about someone making Grim 2, I literally can't sleep that night.

Hard to explain. I feel a very personal connection with those games. That's one of the main reasons I started Double Fine. So I could have a say in what was done with the characters and worlds we make up. And so with Psychonauts or Brtal Legend, if anything happens with those stories, you know it will come from us!

Robert Purchese

Q%rauper%7% Hi Tim! Rupert from Eurogamer here. We're big fans of your work. We were wondering if you would like to come to the Eurogamer Expo in London this October? It's the biggest gaming event in the UK and you would be our guest of honour!

A% Tim Schafer: Ha ha! Ambush!

That event... it's some day in the future, right? I'm not very good with the future. Last time I went to the UK I lost my camera in a cab. I'm not coming back until someone finds it for me.

A% Super Moderating Hero: Rupert!

Robert Purchese

A% We only have time for one more question - one we ask all. Would you rather have lasers for eyes or be able to turn invisible? And why?

A% Tim Schafer: Everyone's got to pick invisibility right? Because what am I going to do with lazer eyes? I'd get kicked out of every movie I ever went to because I'd make little red dots on the screen. Plus everyone would know if I were looking at their boobs. On the movie screen I mean, of course.

What a terrible thing, laser eyes.

Robert Purchese

A% Super Moderating Hero: Thank you Tim Schafer!

A% Tim Schafer: Thank you Eurogamer!!!! And all of Europe! Well, all the gamers of Europe, at least.

Buy Brtal Legend in Rocktober, because it's much better than having laser eyes!

Robert Purchese

A% Tim Schafer: Oh wait. Can I change my answer? I think I'd rather go with Jeff Bridges. You know, because of the Big Lebowski.

Jeff Bridges with laser eyes.

Robert Purchese