If you haven’t played Psychonauts, the magnum opus of Tim Schafer’s Double Fine Studios, please stop reading this article. Instead, go purchase a copy of the game, begin playing it, and do not come back until you have beaten in it in its entirety.
Caught up? Good, because if you finished Psychonauts you’ll be already chomping at the bit for a sequel. We have good news for you: Tim Schafer has confirmed at The Game Awards on December 3, 2015 that Psychonauts 2 is in development.
Once you’re over the shock, we’ll go into detail after the jump.
Most of the original Psychonauts‘ problems revolved around publishing, so Double Fine hopes to crowdfund the capital needed to produce this game. Utilizing fig.co, a startup crowdfunding website with a unique premise that allows fan investors to share revenue of the final product, they’re hoping to smooth out these issues and bring fans into the production. They’re asking for $3.3 million, slightly less than what was raised for Broken Age’s kickstarter.
The game will once again star Raz Aquato, young psychic prodigy and circus runaway. Following the events of the first Psychonauts game, Raz has been invited to join the titular Psychonauts, an ultra-elite cadre of secret agents dedicated to mental combat. As Raz explores the new world of the Psychonauts, he will delve into the minds of his tutors and those around him, and discover something that something is rotten in the state of mind.
It’s been over a decade since Psychonauts has been released, and fans have been clamoring for a true sequel ever since the day it was published. We hope that Double Fine will be able to retain the same charm and cleverness that made Psychonauts so great, especially considering this ten year gap.
Our major concern is that it feels too little, too late. We’re hoping that it’ll follow through, but $3 million is a tall order to ask for a game that doesn’t look like it’s really changed, on top of how many times we’ve been given fake-out promises for this sequel within the past few years.
While Psychonauts was fantastically unique for being a comedy-dominated platformer a la the likes of Banjo-Kazooie during its release in a time period where the market was dominated by first person shooters, it doesn’t seem ready to do anything new by today’s standards. Indie games by underfunded queer developers are trivial to purchase on online marketplaces like itch.io, and Lily Zone’s Crypt Underworld has struggled to meet its $10,000 goal in comparison.
Of course a professional studio-made game has the distinction of being fully-developed, but we’re just not sure what Psychonauts 2 will do to stay relevant. If you want to play a rehash of outdated games in an outdated style, play Undertale. We’re hoping that Psychonauts 2 will have plenty of tricks in its brain to keep things new and engaging.