View Full Version : Would you be so excited if this wasn't a Tim Schafer game? (Be honest.)

05-18-2005, 08:42 PM
Now that I've actually gotten around to playing Psychonauts, I have to wonder if people would be so excited by it if it hadn't been designed by Tim Schafer?

It's a beautifully designed game with superb attention to detail and an excellent sense of humour... but the gameplay? I realise the amount of sheer creativity pumped into this game, it's practically spilling out of the game box, but isn't the gameplay a little... 1990's?

If this wasn't a Tim Schafer game, would there be such an incredible fervor surrounding it?

05-18-2005, 09:04 PM
I'm fairly fortunate in that I've stayed out of the 3D platforming scene for a long time, which results in the majority of Psychonauts' gameplay being fairly unique and innovative from my perspective. I have read a lot of reviews saying that there's little new on the platforming front, but as I say, it makes no difference to me. The platforming is good, regardless of whether it's nothing truly fresh. I really was impressed at some of the gameplay sequences which are presented during the game.

That level of platforming combined with the visuals, characters and just general universe of the game makes for a very, very good game in my book. Perhaps if I'd played every platformer since Mario 64 I'd be a little more objective on the gameplay front.

As for the fervor, well I seriously doubt that I would have been looking forward to it as much had it not been a Tim Schafer game, simply because I wouldn't have known much about it prior to playing it. Because it is a Schafer game, I already knew that there'd be some seriously good character/universe realisation within, and that attracted me prior to even trying it out.

However, if it wasn't a Schafer game, I would still have been totally drawn in after playing the demo and reading its generally positive reviews. I mean, it's not like I sit here and call it an awesome game purely because I like the guy who made it. That'd be totally out of character for me, considering how I've slated past titles which I was anticipating greatly, and had a lot of respect for the development teams of. It is a genuinely good game, there's no denying that.

05-18-2005, 10:14 PM
Well, I've been a huge fan of both adventure and plaformer games from the beginning; and I have to say I'm always interested in playing the good quality games like Psychonauts. I think like Thrik said, the fact that the game was from Tim Schaffer definitely helped sell it before it even hit the stores. I know Tim wouldn't make a game that wasn't spectacular. But even still, if his name wasn't attached to it; I would have eventually gotten around to playing it, and would have come out with the same comments and review of the game. I just probably wouldn't have pre-ordered it like I did. In fact, given the scenario I may have even had a higher opinion of the game than I already do- and said something like, "a game that harkens back to the adventures created by Tim Schafer et al at LucasArts".

On an unrelated note - it's funny being that this is called the Lucasforums and I plain forgot that Star Wars III was coming out today. All sold out where I'm at obviously, so I guess I'll have to catch it later this week. No big deal- I can wait unlike so many other SW nuts out there... probably half of them on these forums :P

Mr. Niceguy
05-18-2005, 10:52 PM
Actually, it's impossible. Tim is the only one who could possibly make a game this awesome.

05-18-2005, 11:50 PM
The Gameplay was one of my favorite parts, but the 1990's are sort of dear to me when it comes to gameplay. Plus, there was Lucasarts-esque puzzles in Boyd's mind.

05-19-2005, 12:26 AM
Originally posted by Thrik
The platforming is good, regardless of whether it's nothing truly fresh. I really was impressed at some of the gameplay sequences which are presented during the game.

Agreed. It seems to me a lot of people tend to confuse the broad scope that is gameplay with platforming mechanics. Isn't that a bit of a generalizaton? From a gameplay standpoint, I've never played anything like Psychonauts. There just isn't that kind of depth or visual storytelling within the gameplay, anywhere. I too really haven't been keeping up with every platformer since Mario 64, so all of the apparently borrowed aspects seemed fresh to me. Still though, all I really noticed (or cared) about the actual platforming elements were that they were smooth, extremely polished, and overall very solid. More than one major reviewer has helpfully pointed out that Psychonauts didn't reinvent platforming. Well, maybe not in the sense of the jump from Mario 2d to Mario 3d, but it revolutionized platformers by introducing a kind of innovation that it's never really seen in them before.

05-19-2005, 09:33 AM
I think I can answer this one objectively. While I wouldn't categorize myself as a Tim Schafer fanboy, I definitely appreciate his past work. Full Throttle and Grim Fandango are highpoints for me during his time at Lucasarts.

When he left, and finally announced Psychonauts, I have to admit to having relatively little interest. I'm still wondering why this is - perhaps early previews gave me the impression that he was moving away from adventures and more into action gaming, I thought there might be less room for creativity (thank goodness I was wrong).

The production delays didn't help. When I downloaded the demo and completed it, I immediately went online and pre-ordered the PC version.

I agree with Udvarnoky - I think genre reinvention is over-rated, depending on how you define it. The game mechanics are nothing revolutionary, but I had loads of fun exploring the world of Psychonauts. It kept me coming back, too. That's what counts in the end, right?

05-19-2005, 11:27 AM
Yeah, I think "reinventing game genres" is overrated in itself. I mean a good game is a good game. One of the most overlooked platform-adventure games IMHO was Monkey Island 2. It didn't introduce much more technical wise to its predecessor; but given the media- it had a great story, laughs, and was all around fun to play. And I definitely, don't feel that Psychonauts had to beat everything before it, in order to be a success. I think if most users had fun playing it - that was the whole goal.

05-19-2005, 11:51 AM
Games seem to, at the moment, generally be in too much of a rush to beat whatever came before them. Instead of focusing on thoroughly fleshing out the game in question like Tim has done, with a whole range of completely memorably characters and unique locations, they simply strive to implement some new gimmick or feature which supposedly makes it superior to those before it.

I respect Double Fine for not falling into this trap, and instead simply concentrating on creating a fully realised game which is, for the most part, extremely fun to play and become immersed in. Instead of bringing in some new gimmicks, they have pretty much perfected the integration of a range of abilities which may or may not have been featured similarly in other games.

The ability to set people on fire, propel them into the air, twist their minds, float around and turn invisible may have existed prior to Psychonauts, but the way that Psychonauts embraces them is just great in my opnion. Earning them is tied right into the very basis of the storyline, and you actually feel there's a valid reason for gaining and using these powers, other than the classic "saving the world" or "saving the damsel in distress" scenarios.

Okay, so Psychonauts does actually feature those last two cliches to an extent, but they are kind of introduced later on, rather than being the total basis of the storyline. You don't just start the game with the briefing "The world must be saved, you need to learn a bunch of powers to do so, go find the keypoints which grant you the powers and then fight the final boss". It's all presented in a way that most games just don't bother to do, and that's what makes this game great in my eyes.

As Tim said, he sets out to make good games. He's never been out to reinvent the wheel. He just creates stunningly good games in whatever genre he happens to be setting his game in, and I feel that he's succeeded. Moving to platforming was obviously a fairly bold move for DF, but I feel that for a first attempt this game is amazing. I just hope that they take what they've learnt from Psychonauts with regards to platforming game mechanics, storytelling and everything else to a whole new level with whatever they do next!

05-19-2005, 12:11 PM
Remember though, it almost didn't happen. It's great that Tim Schafer goes for that niche of gamers who appreciate his design, but I wonder if other companies see the Double Fine endeavor as too much of a risk? Microsoft dropped their backing of Psychonauts because, according to Schafer, they were no longer looking for something with such a unique vision for their platform.

And, as I recall, it's not like many other publishers were burning a trail to Double Fine's door. It took several months before Majesco agreed to back them, and even then, they were pressing for something smaller than the final product.

I agree that it's great that Double Fine didn't fall into the trap of trying to outdo the last great platform game, but could you blame them? I mean, if they don't make games that don't get them backing from publishers, then they don't exist. Period.

05-20-2005, 09:15 PM
I can say honestly that this having the Tim Schafer name on it didn't excite me cause I simply didn't know who he was. I heard about Frim Fandango while searching for info on Psychonauts, and first heard about this game in a gaming magazine preview, it sounded intresting enough so when the demo was out I figured it'd be a fun why to make use of my gamepad. Now I've beat the game twice and hope for a sequel.

05-20-2005, 11:05 PM
I don't frequently buy games, so regardless, I would've liked Psychonauts, just don't think I'd have noticed it without Tim's good name.

06-04-2005, 01:16 AM
Let me put it to ya this way: Before Psychonauts, I had NO IDEA who Tim Schafer was. It introduced me to his work. So yes, I was just as excited without knowing who Tim was, or even being a fan prior to it.

06-04-2005, 02:46 PM

07-13-2005, 06:12 AM
I'm going to chime in on Peel's side here; the gameplay is rather pedestrian and lets the game down. Artistically and from a writing point of view the game is excellent, but the gameplay is uninspired. It's fun to look at, fun to explore, but not fun to play.

07-13-2005, 01:10 PM
Not fun to play...

07-13-2005, 03:16 PM
Each to his own, I guess -- everyone's entitled! I personally found Psychonauts very entertaining on the gameplay side of things, but then as I've mentioned before; I haven't really played any 3D platformers in years, so a lot of the gameplay mechanics which many people claim have been done before are totally new to me.

07-16-2005, 01:36 AM
Would I have gotten as excited about the release? Probably not. Would I still be radically devoted to the company? I probably wouldn't have heard of Double Fine without MixnMojo's tie to Schafer.

Had, however, I been linked to the comics despite this, and had the updates been by someone other than Tim but still as hilarious, I would.

Without Tim, would the game be as fun? If it were the same game in every respect beyond his name in the credits, it's still a great game. Is it a perfect game? No; it's got some faults, but I'm eager to over look them because of the humor and fun of the game.

07-17-2005, 02:51 PM
I would've enjoyed it either way, but I probably wouldn't have been attracted to play it without Tim Schafer's name on it. Same reason I follow filmmakers. You begin to trust the people that don't let you down in the past.

Brothers Grimm comes out August 26, the same day I'll be seeing it. Would I want to see the film if Terry Gilliam hadn't directed it? Hell no. Would I have watched The Inside if Tim Minear didn't create it? Probably not. The Inside looked like a stupid cop show from the promos, but Tim Minear has never lead me astray in that past, and the stupid cop show turned out to be excellently written character study. Brothers Grimm looks rediculous and the screenwriter has done me wrong on occasions. But I have faith in Gilliam.

Ray Jones
07-18-2005, 08:34 AM
Maybe I am not really excited right now, but since I am kind of picky with games, yes, the name Tim Schäfer on it alone makes it a must-play-or-i-explode for me. And maybe I'll be excited about it if I am actually going to play it, or at least the demo, when I gathered the hardware (near future, not in ten years.. ) that allows me to play it. That, or if I managed to finish my patch for WINE. Whatever happens first. %]

08-04-2005, 07:20 PM
it really doesn't matter to me who creates a game....but if nintendo made GTA then I'd be interested.But I really don't care who made Psychonauts as long as it's not Hitler.

08-10-2005, 01:58 AM
I probably never would have played this game if it wasn't a Tim Schafer game, but my feelings about it would be the same either way. I loved most of it but found others parts rather annoying and it had me missing his old graphic adventures.

08-10-2005, 10:17 AM
I probably wouldn't have heard of the game had it not been made by Scafer. That said, I, like Thrik, don't regularily play 3D platform games and found this to be very entertaining on that front. Others may not think so, but the fact remains, I love it. Is it because it's a Schafer game. No idea, probably.

Zetz Darke
08-17-2005, 02:46 PM
I didn't know who he was before this either, although he does seem like an interesting guy. I saw a preview for the game and got excited about it right away. it was even better then I thought it was going to be.

08-17-2005, 05:23 PM
I heard of the MI games but didn't play them until I got PsychoNauts. This started me on playing Schafer games. So honestly it worked the other way for me, I wouldn't have played his other games if this wasn't a Schafer game.

02-22-2011, 02:24 AM
If it was the same, but the Tim Schaffer name was not on it, then of course. I'd never heard of Tim Schaffer before the game.