In a completely unexpected twist of fate, San Francisco-based developer Double Fine Studios just announced the sequel to its cult classic platformer Psychonauts: Psychonauts 2.
— Double Fine (@DoubleFine) December 4, 2015
Released in 2005, the first Psychonauts told the story of a young boy named Rasputin (or Raz), who is gifted with psychic powers. He escapes from his father’s circus life to sneak into a summer camp called Whispering Rock Psychic Summer Camp, which is home not only to fellow psychics like him, but also to a secret training facility that trains psychic spies. But something is amiss at Whispering Rock, and his journeys both throughout the camp grounds and (literally) into the minds of its inhabitants to solve a dastardly kidnapping case.
Legendary Double Fine designer Tim Schafer explains the history behind the project in the video below, which headlines the Fig campaign’s page:
The original game has garnered a sizable fanbase over the past ten years. Psychonauts’ story ended on a cliffhanger, though, which left the possibility of a sequel open to the Internet’s rumor mill. Schafer had pitched a sequel to interested companies, but was turned down each time.
Now, Psychonauts 2 has the potential to become a reality through the magic of crowdfunding. Double Fine is hosting the fundraiser through Fig, a crowdfunding service launched this August by former Double Fine CEO Justin Bailey that allows any backer who invests in a project to receive a portion of the game’s profits once it releases. Their initial asking price is $3.3 million, which appears rather meager compared to the original Psychonauts’ $10-13.5 million budget. Schafer explains that the Fig crowdfund will make up just one portion of Psychonauts 2’s budget:
Double Fine will be putting up a significant portion of the development funds ourselves, and getting another piece of the budget from an external partner. This Fig campaign will make up the third piece of the budget. None of these three parts on their own is enough, but together they add up to a sequel worthy of Psychonauts!
Psychonauts 2 will take place directly after the events of the first Psychonauts, as he travels to Psychonauts HQ on a special mission. Once there, he discovers that the facility’s members are battling their own internal demons. Raz must once again dive into the brains of his friends to help them solve their emotional conflicts, learning new PSI abilities and uncovering traces of a sinister behind-the-scenes plot.
Double Fine states on its official Fig page that the first Psychonauts’ development team will be returning to work on the project. In addition, video production studio 2 Player Productions will be filming and documenting the game’s development process piece by piece, as they did with Double Fine’s most recent game, Broken Age.
As part of the development of Psychonauts 2, 2 Player Productions have already started the documentation process and will be releasing the videos to the world – backers and non-backers alike. While the format may not mirror the style of Double Fine Adventure, rest assured that in 2 Player’s capable hands, it will be equally rad!
Whatever form it ends up taking, you’ll be able to watch it for free on Youtube in 720p. Backers who donate $69 and above will also get access to the videos as 1080p downloads, along with special features like commentary tracks, deleted scenes, bloopers, and more!
Backer rewards include the usual spread of fundraising goodies, from digital art book downloads, to plush Rasputins,to Rasputin figures, to custom-designed Figments (pieces of memory Raz collects while in the minds of his ‘patients’), and a trip to a top-secret location in California dubbed as Whispering Rock itself.
Psychonauts 2 is slated to release in 2018 for Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms. Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions of the game will also be released, but will cost an additional $18 if purchased through the Fig campaign. Schafer explains that the console copies will cost more because Double Fine will have to purchase PS4 and Xbox One codes themselves, and that the deal will still be better than the game’s retail prices. Those interested in donating to the project can do so by visiting its Fig page here.