While you may not be familiar with the annual Amnesia Fortnight game jam, if you are a long-time gamer, you’re likely familiar with Tim Schaefer and Double Fine Productions. These are the folks behind gaming classics like Psychonauts, Grim Fandango Remastered and many others.
The story goes that back during the production of Brutal Legend, they almost lost funding for the game and the future of their company was looking bleak. So to increase morale and give employees something to work on, Tim came up with the idea to split them up into teams who would then create their own game prototypes over the next two weeks and present them to the rest of the group.
This morale boosting exercise became a tradition and has resulted in many of Double Fine’s games like Iron Brigade (or Trenched), Costume Quest and Stacking. In 2012, they got Humble involved, opened voting up to the public and started documenting the whole event with 2 Player Productions.
And thus, the cycle has continued all the way up to 2017. Almost 10 years since the event’s beginnings and we are once again brought a slew of game ideas to vote on and oh boy is it an interesting year. If you want to check out all the entries, head on over to https://www.humblebundle.com/double-fine/amnesia-fortnight-2017 where all the pitches are available.
Going over all of the entries seems redundant since there isn’t a ton of information on each game, just a small summary of what they are going for, so I just want to list my picks and why I think they would make great games. While you can vote for as many or as few as you’d like, I’m going to be voting for four games since there will be four prototypes made. Only two will be selected from community votes but WHATEVER! I can’t narrow it down to just two!
1. Play Nice
Play Nice seems like a reaction to the current onslaught of indie horror titles like Five Nights at Freddy’s (Does that genre have a name yet? I REFUSE to call them survival horror games no matter what Wikipedia says!). You play as a haunted ventriloquist dummy who is tasked with scaring off the residents of your house via “strategic stealth” or “environmental traps”.
With any of these game pitches, you have to use your imagination to see what a game like this could be since they usually give you only one or two paragraphs at most. To me, this game sounds like it could be the next Hello Neighbor if they can get the AI just right. Setting up horror jump scares from the villains perspective sounds fantastic and could be a lot of fun. A lot of things could go wrong with this project and it’s far from a sure-fire success but I’m willing to bet on the possibility.
2. Darwin’s Dinner
Survival games are nothing new these days. It seems like every other day we’re looking at another entry in the genre but the gimmick for this one sounds like it could be really cool. The pitch gives you an island where you have to survive but each in-game year, the animals mate and pass on their genes so whichever animals you hunt don’t have the option of passing their genes on. Thus, the animal you may be surviving on might be hunted to extinction and you may be forced to adapt to the new dominant species on the island.
While they don’t say how the game plays, I’m imagining a Don’t Starve-style of gameplay and I’m hoping that if this game is made, they take it to that level of absurdity and beyond. Obviously things have to make sense, you need to be able to see how your actions have impacted things, but I’m hoping that you can evolve species on the island to insane degrees. They give the example of evolving a chicken into a dinosaur. I’m hoping this is just the beginning of what we would see from a game like this.
3. A Slice of Heaven
It has been a long time since Star Fox was good but I refuse to accept that a good Star Fox game can’t exist in 2017 and A Slice of Heaven helps keep my dream alive. The pitch may just sound like modern-Star Fox with RPG elements but that’s exactly what I want out of a modern Star Fox game. Being able to level up your crew, find hidden objectives and missions, maybe even have some level of multiplayer co-op sounds amazing to me. Since Star Fox Zero let me down so hard, maybe Double Fine can help fill the gap?
Admittedly, the art isn’t much to go off of but the description sounds very interesting. Empath puts you in the role of time-traveling investigator where you have to play through a murder event over and over again while entering the minds of various people involved. This gives you insights into the perspectives of tons of different people and how they saw this murder take place, ultimately allowing you to piece together what happened.
While I initially balked at the pitch because of it’s similarity to another indie game coming out next week called The Sexy Brutale, they appear to use a very different tone to tell a very different story, if the pitches are anything to go off. So although they use the same basic mechanic, I’m willing to bet on Empath as my final pick.
These may have been my votes but there are certainly others that I wouldn’t be disappointed to see win. For one reason or another, though, they didn’t make my top four. These are some of the other games that caught my eye:
- Symphonic Strife
- The Lunar Gazette
- I Have No Idea What I’m Doing
These have been my picks for the 2017 Amnesia Fortnight. Agree? Disagree? List your picks in the comments below and as always…