It was a year ago, almost to the day, that Double Fine showed off some Psychonauts 2 "prototype gameplay" in a recreated version of the original game's summer camp. The elements on display "looked nice but weren’t designed to be part of the full game," the studio explained in a Fig update. "They were simple spaces that didn’t incorporate any of the tricky platforming and open exploration we want to be be central to Psychonauts 2." The new video released today, however, is much closer to what the final game will deliver.
"The 'First Playable' is an area of the game that we’ve built to test our new pipelines and workflows across all departments—art, animation, tech, design, cinematics, etc," Double Fine wrote. "We’ve tested all of this a lot during pre-production, but this is our first big attempt to create a fully arted up, fully playable chunk of gameplay with all the systems, art, gameplay, and tech working in the same place."
The segment is basically a "vertical slice," although the studio isn't using that term because it implies "a level of polish and completeness" that isn't currently there. But it's a fully playable area with "player movement, combat, quests, experience, UI all working together with scratch dialogue and audio, some rough visual effects, textures, lighting, even a cut-scene," which enables the studio to test and iterate on the systems—and show off what it's doing.
There is, around the midpoint of the video, an unexpectedly up-close look at a goat butthole, and it's not entirely just a cheap joke: The Fig update also digs into "how a goat gets made," from simple sketches to more detailed drawings, a 3D model, texturing, and animation, which actually involved a real visit to a goat farm so the subtleties and nuances of goat movement could be properly captured.
"It takes nine goats to the say the F-word," Double Fine boss Tim Schafer explained helpfully. "I've done a lot of goat porn. Graffiti. Goat porn graffiti."
Double Fine is also "pretty close" to sharing details on backer rewards, which it expects will be shipped out in three batches: "One batch of stuff that doesn’t take too long to make (shirts for example), another batch of stuff for the more complex or custom things (like action figures) and a final batch for stuff that requires the game to be complete." Backer surveys should start arriving "really soon," it added.
Psychonauts 2 is still far from a proper release date, but the last time we looked it had an "estimated delivery" window of summer 2018. More information about what's cooking is up at psychonauts.com.