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Fantasy Eugenics Simulator 2014: Massive Chalice appears on Steam Early Access

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Fantasy Eugenics Simulator 2014: Massive Chalice appears on Steam Early Access

I live in a flat absent any chalices. I confess that I’m not always up to date on what’s in my cupboards, but I did just check, and no, I have no chalices. I did just by a measuring jug, though! That was exciting. Anyway, my chalice-less existence might be at an end, because Double Fine’s fantasy tactics game, Massive Chalice, has just hit Steam Early Access.

It’ll set you back £17.24/$22.49, which includes a week-long 25 percent discount.

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Costume Quest 2 launches today, pitting time-travelling scamps against an evil dentist from the future

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Costume Quest 2 launches today, pitting time-travelling scamps against an evil dentist from the future

The last time I checked, Double Fine’s Halloween-themed Costume Quest 2 was set to launch some time in October, but what day it would pop into existence wasn’t clear. It turns out that day is today, October 7th. 

You can now reacquaint yourselves with the precocious duo of Wren and Reynold as they once again attempt to save Halloween, but this time in the future. Expect time travel, evil dentists and costumes that are more than meets the eye. 

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Massive Chalice Steam beta open to some from October 21

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Massive Chalice Steam beta open to some from October 21

Once upon a time, a game named Massive Chalice was Kickstarted to the tune of $1,229,015.

Double Fine’s community capital might have diminished a little in the wake of Spacebase DF-9’s early exit and the overscoping of Broken Age - but that second Kickstarter win remains a very compelling turn-based tactics concept in the hands of a deeply capable studio. So it’s a pleasure to know it’ll be on Steam in some form by the end of the month - even if access is fairly tightly restricted for now.

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Tim Schafer explains why Spacebase DF-9 is being flung out the airlock early

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Tim Schafer explains why Spacebase DF-9 is being flung out the airlock early

When Double Fine announced the imminent release of Spacebase DF-9, last week, it came as a bit of a surprise. It seemed early, and a long list of hoped for and planned features had yet to be implemented. Now they won’t be implemented at all. Early Access once again looked like a risky gamble. 

Tim Schafer recently took to the Steam forums to explain the studio’s decision.

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Spacebase DF-9 release window set. Time Travel, holodecks, and killer robots cut

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Spacebase DF-9 release window set. Time Travel, holodecks, and killer robots cut

Double Fine’s announced that Spacebase DF-9 will release this November, so they’ve a few more weeks to fix bugs and polish their management game to high sheen. The announcement does however have another implication, a few large features originally planned have yet to be implemented and, at this point, won’t be.

There’ll be no time travel, holodecks, legal system, multi-level bases, teleporters, or funerals.

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Spacebase DF-9 Alpha 6 brings power to the people, but also the capacity for anger

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Spacebase DF-9 Alpha 6 brings power to the people, but also the capacity for anger

Spacebase DF-9 might have been mostly void when it launched on Steam Early Access, but at least it wasn’t filled with fury. Its latest alpha update has introduced space-citizens to the concept of anger. They’ll be perturbed by poor job performance, berate bad food, and turn violet around violence. Given enough provocation, they’ll brawl with rivals in the corridors, lash out at strangers or sabotage base equipment.

Thank goodness, then, that Double Fine have also introduced the means to deal with these irate individuals.

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Tim Schafer on Double Fine publishing and not being told what to do

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Tim Schafer on Double Fine publishing and not being told what to do

Double Fine has, in the last five years, has gone through quite the transformation. The studio was treading water after Brutal Legend in 2009, but now it has complete control over its IPs, has successfully experimented with emerging business models - in many ways setting a trend - and is now assisting other developers with the Double Fine Presents label. 

Speaking with GamesIndustry International, Tim Schafer chalked the big shift up to not liking being told what to do. And now he wants to help new indie developers chart their own course. 

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That's a relief: Grim Fandango to be released on PC alongside PS4 and Vita

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That's a relief: Grim Fandango to be released on PC alongside PS4 and Vita

When a remastered version of Grim Fandango was announced at E3 last month, my heart skipped a beat. And then it broken when there was no mention of a PC version, only PS4 and Vita. The pieces were put back together again when Tim Schafer tweeted that other platforms would be talked about soon.

Today, Double Fine has announced that PC, Mac and Linux versions of the classic adventure game would release alongside the Sony’s consoles. And all is right with the world once more. 

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Xbox One for all: Massive Chalice is still coming to the PC on time

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Xbox One for all: Massive Chalice is still coming to the PC on time

Double Fine’s really big cup of turn-based tactics turned up on Microsoft’s stage at E3, where the two were declared married by Phil Spencer, with a thousand baying games journalists as their witness.

But it’s a complicated, open relationship - one which prohibits cavorting with Sony, but does nothing to affect the PC’s blossoming love affair with Massive Chalice.

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Double Fine come out swinging on Steam Early Access with Hack 'n' Slash

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Double Fine come out swinging on Steam Early Access with Hack 'n' Slash

Hack first, slash later if necessary. That’s the mantra of Double Fine’s genuinely unprecedented top-down Zelda-like. It’s not about hacking bits off orcs, nor even hacking the mainframe, man, but rather actual rearrangement of the game’s code in real time to suit your needs.

It’s also just now become Double Fine’s second game to launch on Steam Early Access.

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Double Fine Presents Last Life: 4 hours to catch a killer on Mars, what's a dead detective to do?

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Double Fine Presents Last Life: 4 hours to catch a killer on Mars, what's a dead detective to do?

With Escape Goat 2 being distributed to the masses, Double Fine has added another title to its fledgling indie publishing wing - Double Fine Presents. The game in question is Sam Farmer’s Last Life, a sci-fi noir adventure game that juggles a pulpy detective story, a striking cuboid art style and transhumanism. It's also got a Kickstarter.

Last Life is inspired by the new wave of adventure games; the likes of The Walking Dead and Kentucky Route Zero, where story and atmosphere trumps puzzles. It looks like Last Life has both in spades. 

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Hack 'n' Slash Early Access trailer implores you to "check it out", subsequently "delete evil"

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Hack 'n' Slash Early Access trailer implores you to "check it out", subsequently "delete evil"

I haven’t had time to catch up on the reels of film from Double Fine’s latest Amnesia Fortnight - but would be terribly surprised if it had produced an idea more compelling than Hack ‘n’ Slash, born during last year’s two-week internal jam.

Hack ‘n’ Slash is Zelda, but with a hacking system. Not a Deus Ex node network; not a BioShock pipes minigame; but an opportunity to make genuine alterations to the game’s code to circumvent your enemies.

Double Fine have put together a dimly-lit trailer in the spirit of the game’s ‘90s red-pill vibe. It is fun.

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Tim Schafer would love to make Brutal Legend 2, but it probably won’t ever happen

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Tim Schafer would love to make Brutal Legend 2, but it probably won’t ever happen

Master of adventure Tim Schafer has been having a little chat with Edge this week, and talk soon got round to Brutal Legend, Double Fine’s best selling yet polarising heavy metal ‘em up. Despite being at the end of some acidic opinions due to the game’s odd/interesting use of RTS elements, Schafer would still love to return to his rocker universe for a second outing. One that would still involve real time strategy, too. 

Don’t hold your breath though, it’s not likely to happen without $30million landing in Schafer's lap. Don’t mention Kickstarter, either. 

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Double Fine is tailoring its publishing process to the diverse needs of indies

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Double Fine is tailoring its publishing process to the diverse needs of indies

Yesterday’s launch of Escape Goat 2 wasn’t just a big deal for developer MagicalBeanTime; it’s also a new chapter for Double Fine, which has gone from needing publishers, to independently publishing its own games and now to publishing other indies. 

But Double Fine have been trying to play it down. The company wants to leverage its experience to promote and assist other developers without taking away attention from the game, said CEO Justin Bailey in a chat with Game Informer.

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Double Fine's Hack 'n' Slash lets players break and reprogram the game

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Double Fine's Hack 'n' Slash lets players break and reprogram the game

The “hack" in Double Fine’s dungeon-crawling title, Hack ‘n’ Slash doesn’t refer to a violent act - hacking away at the bodies of foes until they die. Alice the elf has a USB sword, you see, and while it can be used as a mundane weapon, it’s much more useful as a code-altering device. 

Enemies, obstacles and puzzles can all be messed around with using the variables that Double Fine put in the code. If they have a USB slot, Alice can plug in and change their properties. 

Double Fine was at GDC to show off an early version of the game, and what at first seems intimidating reveals itself to be rather simple, demanding creativity and experimentation instead of an understanding of coding. 

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Double Fine take a second bob at the apple with Costume Quest 2

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Double Fine take a second bob at the apple with Costume Quest 2

Double Fine splitting their company into four teams post-Brutal Legend hasn’t just meant four times as many games - it’s meant four times as many announcements.

In a games news world where the time between discovery and release can be long enough to encompass excitement, backlash and entrenched opinion, that’s been nice: a series of bite-sized chunks of anticipation followed by (more often than not) fulfillment.

Here’s another: the studio’s very first sequel. Costume Quest 2 will see the return of protagonist twins Reynold and Wren - though not lead designer Tasha Harris, who has since returned to a career at Pixar.

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Double Fine's Amnesia Fortnight Bad Golf pitch being made into a game by fans

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Double Fine's Amnesia Fortnight Bad Golf pitch being made into a game by fans

Double Fine’s Patrick Hackett really wants Bad Golf to exist. In a previous Amnesia Fortnight, he pitched the idea of a 4-player golf game where you harass your fellow players by running over balls with golf carts, demolishing the fairway and breaking their carts. It sounded great, but failed to get the necessary votes to get turned into a prototype.

In this year’s Amnesia Fortnight, he pitched Bad Golf 2, the sequel to the game that would never be. Once again, his dreams were dashed. Instead, Mnemonic, Steed, Dear Leader and Pendleton Ward’s Little Pink Best Buds made the cut.

The story of Bad Golf could have ended there, were it not for diligent fans who decided that they would make the game a reality. 

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