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Video: How Double Fine's 'Amnesia Fortnight' turned terror into triumph

August 6, 2012 | By Staff

August 6, 2012 | By Staff
More: Console/PC, Production, Video

[Note: To access chapter selection, click the fullscreen button or check out the video on the GDC Vault website]

According to Double Fine's Tim Schafer, "we live in crazy times." The game industry is being pulled in two directions, where big publishers are growing more enormous by the day, while independent teams are finding new ways to subvert the limitations of traditional businesses.

Mid-sized companies like Double Fine, then, are put in an awkward position, as they don't have the size to compete with the huge juggernauts, and lack the flexibility of the smaller indies. There's just less and less room for those in-between to find success, and just a few years ago, Schafer's studio realized it needed to try something new.

And at GDC 2012, Schafer and numerous other Double Fine employees hosted a presentation on a new approach to game production, dubbed "Amnesia Fortnight," which forgoes large-scale production in favor of something more suitable for a mid-sized team.

"We spent ten years as a one-team studio making one game at a time.. and it was very entrenched into our culture that that's the way we did things, but we managed to 'turn the battleship'... into a fleet of tugboats," Schafer said.

By splitting the studio into smaller, more agile teams, Double Fine was able to avoid the creative pitfalls of large-scale development, and release unusual downloadable titles like Costume Quest, Stacking, and Iron Brigade. These games were a drastic departure from full-scale console titles like Psychonauts or Brutal Legend, but they were essential in keeping Double Fine on its feet.

To learn more about Double Fine's new approach to development, be sure to check out the studio's full presentation, courtesy of GDC Vault.

Simply click the Play button above to start the video.

About the GDC Vault

In addition to all of this free content, the GDC Vault also offers more than 300 additional lecture videos and hundreds of slide collections from GDC 2012 for GDC Vault subscribers. GDC 2012 All Access pass holders already have full access to GDC Vault, and interested parties can apply for the individual subscription Beta via a GDC Vault inquiry form.

Group subscriptions are also available: game-related schools and development studios who sign up for GDC Vault Studio Subscriptions can receive access for their entire office or company. More information on this option is available via an online demonstration, and interested parties can send an email to Gillian Crowley. In addition, current subscribers with access issues can contact GDC Vault admins.

Be sure to keep an eye on GDC Vault for even more free content, as GDC organizers will also archive videos, audio, and slides from upcoming 2012 events like GDC Europe, GDC Online, and GDC China. To stay abreast of all the latest updates to GDC Vault, be sure to check out the news feed on the official GDC website, or subscribe to updates via Twitter, Facebook, or RSS.

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