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Tim Schafer on Why You Need to Check Out Grim Fandango on PS4 & PS Vita

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Dan Hsu's Avatar Posted by on Dec 06, 2014 // SCEA

Tim Schafer is never “off.” The funnyman game designer and founder of studio house Double Fine Productions is constantly cracking jokes, even when he’s trying to be serious. So when we had a chance to interview him about his upcoming adventure game, Grim Fandango Remastered, we didn’t even try to play it straight (for the most part).

The original Grim Fandango originally came out over 16 years ago and became a cult classic. Now it’s getting a full, fresh HD makeover for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita, due out January 2015. But who should care? Schafer explains:

Q: I’m a 15-year-old gamer, and the original Grim Fandango came out before I was even born. Why should I play your old-man game?

Tim Schafer: When my older brother went away to college, I raided his record collection and randomly pulled out Led Zeppelin III. I had never heard Led Zeppelin before, so when the opening notes of Immigrant Song burrowed into my brain, I was not prepared. My head exploded and my life was forever changed. What if I had said, “Nah, I won’t check this out. It came out before I was born?” That would have been sad. So, in summary, Grim Fandango is as good as Led Zeppelin. That’s why.

Q: I’m a 35-year-old gamer, and I loved loved loved the original Grim Fandango! But I’m a busy adult now with children, a career, and bedtime of 9:30 p.m. Why should I take the time to play your game again?

Tim Schafer: Because we took out the tank controls.

Q: I’m too busy killing punks in Call of Duty. Who cares about Grim Fandango Remastered?

Tim Schafer: Does Call of Duty have Flaming Bone Beavers? Beat poetry? An octopus who can drive a submarine? (Please tell me if it does–I haven’t played the new one yet.)

Q: The gaming landscape has altered dramatically over the last couple of decades. Connected, more powerful consoles. Games as a mainstream form of media (yet with the discussion of whether they are “art” or not still somewhat unsettled). Divided and embattled demographics. The rise of independent development, crowdsourcing, critical analysis, etc. What are your thoughts on where the industry is today versus 15-20 years ago?

Tim Schafer: A lot has changed, but in the end, one thing is the same: People want great games. And barring a couple of technical problems (that have all been heroically fixed in the remaster), I believe Grim Fandango really stands the test of time. It’s a story about life and death and loyalty and mystery, and I think those themes transcend any trends in platforms, funding, or technology.

Q: Fine! If I buy your game, will you finally re-release Day of the Tentacle?

Tim Schafer: Yes, if you buy five copies of Grim.

No wait, seven. Ten copies would really seal the deal.

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22 Comments

1

+ TLSBill on December 6th, 2014 at 11:41 am said:

Hello Sony, PlayStation, Doublefine.. Ahem… FULL THROTTLE!!!! We want FULL THROTTLE.. (We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming)


2

+ Mintblend_44321 on December 6th, 2014 at 11:52 am said:

Resident Evil coming to Vita!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

YEAH BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!


3

+ mmitch079 on December 6th, 2014 at 11:55 am said:

Stoked that Day of the Tentacle is coming.


4

+ Robbie_G_lrish on December 6th, 2014 at 12:03 pm said:

I’ll definitely play it on Vita. Thanks!


5

+ Ikusa02 on December 6th, 2014 at 12:19 pm said:

How exactly do I buy 10 copies? :P


6

+ plaztiksyke on December 6th, 2014 at 1:07 pm said:

played this at Day of the Devs, and it goes to show that a little extra care with original assets and rendering can represent a huge visual leap forward that makes it palatable for “new” gamers.

that being said, the backgrounds are still somewhat low-res and so details in the distance get mushy and that’s a bit distracting when compared to the sharper objects in the foreground (2D and 3D). What’s really distracting is that the videos have the original low-res textures, and its only really jarring on Manny’s face. I wish they would have super-imposed a 3D render over the existing 2D video that matched the 2D face animation, but I guess they ran out of time.

incredibly excited to have this (and Day of the Tentacle!!!) on my Vita for my morning commute!


7

+ Hayades on December 6th, 2014 at 1:22 pm said:

Can’t freaking wait to replay this game, Broken Age and Day of the tentacles. I just hope these games have platinum trophies. I’d be proud to add them all to my plat collection.


8

+ dkarlowicz10 on December 6th, 2014 at 2:37 pm said:

Grim Fandango and Day of the Tentacle. Awesome. Now, I don’t want to get greedy but Psychonauts for Vita would be nice as well.


9

+ TopoClandestino on December 6th, 2014 at 3:21 pm said:

PS4, Vita, PC, Mac & Linux. There’s no excuse now to not play it. Can’t wait to January.


10

+ ThreeLeggedFreak on December 6th, 2014 at 3:43 pm said:

Is it cross buy?

Also, bring Monkey Island SE + Monkey Island 2 SE to PS4 and PSV. The grunt work has already been done!

And more Lucas Arts SE games please


11

+ plaztiksyke on December 6th, 2014 at 3:53 pm said:

@8 I’d love to see a native port of Psychonauts to PS4/VIta as well. The PS2 emulated version on PS3 just didn’t cut it for me, so I hope they don’t lean on the upcoming PS2 emulator on Vita to get Psychonauts on that platform.

@10 Yes!! Monkey Island Special Editions on Vita would mean not having to buy them for my nephews on iOS!

I’d actually love to play Brutal Legend on PS4. It looked great on PS3, but the PC version really took it up a notch. (Better tutorials helped, too.) The multiplayer would be cool on Vita, as well.


12

+ murkyliquids on December 6th, 2014 at 5:54 pm said:

Haha, the game certainly has humour. My 8GB memory card on my Vita is filling up quick; I need to buy a new one to fit all these announced games!!!


13

+ PaypayTR on December 6th, 2014 at 10:03 pm said:

Please release free PS4 theme for Grim Fandango


14

+ honkayjeezus on December 6th, 2014 at 10:55 pm said:

I love his funny Social Justice Warrior video he did recently, hilarious.

Not buying anything from him again.


15

+ VinsanityV21 on December 8th, 2014 at 6:37 am said:

This was the best appeal to buy a game I think I’ve ever seen. I’ve been looking to play this for years; I’m definitely picking it up, Schafer.


16

+ chavez1138 on December 8th, 2014 at 7:51 am said:

Will Grim Fandango have cross-buy and / or cross save?


17

+ chavez1138 on December 8th, 2014 at 7:58 am said:

@12 my 64GB card it’s already full, using my old 16GB now.


18

+ theXsilentXchild on December 8th, 2014 at 8:13 am said:

Awesome! You go Tim!!!


19

+ oo7PorscheMGS on December 8th, 2014 at 8:52 am said:

Sold ;) Didn’t need to read it lol, heard so much about this game in the past (on PC) so I’m glad I get to play it since I never played too many pc games. I love an adventure, I love film noir type stuff, and I love comedy. I KNOW this game rocks!!!! Can’t wait for Broken Age too, love the visuals in these games too…. nice to see something different – we need more games that take you on a funny adventure!


20

+ oo7PorscheMGS on December 8th, 2014 at 9:04 am said:

@14, so you’re against someone who wants women in games to have a more diverse representation? Hmm, ok… but this is 2014… things change, get used to them. More and more games will start to branch out and mature, this isn’t a little boy’s game anymore.


21

+ oo7PorscheMGS on December 8th, 2014 at 9:04 am said:

That said, there will still be games for little boys.. so don’t worry ;) I like both.


22

+ Welmosca on December 8th, 2014 at 10:52 am said:

I lost my interest in this game when I discovered that it ain’t a PS exclusive.


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