Double Fine's Tim Schafer was the guest of honor last evening at New York University's Game Center, joining Zynga New York's creative director (and NYU professor) Frank Lantz for an "Inside the Gamer's Studio" conversation. Schafer, however, brought more than just good conversation. He showed off two separate versions of a prototyped game that Double Fine ended up shelving. The prototype,
In the first video (seen above), rudimentary concepts for the game are introduced. Two convicts sit in a prison cell, a shiv on the floor between them. The player character isn't one of the two convicts, or even the shiv, but instead a possessed amulet that's using its power of influence to guide the actions of those around it (inanimate objects included). As it turns out, one of the two convicts has said amulet in his hand when the prototype kicks off.
The two emotions that the amulet can produce – love and hate – are represented by blue and red cursors on-screen, each mapped to one of your hands. With just two emotions, a handful of set pieces to interact with, and a Kinect, a variety of potential outcomes with varying levels of hilarity ensued.
*Double Fine senior gameplay programmer Anna Kipnis explained the name via Twitter. "We name prototypes after Chinatown bars at DF (running out of bars now)," Kipnis said, in reference to San Francisco's Chinatown. "Psychonauts was Li Po. Brütal Legend was my favorite bar in Chinatown, Buddha Bar." So there's that! This is "Specs."