Double Fine’s Adventures have been well documented, and the California-based developer has certainly been busy with Vita titles. We caught up with Double Fine’s COO, Matt Hansen about re-mastering projects, working with the Vita and the future.
Hi Matt, thanks for taking the time to talk to us! Can you tell us a little bit about Double Fine?
Double Fine is an independent studio based in San Francisco, set up by industry veteran Tim Schafer, and we just celebrated our 15th anniversary. In those 15 years Double Fine has released 17 games including Psychonauts, Brutal Legend, Costume Quest, Stacking, Grim Fandango Remastered and Broken Age.
We are talking today about Day of the Tentacle Remastered, which originally released back in 1993. For those that either aren’t old enough to know (or so old they forgot!) what is the game about?
Day of the Tentacle is a mind-bending, time traveling, cartoon puzzle adventure game in which three unlikely friends work together to prevent an evil mutated purple tentacle from taking over the world! Not sure how anyone could forget that!
What differences will there be between the original and the new version?
On paper the main differences are all new hand-painted high resolution graphics, restored and remastered voices and music, a new interface, trophies, etc. But I think a really key difference lies in the new platforms we’ll be putting it on. When DOTT was released in the 90s it was played exclusively at your desk on your computer. Now it’s on PS4 people will be able to enjoy a big screen version of the game from the comfort of the couch, along with their friends and family. With the Vita they can get up close and personal with it or play it on the go. Adventure games lend themselves well to both of those situations!
What gameplay will gamers experience through Day of the Tentacle Remastered?
Day of the Tentacle is a comedy adventure puzzle game, it’s an interactive story with things to pick up, puzzles to solve and a host of really well written silly characters. What makes DOTT special is that it takes place in the same Mansion but each of the three main characters are 200 years apart – past, present and future! They can send some objects to one another, but to solve some puzzles, players may need to change something in the past to affect the future!
Maniac Mansion was Day of the Tentacle’s predecessor, and is available in the game. Did you think about tying game trophies to the game within the game?
Actually, there is at least one trophy associated with Maniac Mansion 😉
This is Double’s Fine’s third Vita remaster, with Grim Fandango and Broken Age coming before. What was the motivation for bringing Vita versions of these games?
We think the Vita is a really good companion to it’s big sister the PS4, and lends itself well to adventure games. The touch screen works well for pointing and clicking, and adventure games are a good way to spend your commute!
Episodic games have become quite popular, with Telltale Game’s collections the most obvious examples. Is this something that you may consider in the future for new projects?
It’s not something that we’re considering at the moment, as it’s not our speciality. There may come a time when we have a great idea for a game that would work best episodically, and maybe we’ll go for it, but for now it’s not on the cards.
How difficult is it to bring these games to the Vita? What performance compromises – if any – do you have to make to get them running on the handheld?
Luckily Broken Age and Day of the Tentacle are both 2D and didn’t strain the hardware too much – the Vita is a great machine! Grim Fandango was a little trickier to get the lighting to work, but ultimately no real compromises were required!
You are bringing Full Throttle Remastered to the Vita next, and you just launched a campaign to fund an new version of Psychonauts 2. What are the chances for a Vita version of that?
With Psychonauts 2 we’re aiming to really use the full power of the current generation of consoles to make a game that will look great when it comes out in 2018. Sadly that means the likelihood of a Vita port is pretty low.
What about The Secret of Monkey Island Remastered? Does Double Fine have potential plans to revisit that series?
It’s unlikely that we’d work on those games as they were already remastered by LucasArts themselves. There are some other games we might be interested in remastering, but we’ll have to see what happens with DOTT and Full Throttle first though!
Are there any Vita titles that you are looking forward to?
I’m really looking forward to Hyper Light Drifter!
Which of the two Vita models – the OLED and the Slim – do you prefer?
I prefer the older one! It has a nicer screen! And my eyes are getting bad. I’m old.
We would like to thank Matt for his time with this interview, as well as thank James Spafford (@thespaff)for helping it happen. Day of the Tentacle Remastered is coming soon to a Vita near you and we will bring you a review soon!
This interview first appeared in our February issue of The Vita Lounge Magazine. Stay tuned to our magazine for more exclusive and magazine first content soon!