UPDATE 08/04/2017: The voting has come to a close and the winners are The Gods Must be Hungry, Darwin’s Dinner, Kiln, and I Have No Idea What I’m Doing.
Since we’ve already described the first three of these below, I’ll only summarize I Have No Idea What I’m Doing, which is a VR party game in the vein of WarioWare, wherein players are thrust into outlandish situations for a few seconds at a time and must quickly sort out what to do. While one person is in VR, their friends will shout out suggestions based on the info they’re given, similar to bomb-defusing VR game Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes.
ORIGINAL STORY 07/04/2017: Back in 2012 Psychonauts and Brütal Legend developer Double Fine did a strange thing by unloading a slew of game concepts then asked fans to vote on which ones sounded most appealing. The project was called Amnesia Fortnight, as it required everyone at the studio to take two weeks off from their usual duties, forget everything they were working on, and brainstorm something fresh. That’s how we got Hack ‘n’ Slash and Spacebase DF-9.
Double Fine repeated this process in 2014 and created a series of quirky prototypes that our Chris Donlan explored. None of these were fleshed out into full commercial affairs, though Donlan seemed quite fond of Little Pink Buddies, a prototype Double Fine developed with Adventure Time creator Pendleton Ward.
Now, after a three year break, Double Fine is throwing another Amnesia Fortnight. Hosted by Humble Bundle through 28th April, the way that this works is that you pay at least $1 towards charity (there are thousands to choose from) and this lets you vote on which of the 25 pitches you find most appealing. You can vote on as many or as few games as you’d like.
Once the votes are tallied up on 7th April, Double Fine will take the four most favoured pitches and turn them into actual playable prototypes. When these are finished, you’ll be able to play them. Some of them may even get turned into full commercial products.
Additionally, if you donate more than $5 you’ll be able to play some previous Amnesia Fortnight prototypes. Pledge $15 or more and you’ll get even more prototypes along with a handful of completed games that stemmed from this two-week creative process.
Some examples include The Gods Must be Hungry, a game about collecting food and cooking meals to appease angry deities. Double Fine director of photography Asif Siddiky described it as “Burger Time meets Attack on Titan as a Japanese game show.”
Senior programmer Devin Kelly-Sneed’s pitched the amusing sounding Darwin’s Dinner, a survival game in which your prey evolves over time based on your actions.
Other fun pitches include Empath, a real-time first-person adventure game about stopping historical disasters by observing them from multiple perspective. Think Quantum Leap meets Rashomon.
Fresh is a 3D single-player dancing game where you must “outperform your opponents in epic fantasy hip-hop dance battles.”
Kiln is a physics-based brawler where players shape their clay pottery-based warriors then control them on the battlefield. It looks a bit like Gang Beasts, but with customisable sculpting.
The list goes on and on. You can go through all 25 of them here.