tim schafer Archive


Retro City Rampage dev labels XBLA ‘a learning experience’

Retro City Rampage XBLA

Brian Provinciano, the developer of Retro City Rampage, made an interesting revelation on Twitter recently: the PlayStation Vita version of his game sold more copies than its XBLA and PSN counterparts.

In surprisingly singing the praises of the struggling handheld as a viable platform for indie developers, he also took the opportunity to fire a few passive-aggressive potshots at XBLA.

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Japanese developer cites Microsoft currency policy as barrier to XBLA development


Much has been made over the last seven years about the high cost of publishing, promoting and patching on Microsoft’s Xbox LIVE Arcade platform. Last week, G.Rev president Hiroyuki Maruyama (Strania: The Stellar Machine, Under Defeat HD) shared his own thoughts on the platform.



“A strong yen and a weak dollar is very damaging to us because XBLA and DLC are ‘export products.’ That’s why Japanese developers avoid making games for Xbox 360. When we released Strania on XBLA, the rate was 80 yen per dollar. (wry smile) If Japanese people buy our game in MSP, we receive in dollars!”

The dollar has strengthened since then, but the yen still has it beat, with the exchange rate currently sitting at 88.62 yen per dollar. Put in Xbox LIVE terms, 1600MSP ($19.99 US) retails at a rate of ¥2,240 ($24.94 when converted). When the percentage of the sales owed to content creators on a 1600 msp game is disbursed, Microsoft calculates based on $19.99 per copy (the US cost of the points), regardless of how much a consumer paid for the 1600MSP that enabled the purchase.

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More chances to break a leg as Happy Action Theater gets a second act

Double Fine’s Tim Schafer recently met with SFWeekly and revealed news of a sequel to the recent XBLA hit Double Fine Happy Action Theater. The Kinect only title, which is more of an “experience” than a traditional game, consists of 18 minigames that involve players watching themselves on screen with various elements such as lava, snow or water. It struck a chord with families and at the odd drunken house party, and according to SFWeekly, it looks like the sequel is set to be just as crazy:

“In a recent meeting, designers spent two hours brainstorming different outlandish sequences for the game, such as one where a fox plays bongo drums on a series of eggs, out of which hatches a miniature version of the player.”

Mind. Blown. Well, if your brain hasn’t yet melted or wandered off to some other celestial plane of existence, then you should definitely check out our review for game here. Double Fine Happy Action Theater was released February this year for 800 MSP. Many thanks to our sister site Xbox Kinect Fans for the tip.

Source: SFWeekly via Xbox Kinect Fans


Tim Schafer hints at more new Iron Brigade content

The folks over at FrontTowardsGamer.Com recently spoke with Tim Schafer of Double Fine Productions and published the conversation as part of their podcast. In the interview around the 1 hour and 18 minute mark, Tim mentions that more Iron Brigade content is on the way and that listeners should “stay tuned”. What could this new content be? Could it be something as major as new campaign content, or new survival mode maps? Could it possibly even be snazzy new salutes? We’re not sure what Tim and the gang are working on, but we’re excited that more Iron Brigade may be on the way.

Originally released under the name Trenched last summer, a lawsuit forced Microsoft and Double Fine to change the name of their action packed, mech centric, tower defense title to Iron Brigade. Since the name change, an expansion, Rise of the Martian Bear was released, adding several more hours of single-player campaign content as well as an all new survival mode. If you haven’t yet added the game to your collection, maybe you should take note that Iron Brigade was the recipient of our very own Game of the Year award in 2011.

Source: Front Towards Gamer


XBLA Fans Monthly Roundup (February 2012)

We totally missed January, but the Monthly Recap is back for February! Yaaay. There’s an immense amount of news this month because for some reason February is XBLA month. There’s roughly a million game announcements and DLC as well. I suggest hitting CTRL + F and searching for the copious news about your favorite game. Or games. Or just read all the news, because that’s a good idea.

Beyond the “things that happened”, there’s also several Friday Top Fives and Most Wanted’s this month as we continue to beef up our feature repertoire. Our chief feature, A Year In Review (2011) is definitely worth checking out for some insight into the fluctuations in XBLA cost versus review scores. Lastly, amongst the five podcasts is our Music Special which showcases some of the best XBLA soundtrack tunes since its inception.

Without further ado, welcome to February all over again! Read the rest of this entry »


Double Fine’s new project funded exclusively through Kickstarter

Yesterday, the lovely folks at Double Fine Productions started a Kickstarter to fund a new point-and-click adventure game to be released this year. They’re looking for $400,000 but in just over 6 hours, they made their goal which is crazy and shows you how much love we have for this studio. No other platforms have been announced other than Steam currently but Tim said that if they go over their goal, they’ll put it on more platforms so perhaps XBLA? No one knows for certain but the more you donate, the more of the game you’ll see so get donating!


Iron Brigade: Rise of the Martian Bear review (XBLA DLC)

Iron Brigade: Rise of the Martian Bear was developed by Double Fine Productions and published by Microsoft. It was released February 1, 2012 for 400 MSP. A copy was provided for review purposes.

Iron Brigade is a game with a rich history. That history involves a plethora of fun, customization, shots fired, explosions, lawsuits, name changes, and now, a chapter about bears in outer space. Rise of the Martian Bear is the first downloadable content to be released for Iron Brigade, Double Fine Productions’ take on tower defense originally released in June of last year. The add-on expands upon Iron Brigade in almost every way imaginable, giving fans more of what they loved, and plenty of new toys to boot. By now you’ve certainly heard that two-handed salutes have made their way into the game, but let’s dive into the rest of what awaits us on Mars.

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Haunt review (XBLA)

Haunt was developed by developed by NanaOn-Sha and Zoë Mode and was published by Microsoft Studios. It was released January 18, 2012 for 800 MSP. A copy of the game was provided for review purposes.

Haunt is the latest Kinect enabled game to hit XBLA, and with PaRappa the Rapper creator Masaya Matsuura at the reins we know we’re in for something a bit different. You play as a “kid” who wakes up in an old mansion when a mysterious painting calls you over. It turns out to be the mansion’s owner, Benjamin Muldoon who has been trapped there by ghosts. He asks you to explore the haunted mansion and collect “Phantaflaks” (regular orange soda just won’t cut it) that can be used to free him once and for all.

If you’re expecting something along the lines of Silent Hill then you’re going to be disappointed. The scares in Haunt are more on the campy Ghostbusters level. Playing like a cross between an old school point-and-click game and a Haunted House amusement ride, there’s about as much frights as there is rapping but that doesn’t stop us being thoroughly entertained.

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Visit Mars in this 45 minute look at Iron Brigade’s Rise of the Martian Bear DLC

The folks over at Giant Bomb were lucky enough to sit down with Brad Muir of Double Fine Productions and get their hands on the new Iron Brigade DLC, Rise of the Martian Bear. Lucky for us, they were kind enough to record their time with the game, and share it with the world. While there’s a plethora of sights to behold in the footage (which can be viewed above), expect to see Mars, several new enemy types, jaw dropping new weapons , new outfits (including Eddie Riggs of Brutal Legend fame) as well as dual-wielding salutes! Now you can annoy your friends on the deck of the U.S.S. McKinley with both hands!

While Double Fine and Microsoft officially remain mum on a release date and pricing for Rise of the Martian Bear, rumor has it that development on the DLC has been completed. We’re hoping that means it’s been submitted to Microsoft for certification and will be smashing its way onto the Xbox Live Marketplace very soon. On the subject of pricing however, Muir infers that Double Fine is aiming for a 400 Microsoft Point price tag which should definitely excite fans. Don your space suit and stay tuned for more coverage of Rise of the Martian Bear right here at XBLAFans.

Source: Giant Bomb


Double Fine’s Happy Action Theater launches February 1

No more conjecture, Double Fine’s zany Kinect title Happy Action Theater hits Xbox Live Arcade February 1. Tim Schafer took to Twitter to broadcast the news earlier today:

“DFHAT has an official release date! Better achieve your life’s goals asap, because come 2/1 your priorities will change.”

Thanks to our swanky looking sister site Xbox Kinect Fans for the tip. Just who the devil are Xbox Kinect Fans? Click the link for the answers to all your questions, (Kinect questions anyway).

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