Double Fine is not rushing development. They do not use crunch so that the developers can feel good – they don’t see a reason to hurry up.
Double Fine, which has been part of Xbox Game Studios for a while, published a video for the holiday season. The nine-minute video features Tim Schafer (who you might know for his LucasArts involvement in games like Full Throttle, Grim Fandango, The Secret of Monkey Island, Day of the Tentacle… but he also worked on Brütal Legend), the head of the studio, wore a typical Christmas sweater, but it featured Double Fine’s two-headed baby on it. He explained how Psychonauts 2‘s development progresses.
Schafer happily explained that all the levels in the game are built-in, and after the holiday break ends, the developers will work on finishing and polishing them. „2020 was a dang strange time but Psychonauts 2 is doing well and will release next year,” the video’s description means, so the game will 100% be available in 2021. They’re not saying much, though, because their work ethic doesn’t include crunch. „On the first game that was one of the worst crunch modes we’ve ever done,” Schafer said. The sequel also sees everyone work from home, meaning the devs’ Zoom calls have unique backgrounds. (Schafer’s is the „all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” scene from 1980’s The Shining.)
Schafer called himself a sort of an internal game streamer, as he plays through each build of Psychonauts 2, while the other members of the team watch and provide feedback. These sessions get recorded for later analysis. One segment in a video showcases them deciding to cut a tram from a section of the stage. They will also work on the cutscenes, the end credits, the front-end menu, as well as a post-game epilogue. Unlike in the first game, you get to discover the world after the story ends.
Psychonauts 2 launches this year on Xbox Series, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, Mac, and Linux.