Double Fine Productions has recently released the first episode of 2 Player Productions’ official 2014 Amnesia Fortnight Game Jam documentary to the public. The film follows Double Fine Productions staff in their video game studio as they conduct their annual Game Jam coined Amnesia Fortnight.
The company was launched in 2000 by the former LucasArts developer Tim Schafer. He joined forces with programmers David Dixon and Jonathan Menzies to create their first successful game called Psychonauts. Since its initial launch, the development studio has expanded with multiple games and even a web comic series under its belt.
Amnesia Fortnight, Anyone?
It wasn’t until 2008 when the studio ran into publishing issues with their Brutal Legend game that Amnesia Fortnight was born. To keep the staff’s morale up while legalities were worked out, Schafer decided to hold an in-studio game jam for two weeks. Each app developer had to forget all their previous pending work and participate in the competition. During the event staff members divided into four small teams and switched their focus to working on new game prototypes. The groups all voted on which ideas they liked the best and started developing the short but complete versions of each agreed upon title. Many of the games, later became full titles picked up by major publishing houses. The ultimate financial success that resulted from the game jam prompted Schafer to hold the event each year. Charities are sometimes associated with the competition allowing fans to view and vote on their favorite game pitches for $1 donation that will benefit the sponsored charity.
This year’s 2014 Amnesia Fortnight was filmed as a documentary and posted as a series available on their site and via YouTube. The first episode which was released, features an inside look at Double Fine Production’s studio and how Tim Schafer and his team begin their notorious game jams. For any app developer or designer interested in learning about the game development process, this documentary is a must-see.
In the first episode that’s available now, Tim dishes some top industry secrets for pitching your game idea. “You have to know what the pillars of your game are and be able to pitch it one sentence,” says Schafer. The series is definitely worth checking out.
The actual game prototypes can be purchased from the Humble Bundle Store at pay-what-you-want rates and for a donation of $35 buyers receive all of the games plus a blu-ray edition of the 2014 Amnesia Fortnight documentary.