Something Wicked Studios

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1/3/2016 - News, this way comes!

Kind of a slow news week to close out 2015. It’s the Holidays, people are hanging out with their family’s and playing games instead of making them for a change. At any rate, these are the top stories from last week.

December 29 - The crowd-funding campaign for the sequel to cult classic Psychonauts,  the fittingly named  Psyconauts 2, passed $3 million on a goal of 3.3million. The Campaign was announced earlier in December at Sony’s Playstation experience and is the first high profile project to be funded via the Fig crowdfunding platform.

As a funding platform Fig differentiates itself by using a two-tiered system for contributors: Rewards and Investments. Backers at the Rewards level pledge relatively small amount to the project and receive rewards similar to the ones offered by competitive crowdfunding platforms, like Kickstarter. The Investment level is where Fig diverges from the existing crowdfunding model. Investors must be registered by Fig, place larger donations in escrow for the project and ultimately receive a portion of the project’s profits.

The Fig campaign for Psyconauts 2 has ten days remaining to meet its goal and can be found here.

December 22 - Potentially bad news for Mass Effect fans. Chris Wynn, Senior Development director for Mass Effect: Andromeda has left Bioware. Wynn broke the news via Twitter and spoke in glowing terms about the dev team working on Andromeda. According to Wynn’s LinkedIn page he began work at Bioware in 2013 so this marks the end of a nearly three year involvement with the studio.

The implications for the future of the new Mass Effect game are unclear given the nature of triple A game development cycles. A Development Director like Wynn would typically be most active in the early stages of the project working with Designers, Writers and Concept Artists. By most accounts, Mass Effect: Andromeda should be past the stage where Wynn would have much to do on the project. The game just released a second trailer last month so this may not be a catastrophic loss to the project. Still, it’s always nerve wracking to hear senior staff is leaving a much beloved franchise. Best of luck to Chris Wynn and let’s hope his work was done on the game.

December 31 -  In an official blog post, developers of the Oculus rift announced the delay of the controllers for their VR headset to the second half of 2016. The post also states that the Facebook backed Headset will still launch in the first half of 2016 without the controllers. Reasons for the delay cited were recent changes to the design of the devices themselves and the need to provide dev kit models to game makers. Looks like early adopters will be playing their Oculus game with a 360 gamepad for a couple months.

That about does it for this week. Happy New Year Everybody!