During the recent Starstream, as hosted by Gamereactor's very own Bengt Lemne, a Veterans of the Industry panel took place including Tim Schafer, who revealed his approach to sequels when asked about the strategy for Psychonauts 2.
"When it comes to doing a sequel the challenging thing in some part is thinking about what players really want and need, because part of them, they obviously liked the first game, that's why they want a sequel, so there's something about the game they really liked, so figuring out what it was they really liked," Schafer explained. "And then, they've played a lot of games in the meantime, so what have they learned and how they've changed, and what would they demand now that they wouldn't demand back then."
"Fitting both of those things into the equation, it can be challenging, but if you really get to know your first game, you get to know your players, then you can figure out what was the core of what was special to them. It might seem like a superficial thing, like a certain art style or something, but it's something deeper, like usually it's just a deeper relationship they had with that game. And now [...] you have better technology, you're smarter people, more experienced, you can make a better game, and combining that with what was the essence of what people really liked, and then telling a whole new story is important."
"I think it's important to also remind yourself - put yourself in the position of someone who's never heard of your game before, making a sequel for someone who has no idea what Psychonauts is is something that we also want to try and keep in mind because don't just assume you've won them over already because they've played the first game. We just assume they've never played any of the games and you have to win them over all over again."
Do you like this approach to sequels from Schafer?