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Former design director at 2K Marin, Zak McClendon, is now the lead designer on Double Fine Studios' crowd-funded Psychonauts 2. McClendon previously headed up development on games like BioShock 2 and The Bureau: XCOM Declassified.
Game Informer noticed a series of tweets from McClendon on Twitter where he reveals that he's now on board for working on Psychonauts 2.
Previous to joining Double Fine, McClendon worked as an independent game consultant in the San Francisco bay area. Ultimately he provided design and data management help along with feedback and communication on the design and creative process for games.
Previous to spending a year as an independent consultant, McClendon worked as a design overseer on the research and development on the Harmonix music systems at Harmonix for Rock Band 4. This was between 2013 and 2014. Before that McClendon was the design director for 2K Marin, the branch off from the main 2K Games arm that worked on BioShock 2 and The Bureau: XCOM Declassified.
McClendon had joined 2K Marin just a short while after they had already completed their portion of working on the first BioShock.
Before his time at 2K Games, he put in time at Crystal Dynamics over the course of four years for an unreleased project.
McClendon now has an opportunity to change things around and get his feet wet with the indie scene and working on Double Fine's Psychonauts 2. The game is the long awaited sequel of the very expensive Psychonauts, which didn't quite sell that well back when it first came out for the OG Xbox.
The game saw players diving into the wacky minds of various characters to basically play psychological crime fighters, defeating traumatizing thoughts and hidden phobias. The concept for the game was way off the hook given how visually distinct it was with bringing to life some strange imagery attached to the characters' mental faculties.
With upgraded tech and better tools, Psychonauts 2 could be another visually trippy platforming game to satiate the desire of long-time fans to play through more content of the cult-classic brand.
Double Fine hasn't had the easiest go of getting the game funded, though. They received quite a bit of criticism over the past couple of years for financial mismanagement as well as not entirely delivering projects on time or in the state that many expected from the studio. They also came under fire for being on the advisory board of the crowd-funding platform that they used to fund Psychonauts 2, called Fig.
While the game managed to accrue $3.3 million in crowd-funding, with additional investments from angel investors, sites like Vulcan Post explain how the crowd-funding process isn't always roses and lollipops and that Double Fine still has a long road ahead of them when it comes to earning back trust in delivering projects on time and in a completed state.
With Zak McClendon on board, we'll see if he can keep the development ship righted and on target when it comes to getting Psychonauts 2 up and out in a timely fashion.