2K Marin veteran Zak McClendon has joined up with Double Fine as the lead designer of the company’s upcoming crowdfunded platformer Psychonauts 2, Develop reports.
McClendon previously served as lead designer for 2K’s BioShock 2 and The Bureau: XCOM Declassified. After leaving 2K, McClendon signed on with developer Harmonix, where he worked on the recently released music simulation games Rock Band 4 and Amplitude.
McClendon’s hiring signifies that Psychonauts 2 will soon enter active development. The long-awaited sequel was announced last year as the latest in a string of crowdfunded releases from developer Double Fine, following up on the studio’s previous Kickstarter success stories Broken Age and Massive Chalice.
Psychonauts 2 was the first project funded by Fig, a newly launched crowdfunding platform that gives backers a stake in the profits of their supported projects. The game ultimately earned nearly $4 million in crowdsourced pledges, surpassing its initial funding goal of $3.3 million.
Along with Psychonauts 2, Double Fine is also working on Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin, a PlayStation VR-exclusive spinoff that promises to bridge the storyline gap between Psychonauts and its upcoming sequel.
Despite its devoted fan following, the original Psychonauts failed to meet sales expectations upon its initial release in 2005. Double Fine’s subsequent attempts at securing funding for a sequel fell through, including a promising offer from Minecraft creator Markus “Notch” Persson that was tabled in 2012.
Psychonauts is a 3D platformer in which players control Raz, a young member of a summer camp for children with psychic powers. Gameplay revolves around discovering new powers and using them to progress through a number of outlandish levels that reflect the inner torments of the game’s starring characters.
Double Fine targets a 2018 launch date for Psychonauts 2, and plans to have ports available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC platforms.