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Double Fine launching indie-backed Hack 'n' Slash in 2014

The studio's next game is a quirky action puzzler borne from the Amnesia Fortnight and funded -- along with Spacebase DF-9 -- by a coterie of notable indies.
Did you know that Spacebase DF-9 was part one of a two-game publishing deal between Double Fine and a coterie of notable indies? The other shoe dropped today as Double Fine announced that Hack 'n' Slash, a puzzle action game borne from a game jam, will be released on Steam in the first half of 2014. The game stars a computer expert -- who also happens to be an elf -- tasked with hacking her way through an old-school action/adventure game. Project lead Brandon Dillon pitched the idea this year during Double Fine's annual two-week Amnesia Fortnight game jam; it went on to become the most popular pitch when the studio opened up the pitch voting process to the public. "Instead of swords, arrows and bombs, you discover exploits, cheats and cracks," said Dillon in his initial pitch video, which you can watch below. "The puzzle dungeons are designed to teach you progressively more sophisticated hacking, cheating and reverse-engineering tools. And they won't be toys -- they'll actually be used to hack the running game."

The game is being funded with money raised by Indie Fund, Humble Bundle, and an assortment of individual studios and developers. "We're psyched to be helping with Hack 'n' Slash because Amnesia Fortnight projects are about empowering individual creators,” Indie Fund partner Ron Carmel said in a press release. That's not the only reason for investors to get excited -- Spacebase DF-9 launched on Steam Early Access in October and handily recouped its $400,000 development budget in just two weeks. Double Fine hasn't confirmed whether or not Hack 'n' Slash will also be sold via Early Access -- brand manager Greg Rice tells Gamasutra via email that "We're still pretty early and are just focusing on making an awesome game" -- but it seems like a good fit. It's worth noting that clicking the image emblazoned on the Hack 'n' Slash website will download a 12.4 MB image that, when unzipped, contains cryptic clues about the world within the game. The community is already hard at work piecing it all together.

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