Tim Schafer is a funny guy. He makes funny games like Grim Fandango and Psychonauts. And the idea for his newest game comes from an unlikely place.
During the production hell that was the metal-inspired Brutal Legend, Schafer took a cue from Hong Kong director Wong Kar-Wai on how to break up post-production monotony. In the early 1990s, Wong Kar-Wai was editing the martial arts epic Ashes of Time. During a break from cutting Ashes of Time, Wong knocked out Chungking Express in a couple of weeks. The film was much smaller in scale and helped the director find his footing when he returned to Ashes of Time.
Likewise, Schafer decides that his team needed a break, and put his developers to work, coming up with small scale games as an exercise, reports The Guardian. But after Brutal Legend failed to come to fruition, Schafer and his staff went back through the ideas they came up with, mining for gaming gold. The first of those was Halloween-theme role-playing game Costume Quest, released last fall. The second is the Russian-doll-inspired Stacking.