When big video game publishers balked at funding a new point-and-click adventure game from Tim Schafer’s Double Fine Productions, Schafer took his proposal to the fans via Kickstarter. Less than 24 hours later, fans have pledged double the game’s required budget.
Day of the Tentacle. Full Throttle. Grim Fandango. Psychonauts. Brutal Legend. Stacking. Once Upon a Monster.
These are the games of Tim Schafer. His game studio, Double Fine, wants to make an old-school adventure game — the kind we never get anymore. With Schafer at the helm, you’d think it would seem like a sure bet to a publisher. This is the man who produced some of the finest adventure games ever played.
But everyone Schafer approached to publish and fun his new (retro) concept said no. Hard to believe, but there it is. So for the first time ever, a major game studio has turned to crowd-funding to get its game made. Yesterday, Double Fine put up a proposal on KickStarter, asking for pledges from fans for at least $400,000 to finance the game. Less than 24 hours later, KickStarter pledges have more than doubled the game’s requested budget.
I’m blown away by this. I mean, how cool must it be for a game developer to be working on a game purely for the fans who so badly want it. Imagine the creative freedom Double Fine now has for this game! I am so in.
This could be something very special.
Not much is known about the game aside from its genre. No artwork has been released, or details made known about it, except that the developer expects it to be available for PC in October, via Steam. In another cool twist, Double Fine is teaming documentary production house 2 Player Productions to create an ongoing series of behind-the-scenes documentaries that chronicle the game’s creation from beginning to end. With this documentary series, Schafer promises “an honest, in-depth insight into a modern art form that will both entertain and educate gamers and non-gamers alike.”
On the KickStarter page, Schafer said that if the desired budget was exceeded, they would funnel the additional funds back into the game and the documentary for things like professional voice-over work, a high quality soundtrack, and — to the delight of this fan — more platforms for the game. Mac and iOS versions are Double Fine’s top priorities after the standard PC game, but at the rate funds are pouring in, it’s conceivable that additional versions could be made for the likes of Xbox Live Arcade, PSN, Android, and more.
Pledges start at $15, which will get you a copy of the PC game, beta access, access to the documentary series, and access to a private discussion community.
Since this is already such a huge success, maybe more big-name game developers will take notice and follow suit. I say, bring on the creative renaissance in gaming!