Schafer knew an adventure game wouldn't get funded by a publisher. Guessed the first night might scrap in $2,000 - people told him it was "crazy to ask" for $400k.
Alongside the game's development Double Fine will be participating in a documentary about game production. Schafer decided to combine the two projects.
“Fans have asked many times over the years for us to do a graphic adventure,” explained Double Fine boss Tim Schafer. “But I’ve pitched to publishers before. When I showed them games like Psychonauts and Brutal Legend, they’d say, ‘your pitch is very… creative.’"
“I knew we wouldn’t get an adventure funded. But I started to wonder how many fans there were out there. I thought, instead of me just saying ‘this is impossible’ let’s give those fans a shot at putting their money where their mouth is.”
Filmmakers 2 Player Productions also contacted Double around this time to make a documentary about video game production. “I just tied that in with the idea of using Kickstarter – I said, hey, let’s make a game and a documentary. It all exploded from there," he continued.
Tim Schafer announced to the world, via twitter, that Double Fine Adventure needed $400k in one month.
The community responded by not only giving him his $400k with 8 hours, but threw in a total of over $1 million by the end of the first day - with over 30,000 backers to the Kickstarter project. The majority of pledges were around $15 which included a copy of the game, but some splurged big time by pledging thousands.
Was he expecting such an outpour? “No! I guessed by the end of the first night we’d be at $2000. People were saying it’s crazy to ask for $400,000 on Kickstarter, but I was just working off what I knew it would actually cost to make a game. It’s shocking that games cost millions of dollars to make. But you’ve got to pay salaries. People are expensive…”
The old ways are changing...
“I have some vague ideas floating around in my head,” joked Schafer about the concept of his new Double Fine Adventure project. He's joined by adventure veteran Ron Gilbert.
"But importantly, this isn’t just making a game, but making a viable documentary about it. People often ask where ideas come from and how they turn into games, and this is a great way to show the entire process from lose ideas to a developed concept. We’re going to put it all on camera. It’ll be like The Office, with me as Ricky Gervais.”
“If you have a good story to tell, you’ll get support from backers,” stated Schafer.
“And we had a good story to tell with this one. Sometimes you ship a game and you say, ‘oh, what are we doing? No one cares!’. Then something like that happens – a huge outpouring of goodwill… and money… It was like the end of It’s a Wonderful Life.” Check out the between Tim Schafer and Hookshot Inc.
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