New Double Fine adventure game funded by fans; Psychonauts 2 talks underway

A new adventure game from Tim Schafer, Ron Gilbert, and the rest of the Double Fine Productions gang is on its way, having hit its funding goal of $400,000 only eight hours after launching a crowd-funding plan.

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A new adventure game from Tim Schafer, Ron Gilbert, and the rest of the Double Fine Productions gang is on its way, having hit its funding goal of $400,000 only eight hours after launching a crowd-funding plan. What's more, Double Fine is now having "a lovely chat" with Minecraft creator Markus 'Notch' Persson about his offer to fund a Psychonauts sequel.

"If I were to go to a publisher right now and pitch an adventure game, they'd laugh in my face," Schafer said in a video for the KickStarter project. So Double Fine turned to its fans, seeking $300,000 to fund a new adventure game and $100,000 for video game documentary team 2 Player Productions to record its progress.

The project launched at 6pm Pacific on Wednesday, and reached the $400,000 mark a touch over eight hours later. Clearly, this is something special. The pledges continue to pour in, but are not going to waste, as extra money will go back into the project. "This could result in anything from increased VO and music budgets to additional release platforms for the game," Double Fine said.

Double Fine has some series adventure game muscle. Schafer himself lead the seminal LucasArts games Full Throttle and Grim Fandango, and had a big hand in Day of the Tentacle and the early Monkey Island games. Ron Gilbert, the creator of Monkey Island and co-creator of Maniac Mansion, is also on the team.

Pledging $15 will get you Double Fine's adventure game on Steam when it's finished, plus beta access through Steam and access to the video series. Rewards increase as you pledge more, with some ludicrous goodies if you slap down thousands of dollars, including being in the game or even scoring Tim Schafer's last four shrink-wrapped triangle box copies of Day of the Tentacle.

"Here's my promise to you," Schafer joked, "either the game will be great or it'll be a spectacular failure, caught on camera for everyone to see. Either way, you win. What could possibly go wrong?"

Double Fine's plan was to release the game in October, but given how much extra money it's certain to get, finding ways to spend that may take time.

As for Minecraft creator Markus Persson's Psychonauts offer, which seemingly began as a bit of banter, Schafer has said, "If you're wondering about Notch's generous offer to help Psychonauts 2 happen, all I can say is that we are having a lovely chat about it!"

He added, "These things take time to figure out--if they can be figured out--so please don't expect any Psychonauts 2 announcements any time soon."

Of course, given how well crowd-funding is working for the adventure game, Double Fine can always consider that too. The model's becoming increasingly popular with independent makers-of-things to bring their dreams into reality, but Double Fine is the first video game developer to use it for such a large and high-profile project. Exciting times in the industry.

Here's the Double Fine Adventure project's Kickstarter video:

From The Chatty

  • reply
    February 9, 2012 6:10 AM

    Alice O'Connor posted a new article, New Double Fine adventure game funded by fans; Psychonauts 2 talks underway.

    A new adventure game from Tim Schafer, Ron Gilbert, and the rest of the Double Fine Productions gang is on its way, having hit its funding goal of $400,000 only eight hours after launching a crowd-funding plan.

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      February 9, 2012 6:15 AM

      Holy jesus. They're at $550,000 already, that is nuts.

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      February 9, 2012 6:18 AM

      Say what you will about notch and his development habits, but this is pretty damned awesome IMO.

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        February 9, 2012 6:24 AM

        NUCK FOTCH.

        Minecraft is like Fallout - an excellent game worthy of praise but the hardcore fans are to be feared.

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          February 9, 2012 7:08 AM

          silly brain! At first I read FUCK NOTCH, then I realized you said 'nuck fotch' hahah what a silly I am *slaps knee*

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          February 9, 2012 2:11 PM

          What are hardcore fallout fans like?

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      February 9, 2012 7:00 AM

      Double Fine needs more money for awesome shit. Glad the fans are giving it.

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      February 9, 2012 7:14 AM

      I think the best part about this whole thing is that it's basically a big "FUCK YOU" to publishers. I hope more high profile projects go this route.

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        February 9, 2012 7:16 AM

        With that tiny a budget it's not going to be very big, probably Costume Quest sized at most.

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          February 9, 2012 7:20 AM

          I am pretty sure Schafer said this would be a "small team" game like CQ and Stacking. 6-12 people at most.

          As an adventure game, it is not likely the engine would need work, but instead writing and animation. (There's no reason they couldn't license what TTG has already for example).

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            February 9, 2012 7:24 AM

            Yup, it will be a fun little $10-$15 dollar distraction I'm sure.

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            February 9, 2012 9:31 AM

            I'm hoping they use something like AGS (also used to make Gemini Rue). No 3D please.

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            February 9, 2012 5:22 PM

            6 people including well paid engineers x 1 year = well over a million bucks.

            It'll be a small game for sure. It doesn't take a lot of man power to blow a million bucks.

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          February 9, 2012 10:32 AM

          That really.. really depends on what they'll do with the money. Considering that they'll be in full control of the project, not having to respond to a publisher, etc. They could end up with plenty of cash meant for developing the game and not other useless distractions.

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            February 9, 2012 10:48 AM

            They're planning on releasing it this year too at what appears to be $15, I really don't think it'll be a large game.

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        February 9, 2012 7:18 AM

        That's the downside. High profile companies and projects don't need this as much as small/indie companies.

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          February 9, 2012 8:35 AM

          No way, I think high profile companies need it MORE than indies, as indies kind of embody this mentality by themselves. It's when the established companies start shirking publishers in favor of crowd-sourcing that things will start to shake up.

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            February 9, 2012 8:50 AM

            Most "large" studios are either already owned by a big publisher or are self-sufficient. Mid-sized studios should really be crowd-sourcing their funding more, especially once they've gotten a hit or two.

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              February 9, 2012 9:01 AM

              This sort of thing only works if your studio has reached 'beloved' status and has in it's employ several high profile and recognizable personalities. Other studios would be hard pressed to get the same results that Double Fine has gotten.

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              February 9, 2012 2:00 PM

              I thought that id Software was the last major independent studio before they went to Bethesda.

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                February 9, 2012 2:01 PM

                Well you've got Valve, but they kind of became a publisher.

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                  February 9, 2012 2:08 PM

                  Yeah, I don't count Valve because they are a publisher now.

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            February 9, 2012 9:21 AM

            You have obviously never worked at a cash starved indie. I have and that money part is not fun.

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              February 9, 2012 9:47 AM

              I'm not a game dev, so I talk out of my ass a lot on this thing called the internet. Seems it's all just the classic integrity vs. moneyhats argument to me, but I don't know shit.

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          February 9, 2012 9:50 AM

          Also, it's just going to take a couple asshats to try and jump on this bandwagon, fuck it up and make people gun shy about supporting this model in the future.

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        February 9, 2012 2:47 PM

        You don't know how much games cost to make, do you.

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      February 9, 2012 7:26 AM

      I think it's awesome they're able to bypass publishers. That's what they get for being so scared of risks or of any new IPs even with smaller budgets.

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      February 9, 2012 7:30 AM

      They're hiring too, btw http://www.doublefine.com/jobs/

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      February 9, 2012 9:20 AM

      the only downside it seems, is that people are buying the game right now in droves, so they are getting their budget and their profit at the same time..so the same people who are funding the game won't be buying the game when it is release because they already bought the game.

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        February 9, 2012 9:29 AM

        Well, looking at it so far that is only like 15k people for the first two tiers. Most of the money seems to be the 1$ type pledges.
        If they price the game at 15$ and sell 100k copies its still all good.

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        February 9, 2012 9:45 AM

        These are just the people who heard about the game through facebook/twitter and forums with only a day of "marketing". They can keep marketing the game with more traditional avenues as time goes on, and the documentary will really help bring consumers awareness too.

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        February 9, 2012 1:35 PM

        I wonder if the 15$ pledges will get the inevitable iPd port- if it's good that thing could sell Gojirrions.

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        February 9, 2012 2:04 PM

        Hardly a downside if they're already in the black when the game is done.

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      February 9, 2012 1:47 PM

      Holy shit, they're at 900,000. They'll hit a million by the end of the day.

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        February 9, 2012 1:57 PM

        I'd love to hit 2.5x requested budget on anything in 2 days I would be ecstatic.

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      February 9, 2012 2:08 PM

      I'm really happy this is working out so well for them. I'd happily donate to more project like this.

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      February 9, 2012 2:13 PM

      So Notch won't be involved with the funding? They just decided to crowd source the cash after Notch offered to pay?

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        February 9, 2012 2:14 PM

        Notch paid $150,000 into the kick starter.

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          February 9, 2012 2:51 PM

          I know he wears silly hats and is not the greatest developer out there, but I have nothing but respect for the guy.

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        February 9, 2012 2:18 PM

        This has nothing to do with Psychonauts and Notch put money into this already.

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        February 9, 2012 2:29 PM

        Same company (Double Fine), different game.

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      February 9, 2012 2:57 PM

      ohh tim you so crazy https://twitter.com/timoflegend/status/167742806696271873

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      February 9, 2012 3:01 PM

      They're about to break the 1 million dollar barrier.

      Current total: $962,233

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        February 9, 2012 3:04 PM

        It's mind blowing. They're already the highest amount pledged project on Kickstarter ever. It hasn't even been a full day yet!

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          February 9, 2012 3:10 PM

          I thought we were on day 2.

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          February 9, 2012 3:12 PM

          I bet publishers are really confused why people are throwing so much money at this and will completely misinterpret it and come up with something shitty in the process.

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            February 9, 2012 3:20 PM

            those highfalutin publishers with their fancy suits and their $10 words have no idea what makes tim and ron so special to us true gamers.

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            February 9, 2012 6:45 PM

            These pirate Scumm (tm) just throwing money at everything these days.

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          February 9, 2012 3:14 PM

          Elevation Dock is higher, but they're going to beat them in the next 24 hours too.

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            February 9, 2012 3:16 PM

            They'll beat Elevation Dock before they even reach 24 hours.

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        February 9, 2012 3:49 PM

        Haha, I think kickstarter can't exactly handle the awesomeness that is double fine :)
        I think they broke the 1 million barrier. Can't know for sure since their servers are being hammered.

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      February 9, 2012 3:23 PM

      Yeah I plugged thirty bux on behalf of my wife and myself.

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      February 9, 2012 3:32 PM

      THIS IS SO EXCITING :D

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        February 9, 2012 3:45 PM

        it passed 1 million dollars, this is amazing

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      February 9, 2012 3:45 PM

      $1 MILLION HIT! Wow that is insane! Haha, now the site won't even load.

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      February 9, 2012 3:46 PM

      Think how fast a kickstarter for Homeworld 3 would be funded...

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        February 9, 2012 5:25 PM

        They're too busy making Warhammer games to revisit Homeworld. :(

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        February 9, 2012 6:36 PM

        $1 million is nowhere near the budget you'd want for a Homeworld 3

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      February 9, 2012 3:50 PM

      over a million. such a good day to be a gamer.

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      February 9, 2012 4:00 PM

      I'd rather have a Grim Fandango control style than point and click. People hated GF controls, but they were brilliant. It took all of the click scanning out because manny would look at objects he could interact with. Totally took that stupid aspect right out of the game. It also made it playable on a controller, even though that wasn't really used.

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        February 9, 2012 4:03 PM

        I didn't like it at first because of how new it was, but once I got into the game I loved it.

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        February 9, 2012 5:15 PM

        GF controls were awful because there character centric. If you could push up and he walked up relative to the screen it would have been okay, but since up just meant walk forward, in whatever weird angle he was facing, it made it infuriating.

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          February 9, 2012 5:41 PM

          i cant see why this makes sense, but i have a long history in remote control gadgets

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            February 9, 2012 6:20 PM

            I don't know. I tried playing that game again not that long ago because it's so awesome, and even then it bothered the shit out of me.

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          February 9, 2012 6:15 PM

          That was an option you could select

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        February 9, 2012 6:13 PM

        I liked GFs controls as well.

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      February 9, 2012 5:44 PM

      holy shit! awesome, internet!

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      February 9, 2012 6:19 PM

      While they might not need the money I really need that signed poster, take my $250. I'm really excited to watch that doco too.

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      February 9, 2012 11:55 PM

      Thank you, Internet.