Tim Schafer expected $2000 on first day of Kickstarter funding

Double Fine head Tim Schafer talks about their surprisingly successful Kickstarter project, and how the developer is still ultimately responsible for the content.


Double Fine's experiment with a fan-funded adventure game has been an unqualified success, currently sitting at almost $1.7 million raised. With four times the original funding amount set already and almost a month still to go, Tim Schafer has talked about how to balance the fan expectations with its own responsibility as the developer.

"We can't say, 'we made a crummy game, but the fans made us do it.' We're going to make sure they get a game they like - and that doesn't always mean doing something they've asked you to do."

He compares it to fans requesting a shotgun buff in a shooter, and how it then becomes the studio's responsibility to weigh that request and understand the reasons behind it. Backers have been promised a PC beta, so Double Fine is sure to get plenty of feedback from those who have put their money towards making the project.

Schafer says he expected maybe $2000 by the first night. "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," Schafer told Hookshot Inc. He says he knew an adventure game is a hard sell for publishers, but he wanted to "give those fans a shot at putting their money where their mouth is."

He says that reluctance to publish niche games like adventure titles is part of the business. "I'm not trying to vilify them," he said. "Publishers do their business in a way that works for them. They're risking millions of dollars so they've got to mitigate that risk - and sometimes that means removing risky ideas from games. The thing is, Double Fine is all about coming up with new, unproven and really creative ideas. It's a constant battle for us to get those ideas to go through the system, that long spanking machine of people who have to sign off on you. They're not evil, they're just trying to protect themselves."

So far the game is only announced for PC, though Double Fine has mentioned more platforms as a result of the high funding.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    February 13, 2012 10:30 AM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Tim Schafer expected $2000 on first day of Kickstarter funding.

    Double Fine head Tim Schafer talks about their surprisingly successful Kickstarter project, and how the developer is still ultimately responsible for the content.

    • reply
      February 13, 2012 11:02 AM

      Did notch turn this into a sensation or is there really this much support that has jumped out of the shadows of their own accord? Seems like everything he twitters goes wild. Helps to have that kind of backing, especially before he (notch) becomes yesterdays news.

      • reply
        February 13, 2012 11:08 AM

        I didn't hear of this through Notch or even Reddit - I jumped on and plopped $250 down because I love Doublefine and the classic adventure titles that came under the direction of Tim Schafer or Ron Gilbert.

        However, this did get a lot of publicity from Notch and through Reddit - though I'd like to think that people exposed through either medium contributed because of reasons similar to mine and less so 'because-it's-cool.' I mean - Monkey Island? Day of the Tentacle?

        Anyone who doesn't want a shrine to either of those in their home has either:

        A) Not played either - in which case they should be required by law.
        B) Did play either and did not enjoy them - in which case they should be subject to chemical castration.

      • reply
        February 13, 2012 12:19 PM

        Did Notch tweet about the adventure game or just psychonauts?

      • reply
        February 13, 2012 2:24 PM

        The Notch thing to fund Psychonauts 2, and the Kickstarter are two separate things. Schafer said in the Giant Bomb article he wanted to start the KS so that he could talk about it at GDC in a few weeks. It just so happens that following the release of Happy Action Theater, Schafer was asked about the sequel to Pyschonauts, and that got to Notch where he suggested he would fund the project.

      • reply
        February 14, 2012 12:24 AM

        I am a big fan of Tim's previous games minus Brutal Legend, the odds of his team cranking out a great game are rather good.

        Also the reward for $15 was the game and beta access... Have you looked at the cost of games lately? We have $70 console titles and $1 iPhone games. This is a reasonable price from what I have experienced with past adventure titles. Full Throttle, Grim Fandango and Psychonauts where all very long and enjoyable.

      • reply
        February 16, 2012 7:14 AM

        I found out about the whole Notch thing afterwards. I put my money down though because I love Double Fine and Tim Schafer is the man. I haven't played a good adventure game in a long, long time.

    • reply
      February 13, 2012 12:15 PM

      Would be a lot more money if it was for Psychonauts 2. Pray to the Schafer god for Psychonauts 2!

      • reply
        February 13, 2012 12:29 PM

        Not really actually. The thing is that Double Fine didn't expect this at all. So all the reward slots over $100 are filled.

      • reply
        February 14, 2012 12:51 AM

        I really liked Psychonauts and want a sequel but I don't know about that. I'm sure a lot of people like myself are only on board and pledging because this is a new adventure game from Tim Schafer and not another Psychonauts or Brutal Legend. Maybe it's an age thing but he's still synonymous with funny 90's Lucasarts adventure games with a lot of people, and those are the types of games we wish he were still designing. This is a dream come true for some of us.

      • reply
        February 14, 2012 3:44 AM

        I really doubt that. People are paying like crazy because LucasFilm adventure games are a thing of the past and were oh so glorious. Psychonauts was good, maybe great, as was Brutal Legend, but Adventure games are basially DEAD. The chance to change the timeline and resurrect a Schafer / Gilbert adventure that never was is the reason everyone is so excited.

Hello, Meet Lola