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$1.6 Million and Counting

Double Fine's Kickstarter has been a massive success. Patrick caught up with Tim Schafer to talk budgets, expectations and 40,000 backers.

Double Fine's Kickstarter is at $1.6 million already, and there's still nearly a month left.

Tim Schafer was pretty nervous a week ago.

Just last month, an unannounced project had been cancelled at his studio, Double Fine Productions. Rather than laying anyone off, Schafer kept them on board, hoping a risk would pay off.

That risk was pitching a project to his fans that no publisher had ever seen. Schafer wanted to make a brand-new, traditional graphic adventure--the kind of game that made people fall in love with his sense of humor, long before they ever knew who he was.

Double Fine hoped to raise $400,000 through Kickstarter, a fairly new online service that allows anyone to pitch in their own money to make an idea a reality. The response was explosive. In one night, the Kickstarter hit $400,000. In 24 hours, it passed $1 million. As of right now, it's more than $1.6 million, with still a few weeks to go.

The Kickstarter launched while Schafer was attending the annual DICE Summit in Las Vegas with Double Fine producer Greg Rice and Iron Brigade project lead Brad Muir. Schafer had a few minutes on Friday afternoon, and was able to wrestle an iPad from Rice so he could chat with me about a roller coaster couple of days.

Naturally, because there were other people in the room, he had to talk to me from his hotel bathroom. Naturally.

Giant Bomb: How are you doing? I’m sure you’ve been asked that a million times, but I have to imagine your head space is changing every five minutes, considering your Kickstarter is changing every two seconds.

Tim Schafer: Now, I’m totally used to it, and I’m actually getting kind of upset that there’s money in the world that we don’t have. [laughs] I’m starting to think about all the money that’s not gone there yet because it’s easier to count.

It’s been incredible. It’s been amazing. I just wish I was at the office because every time I call the office, and I can tell from the emails, that everyone was just bouncing off the walls at Double Fine, and they had champagne and they were refreshing the screen and they crashed Kickstarter [from] refreshing it so much, and they hit a million and they all started screaming. I Skype’d in and I was listening to them, and the speaker just got all fuzzy because they were all screaming. It was exciting, it was really exciting.

GB: Was the plan always to do it this week, when you wouldn’t be around while all of this happened?

Schafer: No, no. We were just trying to get it done as soon as we could, and we wanted to get it done so we would be able to talk about it at GDC and stuff, because the thing goes for 30 days. We hadn’t realized it would become...like, I thought it would take all 30 days. I thought, in the first night, we’d be lucky if we hit $2,000--and we hit $400,000 in the first night. I didn’t expect for it to become a phenomenon while we were at DICE, but it’s fun because I know that everybody here, whenever they’re trying to plug their new games, has to answer questions about Kickstarter now. “I want to talk about Skyrim!” “Nooooo, are you going to fund the next Skyrim on Kickstarter?” People have to deal with that annoying question.

GB: You’re just trying to make Todd Howard’s life a living hell for the rest of DICE.

Schafer: [laughs] Yep.

GB: Did you actually think it would take 30 days?

Schafer: Yeah. Everybody told us that $400,000 was too high for our Kickstarter because most of the games on Kickstarter are a lot less expensive than that, and there have been Kickstarter projects that have approached a million dollars, but no one had hit a million dollars like that. The first one to hit a million dollars hit four hours before ours hit.

GB: The iPhone dock.

Schafer: But they were on the last day of their 30 days, right? They were at the end of their Kickstarter when they hit that, and we hit it on our first day. Not to be rubbing it in or anything! [laughs]

If you haven't played Day of the Tentacle, make these recent events a reason to finally dive in.

GB: It hits a million in 24 hours, but how far out did you scope where this could go? As you were planning this, was there a dream scenario where “What if we end up with a couple million dollars?”

Schafer: Uh, planning in advance...where is the microphone on this thing? Can you hear me okay? I just realized I was talking into the speaker. Ugh.

GB: I’m just imagining your face really close to the iPad, trying to speak sweet nothings into it.

Schafer: What was I saying? Oh, yeah. Planning ahead has never been a big forte of Double Fine. People were saying $400,000 was [too big]. Originally it was going to be $200,000, which is like an iPhone game. And I was like “Well, if we could just do something on Kickstarter for the fans, it would be fun, and it would be fun to make that documentary.” To go back to the beginning, people have talked about doing Kickstarters before, you know? A lot of people have brought this up.

GB: You guys have actually talked about it?

Schafer: It’s just been a buzz thing. For the past year, a lot of people have been talking about Kickstarter. Around our office, people have brought it up. At the time, our budgets for [games like] Stacking and Costume Quest were like $2 million, and Once Upon a Monster was more than that. I was like “We can’t make $2 million on Kickstarter, that’s crazy.” And then those guys from 2 Player Productions came to interview me for the Minecraft documentary they were filming. I got to know them, and they said “Hey, maybe we can do a documentary about Double Fine next,” and then we started talking about how they could fund the documentary on Kickstarter.

We were talking about what game we could have access to because if we were using one of the games in production, the publisher might not like that, they might not like their coverage of that being so broad. We were worried about secrets and unannounced stuff and all the hassles of getting approval for everything, so we thought: “Let’s just start a new project and we could have Kickstarter fund that, too.”

It was kind of out of necessity that we came up with a game--it was kind of as a sidenote. I was still nervous about, you know, if we just said “Hey, we’re making a game, give us $2 million.” That would have been hard. But then I thought about adventure games, and now that makes it an interesting proposition for fans because they’re able to fund something that we couldn’t have done without them. We could not have gone to a publisher and said we wanted to make a graphic adventure--at all. Maybe if we were only asking for $100,000 or something.

With $1.6 million raised so far, the Kickstarter is approaching the budget for Grim Fandango.

GB: Have you tried?

Schafer: I haven’t pitched a straight classic adventure. It’s just not worth it. I know, for a fact, [they would say no].

GB: You know the answer upfront, so it’s not even worth trying.

Schafer: Exactly. Maybe that leaves me open to all the publishers saying “Hey, we would have done this.” That relationship is all just something I didn’t really want, because when you have a publishing relationship, sometimes it works out great because you have aligned goals and you want to make the same thing, like with Happy Action Theater. Microsoft wanted to show what Kinect could do, and I was interested in that, too. That worked out great.

If we’re making an adventure game, you know a publisher would have mentioned “Maybe you should add an action sequence, or put a gun in it, or, I don’t know, maybe that character looks too old, you should make her younger.” These kinds of things. I don’t have to do any of that if I just go to the fans and have their trust and be like “Hey, I want to make something that’s really creative and cool, are you into it?” And they’re into it to a greater degree than I’d even hoped.

GB: Does the project change now that you have all this money? Do you start thinking you can do something larger, maybe it's episodic? Or is that something you figure out when you’re back at the office?

Schafer: We do, but we’ve been thinking about how...at first, at the earlier, smaller budget, it was going to be a cool, cute, little fun game, but it would probably be kind of hobbled as far as adventure games go. It wouldn’t have compared Day of the Tentacle or our old games because it was going to be a fraction of the price. But we’ve now passed the Day of the Tentacle budget, even if you’ve adjusted for inflation, we’ve passed Monkey Island 1 & 2 combined, we’ve passed the Happy Action Theater budget, and we’re almost, I haven’t checked recently, but we’re almost at $1.1--almost at $1.5, which is the Full Throttle budget. If we pass the Full Throttle budget, then the next thing we’re looking at is the Stacking and Costume Quest budgets and beyond that, Grim Fandango, at $3 [million].

Oh, I just told you all my secrets! [laughs]

GB: Well, I sent a note to Greg [Rice, producer at Double Fine] earlier saying “Hey, Tim’s tweeting all those budgets, just send me a list of the budgets!”

Schafer: Well, I do want to tweet those out, but go ahead, I told you.

GB: You didn’t give me all the numbers, so you can still have your fun. But as you go along this budget path, eventually you hit a pretty big gap, right? You probably get as high as Grim Fandango or something, but the jump to a Brutal Legend or a Psychonauts is huge. On Reddit, there’s an image of someone asking you about the gap to get to Psychonauts 2 from what you’re currently at with the Kickstarter, and you mentioned it being something like $19 million more dollars. How seriously do you entertain those thoughts? It’s really easy to see people start running away with this. How do you ground yourself?

Schafer: I’ve been very surprised by the success of it so far, so it’s taught me that maybe I’m not the best at predicting. Nobody was really good at predicting this one. I guess I assumed this [the Kickstarter] would be a good test. I couldn’t take the money and make Psychonauts with it because some people have backed the project based on a certain promise that it’s going to be an adventure game, so it wouldn’t be right to take it and make Psychonauts with it. Maybe we could put it up to a vote! But I actually want to make an old graphic adventure, so we keep it this way and use this as a test to see if we can go bigger.

I think people are asking a lot of publishers and developers out there. At DICE, you can tell people are asking these interview questions, “Well, has this changed everything? Are you going to do Kickstarters to fund all your development now?” I think it really has to be a special thing. I think it’s definitely a possibility to do it a lot more, but I think each time you do it, it has to be a good story for people to get behind. I think the story of us making a graphic adventure when we couldn’t have done it any other way is a good story. I think there are more stories to be done that way, and there might be one that is equal to $20 million dollars. I don’t know.

GB: I think that’s been interesting--the one pushback I’ve seen is extrapolating too much out of this. Double Fine making an adventure game, and having you make an adventure game is a very specific story to tell, and just saying “I’m gonna make a game” isn’t enough. But it’s, at least, encouraging to other developers that have a story. There are other stories that can be funded through this way.

Schafer: Exactly. It’s a good lesson because even when you’re pitching to a publisher, it’s a good lesson in how having a good story is the most important part of a pitch, whether you’re talking to fans or publishers. Having it make sense, why this developer is making game at this time, is always something you should have clear in your mind before you ask anybody for money. You can’t just go “I feel like making something. Gimme some money.”

Brutal Legend was greeted with a mixed reaction, but almost everyone agreed it was hilarious.

GB: Do you consider this validation for what you’ve been doing your whole life? This is such a different scenario than the way you traditionally sell a game, where you get the money afterwards and hopefully it’s a success, but this is people, upfront, telling you how much they believe in what you’ve done before you’ve even produced anything.

Schafer: That’s been really flattering and touching. It’s been really emotional for the whole team, I think, because we’ve had a roller coaster ride in the last couple of years. Just last month we had a project cancelled, and it was really hard on us, and we were like “Are we going to have to lay people off?” But instead, we decided to keep everyone together, and having that at a time when we’ve been struggling, to have this huge outpouring of love from the community and the fans and other developers...it’s just been something that reminded everyone at the company that what they’re doing is noticed by people and matters to people.

GB: It’s a reflection of the enthusiasm. From my perspective, as someone who has watched Double Fine over the years, Double Fine has always come across as a studio that’s never caught that break. It’s a studio that should be much bigger and a much larger success, and the sales and the size don’t reflect people’s reverence for what comes out from the studio. Unlike buying a game at a GameStop or Amazon, this is a much more direct way for people to show their appreciation for what the studio has done over the years.

Schafer: I think so, it’s had that effect on us. It has been a perplexing question. There’s always been a really passionate community, and a really supportive community of Double Fine fans. Or when I walk around the Game Developers Conference and people come up and talk to me and they’re so appreciative about the games and I appreciate them playing them and there’s seems to be so much love out there. And then, when you release a game and the sales are underwhelming, you kind of wonder “How can there be so much love and so little money?” [laughs]

But I’ve always accepted that as the path we’ve chosen. We always want to make games that were experimental and unusual and risky and creative, and also realize there’s a lot of self-determination--own our IP, control our own business and not be told what to do, and that just makes your life harder. That means you don’t get money thrown at you. If you want to do what other people want you to do in life, it’s a lot easier. If you do what you want to do, it’s a lot harder. We’ve always accepted that.

Then, this Kickstarter thing happened, and people were able to express themselves and make themselves heard in a financial way, which is totally new and crazy. And if you look at the number of backers, it’s just like 40,000, which is the highest number of backers they’ve had on Kickstarter, but 40,000 is not high for the sales of a game, right? If you sold 40,000 copies of a game, that would be considered a flop. For a Kickstarter project, it’s considered the greatest success. Why is that? [sighs]

Full Throttle was my first Tim Schafer game, and it still holds a special place in my heart.

GB: It’s not too different from what we’ve been trying to do over at Giant Bomb. The traditional idea is that you need to dominate in order to be a success, but there has to be a way to be happy with what you’re creating, create something that other people enjoy, and do that without having to take over the world in the process. There has to be a way to make that balance, and we try to do that on the editorial side, but it seems like Kickstarter provides a way to maybe do that on the creative side.

Schafer: Yeah, I agree.

GB: I know you’re going to have the discussion board, but how influential are people going to be in the development process, and have you thought about the consequences of inviting 40,000 people to be involved in that process?

Schafer: [laughs] Well, I feel like it’s more about the openness. We’re opening the doors and letting them see the whole process and see the art and hearing what people feel about everything--even 40,000 people--that will be our job for a while. [knock at the door] Do you need to use the bathroom?

Greg Rice: Are you just sitting there?

Schafer: [sigh]

Rice: Wrap it up--I’m sorry!

Schafer: I’m going to go stand in the shower now.

Listening to what they [backers] feel about it is not that different from what I do all the time at Double Fine. Double Fine is a very collaborative office, and everybody feels entitled to and is asked to contribute their ideas to the game. But at the end of the day, I’m responsible for my game and project leaders are responsible for their games and we have to make calls about whether we agree with all that feedback or not. We’re still on the hook for making a great game, so we have to listen to the feedback and filter it and make a great game out of it.

GB: Alright, Tim, I’ll let you go and let someone use the bathroom. I appreciate you taking a couple of minutes. Congratulations--it’s been really fun to watch.

Schafer: Thanks a lot.

Patrick Klepek on Google+
281 Comments
Posted by MindOST

How much money to make Lincoln Force?

Posted by IrishCoffee

Success like this is reserved for people as great as Double Fine. I know, personally, i'm waiting for pay day next week so I can donate a larger amount to the Kickstarter than just the bare minimum, I want them to hit 3 Million!

Edited by Vorbis

I'm guilty of being a Double Fine fan and not picking up every title, but barriers like exclusivity or untimely release dates have prevented it. Still, shown my support this time, can't wait to see how it turns out.

Posted by Brake

This is such a feel-good story. Every time there's a new development it makes me feel good!

Posted by Beatus

This is a fantastic read. Contrary to what AhmadMetallic's said, this is one of the more worthwhile topics in gaming right now. I was intrigued by what Tim said in this interview. Well done.

Posted by big_jon

That picture is so good.

Edited by Mustachio
GB: Alright, Tim, I’ll let you go and let someone use the bathroom. I appreciate you taking a couple of minutes. Congratulations--it’s been really fun to watch.

Patrick confirmed for stalking Tim Schafer in the bathroom.

Posted by deskp

looking forward to following the process

Posted by MrMazz

great interview man I want to see that documentry

Posted by leebmx

@Keavy_Rain said:

I tossed in $100. Wish I could hit one of the premium pledges, as I'd LOVE to meet Tim.

Just to ask - does this mean you have given them the money or just that you have made a promise to? I am just wondering in general whether its like some charity phone in things where people pledge and give the money later or they actually have $1.4m banked at this point?

Posted by UltimAXE

This has been a really fun story to watch unfold, and it's certainly opens your mind to all kinds of game development implications that kickstarter could have. But, goddamn, is that ever a slippery slope. One thing's for sure: it couldn't have happened to a nicer or more deserving studio.

Great interview, BTW.

Posted by Sweep

I read this interview while in the bathroom because I am fucking meta.

Moderator
Posted by Masha2932

Wow, games are expensive. Even seemingly simple games like Costume quest and Stacking are expensive. I would have loved to know what Brutal Legend's budget was though. I'm sure all the licensed tracks, celebrity voice actors and the fact that it's an open world game must have increased the budget considerably.

I really wish there was a nice breakdown of typical gaming budgets like we see with other businesses. For instance is the budget primarily voice acting, staff salaries(are salaries even considered if the staff are full-time employees?) or CG cutscenes?

Are there any business or game development students on GB who have an idea?

Posted by AlisterCat

@leebmx said:

@Keavy_Rain said:

I tossed in $100. Wish I could hit one of the premium pledges, as I'd LOVE to meet Tim.

Just to ask - does this mean you have given them the money or just that you have made a promise to? I am just wondering in general whether its like some charity phone in things where people pledge and give the money later or they actually have $1.4m banked at this point?

It is a pledge until the time expires. When it is over and they have met/surpassed the goal the money is taken out of people's accounts. If they didn't meet the full amount then none of it is taken.

Posted by Cozmicaztaway

@Xevabis said:

@Balex1908: I'm gonna say that with the $20 million budget for Brutal Legend, at least 50% of it was for the voice actors.

The entire game was $24 million, which seems like a crazy amount of money and yet NOT super high, at the same time, weirdly.

No data on how much of that is voice actors and music licensing, however (and it was totally worth it because we got Lemmy, Motorhead, Bodom and Tim Curry, and other awesome things).

Source: http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/4308/postmortem_double_fines_brutal_.php?page=6

Posted by demonbear

Great job on that one Patrick, loved it. I bought my copy, of course!

Edited by KestrelPi

@HelixNebula said:

Not everyone seems to like this.

http://www.pixelperfectmag.com/2012/02/sunday-edition-kickstarter-double-fine.html

He does bring up some valid points.

Those valid points must be REALLY well hidden.

EDIT: To elaborate, I don't really think he makes good points at all. He's basically calling everyone stupid for being willing to put money into this, and having a go at the entire adventure game genre at the same time. Just... no. People know what they're doing when they pay for this. The page explains what the project is pretty damned well, and we're grown ups who can make our own mind up about whether the mere potential of this project is worth $15 or more.

Edited by lordofultima

@HelixNebula said:

Not everyone seems to like this.

http://www.pixelperfectmag.com/2012/02/sunday-edition-kickstarter-double-fine.html

He does bring up some valid points.

I stopped reading when he said Psychonauts was a huge success. That game did notoriously awful at retail, and wasn't marketed AT ALL by Majesco.

Actually the comment about Child's Play donation is even worse. Seriously? I'm giving them money so they can donate to Child's Play? UUH no, don't think so. They have to use the money for the kickstarter where they say they're using it. I could donate to charity all I want, that's not what I put money in for.

Posted by claudius
Posted by AaronChance

I really wish Day of the Tentacle and Grim Fandango were on Steam. Would love to play them again, but lost most of my old games a while ago. Only managed to find Curse of Monkey Island, which I don't think Tim worked on but is still a fine game.

Posted by tyler71

This is going to be awesome. Great interview Patrick.

Posted by leebmx

@HelixNebula said:

Not everyone seems to like this.

http://www.pixelperfectmag.com/2012/02/sunday-edition-kickstarter-double-fine.html

He does bring up some valid points.

Kind of I. He is wrong on one big point which undermines his whole argument though. He says that Double Fine have nothing to lose in this deal and that is entirely wrong. I would say that they could lose the most valuble thing a small-ish, cool, well-loved company could have, which is its integrity and credibility.

He makes some good points when considering Jaffe's arguments about developers not delivering on their lofty promises and while I don't think that the pledges Double Fine have made in respect to the Kickstarter money are really in any way Mollenyux-esq they will have to follow through on them to the general satisfaction of their funders or they will lose what makes them so special - their credibility and closeness to their audience.

He makes the point that EA, Ubisoft etc will be looking to fund games in this way (i.e. make the punter pay upfront) but I warrant that this could never happen as the gameplaying public do not think that these companies put art before money - indeed the biggest complaint you hear about the the companies I have mentioned is that they are always trying to wring the last penny from our pockets. Double Fine are not looked at in this way, we see them as a company which has sacrificed money for doing things their way, e.g. art first. and therefore trust that their vision comes before profit.

Double Fine have put the essence of their business at stake here and in a way it is a danger to them that they are receiving so much money as the expectations are that much higher. If they don't deliver in a way that satisfies the investors it could really damage their credibility and that is a great risk. In this way they are putting way more at stake then just releasing a game funded from the normal publishing source.

Posted by kalmis

Always interesting to read Scafer's interviews

Posted by OldGuy
@SurplusGamer said:

He's basically calling everyone stupid for being willing to put money into this, and having a go at the entire adventure game genre at the same time. Just... no. People know what they're doing when they pay for this. The page explains what the project is pretty damned well, and we're grown ups who can make our own mind up about whether the mere potential of this project is worth $15 or more.

Oh, so, since he hates point and click adventure games that's why this is dumb? Right, saves me a read. Opinions and all, but that means I have one too - and I think he's a bozo.
Posted by buckybit

only on Giantbomb: WORLD EXCLUSIVE BATHROOM INTERVIEW!

Posted by leebmx

@AlisterCat said:

@leebmx said:

@Keavy_Rain said:

I tossed in $100. Wish I could hit one of the premium pledges, as I'd LOVE to meet Tim.

Just to ask - does this mean you have given them the money or just that you have made a promise to? I am just wondering in general whether its like some charity phone in things where people pledge and give the money later or they actually have $1.4m banked at this point?

It is a pledge until the time expires. When it is over and they have met/surpassed the goal the money is taken out of people's accounts. If they didn't meet the full amount then none of it is taken.

OK - Thanks for the info.

Posted by Dezztroy
Posted by Superfriend

I love how Psychonauts gets brought up every single time. Here´s the thing: There are a lot of people with fond memories of that game.. but how many people would actually BUY a Psychonauts 2? I just hope they don´t go crazy all of the sudden and take too many risks.

A small project, an adventure game in the old Lucas style, helmed by Schafer and Gilbert... that is all I want. Please, please, please give me that. Then you can start putting some RTS elements into Psychonauts 2 or whatever.

Posted by Erunamo

@lordofultima: Exactly my thoughts. "Don't you think you could come up with some better use for the remaining $1.2 million you've made? Does the name Child's Play come to mind?" Fuck you, I'll donate to Child's Play myself if I want them to have my money. This one is for Double Fine with the understanding that it funds an adventure game.

Posted by darkdragonmage99

As often as double fine is in the office I'd think it'd be ok to ask them to come in and talk about this on the podcast 

Posted by HalfDane1975

Good stuff.

Posted by darkjester74

I cant believe I still have not played Full Throttle. I am a bad, bad person. :-(

Posted by chilibean_3

Any review giving this game 3 stars is going have a bunch of people spazzing the fuck out in the comments. Or, even more people than usual, I guess.

Posted by Dustpan

Interesting read, thanks Patrick!

Posted by jozzy

@Dezztroy said:

@HelixNebula said:

Not everyone seems to like this.

http://www.pixelperfectmag.com/2012/02/sunday-edition-kickstarter-double-fine.html

He does bring up some valid points.

His points were all invalidated when he suggested that Double Fine donate the customers' money to charity instead of making a better product.

And when he somehow thinks that Double fine has plenty of money to make games on their own terms without using Kickstarter. The interview here pretty much confirmed what I thought, Double Fine games typically don't sell that well. Psychonauts and Brutal Legends were pretty much flops commercially, and I don't think Custome Quest, Iron Brigade and Stacking made them rich either.

Posted by enemymouse

@jozzy said:

@Dezztroy said:

@HelixNebula said:

Not everyone seems to like this.

http://www.pixelperfectmag.com/2012/02/sunday-edition-kickstarter-double-fine.html

He does bring up some valid points.

His points were all invalidated when he suggested that Double Fine donate the customers' money to charity instead of making a better product.

And when he somehow thinks that Double fine has plenty of money to make games on their own terms without using Kickstarter. The interview here pretty much confirmed what I thought, Double Fine games typically don't sell that well. Psychonauts and Brutal Legends were pretty much flops commercially, and I don't think Custome Quest, Iron Brigade and Stacking made them rich either.

He also suggests that Doublefine has been trading on "Indie" cred and that asking customers for funding loses the company respect in his eyes. Neither point carries any weight. DF was never indie, and never pretended to be anything but a smallish company. Having an issue with going to customers for funding is a completely arbitrary personal quirk.

I'm glad that the guy states his overall respect for the project and the team, but his points are patently ridiculous.

Posted by Legend

As a big fan of point and click adventure games, this is really a dream come true.

Edited by SaturdayNightSpecials

You know...beardless Tim Schafer is really surreal to behold.

Anyway, I gave $15 before I even realized Gilbert was involved too, and that got me twice as excited. Funny thing is, I've never bought a Double Fine game (until now, I guess). I just like the way they carry themselves.

Posted by buckybit

Ok...

Older guys, you all see the irony in this, right? General Schafer mentioned it in the interview: the (honest) waves of love towards Double Fine games vs the tiny drops of consumer money ending up in his company.

I bought Grim Fandango. I bought Psychonauts, etc ... and thought the "world was stupid" for not doing the same.

It says a lot about this (still young) industry, when seasoned, world-famous(!), critically acclaimed video game titans, have to beg for money and bend over just to keep their companies afloat or make it to the next quarter.

Ma.. Vinny Caravella

The 'games' are not expensive - the buttload of people working on them are! And then comes the overhead: administration & accountants in-house, you could pay, but there is this kraken-army on the publisher Death-Star side: marketing, PR, advertisement, executives, market-research, producer-type overseers, E3 booth-babes, private jet for CEOs, Major Nelson's yacht, etc etc etc ...

Let's say you can make a game with 100 people and you pay them average 50K/year for 2 years. Yes, that's 10 MILLION in 2 years! The time you would make a AAA title? So you can see, adding the aforementioned overhead, it's easy to hit 20 Million for a game (and some people would be happy IF they would make 50.000 - not everyone does. But they ALL work 7 days a week for 16-18 hours).

This Kickstarter thing is a one-time deal, IMHO. You cannot ask for this kind of money a 2nd time, and a 3rd time, and a 4th time, ... unless, the OTHER 4,960.000 million gamers JOIN the cause and give some money too? To consumers, it's just like pre-ordering a game - only it get to THE RIGHT PEOPLE (and a bit earlier)?!

But I would still insist: DON'T MAKE ANY CREATIVE DEMANDS! Let @TimOfLegend and ALL the other creative and hard working folks do their thing, without our noise. Let them be artists! Let them surprise us.

's all.

Posted by byrjun

This was great! And beautiful. And a bit sad. And very empowering! Poor Tim & co., no, COOOL TIM & CO!!!!! GO! GO YOU GUYS ARE THE BEST!

Allllllllll of the love. All of it.

Posted by coreykrosting

A nice interview Patrick!

Posted by Dan_CiTi

TIM THIS GAME BETTER HAVE FUCKING GORGEOUS 2D ART AND BE ON STEAM FOR PC & MAC!!

Anyway, great job with the interview Patrick and Double Fine always has my love and support.

Posted by lightsoda

Wow, I never knew the situation over at Double Fine were so dire. I hope they will have more success in the future.

Posted by Pop

Tim said that a game selling 40.000 copies is a flop, but all those 40.000 ppl didn't donate just 15$ some donated 100 1000 etc. so some ppl bought the game 100 times xD, also this thing is crazy and doesn't kickstarter take a part of this?

Posted by ReyGitano

Gotta love Tim; he's imaginative in everything he does, even in how he runs his business.

Posted by Example1013

Tim Schafer being interviewed from his throne, I see.

Posted by EnduranceFun

Long live Double Fine!

Posted by Ghostiet
@MindOST said:

How much money to make Lincoln Force?

How come this brilliant idea got lost in the sea of comments?
Posted by vinsanityv22

I don't care much for graphic "adventures" (pointing and clicking isn't exactly Uncharted. I have no idea why this genre stole the word "adventure"), but I will kick a few bucks to the Kickstarter in the hopes that Double Fine will get around to releasing another Costume Quest (or Costume Quest-esque title) with the money. Or Psychonauts 2. And hopefully it will release on PS3 so I can play it, instead of this Xbox exclusive silliness that has taken control of their last two games...

Posted by sirdesmond

Great interview, good questions, solid contributions from Patrick.