Grim Fandango is one of the best adventure games ever made—an epic journey through a world that meshes Casablanca with Día de Muertos, as brilliantly imagined by Tim Schafer. First released in 1998, it was just about the peak of storytelling in the genre, but it always had one huge problem: the controls. But a new mod may solve those problems, changing the game's controls from keyboard-based "tank" movements to a point-and-click interface.
Do Double Fine have all of the world's money, or none of the world's money, or just some of it? Perhaps it's time for a really tall person to hang Tim Schafer by his boots so we can see how much is in his pockets - either that or we keep an ear out for what the team are saying in interviews/Kickstarter updates/on the phone to their mums. In a chat with GamesIndustry International, Schafer has revealed that the studio has made enough money from sales of the first half of Broken Age to create its concluding chapter - which is good news, particularly for the people who thought they were funding the whole thing a couple of years ago. “We’ve made enough that we can make the second half of the game for sure,” Tim says in the above interview, confirming what I just wrote.
Double Fine frontpersons Tim Schafer and Greg Rice join us as special guests this week to talk Broken Age, their latest game, Kickstarter, the adventure game genre, and reflect a little on their experience Steam Machines and the Steam Controller, which they've been using recently.
Piranhas get a bad rap. Contrary to popular belief, they're not actually all that interested in devouring human flesh – a misconception that renders the entirety of Piranha 3DD, and that bit in that one James Bond film, obsolete. You'll find that and more deceptive things in this week's Free Webgame Round-Up, which also features "Tim Schafer" (yeah, right) and a so-called "honest rogue". Enjoy!
We're a week away from the PC release of Brütal Legend. Three and a half years late, but considering true metal originates from the Edge of Time, that's not too bad. But it seems, just as we seem like we're reaching the end, our blood brothers at Double Fine might have more to give for the rocktastic franchise... and maybe even Psychonauts, while they're at it. In an interview with RPS, Tim Schafer hinted at some possible DLC, and didn't leave a full expansion out of the question.
Tim "of Legend" Schafer ascended Double Fine mountain today to proclaim that Brütal Legend has been freed from the dark magic which has imprisoned it in consoles since 2009. The heavy metal adventure will release on PC February 26th, and is available now for discounted pre-purchase on Steam. Those who join the Order of Early Adopters also gain access to the multiplayer beta, which is live now, and two Team Fortress 2 crossover items.
In an interview with VentureBeat, Double Fine founder Tim Schafer discussed how the studio's groundbreaking Kickstarter campaign changed his stance on the transparency of showing a game in progress to the public, declaring he's now "unafraid" of being open.
No, Double Fine isn’t creating some sort of crossover between our favorite horror game and Epic’s upcoming Minecraft/zombie hybrid. Amnesia Fortnight is the indie studio’s internal process for fast prototyping, a two-week period where Double Fine collectively drops whatever it’s doing, splits into teams, and sprints to build barebones versions of game concepts. The method was used to greenlight and develop Costume Quest, Stacking, and mobile game Middle Manager of Justice.
Today Double Fine is opening its once-secret process to the public. Partnering with Humble Bundle, a minimum $1 donation earns you the right to vote on Double Fine’s 23 pitches, which range from experimental to ridiculous.
There are only 36 hours left to contribute to Double Fine's adventure game kickstarter campaign. So far 75,766 backers have contributed $2,801,103 to the project. Quite a lot more than the initial $400,000 target, which was surpassed within hours of the campaign going live.
"We're still pushing for more because the more money we have, the more awesome we can make the game, the more people we can put on it," Schafer says in the final call for donations in the video above. "we really have been enjoying the statement and attention that this project has been getting and we can think we can even make a louder statement about what we're doing here."
For those of you who invested in Tim Schafer’s adventurous Kickstarter campaign, here’s further proof that your money is in good hands. Seriously, what other developer would you absolutely trust with a game entirely based around Russian matryoshka dolls? Well, have a look for yourself, because Stacking, Double Fine’s ultra-charming take on wooden folk dolls of increasing size, finally hit Steam today. Better still, it’s launching at 33% off! Perhaps that’s to compensate for appearing on PC almost a year to the day after Stacking’s console debut... so what took so long?!
Double Fine now have more than two million dollars with which to make their new adventure game. 59,683 backers have thrown some dosh in the bucket in exchange for a copy of the game when it comes out later this year, and many paid much more to get some of the more exclusive rewards, like lunch with Tim Schafer, an undoctored picture of Ron Gilbert smiling and one of the "last four remaining Triangle-Boxed Day of the Tentacles, in original shrink-wrap.”
Tim's probably feeling pretty good right now. Double fine set a goal of $400,000 to help fund an upcoming point and click adventure via Kickstarter, but $1,862,568 has already been pledged.
What are Double Fine doing with the excess? Tim says that their upcoming "old school point and click graphic adventure" will now end up "a lot better." It's now confirmed for PC, Mac, Linux, iOS and a couple of Android devices. The English version will even get voiced characters.
Backers of the project will be able to use Steam to access the closed beta when it hits. He also mentions that a DRM-free version will become available for those of you who like things a bit more "loosey goosey."
Do you like things a bit more "loosey goosey"? I know I do.
"Let's make Psychonauts 2 happen" said Notch a few weeks ago. Yesterday, he offered Tim Schafer 13 million to fund the anticipated sequel, before clarifying his intent. Later in the day, he posted confirmed details on his personal blog.
Even though Notch mentions he and Tim "haven't spoken much," he confirms the high profile pair are planning on meeting at GDC, which happens in a few weeks. He also mentions that the 13 million quoted by Tim was "three times higher" than his original estimate, but that he's still up for fronting the cash. The Minecraft dev says he would be operating purely as an investor, saying "I wouldn't want to have any creative input."
Is there any bigger darling on the internet than Tim Schafer and Double Fine right now? After all, you guys forked over north of a million bucks just to see the man revisit the point-and-click adventure genre, a wonderful little gaming niche where bigwig publishers fear to tread.
Related to that, late last year our very own Logan Decker sat down with Tim (and Double Fine's mysterious millionaire/heroic partner, Steven Dengler) to talk about the uphill battle involved in simply porting games like Costume Quest and Psychonauts. Have a watch.
Not long after the creator of Minecraft offered to fund a sequel to their much-loved Psychonauts, Double Fine looked to a different source to fund a different game. Kickstarter lets anyone donate to a project in return for rewards proportional to their investment, and they don't have to pay anything unless the project gets enough pledges to go ahead. Double Fine set out to raise $400,000 for a point-and-click adventure game, in 34 days. They raised $450,000 in eight hours.
It's a fantastic and exciting accomplishment that reflects how the games industry is shifting towards one where passion, as much as mass market appeal, can make games happen. But, much more importantly, it involves a bunch of nerdy numbers I can make a graph from.
Double Fine give increasingly ridiculous rewards for donations of amounts varying from $15 to $150,000. As you'd expect, the cheapest options were the most popular, but not proportionally so. Which of them actually made Double Fine the most money? I know, because I made a graph.
About seven or so hours ago Tim Schafer announced on Twitter that Double Fine wanted to make a point a "downloadable "Point-and-Click" graphic adventure game for the modern age". A kickstarter page went live asking for donations with a big $400,000 target at the top. There's still 33 days left if you want to throw some money in the pot but, astonishingly, the target has already been passed.
The project had already received $100k in donations after just a couple of hours. On twitter, Schafer expressed his appreciation in typically muted fashion. "Holy smokes, we just hit $100k!!! I think that's higher than the budget of Monkey Island! Adventure gaaaaaaames!!!"
Two hours later, another landmark had been reached. "300! 300! 300! 300! 300! 300! 300! 300! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy!" he said.
Did you love Psychonauts? Have you often wished for a sequel that would continue Raz' adventures? You're not alone. Psychonauts creator, Tim Schafer mentions to Digital Spy that he's pitched Psychonauts 2 several times to different publishers, but "no-one has taken the bait so far."
"I'd love to do that game," he says. "But I'd have to convince someone to just give me a few million dollars, that's all."
A few million dollars? If only there were some sort of successful indie developer. One who loved the original, someone with the kind of dosh to prop up development on a sequel. Perhaps someone with a nice hat and a name that rhymes with "scotch."
Tim Schafer's company Double Fine have only made two games, Psychonauts and Brutal Legend, but they've had four publishers. Both were cancelled once before finding a new home. At Schafer’s Develop conference keynote, he explained how his company turned their turbulent game development process into a new beginning for the company.