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Double Fine launches Kickstarter campaign for new project

Thu 09 Feb 2012 9:08am GMT / 4:08am EST / 1:08am PST
BusinessDevelopment

Update: Project reaches $400,000 total in less than 12 hours

Update

Double Fine's Kickstarter project has cleared its goal of $400,000, in less than 8 hours.

CEO Tim Schafer has said that any extra funds will go towards improving the game further, translating it to several languages and potentially adding further platforms to the list of release SKUs.

Original story

Double Fine has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fully finance a new game, the first "major studio" to do so.

The project will be a downloadable point-and-click adventure game "for the modern age." It will be developed by a small team under Schafer's supervision over the next six to eight months.

Despite setting a target of $400,000 to be raised by 8pm (EDT) on March 13, at the time of writing a total of 6,888 backers had contributed $320,832. If Double Fine raises more than its $400,000 target, the extra money will be invested in the project.

"Crowd-sourced fundraising sites like Kickstarter have been an incredible boon to the independent development community," Schafer said.

"They democratize the process by allowing consumers to support the games they want to see developed and give the developers the freedom to experiment, take risks, and design without anyone else compromising their vision."

"It's the kind of creative luxury that most major, established studios simply can't afford. At least, not until now."

Schafer has also pledged to document the creative process for the projects backers through an ongoing monthly documentary.

"There's an unprecedented opportunity to show the public what game development of this calibre looks like from the inside," he continued.

"This documentary series will strive to make the viewer as much a part of the process as possible by showing a game grow from start to finish, with all the passion, humour, and heartbreak that happens along the way."

"Double Fine is committed to total transparency with this project, ensuring it is one of the most honest depictions of game development ever conceived."

For a base contribution of $15, backers will receive the full game and access to the documentary. Anyone wishing to contribute more will qualify for a tiered "rewards" system, including autographed posters, dinner and bowling with key members of the development team, and being immortalised as a character in the game.

The launch of Double Fine's Kickstarter campaign comes just days after Schafer openly lamented publishers' aversion to risky ideas and original IP.

"Publishers often don't want to release anything new, I mean they're scared of new IP, and Double Fine specalises in new IP," he said.

"That's always been our challenge, is getting a publisher to invest millions of dollars in something brand new like Brutal Legend."

16 Comments

Henry Durrant Programmer, SUMO Digital

52 43 0.8
Its currently at 500k and counting... who says Adventure games are dead?

Posted:2 years ago

#1

William Brown Aspiring Level Designer

20 0 0.0
I look forward to reliving my gaming youth. Come to think of it I may fire-up Sam and Max: Hit the Road for nostalgias sake.

Posted:2 years ago

#2

Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing

1,183 1,267 1.1
Adventure games were never dead. They simply did not make the money other genres and titles were producing. In a world where investor interest ultimately decides on whether or not most games get made, it is no surprise DoubleFine has to resort to such measures getting finance.

Posted:2 years ago

#3

Brian Smith Artist

198 94 0.5
Brilliant. The speed of investment shows the respect of the consumers/investors towards Double fine. I hope they raise lots more.

Posted:2 years ago

#4

Edward Buffery Pre-production Manager

149 96 0.6
Seeing how fast they've blasted through their target is awesome news!

Posted:2 years ago

#5

Russell Watson Senior Designer, Born Ready Games

86 34 0.4
Props to DoubleFine for this approach.

Posted:2 years ago

#6

Andy Gahan Managing Director, The Pixel Bullies

8 12 1.5
Just goes to show what you can do when you're well known - my funding is going a lot slower... http://rockethub.com/projects/5695-formu...

Posted:2 years ago

#7

James Palmer Creative Director, Red Kite Games

4 0 0.0
Bravo, well done Double Fine! This shows the demand and popularity of point and click adventure games... Publishers should take note.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by James Palmer on 9th February 2012 2:49pm

Posted:2 years ago

#8

David Spender Lead Programmer

129 54 0.4
This is wonderful. Adventure game come-back!

I have helped fund a few Kickstarter projects before and I've always been happy with the level of interaction I received from the project. The daily updates, the behind the scenes looks, photos, blogs, videos. It was worth the price of admission by itself.

Making gamers part of the development process is just a wonderful idea. I'm excited to see this in action.

Posted:2 years ago

#9

Steven Pick Lead Graphic Designer, Atomhawk Design

70 14 0.2
Currently at 600k now. I think this could be the "norm" in the future for indie games development - it's perfect. All they have to do is deliver the goods!

Posted:2 years ago

#10
I have a team and we are doing a very fast paced action game with puzzle elements in UDK, and we are searching for funding. I was already looking into crowfunding websites, but if I show it to my colleagues, they will be crazy. XD
Sad we are not hot as Double Fine is.

Btw, DF have my money in this project too. lol

Posted:2 years ago

#11

Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd

1,021 1,470 1.4
This method won't work for just any developer. It works for Double Fine because almost everyone knows who they are, but I doubt start-ups will be able to get this to work. It's a lot easier to get people to bet their money on a developer already known for their quality.

Posted:2 years ago

#12

Dustin Sparks Interactive Developer / Gaming Blogger

13 0 0.0
The important thing here is that it works without a publisher. Getting your name big is still a crapshoot, whether you have a publisher or not. So in essence if you are extremely effective at either promoting your name (if you have one) or promoting IP that is exceptional enough to draw a crowd then you're golden and have no need for a publisher. Notch is the perfect example of this happening - if he had a kickstarter campaign going originally we would have seen very similar results. Even though Minecraft was not well known it had some essence there that connected with players and that's what matters most for indie devs.

Posted:2 years ago

#13

James Berg Games User Researcher, EA Canada

190 250 1.3
Kicked in $15 for this last night when it was at $140k or so. Crazy. Then again, it's Double Fine, so they've got a lot of hard-earned cachet. For me, the entry fee was worth getting to see the behind-the-scenes stuff alone, and getting what will surely be a fun game at the end of it? Bonus!

Posted:2 years ago

#14

Darren Gladtone Blogger-in-Chief, HP

1 0 0.0
As a long-time fan of the adventure genre, I'm SO damn happy to see Double Fine in the game. And that the Kickstarter crowd showed the love (I kicked in a bunch of $$$). BUT, like some have said above, it's not like adventure games have stopped over the years. The design tropes have found their way into many other genres. And don't forget that Telltale has been doing episodic adventures for years now.

Now, any chance we can get a Full Throttle sequel? ;p

Posted:2 years ago

#15

Allan Simonson Co-Founder, Boomzap

12 0 0.0
And it broke one million. The Tentacles will Rule The EARTH :)

Good work, Double Fine!

Posted:2 years ago

#16

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