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Kickstarter made Double Fine "unafraid of being open"

By Brendan Sinclair

Kickstarter made Double Fine "unafraid of being open"

Wed 19 Dec 2012 5:22pm GMT / 12:22pm EST / 9:22am PST

Tim Schafer has come to realize "there's nothing to be afraid of" in letting gamers see how the sausage is made

Earlier this year, Double Fine's Kickstarter project changed the way people thought about crowdfunding games. As it turns out, it's also changed the way Double Fine founder Tim Schafer thinks about making games. Speaking with VentureBeat for a story published this week, Schafer said the experience has made him "unafraid of being open."

"The Kickstarter thing and the documentary that we're doing with the Kickstarter has just taught me that there's nothing to be afraid of," Schafer said. "You release your stuff out. You show a piece of concept art that may or may not be in the game. It doesn't matter. People are just like, 'Oh, that's cool!' People get on your side more, not get on your side less. The fear is that if it's not perfect, you can't show it to people because they'll freak out. The fact is, they just feel more bought in. They feel like they're part of the development team."

Schafer described the process as an inversion of his introduction to the industry at LucasArts. The Grim Fandango developer was "the most closed company of all," Schafer said, keeping a Willy Wonka-like level of control over what it allowed the outside world to see and when. As for the possible downsides of transparency, Schafer dismissed them, saying fans tend to be understanding so long as the developer is being honest and open about what it's showing and whether it's something that could be changed or cut in the final game.

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I can't see why an independent would be worried about transparency - and it is great to see DoubleFine getting the recognition it deserves - more power to their elbow.

KS and transparency only hurts the big publishers / studios - having customers looking at how "they make the sausages", to coin a phrase, then some serious complaints and criticism will fall on them. To admit that some of the executives making games are inept badly placed, or just wrong, could impact investment and as we are talking of million dollar projects, no developer will throw themselves open to that level of exposure.

2013 will mark a period in the consumer game sector where hype and the cult of personality will be replaced by accountability and proof of ability. And hoping that KS will fund your failing management skills will not be the answer!

Posted:3 years ago


Peter Dwyer Games Designer/Developer

490 302 0.6

Totally agree. I couldn't imagine EA or Activision being open without going out of business. Imagine showing how great features are dropped because they can be held back for a paid DLC or moved into next years feature list because the player is getting to much stuff this year!

Gamers merely suspect the extent of such money grabbing. To see it in person would not go down well at all!

Posted:3 years ago

@ KP - and we know how disgusting sausages can be, you'll never consume one again...

Posted:3 years ago

@Chee - I like UK sausages, its those cheap hotdogs you need to be mindful of!

Posted:3 years ago


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