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.