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Schafer: Double Fine has four games signed

Legendary dev extolls the virtues of going low-budget and multi-project

Tim Schafer has detailed the future of his studio Double Fine Productions - making multiple projects with low budgets.

"We got a phone call from a publisher saying "we're not going to do a sequel to Brutal Legend." My fault was that I had not prepared for that, so we did not have a project ready to go," he said at the Develop conference in Brighton this morning.

However, the company had a number of game prototypes made in two weeks as part of a team motivational exercise. "So we picked the best four took them on a roadshow and showed them to publishers," he said.

"In a couple of months all four games got signed. So we became officially a multi-project studio. Trying to kill us made us multiply."

"Some of the games are downloadable, and some are retail," he confirmed.

Explaining that Brutal Legend took four and half years to make, and that both of Double Fine's games to date had suffered temporary cancellation and publisher interference, he was convinced that "going small" was the way forward.

"We've seen the benefits of it right away. The advantages of doing small budgets means there's less compromise. Publishers are not as afraid of doing something unusual with smaller budgets, of $2 million or less. They're less likely to grab your IP rights if you're only asking for a small amount of money."

Revealing that some of the four projects (spanning multiple genres) would see release this year, he celebrated that "we have choice now" in terms of what future projects would be. "We have as a company found our way as a result of this challenge."

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Alec Meer

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A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.

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