Well this is exciting. Instead of looking to traditional publisher models for securing financial backing for a new game, Tim Schafer's Double Fine have taken to launching a Kickstarter campaign, with a target of $400,00. A target that was almost reached overnight, hitting the $350,000 mark just as most Europeans were gargling Listerine before the run into work.
The big plan is to create an all-new adventure game, a genre that many have declared defunct, something that Schafer notes in his rallying cry.
Publishers tell us that adventure games are dead. Our fans tell us they aren’t. Who is right? Well, I think it’s about time we found out!
Into the THUNDERDOME!
And by THUNDERDOME, I mean KICKSTARTER!
The statement on the campaign page says it all, detailing how this project intends to fly in the face of traditional publishing models and connects developers and consumers directly without a middle entity, allowing for a semi-democratic process that allows for widespread creative freedom.
"Crowd-sourced fundraising sites like Kickstarter have been an incredible boon to the independent development community. 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."
It's an experiment, of course, but one that overnight seems to have paid off massively in the first stage. At the time of writing, the total is nearing $375,000 after around 8,250 contributions. That's an average of around £45 per person, which is more than a full price game (unless your name starts with "Call fo Duty"). Schafer, certainly is quite aware of the change this could create in the industry should the campaign prove a success.
"Think it will work? I hope so, because I would rather work directly for the fans than for anyone else. If the Double Fine Kickstarter Adventure is a success, it could open the doors for all sorts of new funding possibilities, and all kinds of new games that could never happen in the old system. So basically I’m just talking about changing the entire world forever for the better. And getting a game out of it."
Donations start at $15, guaranteeing you a Steam copy of the game, access to the Making Of... video series, and access to the private backer community from whom the studio will be taking feedback along the way. The closing statement underlines the curious potential that this project holds.
"For anyone interested in the inner workings of the game industry, either professionally or as a fan, this project will be a landmark in exploring the art of development. For people that just love great games, this is an opportunity to help bring one to fruition."
Tim Schafer's making a new adventure game and needs your help. Will you be getting involved? I know what my answer is. [Double Fine]