Update (2/9/2012, 8:22 PM EST) – It’s official! In less than 24 hours, Double Fine has managed to raise over $1 million, funding well over 2.5 times its original goal. Furthermore, “Double Fine Adventure” is currently the most funded project in Kickstarter history, and it achieved this goal in less than a day. It also holds the record for the most amount of backers, with over 28,000 pledges as of this writing. It narrowly surpassed the “iPhone Elevation Dock” for total amount funded.
Update (2/9/2012, 12:40 PM EST) – In a little over 8 hours in, Double Fine has raised over $400,000, and at the time of this update, the amount pledged has just surpassed $700,000. With the current rate of success, it is possible that this project will become the most successful Kickstarter project in history. With the extra money, the game can appear on more platforms, be translated into more languages, have more music and voice, and an original soundtrack for the documentary, and more.
It would be interesting to see if more mid-size video game studios use funding sites such as Kickstarter to develop future titles, and cut out publishers altogether. If you haven’t checked out the Kickstarter page yet, you can do so right here.
Tim Schafer is one of the reasons I want to go into video game development. While some of his games, specifically Brütal Legend and Psychonauts, failed to generate enough revenue to justify a sequel (despite being critically acclaimed), some would argue that his best work includes the many adventure games which were released during “The Golden Years of LucasArts”, including the Monkey Island series, Full Throttle, and Grim Fandango. Unfortunately, adventure games have seen a sharp decline in popularity in recent years, and most recent games in the genre are being developed by independent studios.
However, in a rather bold move, Double Fine Productions has announced plans to produce a brand-new, downloadable, point-and-click adventure game that will be funded entirely by Kickstarter. For those who don’t know, Kickstarter is an online pledge site which is used to fund creative projects, which range from independent films and music, to food projects, and in this case, video games. Over the next few months, a small team of developers over at Double Fine Productions will develop a point-and-click adventure, under the supervision of Tim Schafer (the company’s President and CEO). While the company has seen recent success on the Xbox Live Arcade platform, with projects such as Costume Quest, Stacking, and Double Fine Happy Action Theater, Tim feels that Kickstarter would offer a better source of funding, simply because it is difficult nowadays to find a company that is willing to fund the development of an old-school adventure game.
Unlike other pledge sites, Kickstarter sets itself apart by creating a system that rewards investors, based on how much they pledge. This is no different for Double Fine’s latest project. Those who pledge $15 or more will receive a free copy of the game on Steam, access to the beta, and a slew of extras, including access to the behind the scenes videos, which are being filmed by 2 Player Productions (the folks behind the award winning film, Minecraft: The Story of Mojang). To check out the various tiers or to help fund the project, you can check out the Kickstarter page. The goal is set at $400,000, and if that amount isn’t raised by March 13th, Double Fine will cancel the project.
In other news, Notch, the developer of indie game poster-child Minecraft, tweeted to Tim, saying “Let’s make Psychonauts 2 happen”. Tim, who was alseep at the time, was awoken by several texts, asking him to check his Twitter. Assuming that these tweets were requests for review codes, Tim was surprised when he found Notch’s tweet, and simply replied “Oh wait. Hm. This is interesting”. As of now, Tim and Markus are talking, but we will update you as soon as we hear more.
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