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Double Fine Raises $700,000 In 24 Hours With Crowdfunding

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the more-money-more-money dept.

Businesses 112

redletterdave writes "San Francisco-based game developer Double Fine took to Kickstarter to fund its next game project, and so far, the studio has enjoyed unprecedented success through crowdsourcing. The project, which was announced by the studio's founder Tim Schafer on Wednesday night, has already raised more than $700,000 in less than 24 hours. The funding frenzy has set new Kickstarter records for most funds raised in the first 24 hours, and highest number of backers of all-time, though both of those numbers are still growing. Schafer says he will build a 'classic point-and-click adventure game' in a six-to-eight month time frame, and will document the entire production process for fans to observe and give input on the game's development, which 'will actually affect the direction the game takes.'"

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News Narrative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38985359)

Does this mean that the technorati's news narrative will change from startups saving everything to crowdsourcing saving everything?

only in our memory and... in Germany ;) (1)

Niedi (1335165) | more than 2 years ago | (#38985435)

...so as a German I, naturally, had to support this... But all jokes aside, as a diehard adventure fan I'm really excited about it, especially the documentary part. Let's see what they do with all the excess money.

Using the internet for its intended purpose works? (4, Insightful)

Xanny (2500844) | more than 2 years ago | (#38985441)

Oh my god, I can't believe it!

Excuse the sarcasm, but it has been obvious for a decade that publishers and traditional investment firms into game development have been a defunct and dying breed, it has just taken forever for any real game studios to take the risk to stop getting fucked (losing the copyright to their own media, sharing most of the sales, having no rights to distribution or advertising) to get funding and publicity.

Hold your horses - it's Double Fine. (5, Insightful)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 2 years ago | (#38985589)

Keep in mind that this is Double Fine.

Its current backer pledging rate of about $1,000/minute (yes, I'm serious) is not the norm. Check out other game projects at KickStarter. Most don't even make it to their funding goal when their funding goal is $4,000 - let alone the $400,000 that Double Fine had set.

Double Fine, however, is well-known in the gaming community. As are some of the names that attached themselves to this project. This in term allows them to leverage their existing social networks (followers on twitter, friends at facebook), their industry contacts, and get noticed by other sites (such as Slashdot) more easily.

Compare this, if you will, to the Humble Bundle. Yes, games within the Humble Bundle generally do quite well. But do they do quite well because of the game, or because of the Humble Bundle association?

That said, this is still very cool, and I would be very surprised if this project didn't top the #1 slot for most funded, most over-funded (absolute and percentage-wise), fastest to reach funding goal, highest funding rate and more at KickStarter. In fact, I'm sure KickStarter staff did a double-take at suddenly gaining hundreds of new accounts, about 130 per minute in the last hour, backing this project alone.

Re:Hold your horses - it's Double Fine. (2)

RyoShin (610051) | more than 2 years ago | (#38985771)

While this won't help the new-to-the-scene indie developer, I have to wonder if this isn't the future for mid-sized developers, maybe even film/show producers.

Take a company with a cult following or small but highly-respected developer who has trouble getting published because publishers see their games as "risky" since they aren't Cowadooty Clone 5, put their project on Kickstarter and allow the public to "purchase early" in order to fund it. In fact, if the company has multiple potential projects but can only focus on one, they could stick them all on Kickstarter and people could literally "vote with their money". The project that raises the most money is the one that gets developed, those who buy in to the other projects can opt to move their funds to the winner, get a refund(?), or have an alternative available (well, you don't get this game, but we'll give you a super pack from our catalog). They can then use the second-most popular as the next project, thus only needing Kickstarter when interest dies down.

This could be easily adaptable for indie film producers, as well. Hopefully crowdfunding picks up, there are a lot of "core" gamers who are willing to put their money where their mouth is and can fund games that actually try stuff instead of being cookie-cutter. The cookie-cutter games will always have their place, but more and more the niche games can get out there.

Imagine if Valve (certainly not a mid-sized developer) did a Kickstarter project for Episode 3. "Fine, fine, you all want it, pony up first." I'm sure they'd hit a million or two within a week.

Re:Hold your horses - it's Double Fine. (5, Interesting)

grumbel (592662) | more than 2 years ago | (#38985995)

I have to wonder if this isn't the future for mid-sized developers, maybe even film/show producers.

The problem is that almost all success stories with new business models so far have been something like this:

1) Do normal commercial work
2) Get advertised a ton doing your commercial work
3) Repeat 1) and 2) for years or decades and accumulate a fan-base
4) Do a kickstarter/pay-what-you-want/novel-new-business model and get a shitload of free press
5) Profit

The problem is that without accumulating the fan-base first, it wouldn't work. Getting the free press also only works as long as your business model is fresh and new. When everybody is doing their projects via Kickstarter, it will be a hell of a lot harder to get noticed.

That's not to say that this can't work for some cases. If Kickstarter allows a few popular people to do what they want, awesome. But the old industry is still where most of the money is. One million for an adventure game is awesome, but compared to 400 million that Modern Warfare 3 made on launch day, that's still a rather small amount.

Re:Hold your horses - it's Double Fine. (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#38986151)

Not every game has to be Call of Warfare or Modern Duty, which is sadly all the big studios want to fund. If they can make a profit at $1 million great! Not every game is going to make or needs to make 400 times that.

Re:Hold your horses - it's Double Fine. (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 2 years ago | (#38987645)

There's proven ways besides steps 1-3 for getting the necessary fan base. For recent great examples, you need look no further than Mojang or Rovio Mobile.

Re:Hold your horses - it's Double Fine. (2)

grumbel (592662) | more than 2 years ago | (#38988081)

The success story of Mojang started by Minecraft being features on the Valve blog if I remember correctly, the game from which Minecraft took most of the ideas, InfiniMiner, wasn't so lucky. AngryBirds just had the luck of being high up in the iTunes Store and in turn creating a media hype which lead to a feedback loop that got it more hype. If it wouldn't have been for classical media hyping that game up to eleven, they would have gotten nowhere near as successful (helps of course that those guys are pretty damn good at managing that viral marketing).

Anyway, point here being, while it's true that those are different then the 1-3 mentioned above, their success is still largely based on media hype and there are only a very limited number of spots in the spotlight of the media. You can't drive a whole industry like that, those games are the exception.

Re:Hold your horses - it's Double Fine. (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 2 years ago | (#38990443)

there are only a very limited number of spots in the spotlight of the media

Um... duh?

You can't drive a whole industry like that, those games are the exception.

There's a lot more to it than that. First, as you pointed out, there's a very limited number of spots in the spotlight. Just like in any industry, there's only room for so many players, because there's only so much demand. Not every game is going to be a huge hit like that, not because they didn't follow your steps 1-3 in your previous post but because there's just not enough demand. The point is that any game from any studio has the potential to reach those heights if it meets the demand better than other offerings.

But it's always been that way. Those games really aren't so much "the exception". Those unusual ways are how most big game studios and most good franchises got their start. Call of Duty, for example, was started by a handful of guys who left EA. They weren't well known when they released the first CoD, but it was a huge hit, just like Minecraft, just like Angry Birds, and just like many many others. Not because they had years and years of past popularity but because they made a fun game.

What's new here is that now it's possible to leverage that viral popularity to make the next release that much better.

Re:Hold your horses - it's Double Fine. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38988111)

There is no problem here. People investing in artists whose work they already have sampled and like is never going to end and shouldn't, it is perfectly reasonable.

However that doesn't mean that doing "normal commercial work" should be the only way to build a reputation as an artist or studio. Investors should be sceptical, as are the major distributors and publishers, when you have no history of work. That is why studios usually produce and shop around a demo to publishers, the real benefit is that they can now use crowdfunding systems as well.

I actually expect crowdfunding to out compete all publishers in the near future, such that the publishers just become one of the crowd or another service that invests some of the crowds money for them. To paraphase Dark Helmet: Decentralized funding will always triumph because a small number of people spending large amounts of money is dumb.

Re:Hold your horses - it's Double Fine. (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 2 years ago | (#38988487)

Decentralized funding will always triumph because a small number of people spending large amounts of money is dumb.

A small number of people spending large amounts of money is exactly what crowd funding is.

Big commercial successes work by selling to the masses, to the people that don't deeply care about the product, but that run across it at the supermarket, because it's on the Steam front page or because they have heard about it in the news. The informed consumer that reads reviews and keeps informed about a product is a tiny minority.

Re:Hold your horses - it's Double Fine. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38989863)

Decentralized funding will always triumph because a small number of people spending large amounts of money is dumb.

A small number of people spending large amounts of money is exactly what crowd funding is.

Sure, I'd agree with that definition as well, but we're talking two different scales. Small groups of executives making funding decisions is dumb, but you certainly don't need everyone to participate in funding for it to work; that is the nice thing about non-small numbers of people, it really doesn't have to be that many for the funding decisions to improve dramatically. However I think critical aspect is that crowdfunding (and free markets in general) allow almost everyone to participate. Only a minority has to participate but every needs that freedom and "pay what you can" or kickstarter style funding really opens things up.

Re:Hold your horses - it's Double Fine. (3, Informative)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 2 years ago | (#38988121)

Compare this to another project also breaking records on Kickstarter at the moment - the Order of the Stick reprint.

Yes, the guy's been writing it for a while, and yes, he's built up a fan-base, but it's not been his day job, and it's not exactly "commercial" - it's a free webcomic. And yet, when he started the kickstarter to try and fund print runs of his product, he almost equalled this well-known, established, commercial player, that (I assume) has a lot more backing it than one guy drawing stick figures. The OOTS kickstarter has reached around $580,000 last time I looked, and is cruising for the 5th most successful kickstart ever.

Re:Hold your horses - it's Double Fine. (2)

grumbel (592662) | more than 2 years ago | (#38988743)

Compare this to another project also breaking records on Kickstarter at the moment - the Order of the Stick reprint.

I don't doubt that some people can have large successes on Kickstarter. What I have a problem is with people calling that the end of the regular game/publishing industry. A big successful Indie projects make what? One million? Two? Three? Maybe ten if they get really really lucky. A big commercial game cost something like 25 million to build and that's the cheap low end game, the really big ones can cost multiple times that amount.

There is simply an order of magnitude or two between the money that gets moved around in Indie circles and what regular publishing does. What regular publishing has to fear are the Steams, Amazons and Apples that are trying to establish monopolies in the digital publishing world. Indie plays a role in there, as those method of publishing make it easier for them to get published, but indie isn't the driving force behind the change.

But what about other types of games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38988331)

The problem is that almost all success stories with new business models so far have been something like this:

But what if it's not a video game? What if it's, say, a board game? The niche board game industry (as in, board games not published by Hasbro) has been rapidly shifting to Kickstarter. Basically, the model goes something like this:

1: Design and test boardgame to be close to playable.

2: Bring game to boardgame conventions and meetup groups, allow people to test it out to get a bit of buzz.

3: Start a Kickstarter page. The rewards for backing the project are essentially pre-orders for the game. You donate $40 to the project, you're promised a copy of the game in the mail as soon as it comes out, and maybe a bonus pack of something for your support.

4: Kickstarter money game is used to fund the initial production of said game.

For example, check out this new fighting card game called BattleCON. [kickstarter.com] That game is being published by a small, local studio with basically no name brand value. That game got shopped around a little, they put out a starter pack in a pdf for people to download to test, and the game doubled its Kickstarter goal. The first printing just came out a couple of months ago, and I've heard nothing but good things about it so far, including hearing a boardgame podcast put the game in their best-of-2011 list.

So really, why can't videogames do the same thing? It's a bigger project, you'll need to build buzz in different ways, but I don't doubt that it could happen to more people than just DoubleFine.

Re:Hold your horses - it's Double Fine. (1)

Rhys (96510) | more than 2 years ago | (#38986383)

For 'over-funded by percent' it is going to be hard to beat the order of the stick reprint drive, which is, last I saw, approaching 1000% funded (also currently ongoing).

Re:Hold your horses - it's Double Fine. (1)

Ambvai (1106941) | more than 2 years ago | (#38986545)

I can't speak for the other categories, but that iPod Nano watchband in the Design category is over 6000%. I doubt OOtS would break that.

Re:Hold your horses - it's Double Fine. (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 2 years ago | (#38987121)

oh yeah.. $400,000,000 might be a bit much (and even worse for some projects), you're right - got a little carried away there ;)
Let's go for 'over-funded by percent for projects with goal higher than $100,000'. Although things get a little arbitrary then :)

Re:Hold your horses - it's Double Fine. (3, Informative)

brit74 (831798) | more than 2 years ago | (#38987213)

That said, this is still very cool, and I would be very surprised if this project didn't top the #1 slot for most funded
I happened to look up the most funded game project on KickStarter the other day. The top funded game (and you can question whether or not it's a "game" since it mostly seems to be about artificially intelligent creatures in a game world) came in around $56,000. So, yeah, Double Fine blew all the game projects out of the water.
http://www.kickstarter.com/discover/categories/video%20games/most-funded [kickstarter.com]

Re:Using the internet for its intended purpose wor (1)

airfoobar (1853132) | more than 2 years ago | (#38985671)

It's hilarious how surprised the devs' comments are. They expected the fundraiser would flop, and then they made their requested amount in less than a day... twice! I bet they are amazed and horrified that there was an actual business model there that everyone missed all this time.

You're late (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38985493)

Why do you publish this *now*? Why not 24 hours ago, when they were still looking for funds? Surely you must have one adventure game fan in your staff.

Re:You're late (3, Interesting)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#38985745)

They are still taking money.
I would have donated, but Windows only is a no go. I would have even accepted ps3 as an option.

Re:You're late (4, Informative)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38985859)

There's still a possibility:

Q: What happens if you go over the goal?

A: The extra money will be put back into the game and documentary. This could result in anything from increased VO and music budgets to additional release platforms for the game.

Re:You're late (1)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | more than 2 years ago | (#38987573)

But that's not a guarantee. I can put my money in wanting a Catalan Linux port, but they get my money whether they deliver it or not. If projects on this scale are going to go via Kickstarter, they're going to need to start adding conditions, like several concurrent minipledge drives.

Re:You're late (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38988431)

Yeah, speakers of artificial and invented languages tend to get the short end of the stick in these kind of products. So please take your head out of your butt and conform yourself with the idea the game is still going to be released in at least two of the languages you understand, you know, the ones that are actually used in the world.

To put things in perspective, there are 1.4 billion people in the world that understand english, plus +1.3 billion people that understands chinese, plus +700 million people that understand spanish, plus exactly 0 people that understand Catalan but doesn't understand any of the above mentioned languages. In sum, there's no reason at all to make a Catalan translation of any creative work, except to satisfy the ego of a few people that got brainwashed by nazi propaganda when they were kids and now live in their own little bubble.

Re:You're late (4, Informative)

PIBM (588930) | more than 2 years ago | (#38985881)

Actually, they stated that the extra money would be put to distribute the game on more platforms, so here's your chance to speak with your money :)

Re:You're late (2)

Ambvai (1106941) | more than 2 years ago | (#38986597)

And speak with more than just your money; they're giving you a direct opportunity to speak with your, er, online voice! Sure, you'll be one of 21004 (at this moment) people, but they're aware that a multi-platform release is something people are interested in already. Additional voices claiming support for it might prompt them to devote additional resources towards it.

Re:You're late (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38986019)

The more money they get, the more will be left for ports, amongst other things. So I would expect that at $800k, they will at least give OSX a try (according to the kickstarter page you obviously did not read), and if it will keep on going, iOS, Android and maybe even Linux would happen.

Metagaming at its finest (3, Funny)

zooblethorpe (686757) | more than 2 years ago | (#38985533)

Schafer says he will build a 'classic point-and-click adventure game' in a six-to-eight month time frame, and will document the entire production process for fans to observe and give input on the game's development, which 'will actually affect the direction the game takes.'"

So basically they've made a slow online social interaction game, about making a game.

Down the rabbit hole we go! Fun!

Re:Metagaming at its finest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38986047)

Where do I donate to get them to use my UI for the donor input system?
Similarly, once I find that, I'll be taking donations for user preferences of how the donor input UI should function. So far my plan is a custom Doom2 deathmatch wad where the winner of each 2 minute round gets to input a sentence of up to 15 words (ties go to no one).

Re:Metagaming at its finest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38986301)

Schafer says he will build a 'classic point-and-click adventure game' in a six-to-eight month time frame, and will document the entire production process for fans to observe and give input on the game's development, which 'will actually affect the direction the game takes.'"

So basically they've made a slow online social interaction game, about making a game.

Down the rabbit hole we go! Fun!

So... what we'll get is effectively MS Paint Adventures, minus the tedious, never-ending kudzu plot of metamythical bullshit that really, seriously has me convinced the author's actual "long-term plan" is "troll the readers as long as possible with promises that the long-term plan is something other than trolling the readers as long as possible"?

Yeah, that's right, MSPA fans. You heard me.

Re:Metagaming at its finest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38986635)

>'will actually affect the direction the game takes.'

I would put money on that being somewhere between a lie and a falsehood.

My dreams just came true! (5, Informative)

airfoobar (1853132) | more than 2 years ago | (#38985569)

Fuck yeah!

Btw, to those who don't know who Tim Schafer is, he was the Lead Designer on Day of the Tentacle, Full Throttle and Grim Fandango. Ron Gilbert, who is also on the team, is the guy who designed Monkey Island. This is the stuff of legends, people. I never thought this could ever happen.. Kickstarter really works!

Re:My dreams just came true! (4, Informative)

mustPushCart (1871520) | more than 2 years ago | (#38985651)

And psychonauts. You know, psychonauts? yea him.

Re:My dreams just came true! (-1, Troll)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#38985787)

So he mentions MONKEY ISLAND, and you mention psychonauts. So if I say Alan Shepard was on the moon are you also going to point out that he plays a mean game of golf?

Re:My dreams just came true! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38986165)

Have you played Psychonauts? It's a seriously undervalued gem of a game. In the long run, I don't know if it will match MI for impact, but it's really very good.

Re:My dreams just came true! (1)

airfoobar (1853132) | more than 2 years ago | (#38986877)

Sure, but Psychonauts was more of a platformer than a point-and-click adventure game.

Re:My dreams just came true! (1)

Elrond, Duke of URL (2657) | more than 2 years ago | (#38991079)

Was this an actual factual idea that Notch proposed? If so, I sure hope it goes somewhere. I love Psychonauts immensely and would be thrilled at the prospect of a sequel (still have it installed on my HDD even). And Mojang certainly has the cash to spare...

Re:My dreams just came true! (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 2 years ago | (#38987195)

I wonder what became of Notch's plan to fund Psychonauts 2.

Re:My dreams just came true! (1)

airfoobar (1853132) | more than 2 years ago | (#38988119)

If the people filming a documentary about Nacho are at Tim's office, I suspect they're serious about it.

Re:My dreams just came true! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38989449)

Have you played Psychonauts? It's a seriously undervalued gem of a game. In the long run, I don't know if it will match MI for impact, but it's really very good.

Sure, until you get to Meat Circus. WTF.

Re:My dreams just came true! (1)

deek (22697) | more than 2 years ago | (#38991125)

Meat Circus was tricky, but it wasn't THAT bad. I cleared it fairly easily, and enjoyed it to boot. People always dredge up that level when they want to complain about Psychonauts.

Having said that, if your timing and pattern recognition is not good, I can certainly see you'll have problems with it. The level is not forgiving.

Now if you want a truly difficult game, I recommend playing Demon's Souls or the Dark World/Glitch levels on Super Meat Boy. Compared to these, Meat Circus is a walk in the park.

Re:My dreams just came true! (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | more than 2 years ago | (#38991335)

What do you mean by "fairly easily"?

I should go back and try it again. I remember trying for many hours (literally), over days (after being frustrated and quitting), and not being able to finish it. I seem to remember I get a few "partial levels" into it (jumping onto the ferris-wheel-like things), and then dying soon afterwards.

Then again, I *still* had hoped this was for Psychonauts 2, and was originally going to post that in this thread.

Re:My dreams just came true! (1)

deek (22697) | more than 2 years ago | (#38991991)

"Fairly easily"? Means that, while I had many attempts, I made definite progress with most attempts. From memory, it took me a little over an hour to finish. Maybe I just discovered the tricks of the level a little quicker than most. It felt challenging, but manageable, to me.

I remember getting stuck a little at the point where the figment dad is throwing flameballs at you while you're walking a tightrope. But that was very soon after a soft save point, so it was easy to repeat and get the timing right.

Re:My dreams just came true! (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 2 years ago | (#38991745)

The big "fuck you" about Meat Circus was a combination of two things:

1) While it wasn't, as you say, quite as hard as it's remembered to be, it DID represent a sharp spike in the difficulty curve, especially the first time through. In a case of semi-Nintendo-hard, when you play it without having experienced it before, you don't have the memorization down, which makes it tougher.

2) Nightmare Fuel. Oh, gods, the Nightmare Fuel.

If Mojang's offer to fund a sequel goes through, I'm buying copies of Minecraft for myself and every member of my family. Not because I have any interest in the game, but because if I bear-hug Notch and weep onto his shoulder like a little girl, I'll probably be arrested...

Re:My dreams just came true! (1)

deek (22697) | more than 2 years ago | (#38992147)

I'll concede your point. As far as platforming skills is concerned, the Meat Circus had a jump in difficulty, 'scuse the pun. I took more time to solve levels like Black Velvetopia or Gloria's Theater, but that difficulty was from a puzzle solving perspective.

Nightmare Fuel? Oh, all the meat everywhere! Hmmm, you know, it didn't bother me. As you know, there was a storyline based reason for all the meat appearing everywhere, as well as the bunnies.

If the Psychonauts 2 deal goes through, I may even buy a copy of Minecraft for myself. Not that I need to add any more to the pile of shame.

Re:My dreams just came true! (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 2 years ago | (#38992245)

Oh, I'm not saying it was a bad thing. It fit the whole storyline reason perfectly. And it wasn't just the meat. It was all the half-skeletal bunnies and a certain ghoulish juggler and...

Goddamn it. Now I have to hook up my PS2 and play it again...

Re:My dreams just came true! (1)

Captain Spam (66120) | more than 2 years ago | (#38986485)

Fuck yeah!

Btw, to those who don't know who Tim Schafer is, he was the Lead Designer on Day of the Tentacle, Full Throttle and Grim Fandango. Ron Gilbert, who is also on the team, is the guy who designed Monkey Island. This is the stuff of legends, people. I never thought this could ever happen.. Kickstarter really works!

Eh... Granted, times may be different, as may be these people, and I'd love to see this work, but I believe gamers said the same thing about John Romero and Tom Hall when Ion Storm came about...

wow then. can it happen for Star Control 2 sequel (2)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38986565)

you know, from fred ford and paul reiche. the people who made star control 2. (known as ur quan masters now).

a sequal to it would be great. ...........

a sequal to star control 2 i mean. NOT to star control 3. i consider it 'another game'.

Re:wow then. can it happen for Star Control 2 sequ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38992011)

God how I wish... unfortunately Toys for Bob is now swimming in money for having made Skylanders... so they will probably churn out sequels to that instead of focusing on FRUNGY THE SPORT OF KINGS!

Re:My dreams just came true! (2)

bmajik (96670) | more than 2 years ago | (#38988045)

And don't forget..

BRUTAL LEGEND.

Brutal Legend is one of those games that was always fun, always interesting, always funny. I never wanted it to be over. The setting and the attention and love for the world of music that I grew up with made me so willing to forgive anything about the game that was not awesome. Which is an untestable hypothesis, since everything in the game was extremely awesome.

I would play in the world of Brutal Legend for many more hours (and dollars) if I could.

Re:My dreams just came true! (1)

JohnnyBGod (1088549) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989947)

Those games were cool because of their writing, not their design (I've documented my problems with adventure games elsewhere). Psychonauts, on the other hand, that's a good one.

Re:My dreams just came true! (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 2 years ago | (#38991359)

Conspicuously not mentioned in that resume: Brutal Legend.

So much potential... why did they make it suddenly into a RTS...

Ron Gilbert (2)

karlelsenorbert (2571003) | more than 2 years ago | (#38985791)

Ron is with Tim Schafer for this project! Thats the best ting on this story! Like most here I literally grew up with Maniac Mansion and Monkey Island and so I am totally looking forward to this game, whatever it might be! Best thing what they should do with the money is buying the Monkey Island franchise from LA... and maybe get Steve Purcell in the boat too!

Required Reading. (1)

SeNtM (965176) | more than 2 years ago | (#38985797)

Someone hasn't read The Mythical Man Month...

Re:Required Reading. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38986257)

I've read it. Was a standard computing science text in the late 1980s. What's your point? This is not a project going off the rails that they are trying to correct by throwing more mythical man-months at. Man-months work just fine, if used at the planning stage, but less so if used as a "catch up" or repair mechanism.

Re:Required Reading. (1)

SeNtM (965176) | more than 2 years ago | (#38986445)

Notably, that each line of communication increases complexity exponentially. I am not saying the project will fail, with that kind of funding it might well be successful...it just seems to me like a pandora's box of problems and delays.

Re:Required Reading. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38987175)

Uh, careful there. Not wanting to nitpick, but each line of communication increases the complexity by a constant amount, not exponentially. If one person has to communicate with one other person, then that's just one more ongoing conversation.

Perhaps you meant to say that the complexity grows quadratically with the number of participants?

Re:Required Reading. (2)

SeNtM (965176) | more than 2 years ago | (#38988545)

In this instance that would be true, as each person contributing to the project would not be expected to create a line of communication with ever other participant who had already contributed. In the traditional mythical-man-month model, every added developer was assumed to have to establish a line of communication with all existing developers...make growth exponential.

I was making a correlation that wasn't 100% the same, but the article does say, "...the communication wont be a one-way street." I am sure you can see that just reading the postings and giving minimal feedback from the 18,000 contributing participants can be a full time job for several people, which will effect project planning as those ideas will need to be evaluated and assessed (and corresponded with?) in order to stay true to the projects goals. While the structure and organization of the communication is indeed different from the mythical-man-month, I think that, similarly, overall communication will be the defining challenge in this projects ability to succeed. It will be an interesting project to watch evolve.

Re:Required Reading. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38992635)

Uh, this is a crowd-funded game, not a crowd-developed game. I'd imagine that 90% of the design will be handled by the team at Double Fine with community input handled the same way any kind of beta feedback is handled -- the community relations managers take the best suggestions and bug reports and pass them on to the developers.

Point and click adventure game? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38985803)

Let's hope it's not "Limbo of the Lost" all over again!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limbo_of_the_Lost [wikipedia.org]

Re:Point and click adventure game? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#38985933)

If you mean failure to make money that seems impossible, since they are getting their money upfront.

I would love to see more stuff done like this. We will make Movie/Show/Game X if we raise funds in the amount of Y. If not we refund the money and the entertainment is not made.

It's a Point & Click Adventure Game? (1)

OakDragon (885217) | more than 2 years ago | (#38985919)

Make it a text adventure game for $1000, use the rest of the money for beer...

Re:It's a Point & Click Adventure Game? (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 2 years ago | (#38986589)

Given that Ron Gilbert is one of the pioneers of the point and click adventure game, why would they do that?

That reminds me, I wonder what ever happened to Gary Winnick and Aric Wilmunder, the other two guys involved in the creation of Maniac Mansion.

Publishers (4, Insightful)

Vyse of Arcadia (1220278) | more than 2 years ago | (#38985973)

Game publishers the world over probably just thought to themselves, "Oh crap." Publishers of any medium are less needed every day, and I think a lot more people just realized it. Why even bother, if you're a big enough name, to try to get funding from a publisher when you can cut out the middle man?

Re:Publishers (1)

Fned (43219) | more than 2 years ago | (#38986329)

Why even bother, if you're a big enough name, to try to get funding from a publisher when you can cut out the middle man?

This.

In the future, a "publisher" will be more like a professional public consultant; people who are good at directing other people's attention to worthy projects.

Either that or despotic tyrants, with private armies grinding the populace beneath their heels, in a desperate attempt to keep the appearance of control over gate keys that were long ago remanded to the Phantom Zone.

We are making this choice, right now.

Re:Publishers (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989345)

I think you give publishers too much credit, most of them probably do not realized how outdated they are becoming.

Any plan to release for free? (2)

godrik (1287354) | more than 2 years ago | (#38986195)

Are there any plan to release the game for free or even under CC licence if some threshold of money is reached? That would be really cool!

What is my ROI? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38986219)

If I invest $1,000 in this project what return on the investment can I expect?

Re:What is my ROI? (4, Informative)

asdf7890 (1518587) | more than 2 years ago | (#38987005)

It isn't an investment in the shares and/or dividends, you are simply pledging some money up-front in order to support the game being made. What you get, other than the game being made and you getting a copy (probably) cheaper than the price it will be release to the rest of the world at, is clearly documented on the page.

Re:What is my ROI? (5, Interesting)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | more than 2 years ago | (#38987675)

It's not an investment, it's patronage of the arts. It's a very old way of raising funds, but in the old days, funding arts was an ostentation. "Oh look at me, I funded an opera!" Also, there were such things as "subscriber lists" for books in days gone by. For things that were a bit "niche", a group would have a whipround to fund someone to put it together -- they were the "subscribers" and they'd all get listed inside the book. People did this because the books supported a cause that was close to their heart. Many books of Scottish Gaelic poetry were funded this way. Local history societies would do similar things to fund the publishing of books from their area.

So glad to see there is still love for P&C (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38986265)

Especially as a person who is working on one at this very moment. Boy I just love those graphics! Eh, it'll be worth it.

I'd quite like to see how others do it, in particular the absolute legends of the genre.
Can't fund hard enough. If I had a spare 135k around, it'd so go there. Screw getting a new house, time to fund greatness.

Re:So glad to see there is still love for P&C (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#38986839)

Post a link, or better yet put it up on desura for alpha funding.

Pure Awesomeness. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38986321)

Monkey Island and Psychonauts were some of my FAVOURITE games.

I can't wait for the kickstarter for the MCRIB! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38986537)

BRING IT BACK! WOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

I find this to be highly innapropriate for a company who does this on the regular, and expects to make a profit and not sure using crowdsourced funding. It's pretty offensive in fact. I think there isn't an uproar because its double fine.

What's next? This years madden is held hostage through kickstarter for 1 million dollars?

Re:I can't wait for the kickstarter for the MCRIB! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38987691)

sure = share. Crap.
that does this = has been in this business of making games for years.

The Emperor's New Cloths (2)

logistic (717955) | more than 2 years ago | (#38986625)

This is great for Double fine. I don't see why they've gotten such a brisk response. It's worse than a Gamestop preorder. Give over your money now, for maybe a game in a year. Oh you can watch us make it and join our forums. The game target selling price, not mentioned. Topic: adventures game that's it . I don't see any more detail on the website.. Not even a commitment to not use onerous DRM. This isn't some tiny scrappy Indie, it's a house with AAA titles under it's belt. I like adventure games too but I'll just buy if it gets made and if it's good. To me this is giving charity money to a for profit entity, and there's lots of causes more worthy than the charity home for widows and adventure games.

Re:The Emperor's New Cloths (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#38986929)

Read the kick starter page, you are buying the game a head of time and getting other features.

They are using steam, so that will be the DRM.

Re:The Emperor's New Cloths (1)

logistic (717955) | more than 2 years ago | (#38987185)

I don't consider forum access and access to the making of to really be a feature. The only thing I left out is beta access, which I guess you could argue is a feature. Clearly that's their pitch and clearly there are people willing to put up money for it. That's cool it's a free country. I'm free to think it's silly.

  This is a downgraded version of preordering the super deluxe version of a game which frequently comes with a poster and a making of the game DVD. The only think missing is collectable figure or night vision goggles or something. It's downgraded because the product doesn't exist, you pay before you even know what it is, and the lag from money to product is longer.

  I said NO commitment on not to use DRM. There's the steam base DRM and some publishers add significant additional pain and suffering. My point is you don't even have DRM free as .

Karma whoring ;-) (4, Informative)

Whibla (210729) | more than 2 years ago | (#38986851)

For those who cannot be bothered to actually rtfa:

The actual kickstarter page [kickstarter.com]

I have to say, this strikes me as a damn fine idea. Even if people do not participate in the kickstarter itself the game will still be on sale on Steam once completed, and with a large marketing headstart. win-win.

Re:Karma whoring ;-) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38986913)

You might even say it was a double fine idea.

Kickstarer Is The Biggest Scam On The Planet.... (0)

ThisIsNotMyHandel (1013943) | more than 2 years ago | (#38987075)

LOL, Kickstarter is the biggest scam on the planet. So I give them money to develop a product. *I* take the *risk* and they reap all of the reward. If I am going to invest into an idea, it will be for equity in that idea, not a free ride for someone else to possibly make millions..

Re:Kickstarer Is The Biggest Scam On The Planet... (2)

vux984 (928602) | more than 2 years ago | (#38987463)

If I am going to invest into an idea, it will be for equity in that idea, not a free ride for someone else to possibly make millions..

Agreed. If you have enough money to invest then that is the correct route to take.

But this model is more for people who just want to toss $1-$20 at something and you'll probably not bother getting your lawyer involved.

Re:Kickstarer Is The Biggest Scam On The Planet... (2)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 2 years ago | (#38987931)

It's just a matter of trust. If you want a great reward, you must first take great risk. Even if I didn't make any money off of it, a new unique game released would be reward enough for me.

Question about the Funding (2)

brit74 (831798) | more than 2 years ago | (#38987899)

The kickstarter project says their goal was $400,000 ($300,000 for the game and $100,000 for the video documentary). I looked at the kickstarter page and saw a picture of the Double Fine team. There were 47 people in the picture. I have to ask - how do you pay 47 people with a budget of $300,000? I realize they're around $900,000 right now, but that's still only $19,000 per person, which would only get you a few months work. How are these numbers realistic? Or am I looking at it the wrong way -- should I (and everybody else on this thread) look at the kickstarter money not as funding the game's development, but as a way to create the startup funds for the game, afterwhich they'll be looking for lots of investors?

Re:Question about the Funding (3, Informative)

emudoug42 (977380) | more than 2 years ago | (#38988527)

Keep in mind, this is before the game even goes up for sale, which I'm sure will generate additional revenue. It's already a company, they have other revenue sources through sales of their previous games, etc. This is the initial investment capitol not "ZOMG we need to feed 47 people" capitol.

Re:Question about the Funding (1)

brit74 (831798) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989137)

before the game even goes up for sale, which I'm sure will generate additional revenue.
I assume you mean "pre-sales" rather than actual sales? Because they money has to be there for development before the game is released. I'm not sure what the time gap will be between the pre-sales and the release, but it seems like the kickstarter project is a "pre-sale" when you buy-in at the $15 amount.

It's already a company, they have other revenue sources through sales of their previous games, etc.
Perhaps. Although they've had a lot of lackluster sales numbers in the past, so I doubt they're flush with cash.

Re:Question about the Funding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38988751)

It's not paying for the whole company, only a smaller sub team.

Re:Question about the Funding (1)

Terrasque (796014) | more than 2 years ago | (#38988963)

Over a six-to-eight month period, a small team under Tim Schafer's supervision will develop Double Fine's next game, a classic point-and-click adventure.

They're funding the game, not the whole company. As least as far as I've understood. The company itself was started ~12 years ago, in 2000.

Fund raising for a game? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38987919)

So double fine wants people to give them money so they can make a game to sell back to them? I understand the point of fund raising, but its usually done so to benefit someone else, not so people can donate money so they can buy a product later.

Or is this game going to be free when it comes out meaning people paid for it anyway and it isnt free? And if so who wants to pay a unrefundable payment for a product that they dont even know what it is let alone if it will be worth it whenever the hell it finally comes out?

If double fine made games good enough to sell well then they wouldnt need to beg for cash. Its not like they dont get marketing for their stuff. For gods sake jack blake was on the tongiht show promoting the game and the stacking game was mentioned in a few major print magazines with big full page articles and on a lot of websites. But neither sold because they werent exceptionally good or worth paying full price for.

Brutal legend was god awful to a fault. The story cut in and out, it was only enough of a story to make the game about 6 hours long (well the game was 40 hours if you spent time driving around a terribly controlled car across a barren and boring landscape to do the same mini games over and over about 934 times each), voice acting sucked, ending sucked, characters were paper thin and it was basically just a boring game held up by a few peoples names. I loved the metal world idea but it was so cliched, ham handed and forceful that it came across as lame.

Stacking was just boring, nothing much to say other than the idea was great but the execution wasnt there.

Rest is just garbage.

Re:Fund raising for a game? (1)

parlancex (1322105) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989597)

Spoken like a true 16 year old.

Re:Fund raising for a game? (1)

deek (22697) | more than 2 years ago | (#38991239)

Well, to be fair, the grammar was much better than what a regular 16 year old is capable of.

I do disagree about the rant on Brutal Legend, though. It wasn't perfect, but it was quite fun, interesting characters and story, and I thought it was a very good game. Not excellent, but definitely very good. The combination of melee and real time strategy needed a bit more work, but was certainly inventive.

More money means more platforms says Schafer (1)

sienrak (2558052) | more than 2 years ago | (#38991625)

The game is now well over $1 million raised and show no signs of slowing down. http://venturebeat.com/2012/02/09/double-fine-adventures-tim-schafer-ron-gilbert-kickstarter-record-million/ [venturebeat.com] Schafer wrote an update on the Kickstarter page, saying the extra money will mean they can put the game on more platforms. So in examining the economics, this upfront surge is going to be a multiplier once the game is actually published. Another thing to factor in, of course, is that Kickstarter gets 5% and Amazon payments gets 5%. If Kickstarter could figure out a way to cut Amazon out of the picture, a lot more money would go the creators.
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