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Double Fine Adventure seeks public funding

Double Fine Adventure seeks public funding

Double Fine Adventure will be a classic point-and-click, funded entirely by the company's many fans.

Double Fine's Tim Schafer has found a way to hit the headlines twice in as many days: as well as rumours of a Psychonauts sequel, the developer is attempting to bring back the lost art of the adventure game.

Teaming up with adventure game legend Ron Gilbert, Schafer has turned to crowdfunding site Kickstarter to raise funds for his latest project. It's quite some project: bringing back the humble adventure game, a genre long since considered dead.

The pair certainly have experience in this area. While working at LucasArts, Schafer and Gilbert were responsible for one of the most fondly remembered adventure games in history: The Secret of Monkey Island.

Schafer is also responsible for classics Day of the Tentacle, Grim Fandago and Full Throttle, while Gilbert worked on the SCUMM scripting language that would underpin the majority of LucasArt's adventure titles and created the fondly-remembered Maniac Mansion.

Hired by Schafer to work alongside him once again at Double Fine in 2010, Gilbert and Schafer share a common passion for the point-and-click. It's a passion that has led them to seek funding for a new entry in the genre, after years of neglect by mainstream games studios.

Dubbed the Double Fine Adventure, and created in partnership with 2 Player Productions, the project is looking to the community to gather funding to produce its game. Over a six to eight month period, a small team led by Schafer will develop a classic point-and-click adventure while 2 Player Productions documents the whole process with monthly video updates.

Those pledging money to the project will gain access to the behind-the-scenes videos, along with a private community where the game developers will be available to discuss their progress. It's even claimed that backers will be able to vote on decisions where the team is at a deadlock.

As with other Kickstarter projects, there are tiered rewards depending on how much you're willing to pay. A $15 pledge gets you the game, the beta, and the video updates and community site access. $30 allows you to download the video documentary series in HD with bonus features and a copy of the game's soundtrack.

Higher tiers prove interesting: $250 gets a poster for the game signed by the whole team including Schafer and Gilbert, while $1,000 gets your portrait painted by the game's artist.

For the really big spenders, there are some premium tiers: a $10,000 pledge gets a lunch date with Schafer and Gilbert along with a tour of the Double Fine offices, but that's already been taken by a fan with money to burn. Other premium pledges, not listed on the Kickstarter site, include $15,000 for dinner with the development team, $20,000 for dinner and bowling, $30,000 to get a picture of Ron Gilbert smiling, $35,000 for it to be a genuine smile, and $50,000 to immortalise yourself as a character within the game.

For the the true adventure game fan with money to spare, however, there's a top-end tier: a pledge of $150,000 will see Schafer hand over one of the last four remaining triangle-boxed copies of Day of the Tentacles in the original shrink wrap. In Schafer's own words: 'Holy crap, what am I thinking? I only have four of those!'

Schafer seems confident that the somewhat unorthodox funding push will be a success. '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.'

So far, the Kickstarter project has blown past its initial goal of $400,000 with nearly $430,000 pledged so far from almost 10,000 backers, meaning it will definitely go ahead. Whether it will be a commercial success, however, remains to be seen. Thanks to its funding model, though, it's already costing Double Fine nothing to produce.

Think Schafer and Gilbert can come up with the goods, or have 10,000 people just been bilked out of their money? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

15 Comments

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bowman 9th February 2012, 17:15 Quote
Suggestion: Don't say 'public funding', say 'funding by the gaming public' or something like that. Your current title makes it seem like they're trying to mooch money from a government 'culture fund' or something.
sotu1 9th February 2012, 17:46 Quote
Do those who contribute funds also get a say in the game development?
Bauul 9th February 2012, 18:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by sotu1
Do those who contribute funds also get a say in the game development?

I think they do if the dev team can't agree on something, and no doubt the forum only backers get to access would be read by the team as well.

They're up to nearly $700,000 - it seems all the kids who grew up playing LucasArts adventure games are now older and much wealthier...
steveo_mcg 9th February 2012, 18:18 Quote
Either that or the kids who grew up pirating LucasArts games are paying for a little penance.
Flibblebot 9th February 2012, 19:27 Quote
I was listening to a Radio4 programme (I think) the other week about crowdsourced funding, and it was saying how the UK & Europe are far ahead of America in terms of the idea because it's currently illegal under US legislation - presumably that's now changed if Double Fine are using it a?

I think these kinds of microfinancing projects are the way forward - if the banks won't fund new businesses, then get the people to fund those new businesses instead.

As for new Schafer/Gilbert game, all I have to say on the matter is: w00t!
runadumb 9th February 2012, 23:19 Quote
Donated! and I don't even really like Adventure games. Hell I bought monkey Island 2 a year ago and still haven't bothered playing it (please put the hammer down Joe) but I will support the Hell out of a company like DoubleFine on a mission like this.

I won't touch Starcraft 2, Diablo 3 or Assassins Creed 2 (amongst others) due to the BULLSHIT online only restrictions but I just paid £60 towards this.
I piss on publishers and developers that try and screw me and treat me like scum for buying their product and I reward those that offer clever original ideas. Take my money DoubleFine, you deserve it. Oh, and **** you Ubisoft!

PS Seriously though, Pyshonauts 2, hurry. Really, get on it soon. I mean it!
dark_avenger 9th February 2012, 23:33 Quote
Up to $943k already....
GoodBytes 10th February 2012, 07:28 Quote
They are now nearly at 1.2 million. All this at day 1. This is really cool. I love point and click adventure games. And these guys are legends at it. It would great to see such game come to life, and not "another Call of duty imitation, because that is what sales" game.

I think at the end, they'll have enough for developer the game in full package (full voice acting, nice music, and longer play (no cuts)), and delivered on multiple platforms.
Xir 12th February 2012, 10:28 Quote
Go to France and Germany...where the point-n-click Adventure never died
Th3Maverick 13th February 2012, 10:47 Quote
I HATE point and clicks because I am endlessly frustrated by them, and yet I buy every single one I come across and bludgeon myself in the face with my keyboard until I break down and go to GameFAQs.

So...Donated. Besides Ben There, Dan That and the Penny Arcade adventure (which was an awesomely strange action-point-and-click-adventure-rpg amalgamation), I can't think of a single point and click from the last decade.

And Tim Schafer? Gilbert? Seriously? F-Yes!
Bauul 14th February 2012, 13:48 Quote
Just donated. Even if this game is awful, hopefully it'll kickstart (duh-dun tish) the genre back into life.

Day of the Tentacle 2 please!
Xir 15th February 2012, 21:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Th3Maverick
I can't think of a single point and click from the last decade
Errr.

Right.

2002: Syberia
2004: The Black Mirror
2004: Syberia II
2005: Fahrenheit (aka "Indigo Prophecy")
2006: Secret Files: Tunguska
2006: Scratches
2006: Dreamfall: The Longest Journey
2007: Sinking Island
2009: Secret Files 2: Puritas Cordis
2009: Machinarium
2010: Heavy Rain

:D
Gareth Halfacree 15th February 2012, 21:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xir
Errr.
2005: Fahrenheit (aka "Indigo Prophecy")
2010: Heavy Rain
I'd say that's stretching the definition a bit.
Xir 17th February 2012, 20:41 Quote
Yeah, probably :D
Farenheit is MOSTLY P-n-C though.
In my defense, my wife is the Adventure-player, I live for Kane ;)

My point was, there have been some great ones in the last decade.
GoodBytes 13th March 2012, 16:36 Quote
In the final hours, they are now up to over 3million$ (3,059,299 with 80,542 backers), and it continuous to grows.
Link, and updates: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/66710809/double-fine-adventure/posts

If you like adventure games, what are you waiting for, donate! Only 8hours to go.
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