Squee! Schafer & Gilbert’s Kickstarter Fund For Adventure

By John Walker on February 9th, 2012 at 9:06 am.

Cripes

Well this is quite the thing. While we’re all in the middle of crossing our fingers, legs and internal organs in the hope that Mojang and Double Fine will find a way to fund a sequel to Psychonauts, Schafer’s company have surprised us by announcing they’re seeking funding for another dream project – a new “old school” graphic adventure game from Tim Schafer and Ron Gilbert. You know – two guys of the three guys who wrote Monkey Island. The team that led to some of the greatest adventures ever made. Please squee now. And now they’re trying out a Kickstarter to make it happen.

At RPS we have a bit of a wavering internal policy about Kickstarter projects. The rule tends to be, if the people behind it have no proven track record, we’re not comfortable with suggesting people give them money. Er, that might not apply here. This is Tim Schafer and Ron Gilbert – give them every penny in your bank. Except, you may already be too late.

In a press release issued when all sensible people were sleeping, Double Fine explained that finding traditional funding for a trad adventure is “impossible”. So they’ve started a Kickstarter, with a goal for $400,000.

Well, that will take a while, right? Wrong. The press release announcing this was sent at 1.56am UK time. Seven hours later and it’s on $337,203. Wow. I think this might happen.

The process of making the game will be filmed by Minecraft: The Story Of Mojang filmmakers, 2 Player Productions, and the documentary will apparently only be available to those who back the project, along with early access to the game, posters, and even original paintings of your own visage if you donate enough. For $10,000 of more lunch with Schafer and Gilbert was on offer, but that’s already gone! As have 3 of the $5,000 offers, and 27 of the $1,000 offers. Methinks people want this to happen.

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92 Comments »

  1. Khemm says:

    “Adventure games exist in our dreams, our memories and in Germany”
    ROTFL. So true Tim, so true!

    Must. Pay. Donate. Right. Now.

    • El_MUERkO says:

      Ben There Dan That & Time Gentlemen Please would disagree.

    • c-Row says:

      Daedalic are certainly busy keeping them alive. Just picked up Deponia yesterday, even though I don’t have the time to play it right now – just to show my support.

    • Khemm says:

      @El_Muerko
      Of course not ALL adventures are being made in Germany, but a lot, if not the majority of quality releases come from German developers or publishers.
      @c_Row
      Love those guys. Edna, A New Beginning, The Whispered World were simply awesome. Can’t wait for the English release of Deponia and Harvey’s New Eyes.

    • Suits says:

      I expect they will *shafe* off the rough edges with that extra money.

  2. Lacobus says:

    Just donated $100.

    Are any members of RPS donating? Make for a very interesting Wot I Think when the time comes if so…

    • Andrigaar says:

      Tossed in my $15 pre-order pledge to the pot about 3 hours ago when it was already around $320K USD

  3. TheTourist314 says:

    I would donate $10,000 if I had it lying around. Instead, I think $30 for now will do. Does anyone know if you can increase your backing bid?

    • phlebas says:

      You can. Some projects announce extra rewards late in the game to encourage people to do just that.

  4. JayArr says:

    Dammit, I really want to help back this, but I get some stupid “This functionality has been disabled for your account” message when it sends me to the Amazon page.

  5. cheeba says:

    Genuinely inspiring scenes. I keep a bit of a weird schedule, so I was keeping half an eye on this most of the night. I knew there were a fair few folks like me who’d love a new Schafer adventure, but I honestly had no idea the reaction would be so, well, awesome.

    With any luck, the overwhelming success might inspire a few other outliers from the current mainstream to return to head other interesting niche PC projects. I’m thinking Julian Gollop, guys like that.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Yea, I think it’d be nice to see a wave of “big industry names” effectively downscale to indie-projects, or at least pick up on the weird new ways indie funding is coming up with.

      Obviously Double-fine aren’t really that “big” on the grandscale of things (I guess they’re a sort of established indie), and I doubt we’ll be seeing Activision doing anything like this for a while. (and there’re probably contractual locks that prevent their staff doing side-projects like this on their own time)

  6. Ba5 says:

    I bought a copy. Also, I see concept art for swords and stuff in that trailer. Please don’t do a fantasy themed adventure Tim, try a setting that’s not been done a million times before.

    • John Walker says:

      That’ll almost certainly be Brutal Legend stuff.

    • Hidden_7 says:

      Yeah, all the concept art and such in the video was for other games. They haven’t started making this game at all. Right now the concept is “Tim Schafer, Ron Gilbert traditional point and click adventure” and nothing more. The rest of the process happens after they get funding, and is filmed for documentary purposes.

    • Gap Gen says:

      Sequel to Monkey Island 2! Monkey Island 2 2!

    • Khemm says:

      @Gap Gen
      I love Curse of MI, but it’d be awesome to have a REAL sequel to MI2 Ron always wanted to make. I want to know the Secret, ffs.

    • triprotic says:

      There is concept art for this game, it’s on Ron’s blog: http://grumpygamer.com/5694081

  7. Kdansky says:

    Kickstarter has been impressive lately: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/599092525/the-order-of-the-stick-reprint-drive?ref=spotlight is nearly 1000% funded. That was not a typo. It broke through its initial goal in mere hours, and then went ahead to get nearly ten times as much.

  8. AlonePlusEasyTarget says:

    I think it reached to $100, 000 in 6 or so minutes. Well, that’s damn impressive!

    • sfury says:

      I think this was around the time it was on the front page of Reddit, so… :)

  9. Drayk says:

    Just donated 15 bucks… Wanna be a part of this but I am not rich enough to do more…

  10. BooleanBob says:

    Obviously hugely exciting news. I presume, then, that it must be kosher to accept money on the promise of a copy of a Steam release of the game. Seeing as they’re, um, doing it. Does this mean Valve have pre-approved the title for sale on their service?

    • Was Neurotic says:

      If Schafer and co. fund the game and then make it, and it’s a complete, whole package, ready to go, then Valve would have zero problem Steaming it. They don’t need to be involved prior to that point.

    • MondSemmel says:

      As I understand it, the Steam application process is partly based on track record, too. Or at least big publishers easily get on there. Double Fine, while no giant company, may have enough projects on there to have (mostly) guaranteed Steam access?

    • mrwonko says:

      This is actually a valid concern – Valve has rejected some of Daedalic’s games, too, so maybe they’re not too fond of adventures? “Doesn’t fit our user base”?

    • povu says:

      The Monkey Island remakes are on Steam, as well as Psychonauts and Costume Quest. I doubt Steam would suddenly refuse to host a new game from Schafer.

  11. Lobotomist says:

    Wow, amazing !

    This actually rules – much better than getting the money from greedy investors :)

  12. Captain Hijinx says:

    Holy crap, that’s an amazing amount of money donated so soon.. This is going to happen.

  13. Gnoupi says:

    Backed, and from a small association (which may or may not be right), these might be two of the main characters of this game: http://grumpygamer.com/5694081

  14. Toodlepip says:

    Donated 100, I figure I’ve spent more than this in the past on terrible ‘collector’s editions’, just to end up with a tin case and an art ‘booklet’.

    Better to spend it on something really special!

  15. AmateurScience says:

    I just backed it. I think this is really great. And a potentially momentous step in game development. The age of the fan-commissioned project is upon us.

    I’m not looking forward to the missteps (and there will be missteps) but I think this could become a major major way established devs fund more esoteric development. This is a good thing.

  16. unitled says:

    Paying as little as 15 dollars to get access to a six month documentary showing how Double Fine make a game is worth it in itself! Let alone getting a game at the end…

  17. brat-sampson says:

    I read that $15 or up includes the game and extras, then was about to give them $20, figured the exchange rate means it’s not much so went for $25, then saw the $30 donation tier was better, so £18 or so spent. Happy with my purchase already tbh. :)

  18. Apples says:

    I’m in on this. I gave £50 to Steve Grand for his Kickstarter too – Kickstarter is a great idea and I don’t know why more game-makers don’t use it. More famous developers could basically do away with publishing middlemen by using it.

  19. The white guar says:

    Please, take all my monies! *tossing coins at the screen*
    I was already donating by the time he said “Germany”

  20. Chesterton says:

    Flipped when I saw the video (don’t miss it – it’s hilarious) and “donated” $30 immediately. This makes me so happy.

    • Annexed says:

      Likewise. My interest was piqued, but it was the video that comfortably relieved me of $30.

  21. Jorum says:

    According to doublefine website, for 150,000 Schafer will personally give you the last four remaining “triangle box” copies of Day of the Tentacle (which admittedly are probably worth 500 each at most but still)

  22. Lambchops says:

    Squeeeeeeee!

    Donated.

    And again, squeeee!

  23. Nick Savage says:

    Money down. Is anyone playing the campaign refresh game? Head to the page and hit F5 a few times to see how many people are behind this. It went up about $5k in the time it took me to make my pledge.

  24. Skeletor68 says:

    $30 in! Yay!

  25. Ysellian says:

    $30! I like the usage of Amazon as well as I don’t have my creditcard on paypal :) (and I’m too lazy to add it)

    edit: Wow just noticed $380.000 already 0_0 We pc gamers can be pretty damn weird.

  26. Jorum says:

    Hopefully publishers who are still deluded that PC gaming is full of free-loaders and profitless will notice how someone raised half a million dollars in one day.
    (Even better, by pitching an adventure game which same publishers are convinced are unviable)

  27. TNG says:

    Hurrah I’m officialy a Backer. But this one caught my eye:

    “Pledge $150,000 or more:
    Tim Schafer (that’s me) will give last four remaining Triangle Boxed Day of the Tentacles, in original shrink-wrap.” (Limit of 1) (Holy crap, what am I thinking? I only have four of those!)”

    *gasp* I wish I had that much pocket money!
    Enjoy your Triangled Boxed Day of the Tentacles, Notch…

  28. Firkragg says:

    *eyeing the kickstarter page* It’s a-liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiive! (Or nearly). Jesus its going up fast, might even be done when i’m finished writing this.

  29. BigglesB says:

    And it’s funded! :D

    • TNG says:

      400.000$ in 8 h +-. not bad.

    • Hidden_7 says:

      That didn’t take long.

      Now it’ll be interesting to see how much Overcharge funding then can get in the next MONTH.

      That month funding period was rather pessimistic on Tim’s part.

  30. LennyLeonardo says:

    Wow, there it is. $400,000 in 8 hours 20 mins. Hooray!

    • Khemm says:

      Giant publishers:
      “there’s no demand for adventure games, make more shovelware action games instead!”

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      Indeed. Though to be honest I’d rather play this game than the the one from the alternate universe in which major publishers still back adventures. I already feel like I’m part of the game somehow. It’s a nice feeling.

  31. Nick Savage says:

    Well, they did it. Nice.

  32. Hodge says:

    And to all the industry managers who for fifteen years have been refusing to greenlight graphic adventures on the grounds that there’s no longer an audience for them and they’re doomed to financial failure: Congratulations! You’re a uniform pack of fucking idiots.

  33. bill says:

    My reservations about Kickstarter go the other way. It seems reasonably fair to throw a little money at some small guy in his basement who has a col idea and wants to try it out.

    But I’m not sure about using it to fund large professional-style projects.

    It seems to be like investing without the investment. Normally these guys would ask people to invest in their game, and if the game was successful then those investors would get something out of it (profits or whatever). In this case it’s like people just gave $400,000 to a company and will get nothing out of it. The company essenitally got free cash and will get to keep the profits.

    Do people even get a free copy of the game? (making it like the pre-ordering alphas business that i have no real problem with – but that isn’t $10,000) Or are these people who funded the game now expected to also pay for the game?

    Is there anything like Kickstarter – but where the investors actually get a stake in the produced product/business? I’d be up for THAT.

    • phlebas says:

      So you’re slating the Kickstarter campaign without even reading the page?

    • Nick Savage says:

      Have you checked the page? Everyone who’s pledged gets a copy of the game, at the very least. Plus exclusive access to the Beta. That lowest pledge level is just $15, which seems like a good deal to me.

      Kickstarter is one of those things that can be great if used correctly. In this case, they’re basically using it like a pre-order system. There’s an element of faith involved that you’ll actually want the finished game, but on the other hand they are promising to heavily involve the backers in its development.

      EDIT: The average people have paid so far is around $45. As for the $10,000 reward – well some people have plenty of money and just want to support a cause without any strings attached.

    • benhagy says:

      You should read about the project before you post some of these reservations (or hell, even watch the video).

      Anyone who donates at least $15 gets the game, including a BETA on Steam, alongside access to the documentary as it’s released in parts.

      They’ll also become members of a community that’ll be allowed to provide feedback on various elements of the game during development, be it concept art, gameplay ideas, etc.

      So in this case, people who donate the base amount get rather a lot.

      Also, at least two commenters beat me to this.

    • Hidden_7 says:

      If you’d bothered to read the Kickstarter page you’d see that, yes, people do get a free copy of the game, as well as a documentary showcasing the making of the game, access to the beta of the game, and input on the game’s creation. There are more rewards the more you contribute, but that’s at the base fifteen dollar level.

      There are absolutely rewards for this investment, they are just more concrete and upfront than a percentage of the profits. It’s still investing, this isn’t free money the company is getting, it’s just a different model for investment with different expectations out of it.

      Edit: @benhagy, Welp, THREE commentors beat me, so consider yourself lucky.

    • Auron says:

      Actually, he has a point. We don’t know anything about the project, apart from some concept art (that can be from that game or not) and the people behind the project, well, great game designers, but that doesn’t guarantee a good game.

      So yes, bakers are receiving the game for ‘free’, but they don’t know if they are going to like the game or not.

    • Williz says:

      I hate people that bitch about something but haven’t first read about WHAT they are bitching about. Go find somewhere to curl up and die. Now.

    • bill says:

      What the hell? RPS suddenly got overrun with grumpy people?
      It was pretty clear from my comment that I hadn’t read the page, or didn’t you read the comment??

      That doesn’t affect my point (any more than i say it does in the comment). It’s still basically getitng people to invest in something without the investing. And paying $45 might indeed make it like a very early pre-order system – but you have people paying $10,000 and $5,000!

      That’s their prerogative of course, it’s their money… but to me that comes close to exploitation.

      And for those wondering, it’s because I’m not in the habit of clicking on random links from a work pc… it’s getting on and they tend to crash it. For the same reason I can’t watch the video… sigh. That – is – why – i – asked.

    • Skabooga says:

      People pay upwards of $10,000 for paintings from living artists. One could argue that there is a degree of exclusivity that warrants this higher cost than say, oh, $50 for a easily mass-producible video game. On the other hand, some people get more enjoyment from video games than from paintings, are not worried about exclusivity, and enjoy paying more than the asking price for these works. It is a bit like the patronage systems of old; those people with deep pockets are supporting the arts.

    • Ninja Dodo says:

      These bakers, Will they be making edible rewards? Or snacks for the dev team?

  34. Staggy says:

    Taking a moment to relish in the fact that there are publishers spitting out their coffee at their screens right now.

  35. Drayk says:

    Hey we should also ask for a special TF2 hat to recognise funders !

    • Hoaxfish says:

      They could just open with “you will get a TF2 hat” and they’d probably have all the funding within 5 minutes.

  36. Moni says:

    Between this and Slightly Mad’s WMD project, I’m getting the feeling that crowd-funding is going to explode soon.

  37. derella says:

    This is such awesome news!

  38. Buemba says:

    God, I hope the game uses 2D sprites. Double Fine makes some of the best 3D models around, but there’s something about the old LucasArts pixel art that I really love.

  39. Bluerps says:

    Humina humina humina humina humina …

  40. JohnH says:

    Best $30 I’ve spent this week. And that includes buying Kingdoms of Amalur :P

  41. drachenfells says:

    Yes Yes and a thousand times YES.
    And if (when) this works, can we do the same for Psychonauts 2?

  42. Skystrider says:

    I just gave Tim Schafer $1.000 USD. Have I been a good boy? ;)

    • Revisor says:

      Yes, you have been, dear sir.
      Out of curiosity – and I don’t mean this negatively at all – why did you send 1000? I mean why so much? What good feelings and expectations do you have about it?

      I consider 1000 basically a donation, not a purchase anymore, that’s why I’m asking.

    • Skystrider says:

      Revisor: basically three reasons:

      #1: Because I grew up playing adventure games from awesome people like Tim Schafer, Ron Gilbert, LucasArts and Sierra and would really, really like to see more of those on the modern day.
      #2: Because I want to give as much as possible to help in send the games industry a powerfull message; that the public and fans can support all kinds of projects, and publishers are not really needed anymore.
      #3: It’s Tim Schafer! And Ron Gilbert! DoubleFine!

    • SurprisedMan says:

      I didn’t donate $1000, but I did as much as I can reasonably afford which is $100 right now. If I’d had more money, I would have paid more. My own reason was that Tim Schafer is indirectly responsible for making me turn out the way I did, for better or worse. Monkey Island 2 was a huge game for me, and his influence is strong in that one. DOTT, Full Throttle I loved, and Grim Fandango is my favourite adventure game of all time. Those games made me want to make games myself and last year I finally started doing that and it has been one of the best years of my life. They took me from the position of someone who casually enjoyed games to someone who knew games would always be a significant part of my life. Double Fine has a close relationship with Peter McConnell, the composer, and his music has been a major influence on mine, too – it would be unsurprising if he scored this game.

      I don’t even know what sort of person I’d be without Tim Schafer. It’s like trying to wonder how you’d have turned out if you grew up in a different country. So I’m giving him as much money as I can to basically say ‘Uh, thanks for sort of assisting in the process of baking my brain.’

  43. Lambchops says:

    Kickstarter is pretty cool in my opinion. I’m actually more inclined to support things were people have a track record (apart from this I’ve contributed to Emmy the Great and Marissa Nadler’s latest albums, both of which were worthwhile and resulted in some cool bonus music).

    It always impresses me just how quickly people can raise a lot of money, this one was funded in a flash.

  44. c-Row says:

    If their game will only be half as funny as that video, we are in for a great time.

    • mrwonko says:

      Certainly looking forward to the documentation for that reason. Ended up paying $30 instead of just 15 to get it in FullHD.

    • derella says:

      So true — the video made me laugh several times! Just the part where he casually walks through the cymbals had me giggling :)

  45. RagingLion says:

    Flipping ‘eck.

    We were already feeling the wheels turning yesterday and now there’s even more momentum to the way games get funded and made changing forever.

  46. sicbanana says:

    Hmm, after all you guys I kinda feel bad for only donating 20$ ;)

  47. MadTinkerer says:

    If the fundraising stays at this rate, they’ll beat the all-time fundraising record in just two days, or possibly even faster. (If my math is right.)

  48. Shazbut says:

    I’ve been pinching myself for 20 minutes. This is one persistent dream I’m having.

  49. derella says:

    I donated $30, just on the merits of the video alone… well, and also the fact that it’s being made by Tim Schafer and Ron Gilbert. Yeah, that helps too. The point and click adventure games played a big role in my childhood, and the LucasArts ones were my favourites by far.

  50. K. says:

    Is there a way to fund this without a credit card?

    Direct Wire Transfer is more common in Germany. It seems like the offer locks out a considerable audience.

    • c-Row says:

      They could just send me their money and I would raise my pledge while still receiving all the credit at the same time.