Three Million Dollars Pledged To Double Fine

By Craig Pearson on March 13th, 2012 at 3:00 pm.

In these hands... ALL THE MONEY!
I wonder how Kickstarter will deliver the money that’s been pledged to Double Fine to make their game? The magic number of three million dollars has just been crossed with 11 hours still to go, so the Double Fine Adventure is go. It was “go” a few hours after it launched, so now I’ve rendered the term meaningless. Please strike it from your dictionaries. But back to the question at hand: Kickstarter will have at least three million dollars for Tim Schafer by the end of today’s countdown, and they need to give it to him to make an old school adventure. I hope he’s asked to a creepy mansion and has to perform a series of baffling tasks to get to a treasure chest, and in that chest is a thing, like a giant diamond, and in that diamond is, like, a cheque. That would be pretty sweet. They’ve released the blooper reel from the first video, which is your reward for backing RPS. With your eyes.

Double fine will be hosting a live countdown of the final two hours of the Kickstarter at their Ustream channel, which looks like it’ll be kick-off about 8-ish UK time.

Did you back? How much did you pledge? Actually, how many Kickstarter games have you pledged to fund? Did any fail to meet the costs?

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93 Comments »

  1. caddyB says:

    Mmmmmmm MONEY

  2. Icarus says:

    Schafer mentioned over Twitter that three million was the entire budget of Grim Fandango. To crowdsource that is a pretty damn big achievement

    • trjp says:

      It is in some ways – but they made Grim Fandango a long time ago, the same money now probably makes a little over half that game at best…

      I think people might have a slightly inflated idea of what $3M will bring – but GL to em!! :)

      • Icarus says:

        True, but I think it’s a fairly big psychological milestone.

      • SurprisedMan says:

        Well, comparing budgets is sort of futile even without taking inflation into account. Making a different game in a different engine in a different company with different working processes over a different length of time with a different sized team is… different ;). It’s not very informative about how much the money will get them for this project, is what I mean. In some ways it’s easier and cheaper to make a game than it was 14 years ago. In other ways, more expensive, and there are so many variables involved aside from inflation that it’s all a tangled mess

      • RaveTurned says:

        As a point of reference (noting SurprisedMan’s comments above), 3mil USD in 1998 (when GF was released) is equivalent to roughly 4,17mil USD in 2012, according to this inflation calculator.

      • RagingLion says:

        I think the $3 million was already adjusted for inflation from what I picked up.

      • UmmonTL says:

        While the 3M back then probably meant more in terms of sheer paid worktime regardless of inflation, making a game nowadays has lots of advantages. The tools and resources that are readily available nowadays means a lot of stuff they had to code themselves will now either be already available or take them much less time to complete.
        I’d say 3M is plenty for what they want to make, the bigger problem I see is that they really need to make something amazing with it or people are gonna be disappointed. A lot of great indies could have been funded with just 1 Million.

  3. SurprisedMan says:

    $110, which when I first pledged it seemed generous but now seems like a bargain when I look at all the rewards they added. I’m thinking of putting another $10 on top as a tip. This is my first kickstarter project but it might not be my last.

    • MrKay says:

      I only pledged 30$, but I’m not a huge fan of pleding a lot of money to a single project, when I instead can support multiple (also, I’m a student).
      So far I’ve only supported one other project through Kickstarter, which was Faster Than Light, but I can see how it can be addicting:)

  4. AmateurScience says:

    Thus far I’ve backed this and the FTL kickstarter. Pondering putting my money into Fargo’s too. It’s hard to control the urge to back lots because the transaction feels more like ‘liking’ something a la Facebook rather than an actual pre-order/purchase. Not least because of the far removed payment date involved.

    I probably shall, but I have to be careful, because the idea of someone’s project not working out gets my empathy organs all fired up. The thought of a hopeful dev hammering F5 to see if their project is getting backed when it’s not fills me with despair…

    • trjp says:

      In fairness every high-profiler who does this (this one, Fargo etc.) probably brings in money for others too (simply be publicising the idea)

      Of course within a few months half the internet will be trying this and it will be impossible to get the attention/funding you need UNLESS you’re high profile – so…

    • Skeletor68 says:

      ‘I probably shall, but I have to be careful, because the idea of someone’s project not working out gets my empathy organs all fired up. The thought of a hopeful dev hammering F5 to see if their project is getting backed when it’s not fills me with despair…’

      Jesus don’t say it like that! I’ll end up backing every game that pops up!

      Also, if someone ever starts a kickstarter for a game in the Steven Erikson Malazan univers I will pledge about eleventy million.

    • InternetBatman says:

      I just did this one last night (was trying to be #3million and didn’t get it), and I’m seriously looking at FTL.

    • Tony M says:

      I originally backed FTL. And then, since I’d signed up for a Kickstarter account, I went ahead and backed Double Fine and Wasteland 2. In each case I paid the minimum required to get a digital copy of the game.

      For me its just a long term pre-order, with the additional bonus that I might help finance a game that would not otherwise be made. Theres a risk the game turns out to be rubbish, but thats a risk with every game/movie/album I buy.

    • Hereticus says:

      Was actually a little surprised as I’ve now backed 9 things on Kickstarter – it might be becoming my new steam sales! First one was No Time to Explain back at the start of last year :)

  5. Skeletor68 says:

    $110 dollars pledged (extra 10 to cover shipping to Ireland). Rewards are pretty cool for that level with the poster and t-shirt and documentary on Blu-ray etc.

    Edit: I also backed FTL. Might back Wasteland.

  6. djbriandamage says:

    USE wallet WITH Schafer

  7. DaftPunk says:

    I am going to laugh if game don’t deliver and yet people pledged three million dollars.. x)

    • RagingLion says:

      I pledged $15 mostly for the documentary, so at least if it’s a failure it will be an interesting one to witness. I don’t think it will be though.

  8. pc_bravado says:

    Please take a look a backing Wasteland 2 on kickstarter as well!

  9. DestructibleEnvironments says:

    What will happen if a kickstarter project fails? Is it just money out the window then?

    It makes me glad that a company like Double Fine exists.

    • killias2 says:

      If it fails, no money is ever charged. The money is ‘pledged’ until the Kickstarter ends, then, if there is enough money, then pledgers are charged.

      • LTK says:

        Not exactly; that’s what happens if their goal isn’t met. If Tim outright fails to make a game altogether – gets hit by a car, like Jon Blow said – then yes, money out of the window. Although it would really require driving the entire Double Fine team off a cliff in a bus to allow that to happen.

  10. killias2 says:

    I don’t even like adventure games. The only game of Schafer’s I’ve even played was Full Throttle, and that was a million years ago.

    Still, I threw 15 bucks. Honestly, I think I did it for two reasons: 1. I love this trend, and I hope it works out.
    2. Tim Schafer is -very- charismatic. Watching the videos.. it really made my like the guy. As I said elsewhere, there’s an alternate reality out there where Tim Schafer is a successful comedian.

    • djbriandamage says:

      There’s a lot of Tim Schafer’s heart and wit in his games and that quality really shines through. If you like him personally you should try any of his games again to see what I mean. I think Schafer is the strongest example you could give to having a strong director with full creative control over a team project.

    • Contrafibularity says:

      That’s something you’ll have to remedy soon, Full Throttle is brilliant but DOTT, teh Monkey Islands and Grim Fandango are all absolute classics (Psychonauts too btw, but talking p&c adventures) and the sooner you play them the more fantastic your life will be. ^^

  11. Magrippinho says:

    For me, pledging at least 15$ was a no-brainer from the get-go. I’d happily pay 15$ for a low-budget Tim Schafer adventure, even if it ended up being, like, 30 minutes long. Hell, I usually pay more for this kind of stuff with Steam, with all the exchange rate insanity going on, where 15$ = 15€ = 14£.

    The question was whether I’d upgrade to the 100$ tier; well, with the rewards added and the game turning out to being funded moderately well, I think it deserves the money I’d fork over anyway for a Special Edition.

  12. Swabbleflange says:

    $110 for the boxed version. If I was buying a limited edition of a new game these days it would likely run me £60 or so. Thinking of it that way essentially makes it a standard pre-order, but of course the difference is the sight unseen purchase. However, there really aren’t many developers who have my complete faith the way these guys do.

  13. Inigo says:

    INVISIBLE HAMBURGER

  14. MOKKA says:

    I pledged 30$, unfortunately I need my money for other stuff right now, so this was the best I could do. This is the first project I backed, I would’ve backed Octodad 2 and “No time to explain” If I would’ve had a credit card back then.

  15. Zwebbie says:

    I think Kickstarter is a horribly unfair business model. In other models, whether publisher or indie, the person who risks money reaps the rewards. With crowdsourcing, the risk is completely on the backers (who at best get what they paid for and at worst get nothing) while the developers reap all rewards (at worst they’ll have a salary for the duration of the project, at best they’ll become filthy rich) with no investment of their own.

    • frightlever says:

      It’s less about business and more akin to an old-fashioned Amish barn-raising. I do understand why people do it, but I also tend to agree with you.

      • MondSemmel says:

        Having no “investor” accountability is essentially the whole point of the kickstarter way of doing things…
        Perhaps you might be more okay with this if you considered it as “voting with your [local currency]” rather than investing in something? The main thing you get is not a financial return. Instead, you increase the chance that something you approve of will happen – say, a long-forgotten video game genre gets resurrected, or whatever. Imagine if the old Bullfrog team somehow got back together and managed to get the Dungeon Keeper IP back, then started a Kickstarter project for Dungeon Keeper 3…
        Also to consider: Kickstarter allows you to pledge money to projects without taking any rewards. Conversely, not every game project starts with a “X [currency] gets you the game” tier.

        • Skeletor68 says:

          ‘Imagine if the old Bullfrog team somehow got back together and managed to get the Dungeon Keeper IP back, then started a Kickstarter project for Dungeon Keeper 3…’

          *unzips*

          Go on…

      • Rikard Peterson says:

        Yes. The point is that a project can get done even if it’s not seen as a good investment. Even if they end up not selling a single copy, it can be seen as a success because the game got made and the people making it got paid for it. So what if it didn’t earn millions for a publisher? I don’t care. All I want is a good game, and I suspect the goal of the developers is mainly to get paid for doing a great game. (I don’t think anyone of them would object to getting rich doing it, but I really don’t think that’s why they’re doing it.)

    • InternetBatman says:

      On the Kickstarter site they do say that the backers have legal recourse if no product is produced, not that that’s helpful if they’ve spent all the money and have nothing to show for it. You have to remember though that Kickstarter isn’t an investment, it’s mass patronage. Under a patronage system you pay to have works produced for you, frequently with no idea how they’ll actually turn out.

      It’s just the way tailor made creative projects work, and the risks are the same for everything from pottery to painting.

    • Skabooga says:

      I definitely agree that the system is open to abuse, and it does have its downsides. On the other hand, the principle of risk is present with every purchase you make: maybe this sandwich that I bought will taste terrible, and I’ll have wasted $3, even though the advertisements and friends’ recommendations asserted otherwise.

      Schafer’s kickstarter is different in that the product does not yet exist, so in a way, he is getting a loan from the people. And like any other credit system, this one is based on trust. We trust Schafer to repay our loan of money with goods commensurate in value. Not every person is so trustworthy, and those who lack the credit do not get the funding; indeed, this is the first Kickstarter project I have chipped in for ($30, for inquiring minds).

    • MadTinkerer says:

      “while the developers reap all rewards (at worst they’ll have a salary for the duration of the project, at best they’ll become filthy rich) with no investment of their own.”

      No, at worst they’ll fail to raise their target funds and they’ll have to go without. There have been a lot of failed Kickstarters both before and after the Double Fine one.

      Not only that, but most Kickstarter targets are fairly modest. Most are budgeted to cover the cost of materials and don’t even cover labor at all. 99% of these are hobby projects or part-time at best. Even the $100,000 the Code Hero guys were asking for doesn’t begin to approach the cost of full time professional salaries split between a team of that size. You can bet they’re eating a lot of ramen.

    • killias2 says:

      I do think that ‘higher’ tiers should start offering investment options. I have no idea why someone would throw $10k at a game just to see it made. However, even I could see the upside of throwing 10k if it meant I was investing.

      That said, the point of this, as noted above, is patronage. People want to see something happen, and, instead of just signing some dumb petition, you throw actual money down to help make it happen. It is really a wonderful concept. I hope it spreads like wildfire.

      • Urthman says:

        I’m pretty sure there’s all kinds of legal red-tape with offering actual investments (instead of just soliciting donations) that would make this not worth the trouble to Kickstarter unless they started charging a much higher commission.

        • LQ says:

          It is, in fact, illegal under most securities laws. There are some moves to change laws in the US (I don’t know about elsewhere) to allow personal investments up to a certain amount by any individual.

    • Urthman says:

      I think Kickstarter is a horribly unfair business model… The risk is completely on the backers (who at best get what they paid for and at worst get nothing) while the developers reap all rewards

      This is true any time you hand over some money and buy a game. At best you’ll enjoy it, at worst you’ll hate it and feel like you totally wasted your money but the publishers keep your money either way. I think it’s unfair to compare Kickstarter donations with investments. It’s really more like being a customer.

      At least this way, it’s the developers who get your money. And for a lot of people, the joy of giving money to a developer you like, seeing all the excitement generated by the Kickstarter campaign is rewarding itself. They’ve already gotten some pleasure out of their donation and it seems likely they’ll also get a fun adventure game that otherwise wouldn’t have existed.

      • FhnuZoag says:

        That’s just not right. For example, when I buy a game, I read RPS’s Wot I Thinks. I ask my friends. I read reviews and previews. I play demos. I’m an informed consumer. With Kickstarter, I’m necessarily buying a game on the back of no information.

        • Urthman says:

          That’s because you trust RPS. You believe you can predict whether you personally will like a game based on what RPS says about it.

          Kickstarter is the same. Some people trust Tim Schafer and Double Fine. They believe that Double Fine can make a game that they will enjoy.

          In both cases you can be wrong and you’re taking a risk when you put down your money. Maybe the Kickstarter is a bigger risk, but how big of a risk is acceptable (given the potential payoff) is up to each consumer.

          • FhnuZoag says:

            I trust RPS and they have no reason to lie to me. The creator of a kickstarter has every reason to lie, decieve, and exaggerate, even with the most honest of intentions, because if he succeeds he gets my money. It’s the difference between deciding based on reviews, and deciding based on advertising.

            You can pedantically argue that everything has a risk, but it’s the sort of risk and the sort of information you make risky decisions on that matter here. (Not to mention the herd behaviour/time limited impulse buy social engineering characteristics of a Kickstarter drive, which urges people to donate over their normal judgement.) It all feels rather abusive, and I feel it’s a bubble that’s going to burst in a big way when the first big kickstarter project fucks up.

          • SurprisedMan says:

            Oh, that’s not true, FhnuZoag, and you know it. People who run kickstarter campaigns are banking on reputation and trust. They COULD not deliver. They COULD take the money and run, but their reputation, their trust is worth way more than the 3 million they stand to gain from lying or not delivering. If Double Fine, for example, failed to deliver on this game, nobody would ever trust them with any amount of money ever again. That’s not worth 3 million. Which is why there hadn’t been a big history of Kickstarter swindles.

        • SurprisedMan says:

          If you don’t think it’s a risk worth taking, then don’t. Simple as that. I don’t see how that’s unfair. Other people feel differently, and I like to think I know where I’m willing to throw my money. It’s completely transparent.

          I also don’t see how you can compare the financial risk of putting down some money, along with thousands of other people doing the same) on a game I might not end up liking (or might end up not being made) to the financial risk of a large company setting down millions of dollars alone without even seeing one sale.

    • Urthman says:

      I think Kickstarter is a horribly unfair business model… The risk is completely on the backers (who at best get what they paid for and at worst get nothing) while the developers reap all rewards

      Or someone else could say this:

      I think Software Development is a horribly unfair business model. Developers spend millions making a game and then players can just pirate it and pay them nothing. The risk is completely on the developers. At best they get paid for their work and at worst get nothing while the gamer can freely pirate the game no matter what. Wouldn’t it be more fair if there were some way to get gamers to pay in advance so it wouldn’t matter if the game gets pirated and the developers were sure to be compensated for their work?

      • SurprisedMan says:

        Or indeed: the risk is completely on the publishers, the developers only see a fraction of the profits, if there even are any, and the publisher gets to pull funding the moment they aren’t happy with something and so the exchange for the publishers risking their money is that developers have to tapdance around to keep them happy, if they can even get them to listen in the first place. If only there were a way around that!

  16. olemars says:

    I upped mine from $15 to $110 today when I actually read the reward details. Also $90 to Fargo today and $15 to Star Command last year.

    • killias2 says:

      I would’ve definitely supported Star Command if they would’ve promised a copy of the game as a reward. For some reason, that made a big difference for me.

      • Torgen says:

        What? Were they asking for money, and were going to pay you back if they made a profit? Surely they weren’t expecting money for nothing, or for “beta access”?

        • killias2 says:

          IIRC, they didn’t want to give copies of the game to funders because then they wouldn’t buy the game after release. Essentially, they wanted everyone who threw in on making the game a reality to doubledip and also buy the game after release. They offered other things as bonuses. I don’t remember the particulars, but I think some tiers promised all future DLC and some other stuff like that. Like I said, it just wasn’t enough to sell me on contributing.

  17. InternetBatman says:

    They’re planning to have it done by October I believe.

    • S Jay says:

      I believe this was the 400k budget game. With 3 mil will take a bit longer, because they promised the gamed would be longer.

  18. MadTinkerer says:

    I pledged $100 just for that sweet T shirt. And then I found out you also got the game and a DVD with it!

  19. Flint says:

    Didn’t pledge but will in all likelihood buy the game on release day.

  20. wccrawford says:

    I just upped to $100. I was in for $30 since before it hit funding, but finally decided that this was going to be totally epic and the extra was worth it.

  21. wodin says:

    I have no interest in this game, I only hope Wasteland 2 is as successful though. I am worried it may not be or reach the required amount asked for.

  22. Strange_guy says:

    I only pledged $15, I’m not a massive adventure game fan, but I have enjoyed some adventure games (Telltale’s Sam & Max, gave up during 204) and I really liked Psychonauts. Been tempted to put more money into it, but I don’t really care about the $30 reward, the art PDF seems cool but not quadrupling my pledge cool and the $100 reward is awesome but also a lot of money, especially with the extra $10 for shipping. If the box was a $50 reward (like the Wasteland 2 kickstarter) or T-shirt+poster at $50 without the box I may have been tempted.

    (EDIT: Changed just to only, since it sounded like I backed it in the last few days rather than a comment on how much)

  23. Bfox says:

    Just out of curiosity, does anyone know how much money the Kickstarter website gets from this?

  24. neolith says:

    I wanted to pledge, but a creditcard seems to be required… :(

  25. Miltrivd says:

    US$15, first time. Will go for FTL and Wasteland 2 as well :D

  26. Mirdini says:

    Yeargh.

    Just jumped the pledge-gap from 60 to 110 dollars (shipping to Europe, alas) because after thinking it over this is too great not to have some physical evidence of.

  27. Ninja Dodo says:

    In the same boat as Mirdini. Went with $60 initially but ultimately couldn’t resist the special boxed version despite being more a fan of digital these days. I figure if I could’ve had something like this for Grim Fandango back in the day I would’ve jumped at the chance…

    I’ve backed a couple other things, all game-related… most recently Idle Thumbs, which is going to be excellent.

  28. Jayson82 says:

    Do you know I think this is the biggest amount of money every given to a game studio and no I do know other games had bigger budgets but that money was lent to the games company to make a game this money on the other hand is given as it is there’s 100%(minus any kickstarter/amazon fee) but basicly its all theres.

    And when they finish the game that game will be theres and any profit made selling the game(after giving everyone who backed it there copy) is all theres.

    Usualy a publisher own the copyright to the game and the developer gets a small royality for for doing the workl.

    I think this could be something great for doublefine all profits from this game are theres to put into another game that they own totally.

    I just backed it by normal amount $15 so it will be exciting to see how it is developed and what happens after it is made

    Looking forward to it.

  29. LionsPhil says:

    This news pleases me. And at a $15 copy of the game it’s basically a cheap pre-order.

  30. Arnulf says:

    Backer now. I know, I know, late to the party and everything. But I’m in.

  31. Navagon says:

    I’ve pledged on this one and $65 is going towards Wasteland 2, as that’s a sweet deal and I’ve got faith in Fargo to make it happen. I’m also backing Hardcore tactical Shooter. I’m hoping that one’s going to make it. But it’s climbing slowly.

  32. chuckles73 says:

    I’ve backed 5 games on kickstarter, along with a documentary and a book reprinting.

    Shock: Human Contact, Double Fine Adventure, FTL, Mobile Frame Zero: Rapid Attack and Wasteland 2. Also Minecraft: The Story of Mojang and The Order of the Stick reprint.

    The only thing that hasn’t funded is Wasteland 2, and it just started this morning.

    All of these are from proven groups/authors/developers, with the exception of FTL. Not coincidentally, FTL was probably the lowest pledge I’ve given. I trust and am excited for the others, FTL I just treated like a preorder.

  33. Radiant says:

    If I was kickstarter I would steal the money.

    Get on a plane of my own buying and fly it, middle fingers blazing, to an island filled with whores and coconuts.
    Or whores with coconuts; glorious coconuts.

    And an internet connection.

    An internet connection made from the finest fibers that bounce the light so swiftly the apology email is sent before I have even stolen the money.

    And here I sit.

    • LionsPhil says:

      With that many angry adventure game fans after you, you’d better set up an impenetrable line of puzzle defences.

      Since they’ll all be trying to make moustaches from cat hair, I suggest a button that says “press here to open door to evil lair” that opens the door to your evil lair.

  34. trjp says:

    It’s all over at just over $3.3M – and the last video they posted about foreign credit card payments was worth the $15 alone :)

  35. Hoaxfish says:

    Final score: $3,336,371

  36. ukpanik says:

    David Braben should do this for a new ‘Elite’.

  37. David_VI says:

    If you didn’t give any money does that mean you can’t see all the development and documentary? I was a bit late to this party! :(

  38. Pointy says:

    I pledged (and paid!) $15 but I wish I could of gone the $100 for box and T-shirt.

    oh well…

    I shall go cuddle my boxed Amiga (30+ disk) version of Monkey island.

  39. Skabooga says:

    Shoe on head?

  40. Etherealsteel says:

    The way marketing looks at 3 Million dollars:

    3Million dollars raised, is that all?

  41. TheWhippetLord says:

    I wonder who will be the next target for the ageing gamer money bukkake.

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